Prayer is Your Place of Safety (Part 6): The Prayer of Consecration
February 16, 2020
Prayer is Your Place of Safety (Part 6):
The Prayer of Consecration
In this series, we are addressing the importance of prayer in 2020, and how your prayer life can become the most important part of your day.
Week 1, we saw that Jesus lived out of His prayer life, and that He spent a lot of time praying before ministry.
We talked about the importance of our praying about everything, and how prayer can prepare us for the things that are in our future.
Weeks 2 through 4, we talked about why we must pray.
We’ve covered why we must pray. God created the earth, placed man here, and set it up in a way that He chooses to go through man before He does anything.
Adam committed a treasonous act and gave the authority given to Him by God to God’s arch-enemy Satan.
Jesus restored man’s original authority, but Satan has a lease on earth that will not expire until Christ’s return.
God cannot legally do anything unless He gets cooperation through His people.
***The dynamic here is that God must go through a man to do things legally here on earth. He cannot just run over Satan.
Last week: Different Kinds of Prayer
Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
I have found at least 7 kinds of prayers that we pray.
1. The prayer of faith – (primarily a prayer for yourself)
2. The prayer of consecration (relinquishing personal control)
3. The prayer of supplication and intercession (prayer for others)
4. The prayer of agreement (when your faith needs a boost)
5. The prayer of worship (focusing on God)
6. United praying (tremendous power)
7. Praying in the spirit (beyond your own knowledge)
There are rules in the spiritual realm just like we have rules and laws that govern natural life.
A good illustration would be sports. There’s basketball, football, baseball, tennis, bowling, etc.
It would be crazy to play basketball with football rules, or tennis with baseball rules. Yet, that is what we often do when praying.
We do that with prayer. We don’t think about the fact that the rules for the prayer of faith are different than the rules for praying the prayer of supplication and intercession.
Last week, we covered the prayer of faith or the prayer of petition. This is a prayer you pray primarily for yourself. Sometimes, but not always, you can pray this prayer for others. They must agree with you and not cancel its effects with their words and actions.
This a prayer we primarily pray for ourselves. We may need finances, healing, an intervention in a circumstance, or we may need to give our worries and concerns to God. We do this with the prayer of faith.
Mark 11:24 (NKJV)
Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
Our role is to take our hope, bring it to the present, and talk and act as much as possible as though we had the answer.
Today, let’s look at the prayer of consecration.
With the prayer of consecration, I willingly submit all of the areas of my life to the will of God. I make myself willing to do whatever God wants me to do, period!
With the prayer of faith, you never pray “if it be your will.”
But you do pray “if it be your will” with the prayer of consecration.
1. Jesus gave us the model for committing ourselves to God’s will.
Matthew 26:36-46 (NLT)
Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” (37) He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. (38) He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” (39) He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (40) Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? (41) Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”(42) Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.” (43) When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open.
(44) So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again. (45) Then he came to the disciples and said, “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But look—the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. (46) Up, let’s be going. Look, my betrayer is here!”
Jesus prayed the prayer of consecration in the garden of Gethsemane before He faced crucifixion, died, and then was raised from the dead.
2. We must experience our own personal “Gethsemane.”
The word Gethsemane means the place of crushing. There in that olive tree orchard, olives were harvested and crushed in order to provide the rich and healthful oils that benefit humanity. And in that same olive orchard, Jesus was faced with giving up His human desires to a higher cause, the redemption of all humanity from the penalty of sin.
Jesus had to experience the place of crushing, and then He had to face the physical agony of death by crucifixion before He could attain His stature in heaven, that of being seated at the right hand of the Father.
And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
All of us have a Gethsemane to walk through. What is yours?
Philippians 3:8-10 (NKJV)
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ (9) and be found in Him, not having my own rightineousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; (10) that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
6 months after I came to Jesus, I had a Gethsemane experience. God called me to preach. I wanted to be a businessman and make money.
It may be a boyfriend or girlfriend in your way of God’s best, or pride, or the desire for prestige. God wants you to lay it at His feet.
3. My biggest problem is me. Your biggest problem is you!
Adam and Eve became self-willed when they sinned. Self-will took the place of God’s will.
Even after salvation, we can be self-willed and miss the best that God has for us.
Our biggest problem is submitting our whole selves to God.
You can think you are so spiritual, and yet life is still all about you! And our huge problem is that if we have an “I” problem, we usually can’t see it ourselves.
