Rabbi Schneider - Does Intentional Prayer Really Work?
I'm declaring, beloved, that there is a reality that exists right alongside where the natural man lives. In other words, most people live inside a world that's defined by what they see, what they feel with their hands, what they hear from the world, what they see on the news. Natural man lives in a very small space. But Jesus said, if the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed. You see, when Jesus came to the world, he broke into space and time to bring us an alternative reality, a parallel reality. This parallel reality called the kingdom of God, it exists right alongside, it's hovering just over the reality that most people live in, in the natural.
But the kingdom of God has broken in. And Jesus said that this new reality that he's brought to us can become ours if we'll desire it enough, have faith in it, and believe in him. We're gonna be looking today at some specific principles, some specific action steps that you and I can take to break into this parallel reality, a reality Jesus said of peace, of joy, of victory, of power, of happiness. We can experience this reality that Jesus proclaimed when he brought the kingdom of God if we will take certain action steps by God's grace and by his Spirit to enter into it. I want to begin today just by laying a foundation once again to build faith in you of this reality that's yours today. I'm beginning today in John, chapter 14, verse 27.
Listen what Jesus said in John, 14:27, beloved one. He said: Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you, not as the world gives, do I give to you. And then he said, do not let your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful. But notice that Jesus said, my peace I give to you. Now get this, he said, not as the world gives. In other words, Jesus broke into the dimension of space and time. He broke in to our material world. He came and landed on planet earth to bring us a peace, get it now, that's not of this world. It's a parallel reality. It's here and it's now. It's not tied to our circumstances. It's not tied to our emotions. It's not tied to our family background. It's not tied to where we live in the world. It's not tied to our economic environment.
Jesus said, I have come to give you a peace, get it now, church, he said, that is not of this world. It's a parallel reality. Let's continue on. John, chapter 8, verse 23, Jesus said this. He said: You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, he said, I am not of this world. You see, the Son of God came down from heaven, walked upon planet earth. And when he did, the kingdom of God broke in. The kingdom of God is here and it's now. Jesus said, let no one tell you to go to the mountain top to find the kingdom of God. You don't go here, Jesus said, and you don't go there. He said, for the kingdom of God has broken in. It's in your midst and it's in you. It's a parallel reality. It can't be perceived by the natural eyes. It can't be perceived by the intellect, but it's entered into by the spirit.
It's here and it's now, hovering just above the reality of the natural world. And we can enter into it, beloved, if we have faith, and if we have desire. I love John, 3, verse 13 in the King James version. Hear the Word of God. Jesus said this: And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, get this now, even the Son of man, get this now, which is in heaven. And so the way the King James translates this is that Jesus said, no one can get to heaven except he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man, speaking of himself. And then he went on to say, get this now, that is in heaven.
What Jesus was declaring was that even when he was walking on planet earth, even as you and I walk on planet earth today, even as his, his foots were on the planet that we live on, he said he was still in heaven. What this means is that in Jesus we can access the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of God, get this church, while we are yet still on earth. I'm excited about this because I've always had a vision in my life for victory. You see, when I was a young person, all through school I wrestled. I was a very committed athlete. I lived it. I ate it. I slept it. I wrestled all year long. I trained all year long. And when I would go to sleep at night I would go over to my record player, some of us remember the record players, right?
And I would put the record on, and I would go back and lay in my bed. And when I heard the music playing, I would envision myself with my hand raised as state champ. And when I did, beloved, chills went through my body. And I envisioned that if I could become state champ that it would be like I conquered the world and I thought that for the rest of my life, in my naive way of thinking, I thought for the rest of my life I would be able just to bask in the glory of that, and in the sunshine of that. And what it represented to me, beloved, was conquering the world, listen now, and freedom.
So I always had this vision that it's possible to experience something so superior, something so excellent, something that involved even ecstasy. I always believed that was possible. I used to try to obtain it as an athlete. I came to the conclusion that I couldn't find that as an athlete because it didn't last. And then when Jesus revealed himself to me supernaturally in 1978, I knew that I could find that reality in him, because Jesus said, if the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed. The Bible says there's liberty in the Spirit. In the book of Romans, that we reign in life through Christ Jesus, that we've been raised with him, in the Book of Ephesians, and are even now seated with him in heavenly places.
So even that ecstasy that I was seeking after as an athlete, I realized that God has called you and I, beloved, into the fullness of his presence, where there's fullness of joy. And all the things that I was seeking after in wrestling, can really be obtained permanently in Jesus. So I'm hungering and I'm thirsting for this because I desire it so much. What about some of you? Maybe some of you are not satisfied with the mediocre life. Maybe you're not satisfied with just getting by. Maybe many of you desire what I desire, that there's something more, that there's freedom, that there's victory, that you can ascend, that you can get to the top of the mountain, that you can feel what it feels like to be victorious. The Bible says in all these things we're more than conquerors through him that loves us.
