A Journey to Fervency (still in progress, ongoing)
“ The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16 (KJV)”
There have been many wonderful works written about prayer. All I would like to do, is share the Lord's leadings in prayer to me. This will not be about what prayer "should" be, rather about how the Lord has taught and led me. He is the Good Shepherd, and we want to be sheep who can be led. “Lord, help me to hear you and to do your will, especially in prayer.”
Early on, after getting saved; through many processes the Lord taught me to be led. Led meaning - hearing His voice, inspiration, direction, leading and then endeavouring to follow (again, being a good sheep). This leading was not only in my daily life - where to go, etc but also extended to prayer life.
In my early Christian days, there were always others around and we would start the day with prayer. We would just wait on the Lord. We would sing praises, sing in tongues, share a scripture, prophecy, and just wait. We would wait till we heard. We would come into the presence of the Lord and when we got there, we would wait. Wait till our Lord gave us direction and … we would receive. We would learn what was on the agenda for the day - then we would go and do it. Many times as we walked along downtown we would be quietly talking in tongues and then we would come to a window that was displaying dark stuff and we would find our prayer language would pick up and we would do warfare against the spirits that were behind the display. Sometimes porno stuff, sometimes witchcraft stuff - but it was always interesting that we would all do it at the same time.
Once I got sick (some kind of flu, coughing, sneezing,etc). At our regular prayer meeting, I requested prayer for my sickness. As the folks laid hands on me and started to pray, I heard very clearly (inside); my heavenly Father asking me why I had asked my friends to pray for me but had not asked my Father to heal me. As usual - He was right. I had not asked Him for healing. As they were still praying, I repented and asked my Loving Father to heal me. He said He would and told me I would be healed if I went to the Doctor. Now, this was hard to take. I had been reading a lot about healing from above and had come to the conclusion that it is the Lord who heals and that we do not need to go to the doctor. So when He said that, I found it hard to handle. But he had also been teaching me about obedience and and in particular, the story of Naaman (who had to bathe in the Jordan River seven times). The next day I was off to the doctor. I was given a prescription. When I went to the store and bought the pills, I took one pill and the Lord said I was healed and did not need to take anymore. And my symptoms cleared up. Praise the LORD! Obedience to His directed will. The prayers of my friends helped to start the process, but the Lord is in charge of how prayer works.
Lessons learned: - Go to the Lord first! - Hear and obey!
Somehow that precept of waiting on the Lord in the morning was instilled and has stayed with me all these years. It has changed a bit through the years, but the basic principle has stayed the same Meeting with the Lord at the start of the day.
My morning commune with my Lord consists of me talking in tongues. Just talking, sometimes singing, sometimes interceding with groanings, but basically; just talking. Prayer is coming into the presence of the Lord. David wanted to dwell in the House of the Lord forever. One thing have I desired 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 behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple. Psalms 27:4 (KJV)
We can start our day by coming into His presence. I just start talking in tongues, just talking; sometimes I am a little groggy from waking up and it is just tongues. Sometimes there are pauses as I wake up some more, but then it gets going and starts to become strong.
The days I have prayed in the morning and there are days I don't, whether too tired, or just don't wake up early enough; are different. I have looked back and it is obvious which days I had time with the Lord in the morning and which days I did not. Being in the presence of the Lord in the morning sets the "tone" for the day. I call this tone a "love cushion". The best way to describe my morning prayer is that it is like putting on a "love cushion". It is like a circular life preserver that fits around your waist. It is soft, not hard.
When you go through the day; people and situations bump up against you. If I have prayed in the morning, those negative situations bump up against this love cushion and are absorbed. They do not hurt me. They bump against the Lord's Grace which surrounds me. They do not hit my "humanness". The days I do not pray they strike me and I can react in a very human way. They can hurt me and I have been known to hurt back. The differences in the two kinds of days are like black and white. I have seen looks on people's faces when an event unfolds and I do not react in a "human" manner. Others notice the difference. I believe when you are in prayer in the morning, the Lord prays through us for the events that are about to unfold. He knows what is about to happen and He can allow us to pray to influence those events which are about to take place.
This next story is one of the basic building blocks in my journey in prayer. Early on, I had a dramatic experience that I remember quite clearly. I was in a grocery store going through the check-out and saw all the groceries going through and getting tallied up. A desire came upon me to figure out how to package my prayers so they would all go through the Lord's check-out and get acted upon. I told the Lord I wanted to learn how to package prayers so they would all get answered. LO and BEHOLD - HE ANSWERED! This answer has become the cornerstone of my prayer life.
Later that evening, back at my room: I was in pray and asking more about prayer. He told me to get up from my praying and go to one of the books I had. It was Volume 2 of Watchman Nee's "Spiritual Man" (a). I had read Volume 1 and Oh! - the Holy Spirit taught me life changing lessons there. But, I had not read Volume 2. Now I picked it up and it opened to the chapter called “Prayer and Warfare”. Now, when the Lord answers in such a dramatic fashion - you listen. I listened and read carefully and slowly. Here was the answer to how to get your prayers answered. All the "good" things we Christians wanted would now get done! All the hospitals emptied, etc. Oh - here, at last was the answer!
As I read the passage and I just re-read it 30 years later. I am so thankful to the Lord and to through Watchman Nee for a clear answer to getting prayers answered. And I can vouch for the truths contained in the first few pages on prayer as being true because I have prayed according to what the Lord showed him and I have seen the answers over and over again. Thank you Lord! Praise you Jesus!
I highly recommend that every believer read the pages on prayer. If you feel lead to read more, enjoy. But I can vouch for the parts on prayer. As I started to read, I was overwhelmed by the simplicity and truth. He said,
"All prayer ought to be spiritual"
"Nowadays Christians appear to treat prayer as a means to accomplish their aims and ideas"
"The flesh, no matter where displayed must be crucified; it is not permitted even in prayer".
Oh! It was like the Lord was writing through Watchman Nee right to me. Truly, that was what I was wanting to do; to see a need and put it before the Lord. But, he was saying that was from the flesh! (He talks of the flesh in Volume 1 of the Spiritual Man). Hmm, so my ideas were wrong. Lord, what is the right way?
"God will do no work which originates with man, no matter how much man may pray. He condemns such prayer as fleshly."
Whoa! This was striking close to home. Fleshly prayers, asking after my own desires. Ouch, Sin! This was profound and what I needed to hear.
I wonder how many prayers are of that fashion. Not just the ones that help us, but the ones that seem so "good". Watchman Nee was saying the origin of the prayer is the crux of the matter. If it is "man's" idea, then it is of the flesh and condemned.
"Spiritual prayer does not proceed from the flesh nor the thought desires or decisions of the believer; rather does it follow purely from that which is offered according to the will of God. It is prayed in the spirit, that is to say, spiritual prayer is made after one has discerned the will of God in his intuition. The command in the Bible is to "pray at all times in the spirit (Eph 6:18)"
Now there is a bit of danger in reading the above words of Watchman Nee. There are many times the "spiritual leaders" determine the "will of God". “Well, this is in Bible so it is the will of God". "By His stripes we are healed", so this is the "will of God". There is so much more to the "Will of God" than one person's interpretation. But back to Watchman Nee, because if we stopped here we would be left with the impression; if we prayed according to our idea of the "will of God" that we would be spiritual.
"We should not operate too hastily upon approaching God. On the contrary, we first must ask God to show us what and how to pray before we make our request known to Him".
So he writes about coming into the presence of the Lord and waiting, waiting, waiting; then asking God for what we should pray for. Many times we get into God's presence with a whole bunch of "needs". Watchman Nee is saying for us to put those aside, ask the Lord for His needs. We need to remember that our world is very small and His world is.... well, the world and our pressing need might not be at the top of His list.
"All spiritual prayers have their sources in God. God makes known to us what we ought to pray by unfolding to us the need and by giving us that need as a burden in our intuitive spirit".......Prayers which are not initiated or responded to in the spirit originate instead from the believer himself".
So, to sum it up. The prayers which get answered originate from the Lord. They start at the Throne in heaven and are whispered into our spirit and we pray them back to the Lord. He then says "Good idea, I will do that one" (my speculation). There are lots of reasons why it works the way it does, but the Truth be known - that is the way it works. If you think about it; this is the only way to keep all the glory with the Lord. Any other way would result in glory to man. "Look at what he did, he prayed and fasted till it happened". Then we would want to be like that person and to emulate them. (We are to emulate Jesus). This way we have to be dependent upon our Lord and there is nothing in our good works that makes it happen.
“Any prayer that does not originate with the Lord is sin!”
