You Can Pray the Perfect Prayer!
Frustrated because some or many of your prayers aren't answered?
God has a solution. In His Word He has good news for you: you can pray the perfect prayer!
You can let God pray through you! This may take some time to explain, so please be patient. We are about to introduce to a tool some Christians have discovered. This tool can transform your prayer life -- and transform you! It can help you deal with the power of sin in your life and in the lives of others.
Many of us have not dealt effectively with the power of sin because only part of God’s solution has been accepted. Our triune God created a threefold process for our salvation and sanctification, each stage intensified in power.
First, we accept Jesus – His death on the cross for us. At that moment our old sinful life or nature dies. It died, in fact, with Him 2000 years ago on the cross when He died. Crucified with Him, we receive at the same time the seed of eternal life.
According to Romans 6, something different and special happens at baptism by immersion, the second and vital stage of salvation. Verse 4 says we are buried with Him. The old nature dies when we accept Jesus, but after we accept Jesus we learn from His Word that we need to be baptized. We surrender our wills to God and actually bury the old nature so the Holy Spirit can work with our heart, mind and will in a new way.
In addition, we are resurrected to “newness of life.” You can’t be resurrected, as Jesus was, until you’re buried, right? We are, of course, made spiritually new at conversion. But our new life is only in seed form. Our newness and ability to change our character and sinful habits etched in our brains by the power of sin are limited. That’s why Paul reserves the term resurrection for our baptism experience. A fuller life – a resurrection life – occurs at baptism.
This obedient act causes the seed of eternal life to sprout. It is the opening up of the reality of eternal life. It opens the door to a richer, more abundant life – a life ruled more completely by God.
Baptism is not merely a symbol. It is a supernaturally anointed ceremony – packed with power! Our decision to surrender our will to God at baptism produces power to change that conversion alone does not afford. The baptismal surrender brings the flesh under the control of the resurrected spirit man.
The third stage of sanctification is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is a complete infilling of the Holy Spirit. As we were baptized or fully immersed in water at baptism, so we are baptized or fully immersed in the Holy Spirit, receiving full power from on high to be His witnesses. He offers to those who seek His gifts a special, personal prayer language to give them greater intimacy with the Father, enabling them to grow to even greater sanctification, if they use God’s gifts properly.
The Tongues Question: To Speak or Not to Speak
Please understand this controversial subject. Nowhere does the Bible say, “You shall know them by their tongues.” It says, “You will know them by their fruits (Mat. 7:20).” The proof of being baptized in the Holy Spirit is a completely changed life – a life overflowing with God’s love.
That is not, however, an excuse to limit God or ourselves. Every Christian has the gift of tongues in him or her. It is simply a matter of allowing it to manifest.
The main reason it doesn’t usually manifest quickly – or ever – is false doctrine: many churches teach it isn’t necessary. It is clearly a Biblical manifestation enjoined by Jesus (Mark 16:17) and practiced by Paul (I Cor. 14:18). Paul desired that all the Corinthians speak in tongues (I Cor. 14:5). That is God’s desire for the whole church. But if men have taught you that it isn’t God’s will, it will be difficult to manifest it.
Speaking in tongues will be a part of the end-time reformation, since the partial fulfillment of Joel 2:28 in Acts 2 involved this gift, as well as the more important gift of prophesying (Acts 2:17, I Cor. 14:5).
Acts 2 speaks of only one of the three kinds of tongues, that of the manifestation of human languages unknown naturally to the speaker (I Cor. 13:1). In this case people heard the disciples speak in the language those people knew, a language unknown to the speaker. Modern disciples have both spoken out languages they had not learned and been heard by those who listened in the listener’s language.
That happened to a friend of mine who was counseling a Greek lady on the phone. He spoke in English, but she heard him speak in perfect Greek! What’s more, he heard her, an immigrant who spoke broken English, respond in excellent English. The expression, “It’s all Greek to me,” isn’t always true in the Holy Spirit.
The second type of tongues is an angelic language (I Cor. 13:1). It is normally manifested in intercessory prayer and spiritual warfare. Spiritual warfare can often evoke a different and stronger, sometimes more staccato language. That warfare language can be either in tongues of men or angels.
Demons cannot understand the second and third types of tongues. If you pray aloud in your native tongue or another human language, they understand and can form plans to counter your prayer. The other tongues put them into a state of confusion.
The third type of tongues is the intimate prayer language the Holy Spirit gives us to talk with our Heavenly Father. In the midst of the valley of sore affliction or on the mountaintop of inexpressible joy, words often fail us. What a blessing from the precious Holy Spirit to be able to express ourselves in a language too deep for human words (Rom. 8:26-27). This type of tongues is like a fire inside – a driving unction.
