Posts Tagged ‘fasting’

The Revelation of Weakness: The Way to Greatness, Power and Liberty


Paul received the revelation that “godly weakness” was the way to experience more of God’s power. Jesus promised Paul that he would experience “strength made perfect” if he embraced weakness. Paul was not referring to moral weakness, but weakness coming from godly choices, a lifestyle of embracing spiritual disciplines to experience more of God.

This is essential for the days we are in and the days to come!

7 Lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in (voluntary) weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my (voluntary) infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest on me. (2 Cor. 12:7-9)

Paul describes two types of godly weaknesses. First, those which are voluntary, including prayer, fasting, living simply, serving and blessing those who offend us (Mt. 6:1-20). Second, those which are involuntary, including his thorn in the flesh, persecution and reproach. When Paul boasts of his weakness (2 Cor. 12:9), he is referring to both the involuntary weakness of various types of persecution and the voluntary weakness of what we call “the fasted lifestyle” (2 Cor. 11:23-28).

We seek to grow in our revelation and resolve to embrace godly weakness as the way to position ourselves to experience more of God’s power internally (in our hearts) and externally (in our personal ministry to family and friends). This is God’s way for us to confront the unperceived pride in our spirit.


God chose godly voluntary weakness as the way to run His Kingdom. Jesus embraced it, thus providing us with our entry into the Kingdom. We embrace it as the lifestyle of the Kingdom.

27 God has chosen the (so-called) foolish things of the world to put to shame the (so-called) wise, and God has chosen the (so-called) weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are (so-called) mighty…29 that no flesh should glory in His presence… 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.” (1 Cor. 1:27-31)

The fasted lifestyle is a call to embrace voluntary weakness to experience more of God’s power. What is the fasted lifestyle? There are 5 types of “fasting” described in Mt. 6:1-20.

We fast food, time, energy, money and words(restraining our speech) and by giving, serving, praying (with the Word), blessing those who offend us and fasting food as we develop the 8 beatitudes (Matt. 5:3-12).

Each of these is a form of fasting, in that we are voluntarily embracing weakness by submitting our strengths into God’s hands and trusting Him to answer us His way and in His time.

In our regular giving, we fast our money (financial strength). In serving and prayer, we are fasting our time and energy, investing it in others and in prayer. In blessing those who offend us, we fast words and reputation. Fasting from food is not primarily a call to hunger but to physical weakness. We must embrace “the fasted lifestyle” long term. No one graduates from this lifestyle, it’s a posture of receiving we keep returning to.



Pride injures our relationship with God. Therefore, God has ordained voluntary godly weakness in this age as the way to protect the closeness of our relationship Jesus.

We naturally desire to feel strong in these two areas,  devotion and service. However, we often feel weak in these areas.

We want to “feel strong” about our devotion and service – we want to “feel strong” when we give our devotion to God and in the preparation and offering of our service to others. There is a vast difference in “feeling strong” in the process and the operation of our skills and in “feeling confident” that God values them.

We want to “look strong” in our service to others – we want to “look strong” when we offer our service to others. There is a vast difference in “looking strong” to the people that we minister to and in “feeling confident” that God was pleased with us.

Many agree to pursue the fasted lifestyle falsely assuming that they would usually feel strong while walking out the five types of fasting. It is common to not feel God’s power while in the act of our devotion, obedience or service.  We sometimes do not feel powerful when we seek or serve the Lord. Our prayers are often “offered in weakness” but they ascend before God in power because of Jesus’ work on the cross. God has strategic time delays and locations in answering our prayers.

We can feel strong in the sense of having faith or confidence (often without feeling) that the fasted lifestyle is God’s way forward. The fasted lifestyle is so weak that anyone can do it, but it is so weak that few choose to.


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Contemplative Prayer

But we all, with open face beholding (dimly) the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the LORD. (2Cor 3:18).

A.            The “beholding and becoming” principle – whatever we behold (meditation unto revelation) in God’s heart towards us becomes awakened in our heart back to God (transformation).

