1. THE ESSENCE OF EFFECTUAL PRAYER - PART 1
To focus on the essence of effectual prayer is to contemplate the attributes and properties that make it what it is.
Stripped of all other descriptors, the very essence of effectual prayer is communication, communication between a loving Creator and His creation. Being communication, prayer includes the transmission of information. That transmission occurs in many ways, both verbal and non-verbal, as indicated by the following poem:
is the soul’s sincere desire,
Uttered or unexpressed,
The motion of a hidden fire
that trembles in the breast.
Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear,
The upward glancing of an eye,
When none but God is near. – Author unknown
1. Related to prayer, what do you agree with or disagree with related to the poem?
2. What are the avenues by which there is communication between God and us?
3. Does the condition of our hearts play a role in effectual prayer?
II. A Pure Heart
The effectualness of our communication is not governed by our eloquence with words, ancestral heritage, education, etc. The bedrock of our effectualness is the nature of our hearts. For example, if a person is eloquent with his or her words, but still harbors insincerity in his or her heart, eloquence has profited nothing.
2 Timothy 2:22 (NKJ) – Flee also youthful lusts, but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
Pure, katharos (ka-tha-ro’s) Strong’s #2513: ethically, free from corrupt desire, from sin and guilt: … free from every admixture of what is false, sincere – Thayer’s
Heart, kardia (kar-de’-a); Strong’s #2588: the center and seat of spiritual life, the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors [so in Eng. Heart, inner man, etc.] … of things done from the heart i.e. cordially or sincerely, truly (without simulation or pretense) – Thayer’s; the seat of moral nature and spiritual life – Vine’s
1. Why is a pure heart necessary for effectual prayer?
2. What are indicators of an impure heart?
III. The Place of Humility and Faith
Humility (a recognition of our own inability) and faith in Christ’s ability are key components related to the essence of effectual prayer.
Acts 20:17-19 (NKJ) – 17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church. 18 And when they had come to him, he said to them, “You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you, 19 serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews…
Colossians 3:12 (NKJ) – Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering
Humility, tapeinophrosyne (ta-pa-no-fro-su’-na); Strong’s #5012: the having a humble opinion of one’s self; a deep sense of one’s (moral) littleness; modesty, humility, lowliness of mind – Thayer’s; Modesty, lowliness, humble-mindedness, a sense of moral insignificance, and a humble attitude of unselfish concern for the welfare of others. It is a total absence of arrogance, conceit, and haughtiness. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
Romans 8:26-27 (NKJ) – 27 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Hebrews 11:6 (AMP) – But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is a rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].
Faith, pistis (pis’-tis); Strong’s #4102: In the NT setting, pistis is the divinely implanted principle of inward confidence, assurance, trust and reliance in God and all that He says. - “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
1. Why is humility an important aspect of effectual prayer?
2. Why is faith integral to effectual prayer?
3. What are some enemies of faith?
2. THE ESSENCE OF EFFECTUAL PRAYER - PART 2
IV. The Essence of Availing Prayer
James 5:16 (AMP) – Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].
… The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (NKJ).
Effective, fervent, energeo (en-erg-eh-oh); Strong’s #1754: One of the four energy words: energeo, enrges,, energeia, and energema. The words all stem from en, “in,” and “ergon, “work,” and have to do with the active operation or working of power and its effectual results – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible; in Jas. 5:16 it does not have the force of an adj., but gives reasons why…a righteous man has outward success, viz. as due in fact it exhibits its activity [“works”] (inwardly), i.e. is solemn and earnest. – Thayer’s
1. Why would a Christian lack energy or power when he/she prayed?
2. From where does that energy come?
V. Praying in Line with His Will We Know He Hears Us
1 John 5:14-15 (NKJ) – 14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we asked of Him.
1. When praying, where should our confidence lie?
2. How can we have confidence when praying?
3. When praying, when does God hear us?
4. How can we know that we have the petitions we desire of Him?
VI. Believing We Receive When We Pray
Mark 11:24 (NKJ) – Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
When you pray, proseuchomai (pros-yu-kho-mi): to offer prayers, to pray – Thayer’s
1. When are we to believe that we receive what we are praying for?
2. What is the importance of believing we receive when we pray?
3. How long will it be before we see the manifestation of what we are
VII. Endurance Undergirding Our Confidence
Hebrews 10:35-35 (NKJ) – 35 Do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.
