Prayer 01 Lesson 05 Pastors John & Sharon Bendixen (WTB)
Scripture reference: Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV); Daniel 10:14 (NKJV); 1 John 5:14-15 (KJV); Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV); Psalm 65:2 (NKJV); Genesis 3:8-13 (KJV)
Pastor Sharon: It is our desire that you capture a spirit of prayer, that you are not just getting knowledge, that you are getting revelation knowledge that you will walk in, and have a spirit of prayer in your life. That it will be the most wonderful thing that you would want to do, is communicate with your Father, with the Son by the person of the Holy Spirit!
Pastor John: Yes, that’s wonderful. Prayer is a very exciting, powerful force that is available to us as Christians. Because we speak to a living God, it makes all the difference in what we believe, and how we live.
Pastor Sharon: We speak to a living God. Hallelujah! We’re not taking up some postures to some god that is really not alive. Our God is the only true and living God. There is only one true and living God!
Pastor John: You know Pastor Sharon, I’ve been fortunate to travel to some countries in Asia, and I’ve travelled into some of the island countries close to South Africa, where the Christina religions are not the dominant religion, other religions are more dominant. So there are a lot of extravagant temples, and people do a lot of extravagant sacrifices and rituals of worship, what they call worship. But actually, it’s just an idol and their god is not alive. And so they call it prayer but they’re not praying to a living God, they’re words are just words to a dead god. It’s just an idol, it’s just a god they made up.
Pastor Sharon: Yes, and many of them when they come to salvation and they get born again after being involved in all of that, they are really radical for God, the true and living God.
Pastor John: Yes, because they can see the difference.
Pastor Sharon: They experience the difference, of all these years of deadness, and now a living spirit with a living God, it’s wonderful.
Pastor John: The last time we were together we were talking about words, and we were talking about word-thoughts, and how word-thoughts impact your life. So first you take a word as a thinking thought and then it becomes something that goes into action, or it becomes words. The Bible says in the book of Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV) that 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and how every time you choose to use words, it will either lead to death or it will lead to life. And so you choose words that you speak to God. If you speak God’s Words back to Him and His Will back to Him, your agreement is the thing that makes it all come to pass. If you speak other words that are just, whatever words they are, they’re not necessarily going to have the impact that you are looking for. We also talked a little bit about Daniel’s prayer.
I am just going to go back there so that it can be the springboard for this session. Of course Daniel was praying, and he didn’t think his prayers were heard at 21 Days it took for the answer to come. And it says in Daniel 10:14 (NKJV) 14 Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.” 15 When he had spoken such words to me, I turned my face toward the ground and became speechless. This is a really powerful passage of scripture where there was a war in heaven, and the war was a war of words, and accusations, and permissions, that his prayer initiated in the heavens. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. So there was that war that happened. And every time we speak words that are of life, it’s like a stream, a golden river of words that come out of your mouth when you’re speaking to God. If you could see into the spirit that words that have no life in them will have no substance, but if you speak words that are life and they’re words of the Word of God, they’re like golden words that come out of your mouth.
Pastor Sharon: What we are going to give you a very good, basic foundation prayer, under headings, like ‘Why Pray?’, ‘How to Pray’, ‘What is Prayer?’. We are going to give you a holistic picture of prayer that is easy for all of us to understand. So why pray? John Wesley said this: “God does nothing on earth, except in answer to believing prayer.” God will do nothing on the earth, except when we believe when we pray. And then we surely want to say with the Lord’s early disciples “Lord teach us to pray.” That was something they asked Him, “Lord teach us to pray.” Because they watched Jesus pray, when Jesus was on earth. Hallelujah!
Pastor John: I was meditating on that today, Pastor Sharon. It was interesting to me as I gave some thought to it. Here were covenant people whose practice it was to go to the synagogue, it was their practice to go to prayer. So they were practiced in the kind of prayers that the Jewish people would pray regularly different kinds of prayer for different kinds of things, to a living God. So it’s interesting, these people who used to pray, would ask Jesus “Teach us to pray”. Why would they ask Him how to pray, if they already knew how to pray. And the difference was they immediately recognized that Jesus had results when He prayed, His prayers were answered, He had results. They’re prayers seemingly were prayers that they prayed regularly that didn’t have the same kind of results as Jesus’ prayers did. It’s interesting that if we pray the prayers, that the Lord shows us to pray.
Pastor Sharon: We are going to, that is part of our teaching, we are going to be teaching you on, what is called the Lord’s prayer, or how Jesus taught them to pray. It was a beautiful thing that where Jesus said: “Our Father”, that’s how you approach God “Our Father”, “My Father” that is in heaven hallowed (means holy, to be praised, to be lorded) be Your name. So that is why when you come to pray it’s a wonderful thing to come like that to hallow His name, to praise His name. The Psalmist David even did, he said in his Psalms regularly. So Lord teach us how to pray, why do we pray? We pray because we believe what God says in His Word about prayer. If you just take a moment and think about that ‘Why do I pray?’.
I pray because I really do believe what God says in His Word about prayer. I believe that He is the God that initiated and activated prayer, that He hears and answers prayer, and that is why I pray! I pray to a living God because I believe that He is and that He hears me when I pray, and that He answers me. I believe what the Word says about prayer. Why do we pray? We pray because we love our Father, and love His ways, and prayer is one of His ways, prayer is His way. To listen to His Word and to feed off His Word is one of His ways but to pray is one of His ways too. Hallelujah! And as I’ve said already the function of prayer was initiated and activated by God, He started it, it’s His idea, it’s His concept. Glory to God!
So 1 John 5:14-15; this is what I believe. We just made a statement now. Why do we pray? We pray because we believe what His Word says about prayer, so here is what His Word says about prayer.
