Mobilising, training and equipping Christians for prayer

In the beginning …the Word was God.
… All things were made and came into existence through Him…
(John 1:1-3)

 

The Word is powerful because God has authority and power. God will never break His Word, just as He will never break His covenant with the day and with the night (Jer.33:20). Flowers may drop off and grass whither, but the Word of the Lord endures forever. (1 Peter 1:24-25). The Word of the Lord is ever living – it is everlasting. Just as it is impossible for God to die, so it is impossible for the Word to disappear.

 

  1. The Word is God

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was present originally with God. All things were made and came into existence through him; and without him was not even one thing made that has come into being. (Jn.1:1-3) Before the creation of the world, the Word already existed. The Word was one with God. Jesus is the Word of God and the Word is God. Because God is three-in-one, God can never be separated from the Word.

 

  1. God subjects Himself to His Word and binds Himself to His Word

Ps.138:2 states: You have exalted above all else your name and your Word. God is always true to His Word. One might say that God “subjects” Himself to His Word. In the New King James version this is translated as: For you have magnified your word above all your name. This means that God has placed His Word above His Name. What His Word says, He does.

 

  1. The Word of God creates (Jn.1:3)

The Word has creative power. Jesus is the Word of God and through the Word God created the universe. When God speaks, His Words create. God the Father thought out creation, the Son spoke the creative Word, and the Holy Spirit brought creation into being. In Gn.1 we read that God said, “Let there be light. Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters below from the waters above. Let the waters under the heavens be collected into one place. Let the earth put forth vegetation…Let the waters bring forth abundantly and swarm with living creatures….” The words that God spoke created something out of nothing. God’s Word is able to bring forth that which did not exist before.

 

  1. God’s Word is alive, the Word re-creates and restores

The Word of God has the power to create, but also to re-create. Hudson Taylor once said, “We (Christians) are supernatural people: born again through a supernatural birth, driven by a supernatural power and nourished with supernatural food, taught by a supernatural Teacher from a supernatural Book.”

Jesus Christ, the Word, came to earth to restore, to re-create, and to reconcile. The Word that God speaks is alive and full of power (Heb.4:12). The words that God speaks are active, operative, energising and effective. If we take the Word of God, the Word that comes from His mouth, and speak it, it has creative power. It brings about, it restores, it releases energy, it revives, and it brings reconciliation.

Take note of the following two verses from Scripture on the life-giving character of the Word: Believe me when I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, the time is coming and is here now when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear it shall live (Jn.5:25). It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh conveys no benefit whatever. The words that I have been speaking to you are spirit and life (Jn.6:63). The Holy Spirit, that is the Spirit of Christ, the Word, gives life. What Jesus came to tell us, comes from the Spirit and gives life. The Word of the Lord cannot be chained (2 Tim.2:9): it quiets storms, heals the sick, raises the dead, restores relationships, brings reconciliation with God.

 

  1. God is His promises

God reveals Himself in the Word and shows us His character through the Word. The promises in the Word are in line with His nature and His character to which He can never be unfaithful.

God gives us His promises in the words of Scripture and He confirms His Word and His promises with an oath (Heb.6:16-17). The Spirit of God is God’s promise (Ac.1:4). In Ac.1 we read how the early Christian church waited for the consummation of God’s promise, He whom God promised – the Spirit. The church asked God to fulfil His promise, and He did. God acts on His Word, He keeps His promises, which are His words. In His sovereignty He willingly subjected Himself to His Word. This means that His Word is His commission to Himself.

Study the Word carefully and take note of what it says about the promises it contains (God’s words). So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgement of it (Heb.10:23). And now, o Lord God, you are God, and your words are truth, and you have promised this good thing to your servant (2 Sa.7:28). No unbelief or distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God (Rm.4:20). Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise which he promised through Moses his servant (1 Ki.8:56). But the word of the Lord endures forever. And this word is the good news, which was preached to you (1 Pt.1:25). Sky and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away (Mt.24:35). Sanctify them by truth; Your word is truth (Jn.17:17). Forever, o Lord, your word is settled in heaven (Ps.119:89).

 

  1. The Word is active

According to Heb.4:12 the Word is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life and the spirit, and of joints and marrow, exposing and sifting and analysing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart. In Re.1:16 we read, …from his mouth there came forth a sharp sword, a two-edged sword… The Word is like a sword: it divides, reveals, brings to light, and helps us to understand what is really going on in our hearts. God says, “My Word is like fire; like a hammer with which rocks are broken” (Jer.23:29).

 

  1. The Word and God’s purpose with creation

We are God’s representatives on earth. On earth we act on God’s behalf. Gn.1:26-2 teaches that God gave us the command to reign over the earth, to subdue it and to be fruitful. He reigns over the earth through us as His co-workers. Mankind has been given dominion over the earth. What mankind chooses to do, will be done. However, God can only carry out His will if people allow Him to reveal His will to them and they act in obedience to His will.

Without our permission and our co-operation this cannot happen – not because God cannot make it happen, but because, according to Scripture, He ordained it so and He subjects Himself to His Word. Read Mt.17:20 again: “For truly I say unto you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to yonder place, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.’” It is important to note that what we say is closely related to what is possible or impossible. What we say will be: our words will come into effect.

God does not want us to work for Him – He wants us to work with Him. We are His co-workers. The heavens are the Lord’s heavens, but the earth he has given to the children of men (Ps.115:16). Scripture teaches us about the purpose of our creation – why we were created. It tells us what our calling is, what we are destined for. God’s promises in Scripture are aimed at the realisation of the purpose of the creation of mankind (our destiny/calling).

