Fearless Prayer: Humble Yourself
[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]I[/mk_dropcaps]t is only fitting after spending a month on spiritual authority to not move on too quickly. This month I want to dig into what powerful prayer looks like. As you know if you’ve been reading this blog over this year the theme I have for 2015 is “Fearless.” What does fearless prayer look like? As I have dug in preparing what to write about this topic I realize that after being in church for a number of years this is the first area I become complacent. Describing what fearless prayer looks like when you have gone through seasons where it ebbs and flows goes to show this is just as much for me as for you. It is dangerous when prayer becomes a ritual with the risk of becoming an empty routine instead of what it was designed for. Powerful prayers are both fearless and specific, but most importantly submitted and trusting in the heart of our heavenly father. My pastor Jurgen Matthesius does an incredible job of unpacking prayer in detail in his book PUSH: Pray Until Something Happens. I highly recommend you read it for further revelation. What parts of prayer we will focus on this month are intimacy with God, taking ground, and interceding for others.
For now I want to focus on how prayer requires we address our connection and relationship with God first. After all, how you perceive God will shift how you communicate with Him. Prayer is at its most simple having a direct conversation with God. It is not one sided, us making petitions to him expecting him to obey. It is a back and forth of listening and sharing. Yes God wants us to draw near to him as he is already near to us, but there is even more to prayer.
Scripture lays out what the process of prayer should look like in 2 Chronicles 7:14, where it says says:
[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"]“..if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land.”[/mk_blockquote]
For the promise in this verse that God will hear from heaven, forgive and heal our land to come to pass there is a premise for us. The keys for this to take place are:
1) Humility- It is not in your own strength. When you have the revelation that you absolutely NEED God you are right where you need to be. Prayer is a reflection that you have had a revelation of this.
2) Prayer- Making it a priority to spend time connecting with your heavenly father. You cut out distractions, you deny other options for the better portion. This is where the correction can come, wisdom, impartation, and most importantly an encounter with His power to carry out what work He has for you to do.
3) Seek His Face- This is the time spent basking in His presence. This has no agenda besides developing intimacy. This is where you find your identity and you realize where you have given ground to the enemy because you are so familiar with the nature and character of God. I picture a young girl squeezing and examining her father’s face. I actually used to do this to my Dad. I’d press his cheeks together and apart making faces. I would do silly things like the little sketch “Chubs.” When you make seeking His face a priority you will find your identity is a reflection of what you see. There is joy in this as you realize new facets of your father and as a result what is mirrored in you. There you will find what strengths He has put in you.
In light of this verse, fearless prayer tunes out the nagging of the world to have at God at the center of your life. While the word begs us to do more, work harder and focus on your weaknesses, fearless prayer is the choice to shift our focus to Jesus.
Personally that is the most challenging. It seems safer to try to strengthen your weaknesses. Yes it is in your own strength, but in this situation you can fool yourself to believe you are in control.That leads to the question, “How do I uncover my God given strengths and let go of my weaknesses?” I used to be grateful for people highlighting my weaknesses. As a competitive swimmer you love those moments because you can then focus your attention on that area and make adjustments. What God has been prompted me, and I believe us as Christians, is to seek his face and only then will I uncover His strength which works through those weaknesses.
This is not something I simply try harder to see come to pass. It actually requires that I let go of control. When you are focused on you weaknesses you begin to believe the lie that “Once I get better at ______, all will be better.” The issue there is your focus is only on you. When you shift to operating in your strengths you begin to add value to others and create room to call forth their strengths. It is an instant and exponential value increase not by effort or performance but by positioning.
When you quiet down the voices of the world (humbling yourself) seeking His face in prayer you are transformed. It does not all show outwardly right away, but this posture is what brings true and lasting freedom. Prayer is POWERFUL, but it begins with being properly positioned (humbled) in submission to God and His word.