Wow, that is quite a statement. "Well, I wanted to pray to help that person, what is wrong with that?" If the Lord was laying out a trial to help that person; then your prayer was counterproductive and against the will of God. We need to be very careful in our prayer life.
An example of this happened to one of my dear friends and I will repeat what happened here. At the time he was a pastor and was invited to pray for a lady who “was sick unto death”. Others had been praying for her healing. He was at her bedside and as he went to pray - he waited on the Lord to hear what prayer to pray. The Lord told him to tell her to get her affairs in order as He was going to take her home. The Lord said for him to tell her that He loved her and missed her so much that He was going to take her to His home. So he asked her, if she knew she was going home. She said “Oh, yes, I have known for a while.” My friend then asked - “what about all these ministers of God who came to pray for her healing”. She explained that she just let them go on as they wanted to - but she knew she was going home.
There is an important lesson here. Do we stop praying for healing? Oh, no! - but we listen before we pray - then we pray according to what we have heard with faith! Many times friends have come and asked for prayers for health matters and when we have gone to pray, we find we are praying about emotional issues or growing up “scars”.
Here is another story, and I think stories help us to learn.
Again, my friend, the pastor; shared what happened to a friend of his. This lady woke up one morning with a splitting headache and it was so bad that she went to the hospital. As it turned out she was having a brain aneurysm. Her family got together and prayed very strongly that she would live. And live she did, but she was paralyzed. Now, the lesson here is that we sometimes pray fervently for own desires to be met and sometimes the Lord allows us the fruit of our prayers. My friend is convinced the Lord was taking her home, but the intervention of her family’s prayers changed the situation and she lived. She lived - but in a very substandard situation. Be careful what you pray! Ask what you ought to pray for, before you start praying - because you might get what you asked for and it is probably not in your best interest.
My cousin, David, got sick with liver cancer. His brothers phoned me to pray for him as they were contacting all the Christians they knew to pray for his healing. As I went to pray, I waited. Sometimes I get “little pictures” of spiritual revelation. As I started to pray, I had a “picture”, I saw David and I travelling through space towards heaven. I noticed that he was pulling away from me. I realized what I was experiencing was real when I saw my heart was jealous that he would get to heaven before me. The picture then stopped and I knew David was on his way home. I could not pray for healing. (I kept this picture to myself for many years.) Many in the church were disappointed and disillusioned when David made his glorious homecoming. Because, they had prayed the prayer of faith according to the will of God. Except in this case, the will of God was to take David to His home.
Sometimes when we pray in tongues we do not really know what we are praying for. Here is an example that turned out to have a dramatic result that was easy to see. The Lord laid on my heart to fast and pray. The praying consisted of tongues and intercessions. “ 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 (KJV)
The praying and fasting continued till Sunday afternoon when the Spirit directed that I go to the church and pray over the pews, etc. While doing this there were groanings, travails and praises. But I really had no idea what the praying and fasting was for. Although when I was directed to the church it made me think it might be for that Sunday night service. And indeed it was. As soon as the pastor started to talk - the Holy Spirit swept in and took over. People were slain in the Spirit and the meeting was the Lord’s.
Another important learning in obeying in Prayer:
In the beginning of my walk with the Lord, I was pretty zealous. "If a little is good, then a lot is better" had been one of mottos before I became a Christian and I tried to apply it to my new Christian life. I learned about great men and women of God and wanted to emulate them and if they did something that worked, I wanted to do more of it. (Tithing was 10% so I gave 20%,etc - till the Lord straightened me out").
So in my prayer life, the Lord had some adjusting to do. I still remember when.....I was in prayer in the morning and the Lord said I couldn't visit with Him in the morning. I quickly prayed, "Get thee behind me Satan" and after much soul searching I realized it was of the Lord. This was hard, no explanation; just no morning praying allowed. I was still walking with Him, He was still using me. All that changed was that I couldn't wait on Him in the morning. After some time He talked with me and explained what had happened.
In my fleshly zeal, if I thought 10 minutes in the morning was good, then after awhile I would condemn myself for not spending 20 minutes, then after, I would condemn myself for not spending 30 minutes,etc. So He took it all away and said there was to be no morning prayers. Until that self-desire was broken, I could not spend anytime in the morning with the Lord. When He broke that self desire in me (and He did), He then brought me back to morning prayers. I now have freedom to pray in the mornings, but I have no condemnation, if for some reason; it does not work out.
Also, He sat me down one time and asked how I was doing in my Christian life. I told Him, “Not good enough”. He asked, “What measuring stick was I using?” He then showed me I was using my own measuring stick and was always judging myself as coming up short. My desire was to grow into the image of Jesus. “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
Romans 8:29 (KJV) He then took out His measuring stick for me and showed me by His standards I was doing just fine. And that - yes, I would mature into the image of Jesus; but that for now I was right where I was supposed to be. (I am pretty sure that all of us are exactly where we are supposed to be, right now). We need to be judged by His standard, not by our own, our friends, our church, the Christian standard, etc. We need to be judged by our Lord's measuring stick, especially in the area of prayer.
He invited me back to join Him in prayer. With the breaking of self in prayer, He could get all the glory for the prayer victories. My early prayer times were just waiting on Him and talking in tongues. Sometimes the Spirit would move through me with groanings and utterings as per Romans 8., but it would just start with talking in tongues. (Note: Just because this is the way the Lord taught me does not mean you are to do the same). He has taught me obedience. Please be obedient to the whisperings of the Lord in prayer. If as you wait upon Him and come into His presence, He whispers, directs, leads you to do something - obey! As per my wonderful wife - “the only thing I have to bring to the Lord - is my obedience. Emptied of self - nothing of self left”.
I remember early on in my married life when I would enter into the Throne Room of the Lord and would want to spend quality time in prayer with Him. Often He would say - "go love your wife". Of course I thought it was Satan talking; trying to take me out of the presence of the Lord - "get thee behind me Satan", until the Lord would get through and I realized it was really Jesus. Then I would leave my alone time with the Lord and go downstairs and ask what I could do to love her. Usually she would give me a chore like the dishes. If I would have stayed in prayer, I would have been in sin. Obedience is not only what we pray, but when we pray.
Since learning God's formula to success in pray, have there been results? Yes, many. Many that are known and many that I am not aware of but I am assured have positive results. There are also many needs close to home that I would like to see answered but only when He inspires me, can those prayers be prayed. And there are many times when it is praying in tongues with no understanding and it is only for self edification - a building up of one’s self. Praying in tongues is spiritual push-ups. “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself “;1 Cor 14:4 (KJV)
I will reluctantly share His experiences with me in my prayer closet. My desire is to help others to enter into freedom with Him. Not to have anyone to enter into more religious bondage. Heaven knows we have enough of that already.
I am a firm believer that prayer life is in the "closet". That means it is between us and the Lord. And the results thereof are the Lord's. There is not much I bring to my prayer life with the my Lord. I guess all I bring is obedience. Learning to obey in prayer is similar to all our learnings in the Lord. For example David learned to kill a lion, a bear then Goliath; he learned the easy, harder and hardest tasks. God teaches us the simple and brings us to the complex through victories.
So early on it was just waiting and talking in tongues. Eventually the tongues would turn to intercession with no understanding of what was prayed for.The intercession would be revealed later on.
For example, there was once in the prayer time before work (working an evening shift ), that the prayer time became very powerful intercession. Heavy groanings and travail with no understanding of what was being prayed for. I went to work (as a Counsellor for a Government run Youth Assessment Centre). We had juveniles in custody who had both minor and major problems. At this time there were kids in the centre whose infractions ranged from running away from home, to car theft, to murder. There was a teenager there who could not be tried in adult court for murder. That evening after supper, the kids revolted. The leader was the young man in for murder. This was almost a calamity. The end result was that no one got hurt and all turned out ok - but it was almost a disaster. After everything subsided and returned to normal, I knew what the heavy prayer before work had been all about. The Lord knew what was to unfold and diffused it through prayer before the events took place. This was an example of where the intercession was unknown but revealed later.
Another example occured in 1985 or 1986. (Why the date confusion? I have not felt led to document these occurrences at the time they are being prayed. They are in my closet. So sometimes the dates might not be right as I humanly recall the events.) As I went to prayer, the Holy Spirit directed me to come up into the heavenly realm above North America. He then directed that he wanted warfare done against the spirits of nicotine. Praying in the Spirit, battle was done against the evil spirits of nicotine that ruled in the heavenlies above North America. In prayer, I saw myself rolling up the demons, like you would roll up a cigarette and rolling them into the ocean. First on the Atlantic side, then the Pacific and then the anointing/unction ended and the heavy prayer time was over. At the time I did not dwell on it. As time went on, I started to notice that smoking was no longer the same and if we look back to 1986 and compare the amount of smoking and the acceptance of smoking - we see a dramatic difference. This was an intervention by the Lord in the Spiritual realm and over time, we see the outcome in the earthly.
