Joseph Prince - How To Pray And See Results
Greetings, church. Say "Hi" to the few around you. Tell them, "For the next four yours, you'll be my partner". I'm gonna encourage you to get the devotional book "Anchored". Now, this is one book, we call it devotional book. Let me explain the difference, okay? There are different kinds of Christian books. There are some which are fictional. They tell a story, but it's a fictional story that portrays or shares some truths. And then there are Bible study books that teach you the Bible. Usually it's an accumulation of knowledge and it's for different parts of the believer. One feeds the mind, but the one that really feeds my spirit is when I spend time in a devotional book because devotional means it has the idea of worship.
When you read something and it brings your heart towards the Lord Jesus, that's devotional. That's what devotional is all about. It's not a just a day after day, you know, leading you into the Bible, but a time of bringing you into contact with, a real contact, with the person of Jesus. How many know when you contact Jesus, that's when great things happen, that's when you receive the miracle that you need, that's when your body is healed, that's when your mind receives the peace, amen? The real contact with Jesus. So, when we read the Bible, it's not a time of accumulation of knowledge. It's a time of contact with Jesus.
Another thing is that, you know, ever since I was a young Christian in church, I still remember there are Christians who say things like, "You know get into the Bible. Get into the Bible". And then there are those who say, "I just read the Bible, I just read the Bible. I don't read books and all that". But these people fail to realize that God has ordained pastors and teachers. They are part of the fivefold ministry and when a pastor or a teacher of the fivefold ministry teaches, there is an anointing on them that is not on a normal teacher. We are all called to teach, amen. Like, we are all called to preach the gospel, the good news.
So, you ought to evangelize, you ought to share the good news with your colleagues, your friends, your relatives. But there are those who are called as evangelists, right, for sure Billy Graham is an evangelist. Then there are those who are called to be pastors, but all of us are called to care for someone, amen, to pastor. All of us are called to teach, teach especially those who are new to the faith and but there are those who are called to be teachers. So, when you spend time in the Bible, if you just read the Bible alone, you can come to a wrong conclusion. In fact, sometimes cults are started by people who read the Bible and they placed the emphasis in the wrong place. For example, they read a lot of the Old Testament and they start thinking like God's dealing is still based on that, but it's not true, amen?
So, they become heavy and one sided in their theology. But when you study with a teacher leading you, you start to see the Word of God with the anointing of the Holy Spirit to teach you. It's one thing to read the Bible yourself. How many know that Bible's like pure Word, amen? But the teacher comes and brings it into a glass and presents it to you in a way that you're able to take it, amen. So, that's what this book is about, "Anchored". And we base a lot on the fact that a lot of people are going through depression of varying levels, degrees, and also this book will help free you, just by reading. You come to a place where you are bathing yourself with the truths that will replace the erroneous beliefs in your mind, amen?
So, we designed the book in such a way that it's devotional. As you spend time reading the book, you read the testimonies of the people in the book and you start reading the Scriptures and you start listening to my teachings in the book, it starts to bring you to a place where you are bathed in the Word of God. It's a Word bath. Then all of a sudden, when you put the book aside, you feel like somehow you're not the same person that you were when you started reading it, amen? There's a deposit and that's what we intend to do. Every time you come to church as well, we know that you will leave stronger, a little freer, a little more joyful, a little healthier, amen? Because there's been an impartation and many a times it's not little because God doesn't give little, amen? Little in the hands of the Lord becomes much like the five loaves and two fish, amen?
I got a special testimony I want to share with all of you that came into our office and this person decided to write finally because some time as passed. Usually you can tell how wonderful the healing has been and how it has lasted after some years. This lady, her husband experienced a miracle from the Lord, and I want to share with you the blow-by-blow account of what happened. This is a special word especially for those who are advancing in years and this is an amazing testimony. Listen:
In January 2012 during a routine checkup following a brain bleed, Mark's doctor, told us Mark had indeed progressed much further than she expected However, based on his latest brain scan, as well as scans from his hospital stay 14 months earlier, she explained to us that Mark had Alzheimer's disease.
Now, how many know that based on medical science, usually people don't recover as a rule from Alzheimer's, it just gets worse and worse and worse?
The doctor decided to tell us that Mark should get his affairs in order and begin to plan to retire permanently from his job. Needless to say, this was a huge shock to us, one that neither of us was ready or willing to accept, but we truly gave the situation to God. There is much to say about the journey our Lord took us on, one that included your teaching as confirmation of what we believe we were hearing from him. Our Daddy God gave us faith, hope, and such peace during those dark times as we began to really trust him with every aspect of our lives. It was through Scripture and your messages about the Holy Communion that prompted us to begin taking the Communion at home on a regular basis. We believed that that was when our future began to brighten. Mark didn't return to the doctor for four-and-a-half years. The Lord was preparing us.
So, all during that time, they were taking Communion.
The Lord was preparing us to move during the spring of 2016, and we knew another visit to the doctor was in order before we left town. Mark underwent another MRI scan, and we met with his neurosurgeon to hear her latest assessment. As she studied the scan, she looked quite perplexed before she said, 'I'm looking at a very healthy brain. There is no Alzheimer's disease here. I'm removing that diagnosis completely from your medical records.' Mark is healed, hallelujah. We praise Jesus Christ daily. He is the reason for every good thing in our lives, including you, Pastor Prince. We are so thankful that the Lord gave us ears to hear the truth you speak each day.
To God be the glory, amen. Did you hear the each day? There are people who hear me, even in our church, live and once a week, but there are people, thousands of miles away and they would hear every day. Now, how many of you know that your battles don't only come once a week? They come every day and that's why every day, we need a devotional like "Anchored" to get us going for that day, amen. The Lord didn't say, "Pray this prayer, give us this day our weekly bread". He says, give us this day, what? Our daily bread, not even our monthly bread, our daily bread because every day, there's fresh battles and every day the Lord wants to meet you fresh.
You know, in the Old Testament, the manna fell every day fresh and the Lord says, "Do not keep manna for the next day". But there was some among the children of Israel, just like there are some among us always, that will think that their logic is better so they reserve some. I think there were Singaporeans among them. And the next day, the Bible says that the manna stank, all right? So, God says, "do not keep it. Trust me that every day I'll give you fresh manna," amen? "Give us this day our daily bread," amen? And I just want to share with you that God can touch you, God can heal you of Alzheimer or dementia at any level, amen? And God can reverse even your aging, amen. Do you know God is forever young? When you picture Father God, I know he's Father. He used to correct many, many years ago.
I remember as a young man, I was in the bus going somewhere and I remember praying, and I pictured a God who was old and white beard like Santa Claus, you know? And I heard him speak to me, he said, "Son, why do you see me like that? Why do you see me as old"? I said that, "Because you are Father". And he says, "Son, growing old is part of the curse after Adam fell. In heaven, nobody is old". Then I saw a God, a Father, God the Father who is forever young, amen? The Lord Jesus is forever young, amen.
Now, we, our bodies are natural, amen, and in the natural, they advance in years and they age. But the thing is this, if you learn to walk with God, you can enjoy the blessings of Psalms 92. Psalms 92 is a Psalm of the Sabbath. You go to Psalms 92, your headline will say, Psalm of the Sabbath day. So, every Shabbat, every Sabbath, the Jewish people all over the world, even in Singapore, they will read Psalms 92, the psalm of the Sabbath. It's right after Psalms 91, revelation, revelation, okay? So, Psalms 92 says, "The righteous will flourish like the palm tree".
