Proclamation prayer… it’s what Kingdom saints do

6 Nov

By now, you know that this is a big topic for me.  And yes, I know this isn’t a single-sided subject… but for so long it’s been a lopsided subject… and on the wrong side, in my opinion.  So I will spend almost no time in validating the posture of petition or supplication prayers… even though they have a vital and powerful place in the lives of the believer… and even the sinner.  (It’s probably the only prayer posture for the pre-Christian, since they haven’t enjoyed sonship favor with the Father, yet.)  In actual fact, petition prayer has been our almost singular prayer posture for all of human history.  We’ve had such a low estimation and view of ourselves that we haven’t allowed ourselves to explore more kingly forms of prayer.

Now if we’re a “kingdom of priests and kings”… if we’re a “royal priesthood and holy nation”… and if “all authority has been given into our hands”, then shouldn’t we dispense with the begging and petition, especially since His Word tells us what He wants us to do.  Think: If we’re an ambassador or emissary, we have been given an assignment, parameters and authority to make decisions, proclaim edicts, and adjudicate for our king.  If we don’t understand and use our authority, we’ll probably be brought back home to ‘sit under his table’ for a while until we become more clear in our relationship with the king and the role as a ‘sent one’.

I may be ‘pushing’ this point a little harder than I should, but we are SO steeped in a beggar and ‘distance’ (from God) mentality… and we’re SOooo far from ‘owning’ and living in a royal/kingly mentality… that we need a strong push to get our minds readjusted… and thus, our realities transformed.

“Be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds.” – Rms 12:2

So, in looking at the Bible we find that there are many scriptures in the New Testament… even post-cross, that have the petition aspect to prayer, such as:

“For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;” – Col 1:9

Asking is still a legitimate form of praying in my ‘world’, especially if I don’t know the mind of God.  If I don’t know the mind of God, then I must ask Him what His will is.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” – Jms 1:5

Jesus proved this in the Garden when He asked the Father.

“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.  Yet not as I will, but as you will.” – Matt 26:39

There are quite a few instances where Jesus prayed ‘asking’ type prayers.  Sometimes it’s obvious He was imploring for the Father’s mind and will.  But then there are times when Jesus prayed, what I call, ‘a people type prayer’.  What a strange revelation to find that Jesus prayed prayers beneath His ability and status.  If we just think about it, His whole life here on earth was beneath His status as the only begotten Speople-type-prayeron of God.  But rarely do we get to hear His inner talk about how He juggled His ‘God-ness’ against the people’s weak and ‘fallen’ spirituality.  Take a look at this stunning insight.

“Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.  I knew that You always hear Me, but I say this for the benefit of the people standing here, so they may believe that You sent Me.”” – John 11:41-42

Look at the last sentence!  He says that He only prayed the first part for the sake of the people.  He knew he had to pray a somewhat familiar religious sounding prayer or they wouldn’t be able to get ‘on-page’ with Him.  In the people’s minds, addressing God as Father certainly stretched them… but thankijesus-type-prayerng God, was a familiar sounding religious prayer.  So now it was safe and easy for them to ‘buy-in’… and Jesus could get on with ‘a Jesus type prayer’:

“After Jesus had said this, He called out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.”…” – John 11:43

Wow!  Is it possible that Jesus and other NT writers sometimes prayed prayers that were more ‘palatable’ to their audience, even though they were capable of, and it would have been more appropriate, to pray kingly/declarative prayers?  Well, at least on this occasion, Jesus did.  Here is another example where Paul speaks in “human terms” just so that he can convey his insight to the Romans.

“I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations.” – Rms 6:19 ESV

God starts out with what we can relate to and believe… until we can handle His fuller revelations.  Declarative prayers are almost unheard of up to this point in Scripture… but Jesus is employing all methods possible to shift the atmosphere for those around him.

So I am taken with this declarative and imperative form of prayer.  And we find many instances of it in the New Testament.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” – I Thess 1:1

And then we find that even in some of the middle-of-the-road word choices like, “may God do such-and-such…” the literal translation makes it more imperative than just a simple ‘humble’ petition.  For example:

“Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you… “ – I Thess 3:11-13; 5:23

At first glance, it seems to sounds like a petition type prayer, but Youngs Literal Translation delivers it more imperatively:

“And our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you,” – (Youngs Literal Trans)

A more ‘confident knowing’ comes through in the literal translation.  Paul is prophesying God’s will into his future.  Here are more examples of clear emphatic declaration type utterances (which I believe are the more appropriate prayers for Kingdom saints).

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” – I Thess 5:28
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.” – Phil 4:23

We even have an instance of declarative truth/prayer by an angel:

“But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”” – Jude 1:9

As we said, Jesus was shifting the spiritual atmosphere between people’s ears – giving them a ‘new mind’.  So let’s look at some of the imperative/declarative prayers of Jesus

Be healed!” – Matt 8:3
Stretch out your hand.” – Matt 12:13
Peace, be still.” – Mk 4:39
Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” – Lk 5:34
“Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.” – Lk 7:11-15
“Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” – Lk 8:50
Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” – Lk 10:52
Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” – Lk 18:42
Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” – Lk 17:14-19
Get up, pick up your mat, and walk.” – John 5:7
Lazarus, come forth” – John 11:43

We don’t hear a wimpy, “If it be Thy will, O Lord” type prayer here.  Jesus was confident and assertive with His prayers.  And He teaches us to do the same thing.

