TD Jakes - Prayer Partners - Part 1
Somewhere along the way, we developed this phrase in the history of the church to pick out people or persons that we call to be prayer partners, and though the phrase "prayer partners" is not in the scriptures, there are many, many examples of prayer partners in the scriptures. Prayer partners are not necessarily just friends. Your only connection with them may be that God has selected them to be a partner with you in prayer. We do not choose prayer partners as if God would not hear us by ourselves, for God heard Sarah when she laughed within herself.
So every believer needs to understand that even with your lips closed, God can hear you. He knows our thoughts afar off. We can sit silently and utter something in our spirit, and God can hear our thoughts, and yet the Bible encourages us to be audible, and there's a lot to be said about that. To be audible because our God is audible. He speaks. He declares. He teaches us to speak and to declare. "Ye shall have whatever you say. Speak to the mountain and the mountain will move". "The Son of Man, can these the bones live again? Lord, thou knowest. Speak to the bones that they might live".
People who will not speak up get left out. Speaking is important for creation. It is through the vehicle of speech that God created and framed the world. So speaking individually is important. The notion of partnership intensifies that power. For example, one can chase a thousand, the Bible said, but two can chase ten thousand. Now, if I understand math correctly, if one chases a thousand and I add another one, I should chase two thousand but God says the power of agreement exponentially accelerates the results of connectivity, because he is teaching us that we are not meant to be independent but interdependent. We are not meant to be independent, or Adam wouldn't have Eve. In order to have Cain, Abel, and Seth, Adam had to discover a mate so that through collaboration we might be fruitful. Interdependence. That means fruit stops when we become isolated.
So I don't have to send a demon to attack you. If you isolate yourself, you will attack yourself. And yet the the natural tendency when wounded, when hurt, when upset, when afraid for many personality types is to wade into the abyss of isolation. Prayer partners. Connectivity. If Paul had been in jail without Silas, I'm not sure there would have been an earthquake. Elijah by himself was left in a cave, but when he found Elisha, he comes out of the cave and continues to do exploits. Naomi had changed her name Marah, which means sorrow, until Ruth came with her, and in the coming together of Naomi and Ruth, purpose was revitalized after it had died. There are people that can come into your life and revive you, revitalize you, reinvigorate you, and re-inspire you.
So if I was Satan, I wouldn't so much try to disrupt your relationship with God but with others. And if you think about it, some of our biggest attacks are not about us and God, it's about us and others. I have seen people that were real, really, really smart but couldn't get along with anybody. I've hired people who were brilliant and they had the qualifications to do the job but not the social skills to be able to connect with the culture of the organization, and it's a sad thing to dismiss a qualified person because they do not have the emotional quotient to be able to utilize the gift that God has given them. Partnership is vitally important in order to be fruitful, in order to be productive, in order to be powerful.
Peter only got out of jail because there were intercessors interceding for him, and all of a sudden, God sends an angel to open up the doors of the inner sanctum of the prison and brings him out to four quadrants of soldiers because he had partnership in prayer. The premise, if you're taking notes, is agreement. See, how can two walk together save they agree? Finding a prayer partner who agrees is important. I don't like for people to pray for me who don't like me. Notice carefully what I said. You don't have to agree with me, Brother Barnett, but you do have to like me. You have to want what's best for me even if you disagree for me.
I don't want somebody who hopes I choke to come to me and tell me, "I'm praying for you". Go away, you witch. I would rather pray by myself than pray with somebody who is secretly seeking my demise. Come on, talk to me, somebody. We have to understand the power of agreement. The Bible said, "If any two of you agree as touching", wait a minute, I'm gonna give you a blank check, anything. Whoo, that's a shouting, my baby. Y'all understand what I just said? It would just blow your mind. Your computer would just explode. If any two of you, not if any one of you, if any two of you agree as touching anything, anything, anything... God says, "If you can get somebody to come into agreement with you, anything shall be done".
Nothing shall be possible if you can come into agreement. So if I was the spirit of the enemy, I would send disagreement, because if you ever reach agreement, that's why marriages are so difficult to hold together. The enemy keeps sending the spirit of disagreement, because if you and her ever got on one accord... you think you're bad by yourself? You would be amazing if you had agreement. So while the phrase "praise partners" may not be listed, the principles of partnership are riddled throughout the scripture.
Let's check nature. Nature teaches us that cross-pollination creates fruitfulness, that if we don't have cross-polarization, a tree cannot bear fruit of itself, so God creates creates bees as a point of connectivity to carry pollen from one blossom to the other because the blossom, as beautiful as it is, cannot produce the apple, save it cross-pollinate with something else. So before there was Bibles, there were nature and was nature, and nature teaches you the Creator. The Word of God says early in Romans chapter 1 that the heathen should have perceived God from nature with no Bible, that God's truth is revealed in nature, and nature so becomes the Rabbi that teaches us that we can, without connectivity, we can do nothing.
