Leon Fontaine - Effective Prayer
What I have found in traveling and training pastors and leaders and speaking in denominations around the world is very few people know how to pray. Today, I want to talk about this. I want to talk about powerful praying. I want to talk about prayer has changed since the cross. Someone said to me, "Well, Leon, God understand. It doesn't matter how you prayer. You just talk to God". No, that's ignorance gone to seed. That's like saying sports is sports. It doesn't matter what the rules are. So are you playing basketball, one of the guys tucks it under his arm and runs for a touchdown straight arming every basketball player down the court. Gets to the end zone. Throws the basketball. Yeah! Touchdown! No, you can't use football rules in basketball. You need basketball rules in basketball, and you need football...
And prayer isn't just prayer. There's different kinds of prayer. There are principles that rule prayer. It's not because God tried to make it hard. It's just there are principles about the spirit realm and what took place on the cross. And how to transfer this amazing miraculous ability of God into our lives. There are principles in the Word. And that is why today there are so many books on unanswered prayer. Everyone's got a theory. So I got a new theory. Maybe we don't know how to pray.
So let me talk to you about prayer. You see, in the Old Testament your faith is where you put your trust. We know through reading book of Hebrews chapter 11 and 12, that there were men and women of faith like Moses, like Abraham, the Father of faith. But what people don't know was that, what was the foundation for Abraham's faith? What was the foundation for Moses' faith? What's the foundation? Well, it was a Word from God. Whether it was a dream, or an angel talking to you, or God speaking through a burning bush. But Moses what did he put his faith in? Abraham what did he put his faith in? They put their faith in a Word from God.
Abraham was spoken to. Other men and women in the Bible, God spoke to them. And the words that were spoken to them, their faith was anchored in those words. When He hit the burning bush and He said to Moses, "You go tell him. Let my people go". You don't tell the most powerful man on the planet to let go two million of his slaves. A guy who's about butcher, a killer for sport. I mean, it wasn't a sweet, you know, pharaohs weren't sweet people. You mess with them. They'll kill you. He was promised every place your feet trod, I'm giving it to you.
Think of the things that God said to specific people in the Old Testament, because they anchored their faith in the words that God spoke to them. Then we go and I'm going through like about 40 hours of doctrine. Let me just... And you go study this out, think this thing through. Then we've got Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John transitional books in the Bible. And what did people put their faith in there, and Jesus would say to them, "Go thy way. Thy faith has made you whole". They put their faith in Jesus. God in the flesh walking on the planet. Here He was in skin, speaking, loving, calming the winds, walking on water, raising the dead. This is God in flesh. Where did they put their faith in? In Jesus.
The centurion say, "You! You just speak the word and my servant will be made whole". Their faith was in that physical Jesus. Now, when you go after the cross, since Jesus has died, we are now in a new covenant. Which simply means a new agreement between God and the human race. This new agreement how, what is our faith in now? Do we all have to hear, have a vision from God? Do we all have to have an angel appeared to us and give us a mandate? What do we put our faith in? Well, all through the New Testament, you'll see teaching after teaching that says you must put your faith in the completed work of Jesus on the cross. That's what our faith is in.
And so if you don't know this, then you are going to pray old covenant prayers from the old deal. And that is why Christians today, they don't have any idea how to pray. They are bugging, pleading, crying, asking God to do something. That God has already done. They do not understand the new covenant. The new deal. And, you know, if we were doing business together and I said to you, "Hey, could you come shingle my roof and I'll give you this much money". And so we agree. I sign the deal. And, you know, then, woo, woo, woo. Just the day before you come to my house I go, "I want to do a new deal. Included in that, I want whirlybirds. I want the soffit's done. I want this".
So we talk and we negotiate the price a little bit and you go, "Deal"! We shake hands. And I sign a new deal with him. Then as he comes in to look after my place. He goes to whichever deal he wants. Yeah, I decided not to put the so, you know, the whirlybird's on. I didn't do the soffits. Like, you know, the second deal. I went back to the first deal. Woo, woo, woo! The second deal means the first deal's kaput. Gone! This is the second deal. But people don't get that. They think that read the Old Testament and if the Old Testament has it, then we can do it.
