In our rapidly changing times, people are desperate to know the future. Barely do we adjust to the last changes when totally new realities explode into our world. In answer to the common fears spawned by change, society has been inundated by a plethora of occult and demonic sources -- fortune-tellers, astrologers, psychic hotlines -- all pretending to be able to peek into the mystery of tomorrow. Indeed, how many otherwise intelligent individuals glimpse, at least occasionally, at their "astrological signs" and try to get an edge on knowing the future! Why anyone would consult someone who cannot predict his or her own future is beyond me. These fortune-tellers almost always live in poverty. Their ability to predict the future should at least work for themselves, should it not? They could invest in the stock market or pick the right lottery numbers. They cannot even predict or better their own fortunes, yet people go to them for discernment. Tremendous Power in a Christian! Christians must realize that God condemns this demonic, fleshly probing into the unknown. He has called intercessors not to wonder about the future, but to create it through the knowledge of His Living Word and prayer! Our Father gives us access to the future right now. You ask, "How do we know what to pray" The Lord Jesus told us plainly, "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:9-10 KJV). We can look at the conditions of the world and faint or look at the possibilities of God and take faith. To bring revival is to pray for the reality of God's kingdom to be made manifest on earth. Jesus was not offering His disciples a millennial prayer focus, for that rule of God's kingdom is coming whether we want it to or not! No, Christ calls us to pray for God's kingdom to manifest itself in our world today. How will tomorrow look if God answers the prayer Christ gave us? Read the gospels. What we see in the life and power of Jesus Christ is a faith picture of God's kingdom. Jesus said that we can have that same full manifestation. In fact, He actually commanded us to pray for Heaven's release! The Prayer Womb The reality that God has planned will always manifest first in the prayer life of His intercessors. When you hear from God and then pray His Word, you are having an impact on the as-yet-unformed essence of life with the Spirit of God Himself! This is why God calls us not only to know His Word, but also to pray it. We must go from intellectualizing God's Word to being impregnated by it. I know that many churches have special areas where intercessors can pray or people can meditate. Maybe we ought to change the name of such places from "prayer room" to "prayer womb." Everything good and holy that we see manifested in people, in churches and in life is first conceived and then birthed in the womb of prayer. We have answers to prayer all around us. The place you are living in is an answer to prayer. When you asked God to lead you to the church you should attend, your current church became God’s answer to your prayer. Similarly, your attendance and participation are answers to the prayers of your pastors and intercessors. Paul wrote, "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might" (Eph. 1:18-19). If you are a Christian, a power accompanies your life that is greater than great: the "surpassing greatness of His power." It is not human power but the actual "strength of His might." God demonstrated this "power toward us who believe" first "in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places" (Eph. 1:19-20). In other words, the power of God’s might is His resurrection power. What does resurrection mean? It means that things that look dead, smell dead and act dead can be touched by God and raised to life! Now think about it: The resurrection power God has given us is the same potency He demonstrated when He raised Jesus out of the grave. Right now, because the strength of God Almighty is attached to our prayer lives, we can look on things that are absolutely dead and pray forth eternal life! Our mission is to bring resurrection life to situations that are dead. If the devil challenges your prayer, remind him that you are seated with Christ "far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come" (Eph. 1:21). Christ's authority is final. But not only did the Father put "all things in subjection under His feet," He also "gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all" (Eph. 1:22-23). Notice how the Lord uses anatomical metaphors to explain the downlink of authority: Christ is the "head" of a "body" that has all things put under its "feet." This is a most profound understanding of our role: What the Head, Christ, has attained, the feet of the church walk out. In other words, God has positioned the church as the living bridge between the terrible conditions on earth and the wonderful solutions from Heaven! As we truly, passionately and accurately submit to Christ in prayer, the kingdom of Heaven steadily enters our now prayed-for world. The key, of course, is to know Christ's Word, for our authority does not originate from ourselves, but from the "sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17). What we have is revelation and submission. But as we submit to the Word and persevere in prayer, the future is changed and conformed to God's will. The devil knows that if he can keep our prayer lives silent, he keeps God’s hand distant.
