It's Time To Pray

September 14, 2001 PM
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

If you would, open up your Bibles with me to the book of Daniel chapter ten. Back in Daniel chapter nine, Daniel was in prayer. In verse nineteen, he said,

19. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

20. And while I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God;

21. Yea, while I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.

Daniel was in an attitude of prayer. And open chapter ten, in verse one. It said,

1. In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.

2. In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks.

In other words, he was saying, "I was praying and fasting for three full weeks, for twenty-one days."

3. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

Look at verse seven.

7. And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.

8. Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.

9. Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.

10. And, behold, a hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.

11. And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.

12. Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.

13. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

14. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.

Let us pray.

Most holy and gracious heavenly Father, we come before You as Your sheep, Father, Father, asking and, Father God, seeking Your knowledge and Your wisdom. Father, hide Your son...(tongues.)...behind the cross, that Your people would see You and not me.

Father, I thank You for binding Satan off of the ears of Your people, that they would hear the word of the Lord, and Father, that it would take root and grow and bring forth fruit. In Jesus holy and blessed name. Amen.

When we read Daniel chapter ten, it tells us of how Daniel prayed his prayer, but it didn't not originate (glory to God) from his own will. Daniel's prayer originated from the will of God.

You see, when you spend time in the Presence of the Lord, your will and His will will begin to intertwine. Your thoughts and His thoughts will begin to become one. And as (glory to God) an intercessor, you will be able to understand clearly what the will of the Lord is in the earth today.

When we look at the tragedy of what has happened, it has brought America to her knees. America is in a time of prayer. Glory to God.

But see, the difference in America and the differences in us is that we are intercessors, and we are not just praying (glory to God) for God to meet our needs. We are praying for the will of God to be done in the earth. Oh, hallelujah to Jesus today.

He said in Second Chronicles chapter seven and verse thirteen, He said,

13. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;

You've heard it many times before that,

14. If my people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Come on, give God a handclap of praise. He's brought America back to her knees. But He's calling intercessors in this hour. He's calling for those that spend time in His Presence. He's calling for those (glory to God) who are familiar with His Presence.

He's calling for those (glory to God) that even though they have a need, they realize that it's more important for the will of God to be done. They realize that it's more important for God to be satisfied and fulfilled. Glory to God.

As Israel cried out to God for gratification of their lust, in Psalm 106 and verse fifteen it says,

15. And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.

You see, in these last hours, body of Christ, church of God, you see, you may have a desire that you want God to meet. But in these last hours, God is going to meet your desires. But He's looking for us to find out what His will is. But if we remain selfish... You don't hear me tonight. If we remain self centered (glory to God) He'll grant our request, but He's going to bring leanness to our souls.

His will is more important that our desires. Prayers that are according to His will are more valuable than prayers that are stemmed from selfish desires.

In these last days, we're going to have to have a relationship with the Holy Spirit. You see, it's easy to come to a church where somebody else knows the Holy Ghost and can hear from the Holy Ghost. But I'm telling you, child of God, you are going to have to be able to know the Holy Ghost for yourself.

It is the Holy Spirit that knows the mind of God. It's the Holy Spirit that will reveal His heart to us. It's the Holy Ghost that will cause us to know the will of God. Having entered God's thoughts, it will cause us to understand God's plan. Do you hear what I'm saying? Having entered into His thoughts will cause us to understand His plan.

You cannot understand somebody else's plan unless their thoughts are revealed to you. You don't hear me in this house tonight. God has a plan for what has happened to America. God has a purpose for what has happened. But it's up to us to find out what it is.

We don't need more words in prayer, for many people believe it's by their much praying that God would hear us. We don't need the eloquence of speech to pray, because some of us believe it's by our eloquence that God responds. What we need is a relationship with the Holy Ghost. What we need is a connection with the mind of God.

Let me tell you when you know you're really doing something-when you're like Daniel, and you set yourself aside to seek the Lord, but it seems like the answer is not coming yet, but you stay down there on your knees, down there in sackcloth and ashes, eating nothing that's pleasant to your soul, seeking the face of God...

...and for the Angel of the Lord to come to you and say that God heard your prayer from the beginning, but I was held up by some principality or power. That's when you know you're really seeking God's face, when God will send a holy messenger to give you a word. Oh, you don't hear me today.

