THE DEVIL IS DEFEATED BY MIGHTY PRAYER
WE ARE IN A SPIRITUAL WAR AND THE POLITICAL MESS IN WASHINGTON IS ONLY ONE EXAMPLE OF THAT WAR. The light of God’s Holy Ghost powers has gone out in our Churches but great “UNRELENTING PRAYER” will stop the darkness. It will then light a light of Spiritual victory that even the doubters cannot explain. America has had previous Awakening that turned the tide of our decline and it can happen again. Jesus said, “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19) That is an absolute promise.
PRAYER, COMMUNION WITH THE HEAVENLY FATHER, IS SURELY ONE OF THE GRANDEST PRIVELEGES OF HIS SAINTS. I thought to use the term “Royal Telephone”; but as I searched for the right words, it sounded too cheap. Instead of “Royal Telephone,” let’s use the term “Royal Conversation.” We are desperate to rediscover the “God-ordained” necessity of Holy Ghost-filled praying. Royal conversation is the one “all engaging” power that moves God on behalf of His kingdom. And if prayer is to move God, it must be “all engaging” and our only source of power. If there is anything else we are depending upon, whether it is secondary or insignificant beside prayer, then prayer is of no avail.
When the church is cleansed of dependence on flesh, programs, education, entertainment, and all human endeavors, it is ready to learn the power of prayer. The presence of one or all of the above, if they are pure from evil, are neither a help nor a hindrance to the kingdom when men depend wholly on the power of prayer. When the church makes prayer only one of their many combined efforts to change lives and to establish the kingdom, failure is already guaranteed. We do not move men by prayer mixed with our preaching, singing, and beautiful plans. We move men by prayer and prayer alone. We establish the kingdom of God on earth by prayer and prayer alone. Add anything else in your search to get the job done and all is defeated.
God Cannot Work Until Men Pray
It sounds unbelievable and someone may ever accuse us of limiting God by using the above words. It is impossible for men to limit God, but it is not impossible for God to limit Himself. He has chosen that His kingdom be a joint kingdom with His Saints. The Apostle Paul said it clearly, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” (1 Corinthians 3:6-9)
The last verse of the above verses puts prayer in its proper context. All of our planting and watering is helpless until God moves. God has chosen that we are His “husbandry” and His “building”; but we must learn that our labor is altogether in vain even though He chose us to be His laborers until He works to give the harvest. We can offer endless labor and never have a harvest, but we will never offer endless prayer with our labor without a harvest. The labor must come out of our prayer and never prayer out of our labor. The church world as a whole has reversed the two to her horrible defeat.
When men give themselves to “all engaging” prayer depending on nothing else, they soon become so burdened with the labor that the toil becomes as nothing. Often you hear saints complaining about the labor, the toil, or the burdens of their work. They are really admitting that their labor is nothing but the flesh trying to promote the kingdom. If they will cease the labor until it is wrought out in prayer, then the pleasure of His work will consume them.
“God cannot work until men pray.” It is not that God does not want to work, but that His order of the church is first to allow His saints to believe Him enough to ask Him. To say that we believe God, but never to totally depend and wait on His work is contradictory. The faith He requires is the faith that trusts in absolutely nothing else and doubts not, once we have asked. This kind of faith has peace while it waits. Apostle Paul clearly shows our God limiting Himself in our lives to prayer, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:1-6)
What a beautiful description of prayer Paul employed, “He that cometh to God” is more than “Now I lay me down to sleep” or a few hurried minutes before one is off to his pleasures. Our God cannot be approached in a cheap attitude of a few selfish requests. He is our Sovereign Heavenly Father that is ready to make all He is available to us as soon as all we are is available to Him. You can hear that very surrender in Paul’s words, “He that cometh to God.”
“Our God cannot work until men pray.” Whatever we need that is clearly based on His promises cannot be lost when prayer is offered in “Biblical Faith.” James, the half brother of Jesus Christ in His flesh, stated the above in unmistakable words. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:5-8)
The words, “For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord,” is a powerful warning. I fear that most prayer today is double minded. The word “double minded” that James used means two spirited or vacillating. The principle of faith established by God in His Word means to trust Him without a back-up plan. It also means that you are willing to put all your hopes in His faithfulness. Double minded people always have another way to get the job done if God does not show up in time. Under those circumstances, He never shows up. God will not work for you if you have a back-up plan. He works only when you wait on Him.
Isaiah knew this “God that works for men when they pray.” Listen! “Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence, As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence! When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence. For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.” (Isaiah 64:1-4)
In verse two he stated, “The fire causeth the water to boil.” He was speaking in types – fire is a type of the Holy Spirit and water is a type of the Word. The anointing of the Spirit causes the Word to activate or boil. When you believe and wait for the activity of His Spirit, the Word of God cannot fail to be fulfilled. What a Holy Ghost-filled truth.
