empty empty empty

#358 Kingdom: The Frustration Of Prayer

Phi 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Luk 11:9 “And I say to you, ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. 10 “For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened.

When we examine the scriptures about personal prayer it seems like such a simple and straight forward theme. Just ask and you shall receive! You have not because you ask not! Ask and you shall receive.

I think we always assumed that this kind of prayer related to things temporal, earthly and material. Therefore, we began to ask for things. When we didn’t receive them we had to modify our concept of these many verses by attaching “faith” or “obedience” or according to His Will or maybe He said no or not now! Many sermons have been preached to explain unanswered prayer.

Since most all prayers are confined to the lowest level of temporal prayer, which we should out grown years ago, we may just be using another excuse to justify our failure to participate in these clear and straight forward scriptures.

Mat 6:32 “For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.

Here receiving our temporal needs is not a matter of praying but of seeking first His Kingdom. In His Kingdom all our temporal needs are supplied from the resources of the Kingdom. Does this mean that outside His Kingdom Government we must pray, ask, seek and knock? This indicates that when we pray within the Kingdom dimension, the Father already knows exactly what we need before we ask. Then why ask? The question that confronts us is this; Is there another kind of prayer that is not about asking for our temporal, earthly and material needs?

Another related question is this; Is it essential that we pray into a spiritual dimension that corresponds with the Kingdom and with eternity and supercedes temporal, earthy and material things?

Obviously this requires a complete change of our former attitudes about prayer and may appear to be too conceptual and theological to be practical for our prayer time.

These four prayers of Paul in the Epistles are definitely of another dimension far beyond what we hear in the average prayer meeting. They reach from the present to being prepared for the day of Christ. They touch today but extend into the eternal realms. I suppose that a full book can be written from these four prayers and about their relationship to the Kingdom of God. This is beyond the scope of this short paper that just speaks into the next level of prayer that we are referring to as “the introduction to the restoration of Incense Prayer.”

Incense Prayer connects us to eternity and releases us from our focus upon the temporal, the earthly and the material realms. Incense Prayer is cooperating with God to get His eternal purpose and His Kingdom established upon this earth “for the day of Christ.” In other words Incense Prayer is far superior to prayer for temporal, material and earthly needs. In this dimension our earthly needs are met out of the Kingdom dimension. The type of incense prayer that we see in the Tabernacle of Moses that is centered in the Incense Altar is 100% for God and is not for man at all. Only the Incense that was offered in the small brass censor was for the people and was offered in time of crisis. Daily prayer, associated with priesthood, is related directly with the Incense that was burned upon the Gold Incense Altar. This Incense was wholly for God and anyone who made any for himself was cut off from Israel.

Is there anything WRONG with praying for physical and material needs? Absolutely not! Still, this is what we are calling Outer Court prayer. It is not wrong or to be despised but hopefully we will be able to rise above this level into the level of Incense. But Why is this important to us at this time? Because the Priesthood after the Order of Melchizedek WILL burn Incense. Not the natural kind that was made for the Tabernacle but of the reality of what that incense speaks. We could call this “The reality of Incense” or “The fulfillment of Incense” or “The Incense for today.” We might call this “Spiritual Prayer” as opposed to “Needs Prayer.” Certainly “Needs Prayer” is not wrong but it is not Incense Prayer.

“Needs Prayer” or “Crisis Prayer” is common and normal in the Outer Court dimension. Incense Prayer is normal and common in the Holy Place dimension. This is NOT a matter of “Good and Evil” but of where we stand in our relationship to the Father and in our sharing in His vision and purpose. It also reflects our Point of View and if we are seeing out from the Throne position of our being raised up and seated with Christ of if we still only have a temporal, material and earthly viewpoint.

Surely Paul prayed hundreds of prayers over the lifetime of his ministry but only these few are part of the scriptural record. My theory is that this was not an accident but was deliberate to reveal a glimpse into Incense Prayer.

In these prayers Paul reveals something about the responsibility of ministry in the development of the church. This is beyond the pulpit ministry and focuses upon the minister cooperating with God to prepare the church for the “day of Christ.”

I am still shocked to find that I am still praying at the level of natural light and praying for visible things dealing with physical and material needs and crisis situations. Even when I determine before hand that I will limit myself to Holy Place prayer I soon fall back into earthy prayer and the “Oh, wretched man that I am” prayer. Intellectual / Soulish prayers takes precedent over prayers that originate in the Spirit.

