Written by Bro. Josh Sparks.
As I sit here at my desk today, the thoughts the Lord has been giving to me over the last few days are thoughts concerning prayer. Not just any type of prayer but seeking the face of God in prayer. The Word of God tells us that Revival will come when we begin not just to pray our sweet hour of prayer or our 30 minute quick maintenance prayer. Revival comes when God’s people seek His face. ( 2 Chronicles 7:14) If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Some have asked, how do I seek the face of God? And what is seeking the face of God. It is more then maintenance prayer. Maintenance prayer is and seeking God’s face are mentioned separately in the scripture above and for a reason. Regular prayer involves us communicating with God asking for mercy and grace and forgiveness for ourselves. In this time of prayer we pray for the sick, for the lost, for our church and for the church globally to see Revival. We often mention friends and family who are sick and afflicted and while this type of prayer is good and needed to seek the face of God is a higher level of prayer.
Prayer is not always seeking the face of God. It could be that we are seeking the hand of God to move in a situation. It could be prayers prayed to help one maintain the life in God they have already got but seeking the face of God deals with more then this. When we wonder why we don’t get the results we pray for we must first ask the question. Am I asking too much for too little a price? The one hour prayer or maintenance prayer is a must to survive as a christian. So many of us think this a great accomplishment when this is our reasonable service, that is to present our bodies a living sacrifice to God.
(Romans 12:1-2) 1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
I spend more then an hour everyday feeding my natural man and don’t spend near enough time in prayer, let alone seeking the face of God. Limited prayer doesn’t give us time for intercessory prayer for the lost, or sufficient time to pray and war for the lost and for revival locally and globally. We as soldiers of the cross are called to war with the enemy and to put on the whole armor of God taking a stand against the wiles of the enemy. We are in a war and maintenance prayer is not intercessory prayer.
(Ephesians 6: 10-18 ) 10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
Just praying the me, me, me prayer and seeking God about the things that just effect us is not true intercessory prayer. It is maintenance prayer but it is not seeking the face of God. To seek the face of God means to intercede for God’s people and for revival and to war with the enemy. This happens to those who are seated with Christ Jesus in Heavenly places where we war against principalities and power and spiritual wickedness in high places.
(Ephesians 1:3; 19-21) 3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 19And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.
What is seeking the face of God. It is doing whatever it takes to get the answer. It is to seek God’s face until he moves in the situation. Moses is a good example of one who truly interceded for God’s people.
(Exodus 32: 7-14) 7And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves:
8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
9And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:
10Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.
11And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?
12Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.
13Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.
14And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.
Moses interceded for the children of Israel and sought the face of God and the bible says God changed His mind concerning the evil he had thought to do to the children of Israel, remembering the covenant He made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
There are those satisfied with just maintenance prayer and seeking the hands of God but there is a group of people not satisfied with this type of prayer. They do maintenance prayer but have went up into a new level of prayer because they are hungry for God and for Revival in their church and all across this world. We need a book of Acts outpouring of the Holy Ghost. We need another Azusa Street Revival where people were hungry and sought after God. These people crossed denominational barriers and color barriers and segregation to seek the face of God for a book of Acts revival and because of that move of God I am Holy Ghost filled today.
But what about the generations to come? What will the writers of church history have to sat about us? That we was the lazy church who talked a good talk but never commit ed in our hearts to really seek God. Jesus said in ( Matthew 15:8 ) This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. How often are we guilty of this. And friends we are only kidding ourselves by talking this kind of talk at church. It doesn’t matter how much you blab at church about your walk with God it is whether or not you are walking with God that makes the difference. So many serve Jesus with their mouths and never truly experience a change to serve Him with their hearts.
David declared in (Psalms 42:1-3) 1As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. 2My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? 3My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
Also in (Psalms 63:1-2) 1O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; 2To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.
We must be like Jacob who was persistent even when coming out of the womb. ( Hosea 12:3-4) 3He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God: 4Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us.
Jacob didn’t just spend an hour or two with one eye on God and one on his watch. He wrestled with God because Esau was coming with an army of men to kill Jacob and break up His family. The messengers came to Jacob and told him in (Genesis 32:6) And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him. After this the bible says Jacob was afraid and he divided the people, the camels, the flocks and the herds into two bands (Genesis 32:7-8 ).
Jacob then prayed to God and here is Jacob’s prayer. (Genesis 32: 9- 12) 9And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee:
10I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.
11Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children.
12And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.
Jacob sent a present ahead to Esau. 200 she goats, 20 male goats, 200 hundred ewes and 20 rams. He also sent 30 milch camels with their colts and forty ki ne, 10 bulls, 40 female donkeys and ten foals (Gen 32: 13-15). This reminds me alot of times how we often pray. Jacob prayed for poor little old Jacob and then tried to resolve the situation by sending His brother gifts. Esau no doubt was on his way to kill his brother who had stolen his birthright and his blessing. But what happened after this changed Jacob and even His Name and changed His situation and the very outcome of that situation.
(Genesis 32: 24- 30) 24And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
25And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.
26And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.
27And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.
28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
29And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.
30And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
Jacob sought the face of God and when God said let me go Jacob said not until you bless me. God changed His name to Israel which means prince of God. The name Jacob means the deceiver. What changed the outcome of Jacobs dilema? He got hold of God and was blessed and there He saw God face to face and declared my life has been preserved.
What was the outcome of Jacob seeking God’s face and wrestling with the Lord in intercessory prayer? (Genesis 33:1-4) Genesis 33
1And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids.
2And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost.
3And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
4And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.
God changed Esau’s heart and brought reconciliation between Jacob and Esau. Do you really want Revival? Do you really want your loved ones saved? The we must not think that our one hour of help me Lord prayers, though important will bring to us the things we are seeking but Seeking the Face of God will. Please dont stop at maintenance prayer or seeking God’s hand but lets begin to seek the face of God. It will prove to be the answer to our prayers just as it was Jacob’s.
In His Grip,
Bro. J.O. Sparks.