Understanding Christian Prayer and Authority in the Spirit.

Understanding Christian Prayer and Authority in the Spirit.

Written by Traveler

Prayer from a Christian perspective, though once fully understood, has in recent years become so confused from the introduction of occult principles that a situation has now been reached where even the professing Christians are no longer able to define it. Much less experience any success in answers to it. Now make no mistake, positive confession has nothing to do with it. Either God answer your prayer or he does not. Neither is it based on the strength of your faith either. If it was your faith that had the power to move your mountains then what are you praying to God for, move it yourself! Yes faith is required but you have faith in God, not faith to force your will over God. The sad fact is that people have lost the real definition of faith as well. Added to that is the sad situation where people no longer understand what God requires or what the conditions of his promises are anymore.

God the Father is not Father Christmas, Yes he may have been motivated by love to send his Son to redeem the world back to himself, but he is also the God that wiped out an entire civilization in the Flood of Noah, Wrecked the kingdom of Pharaoh when he took the Israelites out of Egypt and who will be pouring out the bowls of wrath during the great Tribulation at the end of this age. The fact is that God the Father reigns supreme. His power and authority is absolute and he jumps through no hoops for any man. Even Satan is subject to his authority.

[quote]

Isa 45:5 I am Jehovah, and there is none else, no God besides Me; I clothed you, though you have not known Me;

Isa 45:6 that they may know from the rising of the sun, and to the sunset, that there is none besides Me. I am Jehovah, and there is none else;

Isa 45:7 forming the light and creating darkness; making peace and creating evil. I Jehovah do all these things.

Isa 45:8 Drop down from above, O heavens, and let the clouds pour down righteousness. Let the earth open, and let salvation bear fruit; and let righteousness spring up together. I Jehovah have created it.

Isa 45:9 Woe to him who fights with the One who formed him, a potsherd among the potsherds of the earth! Shall the clay say to its former, What are you making? Or your work, He has no hands?[/quote]

As you can see from verse 7. God is the God of both Good and Evil. (Though he desires righteousness.) There is nothing outside of his authority, which is understandable as there is nothing that is not the result of his own creative work. Now Christian prayer is based on access to that authority. That access is tied into the whole salvation process. You have to understand how salvation works to fully understand how prayer operates. In most cases trying to pray without access to that authority results in nothing more than a dry empty prayer life where you are basically just talking to the wind and going through empty sterile rituals. But if you try to come against evil as in the demonic using this authority when you are not entitle to it then you set yourself up for a fall. Satan also knows who’s rightfully empowered and who’s not. Take for example this incident.

[quote]

Act 19:13 And certain from the strolling Jews, exorcists, undertook to name the name of the Lord Jesus over those having evil spirits, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.

Act 19:14 And there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so.

Act 19:15 But answering the evil spirit said, Jesus I know, and I comprehend Paul, but who are you?

Act 19:16 And the man in whom the evil spirit resided leaped on them, and overcoming them he was strong against them, so that they fled out of the house naked and wounded.

Act 19:17 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks who lived at Ephesus, and fear fell on all of them, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.[/quote]

Now you can gather two things from that passage. The first is that access to Gods authority is done through the name of Jesus and the second is that you have to be entitled to use it for that authority to be recognized in the spiritual domains. What is done in the spiritual will manifest in the natural.

NOW YOU ALSO KNOW WHY THERE IS A MOVE TO MAKE IT ILLEGAL TO PRAY IN THE NAME OF JESUS IN ANY PUBLIC GATHERINGS. NOT BEING ABLE TO INVOKE THE NAME OF JESUS RENDERS THE CHRISTIAN PRAYER ABSOLUTELY POWERLESS. THE CONCEPT OF ALL INCLUSIVENESS IS JUST THE JUSTIFICATION, THE REALITY IS THAT THIS MOVE IS DEMONICALLY INSPIRED AND THE REASON CERTAIN PEOPLE FEEL PHYSICALLY SICK WHEN THEY HEAR IT IS BECAUSE THE DEMONIC ENTITIES THAT ARE ATTACHED TO THEM ARE REACTING TO IT WITH THE RESULT THAT THEIR HUMAN HOSTS RESPOND IN LIKE MANNER.

