14 And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us.
15 And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him.
1 John 5:14-15 (AMPC)
Unction a Necessity - E. M. Bounds
One bright benison which private prayer brings down upon the ministry is an indescribable and inimitable something -- an unction from the Holy One...If the anointing which we bear come not from the Lord of hosts, we are deceivers, since only in prayer can we obtain it. Let us continue instant constant fervent in supplication. Let your fleece lie on the thrashing floor of supplication till it is wet with the dew of heaven -- Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Alexander Knox, a Christian philosopher of the days of Wesley, not an adherent but a strong personal friend of Wesley, and with much spiritual sympathy with the Wesleyan movement, writes: "It is strange and lamentable, but I verily believe the fact to be that except among Methodists and Methodistical clergyman, there is not much interesting preaching in England. The clergy, too generally have absolutely lost the art. There is, I conceive, in the great laws of the moral world a kind of secret understanding like the affinities in chemistry, between rightly promulgated religious truth and the deepest feelings of the human mind. Where the one is duly exhibited, the other will respond. Did not our hearts burn within us? -- but to this devout feeling is indispensable in the speaker. Now, I am obliged to state from my own observation that this onction, as the French not unfitly term it, is beyond all comparison more likely to be found in England in a Methodist conventicle than in a parish Church. This, and this alone, seems really to be that which fills the Methodist houses and thins the Churches. I am, I verily think, no enthusiast; I am a most sincere and cordial churchman, a humble disciple of the School of Hale and Boyle, of Burnet and Leighton. Now I must aver that when I was in this country, two years ago, I did not hear a single preacher who taught me like my own great masters but such as are deemed Methodistical. And I now despair of getting an atom of heart instruction from any other quarter. The Methodist preachers (however I may not always approve of all their expressions) do most assuredly diffuse this true religion and undefiled. I felt real pleasure last Sunday. I can bear witness that the preacher did at once speak the words of truth and soberness. There was no eloquence -- the honest man never dreamed of such a thing -- but there was far better: a cordial communication of vitalized truth. I say vitalized because what he declared to others it was impossible not to feel he lived on himself."
This unction is the art of preaching. The preacher who never had this unction never had the art of preaching. The preacher who has lost this unction has lost the art of preaching. Whatever other arts he may have and retain -- the art of sermon-making, the art of eloquence, the art of great, clear thinking, the art of pleasing an audience -- he has lost the divine art of preaching. This unction makes God's truth powerful and interesting, draws and attracts, edifies, convicts, saves.
This unction vitalizes God's revealed truth, makes it living and life-giving. Even God's truth spoken without this unction is light, dead, and deadening. Though abounding in truth, though weighty with thought, though sparkling with rhetoric, though pointed by logic, though powerful by earnestness, without this divine unction it issues in death and not in life. Mr. Spurgeon says: "I wonder how long we might beat our brains before we could plainly put into word what is meant by preaching with unction. Yet he who preaches knows its presence, and he who hears soon detects its absence. Samaria, in famine, typifies a discourse without it. Jerusalem, with her feast of fat things, full of marrow, may represent a sermon enriched with it. Everyone knows what the freshness of the morning is when orient pearls abound on every blade of grass, but who can describe it, much less produce it of itself? Such is the mystery of spiritual anointing. We know, but we cannot tell to others what it is. It is as easy as it is foolish, to counterfeit it. Unction is a thing which you cannot manufacture, and its counterfeits are worse than worthless. Yet it is, in itself, priceless, and beyond measure needful if you would edify believers and bring sinners to Christ."
What to Do While You’re Waiting for an Answer to Prayer - Gloria Copeland
Have you been praying for something? The answer to a particular question? The resolution to a problem? The fulfillment of a deep desire? If so, then you’re waiting for an answer to your prayer. And aren’t you glad that God is in the prayer-answering business? Now that doesn’t mean that you will get every little thing you ask for, exactly when you ask for it. Sometimes you have to be like a farmer planting a crop. You have to sow it, water it and wait for it to grow.
But instead of sowing a physical seed in the ground, you sow a spiritual one. This requires a four-step process:
1. Do Sow Your Seed
Sow the seed of love, faith, finances…whatever it is that you are believing for. For example, if you are believing for your financial debts to be paid, sow a financial gift to help ease someone else’s financial debt. If you are believing for a family of your own, then sow time into another family by offering to babysit or assist with some need in their home.
