Job 22:28

You will also decree a thing, and it will be established for you; and light will shine on your ways.

What do you think of when you hear the word “decree?” You probably do not think of the Bible. This verse from Job goes along with yesterday’s Word of the Day. Click Here to go to yesterday’s devotional.

This is still about prayer. We are learning that prayer is much more than a laundry list of requests. It also does not equate to begging God to do something for us. Prayer is much more about finding what God has already said and then bringing that promise forward to the physical realm. This is right in line with Romans 4: 17 which teaches us to, “call[s] into being that which does not exist.”

The other word I like is “declare.” It means the same thing but drums up a slightly different impression. This teaching is not meant to make us arrogant. We are not trying to put forward that we demand and therefore receive, but to tell you the truth, one of the definitions of prayer is to make a demand off of a promise due. The essential piece is that Father has already made the promise. We make a demand off of the promise, not the Father. None of us would presume we can order God around. However, He is trying to get us to use His Word to phrase a demand. This idea is more comparable to a checking account than an army sergeant’s command.

Checking accounts are called demand accounts. It means that you can make a demand on the sum equal to the balance. Checks are demand instruments. The holder of the check can show up to your bank and demand funds equal to the instrument’s written draw. That is what God is teaching us. He might say, “Here is the promise, child. Now make a demand off of that promise. Declare, decree what you desire which is in accordance to the promise and you shall receive it.” Does that make sense? We are not authorized to to beg for something not promised and you won’t receive that which is in contradiction to that which is promised but, you are authorized to withdraw from the Father’s account that which He has authorized. He says, make a demand on what I have already promised you and it will be established for you. Moreover, His light will then shine on your way. Sounds like pretty good stuff to me.

Prayer Model (revisited)

Psalm 103: 20

Bless the LORD, you His angels, mighty in strength, who perform His word, obeying the voice of His word!

We have talked about prayer a good bit this year and I have tried to introduce you to a prayer model that may be a little different from what we learned as kids. I have also tried to show you the important role that angels and God’s Word play in prayer. This verse fairly shouts. God’s kingdom operates according to His Word and both God and His angels are listening, attentive to the utterance of His Word.

Most of us think of prayer as asking God for something or to do something. That is part of the conversation, of course. However, the church could benefit from a shift in thinking, a re-framing, if you will, about what prayer is. This is a bit of a tall task, but we can begin with us.

In truth, prayer can encompass a number of activities. I think the highest iteration of prayer is contemplative time with the Father. In this space there can be an exchange of questions, thoughts and ideas. It is not unreasonable to think that when the Father speaks, we might have questions. One of the craziest things I say when Yahweh shows me something is “You’re right.” Well of course He is right. He is always right but I have finally stopped correcting myself when I say that because it means more than validating His correctness.” And actually, it was the Father who said to stop going back and saying, “Of course you’re right.” What it really means is, “I see the value and truth in what you just said.” So this is really a dialogue between the two of us. He might say something which I immediately question. It does no good for Him to reveal something if I don’t understand it. The point I want to make here is that I consider all of this prayer.

Going one step further, I would include meditation in my prayer model. Why? First, I find that I cannot meditate without eventually opening my mouth in a question or comment. Meditation is a tool for bringing us into communion with God. Once there, though, I believe it becomes a conversation. Sometimes the conversation jars me out of the meditative state, other times it does not. Sometimes it jolts me into action. Other times I find myself sinking deeper into relaxed musings.

From there, what we vocalize can go far beyond simply asking God to do something. I think of that more as a request than a prayer. In the practice of law we would pray the court for a specific outcome. In other words, there would be a specific request for the court’s action. It, however, was preceded by the facts and a recitation of the law. In Christian prayer this would be the same as reciting God’s Word and then asking it to be done according to that Word. In other words, here is what the Word says and thus the result the spiritual laws must confer. This is the result I am asking for, Father, because your Word says this is how it is supposed to be. In this example we hold the Word up to God as our evidence that a certain result is “as it should be” and we speak that Word over ourselves.

The angels hear God’s Word and they always hearken to it. God responds to His Word. He has no choice, actually, because His Word, He cannot break. When the angels hear God’s Word, they hear His voice. His Word has His voice embedded in it. Do you want prayers answered? Speak God’s Word and the angels will most certainly respond because they are, in actuality, receiving direction from God.

I hope you will think on this some because I believe these ideas have the ability to transform your prayer life. Prayer is much more dynamic than we have modeled it to be. It is an exchange. It is us receiving the wisdom of God and then speaking it out. Prayer means communicating with God rather than reading Him a laundry list. It is as much about asking for His wisdom regarding a situation as it is about asking for a specific outcome. And, I think it is not about reciting every need we have to Him. He knows our needs already. He wants to know what we have to say about those needs and how we are going to frame them in the context of His Word.
After you have pondered this, send me an email with your thoughts.