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Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

THE PRAYER OF THE WATCHMAN

“Consider and hear me,
O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes,
lest I sleep the sleep of death”
PSALM 13:3

In the day of trial, as the Bridegroom tarries and the lamps of the virgins burn late into the night, the vigilant pray and fight the sleep of death. It is a slumber that creeps over the hearts of His Own in the waning hours of the night. The true test of faith is to remain watchful, diligent and caring for others until He returns. It is in occupying ourselves in the service of Him that we remain faithful to the testings of the night. Having our lamps trimmed, our hearts awake and our eyes looking for Him we continue to “contend for the faith” that was given unto us.

“Blessed is the man that heareth me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting at the posts of my doors”
PROVERBS 8:34

The danger of the sleep of death is one of subtlety and deceit. Those who are held in its grip are unaware that it has taken hold. It is in the occupation of ministering unto Him, as we give bread to our brothers and sisters that we stay in the battle of this hour.

“Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep;
and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.”
PROVERBS 19:15

Ω

“It is perilous to separate thinking rightly, from acting rightly.
He is already half false who speculates on truth and does not do it.
The penalty paid by him who speculates on truth without doing it,
is, that by degrees the very truth he holds becomes a falsehood”
FW Robertson

 

Brian Troxel

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EFFECTUAL PRAYERS

PART 5

WISDOM

“But I have prayed for you, 
that your faith fail not”
LUKE 22:32

Not long ago I was waiting before The Lord on how to pray for a certain brother according to HIS WILL. As I did the above scripture was brought to my attention. So often we pray for God to remove the situation, bring healing, deliverance or whatever seemingly corrects the issue at hand. But here we see Jesus praying for Peter’s faith to stand in the midst of the situation that was about to unfold! He did not pray that Peter would not fail; it was necessary that Peter come to face his reliance on his own strength. He prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail. It takes faith, strong faith, to hold us in the crises that we must face. Faith to stand when we must confront our weaknesses and failures; for if our faith stands we will come forth in victory.

“And this is the victory 
that overcomes the world, 
our faith”
1 JOHN 5:4

We are to become, by the out-workings of the Holy Spirit in our lives, “Kings and Priests unto our God” (Revelation 1:6). As we grow we begin to see and understand the purposes of God in those around us. There will be times when, in order to pray effectually, instead of praying for the situation to change we will find ourselves praying for our brother’s/sister’s faith to hold strong. Faith is our victory; faith is also their victory. For faith is the power of God in us to enable us to live beyond our own resources. In so doing we discover the wonder of overcoming.

Effectual prayer is borne out of our hearts by sensing and knowing the will of God for others. Such things are not learned quickly but if we seek HIS Wisdom He will not withhold it from us.

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, 
let him ask of God, 
who gives to all liberally and with no reproach, 
and it shall be given to him.
But let him ask in faith, 
doubting nothing”
JAMES 1:5-6

Praying according to the will of God requires wisdom and wisdom is the fruit of the fear of the Lord. We seek His Will concerning the things for which we pray because we have learned, or are learning, that we can easily pray amiss by not seeing things clearly. In order for the true power of prayer to be restored to the people of God we must learn these things. Effectual praying is determined by the depth of Faith, Wisdom, Persistence, and the Love of God operating within our hearts.

Brian Troxel

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EFFECTUAL PRAYERS

PART FOUR

RIGHTEOUSNESS

“If my people,
which are called by my name,
shall humble themselves, and pray,
and seek my face,
and turn from their wicked ways;
then will I hear from heaven,
and will forgive their sin,
and will heal their land”
2 Chronicles 7:14

This is an often quoted scripture these days but usually only partially. What I hear most often quoted is more like “If my people pray… then I will heal their land”; this disregards the meat and the power of what God is saying to us. The unpopular message to a “seeker friendly” environment is this: “If MY PEOPLE WILL HUMBLE THEMSELVES SEEK MY FACE AND TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYSTHEN WILL GOD HEAR…” The power and substance of effectual prayer starts with humble hearts, seeking hearts and repentant hearts. The condition of the heart is of more importance than the prayer itself. For prayer is not simply asking God for things and help; it is first and foremost a time of communion with HIM. The beauty of HIS presence is of itself an answer to the needs of the human heart. Touching His presence lifts us out of this dim and sick world into the very wonder of heaven itself. To experience communion and interaction with the ALMIGHTY GOD requires a heart that is compatible with His heart. Relationship is the interaction of two. Jesus spoke of the Pharisee praying in His self-righteousness and remarked that the man “prayed thus with himself” (Luke 18:11)! In other words, his prayer never left the room and he had no audience with God. Issues of the heart are the issues of prayer. God’s word tells us…

“Can two walk together,
except they be agreed?”
(Amos 3:3)

In order to walk with God my heart must be in agreement with His Word and His heart. In regard to prayer there must be a change in the heart of man to discover the secret place of the Most High. Religion is not concerned with such things but truth and reality are. Effectual prayers arise from hearts that are soft and compliant with His Will in the earth and in their own lives.

