Leon Fontaine - Prayer In Troubled Times
There never has been a time without trouble. The enemy hasn't gone away for a decade and just disappeared. He hasn't disappeared for a century or a generation. There's always been a kingdom of darkness, and a kingdom of light. Now, the kingdom of darkness is always trying to advance, kill, steal, destroy. Those three things Jesus said they'll always do. Any time something's being killed, destroyed, stolen, it's always the dark kingdom behind it all. And so, as I go into these keys for prayer, I don't know how many I'm going to be able to get through but we're going to nail some of these that I believe are going to be an incredible help to you because, to pray effectively is different than so many people think. So, let's just dive into this.
Now, John 14:1 first of all says, let not your heart be troubled. It's crucial that the heart, your heart, is the absolute key to your future. Much of your prayer, alright, is not just getting God to do something. It is loading up your heart. It is taking God's Word and establishing it in your heart. So that your prayers come out with incredible, stunning power. And as you learn to pray, the, the power of God on your prayer continues to rise. Now, many as they are new to the things of God, we known God hears us and He answers prayer. But so many think prayer is simply asking God and that's it.
Now there's about nine different kinds of prayer. But in the Old Testament, it was just kind of ask and whatever He wants to do He's going to do. In the New Testament, it is a new covenant, and it teaches us new ways to pray. But most people don't even read it, don't study it, they'd rather just do the lazy way of begging and bugging God and if it doesn't happen, God didn't want to. If it does happen, then I guess God was into it. And so eveyrhting is God's fault, and He's trying to teach us how to pray. So the first thing is, get your heart established in grace. That means, the new covenant. What does it mean? What happened? Why did Jesus change prayer? What did He do to change prayer? Most don't know that. So, that is a crucial, crucial issue.
In John 14 it goes on to say, most assuredly, this is Jesus talking verse 12. I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do, he's going to do also and greater than these. That's something the church just kind of blows past. They just think we're here to kind of make it through, and you know, and if you pray it kind of gives you a little psychological relief, and that is so not what the Word of God teaches. But religion has yanked the power out of prayer. No one even studies it, understands it, looks at it, so few. And so the church of Jesus Christ must know how to pray. This fellowshipping with God, this knowing how to pray. It moves mountains, it changes nations, it changes families. It stops the dark kingdom in its tracks. The Bible says they flee when believers begin to speak and know how to pray the Word.
So in the same chapter, John 14:5, it says here that as we learn to pray, that Holy Spirit is our helper. Did you know you don't even pray by yourself? The second you pray in God's Word, according to this New Covenant, Holy Spirit is who's flowing through you. The spirit of God begins to flow through you. What an amazing thing. But so many people don't recognize. They just think it's just me bugging God, pleading with God, and I hope He feels sorry for me and does something. That's not accurate. That is Old Testament praying. Old covenant praying. And until you learn new covenant, you'll be stuck in a praying, a type of prayer that does very little.
And so prayer becomes frustrating. Because you don't understand the guidelines for prayer. You know, it's kind of like sports. Can you imagine somebody who doesn't understand basketball rules? He only understands football rules, so he goes to play basketball, grabs the ball, and heads for a touchdown. Well, it doesn't even make sense, he's going to be disqualified. There are guidelines to every covenant in the Bible. And, the old covenant, has different rules and guidelines than the new covenant. Another key to prayer is this. In Psalms 30:5-6, it says His anger is but for a moment. But His favor, talking about God, is for life. Then it says, weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
Now this is amazing. Because it goes on to say, now in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. Did you know that in the old covenant, if God, if things, if God saw sin or... His, His sense of honor, integrity, and righteousness. He had to judge sin. You couldn't, it's like raising kids and going, train them one day, don't do it the next day. You've got confusion. So if you're going to put guidelines on what they're allowed to do, what they're not allowed to do, they're going to have a time out or you're going, then you've got to maintain, God is the same way. He set out a whole bunch of guidelines and said this is the way. And so wherever there was sin and disobedience, His wrath or His judgement came.
