When Jesus was here on earth, He did many things. He was very busy with ministry. He traveled often in Israel. He taught many people and healed people from illnesses. He also had power and authority over unclean spirits. Though He had a busy ministry schedule, He took time to pray and fellowship with His heavenly Father.
He (Jesus) Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed. Luke 5:16
Then one day, His Disciples said to Him, “Lord teach us how to pray.”
So, He said to them, “When you pray, say
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins,
For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Luke 11:1-4
The Lord’s prayer is not really a formula. I believe it is a model prayer, David and I pray this every day, not just by rote, but with faith and trust in Jesus that He hears our prayers.
And here is another guide we also use in prayer: We use the acronym ACTS, which makes it easy remember.
A- is adoration. Like what Jesus said, “Hallowed be Your name”. We praise God for He is merciful, all powerful, sovereign, loving, gracious, etc.
C- is confession. Again, from the Lord’s prayer, Jesus said, “Forgive us our sins, as we forgive others.” We can ask the Holy Spirit to search our hearts if there ‘s any thing that is not pleasing to the Lord. And ask God for forgiveness. (See I John 1:9)
T- is thanksgiving. Thank God for 3 things; count your blessings.
S- is supplication – deliver us from the evil one.
For Supplication, some people use the 5-finger model.
Thumb- friends & family
Pointer-Parents and Teachers
Ring-weak and sick people
Whichever prayer model you prefer, prayer is not a ceremony or a ritual. It is a personal relationship. Like with friends and others, prayer is talking, and taking time in fellowship with Father God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you;“(Ezekiel 36:26)
A couple of weeks ago, I took a special time with the Lord as the Jewish calendar of Ellul was closing and the head of the year was coming, Rosh Hashana (September 7th). I asked Him what is His heart for the Church, the followers of Yeshua, the Bride of Christ. I felt the Lord said, “I will put a new spirit within you and will give you a new heart,” (Ezekiel 36:26). Then He also said, He is giving us new wine and new oil. He is also giving us fire of the Holy Ghost to burn the dross, blow away the chaff, burn old wineskin – which is old thinking, old habits, including old beliefs and tradition.
God is giving us new wineskins, to be vessels of silver and gold, (such as cup, oil lamps, etc). New wine is to refresh our souls so we can refresh others. He is giving new oil to anoint us, to give us power for new ministries He is calling us to. God is giving us new oil to be a light burning for Jesus in this dark world.
A few years ago, while praying, the Spirit of the Lord gave me a picture (vision) of earthen vessels or clay jars, of different sizes and shapes. Then I saw Jesus pouring wine into each clay jar. There were many in the room, but Jesus was waiting for those jars to be willing vessels for Him to pour His wine into. Right after that vision Lord gave me, I saw this miniature of Jesus pouring water and wine into a clay jar right in one of the cabinets in our church.
Back to my prayer during this recent Ellul month, the Spirit of the Lord continued to speak as HE impressed upon my heart this word;
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
God is giving us new wine and new oil for a harvest of souls. I heard some prophetic words about a harvest of a billion souls in this new decade (2020-2030) and as we enter a new era. I felt the Spirit of the Lord is saying for the harvest of souls, God needs new vessels (new wineskins) to be vessels for this new wine and new oil.
Then God says, “I do not change, I AM, I am gracious and merciful. I hate sin and do not tolerate sin. I’m calling my people to holiness – the church- you are set apart for me to be a light in this dark world. I’m pouring fresh wine, to new wineskins, new oil to new vessel of oil lamp, I’m sending fresh manna from my Word.”
To change old wineskin to new wineskin is to change old habits and old thinking. For me personally the Lord is dealing with me about these sins and wrong ways, such as procrastination, delayed obedience, not paying careful attention to the Holy Spirit’s leading and His Words, holding on to old grudges, resentments, unforgiveness, pride, self-righteousness, etc.
A few weeks ago, I had another dream: In my dream, I was in my room, then my late father came to the room. He went to a clothes drawer where I keep my undergarments. He pulled out old undergarments. As he pulled some old, tattered, gray-looking undergarments one by one, he looked at me and I saw in his eyes, as if telling me, “Why are you holding onto these?” Then he showed me the other part of the drawer, with new and clean undergarments.
