Today, we continue to look at the remarkable features of the secret place of prayer.
The secret place of prayer is where we surrender our will to God so the Lord can accomplish His will in us. It is also where the greater spiritual struggles take place for believers, because it’s easier to say, “Jesus is my Provider” than it is to say, “Jesus is my Lord and the Owner of my life.”
While He was on earth, Jesus submitted to the lordship of the Father. For example, when He knew it was time for Him to suffer death on the cross, He prayed, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). If we want to operate in heavenly authority, we, too, need to be people of prayer who live in complete obedience to the Father. And every day, we must surrender our will to the lordship of Jesus Christ, because total submission is not something that is accomplished instantly; it is a surrender that happens progressively.
That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death. (Philippians 3:10)
Prayer is the place of fellowship with the sufferings of Christ because it requires obedience and self-denial. Jesus told His disciples, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38). Our flesh is weak; therefore, most of the time, it doesn’t want to pray. Yet if we want to see people’s lives transformed for Christ, we have to voluntarily submit our spirits to God and pray, regardless of what we “feel” like doing.
It was after Christ had suffered on the cross physically, emotionally, and spiritually that God released His resurrection power and raised Him from the dead. In a similar way, God has to work in us before He can work through us and make us good stewards of His grace. If, as we pray, we allow God to show us the sin that has become rooted in our lives, and to lead us to repentance and forgiveness so that our sin is taken away, then we will know Christ and we will resemble Him in His suffering. Jesus was without sin, yet He took our sin on the cross. He endured all suffering to please the Father, to be united with His purposes, and to do His will on earth. The question is, are we willing to do the same?
And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 16:19)
The Hebrew words translated “bind” and “loose” were legal terms commonly used by rabbis, who interpreted the law and declared what was prohibited (“bound”) and what was permitted (“loosed”). Jesus used the Hebrew expression of “binding and loosing” to communicate to Peter—and all believers—that He gives us spiritual authority on earth. That is why, when we pray, we declare and decree; in other words, we pass “laws” or “regulations” concerning what is allowed and not allowed according to the will of God because we have the authority to do it. And that authority is ratified in heaven because it originates in Christ and is part of His work on earth. (See, for example, Matthew 16:17–19; Luke 4:18.) Thus, we can say that we declare to be legal on earth what is legal in heaven, and we declare to be illegal on earth what is illegal in heaven. Christ will ratify in heaven what we do on earth in His name and in accordance with His Word.
The secret place of prayer is also where we expand the capacity of our spirit and the size of our spiritual territory. Paul understood about spiritual spheres of influence, saying, “We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us—a sphere which especially includes you” (2 Corinthians 10:13). As your prayer life grows, your territories (domains of ministry and influence) will expand; but as your territories expand, your prayer life must also increase. It is not enough to gain a territory; it is important to maintain it. That is why we can never stop praying.
You cannot be complacent about prayer—you must pray until you obtain a breakthrough. Jesus used to pray all night, and by dawn, He had won territories that had been controlled by the enemy. His prayer was not casual; He was committed to dwelling in the presence of the Father, and this commitment yielded supernatural results. Additionally, in the book of Acts, we see that each time Jesus’s disciples prayed, the Spirit of God descended powerfully, and lives were transformed. Likewise, we need to pray in such a way that God’s Spirit moves, bringing great change.
For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield. (Psalm 5:12)
Favor comes as a result of our communion and close relationship with our heavenly Father. His favor in our lives is seen in the manifestation of His power that allows us access to what we otherwise would not have. The favor of God brings us blessings, protection, provision—and much more.
In the secret place, we develop an eternal, close relationship with the Lord that makes us continual carriers of His supernatural presence. Let us enter that secret place! I assure you that when we do, we will be ready to be God’s faithful remnant—the bride of Christ who ministers in His name to the world and awaits His second coming. Let us embrace the life of God and become one with the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Outside of that, nothing else matters!
Thought: Spiritual power and authority are obtained by submission to the lordship of Christ.