NEW CREATION PRAYING

“The Welsh Revival was one of the greatest in the modern era. It was distinguished by unique Holy Spirit manifestations and subjective experiences. Regrettably, the revival was short-lived and derailed into cultishness. Near the end of his life Evan Roberts, the individual most associated with the movement, is reported to have said, ‘Oh, that I had taught them doctrine.’ When unique manifestations happen, we get to enjoy them. We just can’t build with them and shouldn’t structure for them.” – Dr. Stephen R. Crosby, Revising Revival – A New Covenant Perspective on 2 Chronicles 7:14. - http://www.stevecrosby.com Every generation is entitled to its own burning bush experiences. However, it is always a mistake to build altars at burning bushes. We do not want anyone who is enjoying a unique season of freshness of life in the Holy Spirit to be derailed. However, the danger of being derailed from the simplicity that is in Christ is always present in a “revival” atmosphere of manifestations. In our time, the emphasis on manifestations has negatively influenced both our theology and practice of prayer and intercession. In my own life, there is frequently a cleansing and softening that goes on in me whenever I am brought to tears of brokenness. Emotions, feelings, and unique manifestations often play a role for those of us who belong to a supernatural God. But these things do not establish us. We need to be firmly established in Christ, our Redeemer in Zion, as revealed in Scripture, not manifestations. No topic could be more foundational than new creation praying. Misunderstanding clouds the topic, largely because of the dominance of religious tradition. Prayer— conversing with our Father in heaven—is to be as simple and practical as talking with 1

your best friend or favorite relative. Two-way conversations are essential for us to know and do the will of God. There is a “paper trail” that leads us to effective praying. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. – James 5:16b New Covenant Scriptures can open our understanding about new creation praying. We will be considering (1) the early church model, (2) Jesus’ prayers, (3) Paul’s prayers, (4) intercessors and (5) New Covenant believers (new creation saints).

The Early Church: (They) continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers. – Acts 2:42 In the earliest days, the baby church continued to take part in temple prayer as well as joining together with one another from house to house. (Acts 2:46; 3:1). The first experiences of persecution came as a result of a miraculous healing that took place at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, providing an opportunity for Peter and John to share the gospel of the King and His kingdom. – Read Acts 3:2 – 4:22 The first specific New Covenant prayer recorded in Scripture is in the verses that follow: And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: ‘Why did the nations rage, and the people plot vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against His Christ.’ “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to your servants that with all boldness they may speak your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” – Acts
4:23-30

You can read details of what followed in the closing verses of Acts 4. I will summarize with the last words of Verse 33: “Great grace was upon them all.” It would seem prudent for us to consider this prayer: • They (plural) raised their voice (singular). 2

• • • • • •

They prayed in one accord. They reflected upon the historical pattern of earthly kings and rulers against God. They affirmed that leaders, Gentiles and Jews all had part in crucifying Jesus. They understood that God predetermined all that had happened. They prayed for boldness. They prayed for confirming evidences.

What they did not pray for: • • • • They did not pray for safety and protection. They did not pray for escape. They did not pray for the Gentiles. They did not pray for Israel.

The place was shaken. (They were not shaken.) They were filled with the Holy Spirit, and great grace was upon them all! The love of God, the fruit of the Spirit, had so permeated them that they were willing to lay down their lives to communicate the gospel of the kingdom to everyone—that none should perish. The disciples did not pray for the lost. They prayed for boldness, that they might go to the lost. The lost need Jesus! They need to see Jesus incarnated in our lifestyle and identified in our testimony.

