*You don’t have any excuse as far as convenience is concerned to pray. Jonah prayed in the belly of the fish.
*God doesn’t speak to men alone. He speaks to things.
*When the creator speaks, everything he created has the capacity to hear him.
*In the belly of the fish a man shows that you can change situations. I can’t do anything about the fish but I can interact with the creator
*God is aware of every situation. He can call it by name and instruct it and it must obey him.
*You know people that do not pray because they do not have results.
Tonight I want to talk very quickly as we wrap up the series on three important dimensions of prayer.
Prayer was designed to provide a solution to three important areas. We have to not only pray but understand the ministry of prayer. What does it do? And what are the dimensions that should be captured in prayer.
The first purpose of prayer and in order of priority. This is one of the most important assignments of prayer. It is for fellowship and growth. Primarily, prayer was just not designed as an instrument of warfare, it was for fellowship and growth. Luke 9:28-29. There is transformation when we pray. Growth and fellowship. Most times believers do not know this aspect of prayer. We pray but most of our prayer is just a need driven prayer- Father in the name of Jesus, and we quickly say one or two things. But there are dimensions of prayer that should bring intimacy, fellowship, growth. 1 Corinthians 14:2, 4. When you pray, it provides a platform for fellowship with God and growth. Jude 1:20. Let me tell you this. If you desire to know God and you desire to walk in genuine spiritual power, you must learn to tap into the fellowship dimension of prayer. There are times when it’s very okay to go to the place of prayer without a prayer request.
The prayer request is God himself. Lord, I’m here because I want to know you. I’m not here just because I need things. I’m here because I love you. I know I need a job, and I know I need a child, but primarily prayer is an opportunity for me to fellowship and you are on your knees and you are rolling before him and his Shekinah just comes to mantle you in that room.
This is all we do- Lord, I need. It is not always about things. There is power in prayer, when your desire is God not just things. Some of the most anointed men and women on earth hardly ask God for things. In that place of fellowship it is no longer the issue of God and a believer trying to trust him. It is a Love affair. It is true that believers pray but 90 to 95% of our prayers is full of needs. In Fact sometimes we even threaten God- is it because I’m still with you? Oh, God. It’s not like I don’t have options. Do you Know that if you worship the 24 Elders although they are in heaven it is still idolatry, if you Worship the throne it is still idolatry. It is him that sits on the throne not the throne that should be worshiped.
So you must learn to move past all of these things. I have a need? Yes. I need things to be done in my life but Lord it is you.
This intimacy dimension of prayer is what I want to introduce for many people because our lives are full of requests. God give me. Give me tea, give me bread as you are coming bring this again. If you are not doing, you are not God. And we try to twist his hand and God is saying- look, it is within my power to bless you but why don’t you focus on me. Many people pray to heaven not God. Heaven does not answer your prayer, it is the God of the universe. The God of the Bible. You pray to angels, you pray to heaven, that’s not the key to answered prayers.
Return back to that place of genuine intimacy through prayer. That you can take a fast to pray, and they say “what is the prayer request?” and you say “it is God.” I Love you and I just want to know you. That sound is rising to heaven and while he is hearing you, he is taking the prayer request of someone who has been fasting for days and gives it to you as a gift and you leave the place of prayer with things that you did not pray for but love brought it to you. There are times you don’t even know what you need.
There are times I go to God and I say Lord I know that I am a leader you have trusted me with responsibilities but this is not about things it is you that I want. When it becomes about him, his name and his glory not just needs you have found the key. If you have the hand of God in your life ,you will see power, you will see grace but when you become the object of his obsession you will have things that you did not even pray for- Love.
Then when you come out of that presence he will not disappoint you. Many people call him names on stage that they don’t call him in the secret. Imagine a man and his wife. He doesn’t call his wife any nice names then suddenly just because there are visitors he starts calling her sweetheart, wonderful, she looks at him in a funny way when did this one start? It’s not a name we are used to.
This is what many people do on stage.They come on stage and say “king”, “rock of ages” and you can sense the strangeness, you can sense the distance. You know this is just a name, they are not used to calling him. Return to the place of intimacy where he becomes your obsession, he becomes your pursuit. Not Power, not miracles, HIM.
The second dimension to prayer is: As a spiritual strategy for obtaining promises and making requests. God did not leave us in the dark as to the possibility of obtaining promises and making requests. Hebrews 11:33. We can obtain promises in the place of prayer. Mark 11:23-24. We can obtain promises, we can make requests in the place of prayer. Jonah 2. Jonah gave us a revelation that you can pray anywhere. The hardest place to pray. I’m not sure there is anywhere as difficult as the belly of the fish.
