Tonight, is the 3rd teaching on prayer out of four. We’ve looked at Praying the Word of God, Apostolic Prayer, and tonight is Devotional Prayer. For you who have not heard the other prayer teaching or sermons, you can go online to our website and look at the Blog. All of the sermons are on line there.
When we speak of Devotional Prayers, what do we mean?
We know that the word Devotional relates to having Devotion, and the word Devotion means having love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, or an activity, or a cause. Devotion also includes religious worship or prayers towards someone or something. So, you can see the interconnection.
Devotional prayers in the Judeo-Christian thought are those prayers that are directed toward God.
Devotional prayers are prayers that are made by a committed believer, because the believer seeks to know and touch the heart of God. When we look at scripture, the Word of God, King David was that type of believer. He was fully devoted to God. We see that when we look at his life, and when we read the Book of Psalms. David worshiped his God with heart felt passion and devotion. He worshiped God because he knew God, and he knew God because of the time he spent with Him.
When David was a young shepherd for his earthly father, he developed his love and adoration for his Heavenly Father while out in the field tending the flock. That time spent developed him into a man who later become one of the greatest kings of Israel. His devotion to God would have him marked by God as one who was faithful, and one who would be called a son.
In the New Testament, the Apostle’s Paul and Barnabas spoke of King David to the people of Antioch in Acts 13:22, repeating what God said,
“I have found David the son of Jesse to be a man after My own heart, who shall fulfill all My will.
David’s worship was valued by God, but our worship is valued just as much.
Jesus said, " 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and great commandment.” (Mt. 22:37-38)
Basically, that is what King David did. So much so, that he established 24/7 Prayer and Worship to God. And I might add, something we would like to establish here in Kenosha. Being devoted to God by worshiping and praying giving adoration to God as an offering from our hearts just like King David did.
I believe that King David and Israel prospered because of the 24/7 prayer and worship, and I believe Kenosha and the surrounding region would prosper too. Amen!
Devotional prayer with worship transforms the atmosphere because it injects the Spirit of God into the room, or it could be a building, or the section of town, or even a city.
Devotional prayer draws us near to God. We minister to Him, and you may say, “how can we minister to God?” God is God, right? How can we minister to Him? Ministering to God means we are conveying something to Him. We are communicating and making known our adoration and thanks towards Him. We adore Him and release our love to Him, and in turn, He also releases His love toward us, and we encounter His heart.
Ephesians 1 then come alive, it becomes real.
We receive the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God, our eyes are enlightened, and we realize what the hope of our calling is and the riches of the glory of our inheritance in God.
But also, through that adoration because we have encountered God’s heart, when we minister to others, we release through His love, His power toward those who need restoration.
So, through our devotional prayers to God I believe we can accomplish four things:
We minister to God as I just said. As Mike Bickle said as I paraphrase, we declare His worth through our adoration as we imitate how He is worshiped in heaven.
Jeremiah 9:6 “You, even You, are Lord alone. You have made the heavens, heaven of the heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things on it, the seas, and all in them, and You preserve them all. And the host of the heavens worships You.”
Rev 7:11-12, “And all the angels stood around the throne, and the elders, and the four living creatures, and they fell before the throne on their faces and worshiped God saying, Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever. Amen.
So, we along with heaven are to worship Him who is worthy.
And Jesus affirmed that God wants to be worshiped. The Father wants to be worshiped in spirit and truth or in a spiritual reality. He wants us to engage our spirit with the Holy Spirit when we worship Him.
John 4:23-24, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to worship Him. 24 God is a spirit, and they who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.
We must refuse to approach our worship to God that only fulfills a duty. In our prayer closet, or even in church or a prayer room setting.
“We must set our heart to connect with the truths in the Spirit that we sing or speak in relationship with a real Person.” (MB) What is amazing, is that we just have to talk to Him, being real, and you know what? He can relate to us. And through that, He will talk to us in a way that we can relate to Him. It is on us to focus on Him, and actually talk to Him like we are face to face. Focus off the noise, and on to Him alone.