Jesus teaches us that the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, save it is in partnership with the vine. And so you got to be in partnership with somebody, and a lot of you are amen-ing me, but the reason your business isn't successful is because you are a sole proprietorship and you don't trust anybody to partner with you, and you're wondering why you're not as fruitful as you could be. It's because you have to do the books and bake the bread and do the advertisement and do selfies and do the commercials and do everything 'cause you don't trust anybody to do anything, and you're asking God to bless something where you have no partnership, and you can't be as prosperous as you could be, as God would give you exponential... somebody, say "exponential increase" if you would give up some power. You choose to own 100% of a dollar than 50% of a million.
This is all an indication that the whole earth groaneth and travaileth in pain until now. Not only they (I love this), but we also who have the first fruits of the spirits, we (watch this) groan within. Can I talk a minute about groaning within? The grown within is the groaning of the soul. The groan within doesn't even escape our lips. The groan within will wake you up at 3 o'clock in the morning. The groan within will have you walking the floor all night, and you can't go to sleep, and you can't put your finger on what's wrong. It's an inner groan. It's a groaning of the soul. It's a groaning of the emotions. It's a groaning we feel when we cannot find safety. You're looking for love. I'm just looking for safe. I'll settle for safe. You groan within when you don't feel safe, when you cannot incubate your creativity in an environment of safety.
The inability to find a place to be safe stops birth. Sheep do not produce lambs in disruption and chaos and confusion. They go to calm places. That's why the Bible said he leadeth me beside the... yeah, yeah, I need still waters. I can't even drink from a brook that's moving too fast, and because the soul is thirsty, it groans within itself, and because the soul is thirsty, it breaks its own rules, and because the soul is thirsty, you swipe left to find companionship. Because the soul is thirsty, you trying to buy love by the hour. Because the soul is thirsty, you're trying to drink yourself to sleep. Because the soul is thirsty, you're trying to find something, some medication that will lull you into a false sense of sobriety just to get a nap because the soul is thirsty.
Rich people hire doctors just to get a nap because the soul is thirsty. When you get a groan within yourself, I know you got quiet, and I like it when you get quiet 'cause I know you're listening. You groan within yourself. Just because we dance doesn't mean we don't groan within ourselves. The Bible here says you can have the Spirit, the first fruits of the Spirit and still groan within yourself. You can go to church and groan within yourself. You can watch me online right now, and still last night, you groaned within yourself. Some of us have been groaning within ourselves for weeks and others for months and others for years until our spirit has laryngitis because we have groaned out of words, and now it's just a feeling for which we have lost verbiage, and we wait for the adoption to it, I'm going through the text, the redemption of our body.
We want out of this mess. We wanna change. We want mortality to put on immortality, which can often be a spiritual way of being suicidal. When you hear people talking about, you know, "I just want Jesus to come," it sounds real spiritual, but what they're really saying is "I want out," and you gotta decode the language because it's church logo for "I'm sick of life". "Jesus, just get me out, just take me out, just take me away, just take me away". For many, and not for everybody, but for many people, that can be a camouflage for a spirit of depression because your life isn't working for you, and you're groaning within yourselves, but you're seeking language that is acceptable amongst your peers, so you make it about Jesus, but it's really about you because your soul is groaning within yourself.
Oh, just sit right there. I'm gonna get to you. I'm coming right to you. You ain't gonna have to come to me. I'm gonna walk right up your pew and stand right on your toe, all ten of them. I'm gonna stand right on it. The secret groaning of the soul is what destroys intimacy. So when she asked you, "What are you thinking"? You say, "Nothing," because if you told her what you were really thinking, you're not sure she could handle it, and you don't wanna have another argument, so you say nothing. Avoidance does not negate the fact that there is a groaning in the inner depths and the crevices of your soul, and you anesthetize the pain with busy. Other people anesthetize it with liquor, and some people anesthetize it with pot, but you anesthetize it with busy.
And so you volunteer for everything to dodge anything that might expose the fact that you are groaning within yourself. I may have to do this in two parts 'cause I'm not moving very fast down into my text. I haven't even got to what I wrote down. Groaning within yourself. How many people have the courage to hold up your hand and admit sometimes you groan within yourself?
