Hope, Healing & Freedom Podcast : Ep 19


Hello.  This is Rick Hensley with Restoring the Foundations Ministry.

Recently, a friend of mine challenged me to ask our personal intercessors to inquire of the Lord specifically for our ministry.  He pointed me to a book by Graham Cooke called Crafted Prayer.  He explained that crafting a prayer based on what God is saying is a great way to pray in agreement with the Lord and to increase our faith that what we ask will be given to us.  And since we have a great team of intercessors, what a perfect opportunity to receive from them what God is saying for us and to build a prayer from that.  This type of prayer, crafted prayer, can transform Christians from living in a ‘persistent widow’ mindset into living in joyous, bride-like intercession. Remember the widow who persisted in going before the judge to get what she wanted? She had to bother the judge enough where he would rule in her favor. Being persistent in prayer is a good thing, but we don’t have to do it like she did. We can pray in agreement with the Lord. So, the words from the Lord heard by our intercessors would become the key ingredientsto a specific prayer for us and our ministry that is already in agreement with the heart of God. 

​Graham believes the time has come for a new way of prayer.  It’s not actually new, but is an ancient way of prayer that is not in use much today, one in which God’s faithful servants like David and Paul flourished.  Graham has seen many miracles as he prayed exactly what God willed for a person, seeing the answers unfold right before his eyes.  Several of these are in his book.  He believesGod is taking many of us into a new season of intimate, bride-like prayer where real warfare in the Kingdom operates – in intimacy.  Too many intercessors getworn out as they continue praying without seeing the answers so desperately sought after. Fresh intimacy with the Lord is needed to break into the secret place in Him.  Essentially, it is the discipline of resting in His presence to hear His heartbeat.  As we petition the Lord out of this place of closeness, He is pleased to speak into our hearts His favor and blessing.  Our prayers will move His heart as He recognizes the agreement with Him is already present.  In agreement, there is great power.  When we agree with the Lord, He is empowered to work in the life of the person prayed for.

​In Matthew 21, verse 22, Jesus said,

And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.

Matthew 21:22

Okay.  So why does it seem so few of our prayers are answered?  I don’t think the problem is with the Lord so it must be with us!  We must not believe what we are praying.  Most of us have been brought up to believe that when something happens demanding prayer, we need to pray quickly.  This can hinder our prayer because many of these “rapid-fire” prayers are prayed in doubt and unbelief.  When we pray out of worry, concern, or anxiety, our faith is cut short.  Plus, when we have the church members praying, how many different prayers are being sent to heaven?  Is the Lord receiving a number of prayers requesting different things?  Do we even know what He wants in the situation?

​Sadly, our prayers in this case have stopped being about the person in need and have become our effort to try and find God.  We have forgotten to pray what God really wants to do.  We’re using this prayer to try to find His will instead of finding His will and then praying it.  

​In the initial stages, prayer is not about speaking.  It’s about listening and reading His word.  It’s about thanking God because, of all the billions of people on the planet, Christians are supposed to be the most relaxed and thankful.  The joy of the Lord should be a force of strength for us.  There’s no place for worry or panic in our lives.  Faith and anxiety cannot exist in the same space at the same time.  One of them must go and we get to choose which. And what we are thanking God for is the reality of His presence and the expectation that He is always with us.  

​We can thank God first, in every situation, because every problem we encounter comes with His provision.  Whatever calamity life throws at us, God can use it for our blessing and our benefit.  We know “all things work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”  As we enter His presence in the midst of our problems, then He can act on our behalf.  Gratitude is the bedrock of our life and worship.  We should plan to first enter God’s presence with thanksgiving, not prayer.  

​Being still opens a channel of communication between us and heaven.  All of us have ongoing noise in our heads, the soundtrack in our minds that gives us a play-by-play commentary of our lives.  It is often this initial head noise that is converted into prayer when we rush into intercession.  But God says, be still and know that I am God.  Knowledge of God comes through peace and stillness. And He has provided a secret place in Him for each of us.  We must lose our ability to worry and be anxious if we’re really going to walk with God.  In Him we can truly live and have our being.

​Prayer in its simplest form, is finding out what God wants to do and then asking Him to do it.  One of the best ways to get a fix on God’s heart for us is to read His Scripture.  1 John 5:14-15 says, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”  To see our prayers answered, enter into God’s presence with thanksgiving and worship.  Then rest in your secret place and meditate on His Scripture and words to you.  Ask the Lord this: “What is it that You want to do in these circumstances?”  Then listen and wait.  Since nothing can separate us from His love, we are already more than conquerors.  And Jesus is making intercession for us; and so is Holy Spirit as we pray in “groanings that cannot be uttered.”  