We also intercede through those prayers to release God’s power for healing and restoration, and the revival of the Church.
Timothy 2:1, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,”
As a church, as a house of prayer, and people of prayer, we pray for others.
God chose intercession to release His power through Jesus, and Jesus in turn releases it to us. And as Mike Bickle said, “We need revelation of the majesty and mystery of intercession.” And that’s true, and I will get more into intercession next week.
Hebrews7:25 speaks about Jesus concerning intercession where it says, “Therefore He is able also to save to the uttermost those who come unto God by Him, since He ever lives to make intercession for them. Jesus uses His intercession in partnership with His people because spirit inspired prayers come up before God. Because the prayer is spirit inspired, when we speak, we release the dominion of God into them and through faith in the Spirit on our part, He is inspired to act them as He promised. We spoke about that last week. We bind or loose what already has been bound or loosed in Heaven.
1 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,17 that the man of God may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good work.
So, we pray to receive revelation from what God has breathed or inspired for us know. And it’s for us to know the deep things of God so we can totally operate in the fullness of God. What is the operation of the fullness of God? It’s probably larger than we think.
Matthew 10:8, “Healing the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with diseases, drive out demons. Freely you have received freely give.”
But so much more than that. We know what Jesus did, and He said we would do even greater things. We’ve been given gifts, Words of knowledge, prophecy, supernatural wisdom, miracles, discernment of spirits, and others.
When we operate in the fullness of God, we are more than mere people who live only in the flesh. There is so much more in the Spirit. Jesus was emphatic about that concerning the Holy Spirit. I was thinking:
People make up stuff in comic books to create beings who are more than human, or some who may be human, but they attained some other level of super human quality. They are just like false gods we read about. People wish they we just like those false characters.
When in Christ for the Glory of God, and let me emphasize, for the Glory of God, we have been given supernatural power to restore people and life on this earth. And it’s real and great and awesome and life changing.
For those of us who are in Christ, what we can do for the Glory of God, is quite unbelievable to those that do not know Him. And it is unfortunate that many in the church have left the belief that we can operate in the fullness of God, just because some guys said so.
For those with no knowledge of the heaven, well it’s really unbelievable to them that a person like them, us, can do something miraculous. Well it’s the supernatural power of an eternal great God operating through one who believes in Him. And that belief when exposed to those who don’t know, or who do not believe, well it can really mess up what they do believe, and cause them to believe, yes believe in Jesus because what they’ve seen.
My question to us is, what is the reality of our lives in Christ? Do we live like we do not believe? Or do our lives truly represent the fullness of Christ that He spoke of?
When you look at the people in the time of the Apostles and the beginning of the church, people exposed to them were quite shocked at what they saw. Same thing that happened with Jesus.
When the people of God did something that was over the top to them, miracle wise, we read that even at one point they wanted to deify Paul. They thought they were like the god’s. All the believers of that day were doing was what Jesus showed them and told them to do in faith so our God in heaven would be glorified. Out of it came restoration.
Jesus said in Luke 19:10, “I came to seek and save the lost.” And the church was to do the same and it did.
People in their day was in awe of what was happening. People being restored.
Because what the early church was professing and operating in, the power of the Holy Spirit, wasn’t generated from anything in this world, and the people who encountered it realized it.
These supernatural manifestations came by faith in Jesus Christ. That was what was preached, and we preach that today.
When people come to a knowledge of Jesus Christ, they find if they know the giver of gifts, they can receive the fullness as scripture states because is a gift of God. The knowledge of that comes by revelation and is turned into action.
That’s why Paul wanted to operate in signs, wonders, and miracles. There may have been satanic manifestations, but when God intervened the whole equation changed. God trumped everything else. Satan seeks to destroy, through Christ comes restoration. People understand that, and people understood that years ago, that’s why the church grew.
