(this teaching is available to watch by scrolling to the bottom of the page)
How do you maintain strong faith and remain hopeful in a world that can quickly drain you? When trials and challenges hit from every side, what anchors you and gives you the power to press on?
God’s Word has the answer.
Before you jump into today’s teaching, pray this:
Dear Father, help us have clarity and understanding to be hearers of the word and be compelled to be doers. Help us to shape this generation for Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Do you want to be renewed in your faith?
Do you want a fresh sense of enthusiasm for Christ?
Do you want to fall in love with Jesus all over again?
If you are looking to be renewed, then prayer must be a key habit and practice in your life. What does it mean to be renewed? It means to be refreshed, to go forward, to sprout.
When you’ve renewed your walk and relationship with God, you feel refreshed.
In Acts 1, you find the “upper room,” located on the second floor of a home, and there are 120 people gathered there. I call these people the Upper Room Community.
These individuals knew how to cry out to God in prayer.
Acts 1:4-5 says, On one occasion, while He was eating with them, He gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
The disciples had no idea what the baptism of the Holy Spirit was. Some of them thought it was the restoration of Israel.
Acts 1:8-9 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After Jesus said that, a short period passed, and He ascended to be with God the Father. Let’s pick up at Acts 1:12-14, Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James, son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas, son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”
Historically, the upper room was when a homeowner would have a large second floor of their home, most often used for feasts and festivals. Other times it was a place where people would gather for bereavement.
We now find a community gathered in the upper room for prayer. Mary, the 11 apostles and Jesus’ brothers were there. If you continue to read Acts Chapter 1, you will see around 120 people gathered there. Why were they there?
Jesus asked them to wait in Jerusalem.
They had no idea what was going to happen next. Jesus had been crucified and the climate of the city was uncertain.
How did they prepare themselves for the gift that God had promised them? They came into alignment with God’s perspective.
COME INTO ALIGNMENT!
For you to function in the upper room, you must come into alignment with God’s perspective. His perspective is that you are going to receive power. The word power in Greek is dunamis which means dynamite when translated to English.
When you get filled with the Holy Spirit, it’s like an explosion in your life. The baptism of the Holy Spirit gives you the power to serve and function in what God has called you to do. It also gives you the power to be a witness in Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the world.
There must be love in your heart for all people.
We must also come into alignment with the perspective and prerequisite toward prayer.
You must confess your sins before God and be cleansed from all unrighteousness.
“If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” —Psalm 66:18
When climbing the steps to the upper room to do business with God, you need to ask God to forgive you of your sins. Remove the barrier and gap that is between you and the Lord.
An aligned perspective is when you share your sins with God and acknowledge that a problem is affecting you. Ask Him for forgiveness and get rid of the gap caused by sin. I want you to prevail and continue in prayer until you see a breakthrough.
PREVAIL IN PRAYER!
Acts 1:14 says, “All these with one mind and one purpose were continually devoting themselves to prayer, (waiting together) along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”
Prevailing in prayer means that you pray until you secure an answer from God.
These 120 men and women in the upper room spent 10 days praying. To prevail in prayer means that there is some resistance. It means that there may be something to be won and the powers of darkness must be subdued and defeated in prayer.
When you prevail in prayer, you prevail against yourself.
You’re pushing through the distractions of this world and envisioning your future in prayer. If you don’t envision a future where you can see that prayer is secured, you won’t get an answer to prayer.
Why didn’t Jesus just lay hands on the disciples and have them receive the Holy Spirit right then? Why did He have them wait in Jerusalem?
Having them wait and gather allowed them to get focused and ask God to empower them. It gave them the time to learn to pray in a very attentive way and learn how to move God. It showed them how to have the ability to prevail in prayer.
If we want to grow in the Lord and see Him deliver on His promises, then we need to learn to prevail in prayer. To prevail in prayer means you have to pursue God.
God gives us desires. He puts longing in our hearts, and we shouldn’t dismiss them as inconsequential.
When you have cried out to God saying you want to be in His will, be mindful that He gives you the desires you are praying for. Those desires become prizes that God wants to give you. When you prevail in prayer, you pray about those desires until they give birth and are fulfilled.
Satan will do everything in his power to keep you from staying in prayer and stop you from joining the upper room community. He wants to stop you from being an intercessor and praying for others.
“Satan usually knows his priorities, and since prevailing in prayer can restrain, bind, and defeat him more than all else, Satan makes his priority to hinder, divert, or stop prevailing prayer.” —Wesley L. Duewel (Author & Missionary)
One of the biggest struggles you’ll ever have is to develop a prayer life, and one of the biggest hurdles will be learning to prevail in prayer. When you start praying about something, you may find yourself distracted, but I want you to recognize that the enemy is sending distractions to hinder us.
Prevailing in prayer is not twisting God’s arm or manipulating Him. It’s not the abundance of words and prayer that moves God, it’s His desire for you to experience the fulfillment of His promises for you.
1 John 5:14 says, “We are confident that God listens to us if we ask for anything that has His approval.”
The Scripture teaches that Jacob prevailed in prayer when he wrestled with the angel of the Lord. He told the angel that he wouldn’t let go until he blessed him. That is the language of prevailing prayer.
Moses prevailed with God when he stood before God and asked Him not to wipe out the Israelites. The 120 people prevailed in prayer and were blessed with the promise of the Holy Spirit—and from them, the church was birthed.
When you prevail in prayer and ask for the same thing over and over, it’s not an indication of doubt but instead of desire. Elijah prayed for rain seven times. He sent his servant to look for rain and on the seventh time he prayed, the servant said he saw a cloud the size of a man’s hand. Elijah prevailed in prayer, and it rained.
Jesus prayed three times in the Garden. He prayed for God to take the cup from Him, and finally, Jesus submitted to the Lord’s will. But He learned to prevail in prayer.
As you’re prevailing in prayer, God adjusts your expectation. He adjusts your mind and heart in prayer. When you surrender your heart and will to God in prayer, you become what He wants you to be. If you’re not prevailing in prayer, it’s because you’re not hungry enough for the will of God.
When we think about the upper room intercessors, not only do they come into alignment in prayer, they…
ENJOY GOD’S PROMISES!
There is something that happens when you talk to people and tell them about your prayer experience. Faith grows in your heart when you share how a prayer was answered.
Acts 2:1-4 says, When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
The Holy Spirit came on all of them, not just the apostles. One hundred and twenty people received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and what was the evidence? They began to speak in another language supernaturally.
If you read on in the text, you find that people from all over heard them speak in their language. The word of God went global. Fifteen different nations gathered in Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost, and God was able to speak to them through the power of the Holy Spirit. Peter got up and preached that day, and 3,000 people were saved.
A fantastic revival took place, and I believe that God will do that for us. A revival and outpouring of the Holy Spirit will occur, but we need people to enter the upper room. We need intercessors who won’t stop praying until there is a breakthrough.
If you want to see a mass transformation of people and for society to change, we need a visitation from God. What God wants us to do is learn to prevail in prayer. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and allowing depression to clothe you. That is a trick of the enemy.
Instead, let the Holy Spirit come upon you, break yolks and use you to make history. God is interested in us being in the upper room community and being history makers. This is a wake-up call from the Holy Spirit to us.
Once you’re awakened, the climate in your home will change and the spiritual climate of your heart will change.
Closing Prayer: Dear Father, I need a miracle to take place in my life, my home and my heart. I pray that you help me establish a pattern of prayer and that I see answers from heaven. Change lives, break bad habits and make history. In Jesus’ name, Amen.