Praying from the Father's Heart.
We have all been involved in a lot of prayer and fasting this year especially with the elections. Lapis Lazuli has had it's fair share of contending in the throne room, with the postponement of our Kingdom Harvest conference. However, the good thing about challenges, which the enemy never takes into account, is that, by God's grace, you come out stronger and better equipped on the other side.
Prayer in its simplest form, is a heartfelt telephone conversation with God our Father. His phone number is Jeremiah, 333 (Jeremiah 33v3). Note that all telephone conversations are two- way, so it's speaking and listening. Prayer is a bit more than lovely flowery words. It involves trying to listen to what the Father is saying, and praying from there because the Father's perspective is always so much bigger than ours and we should always be desiring the fullness of what He has for us.
In Luke 22v 31,as Jesus is speaking with His disciples after the last supper. He tells Peter that satan had asked that he be given up to him for sifting like grain, but that He had prayed especially for Peter for his faith not to fail, but to be strengthened and rise out of the challenge with the ability to strengthen the others. From our perspective, we would have thought Jesus would say no to satan, but He prayed differently from what you and I would pray, and we see the far reaching answer to that prayer down the generations. The Church was established. Jesus is usually about having our faith strengthened so it's important that we ask Jesus how to pray over issues we are grappling with, and also to ask the right questions. We read about how the disciples asked Jesus, (Luke 22v 9) the question about where He wanted them to celebrate the last supper. They didn't just assume they knew like we sometimes do. God always wants to be involved in every detail of our lives. Verse 10 gives the specific directions (answer)that Jesus gave and I find this quite detailed. I wonder about all the directions I miss, simply because I don't ask. We are often tempted to go off and do things our way, and then ask God to bless it during our prayers, rather than prayerfully listening first, and then go and do what He says.
Lazarus, a friend of Jesus was ill, so his sisters Mary and Martha sent to tell Jesus, expecting Him to rush down
Jesus must have asked the Father, as He always did, for He said He came to do the Father's will ( John 6v38). Jesus delayed His going to His friend. When His disciples asked, He explained that this was to bring glory to God. By the time Jesus finally got there, He raised up Lazarus who had been dead for four days. Here again, we read about Jesus, doing what is on the Father's Heart, getting God's timing right and thereby bring glory to God. Do we often cooperate with God to get His timing on matters concerning us?
In Matthew 18v 18 -20, we read about God giving us the authority through prayer to bring the Father's will to earth, not our will. So what is already forbidden in heaven, then in agreement we forbid it here. Again, we are praying what is on the Father's heart to take effect here on earth, or in our situations.
A lot of the time, we can get to know the Father's will, from the Word (Bible), so we are able to pray and declare the Word which is very powerful. However, even in this case, the Holy Spirit wants to tell us which passages to use. At other times, we can with the help of the Holy Spirit, listen to our Father's heart, during our telephone conversations with God, and pray what we receive, is on His Heart. This practise draws us deeper into a place of intimacy with the Father, who appreciates the longing in our hearts for all He has to give us.