If there is anything that has hindered the current Prophetic movement (in my honest opinion), I believe it is a lack of prayer. We have prophetic words coming out every single week by the truck loads. Honestly, I’m not sure we are doing a good job of cultivating these words due to the sheer volume. It’s coming so quickly that we begin with this one, move to the next one, and quickly bypass the others. Naturally, I am a firm believer in the prophetic. However, one of the glaring flaws in many of these words seem evident. We live in this culture of instant presentation. The need to get a word out as quick as possible is driving a multitude of voices to be the first who saw it, first who dreamed it, first who said it, and ultimately the only one who was right. The need to be the first (and right) is revealing impure motives. There is a huge void of prayer that is founded in many words being released today. Of course, I am not implying that all prophetic words being released aren’t saturated in and through prayer. I am simply stating the reality that we are overwhelmed in catch phrases and spiritual clickbait for influence among the crowds.
Of all the things that the disciples could have asked Jesus to reveal to them, there is only ONE subject that the disciples ever asked Jesus to teach them anything…”Teach us how to pray”. They could have asked how to do more miracles, how to raise the dead, how to walk on water, etc.. They wanted to understand prayer. What was it about prayer that they recognized the value and worth of knowing the foundation? Could prayer be a significant key to advance the Kingdom within the prophetic movement in this hour? What can we learn that the disciples were willing to seek Jesus for?
The Model of How to Pray is the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples found in Matthew 6:9-13. Many people view this to simply be a prayer we are supposed to recite word for word. Some will treat the words as a magic formula, as if it has a specific power or influence with God. God is far more interested in our hearts when we pray than He is in our words. “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words” (Matthew 6:6-7).
In prayer, we are to pour out our hearts to God, and not simply recite memorized words to God. The Model of How to Pray (Lord’s Prayer) should be understood as an example, a pattern, of how to pray. It gives us the “structure” that should go into prayer.
—“Our Father in heaven” is teaching us whom to address our prayers to—the Father.
—“Hallowed be your name” is telling us to worship God, and to praise Him for who He is.
—“your kingdom come, your will be done in earth as it is in heaven” is a reminder to us that we are to pray for God’s plan in our lives and the world, not our own plan. We are to pray for God’s will to be done, not for our desires.
—We are encouraged to ask God for the things we need in “give us today our daily bread.”
—“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” reminds us to confess our sins to God and to turn from them, and also to forgive others as God has forgiven us.
—The conclusion, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” is a plea for help in achieving victory over sin and a request for protection from the attacks of the devil.
Is there anything wrong with memorizing the words? Of course not! Is there anything wrong with praying the prayer back to God? Not if your heart is in it and you truly mean the words you say. Remember, in prayer, God is far more interested in our communicating with Him and speaking from our hearts than He is in the specific words we use. Philippians 4:6-7 declares, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
What is Prayer…Really?
Prayer is simply conversation with God. It’s asking Him to meet your need or someone else’s. It’s praising Him and thanking Him. It’s about committing things to Him and consecrating things to Him. We need to pray about everything and anything. People often don’t pray much because they don’t understand how powerful prayer really is. It’s one of the greatest privileges we have as Christians. When we pray, we open the door for God to come into our problems and situations and work on them. Prayer makes us partners with God. And while we can’t really change people and make them love God, He can minister to their hearts and reach them.
What Makes Prayer So Powerful?
The Bible teaches us in James 5:16 that “the earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].” Prayer is passionate. It’s about sincerity of heart and putting your whole heart into it. Prayer doesn’t have to be eloquent or long. Prayer isn’t better if it’s loud or if you’re on your knees, folding your hands or bowing your head. Always be willing to humble yourself, but understand that it’s not your posture or how long you pray that makes it effective. Hebrews 11:6 says that faith pleases God, and if we believe He exists and seek Him, He will reward us. We don’t have to beg and plead with Him to help us. God is a good God! He loves you and wants what is best for you.
Power Of Prayer – How powerful is it?
The power of prayer should not be underestimated. James 5:16-18 declares, “…The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” God most definitely listens to prayers, answers prayers, and moves in response to prayers. Jesus taught, “…I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 tells us, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” The Bible urges us, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).
Power Of Prayer – How do I tap into it?
