Tag Archives: exercising faith

Knowing Your Seasons of Prayer — The Season of Faith (Part 2)

“I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe.” –  Smith Wigglesworth

four-seasonsLast time, I promised to tell the story of my first time of knowing that I had “prayed through.” I didn’t understand what had happened at all, so God had to explain it (more than once) to me. I can be pretty obtuse about these things sometimes, so if you think you have trouble getting it, don’t feel bad!

I had said to the Lord, “I don’t know what this ‘praying through’ business is. I’ve never experienced it that I know of. I don’t have a clue as to when it’s done until I see the answer  with my own two eyes. Can You teach me about praying through?” And then I forgot all about that prayer.

Some weeks later, a serious problem came to my attention, and it really rocked my world. So, I tearfully brought it to the Lord. He assured me that everything would be all right, and that together, through prayer, we would win. He then showed me in a vision the tallest, steepest, most barren mountain I had ever seen. He took my hand, and we started walking toward that mountain.

“Noooo, Jesus! Do we have to go up there? All that way?” 

Yep, we did. I began a journey in prayer that lasted about eight weeks, often with eight to ten hours a day invested. I didn’t pray that long everyday because I was some kind of super-spiritual person; I did it because I was scared, and there was no choice but to get a victory answer.

I had asked the Lord to give me progress reports along the way, so after a few days, the vision returned, and this time, Jesus and I were about 1/3 of the way up that bleak mountain. Time went on, and the vision flashed before me again: 1/2 way up. And so it went — 2/3 of the way … 3/4 … then nearing the peak. And all the while, nothing in the outward circumstances was looking any better at all.

Then one day, that vision flashed before me again. Jesus and I were standing on a flat rock at the very top of that mountain. It just about surprised me right out of my boots. I knew what being at the top meant: the prayer mission was fully accomplished. But because I couldn’t see a change in natural events, I thought maybe I had made up that part of the vision somehow!

So, I just kept praying away. There was no sense of having “prayed through” — because of my own unbelief. I wonder now if the Lord rolled His eyes and thought, “Boy, this is a tough noggin to penetrate!” He tried again a couple of days later with a repeat vision of Jesus and me on the mountaintop.

“But God! There is no change!” 

He responded by assuring me that it was done — really. I argued, and He patiently told me again to just move on, to go back to my normal prayer life, and that I was free to pray about other things now. I think He had to do that several times, but I finally listened.

I didn’t see the answer to those prayers with my eyes for another two months after that. And even then, it only began to manifest gradually. The two months in between were my season of faith — and I didn’t do too well in it. But I’ve learned through the experience to believe God when He tells me it’s over.

And I’m still gradually learning to wait out those seasons of faith.

Knowing Your Seasons of Prayer Intro  
Previous: The Season of Faith (Part 1)
Next: The Season of Inward Prayer Focus

The Intercessor Manual

 

The Intercessor Manual, by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

Your Intercession Questions Answered

 

Your Intercession Questions Answered, by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

Knowing Your Seasons of Prayer — The Season of Faith

“I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe.” —  Smith Wigglesworth

four-seasonsThere seems to be a principle of how prayer works in the Kingdom of God:

1.  We pray, and we break through.
2.  We have obtained in the spiritual realm, and it is really ours.
3.  But … it takes a while before we see it tangibly manifest in our earthly realm.

I know. You probably didn’t want to hear that. I don’t care for it, either, but an awful lot of the time, that’s the way it works.

By faith deep in our spirit, we receive the answer to our petition — a change for the better in  a relationship, the salvation of a loved one, or perhaps financial relief. We’ve endured through the prayer process, and then at some point we suddenly have a feeling inside that a shift has taken place, that the answer is ours. But it doesn’t immediately drop out of the sky. It takes a few days or weeks for the relationship challenge to look any different. God assures us that our prayers have been heard for the prodigal loved one, and that he’s coming home to the Father — but all of a sudden he starts living more wildly out of control than he has at any time up until now. We know, that we know, that we know the finances are going to show up on time — but we still find ourselves barely hanging on by our fingernails until the very last moment of the eleventh hour.

The transition time between breaking through in prayer and receiving the tangible answer is the season of faith. As we mature in intercession and in our understanding of God’s utterly faithful nature, we get better at staying steady during this waiting season. Through years of walking out a life of prayer, we build up a storehouse of many experiences of seeing God come through for us, and when we’re in the middle of a tough time, we can deliberately encourage ourselves with remembrances of how He was always faithful in the past. But when you’re first getting some experience under your belt, the season of faith can be a rather wobbly time — even if you really did sense that you broke through. There is the temptation to do a lot of self questioning and second guessing: “I thought I heard God say it is done, but did He really say that, or did I make it up?”

Old-time prayer warriors used to say of that moment when they knew in their spirit-man that they had obtained, that they had “prayed through.” They could stop interceding and stand quietly in faith, because they just knew it was all over — even though they didn’t see it yet with their physical eyes.

Some people are supernaturally graced with great faith from the moment of their salvation. For those of us who are not, it is still possible to develop such deep faith that what we see with our spiritual eyes is far more real to us than what is presenting itself to our physical eyes. It usually takes much prayer and much time immersed in the Word of God to reach that level of maturity, but I do believe the Lord wants to take each of us there.

Next time I’m going to tell the story of my first experience of “praying through” and the season of faith that followed.  If you’ve ever felt like you were not the brightest bulb when it comes to understanding how God works, that story is going to make you feel a whole lot better about yourself!