  1. Bible study is crucial, but so is beholding.  Renewing our minds happens by agreement with the Word.  But transformation happens by beholding prayer.  By beholding we will change our emotional chemistry.  Long and loving mediation on the Word and Dialouge with the Spirit, are values being emphasized with the new wine/wineskin.  As in the wedding of Cana, so in the generation the Lord returns, He has saved the best wine for last, the revelation of intimate prayer and communion.
  2. Men who have done greater revival works such as David Brainerd and Bernard of Claireveau, have testified to the transformative power of beholding prayer.
  3. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all (2 Cor 13:14). (communion of the Spirit -nkjv)


That he would grant you… to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man… that all of you might be filled with all the fullness of God (Eph 3:16-19).

Key to the ‘new wineskin’ of bridegroom fasting(Mat 9:14-17) is the value of Contemplative Prayer, or ‘Long and loving Meditation/Dialouge with the Holy Spirit).  And secondly ‘key’ to contemplative prayer is establishing and sustaining a corporate vision to go after the ‘fullness of God’ (Eph 3:19).  We set a vision to be filled with the Spirit in greater capacities.  Faith arises as we increase expectation.

  1. I’ve never seen a church sustain a fire for prayer, without prophetic preaching of a vision for going after the fullness of God in the innermanWe need the regular, clear proclamation of what God has in His heart for the heart of the people.” –Mike Bickle
  2. The absolute definition of fullness is that we will progressively pursue it continually, but the relative definition of fullness relates to overwhelming experiences of God’s presence and revelation filling our capacity and understanding.  Some define ‘going after the fullness,’ as being hungry for God.  Illustrating the ‘fullness’ highlights the difference between what we are walking in naturally, and the ‘fullness’ He is offering.
  3. Eph 3 is one of the highest points of revelation of what God will give the human heart.  Paul starts the prayer ‘for this reason,.. I labor in prayer; that you experience the love of God and are filled with all the fullness of God.  Many say ‘I don’t feel loved.’  As they shouldn’t, it is the supernatural divine power of the Holy Spirit moving on us to experience this.  You don’t have because you don’t ask, knock on the door and it shall be opened to you.  Each Scripture relating to the love of God is a door to be knocked on.
  4. God has invited each of us to experience the deep things of His heart. He has opened Himself up for us to understand and feel His emotions, desires and affections. This is foundational to what Paul prayed for the Church when he asked that we would be able to comprehend the depth of God’s love (Eph. 3:18-19). But God has revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God..Now we have received.. the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (1 Cor 2:10-12)


John 5:39-40 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

  1. We want to let the written word take us to the Living Word.  –Jeanne Guyon.  Communion with the Holy Spirit (2 Cor 13:14) is our goal in this model.  We see here the principle of ‘coming to Him’ using the Scriptures that testify of Him.  Each verse we can: 1. Thank Him for and 2. Ask for either revelation or power to obey.
  2. So with a verse like 26 The Holy Spirit…will teach you all things… (Jn. 14:26) We would pray, Thank you Holy Spirit that you teach me, I ask for revelation on what it truly means for you to teach me, and help me to understand you leadings.  Or John 15:9 As the Father has loved Me, I love you.  We would pray, Jesus thank you for this love, strengthen me with might (Eph 3:16) to experience this love.  I ask for greater revelation of this love.  And we would worship and journal revelation.
That is the model. There are more examples at the end of this document.
  1. Scriptures will impact us most when we pray them directly, not just thinking about them or studying them.  We when meet with Jesus, the Scriptures are our anointed conversation material.   So depending on the verse, we can thank God for the truth in it, and then ask for revelation on the verse, or ask for power to obey them.  The Scriptures are living and active (Heb 4:2) and are so powerful to transform us and renew our mind as we pray them.  They rewrite the code of our inner man enabling us to abide in God so that Christ can more fully manifest within us (Eph 3;16-19).
  2. The Gen 1 principle is that the Holy Spirit hovers and waits to move in power wherever the Word is spoken by those in covenant with the Father.  Therefore we value the Scripture in prayer, though He speaks many ways and hears all our words.  The Spirit lives to reveal Jesus, and impart His love to us.
  3. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good… (Gen. 1:2-4)
  1. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me (Rev 3:20).  We are seeking to behold and experience, we want to not just ‘read the menu, but eat the meal’.  If a man love me, he will keep my words(written on our heart): and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (Jon 14).
  2. Continually asking for revelation is so powerful, we grow in revelation.  Each Scripture is like a door we knock on, as God is inviting us into encounter, in the Knowledge of God. The Holy Spirit is with us to teach us, like Jesus taught His disciples.  We must lean not on our own understanding, but seek God.  It helps to ask for the Eph 1:17 Spirit of wisdom and revelation and enlightening of the spiritual eyes.

