SOUTH AFRICA ON YOUR KNEES

 

Altar - Prayer

James 5:16. The effective and fervent prayer of a righteous man is powerful.

Covenant: The Prayer Altar was always related to prayer sacrifices brought unto God. After Christ became the perfect sacrifice on the cross, our prayers is a spiritual sacrifice of praise, worship, humiliation and building friendship.
1 Peter 2:5. You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
In Genesis 15 Abram builds an altar and God made a covenant with him. God’s covenant with us that while we are praying, He gives expression, fulfillment and truth to all His promises to us in Christ Jesus.

Your own altar:
To give expression and practical guidance to your prayer life, build a personal altar with stones or use paper or a diary and draw an altar and write all your needs, requests and targets on the stones and visit or use it on a daily basis to bring God’s attention to it. You are now giving structure to your prayer life and can manage when God answers your prayers. Also write down thanksgivings and praises unto God who is worthy and holy. By visiting your altar regularly you are making your prayer life visible. Jacob leaned on his staff and worship God.

Restoration: The altar is also referring to restoration of your own and your family’s prayer lives as God want it to be. In 1 Kings 18:30, Elijah repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down. Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice. Repairing your prayer altar will give the Lord the chance to bring the needed answers, breakthroughs and supply all your daily needs so that you can live a victorious life and serve the kingdom of God wherever. When these two dimensions are functioning correctly in your life and prayer life, there will be healing, restoration and victory in all three parts; body, soul and spirit.

Prayer is the Ignition:
Galatians 4:6.
Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts. We have the Spirit of Jesus in our hearts. The flame of this Spirit can burn low, high or burn not at all, depending on the measurement of our prayer life. Prayer and a relationship with Jesus is certainly the ignition of our spiritual flame. Luke 24:32. And they said to one another, "Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?" Prayer is talking to Jesus and when we read the Bible in our prayer time, Jesus will talk to us and open His promises to us. And this will bring forth a burning heart within us.

It is true that how more we pray, how better and better is our relationship with Jesus, and how higher and higher will our spiritual flame burn for Him. An oven is exactly the same.
Turning the knob from 1 to 6 will make the oven warmer and warmer and more usable and effective. Effective and a fervent prayer life will bring the warmth and glowing of God’s Spirit into our heart’s and the pleasing aroma of Christ will spread all around to others to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 2:15.

It is better to have a burning prayer oven inside your heart, living an effective spiritual life style, facing this miserable world and be a conqueror through Christ, than to have a non-praying spirit and try to live in this world with a cold or lukewarm heart, and muddle forth, getting no answers and have no relationship with Christ and be cold in your soul and spirit.

SPIRITUAL SACRIFICES

1 Peter 2:5. Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.  The things that happened in the Old Testament can be used as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did,              1 Corinthians 10:6 and 11. Let us study the offerings. 

Old Testament offerings:

In the Old Testament the building of altars was always related to prayer offerings, praises, thanksgiving and forgiveness of sins. These offerings were always presented and made with fire.

There were sin offerings, burnt offerings, grain offerings, drink offering, peace offerings, daily offerings, monthly offerings, Sabbath offerings and feast offerings.

It was very essential that these offerings must be: (Numbers 28-29) 

·        A burning sacrifice

·        Without blemish

·        Holy convocation unto God, you shall do no customary work

·        Acceptable to God

·        Called unto the name of the Lord

·        Sweet aroma unto the Lord

The first offering:

Genesis 4:3-4. Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry.
God rejected Cain’s offering because there was sin in his heart.
Luke 6:45. An evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

The second offering:

Genesis 8:20. Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma.

Tabernacle: Israel started offerings to idols:

Later Israel erected the Tabernacle where God was visiting them and sitting in the Holiest place inside the Tabernacle. But Israel started to offered to idols, to Baal, Molog and other foreign gods, offered their children to the false god’s and go through the fire. Malachi 1:7. You offer defiled food on My altar, offer blind, lame and sick animals. Will you offer it then to your governor? Malachi 1:14. But cursed be the deceiver who has in his flock a male and takes a vow, but sacrifices to the Lord what is blemish – for I am a great King says the Lord of hosts.

