The War of Prayer

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May 11, 2018

Acts 2:32-35

32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. 34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said,

“‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
35 until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet.”’

CONSIDER THIS

Yesterday landed us in Acts 1 and the Ascension of Jesus. Today we come to Pentecost and the Church’s first sermon. Didn’t we say this series on prayer would begin with the Old Testament? Thanks for remembering.

The fascinating thing about today’s text is it contains the New Testament’s most quoted verse from the Old Testament. Psalm 110:1 appears at least six times in the New Testament.

The Lord says to my lord:
“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet.” Psalm 110:1

Yesterday’s text gave us the starting place for prayer: Jesus. Right here. Right now. Today’s text gives us prayer’s agenda and final destination: until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.

These ten words form the agenda of “on Earth as it is in Heaven.” The  enemies of Jesus are Satan, evil, sin, death, and darkness, which show up in everything from oppression to opioid addiction, from cancer to child slavery, and from poverty to pornography.

To pray means to participate in the triumph—not of good over evil—but of Jesus over the Evil One. Somehow and in some mysterious way, God chooses to win the battle through the participation of our prayers.

Jesus primary vocation as he sits at the right hand of God is to pray. “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Hebrews 7:25. In fact, Jesus’ primary vocation as he dwells among and within us is to pray. He prays without ceasing.

It would stand to reason that as we abide in him, we too pray without ceasing, and this not primarily because we are praying but because he is praying. Discipleship to Jesus means learning to pray in agreement with Jesus, in union with the mind of Christ. This does not come to us naturally. It must come supernaturally.

“Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”

Prayer means many things to many people. Biblically speaking, prayer means war. Prayer means advance. Prayer means recovering what has been lost and taking back what has been stolen. Remember back in Ephesians how Paul closed his teaching on warfare in the Spirit? And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18.

As I write this, I am leaned back in a leather chair with my feet propped up on a footstool. I’m thinking about Satan and evil and sin and darkness as that footstool. This is the vision. The way is made by the prayers of Jesus. The way is made by our participation with Jesus in that work. Wouldn’t that be a welcome shift—from my prayer life to the prayer life of Jesus? That’s where all this is heading.

THE PRAYER

Lord Jesus, you are right here, right now. And you will win the battle. I am sorry for always beckoning you to my side. I sense you saying it is time for me to come to your side. Show me the way beyond my own thin agenda that I might enter into your prayer life and step into the real battle where all you do is win. Right here, Jesus. Right now Jesus. Amen.

THE QUESTIONS

  1. What if we’ve missed the point of prayer? What if most of what we have learned about prayer is more shaped by culturally transmitted folk religion than the revealed Word of God?
  2. What is the significance of Psalm 110:1 and why do you think it appears so much in the New Testament?
  3. Is your prayer life lagging? What might it mean to join the prayer life of Jesus?

P.S. I want to encourage you to invite others to join us for this Daily Text series on prayer. I have a new and different kind of expectation about it. I think God may be up to something. Consider inviting your church. And if you haven’t done it yet, please join our Daily Text Facebook Group. I’m going be doing some new things there through the summer. See you Monday at Genesis 1:1. ;0)

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Join the Daily Text Fasting Challenge here. Whenever you sign up, it will begin the following Tuesday.

J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. jd.walt@seedbed.com.

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

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