If two tuning-forks are in the same room, one is struck to produce a musical
note, the other, without being struck, will begin duplicating the sound of the
first. The second intercepts the vibration of the first in the air waves and
responds sympathetically to it. This happens because the tuning forks are
made of the same material, are of the similar design, and share a musical
compatibility. There is a parallel to this in the spirit-realm. After we are born-
again, we are made "like Christ," and in a way similar to the tuning-fork, we
are capable of responding to Him.
When Jesus approached the grave of Lazarus, anticipating the man's
resurrection, "He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. And He said, Where
have you laid him?" John 11:33,34. Paul, in anticipating his future
resurrection, said, "For in this (body) we groan, earnestly desiring to be
clothed with our habitation which is from heaven ... in this tent we groan,
being burdened ..." II Corinthians 5:2-5. Someday, as a result of that Universal
Intercession, the farthest galaxy in space "will be delivered from the bondage
of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God." Romans 8:19-21.
Let me warn you: Do not try to "fake" this groaning-prayer. That approaches
mockery. Instead, offer yourself to Christ as an intercessor; let Him have total
control. It may be that you will experience this Cosmos' Universal Prayer when
"All nature sings and 'round you rings, the music of the spheres." Hallelujah!
When Your Prayer Joins The Great Prayer of Creation.
Soon after my Baptism in the Spirit in 1977 (Acts 1:8), I began experiencing
major changes in my prayer life. That was a long time ago but I want to re-tell
a few of those instances to keep their memories alive. One, which I did not
understand, and for which I had received no teaching, came in a surprising
way. I was in a congregation worshiping when I suddenly felt a drawing in
my mid-section that bent me into a birthing-position. As I dropped into a
chair; a deep, deep groan came from somewhere inside me.
It was not something I did; it was something done to me. The experience was
physically intense and lasted for several minutes. During that time I felt
completely disconnected from my surroundings and joined to God in a unique
and powerful way. But the connection was not to God only; I felt joined to His
purpose in the Universe. I had never experienced anything like it before.
Later, in reading Scripture and meditation, I realized the Holy Spirit had
allowed me to participate in the greatest form of prayer I had ever
experienced. That prayer was more a feeling of "agreement" that seemed to
involve every galaxy, asteroid, nebula, planet, down to the smallest particle of
meteor-dust. It reminded me of the Bible telling about "The morning stars
singing together." It expressed a deep longing for "the revealing of the sons of
God." Paul explains:
"For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of
the sons of God ... because the creation itself also will be delivered from the
bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we
know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until
now." Romans 8:19,21,22. Jesus revealed that the elements, including
inanimate matter, have sensitivity to their Creator and possess the capacity of
worship; this was disclosed when Jesus spoke of the stones "crying out." Luke
19:40. That includes everything from the smallest pebble in the brook to the
greatest galaxy in outer space. No asteroid, nebula, planet, or meteoric dust
is omitted. God confirmed this to Job when he spoke of the time "When the
morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy." Job 38:7.
Some physicists believe that at the absolute bottom of the atom the only thing
remaining to be discovered is "sound."
Paul Identifies Our Role In Spiritual Prayer
"Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what
we should pray for as we ought but the Spirit makes intercession for us with
groaning which cannot be uttered." Romans 8:26. (cf. II Corinthians 5:1-5.)
This groaning-prayer (which is not to be mistaken with the gift of tongues)
does not originate with mankind but with Jesus’ High Priestly intercession in
Heaven. Scripture explains:
"Christ ... who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession
for us." Romans 8:34.
The prayer Jesus now speaks from the Throne is permeating the Universe with
the assurance of success. In response to this prayer, Creation is echoing back
its holy longing for redemption that also delivers it from the "bondage of
corruption;" it knows that cannot happen until the "manifestation of the sons
of God" is complete. Romans 8:19-23. Some individuals who are drawn into
this intimacy with the Spirit find themselves so far removed from all human
language and so deep into the things of God, that it leaves them as wearied as
if they had been on a long journey. "What is it then? I will pray with the spirit,
and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I
will sing with the understanding also." 1 Corinthians 14:15.
Scripture Identifies Prayer In Three Basic Forms
1. Praying according to human understanding; that is, praying about
information our 5 senses tell us. Paul calls this praying "with the
understanding." I Corinthians 14:15. This prayer is dependent upon
knowledge gained by the mind (correctly or incorrectly) and while it is all
some people have, such information is not always reliable. James 4:3.
2. Praying "in the spirit". I Corinthians 14:15. Jude 20. This prayer originates
from the specific direction of the all-knowing Holy Spirit. In this prayer,
through the gift of tongues, we speak "mysteries" far beyond human
comprehension or human language. I Corinthians 14:2,14.
3. Praying as "the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with ‘groanings
which cannot be uttered.’" Romans 8:26.
In examining these three types of prayer, we realize by itself the mind has only
five natural sources of information. It receives knowledge from what the body
tells it through seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, and smelling. These are all
marvelous senses with which God has equipped mind and body to function
together. We thank God for them-- though none of these senses are spiritual.
