increase-decrease

One of the crucial things about growing in prayer and in the Spirit concerns moving from praying our own prayers to letting the Holy Spirit work through our spirit to intercede the prayers and workings of God through us. The difference is infinite.

While our prayers that originate from our own souls are received lovingly by God, that is not the essence of our call as priests. 1Cor. 2:10 tells us that the Spirit searches everything, even the deep things of God. The presence of the Spirit in us is not intended to actualize our own desires, ideas or prayers, but to glorify God, or to bring to the fore the works, the personality, and the heart of God. When the Spirit has His full effect, our prayer comes from a decreased I and an increased He (God). As John the Baptist declares, He must increase, and I decrease.

When God prays through us, we are taken up by One far greater and more powerful than ourselves.

For those who came for last Saturday’s prayer, we experienced a little of that phenomenon. And it is this particular critical point that we shall be working on. It has to do with praying until a point comes when we are taken over by God’s heart and mind. When that happens, we feel like we are in the grip of someone other than ourselves. Some of those present last week commented that it took about 40 minutes for that fading out of self and the “grip of God” to take effect.

As we praised and worshiped God, we were giving up our own thoughts, desires, hopes for something to happen, and just releasing ourselves to wholeheartedly praise Him in a sustained way. The tendency for our thoughts to lunge out to the future (e.g., what will all this praising do for me?) was being counteracted by staying in the present to just wholeheartedly praise and worship God. That in itself is a battle that involves giving up our practical utilitarianism for personal benefit, and giving it all to God. Praise and worship wholeheartedly and sustainedly practiced mortifies the flesh and self, and takes away the Enemy’s ground for attack on our souls.

At a certain point, we experienced to some extent, a cessation of human mental activity, and the filling up of a different presence – the presence of God’s prevailing prayer. We felt a poignancy in what was being prayed and uttered, and a quiet that was discernably filled with presence. Some would have experienced more than others, but I think, that was roughly the movement that was taking place during that time of prayer.

This is not something we can engineer or will into being. It comes only by grace. It’s totally a work of God, and He expects us to wait on Him until we are “endued with power from on high.” That’s what makes abiding so powerful. Abiding involves making submissive and attentive space for all that it takes for God to do what we cannot do for ourselves. And when we experience His coming, we feel more alive, more hopeful, more inspired, more at peace (Cf. the VCF Spirit Tool).

In waiting on Him, we do experience a certain uncomfortability with being with God. This sometimes comes from feeling the silence of God and the restlessness of our own souls. It is this awkwardness that we want to intentionally work through. Without that, our prayers do not rise above the level of just being present to our own thoughts and desires. But He promises to answer us and show us great and mighty things that we’ve not known. It is this point of departure from our own prayers that we are shooting for as we ask God in our training, to lead us into His presence.

As you do your sets, you may want to incorporate this into your prayer in the spirit. Pray toward this as much as you are able, and if you can, pray into this. It is often in this “zone” that God reveals people that He is directing us to and giving us a burden for. Here He increases our faith and power as His word begins to gain force in us. We will be training our spirits to function more and more from this zone.

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