Tree of Life for 7/11/99
Ephesians 6:17-18 “And receive favorably the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word
“With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all
perseverance and petition for all the saints.”
Our study in Ephesians 6 has brought us to the Doctrine of Prayer. By way of introduction, prayer is a
privilege and a part of our worship toward God. To execute prayer properly, God’s word must abide in you and
you must abide in God’s word. Prayer is not designed to be a string of senseless sounds or emotional pleas but a
time of communion with God. Prayer is not to be used to hire God for favors neither is it to be used in an
attempt to get your own way rather than God’s way.
Yes 1 John 5:14 tells us that if we ask anything He hears us, but it also says according to His will. The
confidence we have in asking of God comes from meeting the condition of HIS WILL. Therefore knowledge
and understanding is required! Knowledge and confidence are very important in prayer. Truth is arrived at via
knowledge and confidence is developed through understanding the grace of God. Prayer must recognize who
and what God is not who and what we are. It’s all about God not us, and prayer is a time to draw close to God.
Prayer is not a tool designed to get us out of trouble but to express our helplessness, our humility and to
express our total dependence on God as well as our recognition of His grace and His mercy toward us.
Hebrews 4:16 “...draw near with confidence to the throne of grace.”
Grace offers man the power to change and mercy offers the ability to accept forgiveness. Prayer is given
for us to intimately line up with what God wants, not what we want. Prayer was never designed to fulfill our
lusts and desires, prayer is designed to fulfill the will, plan, and purpose of God in our lives. Too many prayers
are expressions of what people want... or think they want! Prayer is a time for us to line up our desires with what
God wants for us. Thereafter, what we need is to have patience and wait on the divine timing of God and His
will. If God desires to fulfill your request, it comes from His sovereign will due to your free will lining up with
His will. And to express the will of God in your prayers you must know the will of God. Yes, it makes perfect
sense. Okay then, why are there so many sloppy and ineffective prayers offered up to God, to Jesus, to Mary, the
saints and so on?
Most believers have a false scale of values and so pray for the wrong things. Therefore they need divine
intercession to bring about a measure of effectiveness to their prayers. We find divine intercession on behalf of
the believer in prayer in both Hebrews 7:24-25 and Romans 8:26-27.
Heb 7:24-25 “but He [Jesus Christ as our High Priest], on the other hand, because He abides forever, holds
His priesthood permanently. Hence, also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him,
since He always lives to make intercession for them.”
Rom 8:26-27 “And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we
should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the
hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
So, both our Lord Jesus Christ acting as our High Priest and God the Holy Spirit intercede on our behalf.
Intercession being God’s grace provision in prayer on behalf of our lack of understanding. If our prayers fail it is
due to a lack of understanding or lack of concentration, therefore we need divine intercession.
Even the apostle Paul himself failed in prayer as recorded in 2Co 12:8-9. Paul prayed three times for the
removal of something which God’s sovereign will designed to remain for the purpose of strengthening Paul.
Paul’s conclusions therefore was that God’s grace is sufficient to withstand all circumstances. Often times we
find ourselves praying to be relieved of a certain situation when all along it is part of our blessing to go through
the situation. This is why knowledge of God’s word if so greatly needed, without it there is no discernment on
our part in accordance with God’s divine will and divine guidance for our lives.
Prayer is also a part of your Christian service. In such, prayer requires the three spiritual skills: the filling
of the Spirit, cognition of God’s word and execution of God’s plan. Prayer is that function of the royal
priesthood whereby the church age believer has access and privilege to present two categories of requests to
God the Father: petitions and intercessory prayers. And as part of the believer’s Christian service there is an
accurate and precise procedure to be adhered to in prayer.
All prayer is to be addressed to God the Father, Mat 6:6-9; Luk 11:1-2; Eph 1:17; 3:14; 1Pe 1:17. And it
is to be done so in the name of the Son or the channel of the Son, Joh 14:13-14. And it is to be done so in the
enabling power [filling] of the Holy Spirit, Eph 6:18.
