Tag Archives: Prayer and Fasting

FAITH AND DIVINE HEALING- BY BROTHER MICAH ARMSTRONG

I believe many who claim to believe in the ability of God to heal and those who claim to believe it is generally His will to heal are really unsure of His will.

It is almost like the calvinist’s believing God has some mysterious secret will that is contrary to what He wrote in His Word. As if His secret sovereign will overrides and contradicts what He revealed in His Word and what He promised.

Even though many are not healed you cannot argue from the Bible that it is because it was the will of God.

For faith to truly be exercised and to truly pray the prayer of faith there must be no doubt about what the will of God is in a matter.

James 1:6-8- But let him ASK IN FAITH NOTHING WAVERING. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

For LET NOT THAT MAN THINK THAT HE SHALL RECEIVE ANYTHING OF THE LORD.

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

To truly ask in faith and pray the prayer of faith there must be no wavering and no doubt as to what the will of God is in the matter.

Any underlying doubt or wavering will totally undermine the prayer of faith.

The same author in the same book records a few chapters later:

James 5:14-15- IS ANY SICK AMONG YOU? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

AND THE PRAYER OF FAITH SHALL SAVE THE SICK, AND THE LORD SHALL RAISE HIM UP

For the elders as well as the one being prayed for to pray and believe in faith there must be no wavering or doubting as to what the will of God is.

1 John 5:14-15- And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us:

And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.

We can have no confidence that God will hear and give us the answer to our prayers if we are not sure about what the will of God is.

As long as there is underlying doubt or wavering as to what the will of God is then it cannot be the prayer of faith and confidence in God hearing and answering our prayer and petition to heal the sick.

We must also have confidence that we are in a right heart condition before God for our prayers to be heard and answered:

1 John 3:20-22- For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.

And WHATSOEVER WE ASK WE RECEIVE OF HIM BECAUSE WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS AND DO THOSE THINGS THAT ARE PLEASING IN HIS SIGHT.

When these conditions are met of knowing our heart is right with God and knowing what the will of God is we can boldly ask, seek, knock until we obtain the answer. Luke 18:1-8, Mark 9:23-29, Matthew 17:19-21

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THE SPIRIT OF PRAYER (PART 2)- BROTHER MICAH ARMSTRONG

 

FROM WHENCE COMETH THIS SPIRIT OF PRAYER?

 

It comes from a burden.  Where does the burden come from?  Partially and the emphasis being made here is it comes from vision.  It comes from seeing. Seeing what God has promised, what God can do, what God is capable of, what God wants to do, and what God desires to do. 

 

It comes from seeing our lack, our need, our impotence, our need of Him and His power.  It comes by seeing the work the enemy has done.  It comes from seeing the lack of God’s promises being fulfilled.  Here are several examples from scripture. 

 

Isaiah 59:1-2-Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy that it cannot hear:

 

Here Isaiah acknowledges what God is capable of and desires to do but then in verses 2-15 he gives a vivid description of why God is hindered from moving and the wicked conditions in that society.  He as well as God seem grieved, dismayed, and shocked that knowing what God desired to do and could be done and how wicked things had become there was still no intercessor (verse 16).  No one concerned enough to meet the conditions to make a difference, avail themselves, stand in the gap and pray down God’s power. 

 

Isaiah 59:16-And He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor:

 

Another example from scripture: 

 

Isaiah 64:1-3-Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence, as when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence!  When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence. 

 

Isaiah acknowledges his great need of God Himself coming down and doing what Isaiah realizes he cannot do in and of himself.  For God to rend the heavens and come down.  For the mountains which represent the strongholds and pride of man (humanism, communism, false religion, sin) to melt and come down at His presence.  For the waters which represent the multitudes of peoples to boil at His presence and make His Holy terrible fear known among the multitudes, bringing conviction on the peoples, and making known His name to His adversaries. 

 

He realizes for this to happen someone must stir themselves to call upon the name of God and take hold of Him until He rends the heavens and comes down! 

 

How are men stirred? 

 

We are told in 2 Timothy 1:6-“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God that is in thee…”

 

To stir up means to fan into a flame.  How is this done? 

 

Acts 17:16-Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. 