Hallelujah! First the change happens in the Spiritual, then we see it in the earthly.
There is a principle in God that is crucial to praying in the Spirit for the nations. Before something can be changed on the earth - it first needs to be changed in the Spiritual realm. The Spiritual realm is in many ways more real than the earthly realm. For real change to happen in the earth - it first must be changed in the heavenly. Many times in the Old Testament we hear of the Lord speaking forth decrees of what will happen to nations and then as we know, these events come to pass. It is first decreed, decided in the Spiritual realm; then we see the outpouring in the earthly. Till we have a change in the Spiritual we will not see a change in the physical. There are natural occurrences in the physical. But there are interventions in the Spiritual and then we see it in the physical.
A powerful example of this is documented in the Book of Exodus Chapter 17 8 “Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 9 And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. 10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. 14 And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. 15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi: 16 For he said, Because the Lord hath sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation”. Ex 17:8-16 (KJV)
These verses are very interesting in that they show the victory on the physical battlefield is the result of Moses lifting his hands with the rod of God in it. When the hands of Moses were lifted up - Joshua prevailed on the battlefield below and when Moses’s hands were lowered Amalek prevailed. So, Aaron and Hur assisted with lifting Moses hands and they prevailed for the whole day. This story shows that the victory in the spiritual realm brings victory in physical.
Another example of this is with Elijah - “And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word”. 1 Kings 17:1 (KJV)
After 3 ½ years - “And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. 42 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, 43 And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. 44 And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. 45 And it came to pass in the meanwhile, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. 46 And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel”. 1 Kings 18:41-46 (KJV)
In the New Testament, James mentions this occurrence. 16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
James 5:16-17 (KJV)
The Old Testament is full of examples of the Lord intervening in the affairs of men as He causes events to move towards His purposes. When reading these stories one starts to look at them to figure out how they came to pass. It becomes obvious that the order is: the Lord speaks through his prophet and the Lord brings it to pass. In Elijah’s case, he was given the word there would be no rain and in obedience he speaks it out. Three and half years later, the Lord brings him back and has him decree to get off the mountain cause there are rains coming. Then something interesting happens - “And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees. When he put his face between his knees he was praying and then it took seven times before the answer came. “ And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. 44 And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. 45 And it came to pass in the meanwhile, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain.”
It is most interesting that he had to look seven times. Why couldn’t the Lord have done it with one “prayer and look”? Now I do not have the answer to that, but I do know that many of the prayers I am allowed to pray - require “re-praying”. Many times the first time the Lord brings the burden for a situation, it is heavy and requires intercession. Then the next day, he will bring to mind the same situation and lays on my heart to pray; but the burden will not be as intense and it will seem to be what I have thought of as a “maintenance” prayer. Sometimes these maintenance prayers go for a month or two and sometimes for years. The list the Lord has me pray for is usually the same, till He removes an item from the list. I do not understand the reasoning behind these continual prayers and sometimes, I desire that one anointed prayer would do it (and there are times when that is all there is). But I try not to question the Potter too much. My thought process is that it is like the prayers go into a bowl and when they bowl gets filled up, then the Lord takes action.
“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. 6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”
Psalms 126:5-6 (KJV)
“And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.” Rev 5:8 (KJV)
“Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” Col 4:12 (KJV)
Again there is mentioning of “always” which fits with my experience. I will pray “always” until the Lord removes the item from the list. In the natural, the way the Lord has led me; He gives me a list of tasks that need to be accomplished that day. He does not give me tomorrow’s list nor does He brood over yesterday’s list, but gives the list for the day. Sometimes the list is long (and there have days when the toil continued into the night) and there have days when the list is short. This principle has continued into my prayer life. As I start to pray, usually the “list” is there and I work through it.
As I go through my daily living; I stay abreast of the current events. Sometimes I see the answers to prayers and sometimes burdens start to grow that will get added to the list. The following is an example of how this unfolds in my life. As I was keeping abreast of current events - through the paper, news , etc there was a stirring in my spirit that started to build when I would see the high esteem North American’s were placing on Hollywood stars and sport stars. As I would be made aware of the spotlight these people were in - He would whisper in my spirit - “this is not right”. One time when I was in prayer, he brought to mind this “high regard/idolization” - we as a society were placing on people in these professions and the darkness that was coming out of Hollywood. “These people are held in too high a regard. They are being put on pedestals”. As the desire to see changes in these areas was “growing” inside me and then when He put it on the prayer list - I was in agreement that prayers were needed. So I prayed in agreement with him. Until He took it off the list.
Very quickly after the burden had lifted and the prayer was removed from the list both baseball and hockey in North America had strikes/lockouts. During the time when prayer was being offered for these sports issues; there had been no reports of labour issues. The labour issues surfaced after the prayer time was over. These major sports leagues would be similar to the Premier Football League in the UK (I think). The following is an article I found on the internet, reporting on the effects of the strikes:
Year Of Strike: 1994-1995
Days Strike Lasted: 232
Games Lost: Roughly 2,000, counting potential playoff games.
America's pastime still hasn't recovered from the strike 10 years ago. In the nine years before the strike, the World Series averaged a strong 22.3 rating... with each ratings point representing roughly one million households. And the league was turning a profit during that entire time as well, with roughly $22 million US in 1992 and $36 million in 1993. But the numbers have declined drastically since then.
Averaging a 15.3 rating in the nine years since the strike, the ratings for the World Series are down almost 33%. In terms of overall revenue, Major League Baseball claims it has lost money every year since the strike. Beginning with a loss of $375 million in 1994, baseball lost $138 million in 1998, and an astonishing $519 million in 2001.
Commissioner Bud Selig stated that 25 of the 30 teams lost money in 2001. And while the exact numbers have been questioned, no one is debating that Major League Baseball is still struggling financially. It was just in 2002 that the league looked into eliminating both the Twins and the Expos, a very telling statistic when professional sports are constantly adding expansion franchises.
A significant portion of the lost revenue since the strike has come from decreased attendance, which was down 15% shortly after the strike in 1996 and was still down 12% in 2002. With $1.5 billion in ticket sales in 2002, that 12% drop in attendance equaled $180 million in lost revenue. And with $3.1 billion in merchandising and concessions in 2002, every slight drop equals a loss of millions more. (Note: Stats were taken from the May 2, 2004 Philadelphia Inquirer -- based on info from Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal.)
The final factor that hit baseball hard was not playing the World Series in 1994. Broadcasting deals and ad revenue are highest during the playoffs. The handful of games lost at the start of the 1995 season was minor, but the estimated broadcasting rights for the 1994 World Series alone would have been another $180 million.
Year Of Strike: 1994-1995
Days Strike Lasted: 103
Games Lost: 468
The NHL's last lockout occurred during the 1994-1995 season, putting it on hold. When an agreement was finally worked out, the league shortened the season and each team played only 48 games before the playoffs began. As with baseball, the league has claimed to be losing money ever since the strike, with financial losses for the last 10 years totaling roughly $1.5 billion.
Hockey has traditionally had the lowest ratings of the four major sports, but the ratings since the last lockout have been almost nonexistent. The 2002 playoffs averaged 1.5 on the ratings scale. The first two games of the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals were barely above the 1 mark. Similar numbers led to the cancellation of the XFL.
So will this strike eliminate hockey once and for all?
Recently, the NHL hired Arthur Levitt, Jr., former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, to examine the league's finances. The findings showed that the NHL lost $273 million in 2002-2003, and 19 of the 30 teams lost money. Of those franchises losing money, their average loss was $18 million...
This was quoted from an article on the internet: (b) After reading this article, I learned how much the Lord had done through inspired prayer.
Shortly after the prayers were made, Hollywood started to produce more “light” shows versus the dark ones. One of these shows that stands out is “Touched By An Angel”. This was a great show and I am convinced; it was one of the results of inspired prayers. I am also convinced that if the Lord had not intervened; this show would not have made it to the screen in Hollywood.
The New Testament is full of wondrous examples of the Lord’s intervening in the affairs of men as He works out His glorious purposes.
Today, there are examples of prayers in the Spirit, according to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; that we have seen around us.
The next story recounts a prayer time that allowed us to see the results and have our faith affirmed. Many times we are allowed to be aware of these to help build our faith and the faith of fellow believers. Let your faith be strengthened!