Do you begin to see why Satan hates this gift from the Holy Spirit? He doesn’t want us to have all of God – because then we’ll counter all his attacks. He has cleverly convinced most of Christendom that tongues are either unnecessary or are dangerous manifestations of charismatic chaos. Corinth was indeed in chaos, but the problems the church experienced involved public tongues in church and had nothing to do with the private exercise of this important gift.
How Much of God Do You Want?
Our dear Friend the Holy Spirit has over 200 gifts for us. Too many Christians want only part of Jesus and part of the Holy Spirit. It must grieve His sensitive heart! He has given us tools to grow and serve others and grow nearer to the heart of Jesus and our Father (I Cor. 14:4, I Cor. 12).
Do we refuse to receive all of Him because Satan has caused some few to misuse or counterfeit some of His gifts? Satan is delighted! God has so much more to give us if we would only receive.
What part of God do we not want?
If we don’t receive His gifts, we will still spend eternity with God. But we’re limiting Him. And we are depriving ourselves of present and future rewards. Satan rejoices. Why? We are not allowing the third Person of the Trinity to do His full work in the final part of the trinity of sanctification.
As we go through this threefold process, we become victorious over the power of sin. We become more fully in line with God’s perfect will for our lives. We open up the opportunity to receive and bless others with all of God’s blessings, including healing.
We do not need to let the power of sin defeat us – no matter how bad our past may have been. We do, nevertheless, need to implement God’s solution.
And that begins with a simple prayer of faith. Surrender your old thought patterns to Jesus. Turn over all those seared pathways in your brain over to Him. Ask Him to go back and heal all those old memories and unholy hardwiring in your brain. He’s the great Healer.
Thank Jesus for healing you and walk in your new identity. Read aloud the ongoing solution God gives in Romans 6:11-14. God doesn’t give us grace so we can let ourselves go wild and yield to the flesh and sin. Grace is principally the unmerited, enabling power God freely gives us to overcome sin – not to wallow in it! Yield daily to the power of the Holy Spirit.
The power of God is greater – far greater – than the power of sin. Use it. The victory is yours!
You can even be part of the victory over sin in the lives of others. You may not know in your brain or mind what a person needs, but God does. When the Holy Spirit prays through you with "groanings too deep for words" (Rom. 8:26) "according to the will of God" (verse 27).
When you pray in tongues, you are not praying your will from your brain. You are praying God's will from His perfect and limitless reservoir of knowledge. And you are edifying yourself (I Cor. 14:4), "building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit" (Jude 20).
When you pray in your native tongue, as you hear what you are saying, room is made for doubt and fear about the answer. But when you let God, who is Love (I John 4:8), pray through you in words you probably won't understand, no place is given for fear or doubt. Wow! That's a powerful prayer. It's a perfect prayer!
The Prayer Outside of Time
You are letting the God who is outside of time pray through you. You may be praying for the apostle Paul, or David, or even Jesus in Gethsemane! Remember, the disciples failed Jesus when He needed their prayers the most. Our prayers can strengthen even the One who suffered and died for us!
I realize that may stretch our minds, yet when we truly realize we are one with the "I Am," we are not limited by time. Job's righteous words affected events throughout time. So can ours, especially when we pray in the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit, who is outside of time, inspired the apostle Paul to write, "With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel" (Eph. 6:18-19).
The meaning behind these words is more than meets the eye. The timeless God is telling us through Paul to pray for all the saints. That means all the saints of all eras past, present and future! And Paul was asking us today to pray for him. Our prayers have more value than we previously thought. Perhaps we should emphasize a word that may have escaped us in its enormous value in James 5:16: "The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much" (much more than we had thought).
Reading between the lines of the Word of God can be quite instructive. We know that Jesus had the Holy Spirit in Him from birth. When Jesus reflected on the wonderful truth that the Father had chosen the weak of the world to grasp the mysteries of the Kingdom and have their names written in the book of life, he rejoiced. Luke 10:21 says that "He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit." The implication of the original words includes the idea that He spoke in tongues. We often miss these intimations in the Word of God.
Jesus prayed in tongues. Paul prayed in tongues and expressed the desire that we all pray in tongues. While the public prophesying in tongues and the interpretation of tongues in church services is a special gift, the speaking in tongues in general is a gift accorded to everyone who has accepted Jesus.
You can have that gift activated in your life. God tells us to ask, seek and knock, and He assures us that He is more than willing to give us every good and perfect gift (Luke 11:9-13; James 1:17).
Psalm 81:10 has many applications. One of them has to do with tongues. God makes this promise to you: "Open your mouth wide and I will fill it." Take God at His Word. Ask in faith for the activation of this gift of tongues. It is your right. Claim it! Be in continual thanksgiving that you have it.
This gift may come immediately as you open your mouth. It may also require some time of testing of your faith as you persevere in thanksgiving. Don't be discouraged. Ask God to reveal any hindrances to receiving it. Soon you will open your mouth and out will come a prayer language that will revive your prayer life. Yes, you can pray the perfect prayer!