 

Paul was stirred as he saw the city wholly given over to the worship of idols.  If saints today would obey the great commission to go where the lost, deceived, blinded multitudes are and begin to try to reach them they would be stirred to call upon the name of God and take hold of Him for His power to set the captives free. 

 

Unfortunately most people never attempt to obey the heavenly vision given to Paul and commanded to all: 

 

Acts 26:18-19-To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.  Whereupon, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:

 

It is not until we obey this command to go into the world and attempt to attack satan’s stronghold’s and reconcile sinners that we really find out how much of God’s power we really possess and how much we really need and depend upon Him.  This causes us to see our need and lack and cry out to Him.   

 

Psalm 119:139-My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words

 

What caused David to be filled with zeal?  Seeing his and the enemies of God forgetting God’s words. 

 

John 2:17-The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. 

 

What filled Jesus with zeal to drive the moneychangers out of the temple?  Seeing his Father’s house which was to be a house of prayer made a place of merchandise.  Seeing God being misrepresented and reproached.  In John 2:17 the disciples were remembering the words from the Old Testament book of Psalms. 

 

Psalm 69:9-For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me. 

 

Jesus was filled with zeal because His Father’s name and house had been reproached and that reproach fell upon Him and moved Him to action.  We should be moved to action as we see the Lord misrepresented and reproached and as we see those He died to save wholly given over to the worship of idols. 

 

This is what stirred Paul.  It was what stirred Isaiah.  It should stir us also.

 

In the book of Joel the prophet saw the terrible judgment coming on God’s people and on the land (Joel 2:1-11). 

 

In chapter 3 Joel saw the vision of the potential harvest as well as the judgment coming (Joel 3:12-14). 

 

Realizing his and God’s people’s great need and their great lack he says the following: 

 

Joel 2:12-Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping and with mourning:

 

Turning to God with all the heart always involves fasting and weeping and mourning.  If these are not present then there is not a turning to God with all the heart. 

 

Joel 2:13-And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

 

This rending of the heart involves godly sorrow that worketh repentance and a heart change. 

 

Joel 2:14-Who knoweth if He will return and repent and leave a blessing behind Him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the Lord your God? 

 

God is very merciful and if His people turn back to Him with all their heart it is possible God may have mercy and spare them some judgment or at least prolong it.

 

Joel 2:15-Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:

 

There is a much greater potential for good as God’s people meet together in unity (Psalm 133), with one accord and in one place (Acts 2:1), of one heart and of one soul (Acts 4:32), in the unity of the spirit (Ephesians 4:3), in the unity of the faith (Ephesians 4:13), and in the unity of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 17), to pray, fast, repent and intercede. 

 

Joel 2:16-Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber and the bride out of her closet. 

 

This corporate prayer time of fasting, repenting, and interceding was even more important than upcoming wedding. Call off the wedding for now and get to the house of God to join other believers in repenting, interceding, fasting and seeking God. 

 

Joel 2:17-Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people Where is their God?

 

One of the biggest hindrances and difficulties today of God pouring out His spirit on His people is getting leaders to forsake their petty differences which are usually mainly a cover up for pride, territorialism, and a desire to be “King of the Hill”. 

 

When God’s people obey Joel 2:12-17 then God will have mercy (verse 18) and will pour out His spirit upon His people and the land. 

 

God is looking for laborers and this includes intercessors (Isaiah 59:16). 

 

Isaiah 64:7-And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself  to take hold of thee: 

 

Ezekiel 22:30-31-And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.  Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them;

 

God is desiring a praying church, an interceding church, a concerned church, a burdened church (2 Chronicles 7:14, Joel 2:12-17). 

 

Many excuses are made and offered as to why more are not saved, why God’s kingdom is not advanced, etc. but the real reason behind all of it is a lack of burden, a lack of concern that translates into a lack of prayer. 

 

Isaiah 66:8-As soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children

 

As believers see the promises of God (Isaiah 59:1-2, Isaiah 64:1-3) and what God desires to do, and as believers see their need of God’s power and lack of God fulfilling His promises due to their lack of seeking, believing and obeying Him they begin to cry out to God. 

 

Psalm 63:1-2-O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; to see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. 

 

Here the Psalmist is desiring to see God come down.  He realizes he is in a dry land and is hungering and thirsting for God to pour out His spirit and water the seeds that have been sown. 