My family went to a movie (Phar Lap) about a race horse. It had a part at the end that showed the ugly side of the Mafia. As we were driving away from the theatre, the Spirit of the Lord began to come upon me with a strong burden. I pulled the car over to a safe place and I started to pray/intercede. There were others in the car, but the burden was so strong and incessant that the prayer had to come forth. The burden was strong and and very quickly I saw myself being transported in the Spirit through the heavenlies, over to the East Coast of America. The burden wasn't fulfilled and I crossed the Atlantic and continued to Europe, down into Italy and then to Sicily. Here in the Spirit, the Lord had me fight against 3 castles in the sky. (Eph 6 "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers in high places".) The warfare resulted in these castles in the sky coming down. The burden lifted; I returned to the car and drove home. A couple of months later, as my wife and I were headed to bed; we got off the couch, and I turned on the television. A very strange thing to do. The news was on with a report about an informer inside the Mafia who had helped the police to raid and arrest 3 mafia leaders in Sicily. The tv showed 3 Mafia leaders being being lead to the police cars. At the same time the Spirit whispered "Your prayers were part of this". Wow, that prayer had originated in God and our Lord was kind enough to allow us to see the result - so faith could grow.
Another important principle is “to pray through”. When in prayer; it is important to continue praying, interceding, travailing,etc until the release comes. Usually you can tell the burden has lifted because your tongues turn into praising. The praying, interceding, travailing,etc turns to praise. Then it is ok to stop praying. Until that happens, it is best to keep going. (Note: with all principles in God - there are exceptions.) If the Lord leads you differently - that is just fine. He does not want us to be followers of another believer - but to be a follower of Him. There have times when the intercession/travail/burden/warfare has been so intense and so difficult that it appears that victory is not going to happen. Sometimes the hordes aligned against us seem so numerous that you are surrounded and you get worried you are going to go down in defeat. Remember that “ No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; Isaiah 54:17 (KJV)” So that takes care of the fear. But then the victory seems out of grasp. When that happens, I call out to Jesus for help. He has then thrown me His white sword and with that in hand - the tide of the battle changes and we are able to fight on to victory. Hallelujah!
Because this type of ministry involves warfare there are times when the enemy attacks us as well. When I have been in a desperate situation, the most powerful words come to mind. This was taught to me by a friend who was taught it by his mom. He remembers her telling him that whenever he got into a seriously bad situation to voice the words - “THE BLOOD OF JESUS” There are no words as powerful. He recounted that once he been visited by a very slick dressed man who came to offer him treasures of this world. He gained a knowledge of who it was and started to use these words to defeat the devil.
I remember a series of events that happened in my sleep while I was dreaming. This recurring dream happened while in a deep sleep and I found myself in a car that went off the road and ended upside down in water. As the water started to come into the car - I found myself drowning. The car had filled with water. Great fear gripped me and the dream was so real. As I woke up, I found I was still in the dream but aware of being awake. Because I was still drowning, I could not cry out. While in these dreams, I found I could not voice the words and even thinking them in my mind was difficult. Concentrating as hard as I could (while totally terrified and drowning), I started to think the words “Blood of Jesus” in my mind. Slowly the words started to come and the terrifying grip started to recede, until I was able to get my voice back and speak out the words Blood of Jesus. Then the demonic attack began to lessen and I came back to normal and was wide awake. These dreams went on for many nights - and always there was victory but it was a hard fight. Then at bedtime, I started to speak out loud the verse “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.Luke 10:19 (KJV)” I would take the covers and put them over my head and repeat that verse. I then started to sleep well.
Back to examples of answers to spiritual prayers. The Lord began to lay on my heart to pray for “Peace in Ireland”. The travail/intercession was there and the praying went on for many months. As I would come into the quiet place with the Lord, He would direct for prayers for “Peace in Ireland”. These prayers happened over many months. After a time the burden lifted and when I would go to the quiet place,there were other burdens to pray, and Ireland was not on the list. We all know that Peace came to Ireland. The Lord allowed me to watch on TV as they ratified the treaty that ended about 600 years of strife. Many did not believe that there would ever be peace in Ireland, but the Lord put it on His agenda and had it changed in the Spiritual realm, and then we got to see it in the physical. When we watched on tv, I felt the Lord say there were others who He had praying for this victory. Subsequently, I met two others who had been burdened by the Lord to pray for Ireland. I am sure there were others as well.
One time in prayer, I had the thought that it would be good to pray for the downfall of the Berlin Wall. As I went to pray about it - He whispered that He had others dealing with that and it was not for me to be part of. I rejoiced when I saw it coming down and knew that it tumbled due to the effectual spiritual prayers of other men and women. First it gets changed in the Spiritual then in the natural. Now, I desire to see changes in our world - until “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” Isaiah 11:8-9 (KJV)
Once, as I went to pray, I saw myself in the heavenlies (And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: Eph 2:6 (KJV). Waiting for direction for that prayer time; I saw another being whom I had seen before. This entity I had seen in a vision and he was all dressed up in Roman armour. At the time, he was striding off to battle, I remember being afraid for the army he was going to fight because he was bathed in so much anointing. This entity was filled with the anointing of God and the army he was to do battle with had no chance. When I saw this being for a second time, I was left with the impression that he had his territory over the earth and that he was making sure it was coming into the order of the Lord. Therefore, I would do well to keep praying for mine. This gave me faith that the Lord had others and that He has it all in control! Hallelujah!
When we pray we often think it should be “easy”; in the sense that we are coming to our Loving Heavenly Father with requests that He has placed on our hearts. This is true and yet it really is sometimes difficult. I will use an illustration to try and make this concept easier to understand. The illustration is to do with following Him, but the principle is the same in regards to prayer.
I have seen many times where my Lord has invited Christians to come and follow after Him to a deeper walk. The person heeds the call and heads out in a different direction or at a different level of commitment. The next thing that happens is they run into a roadblock. There is a tree that has fallen across the path they need to go on. They come against it and it does not move.
It blocks their forward progress. They become confused. They are sure they are listening to their Lord and are following His directions and yet there is a blockage. They go to Him in Prayer and they see Him on the other side of the Blockage calling to them to follow. They are confused and disheartened and many times they turn back. What I have seen is that the Lord is asking them to try harder - go around, go under, go over - show that they really want to follow. Not - that they will only follow if it is easy - but do you want to be with your Lord so much that you will pay a price to follow. There is a way past the blockage. (Now there are times when we have got out of order and the Lord has put a blockage to turn us around, but that is not what this illustration is about.) The same happens is prayer - He gives us a burden and as we start to pray it - the tongues turn to travail and to intercession - the burden gets heavy, sometimes the warfare gets violent. There have been times dealing with demons, that the prayer has got loud and “violent”. Sometimes I ask people, especially kind, gentle ladies; how they would act if their kids were home and a thief/murder came into their home. Would they say “Please if it is not too much trouble, would you leave our home?” Or would they demand “GET OUT OF MY HOUSE, NOW!” Sometimes our prayer times consist of commanding the demonic hordes to leave and it is best if it is done forcefully. It is ok for - "The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force" (Matt, 11 : 12).
Writings from Pioneers in Prayer
The book still speaks to me today. The quotes from the book will in italics and my notes will be in this font.
“John Hyde was an answer to prayer, and when in other years he prayed in Indian, God raised up scores of native workers in answer to his prayers. The Great Head of the Church has provided one method for securing laborers. He said:"Look on the fields . . . they are white . . . the laborers are few . . . PRAY!" The emphasis on prayer as the answer to the great commission is one the Lord has shown me. “Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. Luke 10:2 (KJV) It is the Lord’s harvest and therefore as His; He needs to send forth the labourers. Our desire to go forth into the Great Commission can be only after we have prayed that the Lord would send forth labourers. The Lord does says to pray, then go forth to the harvest. There are many Christians who have gone after reading or listening to these verses, BUT the going can only be after PRAYING!
John Hyde was associated with this prayer union from its beginning and also had a definite part in the Sialkot convention (Note: The chief Revival centre in the Punjab has been Sialkot, a frontier station of the North-West.). The members of the prayer union lifted up their eyes according to Christ's command and saw the fields,— white to the harvest. In the Book they read the immutable promises of God. They saw the one method of obtaining this spiritual awakening, even by prayer. They set themselves deliberately, definitely, and desperately to use the means till they secured the result. The Sialkot revival was not an accident nor an unsought breeze from heaven. Charles G. Finney says: "A revival is no more a miracle than a crop of wheat." In any community
revival can be secured from heaven when heroic souls enter the conflict determined to win or die—or if need be to win and die!—"The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force" (Matt, 11 : 12).
God laid a great burden of prayer upon the heart of John N. Hyde, R. McCheyne Paterson, and George Turner for this wonderful convention.
