Jesus once made this statement about how spending quality time, in the presence of God affected His teachings. He said:
“I tell the things that I have seen at My Father’s side [in His very presence]; so you also do the things that you heard from your father.””
JOHN 8:38 AMP
Jesus made the above statement in response to the Pharisees, who doubted His authority and teachings. He was not talking here about what the Father told Him; but about what His own personal observations were, as a result of spending time with the Father. By spending quality time with the Father, Jesus was able to know exactly what the Father desired.
When we are in the presence of God, our spiritual perception becomes clearer and better, in leading us to follow His pathway of righteousness. We are able to perceive the truth which sets us free, and we are then able to separate the truth from the lies and deceptions of the enemy. (John 8:31-32).
If Jesus was able to identify the heart’s desires of the Father, by spending time in His presence – we can do it also. We do have the Holy Spirit living inside us today, in helping us to practice God’s presence as a way of life.
Last week I mentioned how a lifestyle of praise and worship, in God’s presence can help us in developing our spiritual perception, so as to walk triumphantly daily against the forces of evil around us. This week we are looking at another spiritual activity, that we regularly participate in, to bring God’s presence to us – Prayer and intercession.
Prayer and intercession helps us in perceiving spiritual truth. But we must first be able to acknowledge and appreciate the fact, that whenever we are praying in the spirit – then we are in the spirit. There is no better way for us, to be in the spirit apart from this.
Our ability to be in the spirit as we pray in tongues, or in the spirit has absolutely nothing to do with our feelings. It is the enemy who goes about deceiving people, that they will have some feelings; like “goose bumps” or some shakings in the physical body, as they experience the presence of God. God does not need to shake any one physically in the body, or make anyone feel anything, so that we may have fellowship with Him in His presence.
But He does speaks to us gently and softly, as we tarry in His presence. And we will always have the inner witness within us, helping us to recognize the voice of God speaking into our heart. We will not need any human help in analyzing His voice to us. God will always speak clearly and firmly into our heart, and not into our mind when He speaks to us. He created us and He alone knows how best to handle each one of us.
APPROACHING GOD’S PRESENCE
The writer of the book of Hebrews says:
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Hebrews 4:16 NIV
Our time of need is basically the time, when we go to God in prayer or just to fellowship with Him. It is interesting to note that all the things, that we often take to God in prayers, does have provisions for them already in His written word to us. God’s will for our healing, finances, relationships, spiritual growths, business needs and all of our earthly needs; are not difficult for Him to fulfill.
God’s desire is to populate heaven with saved and redeemed souls. We just need to start walking in line, with His revealed will for us, through His written Word. And then most of the things that, we often take before Him in prayers will be supplied. Our major focus as Christians through prayer and intercession, is to discover how we can partner with God, here on earth to populate heaven.
When we are practicing the presence of God through prayer and intercession, confidence or spiritual boldness will come, in receiving mercy and grace from Him. As we receive mercy and grace, we are able to perceive spiritual truth, while we are still standing in His presence.
But for mercy and grace to be received, faith has to be activated in our heart. Our faith always works together with boldness, while we are in His presence, in order for God’s mercy and grace to manifest His glory in us. For this to happen to us, we do not go into the presence of God, wondering if He hears us. There should be no doubt in our heart that He hears us as we pray.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”
1 John 5:14-15 NIV
When we approach God boldly and with full confidence, and assurance of faith; we do believe always that He hears us. We do not need to feel anything at that moment of prayer. Our faith always works in the presence of God, when we pray in accordance with His revealed will in His written Word – the Bible. God honors our spiritual boldness always, when we ask Him anything in accordance with His revealed will for us.
We will then leave His presence with confidence and full assurance of faith, that our prayer request has been granted. We don’t leave His presence wondering, if it’s a done deal. We need to always know that it’s a done deal with God, because we’d asked in accordance with His written Word. And since we know that God never lies, we will always leave His presence rejoicing, and thanking Him for granting our request.
