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roadsign
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Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re: prayer

3. In what way is prayer your primary means of obtaining resources to share God's truth?

What we experience as prayer becomes our definition of prayer.

I used to view prayer as the time when everyone closes their eyes and then someone gives God a list: God do this, do that, bless all the sick, and take care of all the needy, and make our lives tidy and controllable. It was more like a monologue - going no futher than the ceiling. No one seemed to HEAR GOD TALK BACK. No one talked about the fact that the prayers were rarely answered.

Since God got a hold of my life, prayer has been mostly God speaking to me - changing my thinking, changing my view of things, and gradually teaching me how to see through HIS eyes. I ask him a lot of specific questions. He's my mentor. I tell him what I feel, fear, and how I see things. Then I ask him to set me straight. (I do that a lot)

For me prayer includes Bible study, looking up references, letting God show me answers by leading me to specific verses. Sometimes he puts a picture in my mind to help me "get it", or sometimes he gives a dream.

Through this kind of prayer I am learning to view the world and others the way God views them. My prayers become a connection with HIS intercession.
Rom. 8:26 "We do not know what we aought to pray for, but the Spriit intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."
Indeed, language is simply not fully able to express the heart of God. Also, because of the dullness of our minds, we cannot grasp God's truths.

I believe that it is through prayer accompanied by ever-deepening brokenness that we are gradually able to grasp more of divine realities, including the truth about ourselves and fellow man.

Having said all that, I must admit, that often I am left silent. Or I hear God speaking to me just like he spoke to Job: "Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?..." Job 38:2

And I am left realizing how little of God I really know.

So praying for revival becomes: God have mercy on us, not God have mercy on THEM. I include myself among the needy.
Diane



_________________
Diane

 2005/12/13 8:16Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re:WRT~ Unction

Unction! Might I be so bold to say that it is proof of the Lords Presence? The scriptures just flood in;

Mat 23:37 [i]O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not![/i]

Joh 17:25 [i]O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.[/i]

Rom 11:33 [i]O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out![/i]

Psa 27:7,8 [i]Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.[/i]

The "O's" were unintentional, interesting how often that expression breaks the sound wall, sentiment from the nether regions, the longing and breaking heart cracking the heavenlies.

Ravenhill is dead on; "[i]Unction cannot be learned, only earned--by prayer".[/i] Sorry for straying from the path of the set questions here, they all seem to run together. "[i]Unction is like dynamite." "Unction will pierce and percolate; it will sweeten and soften. When the hammer of logic and the fire of human zeal fail to open the stony heart, unction will succeed.[/i]" It's as if you can trace it in what it leaves behind as much as what it 'blows up' if you follow Ravenhill's definition. Case in point; Jesse, "Lazarus1719" our open air friend of God. In his recent update he was talking about the gang of unruly youngsters with their verbalized rebellion not only on their lips but printed on their shirts... Threatening to pound him into oblivion and yet hear this response;

Quote:
"You guys could beat me up or punch me or do whatever you want to do. But I want you to know that I care about you. The bible says you need a new heart. Your heart is sinful, and God wants to give you a new one. A lot of people don't care about you. Like cigarette companies who only want your money, they don't care if you get cancer. But I do care about you, and so I'll tell you the truth, that if you don't become born again, you won't see the Kingdom. So punch me or kick me or do whatever you want. But I still love you guys."



Seems quite easy to glide over things when they [i]don't[/i] happen... Ever notice that? How short lived and short shift is given to accounts of "I [i]almost[/i] died", "I just barely escaped"... Think of how much your own salvation means in light of [i]almost...[/i]. But what stopped them, mere words? Too extreme of an example? Would it have more emphasis if he had said "Am writing from the hospital room with a swollen eye and a broken jaw..."?

Quote:
Within a minute they changed from wanting to punch me, to asking if they could shake my hand. The whole group of them walked up to me and the group of Christians I was with, and said, "I appreciate what you’re doing. Can I shake your hand?"



More evidence and traces of this unction litter this here, [url=https://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?viewmode=flat&order=0&topic_id=8540&forum=35&post_id=&refresh=Go]Savations in the Streets![/url]

Been sitting on this and musing for quite some time now... Just [i]what[/i] it was that transpired and ushered in so many into the kingdom on that day of Pentecost? Many things surely, but [i]what[/i] was it that delivered the deciding blow? Signs and wonders, bemusement, the reactions, some were 'confounded', others mocked, the whole 'group think' that can spread like a plague, men fearing mere men, confusion, amusement. And then Peter gets up and ... what was he filled with besides the Holy Spirit? What a 'message'!, more than a sermon, more than an exposition of, and a explanation for what was happening in their midst, correct theology, polish, charisma?