2. Do Stay Focused on the Word
After you’ve sown your seed, it’s time to keep your eyes and heart focused on what God’s Word says about it. Find scriptures relating to your need. This website is filled with articles and scriptures to help you stand for your answered prayer—everything from finances to healing to relationship issues and more.
3. Do Speak the Word
Water your seed by speaking the Word over it. The Word of God will go to work on your seed and give it the nourishment it needs to grow.
4. Do Continue to Stand Strong
When doubts come to your mind that say, This isn’t going to happen. I’ll never have my prayers answered, continue to stand. Continue to speak the Word over your seed. The Word of God will do two things during this time: continue to work on your seed and weed out the negative thoughts from your mind.
While you’re waiting for an answer to your prayer, don’t give up. Be diligent to patiently watch, wait, and use the Word as your water and cultivator. Soon, you’ll begin to see some movement. You’ll begin to see growth. And finally, you will receive your harvest—your answered prayer!
Don’t Dig Up Your Seed!
Genesis 8:22 in The Amplified Bible, Classic Edition, says, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” For the sake of illustration, separate those two words—seedtime and harvest—into three words…seed, time and harvest…because no harvest is immediate. It’s a process that takes time.
It takes your faith in the Word working on that seed, processing it. You put it into the ground and patiently wait. You don’t go dig it up to see if it’s still there. No, faith knows it’s still in the ground, and patience waits for it to come to maturity.
It’s going to take some time, but there’s going to be a harvest to your prayer if you’ll stay with it. In Jesus’ parable in Luke 8:15, He said of the man who sowed into good ground, “on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience” (KJV).
That may help you to be patient. It may help you realize that it’s just a matter of time before your harvest—your answer to prayer—comes. Your job, at this point, is to plant your seed into good ground, to keep it watered with the Word, to let the Word keep out the doubt, and then to patiently wait until it’s harvest time.
Don’t give up on your prayer! For whatever seed you have planted according to the Word, your harvest is coming!
Your answer to prayer is that the crop (your harvest!) will come exactly when it’s needed. God knows when the right time is…and when you need it, it will be there!
Prayer Still Changes Things - Lynne Hammond
The earth is groaning for change from heaven. Conditions often appear overwhelming and even dangerous, but that doesn’t change the fact that prayer changes things. You and I have authority from above to take our stand and bring change to this earth!
One type of prayer that does this is called the prayer of binding and loosing. We find it in Matthew chapter 18.
Verily I say unto you whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. … For where two or three are gathered together in my name there I am in the midst of them. (verses 18, 20)
I want to call your attention to that phrase “in my name.” Jesus is talking about His name. Instead of using the authority in the name of Jesus, many born-again, Spirit-filled Christians have let the enemy bind them—but we’re supposed to be binding the devil.
Take a look at Jesus’ words in Mark chapter 16:
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. … And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (verses 15, 17–18)
These signs shall follow them when they operate “in my name.” We have been given the authority in the name of Jesus to take care of the devil and all of his cohorts. Every evil foe that would come against us must bow to the authority of the name of Jesus.
God has already done everything He’s going to do about the devil. He’s given us the authority in the name of Jesus to take our place and do what we’re supposed to do. So let’s stand up and use our God-given authority!
That’s not the time to stop though; this is a two-part prayer. That word “loosing” is important to notice. I believe God wants us to loose angels on our behalf. In the book of Psalms we read that angels hearken to the voice of God’s Word. How do they hear the voice of God’s Word? Through us! They don’t hearken unless we speak. We’re the ones who speak the Word. As we speak the Word of God, the angels hearken to the Word of God. Then they move on our behalf.
Hebrews 1:14 asks, “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” Angels are available to minister to us, heirs of salvation. You can stand up boldly and declare God’s Word as direction to them and know God’s heavenly hosts will respond!
So speak the Word in faith and believe that both God and our ministering angels are listening. Keep the words from your mouth lined up with God’s Word, step out in boldness, and be fully confident that you are standing in your God-given authority. You will see mountains begin to move.
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