Now, in the new covenant, Jesus took that wrath. The judgment was poured on Jesus for everything you've ever done wrong or will do wrong, as far as it coming from God. Now from others, you better be careful. For example, if you punch me, I'll probably deck you. Well why did God do that? God didn't do it, I did it. God forgave you, I just had a moment's lapse here before I forgive you. And so it is true in life. Don't break into your house, you're going to be met by a baseball bat upside the head. Well did God do that? No. But there's consequences to actions down here that you better be aware of, which is why wisdom is so important. But as far as God taking you out. As far as whatever's coming, coming from God against you as the believer, that does not happen. Jesus took God's wrath, and here is a huge issue in prayer where so many people don't understand this. And every time they've got a storm, they think why is God doing it, or why is God allowing it, why didn't He stop it? Because God doesn't stop storms, you and I do with Him.
Holy Spirit, God's spirit, is our helper. We are the person who must make the defining declaration of prayer, and I'm going to show you in God's Word. So, we need to know, if something's going on in your life right now, and Leon it's not fun. Leon, it hurts. Listen, life's got stuff. This isn't heaven yet. Everyone's going to lose somebody. You're going to lose your great-great-grandparents, and you're going to lose your great-grandparents, and you're going to lose your grandparents, then you're going to lose your parents. No one enjoys that, but it's the way of life. People you love and you care about. And then people around you who don't agree with you are going to attack, lie about you, say things about you, steal, backstab, take your contracts, try to hurt you, so that's why as believers, we need the promises of God. And we know how to pray so that no, no weapon formed against us prospers.
So, prayer is crucial. So recognize that if you're going through something, and it's, it's not happening yet. Joy comes in the morning is one of the most beautiful promises. That whatever you're going through, joy is coming. Joy is coming. Joy is coming. An answer is coming. God is going to move on this behalf in a powerful way. Now, what about our attitude when it comes to prayer? Now, it says here in James 1:19, understand this my beloved brethren. That every man be quick to hear, a ready listener, slow to speak, slow to take offense, and slow to get angry. Because a man's anger does not promote righteousness. Sometimes we think getting angry is bless guh. Listen to me. In the Word of God, the Bible says wisdom is always greater than power. That a wise man's wisdom is greater than a king's incredible power of army. A wise man's wisdom, and to you and I, we have the spirit of wisdom. Jesus is on the inside of us.
And so, this wisdom is crying aloud in the streets. The concourses, the places of power. Crying aloud saying, listen to me. And that is why as a believer, for you to not control your emotions, but to let anger go because you're angry about something. You will always make mistakes. You'll get out of the will of God. You need to be at peace to sense God's will. And then, you begin to outsmart the enemy. He gives you the direction that He has prepared ahead of time for you to walk through. Whether it's a new job, whether it's a new career. Whether it's an attack on you, that you can just get mad and scream at him, or God's made a way where there is no way. Or the Bible says in Ephesians 2:10, He's prepared a way ahead of time for you, a path that you should take. Why? Because that path will guide you around everything that tries to take you out physically, maritally, career, job, He's always got an answer. But Christians just want to sit around and either get angry, or, cry. Begin to be at peace, and take God's Word.
Now, our war is not with people. Ephesians 6 says that it's not flesh and blood. So many places that say, our, our argument is not with people. But it's what's behind it all. The dark kingdom. So you can be messing with people for the rest of your life, or you can learn to bind the powers of darkness. You can learn to declare that no weapon formed against me shall prosper, and that anything that rises up against me, I put it down. The Bible says we have the power to, to bind, to cast out devils. And everyone just thinks, well that's only when you find a poor person who's demon-possessed. No, no, no, no, no. Devils need to be cast out on the attacks on your life if you sense something evil pushing against you, out. Go. No, you can just stop this attack, there's times, and it doesn't happen often because I just find that building His Word and praying His Word almost always does it.
There's times I'll be thinking, all of a sudden I'll go him. Satan, I command the attack that you're doing, that assignment, it command it stopped in the name of Jesus Christ. Off those finances. Off my son. Off my daughter. Off that person, done in the name of Jesus. You have authority over principalities and powers, et cetera. So our attitude should be that what is behind evil people, evil leaders, attacks on you, is not that person. It's what is behind it. And the Bible is very clear, the only way to protect yourself from the influences of the dark kingdom is to have, be born again. And to have you have the strength and the presence of God on the inside of you.