Add to this verse four. The last words were, “what he hath prepared (wrought) for him that waiteth for him.” The idea is that God works for those that wait for Him to work. Our God will not be put on our time schedule; neither will He be embarrassed by failing to be on time. When we wait on Him in a self-forgotten faith, He goes to work to show His faithfulness. Our waiting must be based on that which the Word has confirmed to be His will. He does not respond to the whims of selfish people.
Prayer & Faith Is Not Creative Powers On Man’s Part
Voodooism has invaded the prayer realm of the church. When we suppose that prayer and faith creates an answer, we have left the Biblical for the occult. Prayer is man’s dependency on God’s sufficiency. Humble men and women have always moved God by total trust in God expressed by complete self-distrust. That our flesh cannot please God is affirmed in Paul’s words, “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:8)
Our God is calling His saints back to the place of great intercession and soul-searching brokenness. We are helpless to either save ourselves or save anyone else. What we are capable of doing is to surrender to the God of this universe and become a partner with Him. That is the purpose for which He made us, to be His joy and delight and to possess our world under His presence.
Isaiah spoke of His awesome powers and readiness to manifest Himself to those that wait for Him. Waiting on Him is a beautiful euphemism for prayer. “Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:28-31)
Not one Biblical author ever suggested that prayer has power within itself to create answers. It would not have been called prayer if it was creative of its own powers. The opposite of praying is using voodoo powers to alter or affect others against their own will. Anytime that prayer is used at someone to try to force your will on them, you have moved to the occult world of Satan and devils. When someone proposes to do warfare against spirits of evil in a community, it is no different than casting spells and using spirit tricks. All such is plainly condemned in Holy Scripture. Saints have no need of such foolishness.
The Creator provides prayer to His saints as His plan for all of His children to enjoy all of His promises and protection. We do not need any other source to defeat our enemies or guarantee a full life. In fact, His plan for us, as outlined in Scripture, is bigger and better than anything we could plan for ourselves. Biblical prayer is putting all of yourself at His full disposal and believing all of His promises while asking Him for those promises regularly and without doubting. He cannot fail to answer every prayer prayed by His Word. He answers prayer and your part is to trust and obey.
Praying In The Spirit
We often hear people use the term “the spirit of prayer.” Apostle Paul spoke of “praying in the Spirit.” The first thing we must learn is that words spoken in prayer have no power in and of themselves. Every activity of the Christian life, from conviction of sin before our conversion to glorification from sin at our Rapture or Resurrection, is dependent on the power of the Spirit of Christ or the Holy Ghost. The church world has almost totally divided itself from the Spirit of Christ’s anointing and inspiring prayer. When you just repeat words in your flesh, you are wasting your time. When you consecrate yourself to your Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus until the “spirit of prayer” possesses you, then your prayers will take wings to the Throne Room.
James describes this kind of praying. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 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. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” (James 5:16b-18) Do not waste your time in ineffectual fireless prayer when you can enter into the joy of anointed, soul-wrenching intercession with the Spirit of Christ making you a partner to Himself.
Apostle Paul left no room for anyone to think that they know how to pray in their own flesh. His words were breathtakingly plain. “For we know not what we should pray for as we ought.” (Romans 8:26) This outstanding apostle included himself. He plainly said, “We know not,” to the church at Rome. Listen to the entire context of this great teaching on “Spirit-filled prayer.” “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27)
When we rediscover this level of “Spirit-led prayer,” the devil will tremble. The first step is to become utterly disgusted with your flesh-controlled whining and pining. If an earthly ruler or king was approached with the puny and selfish action we call prayer, he would banish the subject from his presence. I suppose that our God has probably done similar from what I see in our churches.
Oh, but when a saint has passed the place of fleshly activity, sanctified all desire to the glory of the reigning Redeemer and entered into an anointed realm of hunger after God’s glory to be manifest for His glory alone, something is about to happen. That saint then becomes a partner with the divine, while desiring nothing of glory, except that joy of being one with Him. Such a saint would shrink from earthly praise lest this fellowship be hindered and the kingdom of God deterred.
Our God is waiting to be moved by our prayers. The kingdom of God has been largely replaced with religious entertainment and churches that are so filled with flesh that sin can sit with comfort on the front seat. The new name for growing churches is sinner-friendly. Soon, the devil will be worshipped openly in the name of love and tolerance. Already the church has moved from a masculine atmosphere, where truth rings like a bell, to an effeminate atmosphere, where everything is gray lest we offend.
God has always had a remnant that wept with those things that make Him weep. Do not doubt that as the end approaches, a growing number of Christ-like saints will arise to the challenge. These Godly believers will find more joy in a night before the throne than in a night on the town. As the Holy Ghost is allowed to light the fire, the God of Heaven will make His glory known. He always has a people, a body of warriors that had rather be in His presence than hear the applause of the crowd. That final company is being wooed as I write to cry aloud, to spare not, and to believe that God may give us a last victory. “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” (Psalm 2:1-90) We will soon possess the heathens and reign upon the earth!