“…but to this man will I look,
even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit,
and trembleth at my word”
(Isaiah 66:2)

Those who honor and tremble at His Word in any sense of authenticity cannot be proud and arrogant in heart.

“Right hearts
birth right prayers”

Ω

“There is a mighty lot of difference
between saying prayers and praying.”
– John G. Lake

Brian Troxel

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EFFECTUAL PRAYERS

PART THREE

RIGHTEOUSNESS

“Likewise, ye husbands,
dwell with them according to knowledge,
giving honour unto the wife,
as unto the weaker vessel,
and as being heirs together of the grace of life;
that your prayers be not hindered*
1PETER 3:7

Religion has a way of isolating a man’s walk from his relationship with God. Truth, on the other hand, brings linkage and accountability. Truth connects the authenticity of my actions, thoughts, and interactions with others in relationship to my Heavenly Father. The above verse when properly translated states “…that your prayers be not *cut off” (see note below)! The severity of this ought to bring a re-evaluation of the importance of our daily life. The effectiveness and acceptability of our prayers unto God can actually depend upon how a man treats his wife. May God grant us the ability to consider our ways and give us a desire to acquaint ourselves with the truth of the New Testament. Religion infers that it does not matter how we conduct ourselves; God will ALWAYS hear us. Religion has a way of anesthetizing our conscience; truth makes our conscience tender to the things of God. A religious prayer has little or no power or faith for it does not proceed from a life of confidence. It is not anchored in a life that is compatible with God. The power of such a prayer is offered on the basis of a teaching or a religious concept. In contrast the prayer offered by a righteousness man avails much; it is founded upon the ministration of faith, the only medium by which a true and real righteousness can be experienced. Peter goes on to say…

“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous,
and his ears are open unto their prayers:
but the face of the Lord
is against them that do evil”

1PETER 3:12

Righteousness in the New Testament is more than a legal term; it is a life empowered by a living FAITH. The righteousness which is the result of faith cannot be manufactured by human strength. It is a life that NEEDS the strength and power of God Himself in our hearts. Our need for Grace is proportional to our desire to walk in righteousness. It is by this very ministration of Faith that our prayers will be effectual and fervent.

“The effectual fervent prayer
of a righteous man availeth much”
JAMES 5:16

It is essential that we (as God’s people) begin to link righteousness and faith to our relationship with a Holy God. Failure to comprehend this is what produces weak and ineffectual prayers. Unbelief infiltrates the people of God because of unanswered prayers. The result is an increase of a powerless and impotent religion.

We must see that the order and power of God in the home is the womb of power and reality in the true Church of God. Peter sets before us the atmosphere and beauty of how a Christian home should be…

*(SEE Note Below)

“Do not let your adorning be external—
the braiding of hair, the wearing of gold,
or the putting on of clothing—
but let your adorning be
the hidden person of the heart
with the imperishable beauty
of a gentle and quiet spirit,

which in God’s sight is very precious.
For this is how the holy women
who hoped in God

used to adorn themselves,
by submitting to their husbands,

as Sarah obeyed Abraham,
calling him lord.

And you are her children,
if you do good and do not fear
anything that is frightening.
Likewise, husbands,
live with your wives
in an understanding way,

showing honor to the woman
as the weaker vessel,

since they are heirs with you
of the grace of life,

so that your prayers
may not be hindered (not cut off)”

1PETER 3:3-7

To ignore the Word of God is to nullify the means by which His Power is made evident in the lives of His people. Religion mocks the promises of God as did Ishmael the child of promise. It is in taking heed to His Word that we will see the power of God restored in this day. Righteousness must start in the home, in the workplace, and in the secret places of our hearts. It is a day for us to…

“…search and try our ways,
and turn again to the LORD.
Let us lift up our heart
with our hands unto God in the heavens”
LAMINTATIONS 3:40-41

The way to powerful and effectual prayers is by the ministration of truth being embraced by the people of God. The birthing of such effectual prayers lies with men and women who have known the need for repentance and change in their own lives. Prayers uttered from such lives well know the grace of God, the Love of God and the Power of God to change circumstances and hearts for they have experienced those very things. The righteousness by faith produces broken and contrite hearts and frees us from a religion that would seek to isolate how we live from the power and authenticity of our prayer life. The latter days are upon us and it is a time for us to reconsider how we live that we may draw upon the God of all Mercy His promises to us concerning this day.