Now, something amazing happens, as evil tries to influence you. As evil tries to get you to hurt others. Your heart is so full of love, that it begins to, the Bible says it's removed that old nature of fear, anger, hate, killing, murder, all that sin. And this new love goes, I want to work this out. I want things to go in the right. It just changes who you are. And so, if you ever meet a Christian who's angry and wants you to get involved with them, be careful. People who are angry always make bad decisions. So I've always learned to keep my cool. I'm not saying I'm perfect at it. But generally, I walk in peace. I don't mean an earthly peace. I mean a supernatural peace, that even when things are going bad, really bad. I look, pray, make a decision, God gives me the answer. That's what He wants to do for us, for all of us. So our attitude is crucial in this.
Now in Numbers 3:18-24, it says here and this is a really cool story. I'm looking at the fact that you are always blessed and never cursed. In the new covenant, never, ever, ever, is curses allowed in your life. Okay? And once you know that God has never going to use a curse on your life, it's not His job to allow it, it's not even up to Him, okay. But listen to this, in Numbers chapter 23, a king, an evil king, saw the children of Israel as they were coming across the desert on the way to their promised land. And everybody was afraid of them because no one could mess with these people. I mean, when they camped out at night in the cold desert, a pillar of fire warmed everybody. When they were during the way walking in the hot, hot, horrid heat. There'd be a cloud that protected them all from the rays of the sun, the babies, the moms, the children, the toddlers. These people, when they walk, it was, it was scary to all these kings.
So he hired a prophet, or a sooth-sayer, or some kind of a person. And sometimes in the Old Testament, you'll find a name that will crop up and you wonder are they prophets of God, or which way do they go, are they just kind of evil, but this prophet rises up, and this king hires him to curse God's people. And so he offers a sacrifice to Jehovah God, and asks Him can I curse these people? And as the story goes on, this is God's answer, and He gives this answer to this evil king. Then he took up his oracle, the prophet, and he said rise up king Balak, and hear. Listen to me son of Zippor. God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should repent. As He said, and will He not do it? He's going to do what He says. Or has He spoken and will He not make it good? God makes good what He says, God is as good as His Word.
And then verse 20 it says behold, I have received a command to bless. He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it. I love that, I love that whole verse. Nobody can reverse the blessing of God on my life. Nobody can curse it. Satan himself can't curse it. No witchdoctor, no dark arts, no mediums, none of the whole dark side. It doesn't matter what they say, what they do, people say did you know so-and-so put a curse on you? I feel sorry for them because my Bible says that when they pass a net for me, they fall into it. When they dig a pit for me, they fall into it. When they pull their sword, it goes into their heart. When they launch an arrow, it goes into their heart. There are so many wonderful principles about protection, and I just pray them. It is written. Bam. And that gives us such confidence, that I'm blessed. And there is no curse that works on me. Okay? No curse.
And so it's crucial, and then it goes on. Just sharing about this, and I want you to know the reason we pray, is to declare and to recognize. But if you're praying and you're ignorant of your new covenant, you could be praying something ridiculous. I have, people have asked me to get in agreement in prayer with them, and so we start to pray, and as they get done praying I go woah woah, I can't agree with that. So. I can't pray with you. What? I said, you're praying for your spouse, and you're saying Lord, if it be Thy will, heal them, if not I'm fine with You taking them. I said, that's not Biblically correct. So I'm not agreeing with that. And so you'll have to find someone else to who agrees, unless you want me to explain to you why. We speak life, and only life. And that prayer of, if it be Thy will, was never used where promises of God already stood. It is used where you don't have a promise from God.
For example. I've got a job, and a career, offered to me in Seattle, and I've got a job or a career offered to me in Vancouver. Which one should I take? There's no verse on that. You check them both out, and as you check them both out they have all the same equal things, so you say okay well I don't know. Lord, whatever's Your will. If it be Your will, I need to know. And now you can pray that prayer of if it be Your will. But it's never been used in the New Testament where there's already an existing promise. Hebrews 8:6, says that the covenant you and I have today with Jesus, is better than David's covenant, Moses' covenant. Better than any of the men and women of the Old Testament that were in awe of the miracles and the leadership and the strength, the angelic protection, the miraculous power of God. All of these stories, you have a better covenant based on better promises.