This is how our faith works through prayer in His presence. Spiritual boldness before God in prayer and intercession, opens God’s heart in hearing our petitions. We don’t approach Our Heavenly Father with a beggarly attitude. God wants us to come always boldly, and at anytime into His presence.
Apostle Paul said:
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
Romans 5:1-2 NKJV
When we approach God in prayer, we are judged in His presence, as if we have never sinned. We approach Him boldly in the name, and by the cleansing in the blood of Jesus. We then will receive mercy and grace, from His presence as we do this.
Our activated faith in Him gives us mercy and grace, as we are standing in His presence. Grace is what gives us the access into His glory, as our spirit man begins to perceive what pleases Him, and the things that He wants to do.
God’s glory in us is His presence within us (Colossians 1:27). And just as Jesus was able to perceive, what God desired as He stood in His presence (John 8:38); we are able to perceive His will also, as we stand in His presence in that glory within our spirit man.
We don’t need to be looking for the glory anywhere else but within us. God’s glory is already in us. We just need to bring it into manifestation, as we practice His presence continually.
In such moments as we stand in His presence, we can pray in our understanding; but our understanding is limited when we do pray like this. In fact, most of the time when people do pray in their understanding, the desires of the flesh are involved in their prayers.
I have personally often witnessed many times, as people do pray in fulfilling the yearnings of their fleshy desires. In most cases they have not been able to separate, those desires from those of the born again spirit man inside of them.
This creates a spiritual struggle within their inner man, and makes it difficult for them to perceive the will of God for their lives. It doesn’t means that they are not desiring to please God. But their problem is that, they have not actually crucified the works of the flesh in them, by the Spirit of God living inside them (Galatians 5:24&25).
The Holy Spirit is our helper. He is always there to help us, in crucifying the works of the flesh inside us. He begins to do this in us, whenever we’ve learned to release our spirit man into His hand, as we pray in accordance with His will. This is the moment that He begins to open up our hearts, in perceiving what He really wants us to do, as we are crucifying those works of the flesh.
But if we do resist Him, this struggle in our flesh will persist. And there are so many who have not been able to perceive God’s will for their lives, as they continue to resist the help from the Holy Spirit who lives in them. They struggle in crucifying their fleshy desires with Christ Jesus (Galatians 2:20), and have backslidden away from the household of faith.
Jesus explained this in a better way, in highlighting the purpose of His own crucifixion on the cross. He told His disciples:
““Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.”
John 12:24-25 MSG
We need to be reckless in our love for Jesus. Our love for Jesus does not need to make any sense to us, because loving in such manner is not of the mind. It is a heartfelt love. It is the love which springs, from the bottom of our born again spirit man. This is a call into self sacrificial love lifestyle.
When we are praying in the spirit, as we are being led by the Holy Spirit; our mind does not understand what we are saying, but our spirit man does. The desires of the flesh in us then begins to fade away, as that of the Holy Spirit becomes clearer and clearer to us on the inner man.
This is the moment that Paul said:
“Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:7 NLT
Is that not amazing that His peace (God’s peace) will guard our heart to live and love in Christ Jesus? There is nothing more glorious than having peace with God. The world can’t give it to us. And the Devil can’t take it away, if we are truly resisting him.
As an example, I was praying in the spirit just before writing this newsletter. My spirit was praying, but I never knew what I was praying about. That basically meant that my mental understanding, was not fruitful as I prayed. All of a sudden these words came out of my mouth: “It’s done.” Immediately the peace of God just saturated my heart concerning, whatever it was that I prayed about. A few hours later the Lord revealed to me exactly what I was praying about.
I was apparently praying for a man, who was about to cross path with me for the first time in life. And everything that the man was talking with me about, were exactly what I knew in the spirit that I had already prayed about.