Jesus the one and final Offer:

Luke 2:22. When the days of Mary purification according to the Law of Moses were completed, they brought Jesus to the Lord and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or to young pigeons.

Hebrew 10:12,14. But this Jesus, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, for by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. Jesus the Lamb of God.

Ephesians 5:2. Walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. 

                                           Spiritual Sacrifices:   

  •         Money: Tithing & offering:

Malachi 3:10. Bring all the tithes and offerings into the storehouse. Give your tithes and offerings, which is also a sacrifice. But if you give more than that, you are sowing. 2 Corinthians 9:5-6. Prepare your generous gift beforehand, that it may be ready as a matter of generosity and not as a grudging obligation. He who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. God loves a cheerful giver.

Galatians 3:13. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us, that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

The promises and the blessings of the law still belong to us. Jesus has just taken the curse away. Abraham was a friend of God. But we are children of God. We are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. We cannot rob God if we are an heir of Him. We have no curse upon us. The promise of the Spirit in the New Testament is: He who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 

  •       Do good and share:

Hebrews 13:16. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. 

  •         Body:

Romans 12:1. I beseech you brethren, by the mercies of God; present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

2 Corinthians 5:10. We must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17. Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

1 Thessalonians 5:23. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

  •         Praise & worship:

Hebrews 13:15. Let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

1 Timothy 2:8. I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands. 

  •         Prayer:

Hebrews 5:7. (NIV) During the days of Jesus life on earth, he offered up payers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death.

                                             Prayers, petitions, loud cries and tears!

Revelation 8:3-4. Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. 

  •         Fragrance:

2 Corinthians 2:14-15. Thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. We are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.  

PRAYER OF COMMUNICATION 

Prayer is Communication:

Prayer is a direct communication with God through Jesus Christ. John 14:6. Begin your prayer as follows: Our father in heaven, I come to you through the Lord Jesus Christ.

God is our Father:
We are children of God. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help us in times of need. Hebrews 4:16. God is also our Judge, Lawgiver and King. Isaiah 33:22.
He is our Comforter. He knows everything about us, our past and future. Communication with God is very important to grow the relationship. Just like father and child. Galatians 4:6-7. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying out, Abba, Father! Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Communication in prayer is dialogue:
It becomes a never ending process of communication and relationship with Jesus. Without communication we fall in the trap of perception. Prayer is a holy visitation, a divine conversation, it is moments of knowledge, it is a mutual experience, it is a time of heart-to-heart talk sharing, and it is a trust building agreement. Prayer is not a monologue, payer is a dialogue. God invites us to talk to Him. But then: Listen and wait: Psalm 5:2. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, o Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.

Micah 7:7. 1. I will look to the Lord. 2. I will wait for the God of my salvation. 3. My God will hear me.

God test my motives:
Hebrews 4:13. There is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. God is busy to sift us, testing and analyzing the motives and longings of our hearts. He tests the heart and kidneys, the aim and desire of our hearts and the purpose of our spirit. He will respond immediately if we are real and pure before Him.

2 Chronicles 16:9. The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.
Communication with God has conditions:
God wants to stand in relationship with you. His glory and kingdom is counting. The condition is: Matthew 16:24. If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

Communication with God has an agreement:
I will move, I will lead, I will provide – but you must follow me. John 10:14. Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Where the Good Shepherd stop, you must stop, where He turns, you must turn. What a journey with God! He will reward you.

Communication with God is to have a relationship with Him:
John 15:6-7. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast out as a branch and thrown into the fire and burned.

# Be in partnership with God # Communicate with God # Budget and make time for God.

If anyone loves the Lord, he will keep His commandments. That means that God’s word will abide in him.

Jeremiah 33:3. Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know. Isaiah 1:18. Come now, let us reason together. The Lord is calling thousand times in His word. He is calling to be our God, to be our Saviour, to be our friend. Revelation 3:20. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.