Are you kidding me? The Old Testament must come through the cross because we have a Hebrews says we have a better covenant, a better deal with God. And prayer has completely changed since the cross. You don't go praying Moses prayers and Abraham prayers and I want the double portion. Double portion? I've got the Man Himself on the inside of me. Double portion? I'm going to pray for everyone to have a double portion of God. I've got God. How do I get double God if I've got God? We have all these Old Testament teachings, all the Old Testament doctrines.
Well, we're going to pray for a fresh anointing, a new anointing. Well, if you've got the God Himself on the inside of you, I don't think that the unique anointing on the priest in the Old Testament and upon the king in the Old Testament and upon prophets in the Old Testament. Those were Old Testament times. In the new covenant, you have God Himself on the inside of you. Why? Are you? See, the Old Testament is easier to preach out of. You know, David and Goliath. That's an exciting message. Or let's talk about filling up the oil and those little, they're such, it's so easy to preach with the Old Testament. But you go take apart Acts, Galatians. Go take apart Romans and Corinthians. And you better know your Bible.
So a lot of people don't like preaching out of there because you've got to know the new covenant. Now, your faith. If you want to walk in a powerful kind of praying, then you've got to move out of that first deal faith. That first covenant that is gone. Hebrews says it's gone. And now we are in a new covenant. What is this new covenant? What is our faith in? Our faith is in the death, the burial, the resurrection, and the ascension of Jesus to the right hand of the Father. These things which are taught all through the epistles. Paul got them by revelation from Jesus and then Jesus showed him.
If you look at the New Testament, you will notice it is literally a rewrite of the Old Testament. All of the New Testament writings. If you get a Bible like the Expanded version. You can buy a Bible called the Expanded version. And every New Testament verse that finds its place in the Old Testament. It will tell you where it is. It's a stunning read to realize that they didn't just write letters. Paul was going back into Isaiah. He was going back to Hezekiah. He was going back to these prophets of old, minor prophets, major prophets. And he was quoting and putting all this doctrine into place because it was all prophesied about.
There's going to come a day there would be a people who would have God within their spirit man. They would have authority. They would speak to mountains. They would declare and it wouldn't just be a little anointing on a priest, a king, a prophet, or... no, no. This presence of God, the anointed One would be within in them. And so when we confuse as pastors. When we confuse the old agreement between God and man, with the new agreement between God and man. We literally make prayer something that causes great unbelief in people. You need to understand how crucial this is.
Now, in the old covenant, they would ask God about stuff and God would decide, okay? And so, in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, okay? Jesus was here. They would ask Jesus, "If You will, You can heal me". Jesus said, "I will. Be healed". But in the new covenant, it is a done deal. The Bible says in 2 Peter. Let's go there and I'm going to just read this verse together. Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power is going to give us something. No, it's not what it says. It says, His divine power.
Now, this word divine power means the biggest power, the greatest power in the universe. This is divine. This is God's power, has given, past tense to us, all things. How many? All things that pertain to life and godliness. So life is this life on the planet. Godliness is to live like Him. He's empowering you to do it. Now, move on. Then it says, through the knowledge of Him. Who's Him? Jesus. Where does this knowledge come from? Understanding Jesus. His death, His burial, His resurrection, and His ascension.
So through the knowledge of Him who called us. It doesn't say who is going to call us. Who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given. Isn't, doesn't say is going to give. Have been given. So you've already been given what? Exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be. Now, that's future tense. Partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. You need to take that home and meditate on those three verses because that is one of the key scriptures for understanding New Testament faith. No, new covenant faith because the first four books of the New Testament aren't in the new covenant yet. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are transitional books.
So to understand the new covenant, you have to understand this is one of the verses. That Jesus 2000 years ago died for all of your sin and He has given you a gift of being right with God. You could never be right enough on your own. So He's given you righteousness as a gift. And then he says there is promises in the Bible. These promises have been given to you so that you may change your life. So you have already been qualified for these promises.