Before one of the first conventions Hyde and Paterson waited and tarried one whole month before the opening day. For thirty days and thirty nights these godly men waited before God in prayer. Do We wonder that there was power in the convention? Turner joined them after nine days, so that for twenty-one days and twenty-one nights these three men prayed and praised God for a mighty outpouring of his power! Three human hearts that beat as one and that One the heart of Christ yearning, pleading, crying, and agonizing over the church of India and the myriads of lost souls.
It is hard for us to grasp that much prayer for one event and yet there are many recorded instants of this type of prayer happening before successful meetings. Most of the revivals that I am aware of happened due to prayer. Now, my Lord is able to make exceptions but His general rule of practise is prayer first, then revival. I know I have read of the revival stories and got excited and then have tried to pray through for revival, but when the Lord is not in it - it is like chaff and gets blown away. When He is in it and He inspires the people praying - great things happen.
His prayer-life was one of absolute obedience to God. I remember once the lunch-bell sounded when we were in the prayer room. I heard him (John Hyde) whisper: "Father, is it thy will that I go?" ... There was a pause, the answer came, he said: "Thank you, Father," and rose with a smile and went to lunch.
It was about this time that John Hyde laid hold of God in a very definite covenant. This was for one soul a day — not less, not enquirers simply but a soul saved — ready to confess Christ in
public and be baptized in his name. He returned to his district with this confidence nor was he disappointed. It meant long journeys, nights of watching unto prayer and fasting, pain and conflict, yet victory always crowning this. What though the dews chilled him by night and the drought exhausted him by day? His sheep were being gathered into the fold and the Good Shepherd was seeing of the travail of his soul and being satisfied. By the end of that year more than four hundred were gathered in.
Two Souls a Day
Again John Hyde laid hold of God with a definite and importunate request. This time it was for two souls a day. At this convention God used him even more mightily than ever before. God spoke through his servant John Hyde.
Four Souls a Day
The eight hundred souls gathered in since last year's convention did not satisfy John Hyde. God was enlarging his heart with his love. Once again he laid hold on God with holy desperation. How many weeks it was I do not remember, but he went deeper still with Christ into the shadows of the Garden! Praying took the form now of confessing the sins of others and taking the place of those sinners, as so many of the prophets did in old time. He was bearing the sins of others alone with his Lord and Master. "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." According to that law we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. This, John Hyde was doing. He was "dying daily."
This next quote from the book about John Hyde shows where the Lord took his heart to:
He was once weighed down with the burden of prayer for a certain Indian pastor. So he retired to his "inner chamber," and thinking of the pastor's coldness and the consequent deadness of his church, he began to pray: "O Father, thou knowest how cold"—he was going to say; but a finger seemed to be laid on his lips, so that the word was not uttered and a voice said in his ear, "He that toucheth him toucheth the apple of mine eye." Mr. Hyde cried out in sorrow: "Forgive me, Father, in that I have been an accuser of the brethren before thee!" He realized that in God's sight he must look at "Whatsoever things are lovely." Yet he wanted also to look at "Whatsoever things are true." He was shown that the "true" of this verse are limited to what are both lovely and true, that the sin of God's children is fleeting, it is not the true nature of God's children. For we should see them as they are in Christ Jesus — "complete,'' what they shall be when he has finished the good work he has begun in them. Then John asked the Father to show him all that was to be praised ("if there be any virtue and if there be any praise take account of these things") in that pastor's life. He was reminded of much for which he could heartily thank God, and spent his time in praise! This was the way to victory. The result? He shortly afterwards heard that the pastor had at that very time received a great reviving and was preaching with fire.
This is most wonderful and is a warning to us all that when we go to prayer to take upon ourselves the Lord’s love and pray out of that love - not our love or ideas of what is needed.
This next account is inspiring and I remember it inspired me when I first read it. This is a letter from Dr. Chapman:
“At one of our missions in England the audience was extremely small — results seemed impossible — but I received a note saying that an American missionary was coming to the town and was going to pray God's blessing down upon our work. He was known as 'The Praying Hyde.' Almost instantly the tide turned. The hall was packed, and my first invitation meant fifty men for Jesus Christ. As we were leaving I said: 'Mr. Hyde, I want you to pray for me.' He came to my room, turned the key in the door, dropped on his knees, waited five minutes without a single syllable coming from his lips. I could hear my own heart thumping and his beating. I felt the hot tears running down my face. I knew I was with God. Then with upturned face, down which the tears were streaming, he said: 'Oh God!' Then for five minutes at least, he was still again, and then when he knew he was talking with God his arm went around my shoulder and there came up from the depth of his heart such petitions for men as I had never heard before. I rose from my knees to know what real prayer was. We believe that prayer is mighty and we believe it as we never did before.”
“The same missionary referred to John Hyde when she wrote, "There were some who knew that God had chosen and ordained them to be 'watchmen.' There were some who had lived for long so near Jehovah that they heard his voice and received orders direct from him about everything,
even as to when they were to watch and pray and when they were to sleep. Some watched all night long for nights because God told them to do so, and he kept sleep from them that they might have the privilege and honor of watching with him over the affairs of his kingdom."
The Lord used the story of how He has dealt with John Hyde to inspire and challenge me as I continued on my journey to fervency.
Around the same time I read about Charles Finney and the revivals the Lord used him in. What was shown to me was that it was prayer that broke the enemy’s back so the revival could happen in the natural. How victory in the spiritual realm meant for victories in the natural. I found this posting on the web and have included it here. “Yet this man saw revival twice in his pastorate, and then was a key figure in one of the greatest revivals in the history of the United States. In many ways he was to the U. S. what Praying Hyde was to India. He is known almost exclusively for his powerful prayer ministry.”
Daniel Nash (1775-1831) served as Charles Finney’s personnel intercessor.
He was key to the revival that followed Finney’s ministry. We can all look at the life of Daniel Nash and see an example of how important prayer is to see the kingdom of God revealed. From “Daniel Nash: Prevailing Prince of Prayer” When God would direct where a meeting was to be held, Father Nash would slip quietly into town and seek to get two or three people to enter into a covenant of prayer with him. Sometimes he had with him a man of similar prayer ministry, Abel Clary. Together they would begin to pray fervently for God to move in the community.
One record of such is told by Leonard Ravenhill: “I met an old lady who told me a story about Charles Finney that has challenged me over the years. Finney went to Bolton to minister, but before he began, two men knocked on the door of her humble cottage, wanting lodging. The poor woman looked amazed, for she had no extra accommodations. Finally, for about twenty-five cents a week, the two men, none other than Fathers Nash and Clary, rented a dark and damp cellar for the period of the Finney meetings (at least two weeks), and there in that self-chosen cell, those prayer partners battled the forces of darkness.”
Another record tells: “On one occasion when I got to town to start a revival a lady contacted me who ran a boarding house. She said, ‘Brother Finney, do you know a Father Nash? He and two other men have been at my boarding house for the last three days, but they haven’t eaten a bite of food. I opened the door and peeped in at them because I could hear them groaning, and I saw them down on their faces. They have been this way for three days, lying prostrate on the floor and groaning. I thought something awful must have happened to them. I was afraid to go in and I didn’t know what to do. Would you please come see about them?’ “‘No, it isn’t necessary,’ Finney replied. ‘They just have a spirit of travail in prayer.’”
Another states: “Charles Finney so realized the need of God’s working in all his service that he was wont to send godly Father Nash on in advance to pray down the power of God into the meetings which he was about to hold.” Not only did Nash prepare the communities for preaching, but he also continued in prayer during the meetings. “Often Nash would not attend meetings, and while Finney was preaching Nash was praying for the Spirit’s outpouring upon him. Finney stated, ‘I did the preaching altogether, and brother Nash gave himself up almost continually to prayer.’ Often while the evangelist preached to the multitudes, Nash in some adjoining house would be upon his face in an agony of prayer, and God answered in the marvels of His grace. With all due credit to Mr. Finney for what was done, it was the praying men who held the ropes. The tears they shed, the groans they uttered are written in the book of the chronicles of the things of God.”
Read the story of Daniel Nash – Prevailing Prince of Prayer, by J Paul Reno
These stories of prayer warriors encouraged me to give myself more fully to the Lord in prayer.
Here is another example in my prayer life where I knew the reason for the prayer before I was invited to pray.