Confidence, parresia (para-ra-se-a); Strong’s #3954: free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance – Thayer’s
1. What kinds of things or experiences might cause us to want to cast
away our confidence?
2. If we find we have cast away our confidence, what should we do?
3. Why is endurance (hupomone) so important when it comes to receiving promises from God?
3. The Place of Faith, Hope, and Love in Prayer
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NKJ) – And now abide faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love.
Hebrews 11:1 (NKJ) – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Faith, pistis (pis-tis); Strong’s #4102: Conviction, confidence, trust, belief, reliance, trustworthiness, and persuasion. In the NT setting, pistis is the divinely implanted principle of inward confidence, assurance, trust, and reliance in God and all that he says. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
Substance, hypostasis (hu-po-sta-ses); Strong’s #5287: confidence, firm, trust, assurance – Thayer’s
Evidence, elegchos (e-len-khos); Strong’s #1650: a proof, that by which a thing is proved or tested,...that by which invisible things are proved (and we are convinced of their reality) – Thayer’s
Hebrews 11:1 (AMP) – NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things we do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real that which is not revealed to our senses].
Mark 11:24 (NKJ) – Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
Believe, pisteuo (pe-styu-o); Strong’s #4100: The verb form of pistis, “faith.” It means to trust in, have faith in, be fully convinced of, acknowledge, rely on. Pisteuo is more than credence in church doctrines or articles of faith. It expresses reliance upon and a personal trust that produces obedience. It includes submission and a positive confession of the lordship of Jesus. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
Romans 15:13 (NKJ) – Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Hope, elpis (el-pe’s): Strong’s #1680: expectation of good, hope – Thayer’s; Hope, not in the sense of an optimistic outlook or wishful thinking without any foundation, but in the sense of confidence expectation based on solid certainty. Biblical hope rests on God’s promises, particularly those pertaining to Christ’s return. So certain is the future of the redeemed that the NT sometimes speaks of future events in the past tense, as though they were already accomplished. Hope is never inferior to faith, but is an extension of faith. Faith is the present possession of grace; hope is confidence in grace’s future accomplishment. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
Romans 5:5 (NKJ) – Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Disappoint (make ashamed), kataischyno (ka-tis-khu-no); Strong’s #2617: by a Hebr. usage one is said to be put to shame who suffers a repulse, or whom some hope has deceived; hence…, does not disappoint – Thayer’s
Hebrews 10:23 (NKJ) – Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
Hold fast, to hold fast, keep secure, keep firm possession of – Thayer’s
Confession, homologia (ho-mo-lo-ge-a); Strong’s #3671: objectively, profession [confession] i.e. what one professes [confesses}…the substance of our profession, which we embrace with hope – Thayer’s
Without wavering, aklines (a-kle-ne’s); Strong’s #186: not inclining, firm, unmoved – Thayer’s
Hebrews 11:1 (NKJ) – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hoped, elpizo (el-pe-zo); Strong’s #1679: to wait, to hope; to hope (in a religious sense…)…things hoped for – Thayer's
Galatians 5:6 (NKJ) – For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything but faith working through love.
