The Power of Concerted Prayer

We are called to intercede. We stand before God, the Creator Sustainer on behalf of others. We boldly approach His throne of grace to find mercy and grace in time of need, whether ours or others. 2 Corinthians 1:8 says, “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life.” Look at verse 11. It says, “You also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many.”

Romans 15:30 says, “Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayer to God for me.” Amplified says, “…to unite with me in earnest wrestling in prayer in my behalf.”

Our trials are not a solo, unique, only-me-type hardship. The body of Christ is under fire. We stand in the gap for others in their need, as others stand in the gap for us in our need. It is a circular provision ordained by the Lord.

Ephesians 1:18 says, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” The Lord Himself intercedes for us. He is our excellent example. Romans 8:34 says, “Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.”

Luke 4:18 Amplified says, “…to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed (who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity).” Do you fit this category? Then ask some folks you know to intercede for you. They will stand in the gap before our Merciful and Gracious Lord on your behalf. Paul said that they were helped through prayer as they endured their trouble in Asia.

1 Peter 4:19 says, “Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.” Here is God’s eternal purpose for His church. The hard trials that we go through are a testimony of God’s wisdom. Ephesians 3:10 says, “To the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made know by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.”

Jesus told Peter that satan wanted to sift him. Luke 22:32 says, “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” Right after this, Peter denied the Lord three times. 1 & 2 Peter were written by that beloved apostle. 1 Peter 5:10 says, “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”

Concerted prayer is like an ambush against the enemy. It is a secret effective weapon that breaks through all opposing forces. There is no other ministry like it. What a privilege to stand in the gap before God on behalf of others.

 

Two Holes ~ Part Three

The other hole in the hedge of our life is made by the enemy of our soul. Please remember, that whatever happens in our lives is under God’s control, orchestrated and allowed by Him. When we have no answers, we must rest in Deuteronomy 29:29. It says that the secret things belong to God, but the things He reveals belong to us.

We know that Jesus told Peter that satan desired to sift him (Luke 22:31). Paul had a thorn in the flesh that was a messenger of satan (2 Corinthians 12:7). Job’s hedge was removed and satan wrecked havoc. In Job 1:12 God gave satan permission but with a boundary that he could not lay a hand on his person. In Job 2:6 we see that again God gave satan permission, but the boundary was that he must spare his life.

Ephesians 6:11 says, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Wiles are his schemings to destroy our faith. Verse 16 says, “Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.”

John 10:10 says, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…” 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Isaiah 59:19 says, “When the enemy comes in like a flood, I will raise up a standard against him.”

I love Psalm 18:18. It says, “They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support.” In every situation of our lives, there is always His Ever Presence, His power, His provision, and His promises. Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Here is a new song the Lord gave me, as well as the title of my book: He Drew Me Out of Deep Waters: encouragement for hard trials. It is an ebook available on Amazon. I’m waiting to hear from a publisher for the paperback. Psalm 18:16 says, “He sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters.”

He Drew Me Out

I am an overcomer. I am more than a conqueror. You are my Stability. My life is hidden with Christ in God. I cried out to You. You split the skies and came to my aid. You drew me out of deep waters. Set me on solid ground. You established my ways. You gave me new songs of joyous release. I will praise You. For I am Yours forever.

Two Holes ~ Part Two

Let’s look at the reason for the first hole ~ unconfessed sin. Now look at the definition of an intercessor in Ezekiel 22:30. It is one who makes a wall, and stands in the gap before God on behalf of another.

Sin is sin and it blocks our fellowship with the Lord. The objective in our intercession is to make a wall of truth by speaking God’s word over the person we are praying for. Jeremiah 1:12 says that He watches over His word to perform it.

For example: I know someone who is angry at God. They charge God with wrong. They are self-deceived. They do not recognize that their anger against God is the very thing that is blocking a fulfilling relationship with the Lord.

How do I pray? Open the eyes of their heart (Ephesians 1:18). Colossians 1:10 ~ that they would walk worthy of the Lord…increasing in their knowledge of Him. Ephesians 3:19 Amplified. That they would come to know practically through experience for themselves, the love of Christ.

When we are deceived, we don’t know we are deceived. James 1:22 says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving ourselves.” It cannot be more clear. When our walk does not reflect the character of Christ, we are deceived. We are controlled by the lies of the enemy we have believed. Remember, our heart is our belief center.

2 Corinthians 13:5 is our path to freedom. The Amplified says, “Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruit of it. Test and prove yourselves (not Christ). Do you not yourselves realize and know (thoroughly by an ever-increasing experience) that Jesus Christ is in you–unless you are (counterfeit) disapproved on trial and rejected?”