​The Western Church typically sees the Trinity as the Father, a large authoritative figure; the Son, a figure of grace; and the Spirit, a dove. However, the Eastern Church has a different view: three equals, sitting at a round table, talking. If Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father, interceding, and the Holy Spirit is there, praying according to the will of God, then there must be a conversation amongst the Three going on.  By seeking out this heavenly dialogue, we can learn what God’s will is for a situation and, by extension, what we should be praying. By seeking the conversation in Heaven for ourselves, we embark on a great spiritual adventure where we are conformed to the will of God. This allows us to rise above our circumstances and pray in line with a God who adores us and wants us to be supremely confident in doing His will. He wants us to find joy in our situation, and to understand that there’s nothing out there that can beat us, because of who He is in us.   We become a prophetic voice in that circle, proclaiming and declaring God‘s will, and praying it out.  

​How do we listen in on that conversation in Heaven? First, we enter God’s presence with thanksgiving.  Then we still ourselves in that secret place He has set aside for us.  God is able to reveal Himself to us in a number of ways.  He may speak to us through His word, in dreams or impressions, or maybe from previous prophetic words.  We can use ingredients from older prophetic words in our prayer, which we have done in our personal prayer for our intercessors.  

​God wants us to know what His will is.  He wants to release us from worry and fear.  He wants to show us what He’s doing in our lives.  He hungers for us to pray what He is praying.  We use prayer to pray the will of God, and that brings us into a place of faith and proclamation.  We grow in confidence in the will of God, as our prayers change us to be more like Him. Paul wrote in Romans 8:29, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.”  In every situation, there is a pathway that enables you to become more like Jesus.  In essence, the Lord is saying, “If you will follow the way that I want to pray, you will not only have the answer to that prayer, but you will grow in Me.  I want to give you more of Myself.”  

​Since every problem, every issue, and every attack is allowed, they aredesigned to teach you to become more like Jesus.  That’s why every problem comes with a provision attached – we must stand in the midst of the problem knowing God’s promise and expect the provision.  All things work together for the good in God’s economy.  When we craft a prayer, our crisis becomes an opportunity for God to work and He is for us in every situation.  We should then be confident when we pray.  There should be boldness in our hearts when we pray.  It’s time to turn the tables on the enemy.  The fullness of God is our destiny.  We are meant to be an inspired people who live in confidence.  We’re not arrogant or overbearing, but cheerful and confident in God’s provision for us.  The joy of the Lord truly is our strength. 

​Crafted prayer brings us to a confident focus on God so the enemy cannot trap us in fear and doubt.  Faith remains in us when we pray the things God has told us to pray.  Then, persevering in prayer becomes a pleasure, not a chore.  This is not a magic formula.  It will take a process, over time, to be answered.  But we are free to be conformed to the image of Jesus, free from the stress of the situation to interact with God in greater intimacy and devotion.  You are praying God’s will, so learn to persevere to pray with joy; the answer will come.  In it, we learn to wait on Him.  

​So how do we craft a prayer?  Jesus was the One who taught us the most about prayer.  “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”  He guaranteed that our prayers would be answered.  “…but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God…”  Supplication is simply asking earnestly and humbly in our prayers.  When we don’t know what to pray, we should enter God’s presence with thanksgiving, and then ask Him questions.  What are you up to?  What’s happening here?  What is it you want to do?  I know You, You’re up to something…what is it?  What does that look like?  What’s the plan, Father?  What do You want to do?

​This is Graham’s supplication prayer: “Father, I praise You for this situation. I know You have a plan and a purpose for me.  I give You thanks that You are with me and that You are for me.  I ask You to show me Your ways, teach me Your paths, show me Your will, oh Lord, that I may become conformed to the image of Jesus in this situation.  Show me Your will that I may confidently and joyfully cooperate with You.”  We can pray something like this too.  Then we become still before Him, meditating on Him, waiting for Him to speak.  He will give you key words and phrases and a sense of His objective.  He might also give you Scripture or pictures.  Write everything down as it comes to you.  As you do, a peace will fall on you, and a confidence will begin to rise in your spirit.  If you’re crafting a prayer with a group, then share what the Lord is saying to you with the one creating the prayer.  Together, we can discover and pray into what God wants to do through every situation.  

What is an effective prayer?  Very simply, it’s a prayer that God gives you permission to pray, prayed fervently, full of passion and power.  Crafted prayer is about intention, aligning our request to God’s will.  Because we already know what God wants to do, we are praying with the answer, not to get the answer.  It’s time to use prayer as a weapon – we must grow up in our intercession, becoming the joyful, confident men and women God has destined us to be.  

I encourage you to buy Graham Cooke’s book, Crafted Prayer, if you want to get serious about crafting prayer that is from the heart of God.  Trust God to show you His heart and to bring you in agreement with Him and His great purpose for you.

RTF Featured on The Shawn Bolz Show

On the second half of this week’s episode (May 20th 2024) of “The Shawn Bolz Show”  RTF directors, Lee and Cindi Whitman, were the guests. Watch for powerful insight and two special listener offers on products to help bring hope, healing, and freedom.