You need to understand that Satan is man’s adversary, not Gods. Satan does not have the physical power to defy God but he has through deception in Eden enslaved the whole human race to use as a shield to protect himself from God. If God is to destroy Satan he has to take us with him, hence the plan of salvation that he put in place to rescue us humans. Eventually the final confrontation is going to have to take place as Satan cannot be left to run loose forever infecting the rest of creation. But when Satan’s destruction takes place God will have separated from him as many human souls as is redeemable. At least as many as will be enough for the repopulation of the new heavens and new earth spoken of in Revelations. It is the developed and matured human souls that God is after. That is why we are continually told in scripture that we need to save our souls. It is also why God is taking his sweet time before dealing with Satan permanently. And it explains why Satan is going all out to entrap every last one of our souls so as to prevent God from completing his harvest. Satan is basically buying himself time at our expense.

Now getting back to spiritual authority. This next passage is where Jesus was on the earth and he was exercising the authority that he had.

[quote]

Mat 8:5 And when Jesus had entered into Capernaum, a centurion came to him, beseeching Him,

Mat 8:6 and saying, Lord, my son lies at home paralyzed and grievously tormented.

Mat 8:7 And Jesus says to him, I will come and heal him.

Mat 8:8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my boy will be healed.

Mat 8:9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, Go! And he goes; and to another, Come! And he comes; and to my servant, Do this! And he does it.

Mat 8:10 When Jesus heard, He marvelled and said to those who followed, Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith, no, not in Israel.

Mat 8:11 And I say to you that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven.

Mat 8:12 But the sons of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Mat 8:13 And Jesus said to the centurion, Go. And as you have believed, so let it be to you. And his boy was healed in that hour.[/quote]

Now there are a few points that are demonstrated in that Passage. The Centurion, (Roman Soldier) understood what authority was all about. He understood that Jesus had the spiritual authority to override the natural and effect a miracle of healing in his son. He understood that Jesus did not have to be there to do it but had the authority to just Give the order and the Spiritual entities that had his son in bondage would have to obey.

The part that his faith played was that he believed that Jesus did in fact have this authority and that Jesus was able to make this healing happen for him. It was not the soldiers faith that healed the boy. If that was the case he could heal him himself. It was Christ’s authority that healed the boy. It was the soldiers faith in Jesus that impressed Jesus so much.

Now we get to the part where Jesus started to pass on this authority to his disciples.

[quote]

Mat 10:1 And when He had called to Him His twelve disciples, He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.

Mat 10:2 And the names of the twelve apostles are these: First, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee and John his brother;

Mat 10:3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-collector; James the son of Alpheus, and Lebbeus, whose surname was Thaddeus;

Mat 10:4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.

Mat 10:5 Jesus sent out these twelve, commanding them, saying, Do not go into the way of the nations, and do not enter into any city of the Samaritans.

Mat 10:6 But rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Mat 10:7 And as you go, proclaim, saying, The kingdom of Heaven is at hand.

Mat 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. You have received freely, freely give.

Mat 10:9 Do not provide gold nor silver, nor copper in your purses,

Mat 10:10 nor a bag for the journey, nor two coats, nor sandals, nor staves. For the workman is worthy of his food.[/quote]

Again there are quite a few things to note about what is happening here. The time frame is where Jesus was still on this earth and in the process of training his disciples. In this training exercise he gave them a specific job to do and that was to go out on their own through the nation in groups of two and to proclaim to the people that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. In other words they were acting in the ministry of prophet to warn the people that the time of the predicted redemption by the Messiah was at hand or soon to take place.