So instead of praying again with Him, I just went ahead and ministered what the Lord revealed to me in prayer to him. It was as if a heavy burden was lifted off his shoulders immediately, as I spoke God’s Word into his life during those few minutes together.
We don’t need to be waiting for situations to arise before we pray about anything. When we continually practice God’s presence; His presence will lead us into praying, about things that are about to happen before they occur.
Stop waiting for disaster to be on the doorstep, before beginning praying about it. Start practicing the presence of God today. If you do this regularly, you can deal with the enemy, before he shows up against you.
So when we are speaking in tongues, we are speaking mysterious things, or secret things with God, as we are praying to God in His presence. He does understand what our spirit man is praying about; which are often difficult for our natural mind to understand.
But as our spirit man begins to understand those things, that we are praying about; then we can begin to articulate what we are perceiving in our language of understanding, while we are still in His presence.
The Holy Spirit will always minister back to our spirit man, in helping us to get a better understanding, of what we are perceiving at that moment of prayer. It is not all the time that He will do this.
In most cases what we do need, is that peace of God to guard our spirit man and mind, in keeping us in the love of God.
And this is the best thing for us at such a moment. We don’t need to necessarily know, or understand so much inside information; about what God is doing to manifest the victory for us as we are praying. What we do need however, is the acknowledgement from Him in the spirit, that we are victorious. We are able to receive or perceive the victory, as we begin to thank Him and praise Him for answered prayer.
And that is all that matters in our moment of prayer and intercession. If we need any other response, the Holy Spirit will always reveal that to us, as we continually practice God’s presence. All heavenly secrets are revealed to us, as we practice God’s presence daily as a way of life.
Moses told the Israelites in the wilderness about his own personal experience, from spending quality time in God’s presence. Sometimes Moses would be in the presence of God, for as long as 40 days and nights without food and water. He told them just before dying:
“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children, that we may do all the words of this law.”
Deuteronomy 29:29 NKJV
In other words what we do not receive or perceive immediately, in God’s presence as we pray should not bother us. But what we are able to perceive, are revealed for us to share with others. He was telling them, never to try figuring out stuffs in the presence of God; but to rather continue pressing in until God answers them.
As an example, all of the things that I had been sharing, about spiritual perception for some weeks now; are what I personally received from God’s presence. He specifically directed me to share them, with those that are grasping it all. He told me that, He will take these Christians into specific situations, where they will have to apply what they are learning now.
I strongly believe that God is training certain groups of believers, to do special mission works in His kingdom before Jesus’ returns.
When we minister to God in the spirit, He will minister back to us by His Holy Spirit living inside us. Sometimes He will minister back by speaking directly into our hearts. But in most cases He will minister back to our spirit man, on the inner witness in perceiving His will.
And by praying more in the spirit, our understanding of what we are perceiving, becomes enlightened while we are still in the spirit.
SOME THINGS REQUIRES US TO FAST ABOUT AS WE PRAY
As mentioned last week Paul had to abstain from food for almost two weeks, before the angel of God gave him a clearer understanding, of what was going on the ship to Rome (Acts 27). A lot of spiritual battles must have been fought, and won in the realm of the spirit, as Paul helped the angel through prayer and intercession, in clearing the way to him as he received the answer from above. Our ability to fast as we are praying, goes a long way in aiding the angelic beings, who had been assigned to minister to us.
Jesus once said concerning the ministry of angels in prayer and intercession:
““Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.”
Matthew 18:10 NKJV
Angels (both of God and the fallen ones), do have access into the presence of God. They are spiritual beings, who do have the ability to operate in both the heavens and on earth. The angels of God are always beholding the face of God in the heavens on our behalf.
Jesus was talking in this scripture text above about little children. The truth is that even though we used to be children before; but we don’t ever loose our angels just because we are now adults. They are always there, doing the same things that we are doing here on earth through prayer and intercession. Angels are better positioned on our behalf, in the presence of God as they plead for us.
