Prayer – The Untapped Power Plant of the Church
I remember, as a Rhema student back in the 90’s, my pastor Kenneth Hagin, preaching a message by this title. Still speaks to me today.
Then I heard the story in studying church history. Seems that Aimee Semple Mcpherson was holding miracle services in Los Angeles, and a news reporter was convinced that she was a fake, and set out to expose her. He was convinced that there had to be microphones or wires somehow informing sister Aimee of the medical conditions she was calling out, (supernaturally, by the Holy Spirit’s gift of the word of knowledge) and that God was apparently healing.
So he asked an user: ‘Where is the power located for sister Aimee?’ referring to what he was sure had to be an amplifier or generator hidden somewhere on the premises. The usher grinned, winked, and said, ‘Come here, I’ll show you”, and he led him backstage, down a hallway, to a hidden set of stairs into the basement.
Sure that he was about to get ‘a scoop’ and expose the evangelist, the reporter almost ran down the stairs, camera in hand, to a room in the basement, occupied by over 200 ‘praying grandmothers’ aggressively, and loudly praying in the Holy Spirit!
The secret to the miracles? PRAYER!
I agree with the words of John the Baptist, when his disciples asked him if he was threatened by the greater ministry of Jesus, and all the people that were stopping following him, to follow Christ. His own disciples asked him, what do you think about all the people leaving John?
John answered in a way that reveals a depth of consecration of heart that speaks to me every time I read it. What does the Scripture record him as saying?
John 3:27 John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.”
What an end to all striving! We jostle in this life for money, for position, for recognition, for yea even, ministry. Yet , this truth rings throughout eternity, shouting still from the moment it was spoken down the far distant corridor of time.
Nothing can be truly yours unless it is granted you from heaven.
In light of this truth, prayer is the principal duty of mankind. To know the will of God, to seek His grace for each of our lives, and to do what He says.
Herein are joy, peace, love, and the voice of comfort from the true and living God.
In many churches, prayer meeting is the least attended meeting of the week!
An audience with the King of all Kings, Lord of all Lords, Creator of the Universe, where He invites us to come into His presence and ask of Him whatever we wish!
Some would say, I have responsibilities pastor, business is busy, and family is a lot of responsibility. I need to earn a living you know.
Jesus had something to say about being busy, when He invites us to be with Him:
Luke 14: 7 ¶ And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them,
8 When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him;
9 And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room.
10 But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.
11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.
13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
15 ¶ And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.
16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.
25 ¶ And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,
26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
The question is who is in charge of your life? You still running the show, or have you bowed your knee to Jesus?
He is calling His people, His church to pray!
If Jesus is truly your Lord, then you must do what He says!
Seek ye first, is still in the book, and no matter how you want to read it, seek is an action word, and we need to seek Him each morning actually believing what he said in: John 10: 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
I always bring a little notebook with me to prayer, and I jot down thoughts as they percolate up from my heart to my mind.
There is a devil, that does not want me to hear or obey God each day. He cannot stop me from hearing God, so his next tactic is to try and prevent me from actually doing what God gave me to do.
Mr 4:4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
Now, some of you have never embraced the call to discipleship, but that does not mean it is not for you. God has eternity on His mind, and the fields are white unto harvest, but the labourers are few.
The lost, and the establishing of strong churches in the earth is the number one priority upon God’s heart. Making you and I more and more like Jesus. You see, God loves this world, and each and every person in it. He wants to adopt them into His family, and wrap His loving arms around them, loving out their deepest fears and pains, and then empower them and send them into His harvest field; not because He needs them, as much as He loves them enough to desire that they earn eternal rewards in their obedience.
What separates us, from making headlines in heaven?
I still remember working construction on the job before the truck carrying the toolbox arrived. Things that were previously impossible, suddenly became possible. Jackhammers, power saws, drills, and various power tools made dealing with concrete, steel and wood, a joy, not a curse.
Each tool had a function, and was designed to do a particular task.
So it is with prayer. If you are going to be a successful Christian, intent on building God’s kingdom, you are going to need tools. Just like there are different tool sets for different jobs, so there are different workings of the Word to accomplish different things in the kingdom.
I like the way John Wesley said it “It seems God is limited by our prayer life-He can do nothing for humanity unless someone asks Him.”
Well, to mechanics, its good to have sockets and wrenches. Carpentry, is chisels and saws. Concrete is jackhammers and drills.
Well, prayer is one toolbox in a Christian’s walk with the Lord.
Let’s look briefly at some of the tools in the box.
There are a few different types of prayer mentioned in the Bible
The prayer of Faith (Matt 21:22, Mk 11:24)
Matt 21:22 (ASV) And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
Mk 11:23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
All you mountain moving, history making, nation shaking people of authority and glory, need to be in place, blasting mountains of satanic adversity into the sea!
