Gregory Dickow - How To Pray With Power
Well, we've been re-imagining how simple and how beautiful prayer can be. It's not hard. Jesus said, "Take my yoke. My yoke is easy. My burden is light". And I'm going to get to the simple, this next secret; this next step to experiencing power and seeing your prayers answered. And but before I do want to pray for you:
Lord, thank You for Your presence. Thank You for delivering every person from every bit of guilt and shame, all that the enemy tries to throw at us. The accuser of the brethren, we throw him down. And I thank You, Father, for that today, You're going to set hearts free. Today Father, every person is going to experience Your power; the authority that You've given us, the access to intimacy with You, the access to Your throne of grace, the access to Jesus, the access to You Heavenly Father. I thank You for that, in the Name of Jesus, amen.
Well, I call this teaching, "How to Set Your Heart Free and How to Pray with Power". And if I just quickly give you a summary of the first four things that I talked about that activate God's power in our life of prayer, and how simple prayer is, is number one: Jesus has invited us to ask, to ask freely, and to ask big. He told us to, that He would do exceeding above and beyond all that we can ask or think. So, asking God for big things, spending time with God, talking to God at any time, 24/7, not having to qualify in order to be able to pray. That you're already qualified by the blood of Jesus. He has invited us. Prayer was His idea. He invited us to ask, and to ask big. Secondly, we said you're not alone. The Holy Spirit Himself intercedes for us, as it says in Romans, chapter eight, when we don't know how to pray. He doesn't delegate it to an angel. He doesn't delegate it to somebody else. The Spirit Himself, He does it Himself, intercedes for us.
Wow, what a beautiful thought. Let's invite the Holy Spirit to pray through us right now. Holy Spirit, we welcome You. Pray that out loud. Holy Spirit. I thank You that You are interceding for me right now, praying in ways I don't know how to pray. Thank you for the gift of praying in the Holy Spirit, in Jesus' Name, amen. So, Jesus invited us to ask, so ask big. You're not alone, the Spirit Himself intercedes for you. It's your blood-bought right. It is your blood-bought right to pray and for God to answer. And then fourth, we said pray the promises of God. See, the promises of God already have God's guarantee built into them. That's why they're promises of God. They're not promises we make to God. They're promises He made; He made to us. And by simply praying the promises of God, you are praying the perfect will of God into existence.
All right now, number five, and this is what I'm spending today on is the key to answered prayer: we must resist condemnation. We must live a life free from condemnation. We're not going to live free from doing things that would try to condemn us because we all fail; we all blow it. But we don't have to live in the condemnation of our failures. We don't have to live in the condemnation of the devil. This stronghold of condemnation must be pulled down and we're pulling it down today. The stronghold that says you're not good enough, you're not holy enough, you don't qualify enough, you don't do enough, you're selfish, you have wrong motives. These are the thoughts and so many others that condemn our heart. And when our heart is condemned, we can't pray with confidence. First John, chapter three, verse 20 gives us insight into the secret to living free from condemnation. For he says, "whenever our heart condemns us".
So, John says he knows. He knows. First of all, God will never condemn us. And the devil's condemnation of us doesn't have any authority. So, what prevents us from praying with confidence is when our own heart condemns us. So, he says in verse 20, "whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart and He knows everything". In other words, you know enough about yourself to condemn yourself, but God knows everything and He doesn't condemn us. Now, if we could live in this space, if we could relate to one another in this mindset, we would stop condemning each other. If we could talk to God and relate to God in this way, we would be so at peace, and have so much joy, and our heart would be so free. And we can have this, and we can walk in this with each other as well. He says, "whenever our heart condemns us".
So, what do we do when our heart condemns us? We must realize God is greater than our heart. In other words, what He thinks supersedes what we think. What He is doing to our heart supersedes what we're doing to our heart. We're condemning our own heart. But He is approving of our heart. Wow. He's not always approving of our actions, but He is always approving of our heart. And He knows everything. And then He says in verse 21, "Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; so whatever we ask, we receive from Him".
So, notice this. He says whatever we ask, we receive from Him, when our heart does not condemn us. So, what do we do when our heart does not condemn us? We ask and we receive whatever we ask from Him. What do we do when our heart does condemn us? We realize God is greater than our heart, and He knows everything, and He approves of us. This is the great truth that will set your heart free. Whenever my heart condemns me, God is greater than my heart. And so, I side with what God says about me. When my heart doesn't condemn me, I have confidence before God, and whatever I ask, I receive from Him. And he says, "because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him". And just so there's no confusion about what is his commandment he's talking about here, "that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another". Rather than condemning one another, is what he's literally talking about here. That we can condemn ourselves and condemn one another, or we can love ourselves and love one another. And when we believe in the name of His Son Jesus, we are truly fulfilling His commandment.
