Praying in the Power of the Spirit
31 Jul 2012
I have recently heard a few men of God confess that God is on the move. By this I believe that they mean that God is stirring some of His people to begin to move from their position of comfort and self-focused practices toward a deeper desire for a more active presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Have you seen any evidence of this activity of God?
Trends reported are a desire on the part of churches to place an increased emphasis on reaching out to those who do not have a relationship with God. Or the growing trend of pastors to gather with other pastors to pray for the unified work of God in their community. Perhaps on an individual basis it is manifested by a deepening desire to be constantly controlled by God’s Spirit? Have you sensed God stirring in any of these ways in your life?
Often the work of God that precedes revival is completely under the radar of our natural capacities of observation. For example:
. Luke 10:17-18 (NASB77)
17 And the seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name."
18 And He said to them, "I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.( emphasis added)
Leon Morris in his commentary of Luke notes: "To the casual observer all that had happened was that a few mendicant preachers had spoken in a few small towns and healed a few sick folk. But in the gospel triumph Satan had suffered a notable defeat."
We see these many years later that this assignment to the seventy was in preparation for the ministry of Jesus, and Jesus’ ministry was in turn preparation for the great Pentecost revival. Wouldn’t it be interesting to know how many of the seventy were present among the one hundred and twenty who were in attendance at Pentecost?
It is also interesting that the first instruction Jesus gave to these seventy was to pray.
Luke 10:2 (NASB77)
2 And He was saying to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.
Jesus went on to give several instructions to these seventy. They were not to stop with prayer. They were to do a powerful work of preparation. They obeyed Jesus’ directives and exercised the authority of the power of His name. These simple straightforward actions brought significant defeat to the enemy of God.
When we observe the humility and faith required for the strict compliance to Jesus’ instructions, we would quite accurately assume that this was a mission of significant personal sacrifice. However Luke does not record their response as one of sacrifice or suffering, but rather one of great joy.
Luke 10:17 (AMP)
17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name! (emphasis added)
Has it been your experience that the more influence the Holy Spirit has in your daily life the greater your experience of joy? Perhaps the presence of joy is an excellent litmus test for the consistency of our being controlled by the Holy Spirit of God?
There seems to be some parallels between the things reported by Luke and our current situation today. God seems to be calling pastors and lay people to pray, particularly for revival. Some are taking new steps to encourage their congregates to pray and reach out to their unsaved neighbors. Some are starting community worship services.
Let’s look briefly at Jesus’ response to the seventy disciples report and to what He saw through His spiritual eyes as His disciples were obedient to follow His directives.
Luke 10:21 (NASB77)
21 At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, "I praise Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes. Yes, Father, for thus it was well-pleasing in Thy sight. (emphasis added)
Dr. Constable, in his notes on the book of Luke, has this reflection on the verse above:
“The subject of joy continues, and the section on the responsibilities and rewards of discipleship reaches its climax here. Jesus expressed His joy to the Father in prayer for revealing to the disciples what they had learned, particularly Jesus' victory over Satan. This understanding constituted a unique privilege that Jesus pointed out to them.”
Apparently when we obey the direction of the Holy Spirit, pray and operate in the name of Jesus, the victory of Jesus is released and activated and this active victory brings both Jesus and His Father joy!
For Jesus’ victory to manifest itself, we must do as these did, turn our eyes from the ways of this world and humbly put our complete trust in the power and wisdom and guidance of His Spirit.
Please be encouraged to pray in the name of Jesus for revival. It is quite probable as in the case of the seventy that the Lord desires your involvement beyond praying. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you. Release the victory! The Father will entertain great joy and Jesus will be glorified!