If Jesus spent his first 40 Days of his ministry fasting, winning the inner battle that we all have to fight,then his final 40 Days were the exact opposite. Beach barbecues with his men. Lunch with them, dinner with them. Chatting, engaging. Feasting. Acts 1v3 tells us of his two objectives during these times:
- To convince beyond doubt He was alive. He had physically risen. He was no apparition. No ghost. Ghosts don’t eat. His body had risen
- To talk through with them the strategy for bringing in the kingdom, of rescuing people, of continuing what he had started. Kingdom warfare: how to plunder the strong man’s house, rescuing the human beings stolen from God by Satan
Because Jesus saw his work as plundering Satan’s Kingdom Mark 3:27
This was cosmic war between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of the Devil. Jesus has one purpose – to defeat satan. And so he chats it through with his men:
- Their ministry was to come out of their relationship with Holy Spirit (Acts 1v5) – so they had to wait till Holy Spirit came upon them because the enemies of God are not physical but spiritual forces (Eph 6:11,12)
- Healing people (spiritually, physically, emotionally), releasing them from demonic influence, takes power – and that is what He promised! (Acts 1:8)
‘Fill me Lord, with your spirit’
The church is the Army of God involved in the last stages of the war, enforcing the decisive victory won at the battle of Calvary (Col 1:20) and our mightiest weapon is prayer (2 Cor10:4)
He’d taught this right from outset. Through out his three years with them they’d seen him praying . In Matt 14v23 we read how he went up a hill to pray. In Mark 1v35 early in the morning, long before daybreak , Jesus got up and went to a lonely place where he prayed. Before going public he went private. Luke tells us in 11v1 how one day after three years seeing Jesus was at it again, praying, his disciples came to him pleading, ‘Lord teach us to pray’.
Goes back to what he’d taught them 3 years earlier in the Sermon on the Mount, but obviously hadn’t got it. he tells them to begin their prayer times with PRAISE (Honour the Father), then pray about God’s PRIORITIES (may YOUR Kingdom come on earth), then for your needs PROVISION, before moving on to asking for PARDON for hurting people in your life and hurting God. Lastly pray for POWER to overcome all the attacks which will launched against you.
I have found this such a helpful structure for my prayer time, using my fingers to keep my thoughts focused on the job in hand.
- Praise – I hold my thumb, my strongest finger –and praise his name, hallow it, honour it – father, healer, provider, strong tower…
- Priorities – then hold my index finger, my pointing finger ‘May your kingdom come’, show me what you want me to be about this day. May your Kingdom COME, may mine GO
- Provision – then hold my big finger , and tell Him my needs, NOT my wants!
- Pardon – then onto my ring finger, the one that goes to my heart. forgive me for all the hurts I’ve caused.
- Power – Lastly I hold my little finger, my weakest one. I tell Him I am weak, please strengthen me.Fill me Holy Spirit …again!
You can do this anywhere, any time, using up any spare moments productively. Try it. It really does help keep your prayers focused.
Especially when waiting for God. Waiting for a fresh touch of Acts 1v8 Holy Spirit power.
The God Man is now back in heaven, but his heart is still back here on earth. He’s still longing for people who, convinced he is alive, will wait longingly for the touch of the Holy Spirit on their lives so they will be effective in bringing in His kingdom
- Will we wait for the Holy Spirit to come UPON us?
- Will we have a Kingdom focus for the rest of our lives?
He wants you and me to join him in rescuing people, to plunder Satan’s kingdom, to pray the Kingdom prayer, to serve the king of kings on earth, to be filled with the Holy Spirit. To join the Kingdom lifeboat crew and rescue people
Are you up for it? Welcome aboard!