The palm tree is a tree that grows in a way that is straight and stalwart. Every part of the palm tree is used. It's one tree that every part of it, its bark, its trunk, its leaves, not just the fruits. And even the fruits have many uses, not just the oil. Every part of the fruit, and it's a tree that is useful even in its old age. In fact, it is an evergreen tree, amen? And the Bible says the righteous, all of us, are like the palm tree, amen? And the next verse says that they will grow up like cedars in Lebanon. Have you seen a cedar in Lebanon? A cedar tree is a very beautiful, attractive, handsome tree, amen. And if you search on Google and all that, cedar in Lebanon, you'll still see some cedars in Lebanon today.
Of course, I don't encourage you to visit Lebanon today, amen? It's not a very safe place now but the mountains of Lebanon have cedar trees that Solomon used to take from to build the temple of Solomon, okay? And there are still some cedar trees there. Many of them have been chopped, but cedar tree is also evergreen tree. The Bible says the righteous will grow like the cedar in Lebanon, amen. And then the next verse says, "Those that are planted in the house of the Lord," like all of you who are here today, amen, you are planted in the house of the Lord, shall flourish in the courts. The courts are outside, shall flourish in the courts of your God. You will succeed. You will flourish out there because you are planted first in the house of the Lord. Can I have a good amen?
And the next verse says of Psalms 92, it says, "They will still bring forth fruit in old age". You know, once and old age there is one Hebrew word "seybah", all right, that's why they call their grandfather, seybah. When somebody is old, they'll say, "seybah, all right, in Hebrew. So, seybah is old age or advanced years. Advanced doesn't mean have to be old, amen. In fact, when you naturally you grow old, they tell you, idiomatically, they tell you that you don't bring forth fruit anymore naturally, physically, as well as in other areas, mentally and all that. But the Bible says, "They shall still bring forth fruit in old age". And I love the next line it says, "They'll be fat and flourishing".
Now, some of you are rejecting that but let me tell you what fat means, okay, before you reject it. Fat in the Hebrew means, check it out, it says full of sap. You know, when a tree is old, there's hardly any sap left, perhaps, just a trickle, and the leaves all fall off. That's how we know the tree is old because the leaves turn yellow and it falls off and the tree looks pathetic. But the Bible says for those who are righteous, amen, the Bible says they will be fat, full of sap, and flourishing. And the Hebrew word for flourishing is green, literally green.
So, I'm no longer insulted when people say, "You're still green," hallelujah, amen? There was once upon a time we felt insulted when people say, "You are still green". But now you say, "Keep on, keep it up, man. Keep on saying that over me," amen? Turn to your neighbor, smile and say, "You are still green, amen, evergreen". Amen, people? Praise the Lord. And do not accept the fact that because you forgot a name, you forgot someone's birthday, or you forgot your wife's birthday, that means you are growing old. It is not Alzheimer, that is a male affliction, all right? Praise the Lord. You ready for God's Word?
Okay, now, James 5 tells us Elias here is our King James for Elijah, Prophet Elijah. "Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months". At that time, Israel was in rebellion against God. Israel has turned away from God, and the king of Israel at that time was King Ahab, the husband of Jezebel, and Jezebel was the high priestess of Baal and as a nation, they have turned their backs to God, the God who brought them out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, to bring them through the wilderness and right into the land flowing with milk and honey. They've forgotten him, and now they're giving their devotion and their love to Baal, and the king is worshiping Baal. And God is saying that, God has said that, "if you don't keep my commandments and you turn away from me, I will withhold the heavens from giving its rain".
So, Elijah prayed. Elijah was a prophet of the hour at that time, and Elijah prayed earnestly that it might not rain. "And it rained not on the earth for three years and six months". And he prayed again and after three-and-a-half years, he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth brought forth her fruit. Okay, so, in these two verses, we learn that there is a prayer that we can pray and it will affect heaven and earth, amen. We gotta learn. And in case you are saying, "Well, this is only for special people like Elijah," the Holy Spirit encourages us by saying in the first line, "Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are".
In other words, he felt what you felt, amen. He sat where you sat. He was just a human being like any of us. He's a man subject to like passions as we are, yet he prayed earnestly that it might not rain and it rained not on the earth. Now, let's look at the story here because there's some things, some lessons we can learn on prayer that I believe is gonna bless you. How many of you know that prayer is not just to soothe you? Like one doctor was telling a Christian who wanted to pray for his grandfather or loved one and the doctor says, "Yeah, you can go and pray, you know? Prayer is so soothing. Prayer is soothing". No, when we pray, it's not to soothe. We pray to bring heaven down to earth, amen. We pray to get results.
So, gone are those days we pray just to make us feel good or to soothe the person being prayed for, amen. We gotta learn how to pray to get results. And in this case, Elijah prayed and the atmosphere was affected, even the heavens stopped the rain for three-and-a-half years. And the Bible tells us he prayed earnestly. So, what is that prayer earnestly? Let's go to 1 Kings 17, verse 1. First time Elijah appeared to the king, King Ahab, he said this, "As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand".
Now, this is the key to all power, key is, the key is to stand and live your life before God. He's not afraid of the king because he lives his life before God, neither will you be afraid of man's opinion or man's censure, amen, when they criticize you, when they put you down. You're independent of that, why? Because you stand before God, amen, you live before him. You draw your encouragement and strength from him, amen. And this is the key of Elijah's power, amen. When you have power with God, you have power with man, praise God. And God wants you to have influence with him. He wants you to know that you have influence with him. In fact, he delights in people who have power with him, such a man was Jacob.
The Bible tells us one night the Lord appeared to him as a man and it was the Lord Jesus, of course, in his pre-incarnate appearance, and he wrestled with Jacob, and Jacob wrestled with him because all his life, Jacob was a wrestler. He had to wrestle and fight for his blessing. He fought his older brother. He fought here, he fought there. He fought for everything in life, and his life was always fighting. Finally the Lord fought with him and the Lord wrestled with him. And this was the WFF ever. Amen, people? And he wrestled with the Lord and the Bible tells us that the morning came and the Lord says, "Let me go, for the day breaketh". And he says, "No, I'll not let you go unless you bless me".
So, his heart was in the right place, he wanted the Lord to bless him. And the Bible tells us the Lord says, "What is your name"? And he says, "My name is Yacov". In Hebrew, Yacov means, "I'm a grabber. I'm a deceiver". The idea of manipulator is there. The Lord says, "Do you know who you are"? He says, "Yes, I know who I am". All right, God says, "From now on your name will be changed. Your name will be Israel, which means prince of God, Israel, all right, prince of God". And God says, "Because as you have had power with God". God loves it, but do you know how he had power with God? The Bible tells us that during the wrestling, God touched him, his socket, and he fell. He was helpless. As long as he was struggling with his human strength, the Lord wanted to leave. But the moment he was helpless, the Lord cannot leave.
And a lot of people, when they preach on this story, I've heard, you know, different sermons. They always say that you gotta wrestle with God, you gotta wrestle with God. But the point is that as long as he was wrestling, God wanted to leave, but the moment he was helpless, God cannot leave. And it's not true that God helps those that help themselves. That is not from the Bible. That is from you chapter 1, verse 8, all right? It's from man, it's not from the Bible. God helps those who really say, "I cannot help myself. I cannot overcome this addiction to pornography. I cannot over come this addiction to smoking. I cannot overcome this temper problem I have. I cannot, but you can. I'm looking to you". Can I have a good amen? All right, in the natural, "I cannot overcome Alzheimer, but you can. You are my health for my brain, amen. You are my God, amen. You'll make my fat and flourishing in my old age. Praise the Lord".