Act 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, [b]whom ye have crucified[/b], both Lord and Christ.

Maybe the best definition in all of scripture of what unction [i][b]is[/b][/i].

Act 2:37 Now when they heard [b][i]this[/i][/b], they were [u]pricked in their heart[/u], and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, [b]what[/b] shall we do?

I can almost guarantee those kids will remember Jesse, at least pray that his words of love for their souls gets seared into their conscience and haunts them until they wake up one day.

Forgive my going on here, this is just such an important issue, it just cuts through everything that we may be hoping to do. It's seen here throughout this market place of shared thought and experience. My own tendencies are often to see things broadly expressed, the carry over and overlapping of posts and replies. Something back in the preface of this book that expresses a shadow perhaps;

Quote:
"I estimate that in the English edition alone, a million people read each issue of the "Hearld of His Coming". Some of the chapters in this book are articles in old Heralds and have been read by millions. [i][b](I am neither ashamed nor proud of this.)[/b][/i] ...



There is humility and false humility and I just loved how well he expressed this in those embolden words. What I am getting at is this same unction can be expressed here in these shared sentiments of [i]mere[/i] words. The times when the saints here '[i]prick the heart[/i]', perhaps even unknown to them and here is also where Len's words fit into place;

Quote:
"What is unction? I hardly know. But I know what it is not (or at least I know when it is not upon my own soul)."



Ever been surprised by your own words? To happen upon them days later and think "Goodness, where did that come from?" (This can be both a wonderful surprise as well as a case of ... [i]"Lord, put a guard upon my lips!" [/i] Or at least a lock on my keyboard)
:-o

One last story. Recall a message from quite some time ago, wish I knew who it was, but seem to recall it was a high profile preacher and he was expounding upon a particular Psalm with great eloquence, am thinking Psalm 51 for some reason... But all the expectations one might have, proper theology, the whole nine yards, yet it left the congregation unmoved. Then for whatever reason that I forget now, an elderly gentleman got up to read a benediction I think and he read the same Psalm again straight through without any additions...
And the people were in tears.




_________________
Mike Balog

 2005/12/13 9:58Profile
Sir_Edward
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Joined: 2005/10/19
Posts: 124
Michigan

 Re:

I think i agree with everything that has been said about unction and prayer so far. Ravenhill definitely links the two. Now I may be reading ahead a little but the fact is that he puts a great deal of responisibility of "why revial tarries" at the feet of those in the ministry. Ravenhill's observation in this is very correct, we are as a group preaching dead things to dead people because we have no unction.

Unction is hard to define -- it is noted for what it does, not what it is and there is not 1-2-3 step to get it either. This does not sit well with the corporate church of religion, inc. of the western church. We like formulas, but unction has none. You can only pray to get it and for each person it will be different. As individual as the person who needs it.

I can tell you this I never recieved unction until I did a couple things which I must add are still a challenge to me. 1) Remove all personal desires for why I want revival -- bigger church, my name at the forefront, name recognition for me and my church --all have to go. Ravenhill says this in his other book -- [i]Revial Praying[/i](don't read this book unless you want your prayer life challenged -- trust me). 2) I prayed -- now I am going to tell you prayer is not a monologue to God to get stuff, it is giving God permission to do his will in your life in EVERYTHING. Period. This means prayer and even intercessory prayer must be about Him. 3) I followed Ravenhill's advice and addressed the main reason pastor's and other ministers are not effective for the kingdom of God -- a) they lack discipline (particularly in study of the Word), b) They don't pray like they need too and c) They don't know how to worship. I began to look at all of these and have begun to reform myself in all of them. Unction follows -- I know this for sure.

Example: This last week has been one major item after the other. Two leaders having a disagreement, a key persons in the church's wife left him, a board memeber having stuggles with his character, another board memeber having stuggles with his son. Need I go on. We have been praying for revival in every prayer meeting and strife is everywhere. I still have to preach -- unction causes me to have no fear on remove all doubts of God being at work in all this from my mind as I deliver the Word. It makes what I say truly a work of the Spirit and not a work of something that responds to the flesh.

Blessings.