In that dream, I felt our Heavenly Father was telling me to throw away the old garments and He is giving me new garments, which means throw away old mindsets, old thinking, old stuff in my heart that are not pleasing to Him. And He wants to give me new garments or new heart, new spirit. Undergarments also represents things hidden and not seen by men.
Then I read this quote from “Billy Graham’s Wisdom for Each Day” Daily calendar on September 2nd:
“To ask God to search out the darkest, most secret corners of our minds and hearts take courage… if we aren’t willing to do this? Then the sins we know about remain unconfessed, and our fellowship with God remains cold and distant. Perhaps more important, the hidden sins we may not even realize we have sins- like pride, suppressed anger, lack of love, jealousy, a secret yearning for recognition- remain firmly in place, manipulating us and eventually destroying us.”
In the Old Testament, Zechariah had a vision of the high priest of Israel, Joshua who was being accused of Satan because of their sins. But God defended Joshua from Satan. ((Zechariah 3:1-2).
“Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel.
Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.”
And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.”
So, they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the Lord stood by.” (Zechariah 3:3-5)
Joshua was a high priest in Jerusalem was being accused by satan because of his sins and the sin of the people of Israel, but Lord God defended him. Zechariah 3:1
God forgave their sins as represented by the filthy garments, and gave him new and clean garments.
As God forgave the sin of Joshua and the people of Israel, He encouraged him.
Then the Angel of the Lord admonished Joshua, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘If you will walk in My ways,
And if you will keep My command,
Then you shall also judge My house,
And likewise have charge of My courts;
I will give you places to walk
Among these who stand here.
Jesus said, “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” Luke 5: 37-38 NKJV
New Wine, new oil, new wineskins to be vessels of honor (silver cup, gold cup, an oil lamp, etc) for the harvest of souls.
To have a new wineskin is to consecrate our spirit anew afresh to the Lordship of Christ, get rid of all thoughts, old habits, old ways of thinking to brin a new wine, new oil, which is fresh power and anointing of God, a new revelation of who He is.
Prayer: Holy Spirit please search my heart, see if there is anything that is not pleasing to you. Dear Jesus please forgive me of my sins. Cleanse me, make me a new wineskin, give me a new heart, and fill me with your spirit.
This morning in my Bible reading, the Lord encouraged me once again from His Word. As we see and hear news of wickedness going on around the world, we pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering for their faith. We pray for God’s protection for the innocent, vulnerable, children, and women who are in volatile situations. We pray for courageous men and women who put their lives on the line to help these people in need. Though some people may fail, Almighty God does not fail. God loves all people.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”John 3:16
The Assured Judgment of the Wicked
“Deliver me from my enemies, O my God;
Defend me from those who rise up against me.
2 Deliver me from the workers of iniquity,
And save me from bloodthirsty men.
3 For look, they lie in wait for my life;
The mighty gather against me,
Not for my transgression nor for my sin, O Lord.
4 They run and prepare themselves through no fault of mine.
Awake to help me, and behold!
5 You therefore, O Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel,
Awake to punish all the nations;
Do not be merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah
6 At evening they return,
They growl like a dog,
And go all around the city.
7 Indeed, they belch with their mouth;
Swords are in their lips;
For they say, “Who hears?”
8 But You, O Lord, shall laugh at them;
You shall have all the nations in derision.
9 I will wait for You, O You his Strength;
For God is my defense.
10 My God of mercy shall come to meet me;
God shall let me see my desire on my enemies.
11 Do not slay them, lest my people forget;
Scatter them by Your power,
And bring them down,
O Lord our shield.
12 For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips,
Let them even be taken in their pride,
And for the cursing and lying which they speak.
13 Consume them in wrath, consume them,
That they may not be;
And let them know that God rules in Jacob
To the ends of the earth. Selah
14 And at evening they return,
They growl like a dog,
And go all around the city.
15 They wander up and down for food,
And howl if they are not satisfied.
16 But I will sing of Your power;
Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning;
For You have been my defense
And refuge in the day of my trouble.
17 To You, O my Strength, I will sing praises;
For God is my defense,
My God of mercy.”
-Psalm 59 NKJV Bible Gateway