When you talk to God like that and you look to him alone in a world that everyone is looking to their smartness, to their abilities, to their talents, to their brains, to their logic, ability to logic things out, there comes a time when you realize you cannot reason your way out anymore. You find that you are limited and the faster you come to that place like Jacob did, the faster you become a prince with God. You'll have power with God, amen. Praise the Lord. Thank you, Jesus. I like that preaching, that was good. Praise the Lord, amen, hallelujah, that was free. I didn't share that in the first service. I don't know why y'all draw that out of me, maybe the fact y'all remind me of Jacob.
Okay so, that was free, by the way. He stood before the king of Israel, called Ahab, who's the husband of Jezebel and he says this, "As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain," It's one thing not to have rain. At least there's dew in the morning, right? But, "There shall be no dew nor rain these years except at my Word". What a powerful statement. But when you read James 5 just now it says that he prayed earnestly that it might not rain. But here we have no record in the Bible that he prayed in the traditional way of prayer, you know, the way we think prayer is. When you think of prayer, you think of someone's eyes closed and their hands are folded together, and they're probably on their knees. And that's the idea of prayer that we most often think of.
But here, it was a declaration prayer. It was a proclamation. "There shall be no dew nor rain except at my Word". And God calls that, the Holy Spirit calls that in the New Testament, earnest prayer. He prayed earnestly that it might not rain and it rained not. Today, we'll say just declaring, how can that be earnest prayer? But God calls that powerful prayer earnest prayer. Are you listening? And then the Bible says he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, right, James 5. It says, "And he prayed again and the heaven gave rain".
Notice, he prayed again, not he prayed earnestly again. Just now, you find, "He prayed earnestly that it might not rain". The word "earnestly" is there. In the Greek, he prayed with the prayer. The idea of combining the word "prayer" is repeated twice, one in the noun, one in the verb. In the Greek means he prayed earnestly but here when he prayed again, the word "earnestly" is not there. So, let's see how he prayed again and the heavens gave rain. Now, this happened after three-and-a-half years. There's not a blade of grass that's green. Everywhere it's all parched it's dry and obviously, they survive by drinking water and the water is from all the mountains and the high places. It's very hard to get the water and three-and-a-half years have passed and the king is looking for green grass at this time when Elijah met him again after three-and-a-half years.
So, there was a challenge, right? Elijah said to the nation of Israel, and they were gathered there in Mount Carmel. Many of you have been to that mountain, in fact, you have been right where we bring you is right to the very top of Mount Carmel. From Mount Carmel, you can see the Mediterranean Sea, amen? And right from the top, you can see that that's where somewhere there the battle took place and then Elijah went to the very top where most of you would go to, and that's where he prayed after that. But Elijah issued a challenge to the nation of Israel because at this time, there were 450 prophets of Baal and then the king was there, King Ahab, and Elijah challenged all of them. And the nation of Israel is saying, "How long will you halt between two opinions? If the Lord Yahweh is God, serve him. If Baal is God, then you serve him". So, he issued a challenge. He says that, "meet me at Carmel with a bullock and y'all make your altar, you prophets of Baal, make your altar, and then you offer your burnt offering and then the God who answers by fire, and I'll make my altar and do the same. The God who answers by fire, he is God".
Now, he issues a challenge in front of the whole nation of Israel that was still halting between two opinions wondering is God God. And by profession, they claim that God of Abraham is their God, all right, the God of Israel. But by action, they're following Baal. So, Elijah says, "Stop faltering, stop halting between two opinions. Choose if Yahweh is God, serve him. If Baal is God, serve him, all right, decide". So, it was issued before the entire nation so Ahab and his prophets of Baal cannot escape, amen, they have to take up the challenge.
So, the challenge was issued and Baal worshipers built their altar and they started calling upon their God and no voice, nothing was heard. All the way from morning till noon, no voice, nothing was heard. And then Elijah started mocking them and telling them, "Come on, you know, shout louder," or whatever. They shout louder, in fact, they cut themselves and all that, blood gush out and no voice was heard. Until about three o'clock in the afternoon, they gave up and Elijah built his altar. Elijah prayed and the fire fell upon the sacrifice.
Now, you must understand, once the fire fall on the sacrifice, that means the people are forgiven. The fire didn't fall on the people. It fell on the sacrifice. Now, they're on this side, all right? Now, God can justly and righteously bring rain and blessing upon the nation of Israel. So, after the fire fell, that means it is accepted that God would judge the nation's sins in the body of bullock that received the fire of judgment. Now, the nation is spared, Elijah could pray this prayer.
So, Elijah went up to the very top of mount Carmel, and Elijah told the King Ahab, "Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain". And I hear for all of you, for this coming year, I hear the sound of abundance of rain. I hear the sound of the abundance of favor coming upon your life. I hear the sound of the abundance of shalom peace, amen. I hear the abundance of family blessings coming your way. I hear it long before the prophet or the people of Israel saw it, the prophet heard it. One thing great about prophetic ministries is this, they see things before, long before it happens, amen? They hear things in the spirit long before it happens because God knows the future from times past and past in the future. God lives outside time, amen?
That's why the Bible says God knows our way ahead. So, it always pays to follow God. He knows all the traps. He knows all the snares. He knows where to avoid. He has been through it and he came back to tell us, "I've been through it. It's great, with your hand in mine". Make sure you hand is in his, amen, he will lead you. So, Ahab went up to eat and drink and Elijah went up to the top of Carmel. Isn't it like a carnal king, all he can think of is, "The blessing has come now, all right, the judgment is passed, the blessing is not now here. I go up and drink," amen, and that's why the man of God told him, "Go, go, go, go and eat and drink". But what did the man of God do? He went up to the top of Carmel to pray. "And he bowed down on the ground and put his face between his knees".
So, you know, in a time of blessing, you will see whether someone is a carnal Christian or a spiritual Christian. You can see whether they give glory to God, they thank God for the blessing or they say, "Ah, blessing is here, praise God, man. Thank you, Lord". You know just like a cliche and then they say, "Let's eat and drink. Let's go watch a movie". You know? And it's okay to do all those things. Eating and drinking is okay, God's blessings, but listen, give glory to God first. When something happens, give glory to God. You know many a times we don't even give glory to God for things we're not even aware of. He protected you from the accident, but you didn't know he protected you because you didn't know. Many a times, we only give praise when we are in the trouble and we call upon the Lord and we delivered us.
Now we know he delivered us, then we give him praise. But many a times, the higher, a higher way of blessing us is not even to let us get into the trouble. But as a believer, let me tell you this, many a times we get into trouble so that we can see who is the one that delivers us, amen. Are you listening? But let us give praise to God, nonetheless, for all the protection we can't see, for all the blessings that we are not even aware of. Let's thank God that he protected you, even long before you got into that situation, amen? And then if you're in trouble right now, thank God he will deliver you. Not you will deliver you, not a rich person is gonna come and bail you out. The Lord will deliver you. Put your eyes on him, and all the people said, "amen". Praise the Lord.
So, Ahab went up to drink. Elijah went to the top of Carmel. "Then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees". Now, don't forget, I told you just now that when it comes to praying earnestly, it was just a declaration but when it comes to praying again, there was no praying earnestly. It just said he prayed again and the heaven gave rain. But notice this time he prayed in a way that we think is how prayer should be, right? He got on his knees and put his face between his knees. He bowed down to the ground and said to his servant, "Go up now, look towards the sea". I told you right, top of Mount Carmel, you can see the Mediterranean Sea. He says to his servant, "Go up there, out there, in front and see where they can see a cloud in the sky".
