Praying "Resurrection Prayers" Series, Part 3 of 4
(This is the third of four parts in a series. To get the most benefit out of this exhortation, please allow me to recommend that you begin by reading the first two parts.)
With an understanding of the "transaction of confident faith," in part one, and an understanding of the opposing forces coming against anyone actually operating with resurrection power, in part two, we now turn our attention to "feeding upon" some of the scriptures, which will build such faith and knowledge about personally appropriating the resurrection of our King, Jesus, to our daily lives, and help us to succeed in effective prayer and ministry, for God's glory and pleasure.
SO, WHAT IS THE POINT of this series? Why am I writing? The question for us all remains, "Is the victorious RESURRECTION of Jesus A "REALITY" IN OUR LIVES, IN OUR MINISTRIES, and IN OUR PRAYERS? Is His RESURRECTION even "relevant" to, and the substance of, the WAY we pray? Are we growing-up in our effectiveness using "resurrection power" for God's kingdom, or, are we living in the "status quo" of the way prayer has always been prayed in our lives? Perhaps we've never even considered how "resurrection power and life" is available, and useful to the believer, moment by moment.
Please allow me to add some "substance" on this thought, about "praying the resurrection" now, for our mutual edification, strength, and effectiveness. Let's take a moment, or two, to put the living RESURRECTION back into it's rightful, victorious, powerful place in our midst.
First, let's listen to the apostle Paul, writing on the CENTRAL SIGNIFICANCE of Christ's RESURRECTION to our lives, ministries, AND prayers:
" and, that He (Jesus) was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,  and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.  After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.  After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.  Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time (talking about the central importance, and the reliability of the testimony of those who personally witnessed the RESURRECTED JESUS, as proof of the Lord's resurrected Life).
" And, if Christ is NOT risen, then our preaching is EMPTY, and your faith is also EMPTY.
" And, if Christ is NOT risen, your faith is FUTILE; you are still in your sins!  Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have PERISHED." (In other words, if He isn't alive, our Christianity is dead and useless.) (1 Co 15:4-8,14,17-18)
-Now, listen to the words of Jesus, recorded by Doctor Luke (with my emphases and comments added in parapheses);
"He (Jesus) also presented Himself ALIVE (HAVING PERSONALLY OVERCOME ALL, for US all), after His suffering, by many infallible PROOFS, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God … 'But YOU shall RECEIVE POWER when the Holy Spirit has come upon you (WHY? Because, His kind of "witnesses" need POWER to "DEMONSTRATE" that He is victoriously alive, and what He said and promised is true!); and you shall be witnesses to Me (witnesses to the fact that Jesus is resurrected, triumphant, the victorious Christ of scripture, and seated on the heavenly throne!) in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.'" (Power evangelism is SCRIPTURAL)(Ac 1:3,8)
In other words, the crucifixion AND resurrection are the evidence and proof that Jesus is the Christ, and Lord, and that He is able to deliver on all of His promises today, everywhere. Therefore, Jesus wants you and me to KNOW it, DECLARE it, SHOW it, and DO it, as Holy-Spirit-empowered witness, through signs and wonders at the hands of those who follow Him, by faith! Just imagine how full of desperately hurting seekers churches would be today if we, as His empowered disciples, would do just that! It would be a million times more effective than all the seeker-sensitive schemes the world could ever offer.
Next, let's listen to the "connection" Peter made about the significance of the resurrection to OUR lives, OUR ministries, and OUR prayers:
"beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a (empowered) witness with us OF HIS RESURRECTION." (That's what we are to do!)(Ac 1:22)
Our supernaturally empowered ministries are to us to become proof of His resurrection...having overcome ALL for us!
Now, let's consider here how SIGNIFICANT Christ's RESURRECTION was deemed to be, in this very familiar passage, by the apostle Paul:
"... the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His CALLING, what are the RICHES of the glory of His INHERITANCE in the saints (Did you notice it said, "HIS" inheritance? Remember that we are ONE with Him, and HIS inheritance is OUR inheritance! And Psalm 33:12 reveals what His inheritance is...saying, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance."),  and what is the exceeding greatness of His POWER TOWARD US WHO BELIEVE, according to THE WORKING OF HIS MIGHTY POWER  which He worked in Christ WHEN HE RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,  FAR ABOVE all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.  And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,  which is His body, the FULLNESS OF HIM who fills all in all." (Ep 1:18-23)
Please allow me to paraphrase: The Lord's resurrection was perfectly completed BY the power of the Holy Spirit, which is the very Spirit who has been given to us, empowering our inheritance, and our walk, that He might completely reign in life THROUGH US!
The apostle Paul pointed to our ability, and calling, to OPERATE in this same RESURRECTION POWER, when he wrote:
"He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the POWER OF CHRIST (speaking of the resurrection power) may rest upon me (and upon you and me!)." (2 Co 12:9)
After being personally taught BY the RESURRECTED Jesus, Peter preached about the SIGNIFICANCE of the Lord's resurrection with these words, in the second chapter of Acts. Let it speak to us, here, as well:
" Men of Israel, hear these words (WE need to hear them, too): Jesus of Nazareth, a Man ATTESTED BY GOD TO YOU BY MIRACLES, WONDERS, AND SIGNS (let that sink-in) which God did through Him in your midst (NOTE, how CENTRAL and important the supernatural, and the miraculous is to the ministry that follows after Jesus, and how it witnesses that He IS Lord and Christ!), as you yourselves also know-  Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;  whom God RAISED UP, having loosed the pains of death, because it was NOT POSSIBLE THAT HE SHOULD BE HELD BY IT (and, by the way, it STILL isn't possible!).  For David says concerning Him: 'I foresaw the LORD always before my face, For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.  Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.  For You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.  You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.'  Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.  Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, HE WOULD RAISE UP THE CHRIST to sit on his throne,  he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning THE RESURRECTION OF THE CHRIST, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption.  This Jesus GOD HAS HAISED UP, OF WHICH WE ARE ALL WITNESSES (!!!).  Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.  For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: 'The LORD said to my Lord, 'Sit at My right hand,  Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.'  Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."(Ac 2:22-36)
It all begins to "pull together," doesn't it! And, finally, please hear the heart of Paul regarding the resurrection, when he wrote to disciples, like you and me, who were in Philippi: "that I MAY KNOW Him and (to know) THE POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION..." (Ph 3:10)
Would you think about that statement for a moment, "Personally knowing the power of the resurrection!" That statement by Paul really resonates with my spirit! However, I must ask myself, "Am I really making FULL USE OF THAT VERY REAL POWER? And, are you?"
To be continued...