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Saturday, 10 August 2013

Yes I Am 39 - How It Affects Our Prayer Life

Yes I Am by Norman Grubb
Chapter 39
HOW IT AFFECTS OUR PRAYER LIFE

Speaking the word of faith obviously makes a big difference to our prayer life. In explaining this new understanding of prayer I have sometimes said that "I don’t pray any more." I should not say that, chiefly because the Bible is full of exhortations to prayer and illustrations of prayer. What I’m meaning is that at the heart of my praying, the prayer of request has been replaced by the prayer of acceptance of what I’ve asked for. Certainly, prayer cannot mean what we often interpret it to mean - having special times of prayer, etc. - because Paul has told us to pray without ceasing, and that we cannot do unless we see prayer to be a condition in which communion with God is always continuous, on our subconscious (and, as needful, conscious) level.

I am not now referring to those periods of corporate prayer expressing fellowship, worship and praise. Some enjoy them in the quietness of an Episcopal-type worship service, or of the Lord’s Supper. Others, including myself, though being most at home in home fellowships, also enjoy the Spirit-led outpourings in more charismatic-type meetings when all are unitedly and vocally pouring out their hearts in praise; and this may often include both songs and singing in the Spirit, in one great volume of sound, sometimes interspersed with messages in tongues and interpretations. This was obviously part and parcel of the normal worship times in the early church (1 Cor. 14:26-33). It shows how far we have cooled off from the glow and freedom of those days when, in our established churches, we have a pastor to do the praying and preaching. This is a far call from a fellowship so living, and with so many wanting to take part, that it isn’t a question of calling on and encouraging the brethren to participate but rather of having enough orderliness for one to follow another, and giving room for two or three to speak in tongues also.

How far we’ve come when such a message in tongues would cause a shock (and even division) in the church fellowship, instead of being so ordinary that no notice is taken. I was in a fellowship I like to be with in Halford House, Richmond, England, on a Sunday morning, with about two hundred present. In the freedom of the worship hour I heard one speak in tongues with an interpretation. Then another spoke and no interpreter. When I inquired afterwards about the one with no interpretation... "You made a mistake," said my friend. "The second one was a Chinese sister speaking in her own language." But the point I am making is that in a period of worship and praise by song, prayer, Scripture, a message in tongues may be taken for granted; and it was a non-Pentecostal assembly. How far we have wandered.

It is something to hear the rising and falling of the sound of the Spirit in a Korean country congregation, maybe of a couple of thousand - and Presbyterian - unitedly praying at 4:00 a.m.; and that glow and glory can be shared today in many fellowships of many natures, by no means officially Pentecostal.

But back to our main line about the word of faith as the heartbeat of our prayer life. We have seen that we first need to know the mind of Christ, in each given situation, expressed through our own minds - relating to the challenge, the mountain that confronts us. Knowing that His mind and ours are in union, we come to a plain settlement (even if it takes time to sort things out) of what it is that we desire in the situation. We then boldly take it for granted that that means His desire by us, knowing that He freely said in Mark 11:24, "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."

It shows how far we have cooled off from the glow and freedom of those days when, in our established churches, we have a pastor to do the praying and preaching.  

And now we are moving into the heart of the matter. Jesus had just said, "Say unto this mountain, Be thou removed...", and you will have whatsoever you say. Now, speaking of naming our desires in prayer, He said, "Believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted you" - "have received," not "receive" - and I quote the New American Standard version here, because it best brings out the meaning of the Greek aorist tense.

This is where the difference lies between my former request-type praying and what Jesus was saying to His disciples and now us. I see God marvelously privileging me and you to be His agents of production in lives and conditions. Just as we produce in the material realm by specifically deciding what we shall make and then making it, so now in the realm of the Spirit. For me, I ask no longer, unless I also believe and receive.

Folks say, "But doesn’t God tell us to ask?" Yes, but asking is not to inform God of what I need. "Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things," said Jesus. What is required is God getting me in my childish ignorance to the point of deciding what He is meaning me to ask for. Just as you get a child to choose which cookie he will take and then ask for just that one. So asking is just a steppingstone to receiving. As Jesus said, "Ask. .. seek... knock, and it shall be opened unto you." So to my asking I add taking and receiving. Indeed, as I get used to taking by the word of faith, I hardly notice I’m asking - one is almost dissolved into the other.

So I move right in and speak the desire into reality. How? By that word of faith which "calls the things that be not as though they were," which is said to be God’s form of faith (Rom. 4:17), and therefore mine. I speak that word. When it is on the mundane, human level that I speak any such word, I then go on to fulfill it. This time I am recognizing that it is God speaking that word by me, and so He goes on to fulfill it - and it is precisely the same as when He brought the visible creation into being by the word of His Son.



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