For three-and-a-half years, there's not even a single cloud in the sky. It's been drought, famine for three-and-a-half years. So, you go up there and see, and he went up and looked and said there is nothing. So, long before you see something, those who are in tune with the Holy Spirit will hear the sound of the abundance of rain. It's like it's raining. Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain telling me just what a fool I've been. I wish that it would go and let me cry in vain and let me be alone again. Rain doesn't Hallelujah, amen, praise God.
Y'all laugh, but that was the song I sang when I was in sec' 4 in my secondary school and I got first, ha, ha, ha, ha. I still remember got a small trophy. It was my first time going out there for talent time. Praise the Lord. Thank you, Jesus. I know y'all don't appreciate that 'cause no one clapped just now. All right, so, too late, save it. So, he says, "Go up there and look out". And the servant went seven times to look out for the cloud. Next, "It came to pass the seventh time, that he said, 'There is a cloud, as small as a man's hand, rising out of the sea!'" So, far away, the servant says, "Hey, Elijah, I see a cloud. I see a spot of fluffy white cloud. If I go there, it's the size of my hand".
Imagine going to the cloud and it's the size of your hand, all right? So, it's like a you know what? Many of us, we are discouraged. "Oh, where is the rain"? But the man of God once he see that he realize there's fluffy cloud, you know, little with God becomes much. Five loaves and two fish in his hands becomes an abundance to feed more than 5,000 people, amen? A handful of meal and a jar of oil can feed an entire household for an entire year, amen. And here a small cloud with God in it, amen, will bring a storm of rain. Look at what happened. The man of God says, no, the servant says, "There's a man's hand, like the size, rising out of sea. Go up, say to Ahab, 'Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.' Now it happened in the meantime that the sky became black with clouds and wind".
Israel has not seen that for three-and-a-half years, not even a cloud in the sky. Now the cloud, the heavens are dark, and the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. So, King Ahab road away in his chariot and went to Jezreel, amen. So, the moment the man of God heard there's a cloud, a small fluffy cloud, he says, "Go down and tell the king, better start riding, the rain is coming. Better start going back to his palace," amen? And the king was riding his chariot furiously. And the whole chapter ends with this, next verse, "The hand of the Lord came upon Elijah; and Elijah girded up his loins and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel".
So, you have this king here riding his chariot, "Ya, ya, ya, ya," then this man of God... I don't know how old Elijah was at this age, but let me tell you this, when the power of God comes on you, you will run and not be weary. You will walk and not faint. Even the young man shall fall and the youth shall utterly faint. It's not a matter of whether you're a young physically or not. Even the young men shall fall and the youths utterly faint. But let me tell you this, they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Those that wait upon the Lord.
As you do, even right now, you come to the house of God, you're waiting upon the Lord. You're exchanging your strength, which is natural strength like Jacob did, for his strength that never grows weary. So, when God's power comes on you, we see this in spiritual power, whether it's the power of God or the power of evil spirits. The most demonized man in the Bible is a gadarene demoniac, and he was the most demonized man. And the Bible says that he was out there in Gadara. In fact, most of you travel to Israel. You go to the area of the Lake of Galilee, you will see Gadara. In fact, it'd be good for you to go and visit Gadara. The tombs are still there. Don't worry, the demons won't touch you. Greater is he that's in you than he that's in the world, amen.
So, the Bible tells us that this man was alone and cutting himself and he was naked. These are the three signs of demonic activity. Every time someone sheds his clothes or her clothes, it's a sign of demonic activity. He was naked. Another sign, alone, antisocial, don't want to mix with people, always pulling away from the crowd, always by himself, always in the room, demonic activity. And the third one, cutting himself, cutting himself, hurting himself, suicidal, amen, of mutilating, afflicting himself.
That's what's happening today, even among the young people. It's demonic activity, and he was crying, the Bible, it's very sad. He was crying. Somewhere along this way, when you cry across the Lake of Galilee, you can hear on area of Capernaum where the Bible says Jesus dwelt with his disciples. I believe that's the reason why Jesus took the boat, traversed the entire lake just to cast the demons out of one man, and that's the reason why along that road to reach that man who was demon-possessed, the devil caused a storm to rise, remember? Probably to stop Jesus from reaching that man, and Jesus rebuked the devil and calmed the storm. He reached the other side, cast the demon out with one word, in Hebrew, lek, in our English go. One word, go. We have to use four words, "Go in Jesus's name," all right, but Jesus used one word, "Go," and all the demons left that man.
And the Bible says the next thing they saw him, he was seated at Jesus's feet sitting down, relaxed. It's a sign of a person freed from demonic activity. God's Spirit has come. He's seated, clothed and in his right mind, clothed, clothed. The moment you put on clothes, you're okay. And then in his right mind. Don't look at your neighbor now, but in his right mind. When the Lord comes into your life, amen, and he sets you free, you are in your might mind. And the Bible says he says, "I want to be with you, Lord". And the Lord says, "You know what? Go to all the cities". In fact, the Bible says he went to Decapolis, which is deca is ten, polis is city. He went to all the ten cities of the Gentiles and he became an evangelist. No wonder the devil wanted to stop Jesus from reaching that man.
And Jesus says, "Go home and tell your friends how great things". And the Bible says, he went through all Decapolis and proclaimed what the Lord has done for him, amen? What I'm trying to say is that the Bible says that he was alone and no man could bind him when he was demon-possessed. He could break the chains. That's demonic activity. When someone is possessed by a Spirit, whether it's God's Spirit or evil spirit, they become supernatural. And that's why Elijah, when God's Spirit came on him, he could outrun a chariot, regardless of his age. But an evil spirit coming upon a man he could break the chains and no man could tame him. He could break the chains, the gadarene demoniac.
I have been involved in cases of deliverance where the person is so strong, even, you know, it's a lady who is demon-possessed and there are guys trying to hold her and all that, and she's very strong, but it's not her. The moment the demon come out, she's again, you know, a wonderful lady, soft, you know, and sweet. Does that explain some things you've been wondering? But here it's amazing. Okay, anyway, I got into a wonderful rabbit trail just by talking about Elijah gird up his loins and start running, amen? So, all the athletes in the house, shout hallelujah.
I remember in the Army, I was running and, you know, they make you run a lot. And I remember I could not run anymore and this verse came out, "They shall run and not be weary," and I meditated. You can hardly pray so if I meditate, "They shall run and not be weary". I don't know at what point the second wind, you know the second wind, took over and I was gliding. I was running, and I was happy. It was almost like when they said, "Okay, you can rest now," I was disappointed. Honestly, God has my witness. I said, "Come on, man. Come on, let's run some more". I don't know where it came, but I saw for myself firsthand how God can release even physical strength when you are weary, amen. And I wasn't a runner back then. So, praise be to God.
Now, what I want to show you this, back to James again, praying earnestly is actually a prayer of declaration, but God thinks so much of it that he tells us it is actually praying earnestly when you declare in faith. A proclamation of faith is praying earnestly. But notice when he prayed after the fire fell, which means judgment is passed, now it's a time of blessing, you know? He had to put his head between his knees and pray the traditional way that we think of, and the Holy Spirit calls this only prayed again. The first one is prayed earnestly and this is prayed again, just a simple prayer. But in our minds we think that this prayer is more intense than the first one.
If right now I'm standing here and I'm declaring, and you see someone on their knees praying, you will probably say that person is praying and pastor, you're not praying. But do you realize one thing that when Jesus has done, what you're doing when you're declaring is this, you are partnering with God. And if Jesus took away our diseases and our sicknesses and he took away our depression, he was wounded. The chastisement for our peace was upon him, so he took away our depression, our anxieties, our worries, our cares, as well as our physical diseases, as well as all our pains, mental, emotional as well. And he took all that.