26 The Holy Spirit…will teach you all things… (Jn. 14:26) 13 The Spirit of truth…will guide you into all truth; He will tell you things to come. (Jn. 16:13) 27 The anointing…abides in you, the same anointing teaches you concerning all things… (1 Jn. 2:27)

  1. David calmed and quieted his soul (ps 131:2). We need to dial down or just take our foot off the gas pedal and listen (without stirring our souls up to fervor). An over-active soul keeps us out of sync with the subtle movements of the Spirit. We quiet our soul to connect with the Spirit’s whisper in our heart (the still small voice (1 Kings 19:11-13)). We quiet the turbulent activity of our soul in our clamoring for attention, pleasure, a restless anxious spirit that naturally active.
  2. To fellowship with the Holy Spirit means we talk often to Him as we give our heart to Him. It means we hear back from Him in a two way dialogue. The Holy Spirit honors our part in the relationship by not forcing us to dialogue with Him, if we do not want it. He does not force conversation or friendship with anyone who is not desperate——click to > Continue reading

Prophetic Prayers

I recommend you print these out and keep near your devotional material, they are very powerful and crucial for more of the Holy Spirit in your life and also powerful to be prayed for others and for churches and cities.  They are what we pray at IHOP-KC.  Paul’s prayers were inspired by the Holy Spirit for churches, i.e. they are what the Holy Spirit make happen in every church, and every believer.. so they are guaranteed to be answered.  All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms (Eph 1:3).  These blessings are our inheritance, and neccessary for the fullness of life in God, in our journey to becoming more Christlike.

Remember, In prayer, we focus our mind on God in two ways: on the Father sitting on His Throne (Rev. 4) and on the Spirit who lives in our spirit. We walk in the Spirit to the degree we talk to the Him (Gal 5:16).

I’ll start this post with two that are are so key, so critical:

Prayer to receive the Spirit’s power that Jesus’ Presence be manifest in us so we experience God’s love.

According to the riches of Your glory, strengthen me with might through Your Spirit in my inner man, That Christ may dwell (manifest His presence) in my heart through faith; root me and ground me in Your love for me, that I may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height– to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; so I can be filled with all the fullness of God. (Eph. 3:16-19).

Here are some notes from Ihop on this prayer that I have edited and added to:

  1. This is a description of the heights of glory that God invites us to experience in this life. This life vision requires a lifestyle that is most demanding but most rewarding. It is a lifestyle that has prioritized God as life’s highest reward, and sees that being heavenly minded will accomplish the most earthly good (Col 3:2, Rom 8:6).  The higher a mountain climber ascends the more difficult it becomes yet it becomes more rewarding at each new height. We need all that God will give us spiritually.
  2. Paul presents a 4-fold progression of how we grow in the Spirit. Each time he uses the word ‘that’  highlights a different stages of growth. This prayer provides us with a biblical pattern for pursuing the deep things of God (1 Cor. 2:10-12). It is in itself a theological statement of how to cultivate intimacy with God.
There are four stages though we will always need to pray to continually to experience each of the four stages to sustain them in all seasons.

Stage #1: Praying regularly with expectancy for the Father to strengthen you with might in the innerman.  We use God’s strength to sustain righteous choices in our pursuit of 100-fold obedience (in all areas including finances, time, speech, eyes) which is required for all who desire to experience more.

Stage #2: Jesus’ initial activity in our hearts (mind/emotions) to prepares us to experience more.  Being rooted and grounded in His love is sweet and powerful, experiencing His manifest presence sustains us through life’s trials, so we can count it all joy.

Stage #3: New ability to comprehend (experience) Jesus, roots us and grounds us in Him, more.  When exhilarated in God’s love, we feel no need to seek our greatness in being successful in man’s eyes. We find success, identity and satisfaction in the ocean of God’s love.

Stage #4: fulfilling God’s purpose in each season of our life in this age and the age-to-come.

  1. This prayer is based on Jesus’ promise to visit those who seek 100-fold obedience (Matt 13 1-12). 21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. He who loves Me will be loved by My Father (experience God’s love), and I will love him and manifest Myself to him…23 If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. (Jn. 14:21-23) 

STAGE ONE  We pray to be strengthened with might in our innerman.  That is where we experience God.  He lives in our innermost man, but we experience Him in the inner man.  (Some bibles translate the greek to be innerman or belly everytime)  We will receive the Holy Spirit’s strength to the measure that we ask for it (Mt. 7:7).

