Report From The Tower
Yes, I received some things today.
A decade ago, I purchased 7 books by Zacharias Fomum on prayer, and I read most of them. Last week, I felt that the Lord wanted me to read a particular one.
In the past, when I have read Zach's books, I have always had a little banter with the Lord, discussing whether the Cameroonian church could ever be duplicated here. Up until now, I have not heard the Lord correct me or rebuke me in my statements that the cultures are just too different.
Today, I believe the Lord told me that we will have a Cameroonian style church when we move to Tennessee, and the Lord strikes down the technology of the nation. Then, we will have all night prayer meetings, and the mature believer will pray 6-8 hours per day and very many will be totally consecrated to the Lord.
The church in Cameroon was/is like a church on another planet (to us Americans). Prayer is handled like .....well, they have a prayer chapel, where prayers are continuously prayed 24/7. By several people. The last I heard, the church had about 300,000 believers and 98 Elders. None of the elders are paid. The church has one business manager, who is the only paid staff member. They meet house to house a lot.
The book I am reading is entitled "With Christ in The School And Ministry Of Praying", By Zacharias Tanee Fomum, Vantage Press
I know about the church by the way Zach has told me about it. I have led worship for him before, when he has held teaching conferences here on prayer. The last one he held, it was rather tough on me, because Zach loves to worship the Lord. I'll explain.
When I was leading worship, he did not want me to stop. And the presiding elder came to me privately and told me not to sing so much (in the next session). But Zach just kept wanting to praise and worship, and they got upset because he wanted to praise the Lord a long time. Religious men can really put you in a bind.
It had me so vexed I was ready just to drive out of there without telling anybody after a break. But the Lord got me through it all, as He gets me through everything.
The thing was, it all really shocked me. I thought that old elder really loved the Lord. I was so grieved in my spirit I cannot express it in words, when he came and put the pressure on me to just sing three songs and quit.
But, Zach didn't bow to any of it. (I never told him what pressure had been put on me, but I am certain he knew it in the Spirit).
He just kept insisting that I keep singing one song after another after another. That old elder must have been foaming at the mouth, but there was nothing he could do about it, because Zach was running the meeting.
They wanted to hear more teaching about prayer, and not worship so much. But, they missed the lesson that the Lord was trying to teach them.
You need to be a worshipper of the Lord with utter abandon to really be effective in prayer and intercession.
You can read all the books until your head bursts with knowledge But if you are not a worshipper who absolutely exults God in His holiness, you have not made much progress at all.
It really is so simple, and Jesus told us how to do it...how to pray Our Father, which art in heaven.....HALLOWED (holy) is thy name God wants you to begin with worship that exalts His holiness.
If you will just do that and keep doing it, He will teach you how to pray all the rest of it from that point on.
I am always surprised at how few people really know how to do this. Most people love to sings songs, but they are not the songs that cause one to worship the holiness of the Lord in total abandon. They will sings songs "about" Jesus, or the word or some gospel work but these songs are not really worship. One or two of that type of song may be good for the soul, but you need significant time in worship to really develop a channel with God, so that the "inner flow" can begin.
But, first of all, none of this can really happen without consecration, and abandonment of the whole life to the Lord. The person must then become a disciple.
I read something in Zach's book (Zacharias Tanee Fomum) today that really got hold of me. Jesus sent the disciples out to teach, preach, cast out devils, heal the sick, prophesy.... ....all the stuff. Then, they came back, and in a little bit of time, they asked him to teach them how to pray.
So it is with men today as it was for them.
It is much easier to learn how to do all that other stuff than it is to learn how to effectively pray so that heaven may be rended.
The real catastrophe of sin is that it leads to inneffective praying, which leads to prayerlessness. So, repentance must be quick and heartfelt.
I believe it to be true, that one hour of praying by a consecrated person, who has made a break with sin, and who does not love this world Is more effective than 100 hours of praying by an unconsectrated person. So, it is imperative that when we fall into any sin, we must stop and set matters right with God before we go ahead with any prayer program.
You need both types of righteousness working. You need to be holding to the head, which is Christ and have the imputed righteousness of Christ and, you need to be living a right and upright life. Then, prayer will begin to really be effective.
Prayer is hard on the flesh. And the flesh will present many arguments about why prayer should not occur. The flesh will proclaim its' own deadness. It will say..."why are you killing me when I am already dead".
One day, I thought..."if my flesh is so dead, why is it still talking"?
Can you imagine what Peter, James and John might have experienced If they had not fallen asleep on the Mount of Transfiguration? Peter probably would not have uttered that stupid comment about building everyone a tabernacle. But, prayerlessness will do that to you. He was so mesmerized with Moses and Elijah that the Father had to speak to set the order right....... .that the Son was the focus
And, I wonder if the disciples had not fallen asleep in the garden, when Jesus wanted them to pray for just one hour, perhaps Peter might not have fallen.
The devil will try any trick to keep you from praying. And our evil wicked heart, deceitful above all things, is not devoted to prayer at all.
Personally, I have sinned much, at certain times, with prayerlessness When it has happened, it is as though the devil pulled something over my eyes, snd I fell back in my prayers. But, then suddenly, the Lord will speak, and bring me to my senses, so that I am given the gift of repentance.
The most amazing thing to me is this: I cannot force myself to pray for very long. If I try to do it, I will fall flat on my face after a couple of days. I have to, instead, beg God to increase my capacity for prayer. I can do anything else much easier. I can go to Africa, and preach 4 times a day for weeks, and the inner flow keeps going. But, if I feel that the Lord is leading me to add two hours to prayers, I will really need to persistently ask God to give me increased capacity for prayer.
Even though I might know that God has given me the order to do it, It is the thing I am most unable to do. Also, I cannot force anyone else to pray, by cajoling them, or making them feel guilty, or anything. It is the gift of God. Only God can increase your praying So we can, and should pray for one another that God will increase our capacity.
It is, in my opinion, our greatest struggle. For how will we do anything great for God? Unless we see what the Father is doing And hear what the Father is doing and that is not obtained cheaply or quickly.
We can go for quite awhile on a prayer reservoir that we filled a few years earlier. We can minister from the living water that way. But if we do not enter into a time of powerful prayer, we will run the reservoir dry, I think.
And the HOly Spirit will not allow that, so He calls us to repentance, and to step up the prayer life. He is the monitor of the Holy Ghost water level in our reservoir.
There are wet years and dry years, and He knows that. So when a wet season is at hand, He will send us to dilligent prayer. If we are ready, and praying with intensity in a wet time, we can fill the reservoir more quickly. That is just something I have discovered.
It is important to pray "in season" especially, although he also calls us to pray "out of season". When He calls us to pray, it is best to waste no time in getting after it, and then asking for the increased capacity.
So, I sense that now, in the HOly spirit..We are entering a "rainy season" of the Spirit. We can make much headway right now, and much progress. So, with people, we use the weapon of love and in prayer, we now attack, intercede, pray, and make supplication with violence.
Stephen L. Bening
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