If I believe that he took them away and the Bible says he took them away, then I won't be praying prayers like this, like a slave. "Oh Father God, oh God, please, God, heal my son. Oh God, heal my daughter. Oh God, please do this, Lord. Oh God, please do that". Because that prayer negates everything that Jesus did. That prayer in essence is saying, God is not persuaded and God is the problem. If God wants to give, he can give. So, that's why that prayer is not answered. I pray that this help answer some questions you have, amen. When you pray like this, the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of truth. He cannot bear witness with that kind of prayer. He's a witness of the truth. He's a Spirit of truth but when you pray, you declare.
When you declare, for example, somebody has a problem with depression then you say, "In the name of Jesus, you foul spirit of depression, loose that person and let his mind go free, in the name of Jesus," amen? You are declaring that God is not the problem. The power of darkness is the one holding back his blessing. Then you are partnering with God. In essence, you are saying God is not the one giving the problem. God is your solution. Are you listening, people? Let me put it another way, okay? Under the old covenant before Jesus came, judgment was easy, blessing was hard. Notice Elijah, when he pronounced the judgment, three-and-a-half years from now, no rain nor dew, it was easy, why? Under the law, God says, "If you keep all my commandments, then I'll bless you". But all means all. "But if you fail in one, then the curse will come".
And that's why those who make their boast in the law don't realize how awesome God's law is. Those of us who believe in the grace of God, we have an awesome respect for the law of God. I am for the law, but for the reason God gave the law and God never gave the law for man to keep. God gave the law to reveal man by. Are you with me so far? So, God says, "If you keep all, I'll bless you. I'll bring the rain to bless your crops. You will lend and not borrow, amen? You'll be the head and not the tail. But if you keep all my commandments. But then if you fail in one, the curse will come, the judgment will come. I'll withhold the heavens from giving its rain and it will affect your crops, then you will borrow and you will not lend. You'll be the tail and not the head".
So, guess what. In the old covenant, most of the time they spend time, what? In the blessing or the judgment? Judgment and that's why under the old covenant, judgment and the curse came easily, blessing came hard. Do you understand now why it was easy for Elijah in the old covenant to say there'll be no dew nor rain? Because it's in line with God's Word. God's Word says," if you turn away from me, the heavens will withhold its rain". So, Elijah knew that, Elijah declared that. It's a prayer earnestly but when he asked for blessing after that, he prayed again and again and again.
Now, everything changed because of the cross. I said, everything changed because of the cross. Since the cross of Jesus Christ, listen, blessing is easy, do you know why? It's no more contingent on your obedience, it's contingent on Jesus's one obedience at the cross. By his obedience, we are made righteous and the righteous shall blossom, and flourish, and be evergreen, amen, be like the palm tree, be like the cedar in Lebanon. No, I'm not telling you to clap. I'm just encouraging myself here, all right? This is for expression, praise God. I'm getting excited. And the Bible says you are righteous and all the blessing of the righteous, listen carefully, under the New Covenant because of what Jesus has done in his death, burial, and resurrection, everything changed.
Today, blessing is easy, that's why you just have to declare it. There's still prayer or praying, but those are for the things you ask for wisdom and all that but what Jesus did for us at the cross, declare it. If your loved one is oppressed, they're not meant to be oppressed. Declare it. God is not behind the problem. If someone is sick, proclaim healing, proclaim, decree it, declare it, and that's why blessing is easy. Declare it. And God calls this earnest prayer. Judgment is hard under the new.
Do you realize that under the New Covenant, even people are sinning and you find that "God, where are you, you know? If I were you, I'll finish them off," right? If you were God and you looked down from heaven, just imagine, okay, if you were God and you looked down from heaven, and you see the battle between the Baals, prophets, King Ahab, and Elijah and all the nation of Israel gathered on Mount Carmel. And you look down and Elijah prepared his altar and the bullock on the altar, the sacrifice and you know that he said, "The God who answers by fire, he is God". Now, you are God. You're about to send fire. You see Ahab, the evil king. You see all the prophets of Baal. You see the backslidden nation who turned away from you, from God, right? Who will you let the fire fall on?
That's why you and I are not God. We are not that loving. You see, God is love, people. God has to judge sin. God has to judge evil. God has to punish sin, but God loves us. So, God let the fire of his judgment that everyone deserves and every merits, every party there merits, but God let fire fall on the sacrifice and the nation goes free. It's a foreshadowing of the cross of Jesus Christ. Today, we live after the cross, and we are in the dispensation called the dispensation of grace. There'll be a dispensation of kingdom, which means at that time, you will see sin being punished like that, real quick, amen? We won't be punished anymore because we'll be in your glorified bodies. We cannot sin, amen?
But there'll still be a raise on earth and all that, natural people and all that. That's not teaching called millennial rule of Jesus, but we are still in the dispensation of grace. We are not in the dispensation of Elijah in the law and that's why don't be confused. When Jesus was in his hometown Nazareth one time, as his custom was, they gave him probably, you know, Jesus's voice is beautiful. I mean it's a powerful voice and they probably as a young man, they probably give him the Torah for him to read out from and the scroll.
So, this time around, they gave him the scroll and the Bible says that he found the place where it was written. They handed to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. It was the reading or the Shabbat for that week. And the Bible says Jesus opened the scroll of the Book of Isaiah, and Jesus read this, "The spirit of the Lord is upon me," this is Isaiah 61 in your Bible, "Because he has anointed Me to preach the good news to the poor". What do you think is the good news to the poor? You think about it, all right? "He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those that are bruised or oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord".
The word "acceptable" is a very beautiful rich word in Hebrew called ratson. Ratson is a state where God's favor is profusely abounding. So, it is a year of ratson of the Lord, the ratson of the Lord, the year where God's favors profusely abound. And then the Bible says Jesus closed the book. I'm gonna show you right now the reference in Isaiah itself, right, side by side. Jesus read, "To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, then Jesus closed the book". But Isaiah's portion says, "To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord," comma, "and the day of vengeance of our God".
So, there's a day of vengeance coming where every lawlessness will be punished, where every sin will be dealt with, but we are not in that day and age but it is coming, yes. We are still in the ratson year of the Lord where the free favors of God abound, amen? We are in that age. A lot of people like to preach the coming age into this age or they like to preach or tell you about the Old Testament in this present day. They even sing songs about the day of vengeance, but we are not in the day of vengeance. Jesus knew how to close the book and where Jesus closed the book, we gotta learn to close the book. The Bible says when Jesus read to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, he knew his first coming is not the day of vengeance. His first coming is to save, so he closed the book and between the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance has been 2,000 years now.
Oh, the longsuffering of our God, the patience of our God who is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Don't despise the fact that the Bible says in the last days there'll be those that say, "Where, where, where? Where's the sign of his coming? Where, where? I've been hearing Rapture since I was young, ah"? The Bible talking about people like this in the Book of Peter. They'll become scoffers in the last days saying, "Where's the sign of his coming, where's his coming"? And they knew not, the Bible says, a thousand years with the Lord is like one day, amen? That's why when you pray, God never says to you, "Wait a second, because you calculate a thousand years between one day, one second is wow". You know okay, anyway, that was a personal joke.