So how do we enter into this reality? How do we enter into this parallel reality? That's what we began to talk about, excuse me, beloved ones, last week. Last week we began, and I shared with you that the first pre-requisite is desire. We must have such a desire for this. We must have such a thirst for this that it becomes the gasoline that pushes us forward into breakthrough so that we can enter into it. You see, without desire, without passion, without hunger, we'll never be able to enter into this parallel reality called the kingdom of God or eternal life that I'm describing.
You see, Jesus said in Matthew, 5, blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of God. Without an intense desire, without a desire that's like fire, you and I will never break in. But where do we get this desire? We get the desire, beloved, by having faith that we can really access this victory, that it's really accessible to us, that we can really, get this now, experience what Jesus said we can experience; that when Jesus said, be of good courage, and do not be afraid, when Jesus said let not your heart be troubled, when Jesus said do not worry, when Jesus said rejoice always, when Jesus said my joys I, joy I give to you, when Jesus said my peace I give to you, that when he said those things, we have to believe that we can really have those things, that we can live a life that's free from fear, that we can live a life, beloved ones, that isn't dependent on circumstances.
Paul and Silas were singing in jail. Paul wrote most of the New Testament from prison. Paul said he had learned the secret of being content in every situation. You see in order for us to have the type of desire and passion that's needed, have breakthrough into this reality called the kingdom of God, this parallel reality, we have to believe that we can really take possession of it. Jesus said in the Book of Matthew that the violent take the kingdom of God by force. What he meant is that the people that really lay ahold of the kingdom, the people that really enter into God's reality are people that are so focused, so passionate, have such a holy resolve, have such an intent that they're not gonna be denied; like Jacob that said to God, I will not let go until you bless me. And God said to Jacob, you have the prize, Jacob. You have striven against God and man and I'm gonna bless you now. God changed his name to Israel.
Jacob had that holy, beloved, passion. He had that desire that gave him breakthrough. So the first pre-requisite to entering in is desire. And desire comes by faith. We must believe that we can have what God says we can have. That's why the Bible tells us in the Book of Hebrews, chapter 11, verse 6, that without faith, it's impossible to please God, get this now, for those that are gonna walk with God, those that are gonna please him, hear this now, must believe that he is, that he's real and that he's a rewarder of those that diligently seek him. I want to challenge you right now. Do you believe you can really be free? Jesus said, if the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed.
Let me ask you, child of Jesus, do you believe that you can really be free? If you believe that you can really be free, you know what? You're on the beginning of the journey and you're on the way for breakthrough.
Father God, right now I speak faith, and I speak passion. I speak holy resolve. Father, I speak extreme joy and extreme faith into these, Father God, that are receiving from your Spirit right now, that they, Father God, would even gain strength for breakthrough by this broadcast while I'm preaching, that Father God, it would bring them into the next level of transformation into eternal life, into your presence and into your glory, into the parallel reality, Jesus, that you called the kingdom of God.
Yes, beloved ones, there is a spirit of reality that exists right here, right now for you and me. It's beyond space. It's beyond time. It's beyond our circumstances. It's beyond the material world. It's outside and apart from what we hear on the news, and our economic circumstances. It is the invisible world of the kingdom of God. You see, the Bible says that we're born of the Spirit. And you can't see the Spirit. Jesus says the Spirit is like the wind. It blows where it wishes. You can't see it, but you see the effect of it. You see, I'm proclaiming to an invisible reality. It's the kingdom of God. It comes to us by the Spirit of God and it's yours and it's mine if we'll have the desire and the faith to enter in.
We talked about that last week. I want to continue on today, beloved ones. What is the next application of truth that needs to be operating in our life that will propel us in to eternal life, into this alternative reality that I'm calling a parallel world or a parallel reality, because we can't see it but it's here and it's now. The next pre-requisite, beloved, I'm calling, get this now, kavanah. Kavanah is a Hebrew word and it means intent. You see, we understand in traditional Judaism, in mystical Judaism, that in order to have breakthrough with God, you have to have intent. You have to have kavanah. There has to be an intense purposefulness. It's just like Jesus said in Matthew, chapter 11, the violent take it by force.
