Tonight I would like to begin a series on prayer. We are a house of prayer but for us individually and even corporately, Jesus set a precedent for us by modeling a prayer life that not only exposed a distinct close relationship with the Father, but also a life that because of that relationship, pointed us to the Father so we could have a similar relationship which would cause our lives to represent His Kingdom.
Jesus was all about the Kingdom of God. In the Gospels I quickly found 13 verses of Jesus referencing it, and 20 verses speaking about the Kingdom of Heaven.
Why would Jesus speak so much about Kingdom? For one, it is a real place, two it is where God the Father is, and now Jesus with the Father, and three, it is a place where there is complete perfection. Perfection that at one time was here on this earth at the beginning of creation.
John 18:36, Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm."
Jesus was not earthly. He was heavenly, and heaven is a realm of the Spirit and life and power. One day, the earth will be heavenly, and it will be a day that Christ will rule and reign here.
So Jesus spoke of the kingdom because it was real, and that He wanted us to be connected to that kingdom, here. Because if we confess Him as Savior and believe, the door is opened to us to interact with it. Interaction comes by faith to open up our mouths and speaking out to the Father in Jesus name, and speak His Word.
How do you get the Kingdom?
Jesus said in Luke12:31, Seek the Kingdom of God, and in Luke 12:32, He said, “do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
So when you ask for it, you will receive it. The Kingdom of God is not in some far off untouchable place. It is here in us to be exposed by faith.
Luke17:20, “And being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered and said, The kingdom of God does not come with observation. 21 Nor shall they say, Lo here! or, behold, there! For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
In the original texts, Jesus said the Kingdom of God is in you.
John Wesley said, “For behold the kingdom of God is within or among you - Look not for it in distant times or remote places: it is now in the midst of you: it is come: it is present in the soul of every true believer: it is a spiritual kingdom, an internal principle. Wherever it exists, it exists in the heart.”
The believer activates it through faith. We activate it by speaking what already has been spoken in the Word of God.
When the Disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, which is asking for the kingdom to come. Jesus gave them an outline as we know, The Lord’s Prayer.
Jesus started by saying:
Matthew 6:9, “Therefore pray in this way: Our Father, who is in Heaven, (Holy and sacred)be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it isin Heaven.”
Jesus was telling His disciples when they prayed, to focus themselves unto God the Father, look to Him, and worship Him, because that worship, connects us to the Father. Direct worship, takes our eyes off of us, and every other worldly thing, and centers on God.
Then when we are focused on God, when we are connected in, speak to the Father to bring the Kingdom of Heaven on to the earth. “Your Kingdom come oh God.” That is God’s will that His Kingdom is displayed on the earth through His people. That we speak forth His Kingdom, and when we speak it, we speak it forth in faith, and in authority that what is in Heaven will be seen here. On earth as it is in Heaven.
To bring that Kingdom power, or that Spirit of the Kingdom, tonight, I want to speak on Praying the Word. The Word of God is heavenly, it is of His Kingdom. Remember Jesus said ‘My Kingdom is not of this realm. The Word of God isn’t either. That is why you believe the Words of God, before the words of men.
Concerning the Word of God here, we pray the Word here at The Furnace. During our church services, many times we are praying the Word, praying and paraphrasing verses right out of the Bible.
We do it in the Prayer Room during specific sets which we call Worshipping the Word. Because there is power in the Word when it is prayed and sung.
And looking at the next weeks, I would like to speak on different aspects of prayer.
Praying the Word tonight, praying Apostolic Prayers, praying Devotional Prayers, and prayers of Intercession.
Martin Luther said, “Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance but laying hold of His willingness.”
God wants us to speak prayers toward Him. Because He loves us and wants us to not only commune with Him during those times spent with Him, but wants us to take hold of His Word and His promises therein to take back that which was lost in the fall of man, and bring restoration. Not only restoration for ourselves, but those we have contact with.
Praying the Word
So what is praying the Word?
It is proclaiming or confessing with our mouths what God has already said.
Derek Prince the Christian Scholar who has since passed, said, “When we make the words of our mouths agree with the Word of God, we position ourselves to receive the full backing and authority of Jesus.”
In Hebrews 3:1, it says that Jesus is the “High Priest of our confession.”
“In other words, whenever we say with our mouths what the Bible says about us as believers in Christ, then we have Jesus as our High Priest in heaven, releasing His authority and His blessing over our confession.” Releasing authority and blessing over the words we speak.