That’s why Jesus taught us to pray:
“Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.”
Matthew 6:10 NKJV
The angels of God are always there to minister to us (Hebrews 1:14). We will make things easier for them in ministering to us, by praying in our heavenly language or in tongues. This is important because the Devil who is fighting our angels, from getting to us with answers to our prayers, does not understand what we are praying about.
And sometimes we do not understand also. But the Holy Spirit is the One helping our spirit man, to pray in accordance with the will of God, that the angels are about to reveal to you.
In the case of Paul in the midst of the storm, the angel revealed to Paul the reason and purpose for the storm. He revealed to him, how God was working around the situation, to bring salvation to the men traveling on the ship with him.
We can see the importance of fasting and prayer here. As Paul fasted unconsciously to mutify the desire of the flesh for food, his spiritual eyes of understanding became enlightened, in perceiving the will of God as he prayed.
Queen Esther also fasted and prayed to receive spiritual boldness, in confronting the evil that was about to destroy her people. She told her uncle (Mordecai):
“Esther sent back her answer to Mordecai: “Go and get all the Jews living in Susa together. Fast for me. Don’t eat or drink for three days, either day or night. I and my maids will fast with you. If you will do this, I’ll go to the king, even though it’s forbidden. If I die, I die.””
Esther 4:15-16 MSG
Spiritual boldness is essential for us to put our faith into action, in doing what we do perceive in the spirit as we are fasting and praying.
Our spiritual eyes of understanding needs to be clear and alert in this.
Jesus once said:
““The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
Matthew 6:22-24 NIV
We need to note here that, Jesus was teaching about prayer, prior to making the above statement. He was not teaching about finances at all. In most cases people has made it to seem as if He was teaching about finances.
In referencing the state of the spirit man as we pray; He compared it to the eye which we do use in seeing physically. In actuality He was talking about the spiritual eye, that we do have (the human spirit) in perceiving spiritual truth as we are praying.
The spirit of a man who is seeking spiritual truth and wisdom from God, must be clean so that he may be able to see or perceive, through the darkness in the world around him as he prays. He therefore must be able to separate himself from the darkness and start walking in the light.
There are so many things going on around us as we are praying; which we basically do have no business paying attention to. The Devil will throw dirty things or tricks at any intercessor, who is clearly defeating him in spiritual warfare. His aim is to distract the attention of such an intercessor away from prayer.
We need to be very careful about the unsaved world around us during prayer and intercession. They can easily be manipulated by the Devil to distract us from prayer.
Most of the time when persecutions comes against an intercessor, the enemy uses dirty tricks and fleshly weapons in attacking that intercessor.
And when this happens more often, the enemy knows that we will not be able to make spiritual progress, against him through prayer and intercession. We must not allow the enemy to slow us down in the spirit as we pray. By praying more in the spirit, we are able to perceive many tricks of the enemy against us, in order to destroy them. Practicing God’s presence through prayer and intercession, in the spirit helps us a lot in this way.
When Jesus was talking about the state of the eye in seeing clearly, He had in mind these very words of king Solomon:
“The human spirit is the lamp of the LORD that sheds light on one’s inmost being.”
Proverbs 20:27 NIV
In other words, God uses our hearts as His lamp, in identifying what our heart’s desires are. He searches through our hearts first, before speaking to us or opening us up to perceive His way. The Holy Spirit is involved in doing this.
When God looks at us, He does not look at our physical appearances. He looks and searches deeply inside our spirit always.
God told Samuel while referring to Eliab, the eldest son of Kish; as He picked Saul as king over Israel:
“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.””
1 Samuel 16:7 NIV
When our heart is clean before God, it becomes much more easier for us, in perceiving His plan for us. Light glows always wherever darkness is. Keep your prayer life aglow, praying more in the spirit. It will surely help you in perceiving the spiritual truth, about what is going on around you, and which are unseen to the physical eyes.