Just like Jacob proved when he took ahold of God. He said, I'm not gonna let go until you bless me. If we're gonna enter in to eternal life and take possession of the kingdom, we're gonna have to have a focused, passionate, fiery resolve, get this now, a wholly, single-minded intent, intent. And what are we focusing on? We're focusing on, get this now beloved, listen, the Word of God. What are we focusing on? What is our intent on? What are we being intentional about? That's what kavanah means. What are we being intentional about? We're being intentional, beloved, listen now, about the Word of God, that he's continually imparting to our life as we're seeking him. I'm talking about the written Word of God. I hope every one of you is starting your day with a devotional time with God, where you're spending time in his written Word. And I'm talking about, beloved, the truth that Jesus imparts to us by his Holy Spirit.
As the Lord begins to speak to us by his written Word, and as he begins to impart to us revelation by his Spirit, we need to focus on it and be intentional about it, being intentional about thinking about it, meditating on it, praying about it, and putting it into practice in our life through obedience. The Lord said to Joshua in Joshua, chapter 1, verse number 8, these words, beloved one. Hear the Word of God: This book of the law, God said to Joshua, shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night. Let me read it again: This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, hear this now, but you shall meditate on it day and night, meditate day and night. Notice the intent. Notice the focus.
Notice how intentional Joshua had to be about this. And look what God said to him would happen when Joshua practiced kavanah, when he practiced being intentful on God's Word. Notice what God said would happen: So that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; get this now, for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. So I want to challenge you right now. Are you being intentional about applying yourself to God's Word? Many people are focused on how much of God's Word they read a day. I want to talk to you about just being focused on what you do read.
Some of you just read a devotional. Some of you read the devotional Jesus Calls. I read that every morning. It's a great devotional, and many others as well. But every morning I wake up by the grace of God, and I just spend time sitting with the Lord, just sitting before him, asking him what I dreamed about last night, and if there was a message for me, and anything that happened in my dreams last night. And I even write them down. And then I'll get my devotional out and I'll read my devotional. And I won't just force myself to read it, but I'll read it slowly. And if there's a specific sentence that begins to speak to me in the devotional, I'll stop and I'll re-read the sentence two or three times.
Notice I'm practicing kavanah. I'm being intentional. And then I'll pray about it. I said, I'll say, Lord, show me what this means to me. Lord, give me clear revelation about this. Lord, show me what you're saying to me when you want me to let go of any pre-conceived plans that I have and to take each hour, hour by hour without trying to force every hour in a mold. Father, help me to understand how you want me to walk dependent on you, not clinging to anything, not clinging to habits, not clinging to structures, not clinging to control systems that prevent me from entering in fully to the Spirit. Show me, Father, how to apply this to my life. And then I'll continue to read, and then I'll get to the Scriptures at the bottom, and I'll read the Scriptures a few times.
Again, I'll pray about the Scriptures and turn the Scriptures into a prayer dialogue with God. And then I'll go from there to reading maybe a spiritual autobiography that I'm reading. Or I often times will practice confessions, that the Lord said greater is he that's in you than he that's in the world. And I'll confess it. I'll say, Father God, thank you that greater is he that's in me than he that's in the world. I want to thank you, Father God, that anything I face today I can master it in you, 'cause you said he that's born of God has overcome the world.
Notice again, beloved ones, I'm just modeling for you how focused it is, how intentional it is. And I want to encourage you to do that. And then beloved, when the Lord is speaking to us about being intentional, about being focused, it applies both to the written Word and to those things that the Holy Spirit is just impressing on our heart, and we just know he's impressing on our hearts. Perhaps some of you right now, the Holy Spirit's been speaking to you about watching your mouth and being careful that you don't speak any words of criticism, that you don't speak any words of judgment, that you just don't talk in nervousness.
If the Lord has been speaking to you about something, beloved, whether it's that or something else, don't let it roll off your back like water off a duck's back. Be intentional about what the Holy Spirit is putting on your conscience, and say, Lord, I recognize that you're speaking to me. I hear you. And then be intentional, beloved one, about your obedience. And as you practice being intentional, as you practice kavanah, both with the written Word and in what the Holy Spirit is imparting to you, as you practice this, it is gonna push you forward. There's gonna be momentum in your life by the Holy Spirit propelling you forward, pushing you deeper into the realms of eternal life.
You see, this alternate reality that I'm proclaiming, this parallel reality that I'm proclaiming, it's eternal life. And we enter into it more and more. It's here. It's waiting to be discovered. But it doesn't just fall upon us, but we have to cooperate with God and enter into it just like the children of Israel had to cooperate with God and press in to the Promised Land by driving out the Amorites, Hesibites, Jebusites and the other enemies as well. You see, God's got something great in store for you. Eye has not seen and ear has not heard the things that God has prepared for you. He loves you. Take ahold of him today and practice, beloved, in your life the principles that I'm sharing with you. God bless you and Shalom.