Part 3 – Prevailing Prayer and Lots of It!
Today, we are going to look at another Holy Habit of Highly Effective Believers and that is…
o Prevailing Prayer and Lots of It
o Highly Effective Believers are people of prayer
o And not just pray but they pray a lot – a great deal – Piles of prayer, if you would
§ Prayer by the boat load
§ Prayer by the bushel basket full
· Prayer has two aspects
o In the circles I came from (holiness circles) we understood quantity – we would have all night prayer meetings – we would fast and pray all the time
§ But we (holiness circles) did not understand quality of prayer. Those circles did not understand the faith connection – the righteousness connection – we did not understand the legal side of redemption and that we are supposed to pray from that side – and so they had quantity (a lot of hollering at God) but no quality
o In the circles we are in now, we understand quality – we understand that we are blood bought children of God and that we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand
§ But our charismatic bunch knows nothing about waiting on God – knows about protracted seasons of prayer.
§ Knows nothing about seeking God and laying aside the ordinary issues of life for a season that we might spend some time with Him.
§ Our bunch has a microwave mentality – we microwave through the laying on of hands
§ We pray 10 second prayers for complex situations – wave a magic wand – and poof, we think everything is cured.
§ When in fact, we should have waited on God (and that takes time) and gotten direction from Him (and that takes time) about how to pray.
o Effective Prevailing Prayer – means both quantity and quality.
o And so today, we are going to spend time on the quantity piece.
· Those that want to be much for God have to be much with Him.
o Now, if this statement is not true, then someone forget to tell these people in the Bible that we are going to look at.
Quantity of Prayer in the New Testament
· The Example of Anna the Prophetess
Luke 2:36–37 (KJV 1900)
36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
o Anna had a prophets anointing
§ She joins the ranks of other female prophets
· Deborah – Judges 4:4
· Isaiah’s wife – Isa. 8:3
· Huldah – 2Kings 22:14-20 (who prophesied under the revival of Josiah – interesting – this woman encouraged me – here is backslidden Israel and Josiah the king, at the ripe old age of 16!, trying to get Israel back to God– and all the while Israel is backslidden – God still anointed prophets – in this case a woman who was ready with the Word of the Lord!)
§ but Anna did not depend on that anointing alone.
· Anna prayed despite the anointing.
§ A prophets anointing allows you to see into the Spirit ream as the Spirit of God wills – it includes revelation gifts of the Spirit – all of those are as the Spirit wills.
o Her service unto God was not the anointing that she was flowing in – that anointing came by the will of God to her – read what the scripture said
o She “served God with prayer and fasting’s night and day”
o Anna prayed and she prayed a lot
• The Example of Jesus
John 3:34 (KJV 1900)
34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
· Jesus had the Spirit without measure.
· We as believers and members of His body, of which He is the Head, have the Spirit by measure.
· That is why you need one another in a corporate setting because the anointing on the corporate body all together equals the anointing that was on Jesus Himself.
· So, here is a man – and He was man
o Who had the Spirit without measure
o Who knew things by the Spirit – the gifts were working.
o Who was the ultimate ‘faith teacher’, who taught about ‘mountain moving faith’
· And yet…
Luke 6:12 (KJV 1900)
12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
· Jesus did pray short prayers
o But often short successful praying comes from (if you pull the curtain back) long seasons of fellowship and devotion with God.
Other Scriptural Examples
· Moses prayed short prayers in the Bible but he spent 40 days and 40 nights with God
· Jacob had a victory of faith but only after he wrestled with the angel all night long.
· Daniel prayed three times a day
Daniel 6:10 (KJV 1900)
10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
· Paul prayed night and day – 1Thess. 3:10
1 Thessalonians 3:10 (ESV)
10 as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?
1 Corinthians 14:18 (ESV)
18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.
· Spend a couple of hours praying during the course of a day and watch the effect on your spiritual life – you will be amazed.
· “You may say I cannot pray that long”
o Yes you can – break it up. (this idea especially works if you have lot ‘on your plate’. – often times we do not get to the place of prayer in our lives because we are overwhelmed with how much we have to do
o The following statement is attributed to Martin Luther said these words “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer or I would never get it all done.”
o Pray for 15 minutes of every hour of your off day and do that for an eight hour period. That is pray for 15 minutes and then work for 45 minutes
o By the end of that session, you will have prayed 2 hours but more importantly note the difference in your spiritual vitality!
· The things of God are not cheap
o There are no shortcuts to spiritual maturity
o There are no shortcuts to effectiveness.
o Those who are highly effective spend a lot of time in this area of praying.
o You have to commit to this area maybe this next section will help you.
Giving Yourself to Prayer
· The Example of the Apostles
· Acts 6:1–4 (KJV 1900)
1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
· The apostles gave themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word.
o Notice the scripture did not say “prayer and the study of the Word?”
