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8.20.2005

Prayer as a central practice of the faith


If you're not in conflict with your carnal self; if you're not in conflict with the world; if you're not in conflict with the devil: then you're in conformity with the devil's kingdom, and you're not seen as a threat.

You are no threat. You're a tame prisoner of the devil. Living in unmolested comfort, God bless your little soul.

The element of prayer the ministers of the devil don't want Christians to know about is the state of being of the Christian in prayer. The battle stance of the Christian in prayer. The presence of the Christian in prayer. (You're in the presence of God, pilgrim, act it.) When prayer is taught by the mainstream teachers and professors it's presented as a moral ritual that your fellow man demands that you do or you won't be considered a correct-thinking and behaving Christian.

A Christian who is assaulting heaven knows prayer is more. Prayer is communication with God Himself. That puts you in the presence of God. Not the presence of the policing-eyes and opinions of your fellow man. You may also be in the presence of your fellow man, but in true prayer a Christian is oriented in his attention vertically.

This true prayer involves the presence of the Holy Spirit. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is a result of true prayer. Man will tell you that that is some dancing around like a filthy male prostitute in a temple and man will tell you this either to praise it or to condemn it, but man's goal either way is to get you to associate true prayer with the filthy, devil activity of those who conform to the devil and refuse to fear God.

A Christian is a warrior. A Christian who is not in conflict with his carnal self, the world, and the devil is not a Christian who is engaged in assaulting heaven. No, he's a Christian who is engaged in fearing man and conforming to the devil's kingdom.

When you become filled with the Holy Spirit you step onto the battlefield. Your carnal nature attacks you, the world attacks you, and the devil himself attacks you. You have become a threat. Why? Because you are doing what a Christian does who is assaulting heaven. You are rising above the crowd and becoming a target. You are putting yourself in conflict with your carnal nature, and the world, and the devil, and in the process you are developing into a true man of God as you deal with the temptations and fears and threats and attacks of the enemy. As you repulse the enemy using the armor of God.

When in God's Word an individual comes into the very presence of God he says "I am here." "Here I am." He is in the presence of God, communicating with God. This is prayer. This is attaining a separation from the carnal self (being in the spirit) and from the world and being present in will, in mind, in emotion, in the very presence of God. This is an intentional heightening of presence. It requires effort and attention. When you are in the presence of God Himself you are circumspect and attentive to a degree than you would be in any other circumstance or situation or event in life. Well, in prayer you are in the presence of God. You're talking to God? Know that you are in the presence of God.

Prayer is communication with God in a state of worship. A heightened state. An attentive state. A reverent state. A fearful state. A state that is conscious of being in the very presence of God.

This state is the element of prayer that a Christian who is assaulting heaven attains when in prayer, and seeks to make a permanent state.

The Word of God tells you to pray fervantly, often, and continuously. This is effort. This is the foundational act of assaulting heaven. Attaining this presence and engaging in prayer in the very presence of God, for increased duration and depth and frequency. This is the act of a Christian who has counted his days and who knows his goal. This prayer combined with fasting from the carnal self, from the world, and from the devil, once on the battlefield, is the process of sanctification itself. This is assaulting heaven. Engaging the Word of God - conquering the Word of God - is the other act that makes your lines of effort complete.

How do you attain this heightened state and presence in prayer? By simply knowing you are in the presence of God. If God appeared to you right now your demeanor would change, would it not? You would be more awake in the moment would you not? The lesser thoughts and daydreams that occupy your mind when in an average state would be silenced would they not? You would have a heightened feeling of your surroundings and yourself situated in your surroundings. When you read in God's Word the words "I am here" you are reading words that sum up this heightened state of prayer. You pull back and separate from the impressions and influences surrounding you and awaken and establish your presence in the moment. Then you direct your attention upward to God. This state requires effort to get into and effort to stay in. Being in it for ever increasing duration and depth and frequency is part of the effort to assault heaven. The result of this state manifests in time when you find yourself in battle with your carnal self and with the world and with the devil himself. This is the battlefield. The result of being filled with the Holy Spirit.

This heightened state of presence fills you with the Holy Spirit and hence puts you on the battlefield where you then proceed to practice all the elements of Jesus' teaching in real time, in real life situations and circumstances and moments and events.

This is where your limits will be provoked, but where you can only extend your limits (you can only extend your limits by having your limits provoked).

Your carnal self will want to engage in violence and depression and will want to feel resentment towards the world as the world provokes you and tests you, and will want to give in to the temptations of the devil. This is where you develop yourself as a man of God, in doing battle against all of this and carrying out the two great commandments of Jesus Christ: to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself. To be awake and to love your enemy. You do this by separating, internally from your carnal self, and externally from the world (which is what the process of sanctification is, in act and in goal); by fasting, if you will (see post below).

Nothing happens if you don't get on the battlefield, and you can only get on the battlefield by the act of prayer and being filled with the Holy Spirit.

All the elements of prayer involving petition and so on anybody can read about in any good systematic theology. I'll just highlight one thing: the very act of (other than what I talked about above) simple, plain, meaningful prayer, which often seems even silly to many Christians, is a powerful and meaningful act in just this one way: the simple act to humble yourself before God forces you to recognize something higher than your vain, prideful, self-willed self. And it forces you to admit dependence on God. So even if you are not eloquent in what you say to God in simple prayer, or are not yet quite sure how prayer works, just the act of humbling yourself before God in that plain and meaningful and most simple act of prayer is a powerful act.

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