_________________
Ed Raby

 2005/12/13 12:21Profile









 Re: Chapter One

Here is what I gleaned from reading the first chapter and the study questions. I purposed not to read any of the other posts until I completed mine. :-) Now I am anxious to read what everyone else gleaned from the first chapter. ;-)

1. Why is prayer less attractive than many other types of ministry?

“She wears the homespuns of sincerity and humility and so is unafraid to kneel!” The prayer closet is the place of humility. Prayer takes faith! Taking time out of a busy schedule to pray can seem like the most ineffective way to serve God. But in reality it is the most effective because we cannot change other people’s lives and we can’t force revival. But we can talk to the ONE who can!
Taking time to pray about something is admitting our need and dependence on God. We can do nothing without Him.

2. How are logic and zeal meaningless apart from unction?

Both logic and zeal can be worked up within man. What glory does it bring to God when a soul gets saved because of the persuasive logic of the soul winner? Logic and zeal without unction is like a pile of sticks without fire. Those sticks to do not produce heat and warmth until fire are applied. This makes God’s servants dependent on Him to obtain unction.

3. In what way is prayer your primary means of obtaining resources to share God’s truth?

Prayer is getting our focus in the right direction – up :-) . Looking to God alone to teach me is when I learn precious truths that I am then able to share with others as He leads. “Unction cannot be learned, only earned—by prayer.”

 2005/12/13 12:29
roadsign
Member



Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re: Unction - what is it

Quote:
“Unction cannot be learned, only earned—by prayer.”


I challenge this somewhat because I think that prayer is practised in different ways. There are many who pray diligently, but that doesn't seems to guarrentee unction.

A verse comes to mind: "He must increase, I must decrease." "Self" is replaced by Christ. One gives up his desire to be his own master and lets God be his master. Then the Spirit can work through that person.

That, I think, is what is meant by unction - the power of the Spirit working through someone - giving him timely words - ones that grip.
Diane


_________________
Diane

 2005/12/13 21:51Profile
Sir_Edward
Member



Joined: 2005/10/19
Posts: 124
Michigan

 Re:

Roadsign,

I think I know where your coming from but I think Ravenhill agrees with you somewhat becasue he is saying it is earned in prayer, but then goes to define in the chapter what he means -- selfless prayer. Unction is available to anyone who gives up self.

Blessings,


_________________
Ed Raby

 2005/12/13 22:37Profile
tacklebox
Member



Joined: 2005/10/8
Posts: 196
Roanoke Rapids, NC

 Re:

Quote:

roadsign wrote:
3. In what way is prayer your primary means of obtaining resources to share God's truth?

What we experience as prayer becomes our definition of prayer.

I used to view prayer as the time when everyone closes their eyes and then someone gives God a list: God do this, do that, bless all the sick, and take care of all the needy, and make our lives tidy and controllable. It was more like a monologue - going no futher than the ceiling. No one seemed to HEAR GOD TALK BACK. No one talked about the fact that the prayers were rarely answered.

Since God got a hold of my life, prayer has been mostly God speaking to me - changing my thinking, changing my view of things, and gradually teaching me how to see through HIS eyes. I ask him a lot of specific questions. He's my mentor. I tell him what I feel, fear, and how I see things. Then I ask him to set me straight. (I do that a lot)

For me prayer includes Bible study, looking up references, letting God show me answers by leading me to specific verses. Sometimes he puts a picture in my mind to help me "get it", or sometimes he gives a dream.

Through this kind of prayer I am learning to view the world and others the way God views them. My prayers become a connection with HIS intercession.
Rom. 8:26 "We do not know what we aought to pray for, but the Spriit intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."
Indeed, language is simply not fully able to express the heart of God. Also, because of the dullness of our minds, we cannot grasp God's truths.

I believe that it is through prayer accompanied by ever-deepening brokenness that we are gradually able to grasp more of divine realities, including the truth about ourselves and fellow man.

Having said all that, I must admit, that often I am left silent. Or I hear God speaking to me just like he spoke to Job: "Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?..." Job 38:2

And I am left realizing how little of God I really know.

So praying for revival becomes: God have mercy on us, not God have mercy on THEM. I include myself among the needy.
Diane



Diane, your post really ministered to me. I, too, have been asking a lot of questions to God only to be left with silence, and it troubled me greatly. I recently had a major decision concerning a conflict that could have greatly hampered the work of the new church God is calling up, and I sought Him out for counsel and answers. I was even so bold as to ask for Him to [u]audibly[/u] speak to me.

I empathize with this statement,
Quote:
And I am left realizing how little of God I really know.



Though I don't have the book yet (should get it today, though), I am already gleaning a wealth of conviction and revelation from these posts.

I thank God for all of you, especially the gentleman sending me the book and Greg leading the way and coming up with this wonderful idea.

