By Patrick Hawthorne
If you have been reading my posts for any length of time, you are probably aware that I am on a quest to figure out why we, the modern day Church, are not walking in the power of the early Church. In my thirst for knowledge, I believe I have discovered two key points.
Key Point #1: We are too intellectual for our own good. Let’s face it; in this time period in which we live, we have more knowledge than any other previous generation. With all of our resources, we investigate, scrutinize, dissect, hash it out, rehash it, and then hash it once more for good measure. We have become so knowledgeable that we no longer approach the Kingdom of God with childlike faith. Now we approach the Kingdom with a legal pad in one hand and list of common rebuttals in the other.
Key Point #2: We are doing it wrong. What are we doing wrong? We are praying when we should be commanding. Ok, here is the part where I will prepare to duck tomatoes thrown at my head. Stick with me a moment before firing your missiles.
I have searched the Scriptures but do not recall seeing where Jesus ever prayed for the sick. No, He healed the sick. When He sent the twelve out, He gave them specific orders which were to preach the Gospel, heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons. (Matthew 10). Later Jesus sent out the seventy. As with the twelve, He instructed them to preach the Gospel and to heal the sick. (Luke 10).
We get over into the Book of Acts and Peter and John are headed to the temple for prayer (Acts 3). On their way inside the temple they come across a lame man from birth begging at the temple gate. Expecting Peter and John to give him money, Peter looked at him and said, “Look at us…Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” Notice that there was no praying involved, only commanding. Peter and John were doing exactly what Jesus instructed them to do before His ascension as recorded in Mark 16. This same instruction is for us as well.
To test my little theory, I had a chat with the Lord. I said, “Ok Lord…I’m going to put this to the test. As you are well aware, I have been praying over my left hand which has been hurting in the knuckles for over a month. Well, praying just doesn’t seem to be getting the job done. According to Your Word, as I understand it, I can command this pain to leave and it must obey. Therefore, in the authority of the Name of Jesus, I command pain and stiffness to be gone.”
I am not going to tell you the pain left immediately. However, after about an hour, I was doing some work in the yard and noticed my hand was not hurting near as bad as it was before. Later on that evening, the pain was just about gone. Now, all that remains is the memory of the pain and a slight twinge every now and then. I am rebuking that as well.
I know this does not fly well in the eyes of the religious. To be told that your old religious ways of doing things is not working is never an easy pill to swallow. However, being as my hand doesn’t hurt anymore I’m going to begin to speak to those mountains, not pray to them. Therefore, I will pray where I need to pray, but speak where I need to speak.
23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.(Mark 11:23-24)