(Prince, Derek. Prayers & Proclamations (Kindle Locations 79-80). Whitaker House. Kindle Edition.)
Speaking the Word releases the power and authority of God into the things we pray for, if it be for us, our family, or any other situation.
We know there is power in the Word, because when God spoke creation happened.
Psalm33:6-9,” By the wordof the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breathof his mouth all their host. 7 He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses. 8 Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! 9 For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.”
That has not changed, and will not change even how we may think about it. God says:
Isaiah55:8-11,”For My thoughts arenot your thoughts, nor your ways My ways. 9 For asthe heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. 10 For as the rain comes down, and the snow from the heavens, and does not return there, but waters the earth, and makes it bring out and bud, and give seed to the sower and bread to the eater; 11 so shall My Word be, which goes out of My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall certainly do what I sent it to do.”
So when we speak His Word, it will certainly do what God intended it to do. Amen!
Why is it important that we pray the Word?
First, or number 1, which I think is the most vital, and is the foundation of our walk with Christ, is that we pray to strengthen our inner man.
The Apostle Paul said in Ephesians which we pray here all the time, which I will say paraphrased for us:
Ephesian3:16-20, “that according to the riches of his glory he may grant to usto be strengthened with power through his Spirit in ourinner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in ourhearts through faith—that we, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that we may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,”
Having strength in the inner man is a key to being an overcomer and living full of God.
In this age as we know, we are in a battle for our minds and souls. The enemy desires to keep us in a position of failure and doubt so that we will struggle living the Kingdom life, and struggle to display that life. He wants us to be bogged down so we cannot do the will of God on this earth.
Having a strong inner man, or being a person ever connected to God through Christ in Faith Believingwill cause His will be done on the earth through Holy Spirit power within us. How can it not happen?
When we are strong in the Lord displaying His fullness we defeat the purposes of our enemy. It thwarts the enemies advances and casts them down. We are then like a bulwark, a barricade where the enemy cannot advance on us or anything we focus the Spirit on.
2Corinthians10:3, “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,”
Colossians 1:11-13,The Apostle Paul praying againsays for us to “being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father,who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,”
We are to be strengthened with all power. All power. Not some power. All. We get it all. God is the God of All, not just some.
So through this empowered life, we can endure with joy because of our qualification as being part of God’s Kingdom. A believer is not a part of this world anymore nor its thought processes or ways of life. We have been supernaturally delivered and transferred into the Kingdom of God.
Remember, a strong inner man is covered by the Armor of God, and as we are made aware of that in the Spirit, especially while in prayer in the secret place, God will continually fortify us. God wants a strong inner man that is not moved when the septic waves of this world try to sweep over us, and wash us away.
A strong inner man is defiant against the worldly schemes that are thrown at us, and is quick to use the promises that are imbedded into it us by the ever reaching Word of God to cast down the vain warfare the enemy is attempting to always start with us.
We don’t give place to it, and when we do that, the enemy must slink back in defeat.
When the enemy captures a thought, he attempts to use that thought to open the door for other thoughts to drag us into a trap of captivity and defeat. A strong inner man will not allow it.
The Word of God is truth and we speak forth that truth over us to fortify us.
2nd, We pray the Word to exercise Christ’s authority into situations we may face.
Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
Luke10:19,“Behold, I have given you authorityto tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.”
Mat 16:18-19 Jesus speaking of the Church, said, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And he will give usthe keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever webind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever weloose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
When we pray the Word of God, it is like an axe that is used to cut the root of darkness that is an issue before us.
What is giving it life, is severed. We speak the Word to cut off the supply of the root so it will die.
Because Jesus has given us authority because of our confession of faith, we can speak faith to whatever the “mountain”, that situation before us, and it must move because of the authority of God in Christ that is in us.
There is nothing that we can do, but speak, and as ambassadors of Christ with the Kingdom of God behind us, when we speak God’s Words, He injects heaven into the situation before us.
Be it sickness, strife with others, financial issues, or any other issues of life.
Just as Jesus spoke the Word to Satan after His fast and Satan left Him, we do the same.
Our prayers of authority cause change. The Word declares it. “whatever webind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever weloose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Or as some versions say, what we have bound on earth has already been bound in heaven, and whatever we have loosed on earth has already been loosed in Heaven.
So when we speak the Word of God, we speak that which has already been said. Whatever has already been bound or loosed.
We pray the Word as a covering of protection and confidence in His promises.
I don’t know if we think of that much, actively praying in an offensive nature to pray a covering over us and others. But as my grandmother the intercessor told me, we pray to keep ourselves healthy and whole.
