Prayer is my preferred mode of operation as I walk Planet Earth.
I have tried to budge mountains by strength of personality, force of agendas, demands and commands with the limited success of a few grains of rock dust falling from ancient granite. Yet when I pray, I do see mountains move.
I wish I could tell you that every time I pray I see the effect here on earth. Not always.
Yet I have prayed to God and seen families restored.
I have whispered desperate pleas to my Father and seen crumbling marriages mired in bitterness and heartbreak fall back into steadfast grace.
I have cried out to Jesus and watched “terminal” embrace life once more.
I have prayed desperate grasping words and found God standing close by.
Perhaps that is why I pray most. I can’t get enough of the Almighty God who changes me every time I reach for His heart.
Prayer isn’t about shaping a fantasy world through a barrage of words of our own making.
Prayer is about drinking deep from the mysterious well of grace that is in plain sight and often passed by.
Prayer is about expectation and hope and power and God.
Prayer only makes sense when you find the Living God and discover that He adores you.
Recently I have started teaching on prayer. Here are some insights into the powerful grace of royal intercession.
In the beginning, God sculpted adam (man) from adamah (soil), man from the land, to rule the land God made.
God had a plan: His kids would rule the world He made for them to enjoy.
Being God, He knew all about His kids, their choices, and what it would take to get His plan back on track. Sin’s demands would require the crushing death and resurrection of His Son. In the Message, Paul states in Ephesian 1: 4-7
Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!)He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people – free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free!
When King David ascended his throne, he understood the authority and responsibility God conferred to His kids. In Psalm 8:3-6, David prays
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet.
Dutch Sheets, a chief intercessor from United States, explains in Authority in Prayer two Hebrew words for governing: 1. radah…”to subjugate, to subdue, to cause to rule, to reign or to take possession of” and 2. mashal, “to govern or manage”[i] and states, “That’s what we humans are to do on earth! God’s ultimate intention is for you to rule your personal world and to partner with His other kids in ruling the world around you. You are a government official!”[ii]
God’s plan was for man to rule and reign over the earth He created, but Satan took our God-given authority when Adam submitted to Satan and sinned against God in the Garden. The Message version captures the battle powerfully in Romans 5:
You know the story of how Adam landed us in the dilemma we’re in – first sin, then death, and no one exempt from either sin or death. That sin disturbed relations with God in everything and everyone, but the extent of the disturbance was not clear until God spelled it out in detail to Moses. So death, this huge abyss separating us from God, dominated the landscape from Adam to Moses. Even those who didn’t sin precisely as Adam did by disobeying a specific command of God still had to experience this termination of life, this separation from God.
But Adam, who got us into this, also points ahead to the One who will get us out of it. Yet the rescuing gift is not exactly parallel to the death-dealing sin. If one man’s sin put crowds of people at the dead-end abyss of separation from God, just think what God’s gift poured through one man, Jesus Christ, will do!
There’s no comparison between that death-dealing sin and this generous, life-giving gift. The verdict on that one sin was the death sentence; the verdict on the many sins that followed was this wonderful life sentence. If death got the upper hand through one man’s wrongdoing, can you imagine the breathtaking recovery life makes, sovereign life, in those who grasp with both hands this wildly extravagant life-gift, this grand setting-everything-right, that the one man Jesus Christ provides? (Romans 5:12-17, MSG)
As God’s redeemed kids, we live not as slaves to sin, but as His heirs,
“And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ” (Gal 4:6-7, NJKV).
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs– heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. (Romans 8: 14-17).
Since God wants us to establish His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven, then as His kids, we must intercede in prayer through partnership with the Holy Spirit. Royal prayer requires hearts to hear, that we are praying what God is revealing, and decreeing what God is establishing, in the Name of Jesus, unto Whom all authority rests.
Peter defined the Church as a royal priesthood, God’s own nation:
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.[iii]
As royal priests, we minister our worship unto God by offering our lives as living sacrifices, and then minister unto humanity in the context of the mercy and grace we have each received. Dying to ourselves, we live in Christ, and as we endure, we now reign (see 2 Tim 2:12).
Dutch Sheets says, “We are not merely human; we are supernatural daughters and sons of the Most High God, filled with His Spirit and anointed to rule. God has His family back and can now get on with His plan of carrying out the great family enterprise of governing earth.”[iv] The Scriptures declare in Revelation 5:11 “And you have made them a Kingdom, Priests and Kings to our God, and they shall reign over the Earth.” (Aramaic Plain English version) .
Truth is, we are royals! God’s kids! Let’s embrace our call to pray and rule and reign on the Earth He has made! May we move mountains in the power of Jesus Christ this day. May the truth of who we are in Christ move us all to royal prayer!
[i] Spiros Zodhiates, Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, New American Standard Bible, 1774-75.
[ii] Sheets, Dutch. Authority in Prayer. Bethany House, 2006, p19.
[iii] 1 Peter 2: 9-10, NKJV.
[iv] Sheet, Dutch. Authority in Prayer. Bethany House, 2006, p4 Ch 6, ebook.