:-)


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Christopher Wright

 2005/12/14 8:25Profile
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re:WRT Wonderful...

This is truly becoming quite more... surpassing even what I might have hoped for. At this rate it could take a year to go through this and that would be perfectly wonderful as far as I am concerned! It would become somewhat of a bother in certain situations (bible studies) where a push was on to .."[i]get on with it[/i]" before really digging into what was already right before us... Sorry.

But reading all these responses is truly edifying. And Diane you have a blessed way of getting right down into the marrow of things and drawing them out. Yes! Yes! Yes! Find myself saying...

Quote:
Since God got a hold of my life, prayer has been mostly God speaking to me - changing my thinking, changing my view of things, and gradually teaching me how to see through HIS eyes. I ask him a lot of specific questions. He's my mentor. I tell him what I feel, fear, and how I see things. Then I ask him to set me straight. (I do that a lot)


"Make me a man of no opinion"

[i]It is Christ who is exalted[/i]

Finding my opinion to be rather repulsive most often, even if it' still put out there.. "[b]how I see things. Then I ask him to set me straight.[/b]" Love that, yes. It can go something on the order of, "Here Lord, all that I have just prayed or mused on, all the heart longings, thoughts, and 'eloquence', everything I think I am grasping here, everything I might feel compelled to share, it seems very good to me and well pleasing in Your sight... but take it all and test it by fire... am just as glad to let it be reduced to ashes." And often that it is precisely what becomes of it. But the 'said' prayers-
Quote:
I used to view prayer as the time when everyone closes their eyes and then someone gives God a list: God do this, do that, bless all the sick, and take care of all the needy, and make our lives tidy and controllable. It was more like a monologue - going no futher than the ceiling. No one seemed to HEAR GOD TALK BACK. No one talked about the fact that the prayers were rarely answered.

Think they are rarely answered because they are said without any real heart or intention in the first place ... it's the epitome of Mat 6:5 [i]And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.[/i] Worse than that one doesn't even have to go out in public to do it. Ugh... How can we be dishonest before Him, insincere, hypocritical, false?

Quote:
Rom. 8:26 "We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spriit intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."


Would die a thousand deaths trying if it wasn't for this and just read this again not 15 minutes ago ironically, going on...

Rom 8:27 [i] And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the [b]Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.[/b][/i]

This and skipping up to;

Rom 8:34 [i]Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for [u]us[/u][/i].

He maketh intercession ...
Praying for [i]us[/i]!
Blessed, incredible truth, brought me to tears.

Quote:
So praying for revival becomes: God have mercy on us, not God have mercy on THEM. I include myself among the needy.


Oh goodness yes...


_________________
Mike Balog

 2005/12/14 10:09Profile
tacklebox
Member



Joined: 2005/10/8
Posts: 196
Roanoke Rapids, NC

 Re:

crsschk and Diane,

Both of your posts are wonderful outpourings of your hearts and souls.
I think God is dealing with many in these areas, and WRT definetly can fan the fire all the more.

As far as the Chapter One questions go, I do not think I could provide any better answers than those already given - I'd just be echoing them.

I do want to list some of the quotes from Chapter One that really pricked my heart or fanned the fire:

"The offense of prayer is that it does not essentially tie in to mental effeciency."

"...the pulpit is yours almost anywhere these days. Preaching of the type mentioned affects men; prayer affects God. Preaching affects time; prayer affects eternity. The pulpit can be a shopwindow to display our talents; the closet speaks death to display."

"Preaching without unction kills instead of giving life."

"A sermon born in the head reaches the head; a sermon born in the heart reaches the heart. Under God, a spiritual preacher will produce spiritual people."

"The prayer meeting is dead or dying."

"Unction is the knighthood for the soldier-preacher who has wrestled in prayer and gained the victory."

"Away with this palsied, powerless preaching which is unmoving because it was born in a tomb instead of a womb, and nourished in a fireless, prayerless soul."

-Chris


_________________
Christopher Wright

 2005/12/18 11:13Profile
tacklebox
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Joined: 2005/10/8
Posts: 196
Roanoke Rapids, NC

 Re:

Also, I think the title of the Chapter would make good discussion. (I know we've moved on to Ch. 2, but I just got the book recently.)

WITH ALL THY GETTING GET UNCTION!

It is Proverbs 4:7 with a twist:

"...with all thy getting get understanding."

What did Ravenhill mean by changing the last word?


_________________
Christopher Wright

 2005/12/18 11:16Profile





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