Joseph Prince — How To Pray When You Have No Prayer?
You know, we are now past the point of the half year mark and it's good for us to stop and contemplate on what God has spoken to us early this year. When I first preached that sermon, the very first sermon of the year, as our custom is, we will share the theme of the year and more than one time, God has spoken prophetically through an earthen vessel. You know, one thing about us is that we are earthen vessels. Now, we come in all shapes of earthen vessels and all beautiful colors, but we are still earthen vessels. We are not the glory, we are not the power, but God puts his glory and power in earthen vessels. The problem with us is is that we want to be the power. We want to be the treasure but God says, "No, I have put my treasure in earthen vessels".
So, God says, "You be earthen. You will always be earthen, amen, until Jesus comes again and we have a brand-new body". But meanwhile when you pray, sometimes you find that your outward man has doubts. Don't put up your hands, and yet you pray in faith, yet you are having doubts in your mind. That's the earthen vessel that's having the doubts. And yet the prayer, the power flows through and the person is healed. Many a times you go around saying, "You know, the important thing to remember before you pray for the sick is that make your you are in that zone where there's no fear, no doubt, you know, before you lay your hands". But the truth is that you will always be the earthen vessel and the power will always be of God.
And when things happen, always remember that you can be persecuted, all right? That's your earthen vessel suffering the persecution. "I didn't like what he said. That's not what fair". You are being persecuted, maybe even unjustly, but you're not forsaken. There is like a buoy on the inside. You know, the buoy in the sea to warn people that there are rocks around. So, buoy always floats. So matter how much you try to push the buoy down, the buoy floats, amen? There is something in you when the devil and the outward circumstances try to crush you, I'm talking about believers, you always float on the inside. That's the treasure.
You do your best to be as miserable, to cry as much as you can, to be depressed over a situation like you did before you were saved, but now it's different. You try your best to be depressed and you cannot be fully depressed. You try, "oh," you know, but you are sad and yet there is a joy, and now you are puzzled because you are cast down but you're never knocked out. You know, it's like this tension of daily living because once you're saved, God has put his Holy Spirit in you. You have the eternal life of God in you, amen?
Now, we are actually in a way continuing our teaching from last Sunday. Remember Jesus stood, or rather, sat down at the Mount of Olives and four of his disciples. Peter, James, John, and Andrew came to Jesus and asked three questions because earlier on, Jesus with his disciples passed by the temple, the temple that Herod built and the disciples were commenting on how beautiful the stones were. And Jesus said, "Mark these stones, there are not be one stone left upon another". That was about A.D... early A.D. 30s. In A.D. 70, General Titus of the Roman legionnaire came and conquered Jerusalem. Jesus prophesied that Jerusalem will be under the foot of Gentiles until the times of Gentiles be fulfilled.
So in A.D. 70 they came in and conquered Jerusalem and scattered the Jewish people. Took them captives, many of them were scattered all over the world. Even Singapore we have Jewish people for 2.000 years, they've been scattered and Jesus says Jerusalem will be under the foot of non-Jewish people, non-Jewish conquerors until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. In 1967 in the Six-Day War, unparalleled in history except for Joshua. In the Book of Joshua, Joshua took Jericho in six days. On the seventh, it was theirs. It was the Six-Day War and in six days, Israel took back more land than they previously had. So, when the enemy attacked them, they pushed back. They got back the enemy's land.
Of course, by treaties and all that, they have given back the land. The thing is this, the world was oblivious to the fact that divine history was in the making. Jesus words were being fulfilled, yet you cannot say that this is the times of Gentiles being fulfilled because Jerusalem, the temple mount proper where the temple stood, is still under Gentile control, non-Jewish control and that's something that Israel allowed. Even though they conquered Jerusalem, they got back Jerusalem, it's Jerusalem, which were never theirs and for the first time in 2.000 years, Jewish feet are walking in the premises of Jerusalem. Their father David, made it the capital of Israel. And that's why this small piece of land, I'm telling you, is the hottest property in the news.
Jesus, God's son, came and died just outside the gates of Jerusalem. God has chosen the city of Jerusalem and Jesus says, "When the fig tree," which is Israel, "blossom or bring... shoot forth leaves, this generation that saw 1948 when Israel came back as a nation, they saw 1967, the Six-Day War, will not pass away till all these things be fulfilled". And Jesus was saying that at the Mount of Olives, imagine the Son of God, the son of a carpenter in the natural is considered son of a carpenter, illustrating the history of Europe in the end times that goes all the way to our time.
He talked about the signs but remember that Matthew 24, Matthew 25, the discourse on the Mount of Olives, the Mount Olivet discourse is not about the church. The church is not there. It's about Jewish people. He's talking to Jewish people, amen? Ours is in John 14 where Jesus says, "Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me". And Jesus says, "I will come again and receive you unto myself". Now, this was a private interview with his disciples in the upper room. The crowd wasn't there, so through the church, the church was a mystery. All right, through the church Jesus said, "I will come and receive you unto myself," amen? But for the crowd, he's talking about the abomination of desolation which is the Antichrist. He's gonna appear in the rebuilt temple but for us, he tells us he will come and receive us unto himself, not even heaven, receive us unto himself. Heaven is not heaven without him. Can I have a good amen?
