Citiprayer For December, 2009
Dear “listeners” in prayer,
Those who receive my teaching letters will not be surprised when I say that I am moving into new areas of under-standing as it relates to prayer. My own life experience has moved me to a place where I am free to explore the meaning of prayer outside the regular venues of traditional prayer. What I am discovering has been liberating and fulfilling. I am trying to share some of my discoveries with you in the teaching articles each month.
It is not my intention to offend or upset anyone by relating my personal growth in a more satisfying approach to prayer. But if you desire to go higher in your experience of prayer, I hope that my insights may be an encouraging help to your progress.
I am blessed to report that those who are helped financially by your gifts through Citiprayer are seeing growth in the vision of united, believing prayer. As the year closes, it is a good time to say that I appreciate those who do give to this vision. I also want to restate my position that no one should give for any motive other than a sense that you are being obedient to what the Lord is leading you to do. If your giving is in any way a burden and not a blessing, then I want to release you to enjoy the freedom that is ours in Christ.
May you know special joys in this season of the celebration of the coming of our Savior.
One with you in the Life of Christ,
Beyond Prayer Requests
By Wayne Jacobsen
“I don’t think I can pray that way for you.”
You’d thought I’d just cussed by the way the mouths around the table soundlessly fell open. The woman who had just asked us to pray that God would keep her teenage daughter from moving in with her boyfriend was perhaps the most shocked of all.
My home group had just finished dinner together and sharing about our lives from the past week. With obvious distress, Kris had told of her daughter’s plan to move in with her boyfriend that weekend.
I’ve got to warn you now that I have a low tolerance for prayer requests I don’t think God will answer. They breed a fatalistic attitude about prayer: Let’s hurl up a request and hope for the best. Mostly I’ve kept that to myself at times like this, but had grown increasingly uncomfortable with my silence.
Once they all caught their breath, I explained. “I think all of us here can understand why you want God to stop her from doing that, and if anyone here feels that’s what God wants, you’re free to pray that way. I’m wondering, however, that if we do so we will be asking God violate someone’s will and I think that is more to do with witchcraft than prayer.”
I could see Kris was about to lose it in frustration or anger so I hurried on. “What I would pray is that God would reveal himself to your daughter and let her see clearly the choice she is making. And I would pray that God will show you how to trust him and love your daughter even if she makes the stupidest mistake of her young life.”
I had hardly finished when Kris blurted out through her tears, “That’s exactly what I need.” We gathered around her and what could have been an innocuous exercise in prayer became a marvelous discovery of how God works in difficult situations.
How am I deceiving myself if I believe that whenever I get what I want it is an answer to prayer? -Oswald Chambers
THE NEW COVENANT PARADIGM OF PRAYER
[Continuation of NEW CREATION PRAYING – CALLING WHAT IS IN HEAVEN TO MANIFEST ON EARTH, November, 2009].
Everybody prays. Whether it is a formalized religious petition or a simple “O, God” escaping the lips of a professed atheist in a moment of crisis, instinctively, human beings feel weakness and dependency that cry out for help. This “prayer instinct” is timeless and universal. It is a residual unconscious memory of the time our first parents communed with God in the paradise of their innocence as children with their Father. But the further man wandered from that garden following his choice to “go it alone” and be his own “god” by knowing “good and evil” in his alienated mind, the deeper he fell into the pit of superstitious fear of the God he once knew. Pagan rituals replaced intimate communion.
Into this perverted religious context, God in His mercy sent the corrective blessing of the Law that came through Moses. Instead of a capricious God made in the image of fallen man, “I AM” revealed Himself as ONE who could be trusted to manifest Himself in ways consistent with His Nature as the Source of all reality: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord Our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” [Deut. 6:4] The commandments laid down by Moses were meant to reform the behavior of the people and deliver them from the superstitious fears of the pagans who “…suppressed the truth by their wickedness, so that “their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened” [Rom. 1:18,21].
The Law was God’s preparatory school for the coming of Christ to the consciousness of mankind. “What then was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come” [Rom. 3:19]. After generations the law developed the consciousness of the “chosen people” to a new level that should have been ready to receive the Word made flesh in Jesus. Sadly, only a small remnant of the favored nation responded as God desired. As John, the Lord’s beloved disciple observed:
“He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.
He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God –
Children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God…
We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father full of grace and truth” [Jn. 1]
Those who have received him and entered into the “New Covenant that is in his blood” experience again the communion God desires for His sons. We no longer “pray” to the false god of our mind’s own making, but pass through the “veil” of flesh into the Holy place of union with God in Christ. Paul’s instruction in the way of faith has everything to do with the new paradigm of prayer. Meditate with understanding on the significance of his words recorded in Romans 10:5-10 concerning the “righteousness” [the right way] of relating to God by faith:
…the righteousness that is by faith says: ‘Do not say in your heart, ‘who will ascend into heaven,’ (that is, to bring Christ down) or ‘who will descend into the deep?’ (that is to bring Christ up from the dead”).
New Covenant faith prayer is not bounded by laws of physical limitations – space and time, but operates in the Spirit realm.
But what does it say? “The Word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: that if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believed and are justified,
and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”
Those who pray “in the Spirit” by faith, do not make up their own prayers! Rather, as we wait upon the Lord in the Silence, the Word of God “planted in you” [Js. 1:21] by “the anointing you have from the Holy One” [1 Jn. 2:20] releases you to enter into the intercession being continually made within us by the Holy Spirit [Rom 8:26]. Knowing by faith that Christ is alive in our very own consciousness (heart), we “confess” with our mouth that Living Word which is proceeding from the Mouth of God. This “saves us” from the futile way of pagan prayer so prevalent around us.
May we begin to realize our union with Christ [Jn. 14:20] in heavenly places! If we really believe that “God chose us in Christ before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight” [Eph. 1:4], and if we trust that “no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless” [Ps. 84:11] , we can stop asking as the pagans do for “things” God promised to “add to us.” Instead, we can seek that Kingdom where God reigns within us [See Matt. 6:32,33]. Then with all God’s children we may pray that His “kingdom may come on earth as it is in heaven” and in our hearts! [See Matt. 6:9 and Colossians 3:15-17].