But today the church has just kind of given them up, and we just go well, gosh golly gee, I sure hope things go okay. And so my challenge to you today, there's so many beautiful keys on prayer. But the ones I've given you right now, are crucial. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16, it says rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Someone asked me, I get asked a lot, how much do you pray every day? Well this is my answer. I dialed Him up, and I've never hung up. I walk in a sensing of Him all the time, communicating, fellowshipping, sharing with Him. Laughing, just praising. Prayer is not just when I have a need, go to God and bam, bam, bam, bam. Prayer is an ongoing communication, a fellowship with God that is so crucial.
So, recognize that. So, rejoicing. Just live in a rejoicing format. Choose to rejoice. Pray without ceasing, doesn't mean you've got to get your head down and you've got to get kneeled beside your bed. It just means everywhere you go, stay in connection because He knows what to do, where to go, how to invest, how to stop, how to do this. Just how to be happy. He'll just keep you joyful, in His presence there's fullness of joy. I mean, it is so amazing to just stay hooked up to God. Then in verse 19-24 it says, quench not the spirit, okay? And despise not prophesying.
A crucial part of prayer, is look at Jesus as our example. I think it's a great place to start as the foundation. When Jesus was dealing with the enemy himself, the devil himself, He didn't do a whole bunch of fancy stuff like today we've got people who are interceding against certain names and powers, but all this intercessory prayer that's not even biblical, sorry, not in the new covenant at all. And most of the time not even in the old. Jesus just said, it is written. And He quoted a Bible verse. Do this. It is written. And I want to challenge you, that the reason for reading God's Word and knowing God's Word, is when something rises up. Verses rise up in me. And so if all of a sudden I'm not feeling good, it is written.
In Psalms 103, and you don't have to quote them verbatim, it's just that it does something to you to know these promises. It is written. That no sickness, no disease. It is written, my youth is renewed like the eagles. It is written, you know, and so. Just knowing the Word of God says that, and saying it is written. You don't have to have it in perfect Elizabethan English or King James, or you know, or New King James, or Amplified, or Expanded Version, or you'll notice it's not the wording that needs to be correct with as, a punctuation. It's the revelation of that verse that you're speaking. It is written that no weapon formed against me shall prosper. But I love, I'll be reading the Bible, and I'll find a verse that just touches me and I'll go, and I'll read it out loud. And I'll read the... then this is mine. It is written, it is mine in Jesus' name. And that is powerful prayer.
And so, it's crucial that you and I understand in the day and age that we're living in, we need to be prophesying as what the, what the Bible calls praying the Word, is prophesying. You are prophesying your future. Now, don't just prophesy over your family. Prophesy over your city, your career, your job, your kids. Prayer becomes fun when you start declaring what your future's going to be like. I declare in Jesus' name. My family walks in the blessing and the favour of God. I thank You right now my kids and my grandkids, and the generations going on are going to walk in the favour and the knowledge of Jesus Christ. I thank You, this nation of Canada is for Jesus and in Jesus' name I declare leaders that follow freedom in Christ. I declare upon the Calgary and mayor, I declare upon Alberta, and it's premiere, I declare and I pray for the United States right now. In the name of Jesus, Father, and as you take God's Word and declare righteous leaders and declare the favour and the blessing of God, say well, can you do that? The earth is given to man. And we are the church.
What are we going to do? Just go oh. Okay, gosh golly gee. No. The church needs to begin to pray. You need to begin to pray. And prayer's not complicated. Find promises in God's Word, read them out loud, and say it's written this way and I pray that over my country. It's written this way, I pray it over my spouse. It's written right here, I pray this over me in the name of Jesus. And as you learn the incredible power of the Word, your praying becomes so potent, that it comes out of your innermost being like rivers of living water. The power of God's not coming from heaven. He's within you. He is within you. And out of your innermost being is going to flow the power of God.
And so as you feed, and you get God, your heart grounded in God's Word. Tremendous things take place. And, something to think about is, it's not about how much power God decides to give. It's got to do with the grace of God flowing out of our hearts. So that Peter, just walking down a street, they brought the sick from cities and villages all around. Just to get in his shadow, just close enough to the presence of God, that radiated off him. To touch them. As we grow in prayer and in the things of God. Things rise up on the inside of us, because your heart gets established in grace.