As a church, we are called to engage in offensive prayer to pull down strongholds and proclaim the victory of Jesus Christ by challenging every authority. We are called to join in this agenda to prepare for the great things that God has in store for us. All the remarkable events we witness are a result of waiting in the presence of God as the Word says that those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength and mount up with wings like eagles. (Isaiah 40:31)
Consistency holds great significance in prayer. It involves a regular routine. Think of a mother hen diligently incubating her eggs, providing constant warmth and protection. Deviating from this care, even for just a day, can result in the spoilage of the
egg. Similarly, we must consistently be under the shadow of the Almighty.
We are a spirit living in this body with a soul. As we wait in the presence of God, we are shutting down the senses of our body and we are allowing our spirit to become effervescent. It’s as if our spirit is confined within the body, like an effervescent substance without water, trapped in an airtight container, lacking vitality and power. The flesh is often full of anxiety, tension, plans and strategies and our spirit is squeezed into it. However, as we wait in the presence of God, it’s as though water is poured into the container, causing our spirit to be effervescent. It rises like incense, connecting with God.
Our spirit is inside our bodies loaded with worry and stress that we do not have time to think about the vision, dreams and prophecies. It has become the least forgotten thing. But when we wait, the Holy Spirit acts like the water mingling with our spirit triggering effervescence. This dynamic interaction empowers us to pursue God’s promises. We can only articulate these promises when we have the spiritual strength to do so. Without such strength, our attention is consumed by our problems, and God’s promises remain neglected. Instead of the promises, we would be talking only about our problems.
But when we wait upon the Lord, we may tend to think about the problem for some time but eventually, the Holy Spirit goes deep into us and understands our call and promises and brings it out to put it in our mind. We begin to imagine, dream and connect to that promise and we would be transformed even in the midst of fear, sickness and problems. We would be able to think about the promises subconsciously. Conversely, when we lose touch with the power of the Holy Spirit, these promises recede into the background, and our problems take center stage.
That is why consistency is important. We have to be consistent in prayer so that we can receive the power of the Holy Spirit aligning our dreams, visions, and imaginations with God’s promises and His destined path for us.
“Rejoice always,” 1 Thessalonians 5:16
“Rejoice always” doesn’t refer to mere happiness. Happiness comes based on the happenings but joy is based on the power of the promise of God in us. When we think of the promise, we will sense joy if we have the power of the Holy Spirit in us.
PRAY WITHOUT CEASING
“Pray continually,” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Praying without ceasing doesn’t mean that we have to kneel and pray or speak in tongues continuously. Instead, it is maintaining the awareness of the Spirit of God or a continuous sense of God-consciousness. This awareness signifies that we recognize God as being with us at all times, and it cannot be created through our conscious mind. Oftentimes, when we encounter challenges, we might attempt to consciously focus on and believe in God’s promises with our mind. However, the genuine connection with God’s presence resides in our subconscious mind. We cannot be happy or peaceful by our conscious efforts. It comes spontaneously. It’s a subconscious emotion based on many conscious things. Similarly, prayer is a subconscious connection that we feel that someone is close to us always. We develop that feeling by waiting upon the Lord.
For example, when we pray in the right atmosphere our spirit connects with God, and this connection can persist until the following day. During this time, we experience God’s presence, a profound sense of joy, and increased confidence. However, the adversary, in the form of worries and tensions, often challenges this connection, causing it to weaken. When we return to God’s presence, we find renewal and regain our spiritual strength. By consistently doing it, we accumulate the strength needed to conquer the battles we face.
Jesus asked Peter to walk on water. As long as Peter maintained his connection with Jesus, he was able to walk on water. However, when he allowed himself to be distracted by the wind and waves, he lost that connection, and the miracle ceased. This shows the significance of consistency. In our daily lives, we encounter challenges in various aspects such as work and family, which can lead to a loss of connection with God. However, it’s essential not to become disheartened or discouraged. Each time we return to the presence of God, we become stronger, day by day. Ultimately, we reach a point where we are undefeatable.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
“All things work together for good to those who love God” offers a reason for us to give thanks. Regardless of the
circumstances, no matter what obstacles the devil may throw our way, we can trust that God will transform every challenge into a stepping stone for our advancement. When we wholeheartedly believe in the presence of God’s power with us, we have the ability to take whatever the devil throws at us, bundle it up, and elevate ourselves, using it as a foundation for progress. This process is essentially a way to turn adversity into an opportunity for growth. Therefore, when problems arise, our response is, giving thanks as we know for every battle we have another victory.
