If My People Will… (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Humble, Pray, Seek, Turn
I’m slow reading a C. S. Lewis book. Yesterday a statement turned on the lights.
The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:14 TLBT:
The KJV translates it:
But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Not some of them, but all spiritual things are spiritually discerned.
“If My people, who are called by My Name…will pray.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
If all things spiritual are spiritually discerned, that gives us clues how we are to pray. Read again 1 Corinthians 2:14. Add John 6:44 to the mix. “No one can come to me unless….” What does “spiritually discern” mean?
I talked to a lady recently whose 84th birthday was the next day. It didn’t take us long to get into serious stuff. She told me she has a 5000 book library. Then she told about her children. Addiction is pervasive. She could not understand why one child would not listen when she talked to her—alcohol controlled the adult child. It cost her $ and her marriage and still the offspring maintained she didn’t have a problem. Reasoning or logic were totally ineffective in changing life-death decisions.
“Unless the Spirit draw….” Whether we are praying for family or looters, our words are “foolishness to them” if they are encircled by another spirit, a commitment to “worldly values” or carrying the wounds of the past. I think anyone who is dealing (strongholds) with addiction, abuse or involved with dark spirits, just don’t (maybe can’t) get it. Some are rebellious. It is not that the Spirit does not “draw” them. The Natural person has resistors surrounding them—they can’t discern or perceive what is being said. That tells us how we are to pray.
Discernment comes as a spiritual revelation about specifics in your soul or spirit that raises questions (I wonder?) or knowledge (I know!) in your mind about something of concern to you.
Pray against the spiritual bubble
A couple of almost always come to mind:
There are almost never bassoons in marching bands.
You almost never can reason with a rioter.
A dog chasing a squirrel will almost never hear you call her name.
I have been grappling with the construct of prayer. What is it and how do we do it? Lance Wallnau reminded me when the Disciples awoke Jesus in the midst of the lake storm, Jesus spoke to the storm and then He spoke to the fear or lack of faith within his friends. Two actions that outline prayer: Speaking to the mountain/ storm/ sickness/ barriers, ect., and speaking to the inner perceptions, beliefs, fears including the adrenalin, lack of knowledge and what we “know”.
“Praying into” is a term I haven’t used. It makes sense connected to intercession. We are not trying to convince God to do what He wants to do anyway. The spiritual bubble is what Holy Spirit must pierce. He will not assault a person’s will or personhood, but He will, in appropriate ways to each person, confront their (our) misconceptions and false beliefs leading to bad behavior and inadequate responses. That is what we call “conviction.”
If My people will…pray… (2 Chronicles 7:14)
We are praying when we “send” Holy Spirit to a specific situation or a specific person with specific instructions. I cringe a bit at that statement—who am I to instruct God!? Well, God limited Himself how He relates to earth. The Earth was stewarded to Mankind, which Adam and Eve handed to Lucifer. Someone must give God “permission” to enter the Earth realm. That is what specific prayer does.
Given Daniel 9-10 and God’s interaction with Sodom and Gomorrah (as well as some interaction with Abram), I conclude that God delegates. I’m uncomfortable speaking to angels. We have been warned against “commanding angels,” but we can give Holy Spirit permission to send angels—created beings—to interact with situations and people to tell them Truth so they might respond to God’s call to confess, repent, follow.
It is not my intention to pray that people will think like I do. I have no interest in manipulating by asking God to sneak in one of my theories or faith beliefs. I don’t want my prayers to be a dimension of witchcraft by asking and using God to kick someone’s butt. (Many prayers for judgement inadvertently affect the poor, powerless and voiceless disproportionately. Lightning bolts don’t have very good aim—a lot of collateral shrapnel.) It is a surgical prayer while honoring a person’s will, relationships and God’s plan for which I aim. I do not want to invade their space. My perception of God is “He will lift you up” (James). He commands us for our benefit.
Loosing and Binding
“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19
In the pre-intercession praying, I sense we need to ask God—Father, Son, Holy Spirit—whichever one is in charge of this–what exactly needs to be loosed and what exactly needs to be bound. There are several facets to loosing and binding. I want to get this right, so I ask Holy Spirit to instruct me what He desires to bind and loose.
“Passive information receivers,” is a phrase Bill Bennett uses to describe the non-curious and non-fact-seeking news watcher. Heather Mac Donald appeared before Congress last week. Her words are insightful:
Effective praying and seeking cannot be separated. What is always true about God? What is always true about His intent? What is always true about evil? If you know nothing more than that, you have enough to pray into the spiritual bubble and speak into the atmosphere = spiritual realm.
Polite, but aggressive, questioning is in order. What is true? How do I evaluate what I believe to be true? Who is the “bad” guy and who is making the claim? Who gains by changing things? What is God’s (as revealed in the Bible) view of injustice? What do I believe that is being questioned or attacked? How did I come to believe that? Could I be wrong? What am I denying if I change my mind? Am I “block thinking” or thinking for myself? Maybe I need to be loosed from passive thinking and acceptance. How do I question—what do I search, who do I talk to?
Praying includes binding myself to the mind of Christ and the will/plan of God. It includes loosing myself from perceptions built by prejudices, lack of knowledge related to specific situations and people as well as general ignorance. Matthew 18:18-20 gives us insight into praying for, with, into and against.
Sensitize the Receptors
Os Guinness wrote “The Last Christian on Earth.” Josh McDowell wrote, “The Last Christian Generation.” Both wrote about biblical ignorance among culture at large. Listen to testimonies of conversion to Christ and you will hear stories of a praying parent or grandparent—someone who taught them basics of faith. I wonder about praying into people and situations that sensitizes them to what Truth or landmark once guided them. What are the hungers that once challenged them or called them to a journey?
What if the person you pray for has no biblical-faith roots? What if the bubble fabric is made of dark spirits and anti-Christ beliefs? What about a totally different worldview? Paul, teaching in Romans, appeals to natural faith or what nature teaches about The Creator.
Praying is giving Holy Spirit permission to enter the earth realm—a specific area of the earth realm to call people and situations to alignment with God’s Kingdom government—how God governs justice, redemption—all things righteous for all people. (Matthew 28).
What is the praying that moves the hand of God to heal our nation? It surely is not saying the right words in an exact way or sequence! It is not an acceptable physical posture or a preferred doctrine. I think and sense it is alignment with God’s purposes and plans. Since Jesus is our great intercessor, the constant question is, “Jesus, how are you praying for (…) and how may I join you?”
© 2020 D. Dean Benton
Website—https://deanbenton.org/ Benton Books, Blogs, Blurbs
Dean’s ebooks— https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DDeanBenton