Posts Tagged ‘Supplication’

First Things

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Mt. 6:33)

When we seek first the Kingdom of God every part of our life is effected. Our values, choices and even our dreams come into alignment by some very significant Truths… Truths that are foundation to a Christlike lifestyle. To place something first means it carries the most influence, weight and authority in our lives. It most often makes the most sense to us and appears first in rank or preference.

The “first thing” is the most important thing!

When we make the decision to follow Christ and put our faith in His power to lead us; we are immediately struck by the reality, that other things will challenge us for the position of “first place”.

First place is the high place!

Devotion and discipline are huge factors in our ability to maintain our goals to serve God with our gifts and honor God with our hearts. Yet it was Jesus’ own promise to us that if we would seek first the Kingdom of God; all the important things we value most, would come after our obedient lifestyle.

Seeking transforms our focus and aligns our desires with His will.

It is a sure thing that our commitment will be tested, but we can trust our Heavenly Father to deliver on the Promises of His Word. Seeking first the Kingdom of God actually releases the Holy Spirit’s Presence in our lives, for discernment and convictions to come to the surface. As we process life on spiritual levels, our hearts are moved and behaviors are adjusted by a sense of the peace of God, which passes our understanding (Phil 4:4-7).

Four things are required in the seeking first model:

  1. Rejoice in the Lord always… Praise and Activate Your Trust!
  2. Prayer Maintain Communication with Heaven!
  3. Supplication… Ask and Keep on Asking in Faith!
  4. Thanksgiving… Be Grateful for His Promised Best for You!

Making a lifestyle out of seeking God for the first things in our life will cause us to recognize all those less important things, that tend to release worry and fret. Worry does nothing to change our situation or shape our future for the better. Worry actually is the first thing our spiritual enemy (Satan) will look for to try and bring destruction through lies and fear.

Worry is irresponsible and distracting.

The Apostle Peter said “…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Pet 5:7) Trusting God’s character and faithfulness, is often the biggest test of our heart, but when we press through and renew our courage… we become more tenacious with a testimony on our side. Recognize God is more invested in you coming into your first things, than you are; because He cares for you!

Kingdom First

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Mt. 6:31-33)

The first thing is the most important thing. When we seek first the Kingdom of God every part of our life is effected. Our values, choices and even our dreams come into alignment by some very significant Truths that are foundational to a Christlike lifestyle. To place something first means it carries the most weight and authority in our lives or appears first in rank or preference.

When we make the decision to follow Christ and put our faith in His power to lead us; we are immediately struck by the reality, that other things will challenge us for the position of “first place”.

“First” Place is the Highest Place!

Devotion and discipline are huge factors in our ability to maintain our goals to serve God with our gifts and honor God with our hearts. Yet it was Jesus’ own promise to us that if we would seek first the Kingdom of God; all the important things we value most, would come after our obedient lifestyle (Mt 6:33).

“First” Seeking Transforms Us:

What you seek… and how you seek determines your focus and the alignment of your desires. We want our heart to align with His will. It is a sure thing that our commitment will be tested, but we can trust our Heavenly Father to deliver on the Promises of His Word. Seeking first the Kingdom of God actually releases the Holy Spirit’s Presence in our lives, for discernment and convictions to come to the surface. As we process life on spiritual levels, our hearts are moved and behaviors are adjusted by a sense of the peace of God, which passes our understanding (Phil 4:4-7).

Four things are required in the seeking first model:

  1. Rejoice in the Lord always… Praise and Activate Your Trust!
  2. Prayer… Maintain Communication with Heaven!
  3. Supplication… Ask and Keep on Asking in Faith!
  4. Thanksgiving… Be Grateful for His Promised Best for You!

“First” Things are Vital:

Making a lifestyle out of seeking God for the first things in our life will cause us to recognize all those less important things, that tend to release worry and fret. Worry does nothing to change our situation or shape our future for the better. Worry actually is the first thing our spiritual enemy (Satan) will look for to try and bring destruction through lies and fear.

Worry is irresponsible and distracting.

The Apostle Peter said “…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Pet. 5:7) Trusting God’s character and faithfulness, is often the biggest test of our heart, but when we press through and renew our courage… we become more tenacious with a testimony on our side. Recognize God is more invested in you coming into your first things, than you are; because He cares for you!

Fruitful Lips

“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” (Heb. 13:15)

I am invested in the idea of maintaining fruitful lips. Like David I want to be found praising the Lord seven times a day… and seven days a week! Why? – Because Praise accomplishes things that nothing else can. It effects hearts, renews vision and awakens passions that have grown cold. Praise gets the attention of the enemy of our soul and pushes back against the kingdom of darkness. My finest hour is not when all is well… but when all is sheltered beneath the shadow of God’s Presence.

Rejoicing Releases Peace:

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:4-7)

When we praise Him He shows up right in the middle of our circumstance! God wants to bring us the victory! He is not insecure… He doesn’t need our praise to prop up a sagging self image. Praise does far more for us than it does for Him. The Apostle Paul tells us that rejoicing praise and thanksgiving will get us beyond our limited imagination, small thinking and mere understanding… it will guard our hearts and minds with the power that Jesus Christ offers.  Don’t be anxious and worry about things, unlock your ability to trust God in the midst of storms and uncertain circumstances… and the peace of God will be released! Jesus is the Prince of Peace… let Him show up as you rejoice in who He is!