I groan within myself because who am I gonna tell? I groan within myself because I'm not sure you really care. I groan within myself because I'm not sure you can do anything about it anyway. I groan within myself because what I'm groaning about is nobody's business. I groan within myself because I'm trying to protect the child I'm worried about. I groan within myself because I don't feel capable to resolve the issue. I groan within myself because I am disappointed that I didn't get what I expected out of life. I groan within myself because I cannot find on this side the satiety that calm to my soul. I groan within myself because this is not the life I imagined.
This is not the adulthood I imagined. This is not the relationship I imagined. I groan within myself because what I'm groaning about is so personal and so private. I groan within myself because I'm aging. I groan within myself because I'm isolated. I groan within myself because I thought I would own a home by now. I groan within myself because I thought I'd be further than this by now. I groan within myself because I went through a divorce, and I still think of him and I still think of her, and I groan within myself because my secrets have gone to somebody else's bed, and I groan within myself because I feel violated, and I groan within myself because I feel frustrated, and I groan within myself because what's really on my mind, I can't tell nobody, because if it's hurting me, it's too private to be discussed in public settings, and I groan within myself because I'm not gonna put my business on Facebook.
I groan within myself because you wanna keep it 100. I wanna keep it. So you go ahead and keep it 100. I just wanna keep it. I groan within myself. Somebody in here knows what I'm talking about. If you know what I'm talking about, give me 15 seconds of praise. Identify yourself. I groan within myself. At least I'm honest enough to admit that I'm not as happy as my smile looks like. At least I'm honest enough to admit that when you ask, "How are you?," I just said, "Fine," to pacify you. I said, "Fine," 'cause it ain't none of your business. I said, "Fine," because I don't trust you. I said, "Fine," because you ain't got enough time for me to tell you what's really going on with me.
I said, "Fine," because I wanted to simplify something that's so complicated that if I illustrated it, it would take all day, and I really know that you don't care. You're just being polite and you asked me how am I doing, but you really meant "Hello," so I gave you a counterfeit answer to a counterfeit question and kept the real truth inside of myself. I groan. I groan, I groan, I groan, I groan. I grown within myself, waiting for the adoption, to wit, even the redemption of our body. And then he says, and this is what draws me to the text. I may have to do this in two parts 'cause... can I go deeper?
What drew me to the text is for Paul to say, "We know not". We don't even know what to pray for. We don't even know what to pray for. If I told you how many times I walked into hospitals where people were on life support and I didn't know what to pray for, it's not that I wanted them to die, but I'm not sure that I wanted them to live hooked up to ventilators and respirators and can't breathe, and I'm not sure that I wanted to wake them up to more Alzheimer's, and I'm not sure that a baby whose heart and liver and lungs are born outside of its body, that I wanted to wake up to more pain and we not know not what to pray for. We don't know what to pray for about the marriage. We don't know what to pray for. You're single and you don't know whether to ask for a companion or not.
You're scared to ask for a companion 'cause all your girlfriends got one and they trying to get rid of them, and you don't know whether you're better off by yourself or with somebody. Oh, come on, talk to me. I dare you to be real with me. I dare you to be real with me. I dare you, we know not! Maybe I'm better off by myself. But maybe I can do bad by myself. Maybe I do better alone. I don't know what to pray for. I don't know what to pray for. I'm telling my children what they ought to major in, but now the rules have changed, and I'm not sure what I had in mind for them is right, and I'm not sure that it is any of my business what they do in the first place, because they have reached an age that they have the right to be wrong if they want to. We know not.
This humility is exacerbated by the contradiction that it comes from an intellectual. The apostle Paul is one of the most intellectual contributors to the New Testament. He is, in part, selected because he is an intellectual. He is absolutely brilliant. He speaks in a multiplicity of languages so God can use him in various countries because he is bilingual. Concerning the law, he is zealous. He is a Hebrew of Hebrew. He is from the tribe of Benjamin. He's a descendant of Saul the king. He has all kinds of power. His pedigree includes being a Pharisee. He is blameless regarding the law. He is respected by the most intellectual crowd.
You know how deep you are about who hangs around you. He is respected by the upper echelon of the intellectual influences of his society. He is trained at the feet of Gamaliel. He is able to articulate the Word of God in a multiplicity of languages. That means that the ships could not sail any place that Paul couldn't speak. Paul was bright. He was brilliant. He was profound. He was prolific. He is the primary contributor to the New Testament. Most of our theology of the New Testament church comes from the Pauline epistles. He is a major contributor of the New Testament of which the Romans is the caveat of all of his literary wonders and his splendiferous ability to articulate wisdom in coherent ways has given us much of the truth that we hold today. How could Paul, as big as his head is, acquiesce to the statement "We know not"?