  1. Strengthen our mind with understanding of God’s love
  2. Strengthen our heart with  feelings of love (from God, for God, self, others)
  3. Strengthen our will with inspiration to be resolved to voluntarily choose obedience. Paul prayed that the saints be strengthened with perseverance to follow through in obedience…strengthened with all might…for all patience (perseverance)… (Col. 1:11) Jesus urged His disciples to pray to receive strength to overcome temptation (Luk 22:40).
STAGE TWO: Experiencing God’s manifest presence in our heart. 
17 THAT Christ may dwell in your hearts (mind, emotions, will) through faith (confidence); that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend… the love of Christ. (Eph. 3:17-19)

  1. Jesus dwelling in our hearts speaks of Him being active in us our heart (mind, emotions and will). Jesus is formed in us as He manifests His presence in us as we grow in the Holy Spirit. My children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you… (Gal. 4:19)  We (the Father and Son) will come to him and make Our home with him. (Jn. 14:23) Abide in Me, and I in you…5 He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears fruit… (Jn. 15:4-5)  I stand at the door…If anyone…opens the door, I will come in to him… (Rev. 3:20) 


That you…18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints (available to all) what is the width and length and depth and height (inexhaustible ocean) — 19 to know (experiential intimacy) the love (affection) of Christ which passes knowledge (requires supernatural help)… (Eph. 3:17-19)

To comprehend God’s love or emotions requires that our spiritual capacity be supernaturally enlarged to enable us to experience more of God. It takes God to experience God’s depths of love. Paul is echoing David’s prayer that the saints be exhilarated by God’s affections. The river of God’s pleasure is the river of God’s affection which brings pleasure to the human spirit.
 You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. (Ps. 36:8) 

  1. This unusual measure of God’s love “passes knowledge”. In other words, it requires supernatural aid to experience it. Thus, we must be prepared by the Holy Spirit who escorts us up this glorious mountain of God’s pleasure. The Holy Spirit will pour out God’s love in our hearts (Rom. 5:5).
  2. The width speaks of His manifold provision for any person (Jew and Gentile) or situation in this life. The length speaks of reaching far beyond our sin and continuing forever. The depth of love points to the depths that Jesus descended to pay the price that we might be His Bride (Phil. 2:6-9). The heights of love speak of the measure of exaltation that we receive in His grace.

We do not base our experience on feeling, but they do enhance our experience of Jesus. God is glorified in us when we are exhilarated with Him (His emotions, wisdom and power).

  1. The experience of God’s affection makes us ravenously hungry for more. We go hard after God’s heart to experience more of His affection. Holy diligence is not an attempt to earn us God’s love, but positions us to experience more of it.

STAGE FOUR: the fullness of God’s blessing in each season of life.

19 THAT you may be filled with all the fullness of God (our earthly destiny). (Eph. 3:19)

  1. God’s full destiny for our life can only be released in those who receive strength (v.16) to sustain their voluntarily choices to obey God in follow through. This prepares us to experience more of Jesus’ presence in our hearts because we are rooted and grounded in confidence in God’s love.
  2. Experiencing God’s fullness requires a radical pursuit of God
  3. The paradox in the Church is that many talk about the love of God while being content to not press into it to actually experience its power. In a spiritual culture of compromise, some are falsely comforted by references to God’s love without understanding the glorious reality of it.
  4. We were created to delight in the feeling of being loved by God. Our spirit craves this. God desires to release this to us. We are too often content with a Christianity that is devoid of feeling, or a Christianity that is mostly an intellectual exercise and not a heart experience. He wants our hearts ravished because His heart is ravished. He feels such intense feelings towards us and desires that we have intense feelings for Him.
  5. Christianity is an invitation to relationship with supernatural strength touching our inner man (heart). Many Christians are content to live without experiencing God’s power at the heart level. This passage builds confidence in the process to have a heart alive with power and is within reach for all. Eph. 3 is a theological statement of how to cultivate passion for Jesus and intimacy with God.
  6. People are only too busy until we are persuaded that the high vision in God is real. Believers in college, the marketplace, serving children at home or in ministry are too busy to seek Christ in this way until they have confidence that is for them and is attainable. Then we find time.
  7. We were created to love not just receive it. We were created to be passionate. In other words, to give ourselves away in love. We will never come to the full pleasure of our human experience without receiving the power to fully give ourselves to God and others in love.  It actually requires the power of God.  I love to pray prayers like “annoint my heart to love you.”  He answers them.

