Did you know that prayer brings about transformation?
Jesus said that when we pray, we are not to “heap up empty phrases” hoping that the more words we say the more likely God is to hear us. In fact, he stated that our Father in heaven knows exactly what we need, even before we ask him (Matthew 6:7-8). So why, then, do we need to pray? What is the point of going to God in prayer, if he already knows everything we need anyway?
Because prayer is not only about what we need. Prayer is about who God is, and who we are in our relationship with him. When we go to God in prayer, the time we spend in his presence begins to transform us into the women and men of God that he created us to be.
Jesus instructed his disciples, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money [mammon].
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:24-25).
He continued, reassuring his disciples, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened” (7:7-8).
As we can see, Jesus specifically taught that God has every intention of providing for all our earthly needs. God knows what we need, and he is our ultimate provider. What God most wants to give us is his fellowship, his companionship, and his presence. Whenever we go to God in prayer, we are deepening our relationship with him.
It is from within this deep fellowship with God that the answers to our prayers arise. Our Lord instructs us not to pray “with much speaking” as unbelievers do because those prayers are shallow. They do not spring from the well of an intimate relationship with our Creator.
Jesus said, “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:31-33).
Seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness means that the first goal of our prayer life is to develop an intimate, ongoing relationship with God. Seeking God’s kingdom and his righteousness means coming to understand his character. His character is righteousness. His character is goodness. His character is mercy. His character is grace. His character is love.
Righteousness, goodness, mercy, grace, and love are not something that we hope God demonstrates. God is the literal source of all these ideals. He is the font from whom all blessings flow. Without God, there would be no righteousness, goodness, mercy, grace, or love. They cannot exist without him, because these attributes are what the Triune God literally is, in himself.
God is First Cause: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1-3).
Because God’s character is perfect, and through his perfection he is the Creator of all things, we can completely trust in his righteousness, goodness, grace, and love to supply all our needs (Philippians 4:6-7,19). Jesus’ brother James wrote that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17). God’s character is eternal, and it does not change (Hebrews 13:8). He is always righteous, loving, merciful, and good, and God wants to give his good and perfect gifts to his children.
Therefore when we go to God in prayer as his beloved children - bringing him all of our needs, our fears, and our praise - as we rest prayerfully in his presence he has already begun moving from the unseen to demonstrate the proof of his lovingkindness, his goodness, his grace, and his provision. As Jesus said, God already knows everything we need before we ask him. He said, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11). God wants to bless us because his blessings are the proof of his righteousness. God’s blessings always bring him glory!
When we are in the presence of God’s blessings, we are also in the presence of his glory. This is what Paul describes in his second letter to the church at Corinth:
Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end…But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this [transformation] comes from the Lord who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:12-18).
When we come to God in prayer, when we seek first his kingdom and his righteousness – and that means “when we seek to know his character” – we become saturated by his goodness, his love, and his glory. Being saturated by God’s presence transforms us – from glory to glory – as we become more like him. We become more loving, good, kind, and merciful through the presence of his Holy Spirit acting in us and through us.
God intends to supply all our needs in Christ Jesus. And he wants us to come to him with all our cares and desires. In fact, Peter instructs us to “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7). God wants us to cast ALL our cares on him, holding nothing back.
God asks us to do this so that we may come to know him – his kingdom and his righteousness. When we do this, we come to understand how the kingdom of God operates, and what God’s character is like. As we rest in him, he meets all our needs, transforming us into the people of God that he originally designed us to be.
As we are being transformed through the presence of God and his Spirit, then not only does God meet all our needs through Christ Jesus, he also forms us to become vessels that are fit for the Master’s use so that we in turn can be used by God to bless others. The more we trust God, the more God can bless us, and the more available we become to be a blessing.
As Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing… If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love…These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:5,7-9,11).
All scriptures are from the English Standard Version translation.
Lift up your heads, O gates,
and be lifted up you everlasting doors:
that the King of glory may come in.
"Who Is this King of Glory?"
Adonai strong and mighty,
Jehovah-Gibbor Milchamah, The LORD, Mighty In Battle!!!
As a people who are called by Your Name who recognize the blessings of being American, because this nation was founded on Your principles, we know that when we come to You in genuine humility and repentance to seek Your face and confess our sins, that according to Your Word, You will not only hear our prayers, but also that You will cleanse us from all unrighteousness and heal our land. (2 Chronicles 7:14-15, 1 John 1:9) We confess sins of complacency, prayerlessness, selfishness, vanity, lust and sexual immorality, envy, strife and division, gluttony, greed, anger, idolatry, adultery, gossip, racism, abortion, human trafficking, disrespect for lawful authority, etc. and we pray for complete destruction of these strongholds that have been such a plague on our families, our communities and our nation.
Satan has wreaked havoc on our families and communities causing much division and strife. In our human disagreements, many claim that You, God, are on one side or another, but that is not how it works. It is we who must choose to come into full alignment with You for You to battle for us. (Joshua 5:13-15) We know that ultimately, You WIN!!! (Revelation 22) And we ask for Your help against the adversary who seeks our destruction who uses poor deceived and lost souls to do his bidding. We ask for their deliverance from the grip of the evil one as well.