The general rule is this; The Eternal is vastly greater than the Temporal. The Spiritual is vastly greater than the Material, The Heavenly is vastly greater than the Earthly! Making the transition to Incense Prayer is slow and very difficult and requires much discipline and development of the inner man.

A little spiritual light will only affect the level of our prayer slightly. It is difficult to transition from trying to get God to do something for us to the Incense Prayer where we cooperate with God to fit into His purpose and to get His Will done on earth in the measure it is currently being done in heaven. We are generally more interested in getting something NOW rather than having something for eternity. Preparing ourselves for the day of Christ doesn’t seem to be our priority in natural light. It is even more abstract to think about preparing the church for the day of Christ.

I realize that it is beyond human logic to examine these prayers of Paul that I am speculating is our introduction to Incense. However, we will do what we can to examine Paul’s prayer for the Philippians to see if we can recognize another dimension.

Phi 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; 11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

It is easy to just read over this and conclude that Paul is praying for the Philippians so we also should pray for people.

We hear so many messages from 1 Corinthians 13 about Agape -Love that seems to assume that we should all just begin to love everybody with the Love of God. Little is preached about how we develop this Love so we can share it.

We soon realize that Agape is not arrived at through any human effort or by making stronger consecrations or resolutions. Agape is not a matter of will power or by exercising our logic. However, experiential Agape seems to be the supreme proof that our Christian Life has come to some measure of completeness. 1 Corinthians 13 indicates that Love possessed must also be expressed in an outward manifestation. Love is not ONLY subjective but must be manifested objectively if it is to have any validity.

All this is easy to say but is very difficult to experience. The doctrine can quickly be formed but the Life may trail behind by many years. Many Christians who know the “doctrine of Love” never come to the experience of Agape.

The Question that comes from this prayer is this; What is the relationship between Agape and the True / Full Knowledge [ epignosis] and all [ the full spectrum of] discernment / perception/ judgement?

This is a strange combination of terms that at first appear to be unrelated and confused to the natural mind. Still, if we see the dimension into which Paul is praying it many make perfect sense to the new inner man.

Jamieson/ Fausset/Brown says that this term translated judgment by some is better translated as — rather, “perception”; “perceptive sense.” Spiritual perceptiveness: spiritual sight, spiritual hearing, spiritual feeling, spiritual taste. In other words these terms refer to a spiritual dimension rather than to the natural dimension of knowledge and perception or discernment.

Love / Agape is not just a matter of “advancement” into these other realms but is a “development” into this Life of growth and great abundance. This is not referring to natural, earthly and temporal things but of the things that remain when everything else is gone. This reaches to the “Day of Christ.”

Phi 1:10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;

“Sincere” means in full sunlight, genuine in full reality, nothing hidden. “Blameless” means without offense or faultless. This growth is related to the “day of Christ.”

It appears that Agape / Love is the basis of our participation by experience into the other attributes and the character of the person of God. Some will reject this because it is common knowledge that no one can be like God. However, manifesting His attributes in the measure assigned to the human dimension is not an option if we are to be prepared for the “day of Christ.” Agape manifested out of our humanity may seem like it requires an incredible degree of development. Of course our “humanity” is the weakest factor in manifesting Agape. This is why this dimension of Love is assigned to the new inner man that is living by His Life, Zoe! We can connect Zoe, Agape, and epignosis to the new inner man.

Rom 5:3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Many refer to the Agape / Love as a gift of God because of this verse. The Agape of God is certainly inherent in the Holy Spirit who IS God. But for our Love to abound more and more is not just that the Love is in us but that it abound until there is an expression of it. But where does the “real knowledge” {epignosis} emerge out of this “expression” of Agape?

Within the human weakness there is certain dullness and foolishness in spiritual things including knowledge- gnosis! There is certainly an ignorance of spiritual things in the natural man and outward man. The epignosis is not a higher degree of intellectual comprehension but knowledge that is from above, from another and higher dimension, even revelation, that is experiential.

The problem is that Spiritual Knowledge is directly linked to the spiritual life of the new inner man.

Jesus Christ said that He IS Truth or that He IS the Reality. He IS the substance of ALL Truth. The Holy Spirit takes of this “substance” and reveals it to us. This is what leads us into ALL Truth or Reality. This Eternal Substance IS the Living and Abiding Word of God. All this exceeds the capacity of our natural mind and is also limited by the shallow capacity of our to new inner man to understand and respond to this realm of Truth / Reality.