Jesus: Jesus, praying to our Father, did not pray for the lost people of the world. He prayed for His disciples and those who would follow them. “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word.” – John 17:9, 15, 20 Jesus did not pray for His disciples to be kept from the world. He prayed that we would be kept from the evil one. Twenty-first century disciples are still the benefactors of Jesus’ prayers—both then and now. He always lives to make intercession for those who come to God through Him (Hebrews 7:25). Again, we see that Jesus does not pray for the world. He prays for His disciples, those who come to God through Him. Jesus prays for us, and commands us to make disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:1920). He does not command us to pray for the nations. Father’s love for the world is expressed in the Great Commission. Jesus wept over the people of Jerusalem who were like sheep without a shepherd. He told the disciples to pray that the Lord of the harvest would raise up workers for the harvest. The harvest 3

will take more than prayer. The harvest requires workers. Sending them to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, Jesus instructed them: “As you go, preach, saying: ‘The kingdom of Heaven is at hand.’” – Matthew10: 7 Those who go forth to preach the kingdom learn to live in the atmosphere of prayer. Constant contact with Father, in the name of Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit, facilitates seeing what the Father is doing, hearing what He is saying, and knowing the words for each hour and situation. Jesus invites the disciples into His intimacy with the Father.

Paul: Let’s consider some specifics from Paul’s prayers for the church as recorded in Ephesians chapters 1 and 3, and Colossians chapter 1: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Spirit of wisdom. Revelation of the knowledge of God. Eyes of understanding be enlightened. Know what is the hope of our calling. Know the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. Know what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us. Be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man. Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith. Be rooted and grounded in love. We, together, may comprehend the many dimensions of Him and His kingdom. We may know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge. We may be filled with all the fullness of God. Be filled with the knowledge of His will. In all wisdom. With spiritual understanding. We may walk worthy of the Lord. We may please Him. We may be fruitful in every good work. We may increase in the knowledge of God. We may be strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power. Patience. Longsuffering. Joy. Thanksgiving.

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Intercessors: The only place that “intercessor” is found in all of Scripture is Isaiah 59:16, prophetically referring to the coming Redeemer of Zion. There are only four New Testament passages regarding intercession. The word is not used in any of the four gospels or in Acts. We will briefly consider its use in the epistles: • • • Romans 8:26-27 refers to the intercession of the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 7:25 refer to the intercession of Jesus Christ. I Timothy 2:1 is the lone verse referring to disciples.

Yes, there is only one place in New Covenant Scripture where intercession is applied for the people of God. Paul exhorts believers: That supplications, prayers, intercession and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. – I Timothy 2:1-2 Supplications are those humble and fervent requests or petitions that are generated by our caring hearts. While prayers are similar and inclusive of supplications, they may cover a broader range of topics, including praise, thanksgiving, confession, personal devotion, communion, asking for direction, requesting boldness, etc. In simplest terms, intercession happens when God’s Spirit burdens one to pray about something that is on His heart, or when God confirms His agreement with the burden of one’s heart. Intercession is activated by agreement between God and the believer(s). It is not uncommon for intercession to precede and lead to intervention (incarnated action). Intercession is definitely a supernatural phenomenon that is meant to be a normal function for new creation believers. We will provide more detail on intercession in an article, which will follow soon. I remember when Norman Grubb’s biographical book, Rees Howells – Intercessor, was first published back in 1973. That was the first time that I ever heard the term, intercessor, applied to anyone other than the Second and Third Persons of the Godhead. “Every chapter in this biography is full of drama and light as Rees Howells faced the implications of an entire surrender, learnt to love the unlovely, found the key to prevailing prayer, became the channel of a mighty revival in Africa, was taught the principles of divine healing, and progressed even further in faith until world events were being affected by his prayers.” – Norman Grubb

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Praying (John) Hyde, a contemporary of Rees Howells, was known as “the apostle of prayer.” “He grew up in a minister’s home. His father prayed constantly for laborers to be sent into the mission field. “As he was leaving for India in 1892, a family friend promised by letter to pray that he would be filled with the Spirit. He was angry over this perceived insult, but during the voyage he confessed his need, conquered his pride and received the Spirit’s power. “In 1910, he personally prayed for four souls a day, and God answered him with hundreds saved that year. The extraordinary work took a physical toll, and doctors told him to rest or face death. He persisted in his labor, and in 1911 he was forced to return to America for his final days. “Passing through Wales, he met G. Campbell Morgan, and Morgan said that he learned what real prayer was from Hyde.” “Shout the victory of Jesus Christ” (his dying words).
– www.swordofthelord.com/biographies/HydeJohn.htm

