As many of you know in February we attended Winter Bible Seminar in Tulsa, OK. Elaine and I have been going to these meetings for close to thirty years, but this year we witnessed something much deeper. In the midst of a wonderful move of the Spirit Pastor Kenneth W. Hagin declared, “we are in the beginning stages of revival!”
There are things we must do to prepare ourselves for the move of God.
Prayer is essential in creating an environment where God will move. We can understand the importance of prayer by looking at Jesus’ life. To get ready for a major meeting or missionary work, He prayed. He would pray all night and then have a healing crusade.
Then do you know what He did to get refreshed? He prayed all night the next night. He stayed rested and refreshed through prayer. Yes, everyone needs to take a break now and then. But nothing will keep you more refreshed than times with the Father. Acts 3:19 says that times of refreshing come from the Presence of the Lord. The effectiveness of Jesus’ ministry was enhanced by His prayer life.
John Wesley, a mighty man of prayer, once said that “God is limited by our prayer life. He said it seems God can do nothing on this earth unless someone asks Him to. Prayer is essential for God to continue His plans and purposes on this earth as He desires.”
I always thought that prayer was bombarding Heaven to try to get God to do something. Many think that if you can get enough people praying hard enough, or praying the right formula, you might talk God into doing something. But the Bible says, “I am the Lord, I change not” (Mal. 3:6). So prayer is not going to change God. James says that with Him there is no variableness or shadow of turning (James 1:17). God cannot change (Heb. 13:8).
Some ask, “If God wants to do certain things, then why doesn’t He do them?” For instance, why does He wake people up in the middle of the night to pray for some missionary around the world? If He wants to heal him, why doesn’t He just do it? If He wants to save the nations, why doesn’t He just save them?
God is not only holy, He is also just. He abides by His own legal rules. In the scripture Satan is called “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4). God originally gave dominion of the earth to Adam, but Adam handed it over to Satan. When he did, it gave Satan a legal right to set up his kingdom all over the world.
So there are two groups who legally live on this earth. Man lives here legally. We live in a natural world, and as long as we have a natural human body, we belong here. But since Adam transferred his long-term lease in the Garden of Eden to Satan, Satan and his cohorts legally exist here too.
God owns everything, but that doesn’t mean He can do anything He wants. He has chosen to limit Himself to His own spiritual laws. As an example, a landlord owns the apartment complex, but if someone has a lease to rent it, he cannot kick down the door any time he wants.
God has the power and strength to do anything He wants. There is no shortage of power on God’s side; yet He abides by His own rules. God is holy and just. God wants to do things here on earth, but He wants to do them legally, so He waits for an invitation. So anytime we pray, we are giving our Father a legal invitation to do what He already told us He wanted to do.
Prayer is not talking God into doing something – it’s finding out what He wants to do, and agreeing with Him. Prayer is saying, “Father, I thank You that You said, ‘Ask of Me and I will give you the nations for your inheritance.’ I ask You to send laborers to America.”
When you pray God’s Word you just agreed with God and gave God a legal right to send missionaries to that nation. You just invited God to come into this natural world. When you pray, you are doing business with God, the Creator of the universe who wants to do things on this earth, but He’s waiting to do it on a legal basis, in accordance with his Word. He’s trying to get us to pray.
Jer 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things , which thou knowest not. KJV
God appeared to Abraham and said, ‘you serve Me, and I will bless you. When Abraham agreed to serve God, then God had an entrance into this world. Abraham started asking, and God started moving. And through that one channel, He brought forth His Son, and then millions of believers all over the world. He found someone who would pray, he found someone who would take him at Word!
Every major move of God in the past 2,000 years started with prayer. In the past when people stopped praying and became apathetic, the power and Presence of God waned in church services. Again John Wesley said, “God is limited by our prayer life. It seems God can do nothing on this earth unless someone asks Him to. Prayer is essential for God to continue His plans and purposes on this earth as He desires.”