In order to confirm the words that the disciples were telling the people they had to be able to have the signs and wonders following them and as they had been sent off on their own Jesus had to give them the authority to actually do these signs and wonders like heal the sick and cast out demons.

Now this is to be noted. The disciples did not have the ability to do the miracles in and of themselves. They had no more authority than any other human. This authority had to be given to them. It was something that was added to them that was bestowed upon them by Christ himself. At that time the disciples could not pass that authority onto anyone else either. It was only the 12 that had it. You could say that they were given the tools they needed to do the job they were instructed to do.

There was also a condition attached to the instruction. The whole operation was to be totally divorced from all forms of mammon. They were not to take any form of money and they were not to make any charge for there miracles. An important principle was to be established here. The workman is worthy of his food and keep. They were working for the kingdom of heaven and as such were to expect the kingdom to meet their needs no matter where it came from.

Now like a lot of things there are some principles regarding authority in Gods kingdom that differs from how authority is rewarded here in the worlds kingdoms.

[quote]

Mat 20:25 But Jesus called them and said, You know that the rulers of the nations exercise dominion over them, and they who are great exercise authority over them.

Mat 20:26 However, it shall not be so among you. But whoever desires to be great among you, let him be your servant.

Mat 20:27 And whoever desires to be chief among you, let him be your servant;

Mat 20:28 even as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.

Mat 20:29 And as they departed from Jericho, a great crowd followed Him.[/quote]

Now authority is authority, wether in the kingdom of heaven or the kingdoms of this world. Those that have authority have power to command in the areas of their responsibility. In the worlds kingdoms those that have authority use that authority as a tool to place themselves in a position of prestige in relation to those they rule over. But in Gods kingdom the opposite is to occur. Those with the greatest authority are to be the greatest servants to the rest. A principle that our modern mega churches seem to have forgotten. Largely because it is the congregation itself that tends to bring the worlds habits into the church and place those of authority into the same position found in the secular worlds leadership.

Anyway we have established that the spiritual power wielded as a result of prayer is derived from spiritual authority that is bestowed upon the believer. The power or authority is not natural to the individual human, it is something that is added to them so as to enable them to function in this position of authority. Now lets look at what instruction Jesus gave with regards to prayer, and of course we come to the Lords Prayer!

[quote]

Mat 6:6 But you, when you pray, enter into your room. And shutting your door, pray to your Father in secret; and your Father who sees in secret shall reward you openly.

Mat 6:7 But when you pray, do not babble vain words, as the nations. For they think that in their much speaking they shall be heard.

Mat 6:8 Therefore do not be like them, for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask Him.

Mat 6:9 Therefore pray in this way: Our Father, who is in Heaven, Hallowed be Your name.

Mat 6:10 Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.

Mat 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread;

Mat 6:12 and forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors.

Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil. For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Mat 6:14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you;

Mat 6:15 but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Mat 6:16 And when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, of a sad face. For they disfigure their faces so that they may appear to men to fast. Truly I say to you, They have their reward.

Mat 6:17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,

Mat 6:18 so that you do not appear to men to fast, but to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret shall reward you openly.[/quote]

The first thing that needs to be noted here is that Jesus pointed out that it was not meant to just be recited as in a form of useless repetition. In verse 8 it is made quite clear that prayer is supposed to be an active process directed at achieving specific objectives. God knows what you need so get on with the job of making your requests know.

The Lords prayer is basically a procedure, an order that lists out the basic components of an effective method of prayer listed in order of priorities. You do not have to follow to the letter but if at a loss you can fall back on this.

“Our Father, who is in Heaven”

So who are you addressing your prayer to? state it! There are times you come before Christ but most of the time you are to come before God the Father.

“Hallowed be Your name.”

You enter Gods gates with thanksgiving and you enter his courts with praise. This is where you give your thank you’s and praises for past answers.

“Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.”

Now you get down to the main objectives of your prayer. Who are you standing in the gap for? What do you want God to do for them? What situation do you want God to intervene in?