Where I live was having a wonderful time of economic growth. At that time there was a government leader of the opposition party who got a lot of "air time" on the radio. When there was an announcement by the government of something new, there would be the opposition leader’s negative comments. Many times his air time would be greater than the announcement by the government. As I went into my closet to pray, the Lord spoke and said he wanted me to pray this negative voice would be stilled. Now in this matter I personally agreed with the Lord because I found his negative comments to be out of sync with what God was doing in our province. I was in agreement with the direction the Lord wanted me to pray and I felt assured the prayer originated with Him. So I prayed and travailled thinking the outcome would be less newsclips of the negative comments. A week later there was a small plane crash and he died. I was overcome. This scared me and it took me a while before I was able - with fear and trembling to go back to the Throne Room for more prayer requests.
The Lord laid on my heart that we would to move to Edmonton. (There were many reasons that were directing us in this direction.) At the same time, I was offered a job in Edmonton. As I was aware of the Lord's direction, it was easy to accept the position. After I had accepted the job, when I was in my prayer time; the Lord laid on my heart - ``as you are going to live in Edmonton, you should start praying for the city.` This was a different concept but in obedience I started to pray for the city, the Mayor, leadership, etc. This prayer continued for a number of years. Now the Bible says - ``1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;`` 1 Tim 2:1-3 (KJV); so in obedience to scripture and the leading of the Lord - I prayed. This continued for many years. Now, how could the Lord show you that your prayers of this type were making a difference. He is so gracious. About 3 years after we had relocated to the big city; there was an article in the paper that He brought to my attention. The article talked of how the crime rate in Edmonton had dropped substantially in the last couple of years. It had dropped so much that Police Chiefs from across North America were sending staff to Edmonton to learn their ``formula for success``. The article went to say that the Edmonton Police Service were sharing their new initiative of Community Policing that they knew was responsible for the drop in crime. Now when I read the article, I knew the Lord was confirming His Word. This was one of the results of His prayers. At that point in time you would have expected that a drop in crime rate would have made the front page of the newspaper, but it did not. Somehow the other North American jurisdictions became aware enough that they sent people to find the secret. For another couple of years, the Lord allowed us to see the articles in the paper talking of this continuing trend.
We shared these stories with friends of ours, and it led to them to having a wonderful experience in prayer and the results being made public. They lived in Calgary and due to home renovations they were staying in a hotel in downtown. While there, they noticed that the prostitutes were out and about in that area. The Lord had this unseemingly blemish burden them and they took it to prayer. Some time later there was a report in the paper wondering where the prostitutes had gone as they were no longer in their familiar locations. Hallelujah!
There are many different ways the Lord gets us to pray about situations He wants changed. Sometimes it is totally in tongues and as our mind does not understand, we are not aware of the prayers. 14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. 1 Cor 14:14 (KJV) Other times He has a burden build in us as we go about our daily business and then when we come to prayer time, He breathes on that area of discontent and lets us know that we are to prayer for that issue. And other times He just gives us a burden as we are in the prayer time. And again, sometimes it is a one-time prayer and other times it goes on for years. YOU CAN NOT PUT THE LORD IN A BOX!!! 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 9 For as the 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 cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Isaiah 55:7-11 (KJV) It is VERY important what we let come out of our mouths. Many times in prayer it is the creative Word of our Lord, and even as His Word came forth in a creative manner - it can and will come forth out of our mouths as we speak as the Lord directs. An example:
One year we travelled to the west coast from Alberta. As we drove along, I found words forming in my mouth that wanted to come forth. They were words directed to the lands, the heavens and the vegetation. ``Let the rains come forth and the land be fruitful`` “We Bless this land”. Over and over these words and similar ones kept popping out of my mouth. I had no idea what was going on and but just continued to feel the unction to speak forth. The others in the car just let me do my thing. It was like I almost could not stop myself. (Although the spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 1 Cor 14:32 (KJV)) Next year we travelled back to that area and I received confirmation that the prayers had been answered. The papers made mention of the rains and the bounty that resulted and another was from a friend who worked with the watering dams and said the increase in the dam water levels was significant. We do not know what will happen when the creative Word from our Lord comes out of our mouth in obedience to His Spirit.
We also need to be careful what comes out of our mouth in a negative manner. His Word through us is powerful and as we mature into His image - our words are powerful as well. We need to ensure as we pray for people we do it with the love of Jesus in our heart for them. I know of and am familiar with prayers that have not been according to the will of God for that person and have bordered on voodoo/witchcraft. The prayers that originate from “our good ideas” can unleash forces in the heavenlies that are not from our Lord! What happens when we pray prayers not our Lord has not inspired? A verse that helps us to understand this principle is Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter. Eccl 10:20 (KJV). The understanding the Lord has given me in regards to this phenomenon is best explained this way. If you have a “tiff” with a loved one; many times the enemy gets involved and as you start to think thoughts of negativity about the other person - a “bird of the air” or demon takes those thoughts and allows the other person to hear them. Then the recipient of those negative thoughts gets a little more worked up and starts to think thoughts like - “well if that is how they think of me, then this is what I think of them, etc”. And voila! - the bird of the air takes those thoughts back to the other person and lets them in on the secret thoughts. Note: this verse mentions thoughts, it does not even have to be spoken words. Did not our Lord say “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Matt 5:27-28 (KJV)” Even our thoughts have great power. The prayers we think and those we speak forth need to be according to the will of our Lord --- or ----- we can cause great damage. We sit in heavenly places and we have positions of power so when we speak forth it can cause great good or great damage. I sometimes wonder how many people have been affected by the negative thoughts and the not praying according to the will of the Lord for people. When I go to pray for someone, I try to be VERY sensitive to the Holy Spirit to ensure I am praying only as the Lord intends. Mine own preconceptions can get in the way and they need to be aside so that the creative Word of the Lord that comes out of our mouths does His purpose. We are not God and we do not see everything the way He does. For a season, I was going around praying blessings on all I met. One day, He asked me if I knew if a blessing was the best thing for that person? He let me know that are times when He purposes to bring a person down - sometimes it requires hitting bottom before we can look up and start to get going in the right direction. By blessing people that were being brought low, I was adding to the time that they would have to suffer. I was making it easier for them to avoid hitting bottom. Now, it goes against our nature to want to see people hit bottom; but our Lord does it to help people to get to know Him better. So, again the Wisdom of the Lord is paramount in our prayers.
Now, when we pray outside of the Lord’s direction for a person, the birds of the air (demons); take that “energy” and it gives them power to influence the affairs of men. Because the Lord does not want to do something - does not mean other spiritual beings are going to let that prayer go unanswered! Sometimes we pray over and over again for something to happen to another person. Usually in our mind our prayer is for what is right for that person. And, in our natural mind this might appear to be a “good thing”; but if it is not what the Lord wants for that person; what happens? Well, if I said praying over and over again for something bad to happen to a person is voodoo, then praying over and over again for something “good” to happen to a person (if that is not what the Lord wants) is voodoo. Our prayers are taken by birds of the air - and they attempt to make them happen. It is very important that we wait upon the Lord before we pray.
52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. 53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. 54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? 55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. 56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village. Luke 9:52-56 (KJV)
So, how do we avoid sinning in prayer? Now, I do not want to lay religious bondage on anyone at all. But a suggestion is - that when you come together with the Lord for prayer, the first thing you do is wait. Trying to be still before the Lord is a hard thing in our society, but it can be learned and it does get easier. Coming before Him, can be done with praise or repeating scriptures or whatever else gets you in the frame of mind to look to the Lord. Once you start looking to Him, offer yourself to Him to be an instrument of prayer or whatever else He would have you do. An easy thing to do is to just start talking in tongues and see where that goes. And it might not go anywhere - but I do not think anyone can talk in tongues without getting blessed! So, if that is all there is - then it is good. Then if someone comes to mind that you would like to pray for and you are not sure what the Lord would have you pray - then pray in tongues. You can not go wrong praying for someone in tongues - 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. 27 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. Romans 8:26-27 (KJV) So what we are doing is allowing the Spirit of the Lord to pray through us. Those types of prayers are always right on.