When I want to examine the back of my hair, which I cannot see, I get a mirror. That is how God’s word is to us. Hebrews 4:12 says that it discerns our heart. We read His word and compare it to our heart-belief and actions. If there are discrepancies, then we need to course correct.

First, recognize that there is a hole in your life’s hedge. Second, ask a few close friends to make a wall and stand in the gap for you. Stay accountable them. In the meantime you take God’s word and begin to implant it in your heart. James 1:21 Amplified says, “…in a humble (gentle, modest) spirit receive and welcome the Word which implanted and rooted (in your hearts) contains the power to save your souls.”

The intercessor stands in the gap on your behalf. As you are renew your mind with truth, His word begins to close up the hole. Joshua 1:8 says that we are to meditate in His word day and night, observing to do. We walk in His word, we speak it, and we make it our own.

Two Holes

In Ezekiel 8 the Lord showed His prophet a hole in the wall. Behind the wall was sin being played out through idol worship in His inner court. In verse 6 He asked Ezekiel if he saw what they were doing. Verse 7 says, “So He brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, there was a hole in the wall.”

Psalm 66:18 says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.” Iniquity is doing anything independent of God. We create a hole in our wall of protection when we sin against the Lord. It gives the enemy opportunity to oppress us.

There is another hole. Isaiah 7:5 revealed that it was a plot against Israel. Verse 6 says, “Let us go up against Judah and trouble it, and let us make a gap in its wall for ourselves, and set a king over the, the son of Tabel.”

Two holes: one of our own making through hidden sin, and another created by the enemy. Remember in Job the conversation between God and Satan? Job 1:10 says, “Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side?”

Ezekiel 22:30 gives us more insight into the breech. It says, “So, I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found no one.”

The ‘gap’ in the above verse is taken from the illustration of a vineyard. There was a protective wall of stones or a hedge around the vineyards to protect them from encroachment. If a small critter made a gap in the hedge, it could get in to destroy. If the gap was undetected, something bigger would come along to enter and make more destruction. Song of Solomon 2:15 says, “Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.”

We see a warning for us in Proverbs 24:30-31. It says, “I went by the field of the lazy man, and by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding. And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; its surface was covered with nettles.” Ignored (unconfessed) hidden sin propagates weed seeds that choke God’s word in our hearts.

I wrote this in my journal this morning and circled it: anything I do apart from You is sin. Romans 14:23 Amplified says, “…For whatever does not originate and proceed from faith is sin (whatever is done without a conviction of its approval by God is sinful).”

John 15:5 says, “…for without Me you can do nothing.” We live by faith. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “We walk by faith, not by sight.” Colossians 1:10 says to walk worthy of the Lord. Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith it is impossible to please God. 1 John 1:7 says that we are walk in the light. 2:6 says we are to walk as Jesus walked.

Conclusion: when we walk dependent on the Lord, we will bear fruit that glorifies Him. Galatians 5:16 says, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Our fleshly actions are absolutely independent of God.

Possibility Thinking

Matthew 19:26 is in the context of a rich man getting saved. In verse 25 the disciples ask the Lord how can they be saved. Jesus answered, “with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Add to this verse several that says that nothing is impossible for God. Luke 1:37 says, “For with God nothing will be impossible.” Our thoughts precede our words. Do you hear what you are thinking through the words that come out of your mouth? Do you ever say, “I can’t, it won’t work, it’s too much, or it’s too hard?” Those words were first thoughts, coming from your eyes fixed on your impossible circumstances. Renew your mind with possibility truth-breakers.

Therefore to think in righteousness, we must think thoughts that agree with God’s word. That is walking in possibility thinking. Monday I took my car to get a smog check. The waiting room was a place of defilement. I turned a magazine cover over so it wasn’t in my periphery. The receptionist was dressed in a way that hurt my heart. Jesus died for her. The next morning I wrote in my journal and circled it. Help me to see through Your eyes.

Yesterday He turned me to verses that spoke of how His purpose will not be annulled, nor changed by anyone or anything. Through these verses He gave me His way to pray for three families that are in hard trials.

Numbers 23:19 says, “…Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” Isaiah 14:27 says, “For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who can annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?” 2 Chronicles 20:6 says, “…in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You?” Job 23:14 says, “For He performs what is appointed for me, and many such things are with Him.” Proverbs 21:30 says, “There is no wisdom or understanding or counsel against the Lord.” Isaiah 43:13 says, “Indeed before the day was, I am He; and there is no one who can deliver out of My hand; I work, and who will reverse it?”

According to God’s eternal, unchangeable word, no circumstance, no one, nor any thing can annul His purpose for your life. Do you believe it? Are you thinking and speaking these truths? God is at work in your life and nothing is impossible for Him!