Avails, ischyo (e-skhu-o); Strong’s #2480: to have power…to be of force, avail – Thayer’s
Working, energeo (en-er-ge-o); Strong’s #1754: too display one’s activity, show one’s self operative – Thayer’s; “to put forth power, be operative, to work” (its usual meaning), is rendered by the verb “to work effectively,” or “to be effectual” – Thayer’s
Love, agape (a-ga-pa): Strong’s #26: affection, good-will, love, benevolence…Of the love of men to men; esp. of that love of Christians towards Christians which is enjoined and prompted by their religion, whether the love be viewed as in the soul or as expressed – Thayer’s; A word to which Christianity gave new meaning. Outside the NT, it rarely occurs in existing Greek manuscripts of the period. Agape denotes an undefeatable benevolence and unconquerable goodwill that always seeks the highest good of the other person, no matter what he does. It is the self-giving love that gives freely without asking anything in return, and does not consider the worth of the object. Agape is more a love by choice than philos, which is love by chance, and it refers to the will rather than the emotion. Agape describes the unconditional love God has for the world. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
Galatians 5:6 (AMP) – For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love.
4. THE FOUR P’S: POWERFUL PRAYER REQUIRES PREPARATION AND PARTICIPATION (Part 1)
PREPARATION AND PARTICIPATION RESULTS IN POWERFUL PRAYER
Some tell us that POWERFUL PRAYER is based only on PARTICIPATION. Though surely we are to pray from the very onset of our walks with Christ (PARTICIPATION), we see the disciples desiring that Jesus teach them how to pray as John the Baptist had taught his disciples to pray (PREPARATION). Those of us who forego PREPARATION can be susceptible to errors related to that being so. Even if our prayer time (PARTICIPATION) is spent with others who have engaged in PREPARATION we will still lack a personal, biblical foundation ourselves (unless we are taught by those with whom we are participating). Yet even if we are taught by them we can still be subject to any error embraced by those we are praying with. Thus, it is imperative as we seek to engage in POWERFUL PRAYER that we consider and embrace both PREPARATION and PARTICIPATION.
Luke 11:1 (NKJ) – Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
Teach, didasko (de-da-sko); Strong’s #1321: II. to teach one A. to impart instruction B. instill doctrine into one C. the thing taught or enjoined D. to explain or expound a thing E. to teach one something – Thayer’s
Pray, proseuchomai (pros-yu-kho-mi); Strong’s #4336: The word is progressive. Starting with the noun, euche, which is prayer to God that also includes making a vow, the word expands to the verb euchomai, a special term describing an invocation, request or entreaty. Adding pros, “in the direction of” (God), proseucheomai becomes the most frequent word for prayer. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
Matthew 6:5-13 (NKJ) – 5 And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites (pretenders). For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
Hypocrites, hypokrites (hu-po-kre-ta’s); Strong’s #5273: in bibl. Grk. a dissembler, pretender, hypocrite – Thayer’s
Be seen, phaino (fi-no); Strong’s #5316: to meet the eyes, strike the sight, become clear or manifest – Thayer’s
By (of) men, anthropos (a’n-thro-pos); Strong’s #444: (the) people – Thayer’s
Reward, misthos (mes-tho’s); Strong’s #3408: of the rewards which God bestows, or will bestow, upon good deeds and endeavors – Thayer’s
6 But you, when you pray (proseuchomai), go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray (proseuchomai) to your Father who is in the secret place, and your Father, who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7 And when you pray (proseuchomai), do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think they will be heard for their many words.
Vain repetitions, battalogeo (bat-ta-lo-ge-o); Strong’s #945: to repeat the same things over and over, to use many and idle words, to babble, prate… Some suppose the word to be derived from Battus, a king of Cyrene, who is said to have stuttered… others from Battus, an author of tedious and wordy poems – Thayer’s
Many words, polylogia (po-lu-ge-a); Strong’s #4180: much speaking – Thayer’s
8 Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.
Hallowed, hagiazo (ha-ge-a-zo); Strong’s #37: to make…to render or declare sacred or holy, consecrate 1. to render or acknowledge to be venerable, to hallow – Thayer’s
10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven.