People understanding when they come in contact with the Glory of God, they can possess through faith a bountiful expression of Christ in their lives to do great things that bring restoration and glorify God.
Having revelation of who God is places the Believer to live lives that operate from glory to glory.
I was thinking about how people run to the theaters to see man made super heroes, when they can experience the ultimate super hero Jesus, and see what He still does today through His people.
And people can experience through all of their senses the Holy Spirit and see what a normal life is supposed to be and experience the reality of watching blind people see, and the deaf people hear, and people walking out of wheel chairs, and even bigger things that that. For us, the normal life that God intended. Amen!
And I will finish with #4:
4. We grow in intimacy with God, and we grow by personally encountering Him during that time spent in the presence of the Holy Spirit.
(From Mike Bickle, “Ministering to the Lord” with many Brad additions)
When we pray towards God to give Him adoration, we declare His greatness. In declaring His greatness, this positions us to be energized by the love of God. Just as a loving father loves his children on earth, but with God we encounter even more. God the Father’s love is eternal and pure, and endless.
It is unfortunate that many earthly fathers have distorted their roles being that loving father and today people struggle accepting the love of God the Father through Christ Jesus.
But continually getting into His Presence and being a devoted follower through prayer to God, leads us into true intimacy and He restores our hearts to know love the way love is intended to be. Because God created love, and is love.
That is why Jesus said to love the Father with everything we have in Matthew 22, because loving others is easy because we know the Father’s heart. Why? Because the way God looks at us, and the rest of creation is quite different than we do. We know that. We look through jaded eyes as I have said before.
When we have a heart that is fashioned in heaven, we view like heaven views. We live like heaven lives, and we love like heaven loves.
There are no conditions, we love because we are loved. There are no faults, because love covers faults. Love has compassion. Love is merciful.
To look at God’s love, not only did He send Jesus to save us from ourselves, and take away our sin, but He gives chance after chance after chance for us to align our free will to His. When we align our will to His we are even more free then when we thought we had control. And it’s funny but true, we never had control anyway, the world controlled us. But truly in Christ, we are free, and we live like Galatians 5:22-23, with:
“love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
We need that today in this world. Especially from those who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ.
What else can we do when we have been freed from the chains of the old life, but to give our devotion to God with everything we have.
Devotional prayer is exposing our hearts and our will to subject them to God. He is Lord, and God in whom we trust, and we trust no other with all that we have and all that we are because we are special and not in an arrogant way.
1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for possession, so that you might speak of the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”
The Apostle Peter said that we are a royal priesthood, a holy nation.
Priests in the Old Testament ministered to God in the Temple. And we are called to do the same. The temple of our hearts where He resides.
Ministry to God will be the highest calling on the on the earth forever. Amos prophesied of the restoration of David’s Tabernacle.
11 On that day I will raise up the Tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, and repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old… (Amos 9:11)
It is inevitable that the priestly calling to minister to the Lord will one day cover the whole earth.
10 Who is there even among you who would shut the doors, so that you would not kindle fire on My altar in vain? I have no pleasure in you," Says the LORD of hosts, "Nor will I accept an offering from your hands. 11 For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; in every place incense shall be offered to My name, and a pure offering; for My name shall be great among the nations"… (Mal. 1:10-11)
11 My sons, do not be negligent now, for the LORD has chosen you to stand before Him, to serve Him, and that you should minister to Him and burn incense. (2 Chr. 29:11)
God demands our devotion. We are a people who are set apart. Priests to our God. And as followers of Jesus Christ, we subject ourselves to the Father. We subject ourselves in obedience, devotion and adoration to He who loves us with an unending love who wants us to know that love and be that love on the earth to restore, and rebuild, and draw people to Jesus. That is our calling, that is our devotion to God.
But it is upon us to believe and go after God for everything we can get, to know everything about Him, and as a good Father He is, He gives us what we ask. Amen?