“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed….” – Mk 11:23

Praying for the sick is certainly scriptural (James 5: 14-15), especially for those in the church, but why don’t the Gospels and Acts give us precedent for petition prayers for healing?  What does this tell us?  I think that Jesus thinks we have more authority than we think we do.  This is made clear when He confers upon the 72, “all authority over the enemy”.

“I give to you the authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and on all the power of the enemy, and nothing by any means shall hurt you;” – Lk 10:19

Then Jesus commands us to carry an authoritative posture as we “go”:

“And He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” – Lk 9:1-2

“As you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’  Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons.  Freely you have received, freely give – Matt 10:7-8

The assumed subject in each of these commands is “You”(You) heal, (You) cleanse, (You) raise, (You) cast out….   He freely gave us this authority, now we are to freely administer it.

“(You) Heal the sick who are there and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you'” – Lk 10:9

In these instances we don’t hear Jesus say, “Petition Heaven until Father has a favorable mindset to heal.”  Rather, Jesus sees us as being duly deputized to carry and freely disseminate the Kingdom everywhere we go.

The disciples ‘got it’ and were ecstatic to find that what Jesus said, was really true.  They could hardly believe it!

“The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in Your name.”  So He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” – Lk 10:17-18

I believe that the “falling of Satan” was mostly ‘between the ears’ of the 72.  They were “renewed in the spirit of their minds” (Eph 4:23).  They’re unbelief was demolished and their faith was established.  God’s word and His intentions were now rightfully enthroned upon their minds.  Satan’s throne of rulership in their minds had crumbled.  The 72 had dared to believe Jesus and found His words to be true.

Further, most people erroneously believe that Jesus wants us to assume the Luke 18:1-6 widowly posture of desperate imploring.  But Jesus contrasts that faithless posture with verse 8, “Will I find faith when I return?”  He hopes we see ourselves for who we really are.

The disciples got it.  And it didn’t stop with the Gospels… Peter is still practicing this kingly prayer/declaration posture in the Early Church.

“In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” – Acts 3:6
“Tabitha, arise.” – Acts 9:40

Now, let’s take a look at Isa 61 for a moment.  Everyone, including Jesus, believes that this passage refers to His coming to earth and administering each of these powerful proclamations in His life and ministry here on earth.

“Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down.  The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.  He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” – Lk 4:16-30

Of course, these powerful proclamations seem fitting for the Son of God.  It’s easy to believe that the Son of God can do these things.  Let’s list some of them:

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to:

1.    proclaim good news to the poor
2.   bind up the brokenhearted,
3.   proclaim freedom for the captives
4.   release from darkness for the prisoners,
5.    proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
6.    comfort all who mourn,
7.    provide for those who grieve in Zion—
8.   bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
9.    the oil of joy instead of mourning,
10.  a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” – Isa 61:1-3

Wow, that is power-packed!!  Did you notice that we don’t read of the necessity of preliminary petitioning of Father God to see if this is the right thing to do?  So that’s exactly what Jesus did… release the Kingdom of God everywhere He went.  The spoken Word of God is the permission and empowerment to fulfill each proclamation.  That’s what rhema does… “empowerment accompanies revelation”.  But it doesn’t stop there, Jesus said,

“Greater works than these shall you do” – John 14:12

And John said that we qualify to do the Jesus-stuff,

“…as He is, so also are we in this world.” – I John 4:17

And that’s just the start of substantiating the next level of this stunning reality.  Through Jesus, this powerful authority and influence now applies to us.  Now, all these powerful proclamations are ours to embrace and activate in!!!

As I said earlier, never once is there an instruction to petition the Father to see if HE would do this ‘heavy-lifting’ for us.  No!  He admonishes US to believe that this is the normal daily fare of Kingdom saints.

I believe that discovering the richness of what it means to truly be a son (versus a “wretch like me”) and discovering the magnitude of Father’s awesome intention “toward us who believe” (Eph 1:19), will affect a radical change in our inner reality and self-talk… and will necessitate a dramatic change in our conversation and prayer posture.  We will begin to think, speak, pray and prophesy more like this:

From the finished work of the Cross
From Heaven into earthly situations versus from earth supplicating Heaven
From victory versus for victory

If we are to enter a more Kingdom minded era equipped for the times, I believe these golden revelations will be required in order to empower us to fulfill Kingdom realities (Dan 7:27; Rms 5:17; etc).  Instead of a consciousness of our sin dominating our personal ‘universe’, we will be more conscious of our righteousness (II Cor 5:21; Rms 5:1) and live by it, be set free by it and be empowered by it!

In closing, here’s a follow up on Isa 61.  This is what happens to those who embrace and practice these Isa 61 proclamations:

3 They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations
5 Strangers will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
6 And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast.
7 Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.
8 “For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them.
9 Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”
10 I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.

Man-O-man!!!  That truly sounds like Good News!  So if this is available for me, then I set myself to do violence (Matt 11:12) against unbelief and lesser mindsets until I “apprehend that for which I was apprehended” (Phil 3:12)… and possess the Kingdom of God as fully mine… and give it away.

All in favor say, “Aye”!

— MLH

 

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One Response to “Proclamation prayer… it’s what Kingdom saints do”

  1. David McDermott November 7, 2016 at 1:35 AM #

    “Aye”!

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