We thank You that Your divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness, through the knowledge of Yeshua/Jesus Who called us by His own glory and virtue. Through these things You have given us Your precious and magnificent promises, so that through them we may become partakers of the divine nature, since we have escaped the corruption that evil desires have brought into the world. (2 Peter 1:3-4)
We seek to please You as we pray for our President as well as other government leaders and officials, our court systems and law enforcement that they would be filled with righteousness, that their motives for every decision to be in accordance with Your divine will, because righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne. (Psalm 89:14) We know this brings about the ability for us to lead peaceful and quiet lives, godly and dignified in every way. (1 Timothy 2:2-3) Your counsel stands forever and our national heritage is blessed because You Are our God. (Psalm 33:11-12)
We pray for a wall of protective fire to surround America against all enemies, foreign as well as domestic, who have ungodly agendas. We pray for the health and prosperity of all Americans. (Zechariah 2:5) We ask for Your glory to fill this nation and that You would restore our lamp stand (Revelation 2-3) for the great end times harvest of souls from America to the ends of the earth and for laborers from all nations to be thrust into the harvest fields. (John 4:35-38, Luke 10:2, Acts 1:8)
And we also know that You bless the nations who bless the people and land of Israel because it is from them that You brought forth Your perfect Lamb of God, Yeshua Ha Mashiach/Jesus Christ. We pray for the peace of Jerusalem--- and the land of Israel, "May those who love you be at peace! May there be Shalom within your walls---quietness within your palaces. " (Psalm 122:6-7)
This prayer was assembled using the Intercessor Prayer Point scripture list from www.firewallusa.com
When Jesus’ disciples asked him to increase their faith, he answered, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you” (Luke 17:5-6).
A lot has been said about these verses, but when we simply read them as they were written, we can see that Jesus was telling his students that their problem was not that their faith was too small. They asked, “Make our faith bigger!” and Jesus answered, “What you need is not bigger faith.”
Beloved Friends, it is not that we do not have enough faith to see us through in times of crisis. The truth is, we have more than enough faith. We have lots and lots and lots of it, and we use it all the time! The problem is not that we do not have enough faith. The problem is in where we are placing it!
Psalm 118 instructs us that “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes” (v.v. 8-9).
Did you know that when we worry, we are exercising our faith? This is true because when we worry, we are placing our faith in something or someone other than Almighty God. When we worry, we are placing our faith in our own strength - or in money, our job, our doctors, our leaders, or even our friends and family. And it can be especially frightening to place our faith in something we heard on the news or social media.
Worry is not faith-less. Worry is investing our faith in the wrong place.
The prophet Isaiah wrote, “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the Lord!...The Egyptians are man, and not God, and their horses are flesh, and not spirit. When the Lord stretches out his hand, the helper will stumble, and he who is helped will fall, and they will all perish together” (31:1,3).
Uh oh! That does not sound like a very good outcome for the one who puts their trust in the mortal world and all its trappings, instead of in God!
In the book of 2 Kings chapter 6:1-22, the prophet Elisha and his servant woke up early one morning to discover that during the night the city where they had been staying was surrounded by a hostile army. Confronted by the intimidating array of warriors, horses, and chariots, the servant was very distressed, and he ran to Elisha, crying “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” But Elisha replied, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed that the eyes of his servant would be opened so that he could see that the power of God was with them. The scripture relates that “…the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of [God’s] horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” Then the prophet prayed that God would strike the surrounding army with blindness, which the Lord did. This allowed Elisha to lead the army into the hands of the king of Israel, instructing him to exercise mercy with his enemies, and this detente eventually led to peace between Israel and Syria.
The prophet Elisha did not place his faith in what he saw with his earthly eyes, or even in the fears of the people around him. He placed his faith in God and what he perceived with his spiritual eyes, because he knew that no matter what it looked like on the outside, God had a plan.
Notice, too, that Elisha did not stand idly by, waiting for God’s plan to reveal itself. Instead, he took an active part through prayer in the furtherance of God’s will for the nation. Even though Elisha did not depend on his own power, he knew that because he had developed an intimate relationship with God, he was not powerless. Elisha knew that his ability to face down the crisis was founded on the power of prayer through his faith in Almighty God.
In the New Testament, just before the crucifixion, Jesus prepared his disciples to face the most difficult crisis of their lives by saying, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me” (John 14:1). Jesus was reminding them that they were responsible for the condition of their hearts, and that if their hearts became troubled, the remedy was to place their belief – their faith and trust – in the Son of God.
Psalm 146 sums this up beautifully, giving us relief from the burden of worry by illustrating where to place our faith:
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Put not your trust in princes,
in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
on that very day his plans perish.
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;
who executes justice for the oppressed,
who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the sojourners;
he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
The Lord will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord!
All scriptures are from the English Standard Version translation.