Prayer for revelation of Jesus’ beauty that we might walk in our calling and destiny by God’s power:

Father of glory, I ask for the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 enlighten the eyes of my understanding; that I may receive revelation of the hope of His calling (assurance/clarity of God’s call for my life) and the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints (our destiny as Jesus’ inheritance), and the exceeding greatness of His power (Eph. 1:17-19)

(Separate post:)

A Burning Heart

It is suprising how far away from Christ many live. Luke 10 talks about Mary and Martha, Martha served the Lord, while Mary sat at His feet and heard His word. He greatly esteemed Mary’s choice. Just like the Levites who were called as priests not to just do works but to minister directly to the Lord, in Jesus He has called us as friends, not servants (John 15:15).

The premier message of the hour, is ‘get closer to the Lord.’ This is our primary call. “Eternal life is to know Jesus (1 John 3:14-15, John 17:3). Paul said he did all he did, even being tortured near death for the gospel, surviving and then coming back to do it again, he did that for the worth of knowing Jesus.

James 4:8 says Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you! He wants to draw near to you, but he has given us freewill. We must choose to pursue Him.

To use the analogy of our heart as an alter, what often happens is when the fire goes out, we don’t aggressivley fill their heart by praying the Word. We get recharged at a conferance or meeting, and then it wanes..

The Spirit is like gasoline, the word is like a fire. This burning creates lovers of God, imparting the love of God into our heart. Now throw in asking for a Eph 1:17 Spirit of Revelation and enlightening of the spiritual eyes, and throw in asking for Eph 3:16 strengthening of the innerman to recieve love of Christ and you’re really moving.

Now fasting a day a week is a good place to get fiery for the Lord. Fasting doesn’t earn us more of God’s favor but it does enables us to recieve more the of Spirit at at faster rate. Now it is critical to ask for grace for fasting, He will give you grace for fasting. Once you give in and say, okay if you give me grace, then I will fast. Keep asking for grace to fast, and hunger for Him, then pretty soon you will be like ‘I can’t stand not to, I will fast.’ That is real grace.

Now I’m out of metaphors so i’ll say ‘do this too!” This is so effective: 1Co 14:15 “What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.” After you do your study time, take your revelations you’ve written down and sing them to the Lord, make them a prayer. The Lord created the human body with a dynamic that singing causes our spirit to open. The Word of God is living and active, singing the Word, directly to the Lord, is the most powerful thing we can do to get closer to Him and experience more of the Spirit. Throw in some tounges, prayed to Him, and you’re really on track.

Doing all these things we start to see what Paul saw Eph 2:6 we are seated in heavenly places. We don’t really experience these things without pursuit of Him in this way.

Rend Your Heart

There is a place where the Lord desires us to rend our hearts, to tear our hearts like He tore the veil at the cross.

“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh.” Hebrews 10:19-20

The writer of Hebrews tells us that there is a direct representation of Jesus being the Veil, and the Veil being torn at the time of His death on the Cross. In the sacrifice of His life, and taking the sin of mankind on His shoulders, Jesus had removed the Veil that separated God from man and at the same time kept mankind from boldly seeking intimacy with God, an intimacy that had been hidden from man for the four thousand years since the “fall” in the garden of Eden.

He pursued you so hard even unto the tearing of His body, think of the ‘passion of the Christ.’ And now there is need of such passion on your part, to access what has been given to you. He didn’t go to the cross to have you in heaven, He went to have you now, but you must come to Him.

Really cry out and seek God, stir yourself up. There is a popular prayer asking Him to ‘rend the heavens’ but in response he says rend your hearts and I will. Often the breakthrough and the experience of God comes after serious pursuit.

It comes down to Jer 29:13 You will seek me and find me if you seek with all your heart. This implies sometimes we seek Him and don’t find because we don’t seek with all of our hearts. Jesus said the greatest commandment is loving Him with all of our hearts, holding nothing back (Mat 22:38).

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