The 120 started out with prayer and waited for the coming of the Spirit (Acts 1:14). They did not start out with, “Lord, give us power and success to do miracles.” They were very careful in that they did not use prayer for ego-expanding requests, nor did they use God for their own selfish purposes. Prayer is not capturing Jesus to make Him serve us. Both Jesus and the disciples began on the right foundation. They prayed for the coming of the Spirit. The Spirit makes intercession for us (Romans 8:26-27). The Spirit helps us to pray according to God’s will. 1 John 5:14-15 mentions the words “according to His will.” The qualifying power for answered prayer is “according to the will of the Lord.” Too often the will of God is not in our praying. Faith in what He has said will bring the answer. The 120 prayed for the Spirit, and what each wanted for themselves, they wanted for all. With the Spirit came the miracles from the world to come.
The disciples saw Jesus’ countenance change when He prayed (Luke 9:28-29). Prayer changes the way you look. The glory of the Father manifested itself on the body of Jesus and it will do the same for ours. Paul writes of these things in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18. Through prayer, we become alive, aglow, anointed, and permeated with His glory. “Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance” (Acts 2:28, KJV).
The disciples saw Jesus praying in Gethsemane (Luke 22:39-46). Jesus prayed that He would carry out the purposes for which He came–the cross and shedding of His blood for the remission of sin. Prayer was generated to accomplish a specific purpose. Prayer gave Jesus a divine compulsion to do the Father’s will. Prayer gives us a mission and the power and ability to carry out that mission. When saints pray, they soon exchange the chip on their shoulder for the Lord’s hand upon their shoulder, capturing them for Kingdom purposes.
A story is told of an old riverboat pilot. A passenger had marveled at the pilot’s skill in navigating the paddlewheeler up and down the river, “You must know where all the sandbars are.” “No,” said the pilot, “but I know where the channels are.” Jesus knew the channels that led to a Spirit-empowered life… so did the early saints. That channel is prayer and faith in God’s Word. Because they knew how to pray, they knew how to live (which was by the powers of the world to come).
We can experience the miraculous abundance of the world to come as the early saints did. The key is prayer and having faith in what God says. Prayer brings the Spirit, and with Him comes poise, peace, purpose, and power. Many saints seek only the proof of prayer when they should be seeking the practice of prayer. Prayer is talking something over with God rather than trying to talk God out of or into something.
Pastor George Belobaba
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