Consequently, the mind, by itself, is a vastly insufficient tool for the spiritual
work of prayer. Christians whose prayer-life is limited to mental-knowledge
are depending on human abilities inferiors to those of the neighbor’s dog. That
is a rash statement, I know, but before you disregard me, please hear what I
have to say.
Animals have senses vastly superior to man's. A Polar Bear can smell food at a
distance of 24 miles. The common housefly can detect and respond to danger
in one-two hundredths of a second. The peregrine falcon can see a pigeon 5
miles away and dive at speeds of 217 miles an hour. Also, he has "fast" vision.
His eyes could actually read print on a whirling airplane blade. An owl can
hear the movement of a mouse from two football fields away. Bats fly unaided
through a pitch-black cave, sharks can smell a single drop of blood in millions
of gallons of water. Your own dog or cat has hearing perception better than
you. At a burned-out arson site, a dog can smell 1/500,000 of a drum of
flammable fuel; his sense of smell is 100 times greater than a human’s. The
common shrimp can see more colors than we do. The Monarch butterfly can
discern tastes 12,000 times more subtle than a human’s, and with perfect
precision, fly 2,000 miles unaided to a tiny spot in Mexico. Then, hold a
"butterfly" convention and fly home. What about endurance? Eggs of the
tadpole shrimp can survive dormant for centuries at temperatures more than
150 degrees below zero.
Unlike the limited mental capacities of our human body, the regenerate human
spirit is neither confined nor limited. It has potentials greater than all the
combined animal abilities I mentioned. Our spirit has access to the gifts of
"wisdom and revelation" which equip it to receive and use knowledge directly
from the Holy Spirit. This special equipping is the precise function of the
"word of knowledge," "word of wisdom," "discerning of spirits," and other
gifts of the Holy Spirit.
I Corinthians 12:8-10.
As an example of what I mean, a "word of knowledge" came to me one time
during a prayer meeting, instructing us to pray for a Jewish lady named
Mildred. Though we knew absolutely nothing about this stranger, we stopped
everything else and prayed for her. At the end of the service a visitor came
forward, took the microphone, and in a very shaken voice said, "I have never
spoken before a congregation in my entire life, but tonight I must. I came this
evening to ask you to pray for a friend of mine in the North --- but I arrived
too late to make the request --- However, I did not have to --- The Lord told
you for me --- Her name is Mildred and she is Jewish. She is the one you have
prayed for." Several wonderful things resulted from that "word of
knowledge." The Jewish lady was not only healed, but when she learned what
had happened at our meeting, a thousand miles from her, she went to a Baptist
church in her community, believed the gospel and accepted Jesus as her
Messiah. Such are the wonderful ways of God!
Another time during prayer I received a word that someone in the
congregation was suffering from severe pain in their wrist. Another had pain
in the stomach. A moment later, two women, strangers, stood before me, one
carefully holding up her hurting wrist and exclaiming, "But how did you
know?!" "I didn't," I explained, "The Holy Spirit told me." The wrist and
stomach pain were both healed and the two women became long-time
members of the congregation.
A dramatic healing occurred in our Delray Beach, Florida Church, when a
word of knowledge revealed that a "spirit of rebellion" was working against
several in the congregation. Four people came forward acknowledging the
problem and wanting deliverance. The Holy Spirit visibly touched three of
them. The fourth, to whom nothing discernibly occurred, was a woman named
Ellen, who suffered from constant spinal pain and wore a chin-to-hip back
brace. She was an Englishman whom who had been in college in Holland
when the the Nazi’s invaded that country in World War II. She was captured
and put in a concentration camp and it was there that her physical ailments
began. The next night after prayer, she was awakened from deep sleep by the
glory of the Holy Spirit surging like electricity through her body. She was not
only filled with the power of God and delivered from the rebellious spirit, but
was instantly healed. The brace was discarded. She never wore it again.
The choice before modern Christians is whether we will conduct our prayer-
lives by "soul" knowledge, i.e, the five senses, or believe that the miraculous
gift of revelation is available to us today. Satan himself is a spirit and is light-
years beyond our meager human senses. If he can keep our spiritual life
confined to things we have to see, touch, smell, taste, and hear, he will
continue to dominate us. Hell rocks with laughter every time ministers stand
before congregations and preach against the miraculous Gifts. These men drill
holes in the bottom of their own boats with that kind of preaching --- and
Satan gladly gives them the tools.
Why do we need to "pray in the Spirit?" Paul explains: "Likewise the Spirit
also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as
we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings
which cannot be uttered." The Apostle further explains, "For if I pray in an
unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful." (My
mind is by-passed.) "What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray
with the understanding also." I Corinthians 14:14,15. Paul is declaring that he
will use both mind and spirit as essential means of prayer. If the greatest writer
of the New Testament needed both tools of prayer can you and I get by with