Anyway, a thousand years with God is like one day. Time is nothing with him. For us, time is protracted and the Bible says it is the longsuffering of our God. God wants to bring Jesus but when Jesus comes back, it's judgment on an unbelieving world. Those who are saved will be raptured with him, but when Jesus comes back again for his rule, it'll be a day of vengeance for everything that's been spoken will be brought to account against God, everything. Every sin will be judged but we're in Christ, our judgment is passed. We will come with him. Are you with me so far? Do you understand? But meanwhile, we are still not in the day of vengeance. We're in the acceptable year of the Lord and that's why today it's easy to pray for blessings. You can even pray for blessings on nonbelievers and they receive.
Yesterday, my wife and I... was it yesterday? No, two days ago, my wife and I were eating at a Hawker Center, and we bumped into a couple and the husband was so excited and start telling me because some time back a few months ago, I bumped into this couple. The wife is from our church, the husband is not. He's not a believer. And I remember him telling me that he's got a problem with panic attacks and anxiety. He hardly leaves his house. You know, he must be on a lot of medication and all that and this time around, by the way, I prayed for him back then. I prayed for him that God would deliver him.
Now, why do I have that confidence to pray for him even though he's not a believer? All right, I asked him would you believe. "One day, you know, pastor, I will tell you one day, you know, I will do it, pastor. I see how is it but right now I don't". I say, "Can I pray for you now"? I knew he had a problem. He told me his problem, panic attacks and all that, heavy on medication and I prayed for him. Just the other day, two days ago, we bumped into him again, the same Hawker Center. He was so excited. "Pastor Prince, I must tell, you know, one thing. Now," he used, "85% delivered". So, I thought he's saved.
So, I say that, "Are you coming to church and all that"? "Oh, that one, have I or not? I'm still thinking, lah, because my father and my grandfather and all that, you know I say I don't want to go to heaven right and then I think of them in hell". I say, "How about this? Maybe they made it, you know, last minute they made it and then they're in heaven, they see you in hell, you know"? And another thing I told him was this, I say that, "just if you care about your predecessors and all your ancestors and all that, you must remember one thing, okay, that if there's a voice, the Bible talks about the voice, all right, in the Netherlands.
There's a story Jesus said. The voice actually says, "Don't come here. Go tell my family not to come here. The voice will tell you to believe, amen"? So, I told him that but he was so excited. He say that, "You know, I went to another doctor and the doctor says, don't have to be on medication. In fact, all heavy medication, not on it anymore. Wah, Pastor Prince, I'm so happy, you know? I'm out here, I'm eating and all that. I'm so happy". I can't believe someone can be delivered by God, amen, so happy, so joyful, and he tells me, "You know, but I do talk to him every morning". He might be saved and not even know it. The wife says he's still in the wilderness.
So, you know? Now, why did I pray for him? Because everyone that Jesus healed in the gospels, nearly all of them that Jesus healed, were not saved. All the people, I mean, they were not saved. Jesus had not yet died, so all of them were not saved, hmm? When somebody says that Judas betrayed Jesus, therefore it shows that someone can believe on Jesus and be born again and still lose his salvation like Judas. Tell them, Judas wasn't saved, none of the disciples were saved. How can they be saved when Jesus has not yet died? They all got saved after Jesus rose from the dead, remember that? And Judas wasn't there.
If Judas would only wait a few more hours instead of hanging himself, Jesus's hanging would be his hanging. Don't have to hang yourself. It's a form of self-righteousness. They only received when Jesus rose from the dead and Jesus breathed on his disciples. That's when they were born again. Then on the day of Pentecost, they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. So friend, you can pray for the sick. I can pray for the nonbelievers knowing this mentality that I have with the dispensation of grace, I can pray for them and many a times, the goodness of God will lead them to repentance. Even though their mind don't catch up, like I told you about this guy, right, he might be saved and not even know it. He talks to the Lord every morning. "Lord, I must tell you something, Lord, I don't believe in you yet but I want you to know that". The mind always plays catch up.
How many knows the mind plays catch up? When your spirit is so instinct already, amen. So, I believe he's gonna be saved, amen? I believe he's not saved yet, he'll be saved. Probably he's saved already but the thing is this, you can pray for your friends and tell them, "I'll pray for you. God wants to bless you". Yes, they still need to be born again, yes, we know that, amen, and that's why today it's a day where we need to preach the good news to the people, not a time where we tell people about their sin, or making this stand against this sin, or making this stand against that sin, and all that the world can think of is that we're making stands against them when actually they'll hardly hear the good news from our lips.
When they hear the good news, they are changed from the inside out. No amount of legislation can change them. No amount of politicking can change them. No amount of psychology can change them. No amount of arguing can change them but when they hear the good news, they are changed and many of them are changed even sitting here, they are changed by believing the gospel. So, there are people who think that unless you make a stand, a public stand, "Stand, let's make a stand for the gospel. Let's make a stand for the gospel that Jesus died and rose again to give us and proclaim to a lost dying, crying, sighing world that God loves them". Can I have a good amen?
So, we are still in the ratson year of the Lord where blessing are easy, proclaim it. When you have a mentality that blessing is easy, you don't pray like this, "Oh God, oh God," and, you know, it's like today I look at the church and they are regressing, they're going back. And they think that by studying the names of God, they call God the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and that he is. He always is or they call him the God of El Shaddai. They don't realize wonderful as these names are, and I will teach on the names of God. I've done it in times past and I'll do it again in the future. But the name above every name that Jesus came to reveal that we are to pray by is the name Father.
"Father, I've revealed to them thy name that the love by which you love me may be in them. Father, keep true thy name". Keep means, "Keep my disciples, those who believe in me through their Word in the future even, all of us. Keep them, protect them," how? Through thy name. So, the more we say, Father, the more protected we are. We gotta pray in such a spirit that when we pray, don't feel like you're far away from God, when you start praying it's like the train slowly moving, getting closer and closer, closer and closer, then finally, you get close to God. No, no, no, you pray because you're already close to his bosom. You are his son. He's your Father. He's your Father. You must pray from a position of completeness, a position of victory. Are you listening, people?
That's why you don't, "Pastor Prince, wah, this kind of case, I must pray hard". It's not pray hard or pray soft. What pray hard? It's not pray hard, it's the one that you're praying to. So, I can be very soft and just say, "Father, touch that person right now. Father, thank you, Lord". So, when it comes to prayers, when you have the same mentality, you're on the same wavelength, you see God wanting to bless people. Long before I pray in my room, all right, I see God wanting to bless me, I see God wanting to bless the church, I see God wanting to bless my family. His heart, his loving heart yearn.
So, when I pray like that with that posture, I'm in line with heaven. The spirit of truth can bear witness by giving me the answered prayer. He bears witness with the truth because I'm coming from a posture of truth. But if I pray like that, "Oh God, God," as if God is the one that needs persuasion, "Oh God, please be merciful, Lord. My child is very sick, Lord. Please Lord, don't, Lord, don't take his life away, God, please Lord". Even the third party, even a child lying down there like he's sick, you know what I'm saying or not? You know, you're giving the child of mentality of God. One time a mother, this is a true story of a mother praying... no, a father praying, you know, that the child had a disease and he prayed, "God, if only".
And all of us as parents, we have all been in that place where we love our child so much, we see the child suffering, crying and all that. And the father prayed, "If only you can put this disease on me, let me carry it". And the Lord says, the Lord rebuke him by saying, "Don't you know, I have done that". Jesus carried our disease. So, our prayer has gotta be declare it, be healed. "Fever go, in the name of Jesus. Goiter, die in the name of Jesus," amen. "Be healed in the name of Jesus".
