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The Power of Prayer is Unleashed in Unity

Jesus said in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Why is it when “two or three” are gathered to pray and not just “one” person alone? Because there is power in unity!

Jesus said in Matthew 18:19, “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.” God the Father said in the Torah although, one can chase a thousand, two can put ten thousand to flight. (Deuteronomy 32:30a). Simply put, there is more power in unified and combined faith than there is in solitary faith because “in unity” the power of God is multiplied exponentially.

Let’s look at what God said at the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:5 – But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the LORD said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.

Watchman Nee wrote a book entitled, “The Latent Power of the Soul.” In it he states that man has a power in his soul (given by God at the time of Adam), enabling him to subdue the earth and all on it! It’s not physical might that enables mankind to rule over every creature as some creatures are mightier than man. Nee also asserts that mankind does not exercise this godly use of “soul power” today. On the other hand, Satan and his demonic forces manipulate mankind into utilizing their soul power for evil purposes. In Revelation chapter 18 which concerns the “Fall of Babylon,” verse 13 lists the “souls of men” among the merchandise traded in Babylon.

I believe that this soul power of mankind can be used for God’s purposes when we are led by the Spirit of God and come to understand how our soul power works in conjunction with the divine power of the Holy Spirit.

An important biblical principle that we need to understand is the power unleashed in unity. It was whenever the people of God were in “one accord” that we see the mighty movement of God recorded throughout the Bible. From the time of Moses, the Israelites were victorious through the power of God whenever they were all in one accord and purpose, and were aligned with the will of God. But whenever divisions came between them and they no longer stood in one accord in accordance to God’s will, defeat overcame them.

In Acts 2:1 we see the disciples were all in “one accord,” when on the day of Pentecost, they were baptized in the Holy Spirit with power. In Acts 2:46 we see the believers in “one accord” and the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. In Acts 4:24-31 all the companions of Peter and John were in “one accord” when they prayed to the Lord for boldness to speak His word with signs and wonders and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. In Acts 5:12 the believers were in “one accord” and through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people.

Pentecost

Jesus said in Matthew 5:14a, “You are the light of the world.” Think of that light as single flashlight illuminating an object in the darkness. Then consider how much more illuminated that object would be with many flashlights shining on it at the same time. That is the essence of unity and being in one accord.

King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 4:9 – Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. Strength, whether physical or spiritual, is multiplied by numbers.

When Jesus prayed to the Father in John 17:21, He summed it all up when He said, that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. Jesus was praying that all of His followers (later called Christians), would be united in spirit and purpose and be in “one accord,” just like Jesus and the Father. This unity would both serve as a witness to the world and assure that believers would be one in the Father and the Son as well.

As Paul wrote to the Philippians in chapter 2 verses 1-5, unity is all about humility:

Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.

When we follow the example of Christ and believers are like-minded, serving one another in humility, there is great power that will be unleashed in our unity.

Article by Mike Minton, Editor of “The Inside Ministers’ Journal”

We have a variety of resources for you on our website such as:

Biblical Insights into Combating Addiction, Teachings on Prayer and Fasting, links to Christian resources for the addicted: Find Help, Healing Scriptures and information on our Annual Weekend of Prayer event.

To be Set Free from Addiction, You Must Have a Humble Heart!

If you have a sincere desire to stop your destructive compulsive behavior and break your addiction, you must first change the attitude of your heart.

Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”James 4:6b

In order to receive the grace of God in your life, you must first prepare the soil of your heart. Those who are proud are self-seeking, arrogant and have a hardened heart. Jesus often illustrated moral principles for us to apply in our daily living, as well as gave us spiritual insights into His Kingdom, through parables. The Lord Jesus told a parable concerning the conditions of the heart which will prevent or bear fruit in a person’s life. An understanding of the natural elements used in His teachings and what they symbolize will give us greater insight, so that we not only hear the voice of God, but understand what He is saying to us.

Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times.”

Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Mark 4:1-9

Everyone in the crowd had ears, but unless they had spiritual insight into what Jesus said, they were unable to comprehend His parables. Many heard the voice of God the Son that day, but they were unable to receive the truth He spoke. Unless a person understands the symbolic meaning of the natural elements used in the parable, it remains a mystery.

When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, “‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’” Mark 4:10-11

Except for the followers of Jesus, the Jews had committed blasphemy of the Spirit. They attributed the glorious working of Jesus’ miracles by the Holy Spirit – to the power of Beelzebub.  Therefore, Jesus began to speak in parables in public so that the secrets of the Kingdom were hidden to the masses.

Once in private and away from the crowd, it says in verse 13:

…  Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable?”

The reason that understanding the parable of the sower is primary is that it emphasizes the key to unlock the understanding of the other parables. The key is that elements related to the natural world such as soil, seed, thorns and fruitful crops are symbolic with spiritual applications. There is a natural as well as a spiritual application in God’s Word.

The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.” Mark 4:14-20

Seed must be planted in good soil means that the Word of God can only take root, grow and bear fruit in a softened heart and compliant heart. The hardness of the soil of the heart must be broken by humbling oneself, repenting of sins and forgiving others. The stones of bitterness and selfishness need to be removed. The heart must be watered by the Word of God and softened by the oil of the Spirit. When properly prepared and received, the word of God will bear much fruit.

There are two types of fruit. The first is the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

 The fruit of the Spirit is the character of Christ being developed in the believer so that the person is conformed to His image. The second type of fruit – is bearing fruit after its own kind by leading others to Christ. Fruit contains seed. When a single seed falls to the ground which is prepared to receive the seed and it is watered, it grows into a plant. When the plant matures, it bears fruit that contains many more seeds. Therefore developing a godly character that producers a good witness will bless both the messenger and bring conviction to many of those hearing the message of the gospel.

If you are abusing alcohol or other drugs and want to lead a victorious life and be set free from addiction you need to have a relationship with the LORD God, Creator of the heavens and the earth. To find forgiveness and freedom,  pray the following prayer or a similar prayer in your own words -

“Lord Jesus Christ,

I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to earn my way to heaven. Although I deserve God’s wrath, by God’s mercy, I accept your free gift of eternal life by faith. I believe that You were born of a virgin and died on the cross to pay the price of my sins. I believe you were buried, rose again on the third day, have ascended into heaven, and will soon come again.

Lord, please forgive me of my sins, come into my heart and take control of my life.” AMEN

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, then you have just made a decision by faith, to accept the free gift (God’s grace) of the substitutionary sacrifice of the Messiah (the Christ), whose suffering and death paid the price of your sins. You have been born again. As a new born, you need to be nourished.

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38

In order to grow and mature spiritually you need to:

•Be baptized into Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ)

•Speak to God each day through prayer. (Pray each day in the name of Yeshua/Jesus).

•Read your Bible every day. When you read the Bible, God speaks to you through His Word. (If you don’t own a Bible, then we will help you get one.)

•Find a Bible believing church and attend regularly – both worship services and a Bible study.

•Share with someone what God has done for you.

We have a variety of resources for you on our website such as:

Biblical Insights into Combating Addiction, Teachings on Prayer and Fasting, links to Christian resources for the addicted: Find Help, Healing Scriptures and information on our Annual Weekend of Prayer event.

Anointed to Walk in the Power of the Spirit through Fasting and Prayer

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?…” Isaiah 58:6

Fasting and prayer are powerful spiritual weapons that can set the oppressed free from every yoke and bondage of sin. Jesus himself fasted for 40 days.

Luke 4:14-21
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit …

Jesus had been baptized by John. This was not for the remission of His sins because He was sinless, but to fulfill all righteousness. And afterwards, as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. Full of the Holy Spirit, He returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he fasted and was tempted by the devil. Then Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit.