Many people come to the house of God looking for a word because they've spent so much time seeking the face of the Lord, but they have not received an answer. Let me tell you one of the plots of a prophetic ministry. My ministry of a prophet will cause me to go up into the heavenlies and to pull down, to (oh, you don't hear me tonight), to bring what the Lord is saying to you to your bosom.

Let me tell you something, children of God. He's coming back. But He said He's coming back for a church without spot or wrinkle or blemish. He's coming back for somebody that has not bowed their knee to Baal. That's who He's looking for. He's looking for somebody that's not willing to compromise.

He's looking for somebody that's quick and eager to repent. He's looking for somebody that wants to be in His Presence. He's looking for somebody that wants to fall on their face and cry, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. The whole world is full of His Glory."

He's looking for somebody to stand in the gap and make up the hedge. He's looking for somebody that's willing to give it all up for the cause of Christ. He's looking for somebody that's not trying to make a name for themselves. You don't hear me today. Who am I preaching to? He's looking for somebody that wants the will of God to be done in the earth.

When we look at what we call the model prayer in Matthew six where it says, "Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done." Thy will be done. If you don't know what to pray, pray that prayer, "Thy will be done." It will move the hand of God in the earth.

When we take (glory to God) down our own will, and we say, "No matter what the situation or the circumstance or the trial or the tribulation," (you don't hear me tonight), but thy will be done.

As Daniel saw, when you're really praying, Satan is going to oppose you. When you're really getting the job done, all hell is going to start to break loose. Oh, you don't hear me.

When you're really moving mountains, when you're really moving stumbling blocks, when you're really pulling down principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world, Satan is going to try to hinder you. He's going to try to come and buffet you. But get thee hence behind me, Satan, in the Name of Jesus. He'll come.

See, many of us have been in prayer, and we've been doing things in the Spirit that we don't know that we have been doing. And as soon as Satan comes and attacks us, instead of being consistent and persistent and diligent, we begin to give up. But Luke eighteen and one says, "Men ought to always pray, and not to faint."

You remember that widow woman when she went to the judge. It was her consistency. He said, "I'm going to go ahead and do this, lest she weary me." God is speaking to His people. It's that kind of persistence that's going to get God to move for us. Stop giving up. At the first sign of warfare, we become the tail instead of the head.

It's time to pray. It's time to find a prayer closet. Daniel knelt until the answer to prayer arrived. He stayed there. See, it's not always in how loud I can holler. It's not always in that. You see, once I stay in the atmosphere of peace, He can begin to minister to my spirit what He wants me to pray about.

But if I'm already under a preconceived notion about what He wants, then my prayer will be like something that's hitting the ceiling and keep on coming back, and no matter how hard I do it, it'll seem like it keeps coming back. Because why? I'm not praying the will of God for that moment.

All He's trying to do is teach us something. All he's trying to do is get us to learn something. "Wait a minute," He's saying to us. "Sit still and wait a moment until I tell you what to say." But we're in a rush. We want a quick fix. And we want it now. We want to pray and get it over with. Because prayer's so burdensome to us. It makes us so cumbersome. It makes us so fidgety. We can't be still a little while.

Through prayer, even though prayer is an offensive weapon, it keeps our defense line in tact. Let me say that again. See, many of us are under the mentality that our praying is defensive. But our praying is offensive.

Jesus came according to (glory to God) first John three and eight, He was manifested to destroy the works of the devil. Jesus and prayer are offensive. When you pray, know that you have the victory. Don't pray to get the victory. Realize that you already have the victory. It'll make a difference.

Right now as we have been under this terroristic attack, we're looking for a way to retaliate. Saints of God, listen. Second Corinthians ten and four tells us that the weapons of are warfare are not carnal or fleshly. So if I try as a Christian to use a carnal weapon in a spiritual warfare, it's useless. It's null and void. It's not happening.

So while the government is taking care of what they need to take care of, we need to make sure that we're taking care of what we need to take care of.

In Matthew twelve and twenty-nine, it tells us, "How can one enter into the house of a strong man and spoil his good, except he first bind the strong man, and then spoil his house?"