Isiah 54:17,“no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD and their vindication from me, declares the LORD.”
God says that we are to refute every tongue, or every word of slander, accusation, or curse said against us. That’s known or unknown. In the Greek it states that we are to declare it to be wrong. We are to declare it by the Word of God.
2 Thessalonians 3:3,” But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.” Well, we should pray that.
God speaking to Joshua spoke this promise, “Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
This is a faith thing for us. We must have confidence in the Lord that He goes before us.
Psalms46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”
Psalm 27:1-5, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. 3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. 4 One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. 5 For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.”
Confidence not to fear the unknown, or worry about the future.
We pray verses from the Word of God to cover us and keep us from the evil one. Our enemy Satan, hates the Word of God. He hates it because it comes against everything he attempts to do. If he thinks he can get a foothold somehow some way, the Word of God will always dislodge him out of the situation even if it looks like he is secure. He is never secure because the Word of God throws down his weak attempts to overcome us. Satan only succeeds when we do not profess our authority over him and stand on the promises of the Word of God.
Pray for good health and prosperity
Isaiah40:28,”Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. 30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
Psalm92:12-14,“The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13 They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green,”
We proclaim the Word of God and agree with it, and as I said earlier, when we speak, proclaim, and position ourselves in Christ, to receive His full backing and authority.
Derek Prince stated that “a proclamation is a confession that is made aggressive.” And I can see what he means by that.
The Word of God is a two edged sword, and it cuts through the bone and marrow of lies.
Lies that we cannot be physically whole, that we cannot prosper in our current life situation, or a thought that things will always be this way.
The truth is, God’s Word reveals the truth, and we speak that truth in and over our lives and the lives of others, throwing down the lies that our enemy the devil and see what the Lord will do since He is for us.
Like I’ve said before, there is what God says, and there is what man says, or even what Satan may say.
Who speaks the truth? Who has laid everything out? Who is the creator? Whose Word is the Word that stands for all of Eternity that does not change?
Whose Word do we believe in then? Evil ones, men or the author and finisher of our faith?
When we speak God’s Word we speak His authority and His power into the situation either to bring change to the situation or to cover it preemptively.
Lastly, how do we do it?
That’s the easiest part. Well first you must make time for it. Next you need the Word of God.
If it is just general prayers, personally, I will be in the Word and be reading it, and like I did with Ephesians
Ephesian3:16-20, “God,that according to yourriches of his glory, please grant meto be strengthened with power through YourSpirit in myinner being, 17 so that Jesusmay dwell in my heart through faith—so that I willrooted and grounded in love, 18 and that I may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Jesusthat surpasses knowledge, that I willbe filled with all of yourfullness God.
And I may continue with those thoughts.
Say I have fear of something or fear I feel I can’t do something. I pray:
2Timothy1:7, “Lord you didn’t give mea spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” I believe that, and God let your confidence rise up in me. Let your power be evident with boldness in me.
Philippians4:13,“ I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Lord you are with me and you are my strength, why should I be afraid.
Lord you said you would never leave me nor forsake me, so I take you at your Word.
I remember when I was laid off from my corporate job.
Matthew6:25,“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”
Matthew6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
I seek your kingdom Lord, I am not going to worry, my confidence is in your Word, and you will do what you say. He did!
Philippians4:19,” And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
I would put back on God what He said. He cannot go back on His Word.
So if is about healing, I pray healing verses. If it is about tearing down strongholds over my life or the life of others, I pray verses on that and so on.
There are two books of prayer that I use to pray out of other than the Word of God. And there are many out there.
Prayer and Proclamations by Derek Prince
Prayers that Rout Demons by John Eckhardt a local Chicago pastor and author.
We as believers must follow Jesus lead by speaking God’s Word to move heavenly proclamations over us and others for protection, for the breaking of strongholds, and for declaring the life giving promises of health and prosperity over us and others to bring restoration.
When Jesus said to do the will of the Father on earth as it is in Heaven, He was saying My Word and the Words of My Father have already been declared. Speak those Words to declare freedom on the earth. Those Words are Words from heaven from a realm that has no equal anywhere else in creation. These Words have been loosed in heaven, and are established in heaven, speak them on earth to release their power and anointing under the authority you have been given.
These Words are truth, and all of Heaven cannot go back on that which has been established in eternity. Speak them, believe in them and watch and see what We will do.
Let’s pray faith to believe in the Word of God and have confidence to speak them in all situations.