Faith Messages to build your faith

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

#119 Prayer Agony is Godlike

Dr. Wesley L. Duewel: Do you begin to realize why Spirit-born prayer agony is so precious to God, so powerful before God, and so dreaded by all the demon forces of hell?

   The Philistines of Beth Shemesh cried in terror,  "Who can stand in the presence of the LORD, this holy God?" (Sam. 6:20). Even so, the demons in hell must cry or shriek to one another, "Who can withstand such prevailing before God?" (Google image, Agony of Jesus)

   No prayer is more godlike than agonizing prayer because no one ever agonized in prayer as the Son of God did in Gethsemane. Christ did not spare Himself.

   Dr. Luke tells us that in Gethsemane, "being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood" (Luke 22;44; or, "clots of blood," NEB, Weymouth).

   Angels must have been astonished as they watched Jesus agonize in the garden. Indeed, one angel went to Him to strengthen Him physically so He could survive until the cross and thus complete God's plan (v. 45). Only then (v. 44) was He physically able to survive the sweat of blood.

   F. W. Farrar, dean of Canterbury, envisioned the scene as follows:

     "The disciples saw Him, sometimes on His knees, sometimes
     outstretched in prostrate supplication upon the damp earth...
     They saw Him before whom demons had fled in terror, lying 
     upon His face upon the ground. They heard that voice wailing
     in murmurs of broken agony which had commanded the wind              and the sea, and they obeyed Him. The great drops of anguish
     which fell from Him in the dreadful struggle looked to them
     like heavy gouts of blood." (Payne, Greatest Force on Earth, 105)

   But oh, Jesus saw infinitely more than the disciples saw. He saw the sin and anguish of the whole human race. He saw the tears of the orphans and widows, the blood of the victims of murder and 
crime, the slaughter on all earth's battlefields.

   He heard the cries of the wounded, the screams of the tortured, the thunder of all earth's wars. He saw earth's billions fettered by sin, degraded by Satan, hastening on by the millions to eternal hell. He saw it all.

   The agony of Christ's soul, the torture of man's hatred, and the agony of Gethsemane and Calvary altered the very appearance of Christ, as prophesied by Isaiah.

     "There were many who were appalled at himhis appearance    was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness—so will he sprinkle [by his blood] many nations" (Is. 52:14-15).

   Isaiah then questions, "Who has believed" such a message? as he goes on to describe even further Christ's agony and suffering as He redeemed us with His blood. "The LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Is. 53:6).

   "He poured out his life unto death...and made intercession for the transgressors" (Isa. 53:12).

   Christ deliberately chose earth's mightiest travailing in prayer. Jesus could have refused it, but He chose Gethsemane. Yes, He took up His cross (John 10:18). He took up and drank fully the cup.

  Our experience in no way compares with the depth of Christ's experience. But as we purposefully commit ourselves to take up our cup and give ourselves to prayer wrestling, as we take up deliberately our cross, the cross of prayer travail, we become most like Jesus, our mighty Intercessor.

     "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and 
     take up his cross daily and follow me" (Luke 9:23).

   Such mighty prayer travail is not forced upon us. We must choose to take it up, disciplining our life so as to provide daily time to intensive prayer. Jesus says your cross is something that you yourself take up, denying yourself in order to follow him. How better can you follow Him than through prevailing prayer and fasting?

   Gethsemane was undoubtedly the most intense period of Christ's prayer travail. But this was far from being the only time of our Savior's prayer agony. He faced it in His forty days in the desert. He faced it, no doubt, on many a night of prayer. Hebrews tells us that He prayed in this manner "during the days" of His life on earth (Heb. 5:7).
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
   Used by permission of the author and Duewel Literature Trust, Inc., Greenwood, Indiana, (with Jean's impressions added)

Mighty Prevailing Prayer
#119 Prayer Agony Is Godlike
by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

(pp. 223 -225) Zondervan

Let this be your prayer as well...

Father, may my Spirit-born prayer become
an agony, when needed.
I can see that it is so precious to You, and
so powerful, that demons dread to see it.
As Jesus saw the real reason for what He was
about to do, He persevered and 
accomplished the unthinkable: crucifixion 
on a brutal Roman cross!
He could see the tears of humanity and the anguish 
of the whole human race because of their sin.
As this prayer travail isn't forced upon us,
may I choose to take it up, disciplining
myself to provide daily time for it.
I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

Today's Bible verses-

(Dan. 9:17 KJV) "Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause they face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake."

(Job 37:19 a  KJV) "Teach us what we shall say."

(Ps. 32:11 KJV) "Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart."

Today's quotes-

~ John A. Cerrato, Jr.- "The ministry of intercessory prayer is a pivotal element in man's God-given dominion over this world. It is a key part of his responsibility and an inestimable privilege to become one of those whom God uses to pray down the life-giving, sin-destroying presence and power of His Spirit." 
(Taken from p. 5 of the May 2017 Herald of His Coming, Real Revival Or Ruin).  

A quote from Cerrato's page: "Throughout the history of man the church has frequently experienced periods of spiritual decline.  By God’s undeserved mercy those dark intervals were periodically followed by times of powerful spiritual renewal. Again and again, God’s church has shined forth as a brilliant light in a dark place …The church was never perfect, but the documented spiritual and moral transformative results of the presence and power of God stand unchallenged.
    Historically when God has been pleased to send a supernatural visitation, the first effect was that the hearts and minds of His people found new life and delight in the beauty and perfections of Christ, then the saving love of God came with power upon the hearts of the lost.  “...The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47).

~ Paul K. Miller-  

"If you are going to enter this divine dance we call prayer, you have to surrender your desire to be in control, to figure out how prayer works."

(Taken from p. 121, of A Praying Life)

Today's question-

How do we distinguish between doctrinal, personal and practical issues? Are there definite guidelines?

   The doctrinal issues are defined by God's Word, the Bible. The personal issues stem from our background and persuasions, and aren't views to try to enforce on others. God cares about our hearts, not our opinions. 
   The practical issues can be different ways of doing our individual ministries, and may not be what someone else would consider they should do. God's Spirit is our Helper and Inspirer, and He may very well have different approaches for each of us, which would be most effective for us.

Upcoming posts-

#120 We are Most Godlike when we Share God's Travail
15th- Thursday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

Cherish them...While You Can
17th- Saturday's post by Ron Hutchcraft

#121 Prayer Warfare Defeats Satan
20th- Tuesday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

#122 The Limitations of Satan
22nd- Thursday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

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31-day Devotional 
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[Maybe just choose a title each 
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Sample verses from p. 52- 

You'll Need to Have 
a Private Time

"As He will gently show the way
When time for him you set,
Before the "hurry" of the day
His guidance you're to get.

If your desire is now to learn
To do the best you can,
It's to God's Word you'll need to turn
For help to love your man."

(Published by Lighthouse Publishing 
of the Carolinas. Used by permission).

A great gift for someone who may need help 
to prepare for marriage, and for those in a
marriage, wanting some helpful advice.

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