 

Isaiah 44:3-For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring. 

 

God promises to pour out His spirit and fulfill His promises upon those who meet the conditions.  God desires to move and come down but He must have intercessors who are hungry and thirsty, who are desperate and give themselves to seeking Him. 

 

Zechariah 12:10-And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications:

 

As God’s people begin to hunger and thirst for God to come down and be glorified and began to seek Him and give themselves to prayer God will begin to pour out upon His faithful saints the spirit of grace and supplications, to seek Him, to petition Him, to supplicate Him, to beseech Him to fulfill His promises. 

 

Hosea 10:12-Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till He come and rain righteousness upon you.

 

It is one thing to do some praying but it takes the supernatural ability of God given by a spirit of supplications to seek God and take hold of Him until He comes and rains righteousness upon us.  This is the spirit of prayer. 

 

Zechariah 10:1-Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain;so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give showers of rain, to everyone grass in the field.   

 

God says even if we are in the time of the latter rain we are still to ask for the latter rain and not idly sit around and wait upon Him to send it in His sovereignty.  He promises if we will ask He will send it. 

 

We are in desperate need of God and without His anointing and Spirit we can do nothing. 

 

Zechariah 4:6-Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts

 

Realizing this, seeing His great promises and what He desires to do and not seeing them fulfilled causes us to cry out to Him in desperation (Psalm 63:1-2, Isaiah 64:1-3).  We are in a dry and thirsty land and are in need of His spirit.  We have had truth and seed sown but we must have His Spirit to water those seeds and bring those seeds to fruition. 

 

Isaiah 32:15-Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. 

 

We are in a dry spiritual wilderness but we can pray, seek, ask, petition and believe God to make this wilderness a fruitful field and then continue to seek God until the fruitful field becomes a forest. 

 

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THE SPIRIT OF PRAYER (PART 1)-BROTHER MICAH ARMSTRONG

 

LOOKING FOR A VESSEL

 

God is always looking for a willing vessel.  “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will” (Acts 13:22).  God found a willing vessel in David who would obey, follow and carry out His will. 

 

I pay particular attention when God asks the question “Who” because not everyone qualifies to be a “Who”.  To be a “who” for God there is a price to be paid and conditions to be met.  Very few are willing to pay the price, meet the conditions and qualify to be a “…vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the Masters use, and prepared unto every good work” (2 Timothy 2:21). 

 

2 Chronicles 16:9-For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him. 

 

God is always looking for those whose heart is perfect towards Him so He can show Himself strong through them and to them. 

 

Psalm 4:3-But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for Himself. 

 

God sets apart those that are godly, those He can trust, unto Himself. 

 

God says “Who will rise up for me against the evildoers?  Or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity” (Psalm 94:16).  Here God is looking for a vessel to stand up for Him against the wicked workers of iniquity and speak out against it.  Not many volunteers for that.  They often tell God or say in their hearts “That was not what I had in mind”. 

 

After Isaiah saw the holiness of God he humbled himself before God and God took a coal of fire and put it on Isaiah’s lips and purified his sin and purged his iniquity, he heard the voice of the Lord saying “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” (Isaiah 6:8) and he responded “Here am I; send me”

 

God was looking for a willing available vessel and He found one in Isaiah once Isaiah got purged and purified.  He was bold as a lion (Proverbs 28:1). This is the real reason more do not avail themselves to go for God to whom God needs them to go to. 

 

It seems God always has a shortage of willing, available volunteers He can trust. 

 

God is looking for people He can speak to and share His burden and His heart and who will obey what He tells them.  These people are rare.  No wonder He says, “For who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord, and hath perceived and heard His word?  Who hath marked His word, and heard it?” (Jeremiah 23:18). 

 

Here again is another “who” God is looking for.  It seems everyone claims to want to hear from God yet God wonders who can He speak His counsel to.  Men lost their lives and had their blood shed for hearing from God and obeying what they heard. 

 

Psalm 24:3-5-Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?  Or who shall stand in His holy place?  He that hath clean hands and a pure heart;  Who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.  He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteous from the God of His salvation. 