The prayer of Consecration (Luke 22:42)
41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
Jesus is Lord! Not you, not me! There are times, when only yielding to His will win the day.
Mt 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
He will build His church, through us, as we yield and fully obey Him!
The Prayer of Commitment (1 Peter 5:7)
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Each day, we commit our will and way to Jesus. Like manna, yesterday’s portion is useless, and will rot. We need fresh bread from His Word, today. Each day we cast the cares, worries, impossibilities, heartbreaks, and situations that we cannot change unto Him, and humbly take up His yoke, a light burden, filled with joy! He loves us!
The Prayer of Worship (Luke 24:52, Acts 13:1-4)
Luke 24:52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.
These are only a few of the types of prayer mentioned in the Bible, and each of these could require some time of explanation to fully describe, but the purpose of this article, is not to teach about prayer, but to encourage and commission you, to actually PRAY!
We must begin each day, involved with ministering TO the Lord, not FOR Him.
Acts 13:1 ¶ Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
2 (RSV) Revised Standard While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
4 ¶ So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.
The prayer of Agreement (Matt 18:18-20)
18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
De 32:30 How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up?
It is good to get others in agreement with the known will of God, to see breakthrough and victory, in every arena of life.
United Prayer (Acts 4:23-31)
23 ¶ And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.
24 And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:
Everyone was praying at once, and God heard them all at once!
The Prayer of Supplication
Acts 1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
1 Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
1 Timothy 5:5 Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.
Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;
Supplication: 1) need, indigence, want, privation, penury
2) a seeking, asking, entreating, entreaty to God or to man
OT : 1b) (Ithpael) to implore favour
When we see things wrong in our lives, families, workplaces, communities, cities, regions, or nation, it is time to cry out to God, and implore His favor and power to make wrongs, right!
Abraham interceded for Sodom and Gomorrah.
Micah 7:18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.
‘he delighteth in lovingkindness’
‘he delights in steadfast love’
‘ for He delights in grace.’
‘he delighteth in loving-kindness.’
‘his delight is in mercy.’
If you get around me very close for very long, you will discover than I am a man of tears, a cry-baby for Jesus. Why?
Well, he who is forgiven much, loves much, and as I grow in my gift and knowledge of God, I am forever amazed at His mercy towards me. I was a horrid man, full of iniquity and defilement, and He has had mercy upon me, forgiven me, and so transformed me that I cannot help but weep in gratefulness, and supplication that He would do the same for you, for my family, for my church, for this nation, for HE DELIGHTS TO SHOW MERCY! He loves us, and only his mercy prevents our destruction, and so I weep in His love, pleading with Him to do what I know He longs to do anyway, show mercy: forgive, heal, and deliver those who are contrary to Him.
God is Holy. He must judge sin. He hates it. It killed His Son. It must have consequences; otherwise evil would overrun this earth. Yet, He would rather forgive and have mercy than judge. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
Yet, how will He do this? He has given the earth to man.
Ps 24:1 «A Psalm of David.» The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
Ps 115:16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.
Ps 2:8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
Ezek 22:30 (AV) And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.
30 (BBE) And I was looking for a man among them who would make up the wall and take his station in the broken place before me for the land, so that I might not send destruction on it: but there was no one.
Here is the place of prayer, standing before a holy God, pleading for mercy for people who have no protection from the consequences of their sin. Their hedge is down, and they face brutal consequences for their actions, unless we take our place before God on their behalf, in intercessory prayer.
Numbers 16:48 And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.
Numbers 16:48 (BBE) And he took his place between the dead and the living: and the disease was stopped.
Today, in America, if you get over in the Holy Spirit, you will discover very quickly that there is a massive war occurring in the realm of the Spirit, and you will learn to weep, groan, and travail in a level of pain you did not know was humanly possible.
Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Romans 8:26 (BBE) ¶ And in the same way the Spirit is a help to our feeble hearts: for we are not able to make prayer to God in the right way; but the Spirit puts our desires into words which are not in our power to say;
Romans 8:26 (LIT) ¶ And likewise the Spirit also joins in to help our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray as we ought, but the Spirit Himself pleads our case for us with groanings that cannot be uttered.
Romans 8:27 (KJ21) And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
The good news in this, is that we are not alone. Jesus, head of the church, King of the universe, is still alive and on the throne, praying with us in intercession.
Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
What is the point of this article?
At whatever level of spiritual responsibility you are currently, you must pray and obey. Your life, family, city and nation depend upon it.
‘Father, show me how to take my place in Your kingdom, in prayer. Teach me how to pray, cause me to hear and obey Your Spirit, knowing that I take my place only in and through You Lord Jesus, my Lord and my King! Amen!’