Scripture Reference: Zachariah 12:10 (NKJV), (MSG); James 5:14-16 (AMPC); Psalm 23:1-6 (AMPC); Exodus 29:7 (AMPC); 1 Samuel 16:13 (AMPC).
Word by Pastor Sharon during the activation of prayer in Witbank – “The Holy Spirit it going to release more grace to pray. He is going to release it to those humble enough to receive it”. James 4:6, Amplified.
More of His Spirit in prayer: God is going to give us more of His Spirit in and for prayer. (Zachariah 12:10 NKJV, MSG). The pouring of the Spirit of God pours into me, out from my belly will flow rivers of living water. ‘The more’ is going to come to me because I yield, I believe and together, we will simply embrace what He is doing in us. More and more; and more is what this season will bring; for the God of Glory is doing a new thing. I can be more. My time is redeemed with the more. God is helping us tremendously so we can be instrumental in raising up the foundations of generations that had been laid waste.
Restore: [James 5:14-16]. “What types of sins should I confess to my brothers and my sisters?” “How is it that we are going to apply this?” It’s very important for my own restoration – to be healed and restored to a spiritual tone of mind and heart. Restoration is my daily portion. We need to be restored to one another and to the Lord.
Restoration – healed: Restoration is two-fold. It comes from the elders of the church who will lay hands and anoint with oil and a person will be healed and restored. My original condition is a healed condition. No one is supposed to be sick among us. It is clear that I have been healed by His stripes a long time ago – past tense. My original condition in Christ is walking in divine health. [Psalms 23:1 AMPC]. Praying with Faith Produces Results; so if I’m sick I can call for the elders of the church, they anoint me with oil, lay hands on me and I will be healed and wherever there have been twisted ways in my life, it will come into order. There is a spiritual recognition that I must have, that it was God-ordained to have spiritual leaders/guides and therefore it’s my responsibility to call for them to pray for me.
The Lord is my Shepherd: I have a proper recognition that the Lord is my Shepherd to feed, guide, and shield me. He is my Spiritual Guide and will guide me to the place where I need to go. The shepherd of this house will make me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures [Psalm 23: 2 AMPC]. The Lord restores my life by leading me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him [Psalm 23:3 AMPC]. When the Lord restores my life, there’s a level of restoration, rehabilitation, refurbishment, reconditioning in my relationship with Him and with my shepherd. [Psalm 23:4 AMPC]. Walking through the valley of the shadow of death brings about fear. Walking away is a place of vulnerability. [Psalms 23:5-6 AMPC].The shepherd of this house anoints my head with oil when I call on him to pray for me. The significance of being anointed is a process of restoration where I once was exposed, vulnerable and endangered, I now find myself in the place of safety.
My Recognition: First, I recognise and live in the revelation that God placed elders in the church. Second, I recognise that sometimes I can be at fault and in error. I’m open about my life and not closed about hiding my sins from everybody else – only wanting to present to them what I want them to see that it is good for my self-image.
Confessing sins: Confessing my sins one to another is a preventive measure that God has given me so that I can be restored continually. “Because sometimes we wonder in our thoughts, sometimes we stonewall the Word of God. We reject the Word of God and the truth in our thoughts. And God says, “Now when you are together you need to be able to speak to one another and say, ‘You know what, I think I missed it here. I think I was at fault in this area.”
Don’t want to confess faults to ourselves – Pastor John said: “Sometimes we don’t even want to confess them to ourselves”. Most of the time we live in self-denial.
What I need as a sheep: The only thing that I need is to be restored to the shepherd so that the process of restoration can begin. I’m well fed; I’m given streams of living water, fresh water; He restores my soul – my will, mind and emotions. There is a renewing and healing of my mind. I need the Lord to restore in me the right spiritual tone of mind because that’s going to keep me straight on the truth, getting continual restoration – all the time and living a life of healing, health and continuing to stay in a good place.