When thou art in tribulation,
and all these things are come upon thee,
even in the latter days,
if thou turn to the LORD thy God,
and shalt be obedient unto his voice;
(For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;)
he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee,
nor forget the covenant of thy fathers
which he sware unto them”
DEUTERONOMY 4:30

*NOTE: Greek Word G1581. ἐκκόπτω ekkoptō; fut. ekkopsō, from ek (G1537), out, and koptō (G2875), to cut. To cut off or out, as a branch from a tree (Rom. 11:22, 24 making the verb parallel with ekklaō (G1575), to break off, in Rom. 11:17, 19, 20). To cut down a tree (Matt. 3:10; 7:19; Luke 3:9; 13:7, 9); the right hand (Matt. 5:30; 18:8; Sept.: Jer. 6:6; 22:7); one’s hand or foot (Matt. 18:8). Metaphorically, to cut out or off, meaning to remove (2 Cor. 11:12); in 1 Pet. 3:7 (TR), “that your prayers be not cut off” (a.t.) or rendered fruitless.

*NOTE: These scriptures along with many others are considered “legalistic” by a large segment of the church in our day, but what people fail to realize is that this description of how men and women should conduct themselves is the FRUIT of the indwelling Spirit of God not a carnal conformity to the teachings of men. Religion has a way of nullifying and robbing God’s Word of its power in terms of people’s experiential reality. People who outwardly conform to a “code” of religious conduct without the inward reality actually negate the beauty and power of all that God intended. Likewise those who mock and ignore these Words of God have already robbed themselves of the power of the LIFE of God revealed in them.

“Making the word of God of none effect
through your tradition,
which ye have delivered:
and many such like things do ye”
MARK 7:13

Peter is not describing a legal requirement for spiritual attainment; he is setting forth the revelation of what the Spirit of God produces in lives that are governed by Him. Effectual prayers arise from the hearts of those who are faithful to yield themselves to the Law of HIS LIFE (Romans 8:2) in Christ Jesus.

Brian Troxel

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EFFECTUAL PRAYERS

LOVE

Part Two

“For in Jesus Christ
neither circumcision availeth any thing,
nor uncircumcision;
but faith which worketh by love”
(Galatians 5:6)

The Greek word translated here as “worketh” is best translated “to put forth power, to effect or make effectual and to come to the aid of one”. The fire and power of a prayer is the revelation of the LOVE that births it. Cold and empty prayer is the result of cold and tepid hearts. Prayers without power, prayers without unction and prayers without the energy of heaven are the fruit of a generation that “…err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God”. (Mark 12:24)

Love is the great fire of faith that brings intensity, motive and power to those who live in Him. Our prayers must have the fire of God to ignite the incense into that pleasing aroma that ascends unto the very Throne of God. A Faith that is empowered by LOVE will cause the one praying to send forth FERVENT PRAYERS that accomplish much.

“The effectual fervent prayer
of a righteous man availeth much”
(James 5:16)

The expression of love is revealed in the common course of life. Men and women who are energized by love will demonstrate that in the prayers and requests offered unto our God. Solomon was faced with a difficult decision as two women were claiming to be the mother of a child. As they stood before him he commanded that the child be divided in half so that each woman would receive a half of the child. The one woman who was not the mother responded with a cold hearted expression while the other (the real mother) pleaded with Solomon to give the child to another in order to spare its life. The pleading of the true mother was fervent and filled with the very emotion of love. It was a love that CARED for the child and was prepared to suffer loss that the child may live. Such is the attitude of those whose prayers are empowered by love. Selfish prayers will avail little but men and women who are gripped by the very love of God pray according to His Will; they are not encumbered with selfish and self-serving prayers. The love of God produces sacrificial expressions that desire His Will regardless of the cost.

“Charity…seeketh not her own”
(1 Corinthians 13:4-5)

Prayers that are birthed from the love of God are not only filled with the fire and the compassion of the Holy Spirit they are also void of self-seeking. Love is not only the goal of the New Testament but it is the only way for the fulfillment of the call of God in every life.

James tells us we ask and we do not receive because…

“Ye ask, and receive not,
because ye ask amiss,
that ye may consume it upon your lusts”
(James 4:3)

Prayers empowered by the Love of God do not have such issues.

Love is the key to fervent and fiery prayers. Love is the cause and the heart of a life of prayer.

Those who love much pray much.