I had to get a John Maxwell coach to wag his finger in my face before I made needed changes here at Victory a few years ago. Everything was centered around me…
This will issue is mentioned in every gospel for emphasis!
Matthew 10:34-39 (MSG)
Don’t think I’ve come to make life cozy. I’ve come to cut — make a sharp knife-cut between son and father, daughter and mother, bride and mother-in-law — cut through these cozy domestic arrangements and free you for God. Well-meaning family members can be your worst enemies. If you prefer father or mother over me, you don’t deserve me. If you prefer son or daughter over me, you don’t deserve me. “If you don’t go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don’t deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and Me.
Matthew 16:24-25 (NLT)
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.
Mark 8:34 (Phillips)
If anyone wants to follow in my footsteps, he must give up all right to himself, take up his cross and follow me.
Luke 14:26-27, 33 (MSG)
Anyone who comes to me but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters — yes, even one’s own self! — can’t be my disciple. Anyone who won’t shoulder his own cross and follow behind me can’t be my disciple …Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you can’t be my disciple.
John 12:24-25 (TPT)
Let me make this clear: A single grain of wheat will never be more than a single grain of wheat unless it drops into the ground and dies. Because then it sprouts and produces a great harvest of wheat—all because one grain died. (25) The person who loves his life and pampers himself will miss true life! But the one who detaches his life from this world and abandons himself to me, will find true life and enjoy it forever!
4. With the prayer of consecration, I make personal adjustments to do whatever I need to do to obey God.
Why do I do what I do? Are my purposes and motives right?
2 Corinthians 5:10 (AMPC)
For we must all appear and be revealed as we are before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive [his pay] according to what he has done in the body, whether good or evil [considering what his purpose and motive have been, and what he has achieved, been busy with, and given himself and his attention to accomplishing].
2 Corinthians 5:15 (J. B. Phillips)
We look at it like this: if one died for all men then, in a sense, they all died, and his purpose in dying for them is that their lives should now be no longer lived for themselves but for him who died and rose again for them.
So again, why do I do what I do?
You can do the right thing for the wrong reasons and not be blessed.
Example – 1990 – traveling ministry.
I was proud. Proud of how I dressed, how I looked. What others thought of me was more important than it should be.
In prayer, I heard the word “paint.” I didn’t want to do it. God was wanting to deal with my pride, and my idolatry. Ministry had become an idol!
I yielded and said ok. I could not do now what I am doing without having gone through that.
If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
Isaiah stated tersely that only those who are willing and obedient will eat the good of the land.
Willingness and obedience go hand in hand.
The Father wants you to be willing to do anything He asks you to do and to go anywhere He asks you to go. That kind of personal consecration takes life out of the sphere of self-centered living, and places us into the abundant stream of God’s will.
When I attended his school, Kenneth Hagin used to mention the Lord speaking to him in a time of personal consecration while he pastored a church in Texas in the 1940’s. He said that the Lord told him that at that time he had only entered into the first phase of the ministry that God had for Him, and at the time he had already been in ministry for 12 years! Kenneth mentioned that the Lord said to him that many ministers live and die and never enter the full will of God for their lives. He then noted that God did not speak to Him further about his own ministry until he took extra time to seek him and make personal consecrations.
Then Kenneth mentioned something that may shock you. He said the Lord told him that this lack of consecrating to do the will of God is the reason that many die before their time, and die in midlife! That’s quite shocking, but the truth is that we don’t qualify for God’s best unless we give him our best, our ultimate consecration of our now and our future to the Father.
To be seated in that position of authority and blessing with Jesus your Lord, you must pass through your own Gethsemane and your own crucifixion of fleshly desire and will. To receive the best that God has for you, you must seek Him with your whole heart!
This prayer of consecration should be a regular part of your personal prayer life. Take some time today and commit yourself afresh to do the will of God, whatever it may be for your life. If you do, you’ll qualify to eat the good of the land. If you refuse, it could cost you dearly!
Every time God wanted to promote me to another level, I have had to face a deeper test of my will.
God wants you to be willing to do anything!
1983 – From janitor to pastoral care. I reached a crisis moment, making myself willing to be a janitor for the rest of my life if that was what God wanted of me.
1993 – Painting on top of a ladder – Another crisis of will. I had to be willing to do what I was doing for the rest of my life if God willed. Another phase of ministry opened turning into what I am doing now.
1. Am I willing to make any change God asks me to make?
2. Do I regularly ask God to direct me to His best?
3. Am I willing to do whatever God asks of me, and go anywhere He wants me to go?