Effectual Prayers – Fire and Quest
“Tell me, I pray thee, thy name”
Buried within the hearts of those who know the call of God is the stirrings of the Divine seed. Emmanuel, “God with us”, must give way to “God IN us”. The rest we find in God’s providential care should propel us on in that eternal quest to know Him more.
The One who was the Emmanuel of God declared:
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth;
It is expedient for you that I go away…”
Because having Jesus with us… is not to be compared to having Jesus IN US! His incarnation made it possible for Him to become our sacrifice to the end He could Dwell IN US! His Spirit could not come until Jesus was glorified (*see scripture below). His blood was shed so that we may draw near to Him “by a new and living way”! We need to begin to comprehend the enormity of the phrase “The Body of Christ” as being His church – not some pedantic building on a street corner, or an isolated, esoteric group of people. The Body of Christ is a Unified Glorious Temple, made up of living stones, each stone infused with the pulsating breath and fire of God, ONE Body in full submission to the Head who has pre-eminence overall!
“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ Now, this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, *for as yet the Spirit had not been given because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
Jacob and Emmanuel
As astounding and magnificent is this truth of Emmanuel, “God with us”, it is only the beginning of our journey into Him. Jacob at Peniel was close to or just over 100 years old. His life had been filled with the interventions of God before Peniel. No doubt he knew well God’s call, from his mother’s own narrative, even before his birth. Throughout His wanderings, he encountered God at every turn. Though God was “with” him he understood intuitively he did not know Him who is unknowable. The evident Hand of God in his life was not in truth the Face of God; there is a vast difference between a good and providential religious experience and the experiential relationship of true-born sons.
The true passion of His Own is to know Him rather than having the satisfaction of knowing much about Him. The difference between these two is revealed in the secret place of prayer.
Alone with God
“The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. And Jacob was left alone.”
At Peniel, Jacob was alone. He had purposely sent all those around him away as the hidden workings of God moved within Jacob toward a divine appointment with Himself. Jacob was the name given to him prophetically; it accurately described his nature, his essential self. God had another name reserved for him – Israel. This name held a deep and eternal call with repercussions that would reverberate throughout history to this very day. By necessity, what this man was by nature (Jacob), must become another (Israel) for God’s purposes to find fulfillment.
Those who know His call feel this necessity and internal cry which cannot find rest in knowing God is with them. The quest for intimacy and relationship is to apprehend His eternal purpose for them individually (Philippians 3:13). The true love of God desires union not a mere awareness of His existence.
The man Jacob would always feel a stranger with the God who over-shadowed his way. God would remain an unknown to him. The mysterious One would always be there for him but that sense of relationship would remain obscure and incomplete.
“Tell me, I pray thee, thy name”
Love ever seeks the object of its desire. The true heart longs for a relationship that is eternal and infinite. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is a singular name. It is this Quest to know God’s Name, His Person, and His being for which Jacob inquired!
“…baptizing them in the name (not names)
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost…”
In the Son coming to earth He pleased and glorified the Father in a new way. And the Holy Spirit revealed the new wonders of Christ to all of creation. Even angels could not comprehend the mystery of His work in and through Christ!
“To whom it was revealed that not to themselves, but to us they ministered the same things, which now were announced to you by those having preached the gospel to you in the Holy Spirit sent from Heaven; into which things angels long to look into.”
1 Peter 1:12
The name of God (YHWH) means the “ever-becoming One”. This is the eternal truth of Himself; He is ever becoming more glorious. In everything, He is working new wonders of Himself. Each life that responds to His Call becomes an extension of His unique and living testimony which creation has never seen before. Early on, God revealed Himself through men and women just like us. Their history became part of His own name!
“Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me…”
Yet, the God of Moses was unlike anything revealed by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. All creation was struck anew by the power of God revealed through Moses. Consider all who have gone before us. Peter, James, Paul, and Jude all brought fresh, uncompromising expressions of the ONE Triune God. Who can be satisfied in a life lived here without being a unique light and expression as were so many who have gone before us? Each one mentioned in the Book of Hebrews, though not perfect, left an indelible expression of their God. To pass our time here without consequence, without leaving a mark of His glory upon another life, is unthinkable to those who feel that passion to make Him known. When Paul asked for prayer, it was not to have his circumstances changed but that he would know the power of God to make Christ known in all boldness!
“Pray also for me, that to me may be given speech in the opening of my mouth with boldness to make known the mystery of the gospel…”
Those who know their God cannot refrain from proclaiming Him. The more they know Him the greater is their passion to know Him more. The unaffected, the distant ones who are content with unfulfilled promises, unfruitful and uneventful lives; feel not the passion to leave His mark in the world around them. Though God is in truth Emmanuel to many, there are those who, like Jacob, are moved by an inner desire to be “alone” with Him. These ones know the internal conflicts of their hearts; the wrestling, the struggles, and the prevailing work of God! These agonizing experiences are necessary for those who would know the fundamental and essential change from a lost and wandering Jacob to the Israel of God!
Prayer becomes the means to this life-changing relationship. Asking for things is transcended by touching the ONE in whom all provision and glory reside. He is no longer just a god; He is no longer the God of a church, a minister, or an organization. He is now GOD; your own personal Shepherd, King of kings, Lord of lords, and the sole purpose for which this life is lived.
Many may know His acts; many may know the sheer wonder of His providence. But until an individual seeks Him for Himself, He will remain shrouded in mystery and obscurity. He is good, and He will remain good to all who call upon Him. But to those who pursue Him, who desire an audience with Him, will He unveil His wonder and Person.
Prayer is the privilege
of the hungry of heart.
The hungry of heart do not depend on scheduled prayer meetings for their heart is an altar upon which the fire burns continually. Abraham did not start a fire as many must do – He brought the fire!
“And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering
and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire…”
“And when they had lifted up their eyes,
they saw no man, save Jesus only.”
Please Read: The Prayer of Moses