Leon Fontaine - Prayer That Gets Results
Today, I want to talk to you about prayer. If you have been influenced by religion, then you see prayer as no great big deal. You've been influenced by much of the religious culture of the first world. Prayer is, "Yeah, if I think about it, I'll do it. Do I have to"? Today, I want to change your life by changing your attitude towards prayer. You know, not just anybody gets to talk to the queen. If you were, had a person who was of royalty, who was leading a nation, a Prime Minister, a President, Queen of England.
You don't have access to them. To get access to them, it could take you a lifetime and you may never get access to them. If you've got a hero who's an actor or your favorite band that plays the world. You don't get access to them. As their world gets more complex, larger, bigger. As they get death threats, as they barely have time to breathe let alone make their own lives, have some margin, some free time. The responsibilities to continue to do what they're doing requires them to be cautious. They're hard to get to. Yet, the God of the universe gives you direct access anytime you want. You have been given an honour, beyond honour. You've been given a privilege, beyond privilege.
At any time you can come boldly to the throne of grace. It's not a throne of judgment. It's not a throne of anger. It's not a throne that's going to belittle you. It's the throne of God's grace. The throne of God's favor. And you can have an audience with the God of the universe anytime you desire. This my friends is prayer. Prayer is crucial because with prayer we use the authority that we've been given, and we change the course of events on this planet. And if you do not use your authority. If you do not pray in faith, the Bible says for whatever is not of faith is sin. If you had a babysitter that was looking after your kids and someone came into the yard and took them and said, "Yeah, I want them. And so it's me. I'm going to take them". And you come home, and she said, "I'm so sorry. I didn't want to put up a fuzz. I didn't want them to think I was better than them. I didn't want to look too arrogant or too proud".
And so I mean, I told him, "Well, hey. I don't think you should take them". You're going, "What"? Well, you know, they probably good people. I don't want to act like I'm the one. I just want to stay humble. You are going to go, "What are you doing? You should have called him back. You should have called the cops. You should have done whatever it took. I gave you authority over my kids. I gave you this responsibility for my children. Now, get up and use it".
I think that's the way God looks at you and I. Like the church of Jesus Christ has forgotten its authority that we're the body of Christ. That Jesus had all authorities given to me. Now, you go. Like you cannot wink at prayer. If you do not pray. If you do not know how to pray effectively. It's your fault. You are to study the Word. You are to know your rights, your privileges, your inheritance. You are to rise up and have dominion. You are to subdue this planet. And so let's take a look at something that very few Christians seem to incorporate into their lives which is there's different kinds of prayer. You know, we're not getting into that right now, and there are different rules that govern prayer.
Someone said to me, "I don't believe in rules. You can just talk to God anytime you want". Well, of course, you can. That's communicating with Him. But then there is prayer that is a prayer to discover His will. There is prayer, the prayer of faith. There is a prayer of casting your cares. There's a prayer of worship and praise. There's a united prayer. There's a prayer of agreement. There's a prayer of supplication. The prayer of intercession. And people say, "I don't believe there's different rules". Well, let me tell you something. The Bible has different rules on how to protect your body. It has got rules on how to protect your mind, not because God likes rules. But because He's showing you how to control your body and keep it healthy. He's got guidelines to keep your mind healthy. He's got guidelines to keep a marriage healthy, a family healthy, a business healthy.
The Bible is filled with brilliant principles and there are principles to prayer. Like it or not. And if you do not learn them, if you do not make them important to you to get in there so you can pray effectively. So you can pray with authority. So you can understand it's your responsibility. If you're going to hire a babysitter with your most precious thing, your children. Then they better understand. It's your responsibility to protect them. Your responsibility to keep them safe. Your responsibility to know the principles of protecting a one-year old, a three-year old. To babysit a one-year old is so different from an eleven-year old. That you better wake up and know what those are, and the same is true with prayer.
In Acts 13:2, it says, "While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said". Stop right there. I have discovered that it is a life of praising and worshiping God that makes you conscious of His presence which was always there. But if you're not aware of His presence, you won't be aware of His voice. If you're not aware of the presence of God, you won't be aware of what He's trying to say to you. And so while they were worshiping and fasting. Quick word about fasting. Fasting is something that people think there's a lot of power in. I've seen a lot of people look at fasting as, oh, as if it's going to give you more power. Fasting has smart application for physical health. It's got smart application for mental health. But when it comes to spiritual things what fasting does, is just it keeps you focus.
So fasting means to deliberately put all of you focus on something. And so you're not worried about your food. You're not worried about your TV. You're not worried about things. You're just setting yourself aside with God. You maybe even fasting your relationships and your TV and your food and everything within you, it was talking here about getting focused on God. So while they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, Holy Spirit said. And He gave them direction, God-given direction.