"But Pastor Prince, I've declared this before nothing happened". Then Jesus advised you in Luke 17, "The apostle say to the Lord, 'Increase our faith.'" The request is what? Increase our faith. Jesus's answer is, "So the Lord said, 'If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed'". The request was what? "Lord, increase our faith". Jesus's answer was, "If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say". In other words, no matter how small your faith is, the mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds, all right, of that category. And Jesus says what? It's not a matter of how big your faith is. Once you have faith even so small, start saying, start saying, what? "To the mulberry tree, be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea, and it would obey you". "But Pastor, I've said it one time before, the problem is still there".
Okay listen, in the Greek, "If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree," the say there is in the imperfect tense. You know, perfect tense means once and for all. Imperfect means keep on saying, keep on saying. Jesus literally said, "Keep on saying. Your problem is". Mulberry tree here is the black mulberry figs, which is in Israel, it's a very strong trunk and its roots go very deep. Even if you go far away, you still find it coming out of the ground. It's very rooted and yet it can be uprooted by faith as small as a grain of mustard seed.
I shared with all of you before, like, I had a map of Australia on my back last time because I perspired a lot playing sports and all that and I had a map of Australia. It's almost like Australia, lah, and Tasmania was below. And I remember when I learned this truth. I spoke to my skin condition, "Be thou plucked up by your roots and be thrown into the sea," and I always imagine, forgive me those who stay in Marine Parade. I always imagine the Marine Parade sea. "Be thrown into the sea". Literally, I use the words of Jesus: "Be uprooted," skin condition, "and be thrown into the sea in Jesus's name".
Some time passed. I forgot how many weeks it was. One day I was shaving or brushing my teeth and I heard a voice. I was topless and I heard a voice inside saying, "Look for your skin condition". I never bothered to look for some time but I'd been saying it. Every time I bathe or not I'd been saying it. I look behind and it was gone. How it happened, I do not know. When it happened, I don't know. All I can say is that it's planted somewhere in Marine Parade. If you all go diving, you see the map of Australia... Jesus literally said, "Keep on saying". Because you see, you're acknowledging that you are no more an earthbound person; you are seated with Christ because a king decrees. Even when you are praying a normal traditional prayer, decree in your prayer 'cause when it comes to sickness, when it comes to the power of darkness, don't ask God to deal with it. Decree.
Sometimes a prayer asking is wrong, sometimes. Like, for example, when Moses cried to God, the Red Sea was in front of him and the armies of Egyptian were coming behind, and he cried to God, "God, help". And God says, "Why cry to me"? Strange, right? "What is that in your hand"? The rod. For us, it's the name of Jesus. "Use it". And then Moses point and you know what happened: God opened up the Red Sea. So we have the authority but we're crying to him. Imagine a officer, all right, with the officer's uniform on and that. He'll stop a three-tonner, right? Imagine, he raise his hand and three-tonner just pass by. Then he raise his hand and another three-tonner pass by.
You know, on the big truck that passes by. Does he call his office, say, "Boss, ah, hey, sir, sir, he don't want to stop, lah". No, you don't do that. You use your authority, right? You stand in the center. Either he runs you down or... but use your authority, right? Amen, you don't call your office. You'd be out of a job or you'll get something, lah, amen. And that's the problem. When God looks down, that's where we are at, okay?
Now, I wanna close with this amazing story from Elijah. Let's go back to the story of Elijah and the challenge. "Now Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, 'Choose one bull for yourselves and prepare it first, for you are many; and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under it.' So they took the bull which was given them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even 'til noon, saying, 'O Baal, hear us!' But there was no voice; no one answered. Then they leap about the altar which they had made. And so it was, at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said".
So they'd been praying from morning 'til noon. No voice, no fire from heaven. "And Elijah said, 'Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.' So they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them. And when midday was past, they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention". The last part, "No one paid attention," very interesting. "Then Elijah said to all the people, 'Come near to me.' So all the people came near to him".
Now I wanna tell you something, okay? It's one thing for God to judge sin but if God judge sin, how will he win our affections? God had a dilemma in a sense. God not only had to judge sin because God cannot forgive us righteously if he has not judged our sins. God has to be God. He has to judge our sins. But God to be God also, he has to demonstrate his love because God is love. How will God judge our sins at the same time win our heart? Watch this. "And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down".
Now, that means there was an altar there previously that was broken down by the prophets of Baal. Now, Elijah repaired it. The first thing you've gotta do is repair the altar. Our altar is the cross of Jesus Christ. It's time for us to bring back the cross of Jesus Christ. Not a matter of making this stand, or that stand, or this stand. Make a stand for the cross. The cross, a symbol that God loves the world and Christ died for our sins. And the Bible says: "Elijah took 12 stones". Say, "Twelve stones". And look at this: "According to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, 'Israel shall be your name.' Then with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord".
Now, it's the most interesting. During the time of Elijah, Israel was split: ten tribes in the north and two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, in the south. It was divided. It was not one nation. By all outward appearances, they were divided. Today, people look around and say, "The church is divided. Pastor Prince, there are people who are not for your teaching on grace. Pastor Prince, you know, there are". Doesn't matter whether you think we are divided or not. We are one in God's eyes. You know what Elijah did? Elijah put the 12 stones as if they were one. This one must be repaired, amen. He presented to God what God saw. God saw one Israel.
And you know something? If someone doesn't agree with you, amen, doesn't like your pastor or whatever, smile at them and say, "We are still one. You can't get rid of me, amen. In fact, in heaven, I might live next door to you because God sees what's happening right now, amen"? ♪We are one in the Spirit. We are one in the Lord. We are one in the Spirit♪ So no matter what, you know, the Bible doesn't say, "Endeavoring to keep the unity of the doctrine". Doctrine might not all agree. But "Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit". We gather around the person of Jesus. You may not agree with me, I may not agree with you. Doesn't really matter. We gather around the person of Jesus and you are my brother, you are my sister. And that's what Elijah did.
Then the next verse: "And he put the wood in order, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood, and said, 'Fill four waterpots with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood,'" all right? Four waterpots. Keep that in mind. "Then he said, 'Do it a second time,'" and do it second time. Four waterpots. They poured it on the altar. It's almost as if it all was a challenge: the God who answers by fire, he is God. It's almost like, "Make it hard for God". Pour water, four barrels of water. Go ahead, all right? And they pour it. Three times they did it. "And he said, 'Do it a third time,' and they did it a third time. So the water ran all around the altar; and he also filled the trench with water".
Now, in the Old Testament, when you read the Old Testament, many times it's a foreshadowing, it's a type, of the New Testament truths. What is the four barrels and the three times a symbol of? The 12 stones represent the entire nation of Israel. It represents how God loved them. Long before there were 12 tribes, there were 12 sons, amen? And long before the 12 sons, God picked one man and God loved this nation from old. God loved them. But the four barrels and the four times three is what? Twelve. Is showing how many times even God loves them, they tried to pour cold water on God's love. Maybe that's where the saying comes: "Don't pour cold water on it". They tried to pour cold water on God's love. They tried their best to suppress God's love.
Solomon say it like this in Song of Songs, verse 8: "Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it," amen? If that girl that you are chasing turns you off again and say, "Why do you keep on ring me"? Just say, "Many waters cannot quench love". And then she'll take the pail, she'll throw the water on your face. Then you say, "Nor can the floods drown it". But if I were you, I'd forget her. All right, go back to the story again, hallelujah. So four waterports. Do it three times. There is a significance to all this. Very beautiful. And next verse please. "And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice", Very interesting, the evening sacrifice.
