Last Monday when I finished praying over the phone with my wife, there was a moment of reverent silence. “Your voice is different,” my wife quietly spoke, “Who are you?” These perplexing words came out of my beloved’s mouth in reference to discerning a level of authority in my prayer life that was previously lacking. If there is someone who should be able to discern such things, it should be our spouses! Presently she is visiting her family in Poland.
God has been gracious to me in this season by extending an invitation to me to grow in this area of my life. As I noted previously, I have been stirred by the Holy Spirit to pray in agreement with Him concerning what He whispered deep within my spirit: Contend for authority in prayer and proclamation. I know that all authority in heaven and on earth has been already given to Christ Jesus and that we have authority by our position in Christ. Yet, how many of us are daily walking in this reality? I need the eyes of my heart to be enlightened so that I can step into this reality. This is why I fervently pray Ephesians 1:17 over myself (and others) consistently: I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation.
In lieu of the recent National Day of Prayer, it is necessary to be mindful of our current state of reality in regards to prayer. Is our heart in a posture of continual submission to the Lord? Are we pursuing the Lord amidst the difficulties of life or do we find ourselves drowning in a sea of demands, deadlines, and dullness of heart? This is the hour the cry out to God to extend grace towards us. There are two precursors to growing in the reality of our authority in prayer: humility and brokenness. In some ways they are one, but for sake of clarity I am addressing them separately.
There is only one condition necessary for the extension of God’s grace to us: humility. We absolutely must contend for this posture of humility before the Lord. Paul underscored this reality when he wrote “For this reason I kneel before the Father,” (Ephesians 3:14) – hence, humility of heart bows in reverence before the Lord. Humility is God-focused; not a self-awareness at the expense of a God-consciousness. Genuine humility bows low because He is worthy above all else in spite of my unworthiness. It grovels not in self-pity, but it exults in the majesty of His worthiness.
Yet, I am not dismissing the necessity of self-revelation of our own despicableness apart from Christ.
There is definitely something of value when we are willing to allow the Holy Spirit to “properly assess” ourselves. Isaiah was “nuked” when he encountered the awesome glorious splendor of the Lord! (Isaiah 6) In the context of “seeing” Him as He really is, the Prophet was able to accurately gauge his own self-worth. In spite of the terrifying, pervading sense of God’s holiness that consumed him that day, I imagine at the same time it was somewhat gratifying. Terrifying, but gratifying all at once. Let me explain. He was able to judge himself accurately in the Light, and not according to his own pretenses, his own biases, his own failings. Just writing this causes my own heart to desire intensely for more of Him. Isaiah was able to utter possibly the most terrifying, yet liberating words that he had ever said: “Woe to me! I am ruined!” (Isaiah 6:5) The “woe” was birthed out of an accurate revelation of who he was before the awe-inspiring and holy God; it wasn’t coming out of a vicious self-condemning spirit. This Prophet could no longer operate according to his own measuring stick; rather, he was measured by the Lord’s all consuming Holiness and was found wanting. In humility Isaiah was able to see Him in the fullness His glorious splendor; and in brokenness he saw himself as he really was.
Grace was extended. The fiery coal touched the unclean lips of the Prophet. Broken and ruined for anything but His all-consuming glory, the Prophet was commissioned. Broken and commissioned all at once.
Have you encountered the Lord in this place? Have you bowed before the Cross in humility, allowing the reality of Calvary to touch your uncleanness? Is your prayer life hindered by self-absorption? Are you continually aware of your thoughts, feelings, and desires to the detriment of cultivating a greater awareness of God’s Presence in your life? Does your heart yearn for Him more than anything else?
Burning for Him,
Brian Francis Hume