In general this is the area where you are going about the kingdoms busines as a servant of Christ. This section is all about the kingdom. Report backs are not really needed as God already knows the news and that is covered in the praise and thanks section anyway.

“Give us this day our daily bread;”

Only after the kingdoms business has been completed do you make your own requests known as in your needs in the fields. Basic foods, or clothing etc. The workman is worthy of his wages. The more you do for the kingdom the more you can expect this section to be answered. That is what is meant by seek ye first the kingdom of God and the rest will be added unto you.

“and forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors.”

You could say that this is the confession section where you sort out your own burdens. Unforgiveness towards others blocks your own prayers. You have to let go your negative emotions like hate so that God can do the same towards you.

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil.”

This is important, look at what happened to Job! If you are an effective worker for the kingdom Satan is going to pay attention to you and want to lay traps to trip you up. This is where you ask God to intervene on your behalf and put a stop to it. Hence the confessions come first!

“For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”

You enter Gods presence with thanks and praise, you leave the same way. Call it proper etiquette.

Now from the general tone of the Lords Prayer it can be seen that all authority is derived from the throne rooms of Heaven. Although you gain access to it, it is still Gods authority that is being used. And he has the final yes or no in every case. It is not by your power that anything of spiritual value can get done, it is by Gods power that your mountains get removed.

As an ambassador of Christ you are granted the right to operate in Gods Authority while going about the business of the kingdom. Hence we are required to state that our commands or prays are in the name of our Lord Jesus as an identification as to who’s authority we are operating under. Without that ID it is taken that we are operating under our own authority and lets face it, we do not actually have any in and of ourselves. We are just short lived mortals passing through.

Now we need to look at how things developed after the crucifixion.

[quote]

Mar 16:14 Afterward He appeared to the Eleven as they reclined. And He reproached their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.

Mar 16:15 And He said to them, Go into all the world, proclaim the gospel to all the creation.

Mar 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned.

Mar 16:17 And miraculous signs will follow to those believing these things: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak new tongues;

Mar 16:18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will be well.

Mar 16:19 Then indeed, after speaking to them, the Lord was taken up into Heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

Mar 16:20 And going out, they proclaimed everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the Word by miraculous signs following. Amen.[/quote]

Now this is where the foundation of the church was laid, this is where the great commission was given to the disciples and it is from these last instructions that Jesus gave to them after his resurrection that the whole Christian faith was built up to what we see this day.

As Jesus told them

[quote]

Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority is given to Me in Heaven and in earth.

Mat 28:19 Therefore go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

All authority had been given to him by his Father, God himself. Hence Jesus is the one who’s authority we currently operate under with the Fathers blessings. Hence this passage applies

Quote:

Mar 16:17 And miraculous signs will follow to those believing these things: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak new tongues;

Mar 16:18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will be well.[/quote]

The miracles operate only through the name of Jesus. As Jesus stated, IN MY NAME THEY WILL DO THE FOLLOWING. The believers will not do any of this in their own power but while operating under the authority of their own Lord Jesus who gave them the right to invoke his name as their authority.

Now notice the wording of the testimony that this disciple have as his closing statement.

[quote]

Mar 16:20 And going out, they proclaimed everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the Word by miraculous signs following. Amen.[/quote]

The disciples went out and did as they were instructed. They went out and taught everyone what Jesus taught them. All they did was the speaking and teaching part. But it was Jesus working with them from the throne rooms in heaven that provided the miracles and signs that followed to confirm the words they spoke. The displays of the supernatural is tied into the preaching of the gospels. God is interested in the redemption of souls. That is the crux of his agenda. The manifestations of spiritual authority will always be linked to the completion of that agenda. It will not work if you try to use it for your own selfish desires. And that basically pulls the rug out from under the name it and claim it doctrines.