Do you know that Israel has two sacrifices they offer to God every day? One is in the morning. They call it morning sacrifice. They put a lamb on the altar in the temple, and the other is called the evening sacrifice. The morning sacrifice is at 9 a.m.; the evening sacrifice is at 3 p.m. When they offer it, the priest will blow the trumpet. When Jesus was crucified, the Bible tells us the time. He was crucified exactly when the nails pierce his hand. He was pinned to the ground, all right, and they lift the cross up. It was 9 a.m. and when they lift him up, at that very moment the sound of the trumpet was blowing just behind in the temple.
And then the Bible says that Jesus hung there, bearing all our sins, and even the clouds, it's almost like when he was hanging there, midday became midnight. When he was born, midnight became midday as angels filled the bright sky. But here he was, under the canopy of darkness when he became sin with our sins, and God poured his wrath upon his Son. And 3 o'clock the clouds start clearing which means what? The judgment is passed. Has all been spent on him. The clouds of judgment, they're supposed to burst over your head and my head, burst over his head and was spent. And Jesus look up and cried at 3 o'clock, "Finished". And then he says, "Father, into your hands I commit my," in Hebrew, "ruach". He breathe out because spirit in Hebrew is ruach. He breathe out. He was completely alive when the judgment was spent on him. And that's the difference. Because when the fire fell here, look at this, all right? The evening sacrifice is at 3 o'clock and there's the time, the Bible says, Daniel was praying, the angel was made to fly swiftly at 3 o'clock in the time of the evening oblation.
Now, don't start praying at 3 o'clock. It's not Jerusalem time anyway, all right? No, there's no, the Jewish people observe these kind of timings, they do. But today, any time is the right time, okay? Because we are after the cross. Are you with me so far? So at the time of the evening sacrifice, when in the temple in Jerusalem they offered the burnt offering, at the time of the finished work, Jesus says, "Finished". Elijah prayed, "'God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel and I'm your servant, and I have done all these things at your word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that you are the Lord God, and that you have turned their hearts back to you again.' Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, 'The Lord, Yahweh, he is God! He is Elohim. The Lord, he is God! The Lord, he is God!'"
Not only did the righteousness of God find a way for justice to be satisfied because judgment has been born, but he found a way to win the heart of a nation. And all this, notice the fire fell on the sacrifice, not on the nation. Not on the guilty nation. Not on guilty you and I, but on the sacrifice, and the nation is spared. You and I are spared. We go free. The only difference on trust because the type is always inferior compared to the substance, the cross. This is a type of the cross. The only difference is this. In Carmel, the fire of God's judgment consumed the burnt sacrifice. Not only consumed the burnt sacrifice, even the 12 stones and all that. All disappeared.
And some of you, you go to Mount Carmel, I see you all walking around looking for the stones. It's not there. Go and read your Bible and see what happened. It's all consumed. But at Carmel, the fire of judgment consumed the burnt sacrifice. In Calvary, the sacrifice consumed the judgment, and he cried, "Finished". The judgment was finished, exhausted, in his body but he was still alive to cry, "Finished". The sacrifice now is greater than the judgment. You and I, we live in the ratzon year of the Lord. Why do we act like blessing is so hard? We've got to press with God. Our very posture that keeps us long before we pray...
I'm not saying you cannot pray like this. Our posture inwardly. We are praying to get there when we should be praying because we are there. We are praying to get influence with God. We should be praying because we have influence with God. Every time you come to God, it should be like a wonderful time of, like, "O God, I'm in my room and there's no one here and I'm gonna pray and God will hear me. I have power with God. God wants me to have power with him. God wants me to influence him," amen?
There are some things you can influence God, even about the affairs of the world, amen. You must come with God knowing that God wants you to pray because you are both co-laborers. Some things in prayer, you don't ask God like, "God, heal. God, heal". That prayer will not get any result. Have you noticed in the church where people pray for healing, not many results. But where it's proclaimed, there are results. In Job it says: "You will declare a thing". In the Old King James it says: "You shall decree a thing". You know, kings decree and what will happen? It will be established unto you. Light will shine on your ways. Many a times, we want to have light in that situation. We do not know what to do. But only after you declare will you know what to do. Declare first, the light will shine.
The Bible says: "When they cast you down, you will say, 'Exaltation will come!'" Decree it. And then the Lord will save the humble person. You see, when they cast you down, you must say, "Exaltation is coming". Then God will save you. You are truly humble. But we think that being humble is when you are down, "O God, I am so humble, Lord. I'm so humble". No, that's pseudo-humility. Humility is to declare. And that's why I declare blessings over your head. I declare abundance of rain coming your way. I declare abundance of health, abundance of shalom well being for you and your family this coming year in Jesus's name. Stand to your feet. Praise the name of Jesus, hallelujah. Praise the Lord, hallelujah! We are still in the ratzon year of the Lord, people.
So pray accordingly. You cannot pray judgment prayers. You cannot pray the imprecatory psalms, where David prayed psalms of judgment on his enemies. Those are not for us today. There are still wonderful, wonderful things for us to look at in the Psalms but we don't pray imprecatory psalms on our enemies. Today, we love our human enemies. Our real enemy is the power of darkness. You see, there's so much strife in your family. Say, "You foul spirit that's causing strife in my family, I command you to desist in your maneuvers. Be bound from my family in the name of Jesus". Make sure you use the name of Jesus. As a king, you decree. When you do that, you are taking your rightful place, seated with Christ. The Lord loves it. Now you are flowing with God, amen? And God calls this earnest prayer.
How do you get saved? You declare, "Jesus Christ is my Lord," amen? You believe he took your sins and he rose from the dead without them. Resurrection is the proof that your sins are all put away. And once you believe that, you are saved. You're not saved by begging God, "Please save me, God. O God, please save me. O God, please save me". No, you are saved by declaring. So why don't you declare right now that Jesus Christ is your Lord and believe in your heart that one sacrifice for sins forever. In the Old Testament, the Jews will bring sacrifice every day. You know why? Because the judgment is greater than a sacrifice. No bulls and goats can take the place of Jesus, but that one sacrifice of Jesus is efficacious for all time, amen? Because the sacrifice now is greater than the judgment. It consume all the judgment with all the wrath of God. And that's why God has no wrath towards us who believe in that one sacrifice. Pray this prayer with me right now:
Heavenly Father, I believe that Christ has consumed all your judgment, all your wrath, in his own body and you design it to be so. So that you are righteous today in making me righteous. You do not compromise in any way, Lord. You are righteous in making me righteous through the death of your Son and you raised him from the dead without my sins and that is proof that all my sins have all been put away. Jesus Christ is my Lord, in Jesus's name, amen.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, praise the Lord. Lift your hands all across this place. Let me declare this over you. You know why I can declare this over you? Not to soothe you. You know why I can declare this over you? Because I know we are in the year of ratzon favor, amen? We are still in that dispensation of grace until Jesus comes and bring us back. Then the earth will experience the days of vengeance of our God. But we're not there yet. God is long-suffering that as many as possible will come to know him, amen?
Family, everyone that's watching this right now, the Lord bless you and your families for this coming week. May you be drenched with the blessings of God. May God make showers of blessings to fall on you and your loved ones throughout this week. May you experience tangibly the blessings of God that will manifest this coming week. And the Lord smile on you, be favorable to you, and the Lord himself keep you, preserve you, in the name of Jesus I declare the Lord preserves you from all evil throughout this week, from all harm, from danger, from every infection, from every power of darkness, through the blood of his Son in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And the Lord smiles on you and grant you his shalom peace, wholeness, and well being in every part of your being, in every part of your body, in Jesus's name. And all the people said, "Amen".