These significant, historical events occurred in accordance to the liturgical cycle of Scripture readings in the synagogues. From the times of the Babylonian captivity to this very day, each Sabbath weekly portions of the Sefer Torah or scroll containing the Five Books of Moses is read in every synagogue throughout the world. Not only are the books from Genesis through Deuteronomy read annually, but portions of the Scroll of the Prophets are read each Sabbath as well.

The reading of the Haftorah dates back to the era of the Greek empire. The enemies of God’s chosen people recognized the vitality of the Torah and banned the reading of the weekly Torah portion. In response, the Rabbis of those days substituted the reading of a segment from the Prophets, commonly known as the Haftorah. They carefully chose specific sections of the Prophets which correspond to the sedra (weekly portion) and intended through this to capture the lessons of the weekly Torah portion. Although the Torah reading has been restored, the Haftorah remains an integral part of Shabbos (Sabbath) and Yom Tov (holiday) experience.

Luke 3:4-6
As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:
“A voice of one calling in the desert, `Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God’s salvation.’ ”

John was preaching from Isaiah 40:3-5. Isaiah 40:1-26 is the passage of Scripture read from the scroll of the prophets on the first Sabbath after Tisha B’Av. Tisha B’Av, the Fast of the ninth day of the fifth month, is a day of mourning to commemorate the many tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people, especially the destruction of the First and Second Temples. There are seven readings from Isaiah between Tisha B’Av and Rosh HaShana. These passages span from Isaiah 40 through Isaiah 63.

After Jesus’ baptism, His forty days of fasting in the desert, and time spent preaching in the synagogues in the Galilee, His return to His hometown synagogue in Nazareth would have marked the end of seven week period between Tisha B’Av and the Sabbath before Rosh HaShana.

The destruction of Solomon’s Temple by the Babylonians was a judgment of God due to the sin of the nation of Judah. More than a century earlier, the Northern Tribes were taken into captivity by Assyria for their idolatries. John’s crying out in the wilderness was a call to repentance and spiritual preparation for the coming Messiah Jesus. It was initiated on a day of great mourning and fasting.

Seven weeks later, Yeshua – Jesus, whose name means salvation, read from Yeshayahu HaNovi – Isaiah the Prophet, whose name means -G-d is Salvation. Jesus read from Isaiah 61 verse one and the first half of verse two. He proclaimed the year of the LORD’s favor, but did not go on to pronounce the “day of God’s vengeance.”

Rosh HaShana commences the Ten Days of Awe. These ten days are the most solemn and introspective on the Hebrew Calendar. They mark the days between the New Year and the Day of Atonement. Yom Kippur is the most holy, most solemn day for the Jewish people. It is the last day of the High Holy Days which began on Rosh HaShanah. Many Jewish people spend the entire day in the synagogue, praying and fasting in the hope that their sins will be forgiven and that they will be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life for the coming year.

Tisha B’Av was the day that John the Baptist proclaimed that he was a voice crying out in the wilderness. It was a day of mourning and fasting. It was a call to turn from sin. Jesus proclaimed that He was the Messiah on the Sabbath before the Ten Days of Awe.
These days of repentance culminated on Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is a day set aside to “afflict the soul,” to fast and pray.

Jesus is the Anointed On. He is the Messiah. He was anointed to preach the good news, the gospel. He was sent to set the captives free.

But first, in order to receive Him, the people’s hearts had to be readied through prayer, fasting and repentance.

Joel 1: 5, 14
Wake up, you drunkards, and weep!
Wail, all you drinkers of wine; wail because of the new wine, for it has been snatched from your lips.

Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly.  Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD.

The first time in Scripture that we see the LORD ordaining a fast is when the nation had turned from their God and were drunk with wine.

2 Corinthians 10:4
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

Fasting and prayer are powerful spiritual weapons to demolish the strongholds of alcoholism and other drug addictions.

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