A Voice in the
We have addressed it before in passing, but it's been awhile. A little reminder is in order, and perhaps to delve a bit deeper. Recently a query came for a Q/A, which I answered from the angle of the "head covering" (1Cor11); to which, another subscriber suggested the query may have actually been about that which we will review again here in this commentary. The question was:
First of all, I challenge anyone to find me chapter-n-verse where Scripture teaches such a thing. (Not distorted or taken out of context)
The way people talk of it is very similar to what I've heard New Age people express, of praying and sending the spirits from within themselves to protect the boundaries of their dwellings, and extending "positive energies" outwards to effect positive results in whatever the situation that's on their mind.
Occult Charismania has introduced the same concept into Evangelicalism. They take certain Scriptures about God answering prayer, and have twisted things around to mean that -WE- must "lay hold of God", -WE- must pray 'vehemently' ..."AGREEING WITH one another and God".(Mt18:19) That -OUR- praying somehow "releases" God's ability [force/power] to carry out His will. That, somehow, unless we pray enough, God "ISN'T ABLE" to fulfill His Own will. Well, actually, the "will" is man's...but they have persuaded themselves that -their- will and God's are one and the same, because they have "agreed". [Again, chapter-n-verse?? ...not twisted. (2Pt3:16)]
First of all, let us understand God just a bit. He proclaims, "I am Jehovah who makes all things...who was with Me?" (Is44:24) All the things of man may perish, but God "remains". (Heb1:11) When man puffs himself up, "He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall mock at them [hold them in derision -nkjv]." (Ps2:4)
Please pardon more from the 'personal experience' department:
A few years ago, in the building where my business is located, a "christian" counselor (psychologist) had his 'practice'. By denominational titles he was not 'charismatic', went to the same Bible school I did, but was fully into this "praying up walls" concept. Since another business in the building was owned by people claiming to be "Christian", assuming spiritual affinity with me, he would speak of "praying walls around" our "Christian businesses". For the Lord's protection and, I suppose, blessing. Maybe a little 'warfare'? Who knows?!
As time progressed, through various interactions around the place, I became aware of his true colors. Eventually, it became necessary for me to write him a formal "letter of separation" to let him know that I was considering there to be a rift between us. A wall. That fellowship was not possible. So that he would understand when I didn't "greet him" around the building. (2Jn10, 1Cor5:7,11)
In addition, the longer he was in the building, the more "oppressive" was this 'cloud' which hung over the place. You know, "something in the air". Remember that the "prince of the power of the air" is the "-SPIRIT- that works in the children of disobedience." (Eph2:2) In other words, his "prayer" was effective. He was praying up "walls" and the spirits were complying.
But in my spirit, along with the Holy Spirit indwelling me, I knew this spirit was contrary to God. The "Spirit" that "bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God" (Rom8:16) also witnesses when the spirit in question is -not- of God. We are to "test the spirits". (1Jn4:1) And this matter was confirmed to my spirit...
For his own business reasons I learned that he was seeking another location to move his practice. But many months went by. Suddenly, as I came back to work after a several-day holiday, this 'cloud' no longer hovered over the place. There was a "free-ness" to the building. I noticed it as soon as I unlocked the door and walked in. I sort-of wondered about it. But, it wasn't until a couple days of this, that I finally found out that he had 'moved' during the holiday. His -spiritual- "walls" had left with him. That proved to me the 'source' of his walls, and the nature of his prayers.
Also, regarding prayer...
I don't much -ask- God for things anymore. My prayer doesn't so much involved me speaking -words- 'TO' Him anymore. From experience, I found that when I asked, I pretty much didn't know what I was asking. "..for we do not know what we should pray for as we ought.." (Rom8:26) Please indulge me a moment while I explain...
The "hot seat" experience has already been mentioned in the past. Many of you are new subscribers, so let me briefly share it again. About 8 years ago, after my wife had taken off with her 'beau', I was newly seeking the Lord's Face, having been to the bottom, in a night of repentance and cleansing. The pastor, whose church I was part of at the time invited me to the local weekly pastor's "prayer summit" prayer meetings. After a few weeks, I shared with the group, asking for prayer on behalf of my wife. I was then asked if I would like to sit in the "hot seat". A chair placed in the middle of the room, while everyone gathered around, laying hands, and "praying". There was some mighty vehement praying and claiming. Demanding that the Lord "today" -DO- the things they were praying for. This is the same group that would pray walls around Spokane against satan, and would verbally shake their fingers at satan in warfare, as they 'spoke to' satan, claiming their "God-given-power" to do these things. So, after I had been prayed for, and was on my motorcycle heading to work, I was (actually) praying, asking the Lord to "show me" -what- all this was about, about "answers" to prayer; and all this "claiming" and "impartation" they were doing. (The pastor and church I was part of at the time was "baptist", traditionally separate from anything remotely resembling "charismatic")
Eight years later, now, -their- prayers still have not been answered. God did not do the things they demanded. For, you see, my understanding of the circumstances was incomplete at that time. The needs were different than what everybody was praying for. For one thing; since then, I have come to the profound understanding that she was not saved. So, you perhaps understand when I say that I don't ask anymore.
Now, especially, since a few years later the Lord called me to this ministry, I don't have any "rights" to request of God. I am His servant. I am at -His- disposal. He is not at my beck-n-call. When Samuel was about to be commissioned for service, Eli instructed him to respond, "Speak, LORD, for your servant hears." (1Sam3:9,10)
You see, all this huffing and puffing the apostates do, supposing they have all this "authority" is like the wind, earthquake and fire. But God is not in those things. God's presence is experienced in the "still, small voice". (1Kg19:11-12)
When Saul/Paul was knocked down, he responds, "Lord, what will You have me to do?" (Acts9:6) Even Jesus, God's own Son responds, "not My will, but Yours be done.." (Lk22:42)
When we go into God's presence it should be...
"Guard your feet when you go to the house of God, and draw near to -HEAR-, more than to give a sacrifice, as do the fools. For they do not know that they are doing evil. Do not be hasty with your mouth, and do not let your heart hurry to bring forth a word before God. For God is in Heaven, and you are on earth; on account of this, let your words be few...and the voice of the fool is known by the many words." (Ec5:1-3)
"We do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He [Christ] searching the hearts (Heb4:12) knows what is the mind of the Spirit..." (Rom8:26-27) This expression "groanings" is not what 'spiritual vehement praying' is, as people groan and moan, and everybody is responding with "Amen!", and "that's right Lord!!", etc. Notice it says, "..groanings which CANNOT BE UTTERED." If they are groaning and moaning....they are -uttering-. This kind of prayer is at a much deeper level than -they- can even fathom in their unregeneracy.
People speak of being "on their knees" in prayer. The best way to pray is in a comfortable position, maybe at a table or desk, with a good lamp, in a quiet location "in your room...shutting your door" (Mt6:6), with the Scriptures -open- before you. Shut-the-mouth...and READ. You will be amazed at how much the Lord will speak to your heart, about many things...! And then, let Him take care of the outcome of events you are concerned about.
"..do not babble vain words, as the [heathen] do. For they think that in their much speaking they shall be heard. Therefore do not be like them, for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask Him." (Mt6:7-8)