Pray from Christ's Finished Work

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Prayer changes things. Prayer changes you and your world around you, but it doesn’t change God. Prayer doesn’t cause God to respond and give you what you want or need, he’s already done that. God doesn’t have anything else to give to you. The only thing God has left to give you is wisdom, revelation and guidance on how to live within everything he’s already given you. That’s why he gave you his spirit, so you would understand what he’s already given you.

1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.

What things has he freely given you?

2 Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 His divine power has given us EVERYTHING WE NEED FOR A GODLY LIFE through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

He HAS GIVEN you everything you need for a godly life. Are you experiencing everything you need to live a godly life? Probably not. Does that mean he hasn’t given you some of the things you need to live a godly life? No. It just means you aren’t personally connecting to or experiencing some of the things God has already given you.

So you should pray for wisdom and revelation, so that God’s spirit within you will help you understand what he’s already given you so that you can experience those things in this life.

Prayer Insights from King David

In seeking to know how to pray from our new creation identity, considering God’s promises, and from the finished work of Christ, we can learn from David’s prayer in Psalm 103. David knew how to pray because he knew God’s character, he prayed out of a heart that was focused on who God is rather than just out of his need.

1 Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 2 Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Praying from his soul

David started his prayer by praising God from his soul. Most of us pray from our mind rather than our soul. We want to know “why,” we want to understand, so we pray from our mind. We say, “God, I don’t understand but I’ll praise you anyway.” That fine and noble but it’s not praying from your soul. Your soul isn’t concerned with understanding, your soul wants to feel the prayer.

To pray/praise from your inmost being, your soul, is to feel the associated emotions of your prayer rather than just saying the words. Praise/prayer must engage your heart and your emotions, you must feel that what your praying is true or possible. You don’t really believe what you’re praying is possible unless it feels possible, otherwise it’s just an idea or information.

As part of the believing process, it’s important to feel that God’s promises are possible because your feelings make an impression in your heart, which is where you truly believe. All things are possible for those who believe.

Focusing on benefits

David turns his attention to all the good things God has given him, he cultivates thankfulness, he counts his blessings and he reminds himself that God gives good gifts.

Forgiveness and healing

David acknowledges that God forgives sins and heals diseases and redeems, all out of his loving kindness. David gets it, he gets that God is good, he knows his character and prays in such a way that basically just acknowledges who God is rather than what he needs. He trusts that God will be who he is for him.

Satisfies Desires

Here’s a big one, David acknowledges that God satisfies his desires with good things. God satisfies David’s desires? Traditional Christianity says you’re evil and there’s no good thing in you, why in the world would God satisfy David’s desires with good things? Isn’t David evil, incapable of godly desires? Apparently David didn’t believe so. He held a view of God that believes God will satisfy his desires. How would it change your prayer life if you were free enough to trust your desires because they’re godly?

New Covenant Fulfillments

David actually gave us a pretty good model of prayer. Check out these New Covenant fulfillments of the things that David prayed even under the Old Covenant. These are things to remember about yourself and others as you pray.

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

When you’re praying for yourself or others, remember that you/they’re already forgiven. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t repent, it just means you’re not in a state of unforgiveness before God, he’s not holding your sin against you. Repentance for the believer means to change your mind, change how you’re thinking about your sin or current situation and begin to think like God thinks about it.

1 Peter 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

One of the benefits of Christ’s atoning work on the cross is physical healing. There is a segment of folks who say that Peter is talking about spiritual healing, meaning salvation, but I disagree. The healing Jesus performed was physical. David acknowledged that God heals us from our diseases, he didn’t say God heals us from our spiritual darkness. In addition to forgiveness of sin and being made righteous, Jesus paid for physical healing.

Colossians 1:13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

The enemy has no power over you. Sin doesn’t give authority or rights to demons to attack or harass you. Jesus has all authority in Heaven and Earth and he’s shared it with his followers. Pray with authority when encountering demonic oppression in your life or others.

2 Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

Here we see our desires mentioned again. Christ can deliver you from your evil desires and transform you to have godly desires. He’s already transformed your spirit man, now allow him to shape your soulish man.

Again we see that through our knowledge of Jesus, we have everything we need in this life to live godly. Included with that knowledge are promises to help you experience God’s nature. This is an identity statement, you have been made one with God and can live in this life like Jesus did. He’s made us so many promises associated with our new creation identity that it causes us to live like Christ in this earth, experiencing all his benefits, just as David prayed.

Have This Mindset When You Pray

When we seek to pray for ourselves or others, we need to be aware of who God is, what he wants and how he thinks. This passage gives us insight into God’s mind. The Apostle Paul is addressing their concerns about people who have died in Christ and what the future holds. He ends with a very interesting idea that gives us great insight into the character of God and how we should pray.

1 CORINTHIANS 15:20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

“The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” This is not difficult to catch but DEATH IS GOD’S ENEMY. Often we try to reason with death, well meaning Christians try to make us feel better by saying God is somehow using death. Uninformed believers are quick to associate death, in its various manifestations, with God’s will and teaching modalities.

Death is God’s enemy! In every shape, form and fashion, death is God’s enemy. God does not want death or anything that causes it, in your life. Jesus died to break the power of death over humans. He paid the price for sin so its effects would be rendered powerless over humans.

Am I saying God never wants you to be sick, in lack, depressed or experience death. Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. But he gave the planet to us for a period of time so, for the most part, God isn’t getting what he wants right now.

As you pray over your life and for others, remember that death is God’s enemy. You don’t have to try to understand death and lack related circumstances or somehow make room for them in your prayer life because God’s doesn’t want them in your life. There’s more to say on this idea, but I’ll end this idea with this, DEATH IS GOD’S ENEMY!

Do This When You Pray

  • Ask yourself, did Jesus do anything about this?

  • Ask yourself, is Jesus in me and am I in him?

  • Then speak what he did and expect to see the desires of your heart

EXPECT TO EXPERIENCE THE FRUIT OF WHAT JESUS PAID FOR AND ACCOMPLISHED!!

Clint Byars

Believer, Husband, Father