Now, the first coming, Israel was under attack. In Old Testament, you find Jerusalem being attacked, again and again and again because the devil does not want the Savior of the world to be born in that place. As long the Jewish people are not in control, the prophecies of the Old Testament cannot come to pass. The first prophecy was God told Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, "Your seed". God told the woman, "Your seed". Now, the woman don't have seed. It's the man that has a seed so God was prophesying a virgin birth. "Your seed will crush the serpent's head and when it becomes a dragon, over-sized serpent, you will crush him".
In the Book of Revelation it's a dragon, that serpent has grown, amen? But God says, "This seed will crush the serpent's head". Then the war began, the devil heard that so he thought it was the immediate sons of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel. And the moment he saw that God favored Abel, he had Cain kill his brother and on and on and on. The moment the devil realized a deliverer was coming to release Israel from bondage, he didn't know who it was. He didn't know that his name was Moses, amen? So, Pharaoh had all the babies, the Jewish babies killed; why? The fear. Now, we understand that but finally when Jesus came, even when Jesus came, Herod had all the babies under two years old, which Jesus would have been by then, had them killed. Jesus, of course, he and his parents, the father had a dream. They left for Alexandria. I believe it's Alexandria. The Bible says Egypt.
So, I can understand the devil attacking before Jesus came, but after Jesus as died for our sins on the cross, rose again for our justification representing us as high priests at the Father's right hand, our altogether lovely one. There's a lovely man in heaven. We have one of our own there representing us. Don't forget the high priest is not there for God's benefit. He's there for our benefit, amen? Like your member of parliament, all right, he's there representing us to the country. He's not there representing the country to us, amen?
A prophet represents God to the people. He brings forth the Word of the Lord, but a priest represents the people to God. And God says, "If your priest is good, I accept you. Your priest is bad, I reject you". Jesus Christ is our high priest forever. That's why as he is, not as you are, so are you in this world. God doesn't assess you like that. God says, "As he is, so are you in this world". Can I have a good amen? So, it's not about you, it's about Jesus.
But the thing is that after Jesus has come, why is the devil still, you know, hellbent on destroying Jerusalem? 'Cause now the devil knows Jesus has prophesied that he will return to Jerusalem to rescue the Jewish people, rescue Israel because of their special covenant through Abraham, their father, many years ago. God will rescue them from the nations this time so we know that there'll be allied nations that will come against Israel. Ezekiel 38 tells us, Russia will come down. Now, I don't think it's the same battle. It's a different battle, and I don't think that the players are the same either. I believe that there's a mixture, but Russia will come down. You know, when Ezekiel prophesied about Russia, it was just tribal, small tribal break away groups, they were not a super power. So Prophet Ezekiel who lived before Jesus came to earth in the Old Testament, he prophesied and saw our times. Amazing, isn't it?
Early this year, not knowing what's gonna happen when I preached my first sermon, I talked about put your eyes on Israel, did I? Now, you know, Israel will have its fair share of troubles as usual, but not the troubles that they have seen this year. This year, they have had one after another, and the bombs that fell into Israel is not in the hundreds but now in the thousands. We have a short excerpt just to show you what happened. This year keep a lookout, a sharp lookout like no other year. This year, keep a sharp lookout on Israel. Look at what will happen in Israel, major things. I don't see this year, and I'm not here to discourage you but let me just tell you this, I see a year where there's a lot of chaos, all right, a lot of mayhem this year.
Now, all that was before, of course on the Mount of Gennarae, if you remember, the Mount of Gennarae was relatively peaceful no attacks on Israel, no planes crashing. So, God is speaking early in. So, we wonder sometimes when you hear a sermon, you cannot attest the sermon until more than half a year is passed, and I'm talking about this year, okay? How can you tell whether a person is speaking for God? See, all we are is just delivery boys. The thing is this, you can say all you want about my teaching on grace, you know, and some leaders, some pastors even, some other ministers whom I respect, they may come against grace, but let's see the authenticity of your ministry by speaking things before it happens cause in the Bible it says this is a sign of a prophet that whatever he says, it comes to pass.
Now, having said that, I am not a prophet, okay, okay? I'm still involved in non-prophet ministry, okay? So, we have another one we're gonna show you now, same message and in this message, I talk about a virus that's coming. So, the entire thing had been prayed through. I prayed, I always pray before I preach that God will not... I will not just speak scripturally, but I'll speak as the oracles of God. It's important to be scriptural in your teaching, but there are those who preach it scripturally, but no one is hearing God. It's important to speak as the oracles of God. And even when I was praying, I was still prophesying and here's a sample of it.