So any prayer that is begging, pleading, crying, bawling, squalling. Please God do something. Where you think God is going to make a choice, isn't even a new covenant prayer. God already decided the kind of life that you're going to have. And it's super abundantly beyond all that you can ask or think. He's already qualified you for all the things you'll need in life. This qualification is in Jesus. You are in Him. Every promise that used to have an if. I still hear it preach by preachers, "Well, every promise has an if and if you don't fulfill the if, you can't have the promise".
Now, that's old covenant. In the new covenant, He says that all the promises are in Him, yes and amen. Sealed. Jesus has qualified you for every promise. So if Jesus has qualified you for every promise and His presence is within you. Why are you going to ask Him to do something that you are waiting for Him to make a choice about? And when you do and nothing happens, you blame Him for making a choice against you. The audience's prayer is either yes, no, or wait. And so we have all these books about why God doesn't answer prayer.
Now, when you get into God's Word and you begin to study. I'll give you a couple of things to think about you people who have been Christians for years. Have you noticed for example that in the transitional books Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. That Jesus would heal somebody and say, "Go thy way. Thy faith has made thee whole". And it's never repeated again from the book of Acts and on. I wonder why. There some to study. Or have you noticed in the Old Testament, "Thus saith the Lord is everywhere". But never in the New Testament. That that argue is a few hints that there some things to learn about this new agreement between mankind and between God. The deal isn't even between you and God.
One guy said, "I have committed unpardonable sin so I can't come back". Oh, so really? What do you mean? Well, he said, "I cursed God out and I cussed Him out. I called Him a bunch of names. I cursed the Holy Spirit. I told Him I don't believe You anymore. I walked. I'm finished. I gave Him the finger. I did everything I could with my whole life to just tell God". I said, "Oh". He said, "There is no agreement between me and God. It's finished. It's done".
I said, "Well, you know what. Actually, it just shows your ignorance". What do you mean? I said, "The deal isn't between you and God". What do you mean? I said, "That was the problem in the garden. Adam and Eve had the ability to lose the garden. In the new covenant, the deal is between Jesus representing the human race in a human body. He came to make a deal, a new covenant with God because you and I could never get it or keep it. So He came as a human being. He's all God but He's all human. And when He went to heaven, He actually took that body with Him".
The disciples saw Jesus rise bodily. And seated at the right hand of the Father is Jesus Christ in a human body representing the human race. So that I said, "You actually can't destroy your ability to get right with God because Jesus secured it. You don't have enough power". Big tears running down his face. He said, "You mean, it's not over? I thought I was done". I said, "No". I said, "What Jesus has secured". I said, "You can't destroy for good. Let me guide you. Let me lead you in a prayer".
There's so many things that Christians... Are you Christian? Well, you know, I've read the Bible, but I don't understand it. Stop. Then go find a good church. Get a preacher that knows what he's talking about, doesn't just going to feed candy to an already diabetic crowd. And teach you something about the new covenant in the Word of God. Because prayer isn't about in the new covenant asking God and He says yes or no. No. In fact, there's a great story of showing us the apostles or the disciples as they went forth.
In Acts 16, I just tell you the story, verse 22. Paul and Silas are out ministering to people doing miracles. And they did a miracle with this demon possessed person who was, you know, these men were using her to tell people's fortunes. So they got mad, their money was gone, and they beat Paul and Silas, beat them viciously the Bible says, threw them in jail. They had handcuffs on, chains on their feet, in a deepest part of a prison where there's rats and no food. Although there weren't great prisons back then.
Now, can you imagine Silas? So Paul's the leader and Silas is following him from city to city. So if I was Silas, this is probably something I would do. "Oh, Paul. You really heard from God about this city, didn't you? Oh, God told us to come? That's what you told me on the walked here. Well, we just got beaten and whipped. I got skin hanging up my back. I'm bleeding. I'll probably catch gangrene. And here we are locked in a prison. They're probably going to kill us tomorrow morning for all we know". And just, just take him on.