Now the devil, he deals in condemnation. God never does. Jesus never deals with, or deals in condemnation. He never deals out condemnation. He said to the woman, "Woman, I don't condemn you". Boy, if we would realize this, that this is what the devil wants. He doesn't care if you give him credit for it. He just wants you to feel accused and feel condemned. The Bible says, when Jesus was tempted by the devil in Matthew, chapter four, the word devil is the word Diablos, from the word Diablo, which means to slander, to accuse, to defame, and to condemn. This is what the devil's name means.
See, we could be acting like the devil without the devil getting involved. We could be condemning ourselves or condemning others. And the devil isn't involved in that. But we are doing the work of the devil by condemning ourselves or condemning others. Because this is what the word devil means: the slander, to accuse, to condemn, to sever a relationship. It's actually even a psychiatric description of the devil, which we call diabolical; diablos, diabolical. It comes from these words which mean to tear apart; to come between. The devil always wants to come between God and man. He wants to come between family members. He wants to come between Jesus and His purpose. He wants to come between perfect love and us, to come between you and your soul, to come between you and God, to come between you and your church.
The devil wants to break up unity. He wants to you to be divisive. He wants to break up families, break up souls, break up the mind. He is the arch enemy of man's spiritual destiny and our identity as sons and daughters of God. The word Diablo or diabolical is to hate the cross. Life separated from the cross is a diabolical life. You don't have to be, "I am diabolical". You don't have to be planning some dark tragedy. To be diabolical is simply to live life without the cross. To live life without the finished work of the cross being what you believe in. This is what the devil wants: to separate man from God forever, to separate you from knowing who you are in Christ, to throw at you accusation after accusation until he has separated you from your awareness of God's presence.
Notice the devil cannot separate you from God's presence, but He will separate you from the awareness of God's presence. And He will get you focused on your own failures. He will get you focused on self-consciousness, always being, feeling observed but not approved. He will always get you focused on self-consciousness rather than God-consciousness. And God wants us cross conscious, conscious ever more all the time of the finished work of the cross that destroyed the works of the devil. Without a cross, you see, there would be total destruction of human liberty. Without the cross there would be oppressive spirits and oppressive governments that would completely rule this world. Without the cross there is no love. Without the cross there's no grace. Without the cross there's no power. Without the cross there's only a curse. Without the cross there's no family. Without the cross there's no righteousness. Without the cross there's no forgiveness. Without the cross there's no entry into heaven itself. Without the cross there's no identity as sons and daughters of God.
Satan wants to separate you from the knowledge of the cross, so he can separate you from the knowledge of you as a son or daughter of God. Satan is called the accuser of the brethren. And look at what he says in Revelation, chapter 12, verse nine and ten. It says that Satan is the accuser of the brethren, who accuses the brethren day and night. Jesus said about him he was a murderer from the beginning. This is what Jesus said about the devil. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he abides not in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own on his own, for he is a liar and the father of lies, John, chapter eight, verse 44. So, when the devil says, "You ought to be ashamed of yourself. You're condemned. You shouldn't pray. You don't have any power. You don't have any right to talk to God. You're disqualified".
You should be like, celebrating. When you hear voices like that, you should be saying, "Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Jesus. The devil just said I'm condemned, therefore, that's a lie. Because he can't speak anything other than lies. And he's the father of lies". Boy, when the devil says you're not going to make it, you should be celebrating and go, "The devil just told me I'm not going to make it. That means I am going to make it". It's really amazing when you start breaking it down like that and even poking fun at the devil and realizing that he's not over you, he's under you. In Romans, chapter eight, I love this verse. Look there in verse 33. And this is a powerful question that is asked in this passage. Who can lay a charge against God's elect? Who can condemn God's elect? And he says if God be for you, who can be against you?
In other words, whoever condemns or brings a charge against you, I'm siding with God. He said it's washed. It's over. Christ Jesus is the One who accepts you. Christ Jesus is the One who justifies you. Christ Jesus is the One who says there is no condemnation in you because you're in Christ. So often, Christians don't need the devil to destroy their lives, because we destroy it ourselves sometimes by becoming the accuser of others. So, the devil doesn't have to accuse them because Christians are doing a good job at accusing each other. Boy, if we get ahold of that, and stop doing that, and realizing, "I'm not accused by God, so I'm not going to accuse you. I'm not condemned by God, so I'm not going to condemn you. Freely I've received forgiveness, so freely I give forgiveness".
You think about how most churches fail? It's when people turn on each other. People turn on their leader or the leader turns on them. And they accuse each other. How do people fail in marriage and relationships? When they start accusing one another? They're doing the deeds of the devil. They're doing the work for the devil. No child of God, especially those who are called to be leaders in the body of Christ, no child of God should take over Satan's job as the accuser of the brethren. We should be very careful about laying anything, any charge against God's people. We should not be ignorant. Like it says in Second Corinthians, chapter two, verse ten. We should not be ignorant of Satan's devices. What are his devices? His device is to accuse. Satan's trap, Satan's methods, Satan's schemes, what is his scheme? What is his method? To accuse, to accuse, to accuse. And what does he say? Don't give the devil room. Don't give the devil access. And what gives him access? He says, instead of accusing, we must forgiving rather than accusing.