The power of prayer is not the result of the person praying. Rather, the power resides in the God who is being prayed to. 1 John 5:14-15 tells us, “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.” No matter the person praying, the passion behind the prayer, or the purpose of the prayer – God answers prayers that are in agreement with His will. His answers are not always yes, but are always in our best interest. When our desires line up with His will, we will come to understand that in time. When we pray passionately and purposefully, according to God’s will, God responds powerfully. We cannot access powerful prayer by using “magic formulas.” Our prayers being answered is not based on the eloquence of our prayers. We don’t have to use certain words or phrases to get God to answer our prayers. In fact, Jesus rebukes those who pray using repetitions, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:7-8).
Prayer is communicating with God. All you have to do is ask God for His help. Psalm 107:28-30 reminds us, “Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.” There is power in prayer!
There is a way things work in the natural, and in the Kingdom. In the natural, if you run your hand along the grain of a 2×4, you’ll get a splinter. If you approach a deer upwind, you’ll spook him and he will run off. If you turn a kayak sideways in the current, you’ll flip it. God is deeply committed to growing us all up! Don’t forget that. Even our children (us included) learn the hard way; the scraped knees, the burnt fingers, etc.. Wisdom is largely cultivated on encountering the laws of the physical world and adjusting our lives to accommodate. Better still, we learn to use those laws to our advantage—we cook with that heat; we build with that lumber. The same holds true in the spiritual realm—there is a way things work. Kingdoms are realms that are governed by a ruler (the king), and they operate on the basis of authority.
Remember the story of Daniel and his three-week fast, the angel finally showed up and explained he would have been there sooner but he was blocked by the territorial spirit that held sway over the Persian kingdom. He eventually got through, but did you notice how? He brought in a higher-ranking angel: “The prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. Now I have come . . .” (Daniel 10:13–14)
The messenger got through the blockade because the archangel Michael came and used his greater authority (and no doubt power). That is what we are doing when we are using our authority in Christ. God made the earth. He gave authority to Adam and Eve, along with the ability to govern it: The highest heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth he has given to man. — Psalm 115:16
The first man and woman forfeited their authority through their disobedience. That is how Satan became “the prince of this world” (John 14:30). When the evil one came to Jesus in the wilderness and tried to tempt him out of the cross, he offered him the kingdoms of this world, as if they were his to give: The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours.” — Luke 4:5–7
It was his to offer because we turned it over to him at the fall of man. “Prince” of this world means ruler of this world. When an evil ruler comes into power, it allows evil into the kingdom. Jesus of Nazareth, Son of the living God—who became the Son of Man—came to win it all back. He won it all back. Because of what occurred through the sin of Adam, it could only be undone through the atonement for those sins. Through his life of total obedience to the Father, through his perfect atonement for our sins by way of his cross and death, Jesus totally disarmed Satan and all those fallen angels like the Prince of the Persian kingdom:
[God] forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. — Colossians 2:13–15
God our Father, in partnership with God the Son, “disarmed the powers and authorities.” The Greek here for “powers and authorities” is arche and exousia—the exact words Paul used to refer to foul spirits of various rank: For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers [arche], against the authorities [exousia], against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. — Ephesians 6:12
By the cross, The Father and Jesus caught the enemy totally off guard, undermined his claims, disarmed the authority of his stolen throne; the evil one and all his allies have lost their right to hold dominion, and that right has been given to Jesus:
[Who] humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. — Philippians 2:8–11
All of this—the victory, the overthrow of Satan’s right to rule, the transfer of authority, power, and dominion to the Son of God—this is what Jesus was referring to when after his resurrection he said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.— Matthew 28:18
Let that sink in. All authority in the “heavens”—the spiritual realms—and all authority on this planet has been handed over to Jesus Christ! Think of the redemption that can now take place because of that one fact. So why don’t prayers work better than they do? Isn’t Satan defeated?” The invasion of the kingdom of God is something that is still unfolding, right now, today. Jesus is not merely seated upon a throne somewhere up in the sky, rather He is seated in Authority: Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. . . . Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. — 1 Corinthians 15:20–21, 24–25
That “until” gives us a very different way of understanding how Jesus is reigning at the current moment (and why world events still seem so chaotic). Jesus, Son of God, Lord of angel armies, is “reigning until” he has finished what he began. We still have a battle, but the war has already been defined VICTORY. What could happen if the visions and dreams that we are sharing are first saturated in prayer, and contended for fulfillment because of our prayers. Instead of who can be first, who can release or be right first. I long for the prophetic movement to know the importance and power of prayer. That the prophetic would know more of travailing than that of social media sharing. We are consumed by encouraging words (which have their purpose), yet we know little of praying through. Let us ask the Lord again…Teach Us How To Pray!