Never Allow Yourself to be the Victim:

When the Apostle Paul and his good friend Silas were arrested for preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom. They were chained, beaten and cast into prison. They were locked down and positioned for defeat. They had every reason to be angry, depressed and discouraged; but instead they praised God. And at midnight; what looked dark to most people, looked like daybreak to Paul and Silas. They would be found rejoicing and singing hymns of praise to God. The other prisoners were listening, when suddenly a violent earthquake shook the foundations of the jail. All the doors immediately flew open and all the prisoners’ chains broke loose. (Acts 16:25-26)

  • In the midnight hour when things are dark, Praise Him!
  • When you feel mistreated or misunderstood, Praise Him!
  • When you are facing physical or emotional pain, Praise Him!
  • Don’t wait for things to get better. Praise Him and things will get better!

“This people I have formed for Myself; they shall declare My Praise.” (Isa. 43:21)

Found Praying

The Holy Spirit came to a godly man living in Damascus named Ananias. The instruction to Ananias was to go to Judas’ house on Straight Street, lay hands on Saul and restore his sight. Of course, Ananias knew of Saul’s reputation and realized this was going to be dangerous. Yet, here is how the Holy Spirit speaks of Saul of Tarsus to Ananias: “behold, he is praying” (Acts 9:11). The Lord was saying, in essence, “Ananias, you will find this man on his knees. He knows you are coming and he will be found praying. He even knows your name, and why you’re being sent to him. He wants his eyes opened.”

Saul was Desperate:

When did Saul receive this inner knowing? How did he receive this vision, this pure Word from God? It came through fervent prayer and supplication. In fact, I believe the Holy Spirit’s words to Ananias reveal what moved God’s heart about Saul. Saul had been shut in with God for three days, refusing all food and water. All he wanted was the Lord. So he continued on his knees all that time, praying and seeking God.

Prayer Changes Everything:

Yes, prayer does indeed change us, and that is surely one of God’s purposes for it. But the Bible says that prayer can actually change things that seem impossible. Like a man named Saul of Tarsus becoming a mighty Apostle to the Gentiles.

Co-Laboring:

Have you ever asked or wondered why pray? Why does God choose to work this way? Why not just do everything Himself? Why include us? I believe the answer is very simple, “co-laboring”. When God’s people can be involved in His work and experience a flow of grace through prayer, they will be drawn closer to Him. Perfect example of this, is Ananias. God didn’t need Ananias to go to Saul and pray for him. He could have done it without Ananias… but He didn’t. And the amazing testimony is still effecting the world as Christians read the New Testament letters of Paul.

Maintain Your Prayer Life!

Next time you pray, say to yourself: “This prayer could change history!” As intercessors, God has ordained that we pray (1 Tim. 2:1). He intends to change things through my prayer, and He has ordained my voice to impact the world for His purpose… to bring about Kingdom results.

“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (Jms. 5:16)… it changes the impossible!

Fighting Spiritual Battles

“Praying always with all (kinds of) prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” (Eph. 6:18)

Prayer is a major weapon in fighting the spiritual battles we face as Christ’s followers. The Apostle Paul reminds us that ultimately our struggles are not against flesh and blood, but against demonic fortresses in heavenly places (Eph. 6:10-20). The picture he paints for us is that of a war. Life as a Christian must not be seen as a playground - it’s a battlefield. We must stop being satisfied with the present condition of our casual spiritual lifestyle. We must pray without ceasing (1 Thes. 5:17) and with fervent passion for more (Jms. 5:16).

The #4 Reason to Pray: Spiritual Warfare!

We are instructed by an experienced spiritual soldier, the Apostle Paul. Like a Roman Centurion, he speaks of putting on the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness and having our loins gird about with truth. He expects the feet of every soldier under Christ’s command to be shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace, to be equipped with a shield of faith and a sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. In the Apostle’s view there is no retreat, no failure and no plan “B”. Our mission is to advance the Kingdom of God on planet Earth and should we accept our assignment, we will be fighting for our spiritual lives and those of our neighbors, friends and the nations.

Prayer is the Heavy Artillery!

If I were writing this passage, I would say, “Now get out there and fight the battle!” But the Apostle Paul does not say that. In fact, he waits until all the armor is fully understood and in place to communicate the real assignment in spiritual warfare – Prayer! Its the heavy artillery of battle. Notice what he says: “With all kinds of prayer… pray, being watchful… pray, with all perseverance… pray, and for all the saints… pray”. In two verses, we are commanded to pray five different times. Do you think God is trying to make a point? He is attempting to seize our attention concerning prayer’s power to defeat the devil and his tactics. 

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.” (2 Cor. 10:3-4)

The weapon of prayer softens and pulls down Satanic fortresses. It is the cannon, reducing the wall to rubble… so that the troops can break through, take gound and possess the promises of God. Too often, the Kingdom advancement moves slowly because the softening-up process of prayer has been neglected. When practiced, however, prayer exposes the lies and deception the enemy hides behind and destroys the works that make the Christian vulnerable to defeat. Prayer is the place where revelation, discernment and spiritual victories are achieved. When the Church prays… the battles are won!

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 Jn. 4:4)

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