By Patrick Hawthorne
A couple of days ago, I posted an article entitled, “Could it be that We are Doing it Wrong?” To my amazement, no tomatoes or other fruits were whizzed past my head. I did, however, receive some interesting comments that were not argumentative but were simply asking questions and giving general comments. One such comment, from a respected blogger friend, is the reason for Part 2 of “Could it be that We are Doing it Wrong?”
For those who may have not read Part 1, (https://servinggrace.com/2016/09/07/could-it-be-that-we-are-doing-it-wrong/ ), my point is that I believe one reason we are not seeing the same manifested power of God in this modern day Church era as was seen in the early Church is that we are praying in certain areas when we should be commanding. In other words, we are praying, “God please do,” when God, through Lord Jesus has already done.
In a portion of the comment, my blogger friend wrote, “Whether we command, pray, lay hands, anoint with oil, call the elders (and any others I missed) we have to do it believing that God will heal, will deliver, will restore, will raise – will do what He has promised.” My friend unknowingly addressed the very core of this issue. “…we have to do it believing that God WILL heal, WILL deliver, WILL restore, WILL raise – WILL do what He has promised.”
The fact of the matter is that Jesus DID heal (Isaiah 53; 1 Peter 2:24; Matt 8; etc), DID deliver 2 Cor 5:18), DID restore (Col 2:14), DID raise (Eph 2:6). We are asking Him to do something He has already done as promised. The problem is that we are not doing our part, which is the receiving of that promise. Let me use this example that I used with my friend.
When you cook dinner and you tell the family to come and get it, do they approach you…
Them: “Our dear so-and-so, please cook us dinner.”
You: “I already cooked dinner. Here it is.”
Them: “Oh dear so-and-so, please cook us dinner.”
You: “It’s done…eat, enjoy.”
Them: “Oh so-and-so, we are going to storm the gates of this kitchen till we receive your dinner.”
You: “Hey! Dinners done… Quit asking me to do something I’ve already done.”
That is a ridiculous example, but that is exactly what we are doing with Jesus. We are asking Him to do things He has already done as was promised. Look at the following verse.
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)
Yes, Jesus did say, when you pray. But before that He said, “Say.” In other words, we are to speak to those mountains, such as sickness, to be removed; not pray for God to keep a promise that has already been kept.
Prayer is so much more than asking for something. In the example I used in Part 1, I had some pretty severe pain in the knuckles of my left hand. I spoke over the pain in my hand and commanded the pain and stiffness to go in the name of Jesus. After that, I thanked the Lord (prayed) for allowing me to use the authority of His name and for the power of the Holy Spirit at work in the manifestation of the healing that I knew by faith was done. Basically, I was saying, “Lord, You already did the healing. I receive that healing.” I was not denying that my hand was experiencing pain and stiffness but was denying the right for the pain and stiffness to remain in my hand in the name of Jesus.
To emphasize that we are already practicing speaking to the situation, we would never tell a person to storm the gates of heaven pleading for eternal salvation. No, we would tell them what the Word says, “Confess (speak) with your mouth the Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, and you will receive eternal salvation.” Prayers of thanksgiving should follow the confession but the initial confession involves them speaking to that mountain of separation that kept them from God to be removed.