 

Here again God is looking for and asking “who” will cleanse his hands and purify his heart and get into the presence of a thrice Holy God and wait upon God, hear from a thrice Holy God, and faithfully obey and carry out what he hears. 

 

Another area God has few volunteers where there should be many is the ministry of worship. 

 

John 4:23-But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him.

 

Not all have the ability to preach or sing talent wise but worship requires no talent or ability only character and heart.  All are capable of worship and worship should be the first ministry of every believer, before intercession, before witnessing, before preaching, etc.  This should be the first ministry of every believer and every believer is capable of this ministry yet the Father is still seeking those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. 

 

Not too many interested in God for who He is.  Most who claim to be believers will pray some, but most of the prayers are maintenance prayers.  Maintenance prayers are legitimate in and of themselves but sinners probably do the same.  People pray about their needs, their job, getting through their day, their family, their salvation, their ministry, etc.  All these in and of themselves are legitimate but sinners will do even the same. 

 

Who waits on God to worship Him in spirit and in truth, to hear from Him and obey and carry out what they hear? 

 

SEEKING INTERCESSORS

 

Moving closer now to the real subject at hand, another group God is seeking and is probably the most difficult to find but yet the most necessary.  It seems many times the tasks that are most necessary and important have the fewest volunteers. 

 

Isaiah 59:16-And He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor:

 

God looked out at how wicked society had become (Isaiah 59:1-15) with truth failing, lying fallen in the street, judgment turned backward, justice failing, and he that departeth from evil making himself a prey (sound familiar?) and He wondered there was no intercessor.  No one concerned enough to stand in the gap and intercede. Most probably caught up in their own affairs (Mark 4:19) with no concern for the things that concerned God. 

 

Isaiah 64:7-And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee:

 

Here again God is looking for someone willing to stir themselves, to call upon His name and take hold upon Him so He can fulfill the cry of Isaiah 64:1-3. 

 

You will have no Isaiah 64:1-3 without a Isaiah 64:7 person.  God will not rend the heavens, come down, cause the mountains (strongholds and pride of man) to flow down at His presence, and cause the waters to boil because of the fire of His presence (waters are multitudes of people-God is consuming fire-Hebrews 12:29), until someone is stirred enough, concerned enough, burdened enough, hungry enough, desperate enough and dissatisfied enough to stir themselves to call upon His name and take hold of Him.  

 

Ezekiel 22:30-31-And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.  Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them;

 

God was searching for a man, a vessel who had the heart to stand in the gap but found none.  It seems to indicate all He needed was one suitable man to give himself to standing in the gap before the Lord and the land to intercede for it to prevent God’s judgment from coming on the land but He found none. 

 

We are to pray for laborers of course. 

 

Matthew 9:37-38-Then saith He unto His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest. 

 

This certainly includes praying for God to raise up intercessors and those who will stand in the gap, and stir themselves to call upon the name of the Lord and take hold of Him to pour out His spirit (Isaiah 64:1-7). 

 

This certainly includes praying for God to raise up intercessors who will stand in the gap so that in the midst of a wicked and perverted society God’s hand will not be shortened that it cannot save and His ear heavy that it cannot hear (Isaiah 59:1-21). 

 

We live in a day of virtual prayerlessness and a church that is practically prayerless except for maintenance praying and prayer for personal needs, family, job, ministry, etc.  This is not the type of church or type of prayer God desires. 

 

2 Chronicles 7:14-If my people, which are called by name, will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land

 

This scripture is often quoted but rarely obeyed.  We are to pray for an agonizing church, a burdened church, a concerned church, a desperate church, a dissatisfied church, a hungry church, an interceding church and a travailing church. 

 

Isaiah 66:8-For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. 

 

Excuses abound everywhere for lack of fruit, lack of souls born into the kingdom, lack of advancement of God’s kingdom, lack of churches established, etc. but above is the real problem.  Lack of burden.  Lack of concern that translates into lack of desperate, agonizing prayer.  Lack of soul travail.  Lack of time given to intercessory prayer due to a lack of concern.  The Bible talks about there being a spirit of prayer. 

 

SPIRIT OF PRAYER

 

Zechariah 12:10-And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplications:

 

God speaks of pouring upon His people a spirit of grace and supplication to intercede, to stand in the gap, to stir ourselves to call upon His name and take hold of Him until He comes and rains righteousness upon us. 