God is not primarily interested in our plans, our ideas, our ideals, or our desires. He created us for a purpose and in His sovereignty and omnipotence He is busy implementing His plan for us and for the world. This is why we should live from and according to the Word. Jos.1:8 and Ps.1:1-2 teach us that we should meditate on Scripture day and night. Ps.119 says that the Word should control and permeate every facet of our lives – our thoughts, our will and our emotions.

 

  1. The sphere of the impossible

Scripture helps us to understand what is possible for God. Lk.1:37 states, “With God nothing is impossible.” This can literally be translated as: Not one of God’s words is without power. The Word takes us into the sphere of the humanly impossible. The words that come from God’s mouth never return to Him void (without producing any effect): they create and re-create, they always accomplish something (Is.55:11). If we pray the Word, we set free its creative, recreative and restoring power. The forces of darkness and the weakness of mankind cannot imprison it (2 Tim.2:9). Jails, hospitals, drug addiction, the darkest night, depression, and extreme poverty cannot limit the Word of God. Whosoever calls upon the Word, calls upon the living Christ for whom nothing is impossible.

God is I am. This means that He can. I am is in the present tense: God is always present, always active, busy giving life, creating and re-creating. Take note of the double reference to the word in Ac.20:32: And now, I commit you to God. And I commend you to the word of his grace. It is able to build you up and to give you inheritance among all God’s set-apart ones.

 

  1. We must speak God’s words and build our lives on the Word

The Word is full of grace and truth (Jn.1:14). If we speak God’s Word, it brings His mercy and truth to people. In Jn.17:8 Jesus says, “For the words that You gave me I have given them…” Jesus spoke only that which He heard from the Father: ” …I have never spoken on my own authority or of my own accord or as self-appointed, but the Father who sent me has himself given me orders concerning what to say and what to tell. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. So whatever I speak, I am saying exactly what my Father has told me to say and in accordance with his instructions“ (Jn.12:49-50). What I am telling you I do not say on my own authority and of my own accord; but the Father who lives continually in me does the works.. Anyone who does not really love me does not observe and obey my teaching. And the teaching, which you hear and heed is not mine, but comes from the Father who sent me (Jn.14:10, 24). Note also 1 Jn.5:13-14: “This is the confidence which we have in him: that if we ask anything according to his will, he listens to us and hears us.” Where do we find the will of God? In His Word. In other words, if we do something according to the Word, if we ask after His will, we can approach God with confidence and know that we shall be given what we ask.

Jeremiah says that he devoured the words of God: “Your words were found, and I ate them; and your words were to me a joy and a rejoicing of my heart for I am called by your name, o Lord God of hosts” (Jer.15:16). Mary, the mother of Jesus said to the servants, “Whatever he says to you, do it” (Jn.2:5). In Lk.1:38 Mary says to the angel, “Let it be done to me according to what you have said.” In other words, may the Word of God that the angel has proclaimed be fulfilled. In addition, Mary agrees to submit herself to this Word. She says, “Amen.” The apostle Peter took Jesus’ word and saw the power of the Lord: “Master, we toiled all night and caught nothing. But on the ground of your word, I will lower the nets again” (Lk.5:5). In Mt.4:4 Jesus teaches: “It has been written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.”

To succeed spiritually, to prosper, to do the will and work of God, we must make sure that we live from the Word: “This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success” (Jos.1:8). “Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, and for training in righteousness. So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim.3:16-17).

 

  1. The Word destroys the work of Satan

When the Word of God is prayed by a believer it destroys the work of Satan, drives out evil spirits, and releases people from Satan’s power. When Jesus was tempted by Satan He answered, “It has been written…” and “it is written also…” (Mt.4:4, 7, 10). He overcame temptation by quoting the Word. Through the Word we can triumph over evil. Victory does not come through formulas.

 

  1. The relationship between the Word and faith

Faith comes through the Word (Rm.10:17). Without faith we cannot pray, because prayer without faith does not please God (Heb.11:6). The Word activates faith. What people say can motivate one to believe. Their words may rouse in one’s heart the desire to believe, but it is only when one reads the Word itself, when one prays and proclaims the Word, that faith is born in one’s heart.

E.W. Kenyon said, “Fasting and long hours of prayer do not build faith…Reading books about faith and men of faith and their exploits stirs in the heart a deep passion for faith, but does not build faith. The Word alone is the source of faith.” In Lk.4:32 it is written, “They were amazed at his teaching, for his word was with authority and ability and weight and power.” Why were they amazed? Because when a man speaks the words of God, he speaks with authority, and this authority leads to faith in the hearts of others. Faith comes by hearing, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ (Rm.10:17).

The world was created and equipped to answer to its purpose by the word of God. ”By faith we understand that the worlds were framed and equipped for their intended purpose by the word of God, so that what we see was not made out of things which are visible” (Heb.11:3). If we speak God’s Word in faith and appropriate the promises it contains, we can bring order, create and recreate.

When Satan wants to mislead us, tempt us and render us powerless, he throws suspicion on God’s Word. Take note of the following two Scriptures: “Now the serpent was more subtle and crafty than any living creature of the field which the Lord had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Can it really be that God has said, You shall not eat from every tree of the garden?’” (Gn.3:1) Those along the travelled road are the people who have heard; then the devil comes and carries away the message out of their hearts, that they may not believe and be saved (Lk.8:12).

From the beginning this was Satan’s tactic, and today it is still his plan. If we doubt the Scripture and God’s words, we do not have any power to bring life and order, and so our lives are destroyed.

 

Therefore…

Let us then continue to speak and pray the Word so that God’s kingdom will come, His will be done on earth as it is in heaven, and His Name be glorified.

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