The next major prayer undertaking was the government of Alberta. I had been praying for the City of Edmonton and it was like the focus changed and a burden started to come for the Province of Alberta. Spirit for the Province, I started to see things happen. Now it is hard to describe how these things As I started praying in the happen and I call them “pictures”. I will attempt to explain the phenomenon and then explain what happened. These pictures are like a dream where you are wide awake and fully aware of what is going on and you can make things happen in it. For example, I knew the Lord wanted me to go the provincial legislature for some prayer. In the picture - I thought it and then I saw myself flying to the building. I was there in a second. How does it work? I do not fully understand - but I just take off and fly over. Now, one way of trying to explain it is to think of the superhero comic books - I know you do not want to think of them and maybe they are not part of your culture but the imaging in them seems very similar to what happens in prayer time for me (maybe because of the culture I grew up in). When I arrived; I wondered where to now? The next thing I knew was that there was a room with a large table in it. I went there and the newly elected Premier and his cabinet were there. I saw them sitting at the table and I was standing in mid-air at one end of the table where they could all see me. Out of my mouth the words came, “I am here to introduce you to the Lord Jesus. (And He was standing behind me.) He wants to give you His Wisdom to govern His people. He is giving you a choice. If you do not want to be part of His Wisdom flowing through you to govern His people then you are welcome to leave; and if not, He will start to impart His Wisdom for His people. The next thing I knew - the prayer ended and I was back home wondering - “wow that was different”. From then on as I would pray, I would see myself going over to the legislature and praying/travailing for the province. Many times I would be in the main room where the Speaker sat and the debates took place. These prayers went on for many years. The first noticeable thing was that within the first month - three cabinet ministers excused themselves from the cabinet. (The Lord gave the option for people to opt out from what He was going to do.) And the next things that started to happen was the tackling of the debt and deficit of the party. Here are some quotes from an article: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/04/05/mark-milke-albertas-prosperity-is-ralph-kleins-legacy/
In Alberta, in late 1992, when Premier Klein assumed the premier’s chair, the province hadn’t balanced its books since 1985. Also, since the mid-1980s, interest rates set by the Bank of Canada ranged from a high of 14% to a “low” of just over 5%. More government borrowing was reasonably thought to be fiscally suicidal. In 1993, in Klein’s first full year as premier, interest on the provincial debt hit $1.4 billion. That was equivalent to 33% of Alberta’s health care expenses or 75% of the cost of social services. Interest payments increasingly prevented other options, be it on programs beyond just the immediate years, or on the opportunity for tax relief.
The last Klein-era deficit was in fiscal 1994, the reduction in debt started in 1995, and the resulting decline in interest payments (beginning in 1996) allowed Klein, his Finance Minister Jim Dinning and their colleagues, to create what the government tagged as the “Alberta Advantage.” It included a reduction in business and personal taxes and a move away from punishing multi-bracket personal tax rates to a single tax rate on Albertans.
By 2006, the year Klein left politics, Alberta’s books were in tremendous shape. The public debt had been eliminated, and the province had billions in reserve.
The next province to be prayed for was Saskatchewan. As it turned out we had a need to go there and while there - I went out into a field and started travailing/interceding for the legislature in a similar manner to Alberta. Over time the Lord had me visit all the provincial and territorial legislatures and finally the House of Commons in Ottawa, in the Spirit. Now, sometimes when the Lord gives us prayers to pray - we tend to think of possible outcomes and the Lord surprises us. In this case I was to be surprised. When I prayed for the Government in Ottawa, I thought the next election would bring a change in the governing party. The Liberals had been in power for many years and their out of control spending was creating heavy debt for our land. After the prayers, the governing Liberals started to address the spending and started to bring in budgets that had surpluses and we were able to pay down some of our debt.
This following chart shows the deficit/surplus for the Federal Government and is quite dramatic. I knew what I prayed for and saw some of the results in the papers, but just looking over this attached graph - PRAISE THE LORD!!!!!
The graph is from: http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2012/03/canadas-debt-and-deficit-history.html
Out of the past 27 fiscal years, Canada has run a surplus for only 11 years or 41 percent of the time, with all of them but two under the leadership of Paul Martin as either Minister of Finance or Prime Minister.
The numbers and the trends show that the prayers were answered - HALLELUJAH! and it happened with a party and leader in power who would not have been my personal picks for the ones to lead government deficit reduction.
The Lord has used people in the past who would not be our picks for God to use to change things. In the Old Testament the Lord raised up the heathen, King Cyrus - 1 Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; Isaiah 45:1 (KJV) We as Christians sometimes have a hard time with the Lord using the heathen to accomplish His goals. but He does. 4 For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. Isaiah 45:4 (KJV) The Lord calls him and names him - even though Cyrus has not known Him. Interesting. The chapter goes on, almost as if the Lord knew that we would have objections to Him using and anointing the heathen. 9 Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? Isaiah 45:9 (KJV) Again we are like the pot telling the Potter what He can and can not do. We like to box Him in to our image of Him and yet, we are to mature into the image of Jesus. What would the Lord look like if He was in our image - interesting question and we will leave it there. But the Lord goes on - 11 Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me. 12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. 13 I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the Lord of hosts. Isaiah 45:11-13 (KJV)
How does this work? Why would the Lord want us to pray to see changes in governments? This is a good question and I do not have all the answers. We know of the verses that speak of praying for those over us - I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 1 Tim 2:1-2 (KJV) But I think many of us would like to add, “if they are Christians”. We do find it hard to pray for people who are in authority and are of a different mind set than ourselves. But the Lord can work through them even as He worked through Cyrus. In the case of Cyrus , we are not aware of God’s people praying that the Lord would use him to set His people free, but we are aware of Jeremiah prophesying that there would be an end to the exile. 21 To fulfil the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years. 2 Chron 36:21 (KJV)
So when we pray, do we pray for the Lord to put Christians into places of power or that He use the people who are there? He can use anyone, and if He is not happy with their obedience - he can remove them.
Now, back to prayer times. Again, I will try to describe some of the activities that happen while in prayer. After I had prayed for all of Canada (including the Territories) I found the maintenance prayer to be one of - praying in the Spirit while seeing myself lifting Canada up and getting under it - like a weightlifter does and then lifting and flying Canada up to the heavenlies. Usually the land or people (I have prayed for people this way), are lifted till they are close to heaven and are able to soak in the Light and Love that exudes from heaven. The light and love causes changes in the people. Then the unction for that prayer ends and things go back to normal. Many times there are demons fighting and causing distractions. Also, over many of the lands before they can be lifted up - there needs to be a cleansing of the heavenlies above them. This usually involves warfare against dragons. The dragons are subdued by means of a sword and are cut into pieces that the angels gather up and remove. (Oops - that might too hard to handle - but that is what happens.) 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Eph 6:12 (KJV)
After the praying for Canada went to “maintenance status”, the burden for the United States started to come. I found myself praying for the states one at a time until victory was obtained. It started with Washington, then Oregon, then Idaho, etc - until the NorthWestern states became one piece that could be lifted up. Now there was an interesting experience that happened in this time period. We attended a Christian conference in Lewiston, Idaho. While there Lori and I went to the levee for a “walk-about”. A man came up to us and started talking to us. We visited for a bit then as we were going he shook hands with us and charged us - to take care of the NorthWest for Him. Lori and I were blown away as that was the major focus of the prayers I was being given to pray at that time. (Note: the year was 1996.) We think we had an encounter with an angel who was relaying instructions from above. Slowly over time all the states got pieced together and were being lifted up to glory. One thing that was interesting was that the southern area around New Orleans was always left off the prayer burden and even when the states were lifted up - that area was left behind. After all the states were being lifted up the focus became Washington. As I flew in to the White House to relay the same conversation that the Lord had had with all the other governments something very different happened. Usually after introducing Jesus and explaining how He was going to give Wisdom to govern His people; there had always been agreement. This time was very different. After Jesus was introduced, the people gathered there turned to me and said they did not need His advice because they had many very good advisors. Then I looked around and saw a great multitude of people who were providing advice to the government. These advisors were Business Lobbyists, Union bosses, Teachers Associations,, etc. There were multitudes and it was explained to me that because they had so many good advisors they did not need Wisdom from on high. I felt rebuffed and looked to the Lord for what He would do. He let me know that He does not force people and it was ok to withdraw. And it has only been recently that He has allowed me to go back and pray for the people in power in the US.
I do not try to figure out what is happening - I just try to obey. I do not want to pray one prayer that is more than the Lord wants nor do I want to pray one prayer less than the Lord wants.
The next focus of prayer was the Europe. Over the next years I found He had me praying for each country, although He sometimes put countries together. (For example, he put Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia as one). Each country would have travail and prayer. Sometimes there were serious issues that needed dealing with. If I remember correctly, He started with Scotland. Here I found myself in a valley and praying for the events that had happened there. After that, I would move to the next valley and pray through there. It took a long time to pray through all the vales. Once every part had been prayed through - then Scotland as a whole was lifted up to glory. Ireland, Wales and then on to Britain. Britain took quite a while as there was a lot of work to do. The work consisted of (with the help of Jesus); using His Blood to wash clean the land. After England was cleansed, I found the prayer times going throughout the world cleansing the land of the blood that had been shed with English involvement. The next big prayer undertaking was France and France was different again. This time the Lord showed that due to the strong early Christian Faith in this land there was a blessing still on the land. I had thought that I would be in battle over the land against Catholicism. I relished the thought of battle. As I went to prayer and flew into the heavenlies, I saw a blessing in the form of a tarp; a covering that was supported by the high steeples from the numerous cathedrals that are everywhere in France. I was amazed and when I study my “HIS story”, I see where the Lord mightily used the Frankish peoples. When I read of the birthing of the land of France - I see the mighty hand of the Lord. King Clovis in 500 AD was hard pressed on the battlefield by his enemy the Alamanni of Alsace. Clovis’s army was about to be annihilated. In desperation, he prayed to the God of his wife and asked for victory and if evidence of a miracle was given - he would get baptized. At that very moment, the Alamanni leader was killed and his warriors capitulated. When Clovis got back, he went to the bishop and asked for baptism for him and his warriors. They were baptized at the cathedral in Rhiems and since then all the French kings have been baptized there. Before the conquest of the Franks and Roman-Gallo people of Gaul were strong Christians and this tradition continued for many centuries. When I came to pray for the land of France, the Lord let it be known to me that He was honouring France for their Godly stand.