Knowing Your Seasons of Prayer Intro  
Previous: Obtaining and Letting Go (Part 2)
Next: The Season of Faith (Part 2)

The Intercessor Manual

 

The Intercessor Manual, by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

Your Intercession Questions Answered

 

Your Intercession Questions Answered, by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

Thanking My Way to Gladness

Today,  I want to share with you a personal truth that I have been learning — the power of thanksgiving.

Although having a grateful heart toward the Lord has been part of who I am for a long time, recently I’ve come to understand thankfulness at a whole new level.

It started with taking hold in a deeper way for healings that I needed and that I just didn’t seem to be making any headway toward receiving.  I already understood the principles of receiving healing:

1.)  It is the Lord’s desire for us to be  healed (Psalm 103:3).
2.)  Jesus paid the full price for our healing through the cross and the scourging leading up to the cross.  (“With His stripes we are healed.” — Isaiah 53:5)
3.)  Our healing (along with many other things) was fully accomplished at the cross.  That’s why Jesus said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). 
4.)  We can ask the Lord for healing in Jesus’ Name and then appropriate (receive) it by simply believing it is already done for us (Mark 11:24).  

However, what I hadn’t ever quite gotten hold of as well as I should was that I could just rest in Jesus’ finished work of healing for me and thank Him that it was a done deal — even if the symptoms did still persist for a while — and the health problems would clear up.

I read Joseph Prince’s books, Destined to Reign and Unmerited Favor, learned a whole lot more about grace and the finished work of Jesus than I’d ever known before,  and began to catch hold of what it is to dwell in the rest of God — and to be thankful in the midst of that rest, knowing that the work has  already been done on my behalf. 

After a while, I noticed something else about thanking God: it does something to the inner man.  I began to feel supernatural faith arise inside for whatever healing I needed.  In fact, as I persisted in thanking God that Jesus had already done it for me, I found myself really settling down deep into that faith.  I really believed I was healed.

And as I thanked God, my heart became joyful — and peaceful too.  I found that my thoughts were focusing on Jesus instead of the health issue.  It is about coming into the abiding place that Jesus talked about in John 15 — including that wonderful promise in verse 7, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done for you.”   And here is the best part of all: I found that thanking the Lord led me into a deeper love for Him, and that as I thanked Him from my heart His Presence gathered around me.

I’m now expanding what I’ve learned about thanking God for the answer to other things besides healing.  There are many things Jesus purchased for us at the cross, and the “ask, rest, and be thankful” principle can be applied to those as well.  Whatever the need, Philippians 4:6 tells us, “Do not be care-filled about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”  When we do that, “the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep [our] hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

When circumstances appear overwhelming and prayer about them feels like it isn’t getting through, when I begin thanking the Lord aloud that He has heard me and is already pouring out the answer, I get real happy in a hurry.  Anxiety just can’t hang around.  Neither can the temptation to doubt.  Faith and joy bubble up inside, and Isaiah 12:3 becomes tangible reality: “Therefore with joy shall you draw water out of the wells of salvation.”

Thanksgiving: Gateway to Answered Prayer

Breakthrough Intercession: Building Our Faith

Last time we talked about overcoming worry in the process of coming into our breakthroughs.  I mentioned that one way we defeat worry is by speaking and praying the promises in the Word aloud to build up faith inside ourselves.  Faith is necessary in obtaining answers to prayer.

Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he who comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.”

James 1: 6-8 warns us, “But let him ask in faith, without wavering. For he who wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. Do not let that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” 

Having faith means we understand Who God is, and that by His very nature He cannot and would not renege on promises He has given us in the Bible.  There are varied reasons why at times we do not fully obtain our promises, but God’s lack of faithfulness to His Word is never one of them.

Jude 20 gives us a second way to build our faith, besides reading and hearing Bible promises.  I’ve quoted it here in two versions:

But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit.  — The Message

But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying by the Holy Spirit. — Webster (emphasis mine)

Spirit-led, Spirit-filled praying builds our faith. The idea is that we are to nurture our faith by praying in the Spirit.  The Good News Bible says we are to “pray in the power of the Holy Spirit.”

I personally believe Jude is specifically referring to praying in our prayer language.  God brought this verse to my mind many years ago, when I was battling a life-threatening illness, and my faith was at an all-time low.  It was not a verse that I was overly familiar with in those days.  He then instructed me to pray in tongues, and to do it a lot, to build my faith.  I have found that it works.  For an in-depth discussion on the benefits of praying in tongues, please see my series on The Power of Your Prayer Language.

In addition to building faith in ourselves through reading and hearing the Word and praying in the Spirit, faith is something we grow in by experience.  As we pray through circumstances and see God answer us, the accumulated experiences of prayer victories strengthen our faith for even larger challenges.

When we first begin to learn about receiving prayer breakthroughs, God does not always require as much faith from us as He does later on when we are more seasoned.  “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required” (Luke 12:48).  In order to obtain victories in intercession, we must lay hold of God with the utmost faith that we have — not beat up on ourselves concerning faith we have not yet attained to.  Use the faith you already have.  All believers have some measure of faith.  But God does expect us to do everything in our power to build our faith to greater levels and exercise it to its fullest.  He expects us to choose faith over doubt and worry.

Faith can come as a supernatural gift of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:9) in the midst of a given moment, for a given need (and this is a powerful aid toward receiving breakthrough answers), but faith is generally a growing process.  Smith Wigglesworth commented, “Great faith is the product of great fights. Great testimonies are the outcome of great tests. Great triumphs can only come out of great trials.”

Next time: Perseverance = Breakthrough

Previous — Breakthrough Intercession: The Worry Factor
Next — Breakthrough Intercession: Perseverance = Breakthrough 

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Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual

Out of the Fire Ministries