Bible Studies & Devotionals

From Olive Branch Ministries

By Mark and Tinsley Baker

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Prayer Changes Things Pt. 1

Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7. and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

The Apostle Paul is telling us that we should pray and make our requests made known to God, but firstly he is telling us to not be anxious. This is step one. There is no need to go to step two if step one is not followed. Unlike a set of instruction you may get when assembling something purchased, you can often look at the thing and see that this part goes here and that part goes there. God's instructions are specific in the way they are written and in the way we are suppose to follow them. You must follow God's instructions if you want to get the desired results. If you donít follow God's instructions there is no need in blaming God for the lack of results, just go back to the Word of God and find out where you missed it.

An anxious heart will not be able to receive the promises of God by faith. Be anxious for nothing. Do not have any anxiety about anything, as one translation says. Then you can make your request made known to God, and the desired result will be peace of mind and heart. You may ask what that has to do with whatever your request was. Peace is an incredible thing. It is the desired result of praying according to God's will. If you donít have God's peace, you wonít receive what ever your petition was.

First of all, you are to go to God with confidence and full assurity. You get this way by thinking continually on the word of God and keeping His promises before you. Secondly if you donít have peace, you need to check and see if you have followed the first two steps. I would like to point out that this is not a formula, buts God's instructions to us in order to receive His promises.

John 15:7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

Jesus the master teacher said it so simply and directly. Step one, you must abide in Him. Step two, His words must abide in you. Step three, ask what you desire and it shall be done for you. He said a very similar thing to what the Apostle Paul later said, Didnít He?

You see the Word of God always flows together. You are not going to have anxiety if you are doing what Jesus said to do, are you? If you are abiding in Jesus, and His words are abiding in you, then you are going to the Father in prayer, anxiety free, and the end result will be the peace of God will keep you heart and mind in Christ Jesus. I would like to point out something else while we are looking at this Scripture, Jesus said ask what you desire. He didnít say to just ask what you need, but what you desire. Then He said that it, or the desire you petitioned God about would be given to you.

Your hearts desires will be in line with God's Word if you are abiding in Him and His words are abiding in you, won't they? Yes they will! You won't have to worry about asking for the wrong things, you will be so full of God's Word that nothing but things in line with His Word will be asked for.

When you are praying this way, your prayer is the will of God. Prayer is another way of saying you are processing out the very will of God, working out His will and bringing His will into existence here on the Earth. You might ask why do I have to ask if it is already God's will. Wonít He just bring it to pass? NO! We must ask!

The Apostle James said; Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. James 4:2b-3.

Again, if you are abiding in God's Word, you are not going to ask amiss as James was saying here.

John 16:23 "And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. 24. "Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

Peace was one of the end results of prayer, but Jesus was saying we are to ask so that our joy may be full. Have you ever considered that God wants us to have joy and peace, and Heís telling us in His Word what to do in order to walk in these things.

We must ask. We have not because we ask not. We could put this in the personal way and say we will have because we ask! I am not trying to twist something around here, only to say we are being told to ask so that we might receive. God wants us to have joy, peace, and to fulfill the desires of our heart.

Sometimes we miss God by praying the wrong way, there are many different types of prayer mentioned in the Word of God. No one single type of prayer is always the right way to pray in every situation. There is the prayer of faith, the prayer of intercession, the prayer of salvation, the prayer of consecration the prayer of repentance. We donít need to get saved again and again after we have acknowledged Jesus as Lord and received eternal life, we do however need to consecrate ourselves to the Lord. Sometimes we need to set time aside for prayer and fasting in order to do this very thing, and to put off the old man of the flesh. An example of this is in the 13th chapter of Acts.

Acts 13:1-3. Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, "Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.'' Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.

Notice the conditions in which the Holy Ghost spoke, Fasting and worshiping God. Ö

They were given a clear direction for their calling and an anointing to accomplish what the Lord sent them to do. These men were already accomplished ministers. They could have been satisfied with what they had right there, but God had more for them. You will notice in chapter 14 when it was talking about them it calls them Apostles, up until that time they were called prophets and teachers. Paul didnít start out as an Apostle, remember the good, and acceptable, and perfect, will. They wanted to fulfill that perfect will of God in their lives, So they were fasting, worshiping God, waiting on the Lord to give them direction, werenít they?

Have you ever stopped to consider what would have happened to Paul and Barnabas if they had not taken the time to wait on God, seek Him, and avail themselves of Him. We each have a part to play in this. You donít just step out into the perfect will of God without clear direction, and you donít get clear direction unless you spend time in the presence of God and have consecrated yourself to Him.

Paul and Barnabas would not have received their Apostleship. They never would

Have had hands laid on them, and they would have never received the anointing to fullfill the work God had called them to fulfill, and they would have never fulfilled the perfect will of God in their lives

God equipped them and anointed them to fulfill His purpose. That equipping happened during a time of fasting, seeking Him, ministering to Him, worshiping Him, and availing themselves to Him. They consecrated themselves unto the Lord. The calling of God was already there, but they had to put themselves into a place where they could receive that calling and anointing didnít they? .

Paul went on to fulfill the calling of God on His life and wrote 2/3s of the New Testament in the process.

The prayer of salvation is the prayer we pray when we receive eternal life. As I said earlier you donít get saved over and over again, just like you donít get born naturally over and over again. It is a one time deal. There are times when we miss God and we have to pray the prayer of repentance.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

This was written to Christians, not to the world. The world doesnít have fellowship with God at all.

Broken fellowship is always the end result of sin, and only true repentance can restore broken fellowship. Fellowship is another way of saying communion. Christian have fellowship or communion with God and sin keep us from having fellowship. In the same way you could have an argument with a spouse or friend and your fellowship is broken, when you go and say your sorry and make things right, then you restore that fellowship.

This is such an important aspect of the Christian walk.

Ephesians 4:25 Therefore, putting away lying, each one speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. 26. "Be angry, and do not sin'': do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27. nor give place to the devil.

This opens the door to the devil so making things right not only restores broken fellowship but shuts the door in his face.

Keep the door shut on that liar and donít give him any place. We will continue with the other types of prayer in the next Soul Food.

Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Do you want to be a joint heir with Christ?

If so, I urge you to earnestly pray the following prayer.

Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "Öand the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37),

So I know You wonít cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).

I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "Öthat if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).

I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "Ö with the heart one believes to righteousnessÖ" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),

And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!

I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!

Glory to God!!!! Amen.