DO NOT QUENCH THE SPIRIT
Do not quench the Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:19
The Holy Spirit can be quenched. Quenching the Spirit is like extinguishing a powerful stove fire, which has the potential to cook and serve various purposes. The Holy Spirit is very powerful but the flow of the Spirit can be interrupted. This interruption occurs when we permit our conscious mind to dwell on negativity, particularly fear.
Peter allowed his focus to shift to the wind and the wave and he quenched the flow of power from Jesus. As long as he connected to Jesus he was walking on water. It’s vital to recognize that we don’t possess inherent power; instead, we receive it from God. The devil’s strategy often involves diverting our attention to life’s challenges, causing us to quench the Holy Spirit. However, the grace of God is ever available to help us reconnect and receive afresh. Each day, there may be moments when we quench this connection – through anger, conflicts, or diminished confidence. It can feel like we’ve lost our way and disconnected from our power source. But when we are consistent in prayer, we gradually regain a sense of inner peace and joy.
Even when we falter, the act of coming into God’s presence and waiting allows us to rekindle the connection. Through unwavering consistency in prayer, we begin to witness the remarkable power of God.
DON’T TREAT PROPHECIES WITH CONTEMPT
“Do not treat prophecies with contempt.” 1 Thessalonians 5:20
How do we look at the promises and prophecies that God has spoken to us? Often, we tend to treat them lightly due to the overwhelming nature of our daily challenges. These present-day issues demand our immediate attention, leaving little room for meditation on the prophecies and promises of God. We give less importance to the prophecies spoken over us and that is treating it with contempt.
Relying solely on our own strength, we find ourselves consumed by our present problems, and our focus remains fixated on these concerns. The more we become entangled in these issues, the further God’s promises are pushed to the background. We struggle to imagine or connect with them, and this is what it means to treat them casually. However, when we set aside time to wait in the presence of God, we create an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to delve deep within us, interceding on our behalf according to God’s will. This spiritual connection allows us to place God’s promises at the forefront of our thoughts and actions.
“And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” Romans 8:27
When we are overwhelmed with our problems, we do not think about the will of God concerning our lives. But as we wait, the Holy Spirit goes deep within us and searches for the records of God’s will and identifies God’s plan and prays accordingly. We cannot accomplish this through our own strength; it’s a the divine work of the Holy Spirit. It’s the power of God that reminds the promises of God. As a result, instead of dwelling on negative thoughts, we are guided to envision and embrace God’s promises.
HOLD ON TO THE PROMISES
“but test them all; hold on to what is good,” 1 Thessalonians 5:21
The Holy Spirit will help us to hold on to the promises of God.
SUBMITTING TO GOD, RESISTING THE DEVIL
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
It is important that we surrender to God understanding the Lordship of Christ over us. When we enter into God’s presence, we make a conscious choice to submit to Him, by quieting the impulses of our own desires and fleshly inclinations. Then we resist the devil by resisting the fears and temptation to lose our vision. To resist the devil means refusing to disconnect from our connection with Jesus and becoming preoccupied with life’s turbulence, much like Peter did when he focused on the wind and waves. When we stand firm against the devil’s tactics, he will eventually retreat from us. When confronted by the devil’s attacks, we don’t necessarily need to petition God for direct intervention; instead, we resist by denying the devil a foothold in our lives.
Through the consistent practice of prayer, we gain access to the power of God, enabling us to resist the devil by rejecting fear and anxiety. He flees from us because we get the power of God in us. When we receive the power of God, the devil cannot withstand the heat. Let’s make a decision to consistently wait in His presence so that we receive more power to strengthen our spiritual resilience!!