January 2010

Part 2

Prayer that originates in heaven

The prayer that begins at the throne of God.

There are many kinds of prayers.  But the most effective prayer is the one originates from the heart of God who is on His throne in heaven.  Since we are the ones praying, we always think that prayer begins with us.  When we pray according to God’s will, we are only doing what our heavenly Father wants us to do.  1Jn 5:14-15 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” (emphasis mine).

Prayer does not change God’s will.

When we pray, we are not changing God’s purposes, rather we are praying for His eternal purposes to be established and enforced.  Everything in God’s purpose is eternal as He is eternal.  God do not change His mind as the circumstances change.  From the beginning, His eternal purposes are established and His will never chages.  As the citizens of God’s kingdom, we must desire for the King’s will to be enforced.  That is the prayer Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Mt. 6:10).  When we come to know that will, which is revealed to us by Jesus Christ and reminded us by the Holy Spirit, we must pray.  Now “we know that we have what we asked of him” because we are asking according to His will.

The Will of God is the Heart of God.

Since the will of God originated in the heart of God, for all intents and purposes, the prayer according to His will actually originated at the throne of God.  In other words, it is God who wills that certain things have to take place and God’s friends, His saints, on earth unite with Him through prayer so that it may come to pass.  Though we are imperfect, with the help of the Holy Spirit we pray (Rom. 8:26-27).  According to Rev. 8:3-5, the prayers of the saints are offered with incense upon the golden altar which was before the throne in heaven.  As God receive the sweet aroma of “the smoke of incense, with the prayers of the saints”, the response, according to v. 5, is mixed with noises, thundering, lightnings, and even earthquake.   Could this be the heaven’s fireworks in celebration of the victorious answer to prayer?

Prayer begins from and reaches to God.

Thus we may think of the process or sequence of praying as it first originates in the will of God in heaven.  Then, Jesus through His Spirit helps His friends know that will.  Thirdly, the saints on earth join in God’s will and pray. That prayer is presented back to God as pleasing aroma on the golden altar.  Finally, the angels are dispatched with answers to the prayer.  Therefore, whatever we bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever we loose on earth will be loosed in heaven (Mt. 18:18).

When it comes to the will of God, one important thing we must understand is that God do things on earth only through man.  In creation, God gave man the freewill and the power to have dominion over all things on earth.   That means we humans are God’s instruments in establishing His will on earth.  Though God has the power to do anything, He always fulfills His purpose on earth through His chosen people who receive the revelation of His will.

The most powerful prayer that changed the course of history.

One of the amazing examples of a prayer that fulfilled God’s will on earth is the prayer of the 120, in the book of Acts, who waited in the upper room for the coming of the Holy Spirit in obedience to the instruction of Jesus.  In Joel 2:28, the Lord said, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.”  Joel was a prophet who probably lived in the 9th century B.C.  Just before His ascension, Jesus commanded His disciples “not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, which, He said, you have heard from me” (Lk. 24:49; Acts 1:4).  They prayed for ten days, and “when the day of Pentecost had fully come”, suddenly the Holy Spirit came and began to do that which the Father had ordained in His eternal purposes.  Even for the coming of the Third Person of the Trinity, God wanted His saints to pray.  Beloved, we are the executors of God’s will on earth so that His kingdom will penetrate the kingdom of darkness.  Just as the saints are being made ready as a glorious bride without any spot or wrinkle for a glorious Bridegroom, we must realize that even now He has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, so that to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever.

Watchman Nee compares prayer to the rails of a locomotive.  We know trains are powerful.  But without rails all that power just sits there.  God’s will is the train.  The prayer offered at the right times turn out to become the rails which move the power of God to take over the realm of darkness.  Yes, God choose to do things on earth through the will of His people which are surrendered to God’s glory.  The Lord Jesus Christ reveals the Father’s heart to us.  The Holy Spirit prompts us to pray at the right moment.  And the Father promises to answer so that all glory may be unto Him forever and ever. Amen.

– Pastor JA


Part 1

The Friendship Factor

God delights in the prayer that comes from the sincere heart of His children. Pr. 15:8 says “The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him”  (see also v.29).  Not only that he hears the prayer of the righteous, but He also loves to draw near to all who call upon Him in truth (Ps. 145:18).

From the beginning, God delighted in fellowshipping with man.  Bible says, in the Garden of Eden, God came down “walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (Gen. 3:8).  Abraham was called the “friend of God.”  Others like Moses and David enjoyed the friendly communion with the God of the universe.