"That you will keep disease, and sickness, and noisome pestilence far from us. And regardless of that strain of virus, Lord, that is coming, whatever strain of virus this year, that you will keep your people immune, that you'll keep your people, Father...". Thank you. See, the strain of virus that's coming this year. Now, would we had seen Ebola at that time? Am I right? All right, so, as I was praying, I saw that strain of virus that's coming that will start moving out from a certain location, and I started praying against it.
Now, that's how you pray. When you pray, prayer become exciting when you find that God is leading you to pray things and even the details, let the Lord lead you. Like you're praying for your daughter, for example, you pray for your daughter and you pray this in prayer. "Father, I pray that you give my daughter wisdom. I pray that you give my daughter success. I pray that you give my daughter good friends," you know? But it's still general but sometimes when you pray, God may lead you to pray like this and she may be going through this at this time, you do not know. "Father, in Jesus's name I pray that you'll guard her emotions that is fluctuating at this time. I pray that you'll bring a tranquility and peace that is from the Holy Spirit that will garrison her heart and emotions. Give her your wisdom, Lord, I pray, to know the difference between her spirit and soul. I pray, Father, for a revelation to come".
So, if God leads you you'll find that every time you are praying, there's an amen and people that pray in a group, there's also a corresponding amen in the hearts of others when they're praying by the Spirit, okay? Now, I bring you to the third thing, which is my message today, all right, there's something else in that sermon that I said that I want you all to listen to, okay.
Just like the children of Issachar, all right, they understand the times and seasons. And please, you know, your greatest enemy will be what you did last year that worked, okay? Do not be comfortable with what has worked because this year, God will bring you to areas where you are not comfortable. When I say you're not comfortable, it is not comfortable to your flesh but when God will expose you to areas where you're not comfortable, not strong in, not talented in, not gifted in, so that you will see his fresh supply in all these new areas and you'll become stronger in all these new areas. I prophesy to you that this year, God will expose to you to areas whereby it is not comfortable to your flesh, but it is really good for you. In fact, it is God loving you because God is strengthening you. And you find yourself, for example, you ask, "Why am I always exposed to bad drivers? I don't understand, you know, somehow they will find me. I can drive in Changi and they will find me. I will be in Jurong, all right, near know a factory, a remote factory, and these bad drivers will find me. I can't understand". All right, feel loved. I said, feel loved. There are higher hands leading you and there's a loving eyes watching you. He's leading you, guiding you, and he will not expose you to your natural strength and your natural capacities to handle the problem where you're comfortable. You say that, "I got no problem with this". Like a footballer, "I got no problem playing Futsal, it's a smaller field, that's all, you know"? God will not expose you to things like that where you are strong in. This year he will expose you more and more to areas you're not comfortable in the flesh. But believe me when I say this, when you look back, you wouldn't have it otherwise because now you are stronger in those areas. You see, grace is supply but if you're constantly exposed to areas you're already supplied, you're not opening yourself to greater supply and therefore this there is no growth, okay? Can I say that? All right, please understand it began already. Some of you had to yesterday. You're wondering, "Why did this happen to me"? You are loved, all right? You are maturing, God is growing you.
God is growing you. So, this last part here is what I just want to tell you, whatever you are going through this year and you say, "Well, pastor Prince, I claimed Psalms 91, you know, and I still didn't get promoted. You know, somebody else who is younger than me got promoted. I cannot understand that. I claimed faith, I claimed this, I claimed that". You see, one thing about you always remember is this, we're not here to use God. We are here for God to use us, amen?
See, the one with the lesser understanding cannot use the one with omniscience. The one with the omniscience and the one with the almighty power should be the one directing you because he knows the end from the beginning. And though some things are not comfortable to us in the flesh, but the more we do it, you know, it's like my little boy, he doesn't want to eat some things that I know is good for him, you know? And we have a video of him taking, I think he was only one, just passed one-and-a-half years and he tried his first ice cream, you know, just a taste. And his face went, eww! I'd like to show him that ten years after, right?
So, every time we're exposed, the first time we're exposed to things that now we like, you know, we didn't like it. It was uncomfortable in the flesh. You see those prisoners of war, during World War II, I watched documentaries and even an island of Okinawa, they were hiding in the caves for the longest time. They'd been hearing evil things, evil reports about the Americans and the Marines and all that. "They will kill you". But actually the Marines came with the compassion. They had food for them. They had water for them and yet lies have been told. And the moment they came out, many of them came out, all right, women and children, and they've been inside there for months on end. The moment the sun hit them, they went back into the familiarity of the bondage.
So, many believers, they don't understand. You know, some people say, "I'm a free thinker". No, you're just a dark thinker. Everything you think is dark thoughts. You don't even realize. You know, Jesus says if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed". True freedom is when you meet the Lord Jesus Christ, amen? He's the one that will emancipate you completely.