But the Bible says that whipped and beaten and sitting in stocks in a prison. They began to sing so loud the whole prison heard them. They began to sing praises to God. They began to rejoice to God. And to the place where they felt it's an honour if I'm going to get beaten because I'm talking about you. And as they're singing and worshipping and praising at the darkest hour of that night, an earthquake hit that prison and released everybody's chains. Not just theirs, everybody's chains. And we have to understand, the Bible is including these stories for us to learn.
Now, Peter, who by the way authored 1 Peter and 2 Peter under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He knew that we've been given all promises. You know, the disciples like Paul, Silas. They knew that Jesus had qualified them. So as they're sitting there in jail, they're not going, "Oh, God. Please get us out. We just ask. We just break the power of the devil. In the name of Jesus, we bind the prayer". Like all this type of praying.
They didn't. They praised, worshipped, and thanked Him. Why? Because they knew that all the promises were theirs. They knew the protection was theirs. They knew that healing was given to them. They knew that Jesus qualified them. So what's there left to pray about? Meaning to beg, bug, plead, and ask, and wait for an answer. It's no waiting for an answer. These men praised and worshipped God. That, you see, faith is a confidence in what Jesus has done. And all through the Bible, you're going to read to, in everything give thanks, Thessalonians says.
Everywhere you go, you're going to find every book that was written in here and all through the Old Testament. Look up words like rejoice evermore. That doesn't mean on the inside. That means say it out loud. When it says, "Be thankful". Like gratitude and attitude. But thankfulness is an action. Get thankful. There's something about thanking God and praising Him for what He has done. So when I pray, people often ask, "How do you pray, Leon"? Well, I'm never bug and pleading. You know, I don't bother speaking to the devil. That once in a blue moon I say something. I say, "Shut up and go". Other than that, I'm thanking Him for what's already done. And faith, okay.
The faith that you and I have in this new covenant is a faith that believes that where I am going Jesus has already made a way, paved the way. Every promise is mine. Everything in the books has been qualified for me. There's nothing that can stop it. And so I'm moving on. I'm going to just, praying for me is thanking and praising Him. So if I've got a financial miracle, I need something going on in my finances. I'm not, "Okay, I got to go praying and pull down the strongholds". Jesus did that. I'm going to go, "Father, I want to thank you right now, that I'm qualified for all the promises of God".
The one that says You've given us the power to make wealth in Deuteronomy 8:18. The one that says, "That Father". And I just start quoting verses and thanking Him for them. I'm not going, "Now, you did promise". As if He's going to make a choice. He made a choice and it's given to you. So thankfulness is the way we pray. It's declaring what God has done. As you go through this new covenant, you're going to find continuously you're being admonished. Be thankful. Rejoice! Rejoice evermore. This is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Every time it talks about anxiousness or worry. It will say, "Pray with thanksgiving".
What is thanksgiving? Thank you for Jesus. Thank you for what He's done. Thank you for the promises of God. Thank you that Jesus qualifies. I want to thank you for the promises of healing. They're mine and I'm rejoicing in that. That's how I pray. I pray past tense. Done deal from a place of victory that this... Where is all these miracles? It's within us because God is within us. And so 2000 years ago when He died for you, He died so that any miracle you need for protection, any miracle you need for health, any miracle you need in anywhere. He qualified you for it.
So we bore everybody to death with this long prayer meetings of, God. Like what is it you're asking Him to do? I want Him to heal me. He did and He placed that presence for healing within you. Well, I need financial blessing, okay. He did that, too. He did? Yeah, 2 Peter chapter 1. Every promise you're not qualified, go find some promises in the Word of God. That promise blessing and prosperity. Take them and just start being thankful for them.
See, to be a thankful person doesn't mean that you are a Pollyannaish or serendipitous person who ignores all the problems. No, not at all. But I refuse to focus on and find problems that everybody else. I want to live in this world of thankful. It is all through the new covenant. I challenge you, go get yourself a Strong's Concordance and look up rejoice evermore. Look up thankfulness. Look up giving thanks. Look up and see how much it is through there. It is a key to answer prayer.