Jesus treated His disciples as friends and revealed to them what He heard from the Father (John 15:15).  This proves to us that sinful man who is transformed by the power of God’s grace can have real life intimacy and closeness with the God of heaven through His only begotten Son.  Jesus becomes that friend “who sticks closer than a brother” to us (Pr. 18:24) who trusts us with the things that are in the heart of His Father.

When we lived in sin, we were the enemies of God.  But through faith in the atoning work of Christ’s cross, we are born again and we have become a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17).  How can simple faith in Christ bring radical change in a sinner?  It is nothing but the power of God’s amazing grace that makes it possible.  People who were once liars and thieves and wicked were renewed by that grace to become the faithful and loyal friends of Jesus.

It is even more amazing that those who have such relationship with God know His will very well because Jesus makes that known to them.  Jesus is the revealer.  He is the one who reveals the Father to us and the Father’s will for us.  In Jn. 15:15, Jesus said “for all things that I heard from my Father I have made known to you.”  (See also Jn. 17:8).

Now you may ask, then what is the role of the Holy Spirit today?  Jn. 16:13-15 says,“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.

All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.”  Holy Spirit guides, counsels and reminds us all the things Jesus Christ revealed about the Father and His will, and leads us in all truth (Jn. 14:26).

Knowing God’s will and praying for that will to be done on earth as it is heaven is the most effective prayer.  Who can truly know what is in the heart of God?  Only the friends of Jesus to whom He reveals it.  Therefore our prayer becomes an effective prayer because of the “friendship factor” in prayer.

(More on prayer in Part 2)

– Pastor J.A.

  • Pray that the Lord will help us to identify and break the hindrance to the growth of the church:

Those who study church growth principles say that there are growth barriers which would sometimes limit the congregations from growing over certain numbers, like 65, 125, 250, 500, etc.  There could be several reasons for the growth barriers.  We must identify and overcome those reasons.  Please pray that the Holy Spirit will help us to discern these reasons for our church and break the barrier in the anointing and power of the Lord.

  • Pray that the Lord will lead us by going before us and protect us by being the rear guard:

(The following scriptures are from our Friday morning meditation on Jan. 22, 10)

Isa. 52:12.

But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the LORD will go before you,the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

(See also Micah 2:13; Isa. 30:21; Isa. 42:16; Isa. 49:10; Isa. 58:8)

Numb. 10:33.

So they set out from the mountain of the LORD and traveled for three days. The ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them during those three days to find them a place to rest.

(See also Numb. 10:34-36; Ex. 13:21-22; Ex. 14:19-20)

John 10:4.

When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.

(See also Matt. 28:20b)

Josh. 6:13. (also v. 9)

The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets went forward, marching before the ark of the LORD and blowing the trumpets. The armed men went ahead of them and the rear guard followed the ark of the LORD, while the trumpets kept sounding.

  • Pray that the Lord will guide us according to His perfect will only, especially concerning our new building project:

(Please read and meditate the following scriptures and pray in the power of the Spirit)

Exodus 24:12 Come up to me on the mountain and stay here

Ex. 25:1, 9 Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.

Ex 25:40  See that you make them according to the pattern shown you on the            mountain.

Ex. 26:30; 26:30; 27:8; 39:32, 42-43; Numb. 8:4

1Ch 28:19. “All this,” David said, “I have in writing from the hand of the LORD upon me, and he gave me understanding in all the details of the plan.”

Acts 7:44.

“Our forefathers had the tabernacle of the Testimony with them in the desert. It had been made as God directed Moses, according to the pattern he had seen.

Heb 8:5.

They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”

Zech. 4:6 Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.

– Pastor Jose Abraham

Praying early in the morning.  Be united to pray with other saints of God.  We are praying for the Lord’s favor to be upon us from 6 to 7 AM on Saturdays.

Psalm 119:147-148 says “I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word.

My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises” (NIV)

More scriptures to prepare you for praying in the early morning are listed below:

Psalm 5:3

My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

Psalm 57:8; Psalm 22:2; Psalm 55:17; Psalm 59:16; Psalm 88:13; Psalm 130:6; Genesis 19:27; Isaiah 26:9; Mark 1:35; 1 Chron. 23:30; Col. 4:2; Psalm 42:8; Genesis 22:3; Genesis 32:24; Luke 6:12; Psalm 63:1; Psalm 63:6; Lament. 2:19; Job 1:5; Joshua 6:12; Joshua 6:15; Exodus 24:4; Joshua 8:10; Lament. 3:22-23; Psalm 46:5; Exodus 34:4; Psalm 108:2; Psalm 92:1-2; Isaiah 33:2; John 8:2; Isaiah 50:4; Psalm 119:62; Psalm 119:55; Acts 16:25.

Pastor Jose Abraham