After praying for France, the prayers continued for the rest of the nations of Europe, then into Asia, Africa, Australia and South America. The next highlight in the prayer list was China.
The prayers for China continued for 2 years. When I first started to pray, there was a red dragon in the heavenlies over a section of the land. In the Spirit we battled until victory was achieved. When I came to pray the next day, I was curious as to what the Lord would have on the list. It was China, but a different part and there was another red dragon. Battle ensued and victory was won. For the next year, everytime I went to pray I found myself fighting red dragons over China. At the end of the year, there were no more red dragons over China and I was excited to come back to the prayer time. That morning as I went in the Spirit to pray - there to my shock were green dragons. For the next year, the prayers were against the green dragons in the heavens over China. At the end of a year - the heavenlies were clean of the red and green dragons and I was able to move the land up in the heavenlies toward the Light and Love of the Lord’s. The prayers were China now stopped. On New Year’s Eve 1998 - I had the pleasure of being asked to speak at a church in Seattle. While preaching, I felt led to proclaim - that based on the changes in the Spiritual Realm over China - that China would be different. And today we are definitely able to see the difference inspired prayer makes.
In the Egyptian exodus, the Lord heard the people’s cries and raised up Moses to confront and confound Pharaoh. There were prayers from God’s people then the Lord moved. Does the Lord move only when He receives enough prayers from His people or does He sovereignly move as well? I think both. I am convinced that as sons of God - He wants us to join Him in the family business - running the earth and bringing it into His will - Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Matt 6:9-10 (KJV).
I know as a father, one of my greatest joys on the farm was working with my children. Having them participate in the chores and harvesting the hay was great. They were learning new things and as parents we got to see the growing into responsibility. I am convinced our Heavenly Father is similar. I believe He wants us to grow up into the image of His Son. 10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. Heb 2:10 (KJV) .(Note: I am definitely using the word sons to be inclusive in that “guys and gals” are included in the meaning of the word sons.)
The Bible says 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
The question behooves us - what are we doing sitting in heavenly places? Are we sitting watching all the comings and goings of the heavenly realm or are we invited to participate in putting things into His order? I will not say I have all the understanding in these matters; others who feel they have more revelation in these areas are more than welcome to postulate as to what they think is happening and will happen. This brings to mind an experience that might help us to understand that we do not really know what will happen.
This next story is documented on the web site - http://www.molowill.ca/ChristianWritings/WhatBibleAreYouReading.htm
Many years ago, the Lord came very close to me and asked me some pointed questions. I was being still and reading the Bible. He asked, “What Bible are you reading?” I thought that is easy to answer and with assurance, I stated, “King James”. Again He calmly asked, “What Bible are you reading?” Again, I said; “You know, your version,King James”. And again, he asked, “What Bible are you reading?” This time I realized that I wasn’t so smart after all, - and answered, - “I don’t know, what version am I reading?” He answered, “Your reading the Pentecostal Bible?” (Note: all of these conversations took place in my head.) My next thoughts were of surprise and lack of understanding. He then explained, that when I came across a verse, - that I did not read the words on the page, but rather the interpretation of the verse. What I had been taught in the past that the verse meant is what I heard in my mind when I read the verse. My mind was not reading the words, but rather was listening to my thoughts that were recounting previous teaching about the verse. I listened and had to agree. He said Pentecostal Bible because my upbringing in the Lord had been by people of the Pentecostal faith. I then agreed with Him that I had been reading what I had been taught and not what the words actually stated. He then said (or put thoughts into my mind). “ I want you to throw out your Pentecostal Bible.” I agreed, He then said - “ I will begin to teach you anew, and by the way - you know nothing about end-times!”
So after that, He has started to teach me slowly about “end times”. And again, I want to reiterate - “I know nothing about end times”. In some ways I think that is a better position than the early religious scholars who missed our Lord’s first coming. They had the Word of the Lord and the prophecies and they studied them and yet missed His coming. That said, I believe His Second Coming will be similar in that; our many religious scholars “know nothing about end-times”: and yet there are so many books, treatises and discussions about what is about to happen. If you want to side track Christians, all you have to do is bring up the topic and then they will waste their time debating all of the prevailing dogmas of end times. I refuse to speculate, but will tell you what experiences are happening now in my life. I will gladly listen as you share the wonderful experiences the Lord is giving you. The Captain and the Generals in the army need to know what is happening. We only need to obey. An army that has everyone debating every order is doomed to defeat. In obedience - we win! Hallelujah! We do not have to figure it out. We need to look to the Author and Finisher of our faith and to know He has everything under control.
So what experiences have been happening. I would pray and in the throne room, the Lord would lay a burden on my heart and I would fly off to do battle. At times the devil would come close by and he would ask “by whose authority are you doing these things?”. My response would be - “my Father’s - He has given me this commission and I must follow it through.” Lately, as I have been travelling off from the throne room, when questioned as to the authority; I find this answer coming forth - “By the authority of a Son of God”. Hallelujah! This answer bubbles up and I am amazed at it. I remember the stories of a long ago, how the master would send forth his steward to do his business in far off lands. As his sons grew up; they were allowed to go about their father’s business and do his dealings. One thing that was interesting is that they had the authority to act as if it was their father’s orders. They had his full authority to act as if he was there. I believe that is where He is taking us to - 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Romans 8:29 (KJV). That Jesus would be the firstborn among many brethren! YES!
What about these verses? 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Romans 8:17-21 (KJV) There is a manifestation of the sons of God that will bring liberty to creation (NIV for creature in KJV.) Hmm, interesting verses. Now as one who has been allowed to participate with the Lord in bringing freedom to parts of His creation - I like the verses. They help me to see the endeavours He has had me do for him fit into the larger picture. What is the larger picture? Daniel was given prophetic words - 8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? 9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Dan 12:7-9 (KJV) My personal feelings are that the Lord sealed the interpretations of these words till the end. I am strongly convinced that man was not satisfied with a sealed revelation and attempted to pry off the seals and wrongly interpreted “end times” without the Holy Spirit’s inspiration. Now after saying that, I will give the limited interpretation of what He has had me do and how it applies to these verses. At one time He told me - that I knew nothing of end times; but now He has given me some glimpses and I will share them with you. The glimpses have been more practical in nature and are by no means complete. I think it is because He has had me working together with Him to put things into His order that He has shared pieces of what is happening.
The Lord gave the verses from Daniel chapter 7 to my wonderful wife. They clearly explained to me what was happening in my prayer life. The whole chapter is very good, but I will quote the parts that are applicable to His dealings with me. Many others have interpreted the other verses. 15 "I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me. 16 I approached one of those standing there and asked him the true meaning of all this. "So he told me and gave me the interpretation of these things: 13 "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. Dan 7:13-14 (NIV)
17 'The four great beasts are four kingdoms that will rise from the earth. 18 But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever--yes, for ever and ever.'
Dan 7:15-18 (NIV)
20 I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell--the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully. 21 As I watched, this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom. 23 "He gave me this explanation: 'The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. 24 The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. 25 He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time. 26 "'But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. 27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.' Dan 7:20-27 (NIV)
Strong’s Number 5157 a primitive root; to inherit (as a [figurative] mode of descent), or (generally) to occupy; causative to bequeath, or (generally) distribute, instate :- divide, have ([inheritance]), take as an heritage, (cause to, give to, make to) inherit, (distribute for, divide [for, for an, by], give for, have, leave for, take [for]) inheritance, (have in, cause to, be made to) possess (-ion).
—Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary
3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.
Joshua 1:3 (KJV)
11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. 12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. 14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. 15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. 17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. 18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities
Luke 19:11-19 (KJV)
Still a work in progress as we continue our Journey to Fervent Prayer. To be continued.