You need to know if you want to get better at hearing the voice of God in business, who to hire, who to marry, what to do, decisions you need to make. That is worshipers. It is people who praise and worship God. Those are the ones who begin to know how quickly to focus on His presence, His voice, and get direction. So you must lead this life, a life that is listening to God but the way to listen is to worship and praise Him. The Bible uses the word. He says, "Ministering to Him". Did you know you can minister to God. Wow!
Here's the great story in Acts 16:22-26. Paul and Silas did a miracle that got everybody upset. They took a poor young lady who is demonically oppressed. And she would give a demonic words of knowledge. That she had, they would go to her to figure out what's going on in their life and the future like a witch or a medium, and she would tell people. She would know things. She followed them around telling that these men are men of God. And so this demon was speaking through her. And one day, Paul just turns around, just picks it out. Boom! And she was instantly set free. And there were some upset because it messed with their money. Whenever you mess with people's money, you mess with usually their heart.
So then the crowd it says joined in an attack upon them, tore Paul and Silas' clothes off and then beat them with rods. We're not talking about rods that raise a little bit of pink. We're talking about beat them, beat them. And when they had struck them with many blows, the Bible says they threw them into prison and told the jailer, "You keep them safe". He received such a strict charge that he put them in the inner prison, the dungeon, fastened their feet in the metal stocks. But about midnight, about midnight! About midnight! Why does it say midnight? Because with your problems there comes a midnight.
There's so many times as I'm praying, and problems and situations are going on. And usually it's about midnight that the darkest time, when everybody is sleeping and you're not, that fear will try to raise its ugly head and wake you up. And cause you to sit there marinating in fear, marinating in all the what ifs. Midnight for so many people is a bad time. That's why people make so much money with all the TV at midnight, from midnight to three in the morning. That you can sell a lot of product because they're busy watching something to get their mind off their fears. But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praises to God, and the other prisoners were listening. That means they weren't saying, "Oh, let's not sing too loud and disturb anybody". They lifted their voices and they praised God. They sang two men.
And as they're singing, it filled the whole prison till the melody and the words were coming from cell to cell, to the deepest dungeon. These prisoners were listening to two men, whipped, beaten. Two men with bruises and blood and in pain laying here now locked up and they're worshiping and praising God. Here in is a crucial message to you and I. When you're going through hell, don't stop. When a storm is in your face, don't stop praising God. When a giant is screaming at you like the Goliaths in life. Don't stop praising God. Don't stop worshiping Him the giver of life. Don't stop declaring His goodness and His triumphant victory. We've got to understand Paul and Silas were singing hymns and praising God at midnight to such a degree the prisoners were listening to them.
Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the very foundations of the prison were shaken and at once all the doors were opened. Whose doors? Everybody's doors and everyone's shackles were unfastened. Listen to me, when we praise God, when we maintain a spirit of faith. When they know that everybody at your work, see stuff going on, and the people are losing jobs. And there's a smile on your face. And yes, I don't like the fact everyone's getting laid off and me, too. But I will praise Him because He will never desert me. He will never. I've never seen the righteous forsaken or a seed begging bread. That's your attitude.
So when they talk to you it's, "Hey, I'm going to be okay. I'll find something better. Don't worry about me". Why? Why is that confidence there? Because you know your God. And if you're going to talk about what you're going to do at midnight when everybody else is worried and talking to their wife and pinning their bills to the fridge, and you are praising Him, worshiping God, or sleeping. You're at church with the rest of the team that you're on, Springs Church where we are, and you're praising and adoring Him, and declaring He's the God of the breakthrough. He is the God that always answers. He is the God that is there. You do it at church. You do it in the morning. You do it at midnight. You do it when your feet hit the floor in the morning.
Instead of, "Oh, my. What a, I don't feel so good today". Oh, shut up. Stop saying what your body wants you to say. Stop saying what your unrenewed mind wants you to say. And get up and declare, "This is the day the Lord has made". Me? I'm going to rejoice. I'm going to be glad in it. There's something about people who praise God. It is a prayer. It is one of those nine prayers that gets up and in the face of giants, in the face of storms, and the face of warfare, in the face of attack. It begins to declare who you are, whose you are, your purpose in life, etcetera. This is crucial. The people around you. This is an exciting thing here.
It says that the whole prison was listening to them. So I can imagine that they sang hymns, it says. Which is scripture. They sang scriptures of God's power. They sang scripture of God's goodness. They sang scripture that declare their allegiance to Him, their faithfulness to Him, and these prisoners are listening to this. Then they began to praise Him. But what is praise? Praise is a declaration of His power, His goodness. And they're listening to these two men that they saw being dragged in, bloody, beaten, bruised, missing teeth. Whatever it is, and they're locked in the worse dungeon. The deepest dungeon. This is the worst of the worst these men are thinking. But as they listened from midnight and on to the songs, the singing. They're all complaining and whining.
