Friday, March 23, 2012

Prayer or Intercession

Our spiritual life must be established and abide upon a firm foundation. This “foundation” is our daily time of worship and prayer, which flows out from our innermost being to the Lord. It is not the amount of time (quantity) that we spend in worship and prayer that is important, but rather, the quality of this time.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For it is always he who asks that receives, he who seeks that finds, and he who knocks that has the door opened to him.”

“What man is there among you, who if his son shall ask him for bread will offer him a stone? Or if the son shall ask him for a fish will offer him a snake? If you then, imperfect as you are, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give good things to those who ask Him.” Mathew 7:7-11 Weymouth
There are three primary words in the above; ask, seek, and knock. The outworking of each of these produces a very different result.

Ask and “it” will be given. This “it” is that for which we are asking. It will be given to the one who asks. If we ask for bread, the Lord will not give us a stone. If we ask for fish, He will not give us a serpent. We can trust the Lord to rightly respond to our request.

In order to receive, this “asking” must be according to the will of the Lord, which we will come to know as we spend quality time in His presence. Faith will be imparted into our being, then we can ask in confidence, knowing that we will receive.

Seeking” goes beyond our asking to receive something. “Seek, and you will find.” Seeking has to do with a spiritual discovery as we come to better know the Lord as a person. In the first, we are asking our Lord to provide “something” that we desire or need. In the second, we are asking the Lord to reveal Himself to us. In each of these, we receive, but very differently.

Knocking” is distinct from either of the above. “Knock and it will be opened to you” – not given, but rather a doorway into a new realm will be opened before us. This “knocking” refers to a persistence in intercession that will lead to a birthing into a higher spiritual realm, or to an open door that had previously been closed.

I can say, “I will now pray.” I cannot say, “I will now intercede.” Prayer is initiated by the one who prays. Intercession is initiated by the Holy Spirit, to which I must respond. Intercession is very costly, because we must respond when this deep inner-knock of intercession is birthed within us. We cannot say, “I am busy now and will respond later.”

Asking” gives release to our faith. But intercession is a process, at times painful, that results in a birthing. This intercessory birthing is very different from our asking or seeking.

A friend told me about his new car and described it in detail. When I asked if I could see it, he said he did not have it yet, but was “speaking” it into being. This will not work, but there is a Scriptural process that will work. “Asking” in itself is not sufficient. I must “seek” the Lord that He will actively move in my behalf, then I must respond to the Holy Spirit and “intercede” that it will be birthed into reality.

Knock and it shall be opened to you.” That is, a way or process will be made available to us, and begin to open before us. Often, we may not understand this burden, but in the Lord’s time and way, it will become clear to us.