Kingdom, basileia (ba-se-la-a); Strong’s #932: But Jesus employed the phrase kingdom of God or of heaven to indicate that perfect order of things which he was about to establish, in which all those of every nation who should believe in him were to be gathered together in one society, dedicated and intimately united to God, and made partakers of eternal salvation. This kingdom is spoken of as now begun and actually present, inasmuch as its foundations have already been laid by Christ and its benefits realized among men that believe in him… –
Will, thelema (the-la-ma); Strong’s #2307: will, i.e. b… [… the abstract act of willing, the subjective] will, choice – Thayer’s
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
Daily, epiousios (e-pe-u-se-os); Strong’s #1967: the bread of necessity, i.e. necessary for us – Thayer’s
Bread, artos (a’r-tos); Strong’s #740: As in Grk. writ., and like the Hebr… food of any kind – Thayer’s
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Forgive, aphiemi (a-fe-a-me); Strong’s #863: to let go, give up, a debt, by not demanding it… i.e. to remit, forgive – Thayer’s
Debts, opheilema (o-fa-la-ma); Strong’s #3783: that which is owed: b. … (which denotes both debt and sin), metaph. Offense, sin… hence, … to remit the penalty of one’s sin’s, to forgive them – Thayer’s
Debtors, opheiletes (o-fa-le-tas); Strong’s #3781: one who has not yet made amends to one whom he has injured – Thayer’s
13 And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Temptation, peirasmos (pa-ra-smo’s); Strong’s #3986: of a condition of things, or a mental state, by which we are enticed to sin, or to a lapse from faith and holiness – Thayer’s
Deliver, rhyomai (rhu-o-mi); Strong’s #4506: to draw, hence prop. to draw to one’s self, to rescue, to deliver – Thayer’s
John 16:24 (NKJ) – Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
You have asked (have ye asked), aiteo (i-te-o); Strong’s #154: to ask for one’s self, request for one’s self – Thayer’s
“The disciples had been watching Jesus and had come to know that His prayers were always heard; and that the continued source of His power and utter freedom from pride came through answered secret prayer. This created a hunger in them, to know how to pray, so they asked to be taught. Shall we not all enroll in the school of prayer and make Christ our teacher? Shall we not practice faithfully every day the lessons we learn in prayer?” – Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible
5. THE FOUR P’S: POWERFUL PRAYER REQUIRES PREPARATION AND PARTICIPATION (Part 2)
In Part 1 we considered PREPARATION, not exhaustively but in a manner that hopefully piqued our interest about issues related to the topic. Before beginning Part 2 (PARTICIPATION) let’s take the time to consider other issues or points related to PREPARATION? If there are any, what might they be?
Participation – the action of taking part in something – Oxford Dictionaries
Participate – to take or have a part or share – Dictionary.com
1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NKJ) – Pray (proseuchomai) without ceasing
Without ceasing, adialeiptos (ä-dē-ä-lā'p-tōs); Strong’s #89: without intermission, incessantly, assiduously – Thayer’s
“Prayer may be without ceasing in the heart which is full of the presence of God, and evermore communing with Him.” – The Pulpit Commentaries
A. Corporate Prayer
Corporate prayer is the term used to describe praying together with other people—in small groups or in larger bodies of people. It is an important part of the church and in Acts 2:42, we learn that the early church prayed together: ‘They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.’” – Allaboutprayer.org
Acts 2:42 (KNJ) – And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
“Corporate prayer isn’t about getting enough people together to pray until God bends His will to our will. Instead, prayer (corporate and private) is about cooperating with God and…submitting to God’s will. In fact, Matthew 6:8 says, ‘…for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.’” – Allaboutprayer.org
Acts 1:14 (NKJ) – These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
With one accord, homothymadon (ho-mo-thü-mä-do'n); Strong’s #3661: with one mind, of one accord – Thayer’s
Matthew 18:19-20 (NKJ) – 19 Again! I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 19 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.
Agree, symphōneō (süm-fō-ne'-ō): Strong’s #4856: In the N.T. trop. to be in accord, to harmonize, i.e. a. to agree together – Thayer’s
Acts 4:23-33 (NKJ) – 23 And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests had said to them. 24 So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God and with one accord said, “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, 25 who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: ‘Why did the nations rage, and the people plot vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against His Christ.’ 27 For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. 29 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus. 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. 32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.