When we accuse, when we accuse ourself or one another, we are opening the door to Satan, the accuser. We're not opening the door to Satan because we had a cigarette. We're not opening the door to Satan because we cussed. We're not opening the door to Satan because we fought, we failed, we fell, we sinned. We're opening the door to Satan when we accuse rather than forgive. When we accuse ourselves rather than forgive ourselves, and when we accuse others rather than forgive them. Man, this will set you free. A mature believer, or even just a believer who is simply self-aware, is someone who, instead of putting on accusation, we put on a tender heart, Ephesians, chapter four, verse 15 says. We put on forgiving one another. We put on serving one another. We put on loving one other. We put off accusing, and we put on tender-hearted forgiveness. It's time for us to deal a death blow to condemnation.
If there's any lingering doubts about you being the righteousness of God, dismiss them. If there's any lingering self-consciousness about constantly reminding yourself, constantly beating yourself up for all that you have done wrong, dismiss it. God is not looking at you like that. God approves of you. Righteousness is the key to a condemned heart. Righteousness is the secret to freeing us from a condemned heart. Righteousness is the key word in the epistles of the Bible. 555 times, the word righteous or righteousness is used in the King James Bible. What does it mean to be righteous? It is the ability to stand in God's presence without a sense of fear, condemnation, inferiority, or shame. I want to say that to you again. Righteousness means the ability to stand before God; to stand in God's presence.
I know this is hard for the religious mind. This is hard for a person who has built their life upon what they've done for God, or what they haven't done. You can't stand in the Father's presence because you're holy enough through your behavior. You can't stand in the Father's presence because you've never failed. The only thing that gives us the right to stand in the Father's presence is the gift of righteousness. Which means that we can stand in His presence without guilt, without fear, without condemnation, without shame. This is the kingdom of God. Romans, chapter 14, verse17 says for the kingdom of God is not what we eat and drink, or the habits we have. The kingdom of God is "righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit".
Listen to what righteousness will do in Isaiah chapter 54, verse 13 and 14. And your children shall be taught of God, and great shall be the peace of thy children. In righteousness they shall be established: and they shall be far from oppression. That's also the word condemnation. In righteousness they will be established, and they shall be far from oppression; for you shall not fear: or from terror; for it shall not come near you. The greatest blessing of the new creation; the greatest blessing of being born again is that we are given the gift of righteousness. We're too familiar with sin consciousness, weakness consciousness, all of our failure consciousness. And it keeps us slaves to fear. Sin consciousness, it's that constant awareness that we're doing something wrong. It makes us slaves. It destroys our initiative. It hinders our faith. It robs us of enjoying the very presence of God. Your Heavenly Father takes no pleasure in you or me shrinking in fear. Our Heavenly Father takes no pleasure in us shrinking in fear; as inferior, cowardly people.
In Ephesians, chapter two, verse 12, it says we were separated, alienated from the commonwealth. We were strangers to the covenant of promise. We were without God and we were without hope in this world. This is our condition before we were saved. I'll say it again. We were separated from God, alienated from the commonwealth: the wealth of His wisdom, the wealth of His presence, the wealth of His joy, the wealth of His blessing, the wealth of His goodness. We were alienated from that wealth. We were strangers of God's covenant of promise. Strangers, we were on the outside looking in. We were without God. We were without hope. But now, verse 13 says. Oh, who needs a "but now" moment? "But now," he says. This is what you were. But now in Christ Jesus, you who were once far away, have been brought near through the blood of Christ. We haven't been brought near because we prayed hard enough. We haven't been brought near because we've worked hard enough. We haven't been brought near because we've been good enough or had good enough motives. We are brought near through the blood of Christ and only through the blood of Christ.
The ultimate goal of God was to make us sons and daughters. If there's any lingering thought in you saying you're disqualified, dismiss that thought! Disqualify that thought of being disqualified. Romans, chapter five, verse 17 says through the abundance of grace, and the gift of righteousness, we reign as kings in this life. Why aren't we reigning? Because Satan is accusing, and we are accusing ourselves. Listen, a condemned heart, is an unhappy heart. So, when we apply Romans, chapter eight, verse one, there is no condemnation for those that are in Christ... A condemned heart will be an unhappy heart.
