If We Pray…
I will be leading us in Communion at the end of today’s post. If possible, pause your recording and/or reading and get some juice/wine and bread ready so you can join me. Communion is more than remembering and honoring; it is a declaration of, the release of, and celebration of victory!
If you have not yet seen the following explanation of why we are taking Communion daily from now through the end of the year, please do so in the following review. I won’t read it, for time’s sake. This will enable you to understand why I’m leading in Communion for the next few weeks.
[On January 2 of this year, my friend Greg Hood was given a dream which I have visited often throughout the year. In this dream, the Ekklesia and the kingdom of darkness were contending for America; this was pictured by a baseball World Series, called the World Seers Series. It was the last game of the series, the eighth inning, and we were winning by a score of 20-22.
I and others felt that the 4 batters we sent to the plate in this inning represented prayer assignments for the 4 quarters of 2022. For those of you who would like to see the entire dream and my comments regarding it, you can use the following links (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4). Today, however, I want to talk about the batter/assignment for the fourth quarter of this year, which we are obviously now in. The assignment for this quarter was to remove the voice (influence and control) of Baal, the ruling principality over America. We did so by hitting the baseball into his throat, with a bat taken from a box marked “Communion,” and engraved with “Ephesians 1:17,” a verse referencing “the spirit of wisdom and revelation.” In the dream, it was said to this fourth batter, “If you hit the mark it will change this game.” “Hit the mark” is one of the definitions of the Hebrew word for intercession (paga). If we do and pray as Holy Spirit instructs us, we will change this nation!
I have known since 2007 that Baal was “the strong man” (Matthew 12:29) over America. Demons and angels do not have physical bodies and, therefore, do not die. The same spirits that operated in ancient history are still alive and active today. Baal was a principality mentioned often in the Bible, who was frequently used by satan to oppose Israel. His influence produced violence, blood sacrifices, and great immorality, including all forms of sexual sin. He is no doubt the spirit behind abortion, adultery, homosexuality, pornography, and the blatant attempt to defile our children with sexual perversion. The sudden escalation of activity in our nation to promote abortion and sexual perversion - even to small children - is no doubt due to this spirit’s desperate attempt to remain in control.
My purpose in this post is to focus on the method God gave us in the dream - Communion - with which to end Baal’s control over America. And I will be doing several more posts between now and the end of the year on this subject.]
Today’s post begins:
In yesterday’s post, I mentioned the phrase “hit the mark.” This is one of the meanings of paga, the biblical (Hebrew) word for intercession. The concept of this word is two or more things coming together or meeting. These joinings or connectings can be pleasant meetings, warfare (two people or groups engaging in battles), boundaries (two pieces of land meeting), sharing someone’s burden or grief (you connect with or are touched by their pain), and even a bullseye - “hit the mark.”
In the World Seers Series dream, the Ekklesia (the Church) was in a battle with the powers of darkness for America’s destiny. This was pictured by a baseball game; the spirit of Baal was satan’s pitcher. Toward the end of the game, a prophet said to our batter, “hit the ball at his throat - remove his voice. If you ‘hit the mark’ you will change this game.” This obvious play on words - using the meaning of paga in the statement - is saying to us, “If you pray, it will remove Baal’s voice of influence in America.” Our praying was powered by Communion, which pictures Christ’s victory at the Cross. This is the reason we’re partaking of Communion together on the posts for a season.
Today, I want to focus on the word “If.” Holy Spirit said this victory would occur “if” we pray. There are many Christians who believe prayer is only a devotional activity, a way to connect/commune with God. They don’t believe prayer is actually necessary to enable God to do what He desires on Earth. In my book, Intercessory Prayer, I state:
“God has given us a Bible full of answers to the whys of life. The one I want to address here is: Why pray? I’m not speaking of why in the sense of needing this or that. Obviously, we ask because we want or need something. I’m speaking of why in the context of God’s sovereignty.
“Do my prayers really matter all that much? Isn’t God going to do what He wants anyway? Most people, even if only subconsciously, believe just that. The proof is in their prayer life, or lack thereof.
“Can my prayers actually change things? Does God need me to pray, or does He just want me to pray? Some would argue an omnipotent God doesn’t need anything, including our prayers.
“Can God’s will on Earth be frustrated or not accomplished if I don’t pray? Many would brand me a heretic for even raising the question.
“But these and other questions deserve answers. I’ve discovered that understanding the why of doing something can be a great motivating force. The opposite is also true.
“As a kid, I wondered why a sign said: ‘No Diving’ in the shallow end of the pool. I dove anyway. Then one day, I hit my head on the bottom. I don’t dive in the shallow end anymore.
“As a child, I wondered why I was forbidden to touch the pretty red glow on the stove. I found out.