With one accord, c (ho-mo-thü-mä-do'n); Strong’s #3661: Being unanimous, having mutual consent, being in agreement, having group unity, having one mind and purpose. The disciples had an intellectual unanimity, an emotional rapport, and volitional agreement in the newly founded church. In each of its occurrences, homothymadon shows a harmony leading to action. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
Had prayed, deomai (de'-o-mī); Strong’s #1189: to pray, make supplication – Thayer’s
Boldness, parrēsia (pär-rā-sē'-ä); Strong’s #3954: Outspokenness, unreserved utterance, freedom of speech, with frankness, candor, cheerful courage, and the opposite of cowardice, timidity, or fear. Here it denotes a divine enablement that comes to ordinary and unprofessional people exhibiting spiritual power and authority. It also refers to a clear presentation of the gospel without being ambiguous or unintelligible. Parrēsia is not a human quality but a result of being filled with the Holy Spirit. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
Power, dynamis (dü'-nä-mēs); Strong’s #1411: One of four great power words. The others are exousia, delegated authority; ischuros, great strength (especially physical); and kratos, dominion authority. Dynamis means energy, power, might, great force, great ability, strength. It is sometimes used to describe the powers of the world to come at work upon the Earth and divine powers overcoming all resistance. (Compare “dynamic,” “dynamite,” and “dynamometer.”) The dynamis in Jesus resulted in drastic transformations. This is the norm for the Spirit-filled and Spirit-led church. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
6. THE FOUR P’S: POWERFUL PRAYER REQUIRES PREPARATION AND PARTICIPATION (Part 3)
In Part 2 we began considering PARTICIPATION, specifically related to CORPORATE PRAYER. In Part 3 we will continue discussing COPORATE PRAYER. Are there any comments, thoughts, or questions related to what we have discussed in Parts 1 or 2?
A. Corporate Prayer Continued
Corporate prayer is the term used to describe praying together with other people—in small groups or in larger bodies of people.
“Baal was the name of the supreme god worshiped in ancient Canaan and Phoenicia. The practice of Baal worship infiltrated Jewish religious life during the time of the Judges (Judges 3:7), became widespread in Israel during the reign of Ahab (1 Kings 16:31-33) and also affected Judah (2 Chronicles 28:1-2). The word baal means “lord”; the plural is baalim. In general, Baal was a fertility god who was believed to enable the earth to produce crops and people to produce children. Different regions worshiped Baal in different ways, and Baal proved to be a highly adaptable god. Various locales emphasized one or another of his attributes and developed special “denominations” of Baalism. Baal of Peor (Numbers 25:3) and Baal-Berith (Judges 8:33) are two examples of such localized deities.
According to Canaanite mythology, Baal was the son of El, the chief god, and Asherah, the goddess of the sea. Baal was considered the most powerful of all gods, eclipsing El, who was seen as rather weak and ineffective. In various battles Baal defeated Yamm, the god of the sea, and Mot, the god of death and the underworld. Baal’s sisters/consorts were Ashtoreth, a fertility goddess associated with the stars, and Anath, a goddess of love and war. The Canaanites worshiped Baal as the sun god and as the storm god—he is usually depicted holding a lightning bolt—who defeated enemies and produced crops. They also worshiped him as a fertility god who provided children. Baal worship was rooted in sensuality and involved ritualistic prostitution in the temples. At times, appeasing Baal required human sacrifice, usually the firstborn of the one making the sacrifice (Jeremiah 19:5). The priests of Baal appealed to their god in rites of wild abandon which included loud, ecstatic cries and self-inflicted injury (1 Kings 18:28).