 

This is a praying beyond our natural ability and allowing the Spirit of God, the Holy Ghost who is the Spirit of prayer to pray through us. It is not worked up but comes through yielded vessels who allow the Lord to share His burden and heart with them. 

 

Romans 8:26-27-Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 

 

The Spirit of God knows the will of God and the mind of God and wants to bring forth the will of God in the earth but He must have an available yielded vessel who will allow Him to pray through them.  Groanings means to agonize, to labor, to travail.  The Bible likens this to a woman giving birth to a child (Isaiah 66:8). 

 

Galatians 4:19-My little children, of whom I travail in birth again, until Christ be formed in you. 

 

Paul seems to indicate he travailed in birth once for them to be born into the kingdom (1 Corinthians 4:15), and then again for them to grow into maturity in Christ.  This is not something worked up, performed or put on.  It is not a taught formula.   It is as the Spirit of God leads and by His work but this is so foreign to so many who have no clue or concern to know the Lord’s heart or share in His burden. 

 

Charles Finney said prayer was not effectual unless it was offered up to God with the agony of desire. 

 

Hosea 10:12-Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy, break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, til He come and rains righteousness upon you.

 

A spirit of prayer and burden to stir ourselves to call upon the Lord, take hold of Him and seek Him until He comes and rains His righteousness upon us.  

 

to be continued….

 

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OFFERING EXCUSES TO REPLACE LACK OF EFFORT-BROTHER MICAH ARMSTRONG

 

It is far easier to offer up excuses for a lack of fruit than to admit we have not met the conditions, do not have the burden and put forth the effort required to have the fruit the Bible shows us we can have from our prayers, preaching and witnessing. 

 

If someone were to pick up a Bible and read through it they would definitely expect to obtain the type of results the Bible says they can have.  They would expect to see their prayers answered, souls converted, sick bodies healed, devils cast out, God’s kingdom advanced, His name magnified, and their society impacted. 

 

Often however this does not happen and instead of putting the blame on ourselves where it belongs we conveniently offer excuses such as “not God’s will”, “people do not want the truth today”, “they do not believe”, etc. 

 

The plain truth is usually sufficient effort is not put forth due to a lack of burden and a lack of desire and consequently there is a lack of Biblical fruit. 

 

God always promises to fulfill godly desires based on His promises (Psalm 37:4, Psalm 145:19, Isaiah 44:3, Matthew 5:6, Mark 11:24). 

 

These desires will be manifested in diligence, effort, sacrifice, and sacrifice put forth to obtain them. 

God rewards those that diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). 

 

That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises (Hebrews 6:12). 

And so, after he had patiently endured he obtained the promise (Hebrews 6:15).   Patience means perseverance. 

 

Our society has become so soft, flabby, and undisciplined we do not know much about diligence and discipline the way the Bible speaks of it and they way our spiritual forefathers did. 

 

Jesus is the Son of God who never sinned and is our ultimate example.  Even though He was God in the flesh and never sinned He still saw the need to fast forty days and forty nights and spend whole nights in prayer to accomplish the will of God in His life (Luke 4:1-18, Luke 6:12).

 

Jesus promised us we would do the works He did (John 14:12) and we have a record of men who did the works of Jesus in the book of Acts and history.   

 

The kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force (Matthew 11:12).  God’s kingdom is advanced by the spiritual force and power that comes from those who stir themselves to take hold of God (Isaiah 64:7) until they obtain (Hosea 10:12, Isaiah 32:15) God’s power to get His work accomplished. 

 

Jacob was a man of like passions as we are yet he laid hold on God, wrestled with Him all night in prayer, and would not let Him go until God blessed Him.  As a result he prevailed with God and afterwards had power with God and with men (Genesis 32:24-32). 

 

Jesus prayed with agony of desire (Luke 22:44), until He sweat blood and the Spirit of God longs for a willing available vessel to groan out the agonies and desires of God until His will is accomplished in the earth (Romans 8:26-27).   Paul travailed in birth for men to be born into the kingdom and then again for Christ to be formed in them (Galatians 4:19). 