Victory – remain planted: Recovery is for my victory. If I’m sick and vulnerable, to be restored into the right place, into an original state, to be conditioned, is meant for my victory. Moving from one church to another because of my faults, my mistakes is more costly than the embarrassment and shame that comes from my identity being tainted. It’s very important that whenever I have a fault, if I’ve done something bad or had a misstep in my life that I remain planted.
Find a brother: I find a brother, somebody that I can account to, speak to, confess my mishaps to, so that they can pray for me that I can be restored. When I run away from my mistakes, the recovery process takes much longer than it could have if I had stayed. “You are known as this person in the church, but now it means that you have to confess that actually I’m not what you think I am. I’m something else. I need help. When you run because of the wrong state of mind, you declare the forgiveness of God is not working (Jacob running away)”
Pharisee / Disciple: When I run, I carry with myself condemnation and self-justification which becomes a lifestyle to me. Pharisees were people just like us who were part of the covenant. I need to ask and do introspection in my walk with God – Am I a Pharisee or am I a disciple? Self-justification becomes a lifestyle, always giving an excuse why you had to do something. When God needs to correct me, I do not nullify His perfect love that He loves me with by opening a door to fear, otherwise I live an unresolved life because the sure thing at stake is my recovery and victory. I’m prepared to face the music of my mistakes, the consequences. The only way is to stay. Running may be the quickest way of solving the problem but a sure taste of defeat will stay with me, I may become so used to it that my victory and my confidence in my relationship in the Lord will elude me and I will scorn at the possibility of knowing victory. It’s a time warp. When I’m in that state, the bad taste lingers for so long, until my relationship with the Lord becomes superficial, my prayers become ineffective and it renders my prayer life powerless.
Powerful prayers: The Lord wants us to be restored to one another so that our prayers can become powerful and I do not frustrate the ‘more’ grace. The prayers of a righteous man makes much power available and is powerful in its working, is preceded by me needing to be restored, healed, in the right state of mind and in unity. That victory and that confidence cannot be realised in absence of that restoration.
Recognition – affects the body: I recognise spiritual authority and order in my life, not only the spiritual guide and leaders, but also the spiritual condition of others. I cannot make mistakes in isolation as it affects the Body of Christ. If I’ve gone astray, I need to be restored. It must be my own initiative to want to be restored. I want my prayers to become powerful and effective. There is somebody that is spiritually mature that I can say, “I need to come in now”. “I’ve missed my step”. “This is what I have been up to, but now I want you to pray for me according to James so that I can be restored and healed”.
Elijah’s prayers: In this order there is much authority in a human vessel that can pray like Elijah. I do everything that it takes, so that I can be able to pray those prayers and to know that we are all praying those prayers.
Double standard life: I can’t live a double-standard life. When I have done that I need to find a way to be restored back to the Body. The way that I choose to seek God has an impact on others because I’m a believer in this Body, and we are part of this Body.
Earnest prayer: The earnest prayer of a righteous man makes much power available – a man whose ways are right. I become a right way person by recognising the Church-order structure, I’m able to present my ‘not so good self’, so that in the ‘not so good self’ I’m prayed for to be strengthened in the Lord and I get restored to a spiritual tone of mind and heart. This causes me to be healthy, restores me in my right ways. Now I pray effectively with much power.
Provisions for restoration: I realise that it is the Lord Who has made the provisions for my restoration. For any sheep that went astray, the Lord has put things in place so that I can be restored back to my original place. [Psalm 23:1-3 AMPC]. I don’t have to earn righteousness; it’s not performance-based but it is the recognising of the elders, recognising what the Word of God says, humbling myself and receiving the Word of God. I say, “Lord, I’m going to be submissive to the order that You have placed in the Church so that I can be restored. Not so that I can see myself as a righteous person in terms of self-righteousness, but as a person that now, every time when I have a mishap, there is a way that You have made, so that I can be restored back to You”.