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