So, a heart that knows it's not condemned will be a happy heart. It says in Romans, chapter 14, verse 22, happy is the man who does not condemn himself. Happy is the man who does not condemn himself. Happy is the man who does not condemn himself. It doesn't say happy is the man that doesn't do things worthy of condemnation. It says happy is the man that does not condemn himself. A condemned heart is an unhappy heart. A condemned heart is a defeated heart. Romans 5:17, we just read it. Through the abundance of grace and gift of righteousness we reign in life. When we are listening to condemnation, we will be defeated. We will feel defeated. But when we realize we're the righteousness of God, we will win. We will have a heart that wins. A condemned heart is a prayerless heart. This is the marks of a condemned heart. And this is what gets reversed when you put back on the breastplate of righteousness. A condemned heart as an unhappy heart. A condemned heart is a defeated heart. A condemned heart is a prayerless heart. A condemned heart is a stingy heart. A condemned heart is a trapped heart, trapped in its own failure and shame.
But when we get back to the awareness of who we are in Christ, suddenly we reverse the unhappy heart, and we have a happy heart. We reverse the defeated heart, and we have a winning heart. We reverse the prayerless heart, and we start praying big, and asking big, because of what Jesus did for us. When we reverse that condemned heart, and remember that we are the righteousness of God, we turn from being stingy and selfish. And we become very generous. Because He who was generous towards us, causes us to be generous towards others. And when we reverse this condemned heart to know that we're the righteousness of God, we have a heart that is free. Woman who condemns you? Now go and sin no more.
When she was no longer condemned, she could go walk free. Nobody can walk free when they feel condemned. First, Jesus frees us from condemnation. Then that freedom from condemnation frees us from being in bondage to the sin, the habit, the thing that we've been doing that trips us up. Oh, I got a few more things here. And we'll tie this up and wrap this up in a few, but... When you hear about a building in a community that is a condemned building, it means no one can live there. No one can build there. Life is not normal there. It's empty there. It's dark there. You can't improve upon it. That's what our life is like when we live in condemnation; when we give in to condemnation. But when we hold on to the truth about the gift of righteousness, it sets us free.
You know, nowhere in the Bible does it call the devil the enemy of your success. The devil is never given the title, "The Enemy of Your Joy," "The Enemy of Your Peace". He's never given the title of, "The Enemy of Your Prosperity". He's never given the title of, "The Enemy of Your Healing". The devil is never referred to as, "The Enemy of Your Blessing". But he is referred to something that we must never lose sight of. The Bible calls the devil the enemy of righteousness, in Acts chapter 13, verse ten. He's the enemy of righteousness. Because the devil knows that righteousness is the key to all of God's blessings, all of answered prayer, all victory, and all success in your life.
So, why would the devil try to pick off the fruit of your life? He wants to get to the root of your life. The root to all blessing, the root to all answered prayer, the root to all happiness, is the gift of righteousness. This is why it's so vital to our spiritual warfare. When he says in Ephesians, chapter six, verse 14, and put on the breastplate of righteousness, I got to close with this thought. This is referred to in Ephesians, chapter six, verse 14, in The New Living translation. He says the breastplate of God's approval; the breastplate of God's approval. God protects our heart and we protect our heart by putting on this breastplate of God's approval. That because of what Jesus did, the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness, I now wear this breastplate of God's approval.
So, when condemnation comes against me, when condemnation comes within me, my breastplate extinguishes all of the darts of condemnation that try to pull my heart down, defeat my heart, condemn my heart, make my heart stingy, make my heart afraid, make my heart prayerless, make my heart weak. And when I realize it doesn't matter if I'm approved in somebody else's eyes. It only matters that I'm approved in God's eyes. And how are we approved in God's eyes, because of our behavior and actions? No, because in that case, we all would be disapproved of. Because we've all done enough wrong. But this is what protects our heart: the breastplate of God's approval. When you realize that you have His approval, that you have the gift of righteousness, that you can go to Him at any time, that you can pray at any moment, that you are instantly accepted every time you draw near... When you realize that, it will set your heart free. Let me pray for you:
Father, thank You for every person connected here right now. Give them a revelation of the gift of righteousness; a revelation of the gift of Your approval, the gift of Your acceptance, Your affirmation, Your true ability to stand in Your presence without fear, without shame, without guilt, without inferiority. Give us a revelation of this gift that is forever ours into eternity, in Jesus' Name, amen. Let your heart be free. And now ask freely for all the things that you desire. Your family's salvation? We ask that of You, Heavenly Father, and we receive it. The breakthrough you need? We ask that of You Heavenly Father, and we receive it. The finances you need? We ask that of You, Father, and we receive it. The healing that you need? We ask that of You, Father, and we receive it. Because it is all by grace.
If you've never received Jesus in your life, that also is all by grace. Just accept Him. Just pray this simple prayer out loud after me.
Heavenly Father, I invite Jesus into my life as my Savior. I believe Jesus is the Son of God. I believe Jesus died on the cross. I believe Jesus rose from the dead. I believe Jesus is now my Savior and my Lord, amen.