I have just been studying about prayer, when a number of diverse connections cam together in my spirit and I share them with you. Let’s start at the beginning, with Genesis 1:26-28 which says:
“And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creepers creeping on the earth.
And God created man in His image; in the image of God He created him. He created them male and female.
And God blessed them. And God said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply and fill the earth, and subdue it. And have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the heavens, and all animals that move upon the earth.”
Thus it was that mankind came upon the earth, to rule, for and on behalf of, God. For that is what verses 26 and 28 say: “let them have dominion over …..” and “have dominion over ….” God made the heavens and the earth, but He gave dominion over the earth to mankind, and expected mankind to rule over the earth for Him and manage it for Him. Mankind, were to be the stewards of the earth, for and on behalf of God. Mankind were the agents of God, for the management and rulership of the earth. This was what God intended from the very beginning.
In Genesis 1:26 above we also read that God said “Let Us make man in Our image.” In the original Hebrew, this is not just in the plural, but in the triplicate, as in masculine, feminine and neuter. When God made mankind, then God made Adam and Eve, the triune God was there, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
What is also interesting to note here is how we were made, compared to the rest of God’s creation was made:
|v1:3||And God said, Let there be light …||The first day.|
|v1:6||And God said, Let there be …..||The second day.|
|v1:9||And God said, Let the waters …..||The third day.|
|v1:4||And God said, Let there be lights in ….||The fourth day.|
|v1:20||And God said, Let the waters ….||The fifth day.|
|v1:24||And God said, Let the earth bring ….||The sixth day.|
|v2:3||God blessed the seventh day …..||The seventh day.|
|v2:7||And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.||God made mankind – Adam.|
|v2:21b-22||And Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept. And He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh underneath. And Jehovah God made the rib (which He had taken from the man)||God made mankind – Eve.|
Mankind, out of all the creations of God, was alone made by the hands of God. All the rest of creation, all else that exists, was spoken into existence by God. But for mankind, God got His hands and knees dirty as he formed us from the dust of the earth and knelt over to breathe life into Adam and Eve.
What does this have to do with prayer and authority?
Well, to start with, God obviously had special plans for us and God entrusted the upkeep of the earth to mankind. He gave us the authority to rule on His behalf, in His name. Yes, God came to visit the earth and talk to His special beings, Adam and Eve, but he left the management of earth to them. We know this, for the Bible says so in Genesis 3:8-9,
“And they heard the voice of Jehovah God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. And Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Jehovah God in the middle of the trees of the garden.
And Jehovah God called to Adam and said to him, Where are you?”
God had turned up on one of His regular evening visits to chat with Adam and Eve, but there were in hiding from Him; as they heard Him in the garden and were afraid.
God made mankind in His own image so that mankind could rule the earth for Him. But mankind messed up big time, and lost its authority over the earth to Satan, requiring the death of Jesus on a cross, to purchase that authority back.
When God planned the earth, it was His intention, and still is His intention, to be as it were, a “hands-off” landowner. God certainly has the power and authority to act on the earth, and within us, His creations, as and when He sees fit. He simply chooses not to do so. Instead, He still operates through mankind as His normal mode of operation. Occasionally, He chooses to do things directly and miracles are apparent, but these are the exceptions, not the norm.
God gave mankind a thinking brain and free-will and He expects us to make our own decisions and act on them. When things do not go according to plan, alternate plans come into action. As the write of the Book of Ecclesiastes wrote, there is a time and season for everything. But once that time and season is gone, God will find alternative ways to fulfill His plans. Sometimes we can come back and pick-up the pieces of a missed opportunity, a missed blessing of favour upon us; but sometimes we cannot, for the others whom God had involved in that plan as our resources, are now scattered and not available.
One of the expectations which many Christians have is that there is a detailed plan for our lives laid out for us, and in that I do believe that God has a heartfelt desire for a particular Godly Kingdom destiny for each of us, that we may be saved an contribute to His Kingdom. But given our free-will choices – or lack of them, we mostly fail to achieve God’s full plan for us.
