|Intercessors for Canada|
Mid-Month Notes - July 2007
|Our nation is at war in Afghanistan and also the target of radical threats and yet we still enjoy the most pleasant lifestyle and a very high standard of living. Do we take this for granted and imagine it will always be like this? I believe that Canada and all the nations are in a Joel 3:2 situation where God is entering into judgment with us. Multitudes are in the valley of decision, but do we discern it? I offer two things for the subject of prayer: Praying in the Spirit to depths of powerful intercession, and a sober warning that a conflict in the Middle East is a real possibility in the near future. Our way of life that is based on oil and oil derivatives could come to an end overnight! Then what will we do?
10,000 WORDS IN A TONGUE … 1 Corinthians 14:19
This note is about the private use of the gift of tongues for personal intercession. I believe that it is an extremely powerful gift and one that is largely undeveloped by most believers. In an age when we are not too sure what to pray, the Spirit supplicates for us and the Father understands (Romans 8:26-27).
This is what Paul says about the gift of tongues in 1 Corinthians 14: 14: 1 earnestly desire the spiritual gifts 14: 2 now I want you all to speak in tongues 14:18 I thank God I speak in tongues more than you all 14:39 do not forbid speaking in tongues
When a believer prays in tongues: 14:2 he speaks to God, for no one understands him 14:2 but he utters mysteries in the spirit 14:14 my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful 14:4 the believer is built up 14:15 I will pray with the spirit 14:15 I will sing with the spirit 14:16 if you bless (eulogia) with the spirit 14:17 you may give thanks (eucharisteo) well enough 14:28 and let him speak to himself and to God
Paul offers up in 14:19 the suggestion that he could pray 10,000 words in a tongue! By God's grace I received the gift of tongues at the Full Gospel Assembly Manse, Queen's Square, Saint John, NB, on Monday night, August 24th, 1964. For a young chemistry student from London University, used to rational expression, this was a profound encounter. On most days in the last 43 years I have used the gift to pray, sing, bless and utter mysteries to God. When I relax into the spirit I tend to pray words quite quickly, they just pour out of me much quicker than I could think them up! So I felt provoked recently about 10,000 words in a tongue, and for one minute read a page of scripture at the same rate, and found I had read 250 words! 10,000 words would take only 40 minutes, probably not more than an hour, when in the spirit. I have felt persuaded that 40 minutes in the spirit is not unreasonable considering the spiritual battle that is going on around us. As part of the whole armour of God Paul says:
…by means of all prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit …Ephesians 6:18
When we run out of things to pray in our first language we can tune into the prayer meeting that is going on in with our spirit. My experience of prolonged praying in the spirit is that there is usually an introductory level with familiar tongues, that after a few minutes develops into a deeper level of intensity with new tongues. With persistence, by faith, there can be another even deeper level where one is conscious of just being like an instrument for the Spirit to use. This can only be entered by faith as the sounds may seem ridiculous, thus requiring humility and yieldedness before the Lord. This often feels very powerful and that the will of God is being prayed, something is happening! On occasion I have experienced yet a deeper level where the groanings of the spirit are very physical and demanding, so intense and emotional I am almost afraid to go there.
By following the scripture with the Greek interlinear text I was surprised to read in 14: 11, that the phrase 'meaning of the language' (RSV) translated the Greek 'the power (dunamis) of the sound (phone). In 1 Corinthians the word 'dunamis' appears 15 times and in 14 cases is translated with the usual word - power!. Why hide the word for power under such a bland word as 'meaning'? Perhaps a scholar can correct me, but I understand from this verse that sounds (languages?) have power! Paul says there are doubtless many sounds (14:10), even the tongues of men and angels (14:1).
So here is the bottom line, the gift of tongues bypasses our mind to utter powerful sounds in the spirit, as we yield ourselves to the Spirit. We have to do this by faith and release control to the Spirit. We have to be out of control in a way that wounds our intellect! May we be delivered from fear and trust the Living God. I would suggest that these are desperate times and desperate solutions are needed. Why not take an hour and try 10,000 words.
Note: there are no capitals in Greek denoting clearly 'Spirit' from 'spirit'. The context at times can clearly mean one or the other, but references to 'praying with my spirit' also seem to involve the Holy Spirit. My spirit was dead, but now is alive to God, and the Holy Spirit bears witness with my spirit when I cry out to the Father (Romans 8:15-16).
AN URGENT CALL TO PRAY FOR THE MIDDLE EAST
"The Middle East today is like Europe on the eve of the Great War of 1914-18.
It needs only a spark to set the whole region on fire." The above comment was made to Patrick Seale, a leading British writer on the Middle East.
(please see www.middle-east-online.com June 22nd 2007)
The following has been reported recently. I have listed some facts so that we can pray for Canada and the Nations with insight: (Please see the Debka Report at www.debka.com.)
AMERICA Has two aircraft carrier strike groups already in the Persian Gulf with a third one on its way. A forth carrier force is on its way to the Red Sea to back up the other three and protect Israel and the Suez Canal.
IRAN Amazingly Iran recently invaded Iraq, north of Basra, with suicide fighters in anticipation of an American invasion. At the same time they are rationing motorists to 100 litres of gas a month also in anticipation of the needs of the army in war time. Some of their leaders believe that the Mahdi will come in a time of chaos to bring victory.
TURKEY Has massed 140,000 soldiers at Iraq’s northern border poised to invade northern Iraq’s Kurdistan.
SYRIA Syria has asked its citizens to leave Lebanon to avoid an imminent 'eruption'. Syria is prepared for war on the Golan heights. Recently Syria crossed into Lebanon opposite the Bekaa Valley and dug many trenches in preparation for war. It was reported that Syria's important historical artifacts were recently moved out of the city to an undisclosed destination.
ISRAEL Israel is also ready for war with Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Israel recently also invaded part of Gaza.
GAZA Russia has moved out its citizens recently expecting a conflict. Hamas are looking to Iran for direction.
IRAQ The volatile insurgency and civil war may lead to partition and the formation of smaller nations more subject to their neighbours. The US has been busy over the last few years building several huge military bases in different parts of Iraq to ensure an ongoing strategic presence in the region with about 50 k soldiers.
HOW THEN SHALL WE PRAY?
I find myself praying Isaiah 19 where there is hope for Jew and Arab gentiles alike. May there be a mighty move of God in that area and peace between neighbouring nations. Praying in the spirit is one way of making sure our prayers are on target, that we are praying in the way Jesus wants us to pray.
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