These men, along with many other men and women of faith, have sown the seed of Christ with prayer, and watered it with their tears. They did not give themselves titles or elite descriptions. One must be totally selfless and consecrated to consistently and successfully labor in prevailing prayer. Thankfully, history is replete with testimonies about praying followers of Jesus who prayed in the simplicity of authentic faith. I do not take lightly those upon whom God places burdens for intercession. Every believer ought to be available to God for such a service. Scripture simply does not support that this is a unique position that is to be held by a select few. We all have equal opportunity to prevail in prayer.

New Covenant Believers: We are all both privileged and responsible to develop a lifestyle and discipline of praying without ceasing (constantly). • Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. – Acts 12:5 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers. – Romans 1:9 We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you. – Colossians 1:3 6

We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father. – I Thessalonians
1:2-3

We also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe. – I
Thessalonians 2:13

• •

Pray without ceasing. – I Thessalonians 5:17 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day. – II Timothy 1:3

Every member of the body of Christ is privileged to carry the apostolic genius within him, and is therefore responsible to practice His presence and to walk in His Spirit. We do not need to “pray Him down.” He’s here! We do not need to “labor” or “tarry” to get into His presence. He is alive in us, and always available to us.
Prayer is no longer relegated to a special person, a special time, or a special place!

Yes, our Father is in heaven. But, the veil was rent at Pentecost! New creation believers have bold access into the Holy of Holies, and can freely embrace Abba Father at will. He wills for us to abide in Him, even as He abides in us! The anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. – I John 2:27

Testimony and Conclusion: We are very thankful for those who pray and intercede for us as the Lord leads them. We had stopped for a few days of fellowship and ministry with friends near the North Sea, in Hartlepool, Northern England. We had been in India for a few months, and were returning home. A team of brethren who had been faithfully praying for us reported that they had been led by the Holy Spirit to bind the spirit of death three times during our season in India. Beyond all doubt, we knew that they had heard from God. We could point to three specific instances when one or both of us narrowly escaped death. Returning from another mission tour in India, we visited a relating church near Trenton, New Jersey. A women’s prayer group had been watching out for us from heaven’s

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Throne Room. They told us that, at a specific time, they had been prophetically led to bind the spirit of thievery. Calculating the difference in time—it was nighttime in India and daytime in USA—we shared this account with them: It was past midnight, and someone knocked on our hotel room door. I quickly jumped into my jeans and looked through the peephole in the door. The night manager of the hotel was standing there holding several bundles of Indian Rupees. I opened the door, and he nervously explained that he had wrongly charged several international phone calls made by our team members to the individuals, and also had charged our master account. He said, “Here! I cannot keep this! You are the man of God!” This Muslim man handed me rupees that amounted to more than $300 U. S. dollars, because of the watchmen on the other side of the world! We live in prayer. We pray always, in all circumstances. God is with me as I write this. God is with you as you read this. We are spiritually ambidextrous, able to focus upon natural matters while praying in the Spirit at the same time. Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. – Romans 8:26 New Creation praying is like breathing. We are not always thinking about it; but we are always doing it. This privilege of living life in prayer is reserved for special people who are in Him—always in His presence, and full of joy. It’s just a part of the grace of being in Him and His being in us. I am one of those special people. So are you. (We) are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people. – I Peter 2:9a Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as in the Spirit of the Lord. – II Corinthians 3:17-18 If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. – II Corinthians 5:17a New Creation people, God’s own special people, are privileged with and responsible for a new creation prayer life! Immediately following his listing of the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17), Paul continued:

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“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly as I ought to speak. – Ephesians 6:18-20

Don Atkin
www.DonAtkin.com

Steve Crosby
www.SteveCrosby.org

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