The Art of Intercession
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Intercession means pleading with God on behalf of someone or Nation. The Art is something that can be learned and developed which makes it a skill. The objective of the ART is to master the skill to always flow with the current of the Holy Spirit. In Prov 30:18-19 King Solomon talks about three things that baffle his mind. These animals all have terrains on their way that can hinder their movements. However they are able to make it and that is what amazes King Solomon.
In a similar way in intercession we thread on paths that do not favor our movement. In other words there are barriers which opposes our prayers. These barriers are spiritual hence spiritual warfare. To be able to pray through and breakthrough here are some keys. The Eagle, Ship and Serpent all flow with the current. Bible likens us to the Eagle. Our success in intercession depends on been able to flow with the current.
To give a practical illustration I will just use you as an example. I am sure there are times when you wanted to pray and all you felt and enjoyed doing was to sing and sing over and over and other times is the other way round. There might have been some days you woke up and did not feel like eating or going out and enjoy nothing but to pray or worship. To follow the current is to just do as you sense the Spirit impressing on your heart. Leading a group however is different and can be complex if you do not know how to get the group to also flow with you in the same direction (this can only be learned by association)
Practically during the ART of intercession one major target is to be able to have a release from heaviness, the flesh, abdominal pains, tiredness, sleepiness etc. Once you get into the flow praying no more becomes a struggle. In fact after 40 minutes or so, that is when you are actually ready and excited to pray. The whole process becomes smooth, joyful and exciting. At this level you can pray at the same tempo, loudness or zeal for a long time without getting tired because the Spirit had taken over Romans 8:26-27. This is where I call the “Plateau Stage”.
One key to get to the plateau stage is how you take off. Some do begin intercession with intense shouting. That is not wise. Your voice can choke in about 15 to 20 minutes or so. It is good to take off with low voice but once you get into the flow everything changes and your voice remains at a stable level.
The next key that will sustain you through the length of the meeting or prayer is the amount of the word (logos) or scriptures you have in your spirit. One characteristics of the Eagle is the ability to see afar off Job 39:27-30. The eagle has what I call telescopic eyes that enable it to see far into where it can find prey. In intercession the Spirit of God will help us see far into the future victory. We then pray in the midst of contrary winds and spiritual barriers until we have a release in our Spirit of answered prayers.
This release comes in the form of laughter, inner joy. Word of prophecy, dancing etc. once we sense a release the answers manifest in the natural. This answers the need to know that God hears our prayers so we do not flet, doubt or waver.
The Use of Musical Instruments -A Cultural Expression in Praise & Worship
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Quoting from Wikipedia; the online encyclopedia Culture (from the Latin cultura stemming from colere, meaning "to cultivate") is a term that has different meanings However, the word "culture" is most commonly used in three basic senses:
An integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for symbolic thought and social learning
The set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization or group.
When the concept first emerged in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe, it connoted a process of cultivation or improvement, as in agriculture or horticulture. In the nineteenth century, it came to refer first to the betterment or refinement of the individual, especially through education, and then to the fulfillment of national aspirations or ideals. In the mid-nineteenth century, some scientists used the term "culture" to refer to a universal human capacity.
In the twentieth century, "culture" emerged as a concept central to anthropology, encompassing all human phenomena that are not purely results of human genetics. Specifically, the term "culture" in American anthropology had two meanings: (1) the evolved human capacity to classify and represent experiences with symbols, and to act imaginatively and creatively; and (2) the distinct ways that people living in different parts of the world classified and represented their experiences, and acted creatively.
In Gen 1 God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was to house man and become the foundation on which human culture and civilization will evolve. So it is our God who set the machinery for cultural awareness, revolution and discovery. .
God commanded man in the Garden of Eden to dress the land and keep it. And endowed him with talents, gifts and potential to achieve that assignment. As early as Genesis 4:21-22 God mentioned Jubal as the father of all who handle harp and organ (piano, keyboard) and Tubal Cain as instructor of artifacts made with brass and iron. Note that right from the beginning of creation God had hinted that musical instruments, harp and organ will be part of the growth of human civilization an integral part of human culture in every nation on earth.
From the time he was created man had become so conscious of our environment so much that we have refined basic attitudes, behavior and scientific and technological discoveries. Our environment has evolved alongside human existence and together have shaped our culture; our very way of life.
The nation of Israel growing as a nation became so aware of and evolved with their environment. Among their discoveries which became part of their culture just as it has been for any other nation on earth today were musical instruments.
King David and the house of Israel worshipped on all kinds of musical instruments
2 Samuel 6:5
Then Jesus Christ comes into the scene and began addressing some cultural elements which had been so dear to the heart of the Jews for centuries. Jesus only addressed the cultural elements that have been used for spiritual symbolisms and claiming to the fulfillment of those symbolisms e.g. the bread (manna), animal sacrifices and the robe and garments of the priests. Musical instruments were not used for spiritual symbolisms except in one time specific instructions for specific purpose which was to be done in faith e.g. is crumbling of the walls of Jericho in Joshua 6:1-20.
Jesus Christ did not come to fulfill human civilization but the essential spiritual laws leading to eternal life John 14:6
Jesus Himself accepted the culture in which he was born and operated His ministry using some aspect of culture to teach spiritual lessons and parables to register spiritual truth on the heart of man. What God hate is the adulterating and trading moral, clean and sound culture for immoral and satanic practice Jeremiah 7:18.
Imagine you are in a small tiny village as a missionary. Your first crusade brought in a good number of souls. Now they are all excited and eager for the first church service. Everything was set for the service and you just found to your surprise that the people do not know about chairs. They just sit on mat spread on the floor. Are you going to condemn them and pack your baggage and leave?
Another scenario. If Jesus Christ had come to a nation who did not know about bread but something else had a significant meaning just like bread to the Jews. To drum home His redemptive message what do you think He would have used in place of the unleavened bread for the Lord’s Supper.
Culture is just a way of life of a people tribe or nation and if musical instruments are part of a people’s culture, then the use of them is not worship in itself but just a cultural expressions in Worship declaring the majestic nature of our God and in Praise as a response to His goodness and mercies He bestows on our lives
THE TRIUMPHANT ENTRY - Lessons of Hope for the Christian
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It was the year 33rd year of His life and the 3rd year His ministry. The time has come for Him to offer Himself as a sacrifice (atonement) for the sins of man; for the remission of sins for as many who will believe in Him.