Prayers offered to Jesus or to Mary or to anyone but the Father are useless. The believer’s approach in
prayer must be based on accuracy of procedure. Prayer should also be brief and right to the point which
indicates concentration. Prayer requires vocabulary, thinking and concentration. Paul dealt with this in 1Co
14:6-22 when he addressed the issue of tongues. Many pray without thought and believe they are worshipping
God through the channel of their senseless sounds and emotions. All prayer is based on coherent thought and
If the believer attempts to offer up prayer when out of fellowship, i.e., when grieving or quenching the
Holy Spirit, the prayers will not be answered. In cosmic one we sin and therefore fall out of fellowship with
God. It is not, of course, our sin which stands in between us and God since all sin has been paid for in the
humanity of Christ on the cross. It is our failure to execute God’s plan, in God’s power, according to God’s will
that stands between us and God. In cosmic two the believer grows antangonistic toward doctrine or enters into
some form of Christian degeneracy and human good. Therefore, rebound is first needed when the believer is
involved in cosmic one and when the believer is involved in cosmic two. So, if you try to offer prayers to God in
a state of grieving or quenching the Spirit, your prayers will not be answered.
True confidence in prayer can only exist when the believer at least attains spiritual self-esteem, 1John
3:21-22. Failure in prayer is related to having no personal love for God the Father, mental attitude sins, or lack
of motivation and momentum in predestination.
Prayer is also related to the omniscience of God in that He hears our prayers twice, first in eternity past
and secondly at the actual time of the prayer. Prayers and the answers to them were entered into the divine
decree in eternity past according to the foreknowledge of God. This means that God knew and answered all your
prayers in eternity past as part of the believer’s escrow blessings. Hence, there is a direct relationship between
your prayer life and your invisible assets.
Prayer is a part of the equal privilege of our election under our royal priesthood. Prayer is a ministry
designed for every believer in Christian production. Each church age believer has the privilege and right to enter
into intercessory prayer for others which is part of our Christian ministry. As such, prayer is one of the most
powerful and effective functions in all history.
Effectiveness in prayer is not measured in terms of your eloquence but on the basis of your spiritual
growth. The more you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, the greater effectiveness you
will have in your prayer life.
Prayer is commanded for all dispensations, Psa 116:1-2; Jer 33:3. Prayer was at an all time low just prior
to the church age. Therefore, our Lord encouraged prayer in the beginning of His ministry and especially
between the first advent and the church age, i.e., the fifty days between the resurrection and Pentecost.
A good part of predestination consists of the believer’s daily prayer life. Since we are commanded to
reside in the pre-designed plan of God we are also commanded to pray frequently or consistently, 1Th 5:17. This
is a mandate for both habitual and spontaneous prayer. In other words, make prayer a habit.
When the believer is advancing in the plan of God, he will have discernment and alertness as to when
prayer is needed. The key to effective prayer is understanding and making application from your invisible assets.
Prayer demands faith, Mat 21:22; Mar 11:24. Without the faith-rest drill prayer does not work. It is also
related to execution of predestination and capacity for appreciation. Hence effectiveness in prayer is related to
spiritual adulthood. Confidence is a virtue developed inside of God’s plan. A confident prayer life is dependent
on knowledge of God’s will as we noted. For the believer in childhood, effective prayer is related to three
2) The filling of the Spirit
3) The function of the faith-rest drill.
An effective prayer life will improve your battle over the old sin nature. An ineffective prayer life leaves
room for the flesh to triumph resulting in a troubled spiritual life.
Many times God, in His mercy, rejects our requests because He sees that injury would come from it.
This is why soul prosperity must precede effective prayers and the answer to prayers. Unless we are properly
aligned with God’s will we will insist on asking for things which will only lead us into bondage.
Prayer also has a specific layout to be followed. We are to start off with rebound, followed by
thanksgiving for all we are going through, followed by petition and then intercessory prayer and sealed in the
name of our Lord Jesus Christ. If we are to develop a better prayer life we need to advance in our knowledge of
God’s word, God’s plan and God’s will. Church age believers are the recipients of God’s greatest power! Why not take advantage of it?
Tree of Life for 7/11/99