§ It said “prayer and the ministry of the Word” – why?
o Because the study of the Word is already understood.
o You have to know the Word in order to pray a successful prayer.
o And so, the understanding of the Word must come on the front side of this “prayer and ministry of the Word” not the backside of it.
· Prayer Fallacies
o For example, people view the prayer area as a separate devotional area – and they think of prayer and the Word as equal. I pray or/and I study the Word. They are equivalent.
§ When, in fact, they are not equivalent – they cannot be.
§ Faith makes prayer work
§ Prayer does not make faith work
§ The Word is what makes faith work
§ So, prayer is dependent on the Word
§ Since prayer is dependent, it cannot be equal to the Word.
o But it is not a matter of choice, that is, you do not choose between prayer and the Word because one is more important than the other. i.e. “I will study the Word and not pray so much because prayer is more important”.
o Prayer and the Word are connected pieces.
o Prayer brings you into living contact with the God you are studying from the Word!
· Here is another second fallacy that we should take note of…
o Sometimes we can have all the pieces but we can have them in the wrong order.
o That is,
§ We have prayer.
§ We have the Word
§ We have ministry of that Word
o When we have a need, what order do these go in?
§ If I need healing for instance, what area do I go in first? Should I pray first?
§ Many times people get a report, get a symptom, get a physical problem and the first place they go is to some or some group or some church that prays.
§ In these cases, people can literally be too quick to pray.
§ This is an area that can cause major failure in the prayer arena.
§ People sometimes pray because they have a need – they utter words to God based on that need
o Praying just because you have a need is the wrong base for prayer.
o The right base is not the need but what God said about that need.
o Remember, when you uttered your need is not when God found out about it. You are not informing Him at all. He is very much ‘in the know’.
o What God wants to hear from you is “what do you believe about that need.”
o So, as a general rule, utter words to God based on what the Word states and based on the promptings and urgings of the Spirit within you.
o Get into the Word and get your heart full of the Word and up out your heart you utter your petition to God.
o In this case, prayer is the last thing you do, not the first thing
o Let us go back to Acts 6:4
· Acts 6:4 (KJV 1900)
4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
o So being in the Word is understood as you read Acts 6:4.
o After we have the Word comes this, “we will give ourselves continually”
o I like how the King James says this because that is what it is – prayer is giving of yourself
o It is an expression of the love walk. If I take time out of the busyness of my life to pray for you, that is walking in love.
o But after you finish your study of the Word, it is ALL prayer and ALL ministry
o ALL PRAYER meaning you talk to God about men
o ALL MINISTRY meaning you talk to men about God
Prayer and ‘Knowing’ God
· The Example of Abraham and Cornelius
· What was it about Abraham?
o The Lord said concerning him, “For I know him…”
Genesis 18:19 (KJV 1900)
19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
· How did God know Abraham – by His foreknowledge?
o By His Omiscience?
o No!, the Lord knew him because he was a constant visitor to the Throne of God.
o Abraham’s intercession for Sodom and Gomorrah was not the first time Abraham prayed.
o This is how God could make this statement that He knew Him.
§ (The KJV gets the word ‘know’ right – the ESV uses the word ‘chosen’ – the Hebrew has it as know).
· Concerning Cornelius, the Word says that his prayers came up as a memorial before God. This is how God knew him. A man, who at this time was not even born again.
Acts 10:1–4 (ESV)
1 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort,
2 a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God.
3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.”
4 And he stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God.
· This knowing of God that He has of these people is not His omniscience of their existence. He did not know Cain, a murderer, like He knew Abraham his friend.
· This knowing is an intimate knowing because of constant visitation – Because of constant consistent action.
o Cornelius “prayed continually to God”
It is as we get into the Spirit that we are known of God.
o You first entered that realm when you were born again.
· Often times we want God to manifest Himself to us. We are saying God show up where we are.
· Prayer is the opposite, it is God saying come over here where I am.
· Where is He – He is in the Spirit realm.
o God is a spirit and they that worship Him worship Him in spirit and in spirit.
o What does ‘in spirit’ mean?
§ Over where God is at!
· You should like getting into the Spirit because it is where you are “known”.
· Jesus said something interesting to a religious crowd.
o to the those who worked miracles in His name “I never knew you”.
Matthew 7:21–24 (ESV)
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ (implying a religious crowd – they had the language!)
23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (note that the Lord did not confirm their claim of the miraculous – they said they did, does not mean they actually did!)
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
· “I never knew you” means you never crossed the threshold where I am at.
· God is saying, “These miracles that you say you did in my name, you did not do them from the spirit realm because if you did, I would have known!”
· But this is what the scripture does say…
· 1 Corinthians 8:3 (ESV)
3 But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.
· Love is expressed through the expenditure and commitment of time – time spent with him.
· DL Moody, famous evangelist, was inspired by this quote.
· “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man that is fully committed to Him.”
o “I determined to be that man”.
· Continual Prayer is a holy habit that makes highly effective Christians.