Let me tell you. See, they may be trying to go into this thing with natural artillery. But it's our prayers that are going first and bind the strong man. See, to them... What's that man's name? Ben Ladin? See, that's the strong man. You remember when Saddam Hussein was the strong man, don't you? They could have got him, but they didn't get him. But they could have got him. He was the strong man.

Let me tell you something. If you don't bind the strong man... Oh, I feel the... You don't hear me. Unless you bind the strong man, how in the world are we going to spoil his goods?

As we are in the spiritual warfare... Because all of this that's going on is about religion anyway, isn't it? So while they're trying to do all this stuff in the natural, the battle is really won in the Spirit. And that's where I'm trying to tell us that many Christians are confused, because they don't know what to pray. Bind the strong man.

We've gotten on our knees. We've repented. We're trying to get back to... Oh, you don't hear me tonight. Once we get it right, we got to bind the strong man. And then go in and spoil his goods.

When Jesus was manifested to destroy the works of the devil... How many of you know that the devil keeps trying to work against us over and over? But when we continue to apply the work that was done at the cross against him, he's got to bow his knee to the... He's always trying to occupy our territory, our atmosphere, our environment. He's always trying to be as if he's not moving. But if I realize who I am in Christ, then that authority that has been delegated to me...

Listen children of God. Many of us have things in our lives that should have been gone. But it's up to us to take that authority.

You know what? A lot of us are trying to get some folks saved. And the first thing we want to say is, "You know, God is not going to go against their will." But what about Saul on the road to Damascus? Oh, you don't hear me tonight. He said, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?"

He said, "Who art thou, Lord?"

He was kicking against a prick. You got somebody in your house kicking against a prick. Oh, you don't hear. You got a revelation now. God will do whatever He wants to do whenever He wants to do it and however He wants to do it, to whomever He wants to do it to.

Get rid of that old mentality. He'll do whatever He... He's a sovereign God. Take authority. Why is Saul so special? Why is Saul more special than your husband or your wife or your child? Why is Saul so much special?

Listen. He said, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. They're not ready yet. Saul, get them ready."

Pray them ready. Pray a radical prayer. Do whatever you need to do, Lord. Even if You got to knock them down, knock them down." Wouldn't you rather for the Lord to knock them down than for them to go to hell? Knock them down, Lord, and do whatever You need to do. Take authority. We're so busy trying to protect them. But take authority.

Our weapons are not carnal, but they are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. Casting down imaginations.

You know what? Every time my wife got pregnant, I would lay hands on her belly. I pray for my children's relationships. I prayed for their salvation. I prayed for their favor in the earth. I prayed, and I've been praying and praying and praying and praying and praying. Pray, and don't stop praying.

There's something about continuous prayer. Paul prayed three times or thrice for that thorn to be removed from him. He kept on doing it until the Lord spoke to him finally. Keep on praying until He says yea or nay.

Children of God, people think that every time a preacher preaches about prayer that he's not talking to certain people. Some people want to tune the preacher out. And especially when a preacher starts preaching about love too, they want to... You don't hear me.

Let me tell you something. It's those basic things that we need the most, because they are the things that give us the foundation. And every now and then we need to hear it again. You've heard it's time to pray for years, since you've been say. You've done heard it preached like this. You done heard it preached like that. But now it's time to do it.

Be steadfast in prayer. Be steadfast in prayer. Be steadfast in prayer. Get steadfast in prayer. Stop being moved because Satan is acting up. If he's acting up, that means you must be doing something. You're bothering him. Ain't nobody going to act up unless you're bothering them. Pray.

The Bible said in Thessalonians to pray without ceasing, a continual attitude of prayer. God has promised all of us something. And when we look at what's going on right now, a lot of us are starting to doubt what He said. But all of His promises shall be fulfilled before He comes back.

Nobody ever preached to Jacob. God only gave him promises. But Jacob had a tenacity about him that if God said it, that settled it. He even wrestled with God to... Oh, you don't hear me tonight. You said it, Lord.

He even said, "Put Me in remembrance of what... Put Me in remembrance of My Word."

"Lord, You said. I didn't say it, Lord. You said it."

It's time to pray. It's time to develop... That word "develop" means to build and construct. It's time to develop a prayer life, a prayer habit. That word "habit" means something that's done over and over and over and over again. It's time to pray, not just a little bit, but pray until you get the answer.

Come on, give God a handclap of praise.

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