In fact, in some people's lives Silas would be looking at Paul and say, "Oh, you told me you heard from God". You told me, "Hey, we're going to go to this city. God is in this and here we are beaten, persecuted, locked up". You can so quickly begin to get disenfranchised with God when things don't go perfect. People think that their life is just keep tiptoeing through the tulips, drinking a diet Coke, and sit in front of the pool for 120 years and get and go, "No! There's a purpose to our lives". There's something He needs you to do. He needs you to get up and go forth and declare His Word, share, set captives free like they were doing. And the people rise up against you and you go through a period of time of persecution. Persecution is not being sick. Persecution is not being poor. Persecution is when something is coming at you because of your stand for Christ.
So these guys were being persecuted. And as they began to sing and as they began to praise God, not only did they receive an incredible miracle, but everybody who was listening to them heard. You know, right now as I'm here talking to this parking lots of cars. There'll be those of you here that, you know, you're just new. You don't even know what we're about. You just heard about it and you made your way in. The very fact that you're sitting here listening to the Word of God. Something miraculous is going to take place in your life. Because when you hear God's Word, it causes faith to raise. Faith in a God that loves you. And here two apostles are praising and singing and worshiping God. And all who listened rose up in faith and their shackles came off.
When Paul and Silas' shackles came off and everybody was set free. If you'll dare to be someone who praises and worships God. Dare to get up in your house and teach your kids to sing. Put on your favorite record. Put on your favorite song and worship and sing. Let them see you singing in the morning, humming, whistling in the afternoon. Let them see you at church worshiping God. Why? It's not because it's some little Dickie Dee melody. It's because it is a prayer. It is a prayer of faith that releases the very power of God. So that earthquakes can destroy a prison. So that the power of God, I have found at times when I have spoken the Word of God over my body. I would just start to praise Him and to worship Him. And when you praise and worship Him, you'll find that there is just this release of faith and miracles come when we praise, and when we worship God.
I was in a conference one time and I was slated to speak. There was another speaker that was there. So as he was doing his session, I was next. And all of a sudden, I began to feel so weird. I began to feel sickly. I began to feel yuck. And so when things pushed at me high, just, you know, in Jesus name. I don't accept. Go. Just send it away. Go away. And it's not working. It's just kind of nothing's happening. I'm feeling a little bit of yuck. And so I turned to the driver that have been assigned to me and say, "Get me back to my room. Quickly, please". Because I only had about an hour. I know because there's a message and then there was a break. And then I had to get up and minister to this conference. He gets me back to the room. And something is going on and I'm just feeling yuck. I don't know. I am not canceling. I am not going to say no to this.
I'm getting up and I'm going to minister to people. And I remember just in the room. I mean, I've got a bath. I've got cleaned up. I just did anything to try to get myself to feel better. And then nothing seemed to work. So I just stood in the middle of my room and I just began to worship Him. I didn't feel like worshiping Him. I couldn't feel a song coming out of my heart, my head, my mouth, or my throat. It was like deader than doors nail. But I just want you to know something. I chose to praise Him and worship Him. And I said, "Body, you're going to worship God". So I stood up. Oh, I'm waving around. Putting a little, you know, my sense of balance. My stomach is bugging me. I just feel awful everywhere. Hand in the air and I began to declare the goodness of my God. He's faithful. This is beauty. You're who I serve, Father. Your Word says, "I want you to know. I trust you. I love you. I'm with you".
And as I'm worshiping, all of a sudden, just felt this feeling come from the top of my head and it just went, and it was gone. You say, "Why didn't God do it earlier"? God is not the issue. God did it 2000 years ago. It was me getting before Him and I needed to do that. I needed to just find a place of praising and worshiping. And I can share story after story after story of whether it's believing for millions of dollars or families or friends or things. Where if I can't sleep and I'm up. Well then I'm going to praise God. I'm not going to get up and worry. I'm not going to walk around and watch a whole bunch of boring TV. I'll get up and praise God. I'll read His Word. I'll just maybe quietly if I've got babies sleeping around me.
But it will be, "God, You're so good. I love You and I honour You. You're the King of kings. You're the bright Morningstar. You're the lion of Judah. You're the overcomer. You're the one that sees me through. You, Father, the one who had died on the cross for me with Jesus. You are all"... I just began to speak the Word, declare His goodness, His faithfulness. And I'm telling you, as I began to speak this out, something rises up on the inside. I sense His presence. His Word comes alive. He's always been there. His Word's always been there. It's me that's changing. And man! Have I seen great miracles as I began to praise the Lord.
When you begin to praise Him, something happens. And it's not that God chooses to do the miracle right then. He did it 2000 years ago. It's that you are beginning, you've prayed His Word. You've meditated on His Word. You're believing Him for a miracle. Praise and worship calls it done. So whether or not this miracle takes place through you. Whether it takes place for you from some other way or God changes hearts. You just trust God and then begin to praise, begin to worship, and you need to start today. You have been gifted, honoured with the freedom to enter the throne of God anytime you want. And because of Jesus, you can be an incredibly effective prayer person. So study this out. Get into His Word. Learn how to pray new covenant prayers.