Brian Troxel

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EFFECTUAL PRAYERS

INCENSE

PART ONE

“And another angel came and stood at the altar,
having a golden censer;
and there was given unto him much incense,
that he should offer it
WITH the prayers of all saints

upon the golden altar
which was before the throne”
(Revelation 8:3)

Praying effectually begins with God, not ourselves. Praying is first and foremost an act of faith. It is the fruit of a relationship that has its foundation built upon the merits of Jesus Christ. This relationship is entered into by faith that translates an individual who by nature is alienated from God to being born into the family of God. Faith is the very atmosphere of Heaven; it is the air we breathe and the inspiration of all that pertains to God’s Glory in the earth. We are reminded in the scriptures that “without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God”. Faith “sees” God, it “feels” God’s heart for any situation and it touches God concerning things of the Spirit.

Since praying effectually begins with God we must first see that we are not left to our own efforts or resources in having God hear us. We have much help and resources in heavenly places. Effectual prayer can only come from “seeing” what transpires in our petitions as we offer them up unto our Heavenly Father. In this way faith brings confidence and power to our prayers. We see in heavenly places that “much incense” is offered “with the prayers of ALL saints”! Even our feeble prayers are turned into strong prayers for we are not alone! We have the help and divine enablement to not allow our “feelings”, our failures or the enormity of situations to interfere with the offering up of fervent and effectual prayers.

“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 5:17)

The seeing of heavenly realities brings forth strong expressions from the lives of those in which this faith is alive. Effectual praying is dependent upon God’s provisions not ours. May we be encouraged and strengthened in the inner man to…

“… come boldly
unto the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy,
and find grace to help in time of need”
(Hebrews 4:16)

Brian Troxel

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SPIRITUAL HABITAT

PART TWO

THE ALTAR

“…he built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD,
and he pitched his tent there;
and there Isaac’s servants dug a well”
GENESIS 26:25

This verse immediately follows Isaac receiving a promise and a visitation from the LORD. The PROMISE was no longer just Abraham’s it was now Isaac’s. The promise was given because of Abraham’s life of faith and obedience but there must come a time where the promise of God becomes our own. HIS promise not only becomes Isaac’s own but it produces a life of response within him. In the reception of the promise Isaac builds an Altar, calls on his God, pitches his tent (dwelling/abiding) and digs a well.

THE ALTAR

In the New Testament the altar speaks of many things but for the sake of brevity we will sum up the altar in the life of the individual believer as the place of true worship. This worship is to become a way of life for the true child of God. The Altar speaks of much more than a short time of singing one day a week; it is the place where we live and grow in our relationship in HIM, where we begin to realize that we are to offer ourselves unto HIM (Rom. 12:1) as a living sacrifice, where we offer the praises of our hearts, where we bow down under the weight of a Glory that softens our hearts and allows us to touch the very Holiness of HIS PRESENCE and the wonder of HIS BEING. It is here that we commune with HIM in the private sphere of our lives hidden away from the seeing of men. Here we offer prayers and the secrets of our heart in the most intimate of transactions with a Holy God. It is here that we learn of Him, we touch HIM, and HE speaks to us of things that words fail to convey. In this seeing of HIM we discover the truth of whom we are and the staggering contrast between who HE is and what we are. We begin to understand that even angelic perfection, though sinless and pure, cannot look upon HIM in HIS undimmed Glory in the heavens.

The Altar is the only place where we can touch such places of Glory. Here we are CHANGED into the Glory that we see from Glory to Glory; “EVEN AS BY the SPIRIT OF THE LORD”. As the Son walked this earth HE would spend hours alone with HIS FATHER in that perfect HOLY UNION that HE had from all eternity. The New Covenant provides ACCESS for us into the Holiest of ALL because of our lives being “HID with Christ in God”. It is by virtue of such a living reality that we can grow into the place of living and abiding at the very ALTAR of God. It becomes our spiritual habitat as we learn to abide in HIM.

The Altar is not only a place of sacrifice, communion and worship it is also the place of PROVISION; a PLACE where we eat and partake of HIM. It is the place of the “hidden manna” that comes to us by the seeing of HIM and the eating of HIM in the secret place. We read in Hebrews…

“We have an altar,
whereof they have no right to eat
which serve the tabernacle”
HEBREWS 13:10

And again…

“Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things
live of the things of the temple?
and they which wait at the altar
are partakers with the altar?”
I CORINTHIANS 9:13

Suffice it to say that the way of the ALTAR is the way of life. In the life of Isaac the first act of his response to GOD was the building of the altar. In the New Testament all spiritual realities are “made without hands” and as such we build our altar by simply spending time with HIM in the secret places of our hearts until it becomes our spiritual habitat. The Altar preceded the pitching of Isaac’s tent for it is in the “building” of the one that the life of “abiding” is cultivated.

Brian Troxel

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