There is no space, yet he prayed and God heard it. So Jonah’s life is a big revelation for us. You don’t have any excuse as far as convenience is concerned to pray. Jonah prayed in the belly of the fish. Jonah 2:2-10. God doesn’t speak to men alone. He speaks to things. And the Lord spake unto my trouble.
When the creator speaks, everything he created has the capacity to hear him. In the belly of the fish a man shows that you can change situations. I can’t do anything about the fish but I can interact with the creator. He can tell that fish to do something. It must obey.
Prayer is powerful. Listen! When you pray there are times that it is not just the mountain you speak to, the mountain is bigger than you so you speak to the one who is bigger than the mountain. And he will do the speaking to the mountain.
The Bible says God spoke to the fish. I wonder what he told the fish but one thing I know is that the fish heard and the fish vomited Jonah on dry ground. It’s been three days he stinketh, and he says roll away the stone. You have requested and now you will see me as the resurrection and the life, and he said Lazarus. You know why he called his name? If he said “come forth” every dead person would have come out. He had to pick the one because that word was going to enter the realm of the spirit. If he just said come forth, that would be the rapture immediately so he had to pick the name. Listen, so do you know why I am telling you this? That means God is aware of every situation he can call it by name and instruct it and it must obey him. We can obtain promises. Petitions can be made in the place of prayer. Luke 18.
Very powerful promises obtained in the place of prayer. James 4:1. There is a side effect to not praying. Your life will be full of jealousy and envy and bitterness. You know people that do not pray because they do not have results.And the moment they do not have results, the side effect is jealousy, bitterness and James is teaching us that there is a structure in the kingdom for all to have their prayers answered. Do you know if I was one of the brothers of Joseph I won’t be angry with Joseph I will go to the father. Is that true? You gave him the coat of many colors. I know you are father to us all, where is my own version of the coat? It’s very simple so that you now allow the father prove whether it is favoritism or not, but they turned and wanted to killed Joseph inside the well. Ye have not, because ye ask not. So I can ask in prayer and I can receive. This is a very powerful message of hope.
Do not underestimate what can come into your life when you know how to pray. Supernatural dimensions of blessings and promises when you know how to pray. James 4:3. James is introducing something now, that there is a possibility to still pray and yet your prayer is not answered. Listen carefully, so we have two things that we are dealing with here.
(2) Praying amiss that ye may consume it upon your lust.
When you do not have you are liable to be bitter. You know what it means to ask amiss? It means to ask with wrong motives. It means to ask out of selfishness and unrighteous agenda. 1John 5:14. So if it looks like your prayer is not being heard and answered you need to examine the concept of the will of God over that matter. John 9:39. There is a relationship between answered prayers and the will of God. If your prayers are not consistent with the will of God, it is possible that your prayers will not be answered. Ephesians 5:17. The will of the Lord can be understood. Colossians 1:9. There are two biblical platforms for knowing and understanding the will of God.
(1) Knowing the will of God as revealed in scriptures. 1 Timothy 2:4. We use scripture as the primary basis for learning the will of God.
(2) The will of God was revealed in Jesus Christ. Jesus came as an expression, the image of the invisible God. He was the expression of the will of God. One of the reasons why we study scripture is so that we can have the mind of Christ. The will of God must be known to give you confidence in prayer. Romans 12:2.
Primarily they are two.
(1)The revealed will of God. That which is consistent with his predeterminate counsel.
(2.) The permissive will of God. Actions that were not originally designed by him but are still within
the boundary of righteousness, the boundary of God’s character and directly exalts Christ. The plans of God can change but the purposes of God are eternal, you have to know this when dealing with the will of God. The plans of God change because it is men dependent. The plans of God depend on the cooperation of men and systems to happen.
We know the will of the Father by looking at that one called Jesus. He is an expression of the will of God.
A Platform to make decrees and spiritual legislation. Job 22:28
To decree means to set it as an ordinance. To make it a law that cannot be violated.
Where the word of a king is there is power.
There are three things that make a king, a king;
His words, his crown and his scepter.
Number 14:28. Prayer is a platform to make decrees. Prophetic decrees are powerful, they can shift mountains. Romans 4:17. Ezekiel 37:1-7
God bless you