Christians are not called to pray but to be prayer. This is not a new statement or revelation, but it is the truth. To be in Christ is to pray (conversation and communion with Father)! Two scriptures form the foundation Lu.18:1 and 1 Thes. 5:17. Jesus says “men should always pray and faint not” and Paul says “pray without ceasing”. These scriptures should guide us into the place of desiring to know how to pray “the effective, fervent prayer of the righteous that avails much”. The scripture that says it all is; (Mt.21:13a NKJV ,) And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,…” We are that “house or temple of God.” (1Cor. 3:16, 6:19-20)
The last couple of years my life has had a foundation focus change. I am still about discipleship/intimacy with God but Father has been changing my perspective (where I see from or who I am). I am a son of God, sent like Jesus, a house of prayer, seated with Him, a partaker of the divine nature! I am a sent one in the likeness of Jesus! For us to pray effectively we must be rooted and grounded in Him. That is to say I must know who I am and who He is. The perspective you see from affects all you do or say. It affects those around you as you see and speak differently to them dependent on your perspective. The terms; foreman, manager, laborer, owner, all have a different perspective and position responsibility and people with those titles are seen differently by others. The position you see yourself in affects how you view others and speak or listen to them. If you do not recognize that you are responsible to Father and Jesus and their commands, then sent under or from them, you can do what you want – with no repercussions. But if you know that you are under authority then you have responsibility and authority.
So you are asking how does this affect prayer? Many in the body of Christ do not see themselves as valued or valuable and definitely not as someone who can and does hear from Father daily. They do not have a clear picture of their position in Christ. They know what the Word says but not in practice. They acknowledge scripture and can quote their position by it but what it says is not in their hearts as being real for them. This will always affect their conversation with the Father. It affects how they see the promises of Jesus and how Holy Spirit can speak to them. It truly affects their communities!
When we look at prayer we need to look to Jesus. He is the model we need to follow. And the truth is that we cannot follow His example until we see ourselves in His position, (we are not Jesus, but we are sent “just like Him” Jn.20:21) as a son of God. Not only that but we need to recognize our relationship with Father and that He talks to us and guides us in the same manner that He did Jesus. We need to learn to listen and hear. In the book of John (the gospel of relationship) we find that Jesus says basically that He does nothing unless the Father tells him to, shows Him or directs Him. He actually says that He speaks nothing unless the Father tells Him to and He speaks “just as the Father has told me!” (see– Jn. 5:19-20, 6:38, 8:28,38, 10:32, 12:49-50, 14:10). This says something about what Prayer should be – a response to Father’s voice, a communion, a conversation, a Trust! Jesus prayer was a direct result of always listening and saying EXACTLY what Father tells us to! We have the tendency to decide ourselves what we should say and what we should pray… Don’t’ get me wrong here, I think that any prayer is good, essential, but what I am looking for is effective, life changing prayer, like Jesus prayed. Jesus demonstrates His trust in Father and His position with Him by trusting and obeying His voice. He was not moved by what people thought was important but by the Voice of Father. He said that He came not to do anything but the will of the Father. As a man He lived for the audience of ONE. I believe that effective prayer is found in this consecration to ONE. (Jn.14:20, 17:20-23). If we trust Father in the ways Jesus the man demonstrated then we will not get lost in the catastrophes, calamities and emergencies of man that surround us. Jesus was not moved by what was happening or what they told Him about Lazarus, He was moved by Father. The people around Him did not understand yet He made no explanation. Jesus simply listened and trusted Father.
According to scripture we have the same place with Father as He did walking the earth. Jn. 20:21, Jn. 10:4-6,14-16,27, Rom.8:14-17, Gal.3:26-4:7, 2 Pet.1:2-4, 1Jn.3:2-3, 4:17. These scriptures are just part of those that say we should BE like Jesus on this earth.
If these scriptures are true we are walking way beneath our position and responsibility. Our prayers should change! Our walks should be way different. Our trust should be seen and His presence should be manifest through us as we pray (speak, pray in response to Father thru Holy Spirit)! One of the first viewpoints that may need changed in our walk is to recognize Jesus does not need more people sitting in congregations, He needs more people living out their lives and professions in intimacy with He and Father demonstrating His natural-supernatural love to “our” world daily!
How will this happen? We need to become people of prayer – listening and responding to Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit with trust. We need to become aware of His presence in us and live in anticipation of being a house of prayer 24/7. We need to find the intimacy with Father modeled by the man Jesus, the first-born! Our prayers need to be what the Holy Spirit brings from the Father and Jesus and speaks to us! We need to stop dictating to Father what we feel is important for Him to do and recognize that He is not unaware of what is going on in the world today. We need to find the trust that would move us to ask Him what he would like us to pray or do in any given situation, every moment, and then to live in that position of being submitted to Him daily or to be “found in Him” always.
Father tells us that we are not heard for our many words (like the Pharisees thought) or our great sounding prayers filled with a multitude of scripture when around others. It is a heart surrendered, abandoned to Him and living to do His will and bidding, that lives with answered prayer. Jesus’ prayers demonstrated Father’s authority and care. He cast our demons, healed the sick, and dealt with the natural from the spiritual in ways that were visible to those in the flesh (this is how He made disciples). His prayer always released miraculous power into our realm of living.
Jesus never bound spirits over cities nor did Paul, they dealt with the hosts of those spirits, the people who housed them. They changed cities by dealing with people! Jesus actually demonstrated and lived Lu. 10:1-9 for His disciples and sent them in Lu. 10 to do what He lived. The Samaritan woman, the man in the tombs, Paul in Philippi and the slave with spirit of divination are a few examples of them changing cities dealing with the hosts of spirits. Not once do we have recorded that they spent any time binding and loosing spirits over cities. They went praying, communing with Father and took the presence of God through Holy Spirit to manifest salvation in the places they travelled. Evil spirits were cast out of people that then changed cities! That is a different kind of prayer walking or living than we do as a general rule. For some reason we believe that ‘many’ releases more power than when 2-3 gather in Jesus name, in heart agreement. Prayer needs to lead to discipleship. Intimacy should lead to witnessing and His presence in what we live. We think that the greater the number of people the more power we have, yet discipleship and intimacy are not practiced in big crowds but in houses and small groups where everyone is important and has a voice. At the beginning of the “church age” we see them immediately going from a big meeting to “house to house” gatherings. We do not hear of many big meetings after the beginning of the book of Acts. This does not mean we should not have them but it was not normal life for the early church. From what I read the disciples met often and in small groups. There is significant evidence that they prayed a lot to find God’s direction and purpose.
Prayer (communion and conversation with Father) is Christianity. Hearing is imperative to our effectiveness in Prayer and should lead us to “GO” and keep His commandments, Making disciples in every nation, tribe, kindred and tongue! The Moravian movement and 24/7 prayer that led them to be the vessels that went to the mission field should speak loudly to us. Our prayers should change us and compel us to go also. Prayer is never just about prayer!
Neil W Gamble
Father’s Hand Ministries
3 Springs Missions Training Center
Neil and Dana Gamble are missionaries and missions/discipleship/prayer trainers residing in Clayton, WA. at 3 Springs training center. Their goal – to cause the Church to be the effective working of His Love that never fails today; to impassion and empower believers to all they can be!