Pastor John: 1 John 5:14-15 (KJV) says: 14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us. He hears us, that’s what we were saying, because He is a living God, He hears us. This is an amazing thing. And if we know that He hears us 15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. So if we ask Him, because He hears us, if we ask Him, He will grant us what we ask Him.
Pastor Sharon: That’s right, and 14…if we ask anything according to his will. Where is His Will? (Holding the Bible) This is His Will. If we ask anything according to His Will. And it’s something that I had to develop and grow in, and I know you did to Pastor John, is that I don’t put a time limit on God when I pray. I don’t say “I need to have Your answer by this time.” What am I doing? I am putting pressure on my faith. We’ve had to learn to do that, that some answers come like this, some answers come at this time, some answers come then but we trust in God’s supreme intelligence to know exactly how to get the answer to us. The same way he did with Daniel. Daniel prayed and the answer came after 21 Day. So I don’t put a time limit on God, “Lord I’m asking You this and I really need You to tell my by the end of the month.” I pray and I trust. I ask and I trust. Hallelujah!
Pastor John: Yes, it’s something that we’ve learned that as you apply your faith, and you make declarations and you speak with God. If you are time pressured or you place a specific requirement on God that He must answer you in a certain way or in a certain time. The probability is that, that pressure will undermine your confidence that you have in Him. And that is why he says: 14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us. So what happens is when people are praying, they put their own conditions on the prayer, and so when the conditions are not met, then it begins to erode their confidence. And it is important that you pray with confidence, and confidence that He’s hearing your, and confidence that He is answering you. And if you pray with that faith and confidence, then you know that it’s going to be answered. The only thing you’re not sure of yet is how it is going to happen and when it’s going to happen. But you know that it is going to happen.
Pastor Sharon: It’s not if, it’s how and when. Glory to God!
Pastor John: So when you have that kind of confidence that your prayers will be answered then you want to talk to God more, and you want to speak His will about your circumstances more.
Pastor Sharon: You are then also not moved by the enemy that comes to you, to say to you: “Oh you think He heard, you think He’s going to answer you”. Oh well it is written… We spoke about that last time, it is written that this is the confidence that I have in him, that, if I ask anything according to his will, he hears me. And I know that I have the petition that I had desired of Him, over and out. Glory to God! So here is another scripture, this is why we pray, because it says here Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV) 6 But without faith you see we need to have faith in prayer, it takes faith to pray. 6 But without faith (in prayer) it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God, I come to God with my prayers, must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Isn’t that wonderful, that’s why we pray. So Psalm 65:2 (NKJV), one of our favourite prayer verses 2 O to You who hear prayer, to You all flesh will come. 2 O to You who hear prayer… that’s why I pray, because He hears me. Glory to God.
Pastor John: It just came to me as we were sitting talking about this. I was traveling with Brother Jerry in Cuba just a couple of years ago, and we were actually ministering in a pastor’s church and we happened to be out in a field, and there was the pastor’s son. And Brother Jerry just had it on his heart, right then that he wanted to pray for the pastor, he wanted to pay for the people that were with the pastor on the field. So he looked over and he said: “John will you pray for the pastor’s son and his wife. They speak Spanish, I speak English, they don’t understand me, I don’t understand them but we both are praying to the same God in different natural languages. And under the authority of Brother Jerry’s apostolic mantel, as I put my hands on them to pray for them an amazing experience happened. They started to speak and they started to weep, and they started to shake under the anointing. And all I was praying was “Lord will your touch them, and will you grant them their hearts desires, will you bless their life.” So then it turned out afterwards through an interpreter that the pastor’s son had been desiring to be filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues and for some reason he had never had that encounter. And so this is just an example of when we pray, the Father hears us and it doesn’t matter if you’re Spanish or you’re English and you don’t understand each other, when there is a desire in the heart and your words are heard, and there is a confidence to pray, he answers prayers. That is something that will stay with me forever, a Spanish guy who didn’t know what I was saying in English, and this English guy speaking to the heavenly Father, and God heard the whole thing and He answered the prayer. You who hear prayer, to You shall all flesh come! Isn’t that wonderful?
Pastor Sharon: Yes! So another reason why we pray is because we were created to have fellowship with God. God created us in His image, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, fellowship, in the triune God-head, created Adam and Eve to speak to them and to speak to Him. That’s why in the cool of the evening they heard the voice of the lord walking, they knew His voice, He knew their voice when He spoke to them. They responded as well. Genesis 3:8-13 (KJV) 8 And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day… Hallelujah! I’m telling you anywhere anytime you want to talk to Him, His voice is walking in you, His voice is talking to you and this unfortunately was an unfortunate situation where they hid themselves from the presence of the Lord amongst the trees of the garden but the Lord called to Adam. It’s just an example of God speaking to us. 9 And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said… that’s what you need to see there. And He said… So there is the communication, so in this passage of scripture we see God speaking to man from the very beginning and man and woman speaking to God with no misunderstanding at all indeed they understood each other perfectly well. Prayer did not originate because we were separated from God by our sin and we needed a means by which to reconnect to Him. This is about the heart of prayer. Prayer began with the creation of mankind, prayer in the garden was as natural as breathing to Adam and Eve and so it is to us, as new creations, new creatures in Christ Jesus, we are born again ones now.
Pastor John: Communication between Adam and Eve and God was a natural thing, there was no ceremony there was no rituals there was no interventions no hindrances, it was just natural communication.
Pastor Sharon: And because they sinned it didn’t stop the communication. God knew they sinned but He was still calling out to them when they sinned. And so they could still speak back to Him, so prayer did not originate because we were separated from God by our sin and we needed a means by which to connect and reconnect to Him. It’s in the heart of God for man, His man and His woman in Him to chat.