Jesus told a parable to show that "at all times [men] ought to pray and not to lose heart" (Luke 18:1-8). In other words, if you are not praying, you will lose heart. Most of the things I pray for I have to persevere and pray through to get the answer. God desires to see something deeper come out of my prayer time than just answered prayers. He wants me to become like Jesus, so he arranges battles that are character-forming. Not only will they ultimately change the world around me, but they'll change me first. This is what all true prayer warriors have discovered.
When we picture a prayer warrior, we usually envision a great-aunt or grandmother. I think that every family has one. You never find them looking into a crystal ball to know the future for little Johnny; they are at the throne of God creating Johnny's future in prayer. They are not wondering if Mary is going to make it; they are praying her through to victory. They do not have time to lament Harry's drinking problem; they are storming Heaven to see him delivered.
Prayer warriors are the most frightening, powerful, demon-chasing, world-moving beings on earth. In truth, they are co-creators with God! They look at astrological predictions and rebuke them. They never wonder about the future because they are too busy creating it. Prayer warriors are positioned by God to stand in faith for their families and churches and cities. Prayer is stronger than kings and mightier than armies. Prayer is the most powerful force on earth.
I remember when my Dad surrendered his life to the Lord. For ten years prior to that, during our visits, we clashed intellectually about God. Then one day he arrived at our home "armed" with an argument many use against God. He said, "If there really is a God, why doesn't He always answer prayer?" He was secure in his position, and I was tired of the argument. I went into another room for a few minutes and prayed, "Lord, You've got to give me an answer."
When I returned, I could see that Dad felt he won this round. I love my dad very, very much, so this is what I said: "Dad, forget all the people that you think didn't get answers to prayer -- you yourself are an answer to prayer! You are alive today because our entire family daily prays for you." (He was very overweight and smoked a pack of cigarettes daily.) Then I continued, "But let's experiment. You say God doesn't answer prayer; we say He does. So for one week we won't pray for you, and we’ll see what happens."
I can't remember ever seeing my dad turn so pale. He looked over at Mom and said, "Hon, tell the boy not to do that." Then, with beads of sweat forming on his forehead, he said to me, "Okay. What do I have to do to keep you praying for me?"
In three minutes he went from not believing in prayer to begging us to keep praying for him. I said, "Dad, the only way I'll keep praying for you is if you pray right now and give your life to Christ." The Lord answered my prayer.
Prayer anchors us in God's strength for our battles. Each of us knows prayer works: we are saved because someone else prayed for us! As we look at the miracle of our own conversions, we gain confidence in God's help and ability to transform others.
Luke 21:36 tells us to be "praying [in order] that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man." When Jesus says this, He is not talking about the Rapture. Every time the Bible talks about standing before God, it is speaking of a position of anointed authority and commissioning. Elijah stood before God as did Gabriel (1 Kings 17:1; Luke 1:19). One who stands before God is an attendant to the Almighty. When that one decrees God's Word, it comes to pass.
Nothing is Impossible
Jesus said, "With God all things are possible" (Matt. 19:26). God has called you to be a prayer warrior, starting with prayer for those you hold dear. Christ is in you, and He ever lives to make intercession. All you need to do is open your heart to Him, and prayer is going to come forth. Look around you at the landscape of life. God wants you to release, through prayer, His future for every need you see. He shows you what is wrong so you can pray for things to be made right. Why waste your energy criticizing people or situations that are wrong, when your prayer can change them!
The Lord our God in the midst of us is powerful. Our weapons are mighty to pulling down strongholds. Stop thinking of yourself as unable to pray. That is a lie out of hell. You are a prayer warrior!
There was a time when that great-aunt or grandmother was younger. She was just like you, and God showed her the needs around her. His grace came, and she made a decision not to judge but to pray. She did not start off strong, but she became strong. Now it is your turn to make that decision to be a prayer warrior.
Lord Jesus, You said that the armies in Heaven follow You, and Your name is called "the Word of God." Help me to not only believe Your Word, but pray it in the power of the Holy Spirit! I accept that You have called me to be a prayer warrior. By Your grace, I receive a new anointing in intercession. Amen!
Adapted from Francis Frangipane's book, "This Day We Fight"
The Year of The 7 Mountains
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