Before the Hebrews entered the Promised Land, the Lord God warned against worshiping Canaan’s gods (Deuteronomy 6:14-15), but Israel turned to idolatry anyway. During the reign of Ahab and Jezebel, at the height of Baal worship in Israel, God directly confronted the paganism through His prophet Elijah. First, God showed that He, not Baal, controlled the rain by sending a drought lasting three-and-one-half years (1 Kings 17:1). Then Elijah called for a showdown on Mt. Carmel to prove once and for all who the true God was. All day long, 450 prophets of Baal called on their god to send fire from heaven—surely an easy task for a god associated with lightning bolts—but “there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention” (1 Kings 18:29). After Baal’s prophets gave up, Elijah prayed a simple prayer, and God answered immediately with fire from heaven. The evidence was overwhelming, and the people “fell prostrate and cried, ‘The LORD–he is God! The LORD–he is God!’” (verse 39).
Jesus calls Satan “Beelzebub,” linking the devil to Baal-Zebub, a Philistine
deity (2 Kings 1:2). The Baalim of the Old Testament were
nothing more than demons masquerading as gods, and all idolatry is ultimately
devil-worship (1 Corinthians 10:20).” – gotQuestions?org
were afraid of the Philistines. 8 So the children of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry out to the Lord our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines.” 9 And Samuel took a suckling lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. Then Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him. 10 Now as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the Lord thundered with a loud thunder upon the Philistines that day, and so confused them that they were overcome before Israel 11 And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and drove them back as far as Beth Car. 12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer (Stone of Help), saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”
Corporate Prayer Requires Confident Leadership, PRAYER. Into a spiritual vacuum of people lamenting their condition and not sure where to turn, Samuel stepped forward to provide spiritual leadership. His action demonstrates how confident leadership in corporate prayer can reopen the way for the fullness of God’s work to be restored to a people. 1) The leader takes charge, prophetically and with tender compassion–calling the people to renounce their sin, return to God, recommit themselves fully to Him, and to seek His face together (vv. 1-5). 2) The leader initiates prayer, modeling it for others to follow – leading in fasting and in “pouring out” their hearts (as with ceremonial water), dramatizing their heartfelt quest for God (v. 6). 3) The leader remains unceasing in his prayers and in mobilizing the people for (spiritual) warfare (vv. 8-11). 4) Finally, the leader helps people record the manifest results of God’s grace in answered prayer (vv. 12, 13). (Gen. 32:22-32/1 Chr. 4:9, 10) – “Kingdom Dynamics from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
7. Words (Thoughts) of Death and Life Related to Prayer
Proverbs 18:21 (NKJ) – Death and life are in the power of the tongue; and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
Death, maveth (ma’-veth); Strong’s #4194: death, realm of the dead, dying, Death (when personified); deadly sickness, pestilence, destruction. – Zodhiates
Life, chay (khah’-e); Strong’s #2416: The O. T. puts a real premium upon life as being intrinsically good. It came from God (Gen. 2:70, but death ensued because of sin…Chay is a set of experiences, not an abstract principle of vitality which is separate from the body. The Hebrews viewed man holistically, i.e., body, mind and spirit were a unified whole. Life was associated with health, prosperity, vitality, etc., while death was the opposite. – Zodhiates
I. How We Progress to Words (Thoughts) of Death or Life
Numbers 13:17-20 (NKJ) – 17 Then Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said to them, “Go up this way into the South, and go up to the mountains, 18 and see what the land is like: whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak, few or many; 19 whether the land they dwell in is good or bad; whether the cities they inhabit are like camps or strongholds; whether the land is rich or poor; and whether there are forests there or not. Be of good courage. And bring some of the fruit of the land.”
Numbers 13:25 (NKJ) - And they returned from spying out the land after forty days.
Numbers 13:27-28, 31-33 (NKJ) – 27 Then they told him (Moses), and said, “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28 Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there (giants). 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” 32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”The Report of Life
2. The Report of Life
Numbers 13:30 (NKJ) – Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”
II. Maintaining a Godly Focus in Prayer
hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions we have asked of Him.
Hebrews 10:35-36 (NKJ) – 35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.