'My prayers seem to bounce off the ceiling!' If you haven't said this yourself, I'm sure that you have heard someone else say it, but can this be true? Where are you when you pray? Are you on earth, in heaven, or both at the same time? And does it matter?
When we pray heaven and earth are connected, we see this from the Lord's Prayer, 'Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven' (Matthew 6:10). As Christians we want to see God's kingdom here and his will done on earth in our own lives, and in the life of his church. The problem is that many of us struggle to know what this means in a practical way, and so use 'Thy will be done' as a get out clause when we are unsure how to pray about a particular situation. When this happens I would recommend praying in tongues as the Holy Spirit guides us. If He then speaks to us about the situation then we will be able to pray with understanding, if not then we will still be praying with our spirits guided by the Holy Spirit.
As a non-Christian we can only pray from an earthly perspective, all we see is the physical realm and we are spiritually dead, Paul says that we 'were dead in trespasses and sins' (Eph 2:1).
All this changes when we become Christians. God has 'made us alive together with Christ' (Eph 2:5 NKJV), our spirits are now alive instead of being dead. This means we can communicate with God as our spirit is touched by his Holy Spirit. Prayer is now no longer a seemingly one way communication, we can actively listen to God as well as pray to him. After all I cannot hold a real conversation with a dead person, but I can with someone who is alive.
It does not stop there. God has 'raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus' (Eph 2:6). We are no longer earth bound creatures, we are restored to be creatures of God's presence. God walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of day, but when we are restored in Jesus we have a far greater inheritance. We are now seated in heavenly places. We are seated, we are at rest in God's presence. In one sense we do not need to strive when it comes to prayer, although in other ways we do. We do not need to strive as Jesus victory over sin and death is complete, we can do nothing to make it more complete. It is done, it is finished! We can rest in that victory.
We are in heavenly places. We are no longer just bound to earthly things, to an earthly view or to hear earthly things. We now have a place in heaven itself. We can now say that we can see and hear God's word like the OT prophets. This means that like Jesus we can know what the Father is doing and pray and act accordingly. We can all know what God is saying and can pray
It is amazing that we now live both on earth and in heaven, but how does this impact on our prayer lives.
If you have ever doubted that God is hearing your prayer then you need to ask for his forgiveness, and ask him to change how you think! Don't worry he hears all our prayers all of the time, even if we don't realise it at the time.
We are in heaven, in the throne-room of the King. We are talking to the King. Ask him to show you how to pray, if you came into the presence of an earthly monarch you would want to learn about what they are doing, it should be the same with God. A good place to start is from your Bible reading as praying Scripture is powerful. We also find that as we seek to pray and do the King's will in our lives, then our prayers and requests will come more in-line with His and we will see ourprayers answered to a greater extent.
Heavenly Father, help us to know the reality of all we have in our new life in you, that we now live both on earth and in heaven. Thank you that Jesus work on the cross is complete, and that we pray from a place of victory not defeat. Lord, help us to learn to listen to you more and more, and know the reality and glory of heaven in our lives and the lives of those around us. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Theresa Grant ( @theresagrant3 )