Yesterday I had written these verses in my journal. They are stated unchangeable facts. So how do I pray? My conclusion was to thank Him for each truth in each verse. Thanksgiving for stated truths!

I have to leave you with one of my favorite verses about God’s power. Habakkuk 3:4 says, “His brightness was like the light; He had rays flashing from His hand, and there His power was hidden.” Take this verse and the above verses and pray them over your life’s area of bondage. Then thank Him for Who He is as stated in His word.

Patience Is A Walk Of Faith

2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “For we walk by faith, not be sight.” Romans 1:17 is speaking about the gospel, it says, “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”

When we ‘feel’ impatient, it is a sure sign that we are in our flesh. The feeling is a messenger to let us know that we have stepped out of faith, and to immediately course correct through a faith declaration like: You are my Masterful Orchestrator.

Patience is accepting and walking in God’s time table. His timing is impeccable. Remember, He speaks something, but then there is a waiting period before it is fulfilled. Think of Abraham and Sarah. It was 25 some years between God’s spoken word and its fulfillment.

I often read Romans 4:16-21. It fortifies my faith. Verse 16 says that the promise is of faith so it can be according to grace. Verse 17 says that God calls things that aren’t as though they are. Verse 19 says that Abraham didn’t consider his impossible circumstances: he was 100 and Sarah was beyond child bearing years. Then we go to verse 20. He did not waver in unbelief. Verse 21 says that he was fully convinced that God was able to do what He promised.

Faith is believing and embracing what God has said. First for salvation. Romans 10:10 says, “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Our daily walk is continuing to believe and speak God’s promises.

Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:13, “…we also believe and therefore speak.” If we listen to the words coming out of our mouth, we will understand what our heart truly believes. Paul was quoting from Psalm 116:10. It says, “I believed, therefore I spoke, I am greatly afflicted.” Our words are either death words or life-giving words. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

David said in Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight…” The Lord sees our heart. He knows every thought before we think it. Psalm 104:34 says, “May my meditation be sweet to Him…”

The Lord is always at work. Hebrews 13:21 says, “…working in you what is well pleasing in His sight…” I love Ephesians 1:11. It says, “…being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.” The word ‘according’ means in the same measure.

Therefore the Lord is always at work to produce His righteousness in us. He is using every circumstance in our lives to conform our thoughts, purpose, and actions to His will. He is at work in our impossible circumstances to reveal our hidden dross. Certain manifestations of our flesh that will only rise up when tested through the time He has spoken to when He fulfills. That waiting time purifies our heart’s belief. Dross: doing things in our own strength, and fleshly behavior such as impatience.

Believe means to trust in, lean on, and embrace all that the Lord is doing in our lives. Contentment in that time of waiting is the fruit of patience. Impatient? That is another manifestation of our hidden flesh-dross coming to the surface.

Finishing Well

In 2 Timothy 4:7 Paul gives us three things to help us understand how to finish well. It says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Battles, race, and tests define our course.

Battles: 2 Corinthians 10:4 says that our weapons are mighty in God to pull down strongholds. The battle is for our mind. Verse 5 says, “Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

We fight with God’s word through the experiential truth we have gained and walk in. We consistently renew our mind so we can quickly recognize the lies that satan throws at us. When a thought comes that is contrary to who God is, we hack it to pieces by speaking the truth of His word.

Race: We run with endurance. Hebrews 12:1 tells us how. We lay aside every thing that would weight us down, like worry, and anything that binds us to our past. We never justify our sin but quickly confess it. We let go of our past because it is passed. Things like unforgiveness, bitterness, resentments, anger, worry, and fears all entangle us and block us from being conformed to His image.

Tests: Our faith is tested, refined, purified, and strengthened through fiery trials. Faith comes by hearing the word. We embrace our trials because they are His agents to conform us to His image. We grow in our experiential knowledge of Him. He reveals His character to us through our trials. Our intimacy with Him broadens and deepens. He gives us revelational insight that upholds and sustains us.

Philippians 1:6 says, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” God’s will for our lives will be completed. However, if you are repeating a lesson over and over, it is time to move on. God told the Israelites that they had been at the mountain long enough (Deuteronomy 1:6). They could have made the journey in 11 days, but it took them 40 years because of  their rebellion.

Another explanation: the Lord has allowed a thorn in the flesh. It might be a direct attack to keep you from accomplishing what the Lord has called you to do. For Paul, it was to keep him from being arrogant because of the revelations God had given him. However, it was a messenger of satan. My Bible has a note: an intense, wearying difficulty or affliction.

Whatever you are going through, may you persevere and finish your course well! You might like to read my ebook on Amazon ~ He Drew Me Out Of Deep Waters: encouragement for hard trials.