This post was modified from its original form on 04 Jun, 9:29
Prayer concerns God; whose purposes and plans are conditional on prayer.
I.) His will and glory are bound up in praying.
~God's great movements in the world have been conditioned on, continued and fashioned by prayer.
~Praying in the present , prevailing in prayer, persisting in prayer and mastering prayer has always brought God to the present situation and need.
~God's mightiest forces supercharge a movement; when our mightiest efforts at prayer our in force.
II) Praying saints are God's agents for carrying on His saving and providential work on earth. If His agents fail Him, failing to pray, then His work fails.
~Prayer is an absolute necessity to the proper carrying on of God's work.
~Nothing is well done without prayer, for the simple reason that it leaves God out of the account.
~Prayer must come first and not be put aside for other purposes.
III.) Praying Christians are a necessity in carrying out a divine plan for the salvation of humankind.
~Persevering in prayer will always win the battle!
"God has of His own motion placed Himself under the law of prayer and has obligated Himself to answer prayers of humans."1
"Prayer is a specific divine appointment, an ordinance of heaven, whereby God purposes to carry out His gracious designs on earth and to execute and make efficient the plan of Salvation."2
Prayer effects three different spheres of existence.
1.] The divine-(Putting God to work.)
2.] Prayers put angels to work.
3.] Prayer puts men and women to work.3
"In all of this Jesus Christ commits Himself to the force of prayer."
'Whatsoever you ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.'
"Every movement for the advancement of the Gospel must be created by and inspired by prayer."4
(1,2,3,4) "The Weapon of Prayer" by E.M. Bounds.
Prayer for protection by Donna C. Matthews
In praying for protection, the Bible also gives us direction. Throughout the Bible a person reads about towers, walls, fortresses, watchmen, (swords, shields, helmets in the armor of God), Shepherds and Shepherd's staff. All used symbolically, perhaps to hide the identity should letters be confiscated in the days of heavy persecution, or perhaps to catch a persons attention and enhance understanding.
I was curious about the term 'hedges of protection', which I heard in the prayers of others and read on the cover of a book; which unfortunately, I could not remember the exact title or arthur. I prayed that God would give me understanding about this and the next day when I opened the Bible, the page fell to Mark 12:1-11. A parable told by Jesus. This parable is actually portraying what happens to the prophets and to Jesus and is told as a lesson; however, I will put in part of the parable so that you can see the symbolism used and understand where hedges of protection originated from.
1.] Then He began to speak to them in parables: "A man planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a place for the wine vat, and built a tower...."
Notice the symbolism within the parable. Jesus told the disciples 'I am the vine and you are the branches', So I am fairly certain that the vineyard is symbolic of the Christian church, and Christ's followers. The man who planted the vineyard symbolizes God, and the vines are symbolic of Jesus. Later on in the parable, a son is sent out to talk to the vine dressers, and that son is also symbolic of Jesus.
The tower was used to watch for enemies, thief's and other trouble makers, and the hedge is planted around the vineyard as a form of protection, much as farmers and ranchers plant shelter belts with trees, in this day and age. Symbolically, the hedge offers other types of protection in spiritual matters, including Christian marriage, the church, family, and followers of Jesus., from the non-Christian world and Satan.
Some people believe that a hedge stands for angels who are sent by God to serve as guards, and that they are put to work by our prayers to God, when asking for protection.
I pray today and everyday for the persecuted christians around the world and praise God for allowing me to live in a country where there is religious tolerance.
I recommend that you read the book of Ezra and the book of Nehemiah.
1.] Assyrians invade in 722 B.C.~The Northern Tribes of Israel cease to exist, except for a few who fled to Judah, in the South.
2.] 586~Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar's invaded Jerusalem and all (Judah). This begins the period of time called the Babylonian captivity. The house of God, the temple and the protective wall is burned down.
3.] The rule of Persia~The Medes and the Persians invaded Babylon and overthrew it. Cyrus decrees that God has appointed him to build Him a house in Jerusalem which is in Judah. The Jewish people went back to Jerusalem under the leadership of three men.
4,] Zerubabbel leads some people of Israel back to Jeruselum.
5.] 80 years later, Artaxerxess is ruler and Ezra led some people of Israel back to Jeruselum and rebuilds temple.
6.] 13 years later Nehemiah leads the people of Israel back.