So now we have to look at how all this works in our current generation or the age of grace in general. To do this we need to have a closer look at the basics of the salvation message. It all starts at the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit that Jesus sent arrives in our recently redeemed world.

[quote]

Act 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God made this same Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Act 2:37 And hearing this, they were stabbed in the heart, and said to Peter and to the other apostles, Men, brothers, what shall we do?

Act 2:38 Then Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ to remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Act 2:39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all those afar off, as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Act 2:40 And with many other words he earnestly testified and exhorted, saying, Be saved from this perverse generation.

Act 2:41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized. And the same day there were added about three thousand souls.

Act 2:42 And they were continuing steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine, and in fellowship and in the breaking of the loaves, and in prayers.

Act 2:43 And fear came on every soul. And many wonders and miracles took place through the apostles.[/quote]

Basically the second chapter of Acts is all about the events surrounding the first baptisms of the Holy Spirit on the newly established church and Peters first sermon before the masses. The coming of the Holy Spirit was a rather dramatic event and the Whole of Jerusalem came to see what the commotion was all about. It was during this time that the message concerning the procedures as they should exist today for salvation was laid down. The passage quoted above describes the event of interest but the verse of importance is this one.

[quote]

Act 2:38 Then Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ to remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Act 2:39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all those afar off, as many as the Lord our God shall call.[/quote]

Now in our modern churches we get the lovey dovey message of accept Jesus into your hart and all will be well. Unfortunately that is not the instruction that Peter gave to the first 3000 new converts to the faith.

What Peter said was REPENT AND THEN BE BAPTIZED IN WATER FOR THE REMISSION OF THEIR SINS. That is what has to be done first and it is done by the people involved. Then it follows, “and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a separate event and man has no control over it. It has to come from Christ himself.

This promise is to those who are far off. That is us today. We are the ones that are far off. And we still have to follow the original instruction that Peter gave. There has been no changes in the procedure since that day. Now the word repent in the original Greek is this

[quote]

G3340

?????????

metanoeo?

met-an-o-eh’-o

From G3326 and G3539; to think differently or afterwards, that is, reconsider (morally to feel compunction): – repent.[/quote]

Repentance comes from conviction in the spirit. To be made aware of the sin in your life and the evil that you get involved in. To repent of it is to make a decision to turn away from that which you morally know is wrong and to do that which you understand to be the right thing in the eyes of God.

Repentance is a prerequisite of salvation. Without it there is no Salvation. It is so important that it is the very first thing on the to-do list. The next is to be baptized.

Now water baptism is a symbolic ritual. It is done as an act of submission and obedience to God. What it symbolizes is the acceptance of Jesus as your Lord and Savior and by going through this ritual you are making an open declaration to the world that it is your intent to accept Jesus as your King and become a citizen of the kingdom of heaven. Now by accepting Jesus as your Lord he also becomes your savior, Jesus achieves this by becoming the proxy for your past sins that separated you from God in the first place.

Basically it is a two way covenant. Christ redeems you by his shed blood and in return you pledge your allegiance to him. But the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a second form of baptism that occurs in the supernatural. This is something that you can ask the Lord for in your prayers but is totally dependant on Jesus to bestow. It is the baptism that grants you the authority to act in his name. Yes your prayers will still be answered without it as in Jesus will move your mountain for you or rebuke a demon on your behalf. But the baptism of the spirit is what enables the gifts of the spirit to operate through your ministry and allows you to use the authority of your king to rebuke the demon yourself.

I was a Christian 5 years before I received this baptism. Basically it comes when you actually start to understand what you are doing and what is expected of you and also if you are working in the harvest and need it. From my own experience I have come to realize that the Lord only gives you the tools you need for effective ministry when you actually need the tools. Basically it is the modern day equivalent of what happened here,

[quote]

Mat 10:1 And when He had called to Him His twelve disciples, He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.[/quote]

The disciples walked how long with Jesus before he gave them this authority just before he sent them out with his message?

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