I often hear it said that God has a plan for each of us, down to the very person we ought to marry. Strangely, the Bible says something different as First Corinthians 7:39 says “The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband lives, but if her husband sleeps in death, she is at liberty to be remarried to whom she will, only in the Lord.” It seems that if a widow is allowed to remarry “whom she will,” the same rule ought to be implied as extending to the unmarried. It seems odd to have one rule for marriage partners for the first marriage and another for the second. Does this mean that asking God to bring you to His preferred partner is wrong? Certainly not, but God expects us to be His managers and has gifted us with brains and commonsense that we may operate in His will, without deferring all our decision to Him.
Nevertheless, the point goes toward the idea that God is not continually micro-managing the affairs of mankind on earth. He has, after all, bequeathed that duty, to us. This does certainly not mean that God does not have a plan for earth, and for the fulfilment of the prophetic words of the Bible, but that He will execute them, fulfill them, essentially though mankind.
How mankind communicates with God is through prayer, and how God releases His will, is via our prayers. We need to understand this. Jesus has given us the Keys we need to accomplish this, for, and with, God, when in Matthew 16:19 He said:
“I will give the keys of the kingdom of Heaven to you. And whatever you may bind on earth shall occur, having been bound in Heaven, and whatever you may loose on earth shall occur, having been loosed in Heaven.”
God has given us the keys to bind and loose thinks on earth and in heaven. Some of that authority which we lost to Satan has been passed back to us. Thus mankind, or more specifically in this instance, born-again Christian, have the authority in Christ to both allow/release and bind/reject, all things in the will of God. If we pray outside the will of God, He simply will not listen and we are wasting our time.
Mark 11:24 is a very important verse when it comes to prayer and authority. It says:
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
When we pray in Faith, and are praying in the will of God, we can be certain that our prayers will be answered. Surprisingly, ‘Faith’ is always a past tense word. This is the way Jesus uses it in this verse too. Jesus is telling us that when we pray, we need to have faith (past tense), we need to have believed (past tense) that we have received it, then it will be ours. Jesus does not ask us to pray saying “I believe God will answer.” Jesus says we should have the view that: “I have prayed and God has answered.” I have taken my petition, my prayer before God and He has already answered.
Certainly it appears sometimes that it takes a while before the prayers become a reality before our eyes, and other times, if we could only be see it, God has apparently already answered our prayer before we asked it! Recognition, can be a problem for us. For example, we pray for something, and minutes later a friend offers it to us, free, gratis and for nothing. Then we reject it saying, “No, God will provide, no need for you to go out of your of your way for me!” God has provided! We just rejected His provision. God acted through mankind as he normally does; but we expected a Holy Encounter – a miracle to prove it was from God.
Thus, as God works on earth, almost without exception, He executes His will through His people in answered prayers. This is, after all, our role as His agents. The same is true when we are praying for ourselves, or praying as intercessors for and on behalf of another person. Typically God will answer through another person. As we intercede for a troubled friend, God will put it into the heart of a third party to call our friend, or just solve our friend’s problems. Indeed, this may occur while we pray.
As I have been studying prayer, I have also come to the conclusion that God sometimes needs a lot of prayer to move His will, or to allow His will to be moved. Sometimes we pray for things which are in God’s will and for which no prayer is needed, for sufficient prayer has already been received, yet no one has Proclaimed of Declared that Will of God into being. We need to remember that God is King and a King rules by Decree. Until the King says “I Declare …” or “I Proclaim….”, then it remains lifeless. As we pray in the Will of God, we ought to Declare the Will of God into being, and release His Godly, release His Kingly Will into reality.
This is, after all what stewards do for their superiors. All instructions and decrees and proclamations are issued in the name of the superior. In our case, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. This is what Jesus did, for all He said and did was in the name of the Father, not in His own account. Jesus operated on earth in the authority of His Father in heaven, not in His own authority. So when we pray, we need to take the same position as His agent and release the Kingly Decrees and Declaring them into existence, and thus releasing the Will of the Father, onto earth.
We have been given the job, the authority and the tools. Now we just need to do it all as God has planned from the very start.
Amen and Amen and Amen.