 

Paul exhorts us to strive in our prayers (Romans 15:30), told us the grace of God within him labored more abundantly than all others (1 Corinthians 15:10), told us the Spirit of God within him strove mightily to bring men to perfection in Christ (Colossians 1:28-29), and Ephaphras labored fervently in prayers that men would stand perfect and complete in all the will of God (Colossians 4:12). 

 

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16).  His prayer was unceasing and fervent because he was burdened with desire for God’s will to be accomplished and it could only be accomplished by His power.  Prayer was the only path to obtain it. 

 

As soon as Zion travailed she brought forth her children (Isaiah 66:8).  Excuses abound as to why sinners are not converted and churches that preach truth remain empty but the above verse removes all the excuses.  No burden, no agonizing, no concern, no travail and so no souls born into the kingdom. 

 

Persistence overcomes resistance.

 

 Cornelius prayed until his prayers came up as a memorial before God (Acts 10:4).  There are vials in heaven full of odors which are the prayers of the saints (Revelation 5:8).  When those vials get full they are poured out on the earth in answer to prayer.  Most will not put forth effort to persevere in diligent prayer until they are filled up because they lack heart. 

 

Our attitude is “I prayed, time passed, God did not answer, must not be God’s will”. 

 

According to God we are to pray and not to faint or get faint hearted (Luke 18:1) thinking our prayers will not be answered and give up.  Those who faint are not praying and those who persevere do not faint.  

 

You fasted but fast again.  You prayed all night but do it again.  According to the Bible we must sow in tears if we expect to reap in joy (Psalm 126:5-6).  Sacrifice, suffer, endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ in order to obtain God’s promises, His power and advance His kingdom.   

 

And shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them?  I tell you He will avenge them speedily.  Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth (Luke 18:7-8)?  

 

According to this parable the Bible faith the Lord Jesus Christ is looking for is the kind that cries mightily to God day and night and perseveres until it obtains the answer. 

 

But without faith it is impossible to please Him: For he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).  God rewards those who diligently seek Him, taking whatever steps are necessary to put forth the effort to obtain the answer. 

 

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (Galatians 6:9).  Most give up, faint and quit before they ever reap anything. 

 

“God and man unite for the task, the response of the divine being invariably in proportion to the desire and the effort of the human” (E.M. Bounds).     

 

This lack of effort is perhaps most clearly manifested in the area of fasting and prayer. 

 

Jesus told us all things are possible with God (Mark 10:27) but also told us all things are possible to those who believe (Mark 9:23).  According to Jesus everything that is possible with God is possible to those who believe or have faith in God (Mark 11:22-24).  The link between God’s omnipotent power and man’s impotence is faith in God.

 

Jesus made it plain that great faith in God comes from a life of prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:19-21).  The disciples had cast out devils in the past but now came to a case they could not handle.  They had not paid the price, met the conditions and put forth the effort necessary to lay hold on God in prayer and fasting. 

 

And with GREAT POWER gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and GREAT GRACE was upon them all (Acts 4:33). 

 

Notice the apostles had great power and great grace.  They could have had little, some, more or great depending upon their desire, their burden, their asking and their effort. 

 

Great asking, great need, great burden, great desire, and great effort result in great obtaining of (Luke 11:13, Hebrews 4:16, Psalm 35:13). 

 

God gives grace to the humble (James 4:6) and David said he humbled his soul with fasting (Psalm 35:13).  More seeing the need, realizing the lack will lead to more asking, beseeching, petitioning, supplicating, fasting, crying out to God for more grace and more power to accomplish the will of God. 

 

Daniel saw what God had promised according to the calendar but did not see the promise coming to pass.  He set himself to fast and pray and persevered until the answer came (Daniel 10).  Elijah did not send his servant one time, get discouraged and quit but persevered with his face between his knees in prayer until the answer came after the seventh time (1 Kings 18).  

 

 King Joash was rebuked by God and Elisha for his lack of effort and slothfulness and as a result his enemies were not destroyed (2 Kings 13). 

 

Souls are in bondage, darkness and pain spiritually and physically because Christians have not put forth the effort and sacrifice necessary to obtain the grace and power necessary to liberate them (Matthew 4:16, Isaiah 60:1-2, Acts 26:18).  Will you? 

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