“I once wondered why a fellow in front of me in the woods said, ‘Duck.’
“I thought, I don’t want to duck. I don’t have to duck. Then the branch whopped me upside the head. Now when I hear the word, I duck.
“Someone said, ‘To err is human, to repeat it is stupid.’ I’m sure I’ve qualified for that once or twice, but not regarding these three things because now I know why! However, our subject is far more important than bumps, burns, and bruises; we’re talking about eternal destinies, homes, marriages, the welfare of people we love, and revival in our cities - the list continues.
“When God says, ‘Pray,’ I want to know it accomplishes something. I’m not into religious exercises, and my time is valuable - so is yours. Was S.D. Gordon correct or not when he said, ‘You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed…Prayer is striking the winning blows…service is gathering up the results?’(1)
“If God is going to do something regardless of whether or not we pray, then He doesn’t need us to ask, and we don’t need another waste of time. Just worship and leave the rest to God.
“If, on the other hand, John Wesley was correct when he said, ‘God does nothing except in response to believing prayer,’(2) I’ll lose sleep for that. I’ll change my lifestyle for that. I’ll turn the TV off, and even miss a meal or two.
“Obviously, I believe prayer is necessary. Though God is sovereign and all-powerful, Scripture clearly tells us that He Limited Himself, concerning the affairs of Earth, to working through human beings.
“Is this not the reason the earth is in a mess? It isn’t because God wills it so, but because of His need to work and carry out His will through people.
“Is this not the story woven throughout the Scriptures?
God and humans, for better or worse, working together?
God needing faithful men and women?
God needing a race of people through whom to work?
God needing prophets?
God needing judges?
God needing a human Messiah?
God needing human hands to heal, human voices to speak, and human feet to go?
“Doesn’t He need us to ask for His kingdom to come, and His will to be done (see Matthew 6:10)? Surely He wouldn’t want us to waste our time asking for something that was going to happen anyway, would He?
“Didn’t He tell us to ask for our daily bread (Matthew 6:11)? And yet, He knows our needs before we even ask.
“Didn’t He tell us to ask that laborers be sent into the harvest (Matthew 9:38)? But, doesn’t the Lord of the harvest want this more than we do?
“Didn’t Paul say, ‘Pray for us that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be glorified’ (2 Thessalonians 3:1)? Wasn’t God already planning to do this?
“Are not these God’s will? Why, then, am I supposed to ask Him for something He already wants to do if it’s not that my asking somehow releases Him to do it?
“Either God wants the earth in this broken condition, or He doesn’t. If He doesn’t, which is certainly the case, then we must assume one of two things: either He is powerless to do anything about it, or He needs and is waiting on something from us in order to bring about change. Dr. Peter Wagner agrees with this when he says:
‘We must understand that our sovereign God has, for His own reasons, so designed this world that much of what is truly His will He makes contingent on the attitudes and actions of human beings. He allows humans to make decisions that can influence history…Human inaction does not nullify the atonement, but human inaction can make the atonement ineffective for lost people.’(3)
“This truth could intimidate us with the responsibility it brings, or even condemn us over our lack of prayer. But another possibility exists as well. Responsibility can also be a privilege; it can be enjoyable. If allowed, this revelation of God needing our prayers can elevate us in our hearts to new positions of dignity alongside our heavenly Father and Lord Jesus. Jack Hayford said,
‘Prayer is essentially a partnership of the redeemed child of God working hand in hand with God toward the realization of His redemptive purposes on earth.’(4)
“Let’s rise to the occasion and embrace the incredible invitation to be co-laborers with God…to be carriers of His awesome Holy Spirit and ambassadors for His great Kingdom. Let’s represent Him!
“Awaken us to our destiny, Lord!”
Pray with me:
Father, You said if we prayed, it would change the game. You said if we used the power of Communion to deliver those prayers, it would remove the voice of Baal. So we take the bread that represents Your body, broken to make us whole. You bore our sins, diseases, weaknesses, and griefs. As we partake now, we declare, “Your Kingdom come! Your will be done!” (Eat the bread)
And we have staked our claim to victory on the blood of Christ alone. There is no other way to salvation and a relationship with You. It is our “bat,” our weapon, our strength. As we drink it now, we are releasing the power of the Most High God into our lives, families, and nations. We proclaim its victorious strength until You come again. (Drink the juice)
Portions of today’s post were taken from my book Intercessory Prayer.
Click on the link below to watch the full video.
Paul E. Billheimer, Destined for the Throne (Fort Washington, PA: Christian Literature Crusade, 1975) p 51.
C. Peter Wagner, Confronting the Powers (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1996), p 242.
Jack W. Hayford, Prayer Is Invading the Impossible (South Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1977; revised edition, Bridge Publishing, 1995), p 92, 1977 edition.