Nehemiah is the cup bearer for the King of Persia and he gains favor with the King. He also was a devote Jewish man and lived a Godly life. He was a praying man, turning to the Lord for help, before he ever made a decision or took action.
When Nehemiah is sure of what the Lord wants he begins a mission, asking the King to set his people free and to rebuild the wall of Jerusalum.
Nehemiah promises the King that he will return to the King's services after rebuilding the wall, and the King agrees, even providing signed letters stating permission.
Jewish families worked side by side to finish the wall. The wall had seven gates. 1.) The sheep gate, 2.) The fish gate, 3.) The old gate. 4.) The valley gate, 5.) The gate of the fountain, 6.) The water gate, and 7.) The horse gate.
Continued~I recommend that you read the book of Ezra and the book of Nehemiah.
There were three towers~
1.] The tower of the furnaces~
2.] The the tower by the Kings court and the prison~
3.] The great tower~
Nehemiah made God's direction first in all of this. He never made a decision without asking God first. Nehemiah took these steps in his endeavor to rebuild the wall.
1.) He prayed and waited on God~
2.) After knowing he was making the right decision, he made plans.
3.) He communicated with the King that he served, praying all the while.
4.) After receiving the King's permission, he took action.
Nehemiah was persistent and persevered, even when things went wrong. For instance, neighboring nations and observers often heckled him and the people of Israel/ Judea. Nehemiah encouraged his people, reminding them of God's promises.
Reconstruction consisted of five principles~
1.] Letting God have control~
2.] Praying and waiting go hand in hand~
3.] Faith and planning go hand in hand~
4.] Opposition is to be expected~
5.] Spend some time in solitude with God and then take action!
Modern Day Walls~
A wall that needs to be repaired can be symbolic for our own lives, our homes, our churches, our villages, or our cities, or many more applications can be made; therefore, we need to identify which walls are torn down and broken, and take steps to reconstruct them, as God would want them reconstructed. Just as we pray for a hedge of protection, we can also pray for a wall of protection, complete with towers, gates, stairs and Godly additions.
~the wall itself is symbolic in our Christian lives, and can be used to symbolize our prayer lives, our bible study, our fellowships, our families, our worship time, our prayer and meditation time, and following the instructions of Jesus and the disciples, including the Apostle Paul~
~The gates symbolize these ideas: Godly opportunities in our lives, opening the gate for newcomers and visitors (this pertains to witnessing and invitations to the church, bible studies, and prayer meetings, activities and revivals.) We can choose when we open these gates and we can always pray for angelic and human guards and watchmen. Spiritually, we can pray that the gates be guarded by Godly angels, and that demonic forces be kept out. Angelic watchmen watch for demonic spirits and worldly humans who are not following Jesus, but Satan instead. Human watchmen, are people who keep an eye on what is happening in the world so that we can pray and be prepared. They also identify strongholds that Satan has set up, and advice on what strongholds we need to build up through prayer and reconstruction. Some of our work is spiritual and some of our work is in the physical world.
Stairways lead us spiritually and physically from one area to another, and allow passage from one level to another. So if we are following a stairway we are taking a journey, briefly or for a longer time from one level of spirituality to another and will end up in a different place than we were before. Stairways can also lead the entrance way, such as a gateway. This is important for us to remember that newcomers and visitors are taking a journey on a pathway and perhaps a stairway, before they even reach the gateway. We need to be there to help them and to greet them. I will speak on the importance of greeting at another time and of towers and watchmen, also!
1.) Climbing a spiritual stairway simply means that after you are born again because of the grace of Jesus, that you will become closer with Jesus. the Holy Spirit will draw you closer to God, and your prayer time and bible study will also bring you closer to God, through the Holy Spirit and Jesus.
2.) As you apply prayer, bible study and Christian fellowship; you will mature spiritually. The longer you stay with Jesus the more you should mature. After a time you should climb a step from spiritual milk, to spiritual meat in your diet. After more time you should climb a step from cut up pieces of toddler meat to the fruits of the spirit, and after a time again you should climb a step to a deeper spiritual wisdom and knowledge.
I really want you to understand this, because some groups use spiritual evolvement in a non-Christian manner. They will say things like you are in touch with your inner spiritual self and your inner God. We believe as Christians that God is real and Jesus is real, and we may have Jesus inside us and the Holy Spirit inside us, but never by our own actions or power. We invite Jesus into our lives, and we invite the Holy Spirit into our lives.
This post was modified from its original form on 28 Jun, 10:32