With Christ in the School of Prayer
DEFINITION OF TERMS
1. United Prayer: Two or more people who seek to agree together in prayer under the active leadership of Christ.
2. Christ Is Unique: He is the only founder of a religion who has risen from the dead and is now able to take charge of every group that meets in His name all over the world.
3. Strongholds of Sin: Scripturally, the term appears in II Cor. 10:5, "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing ("stronghold") that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." Satan and his demons are spirits of influence--not of control. They cannot "possess" Christians for this implies ownership, but they can "oppress" them and make their lives miserable. Sin gives Satan and his demons the right to enter into individuals, families and churches. When any sin becomes deeply rooted in the life of an individual or a group, it produces a stronghold (a "false conclusion" about life, other, self...a mindset contrary to the Word of God) that can only be removed by asking God to "take back the ground" (Eph. 4:26-27) that was surrendered to the enemy. Then, by persistent, determined prayer, faith and meditation upon God's Word, we will live in obedience to God!
4. Focus on the Presence of Christ: People unite in prayer expecting Christ to be present and actively leading and moving. Their faith is not centered on the crowd nor encouraged by its size. Instead, their faith is centered on Christ and they expect good things will happen because He is present and actively taking charge.
5. Agreeing with Your Prayer Partners: In Matthew 18:19, "If two of you agree" refers to harmony like the instruments in a symphony orchestra playing different parts but they are all tuned to the same pitch and follow the tempo set by the same conductor. Our goal in prayer is to be in agreement with the Lord Jesus Christ in our midst. Notice in Acts 15:28 after a heated debate, all those present were able to agree on what to do. They introduced their decision by saying, "For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us..."
6. Christ at Home: Christ is like a stranger or an alien when He lives in the midst of a fighting, divided church. But when He is in a home or church where nearly everyone shares a strong desire to please Him, He senses a warm welcome and feels very much "at home."
7. A New Breed of Humanity, a New Kind of Community: The old breed of humanity is composed of all of Adam's offspring. They all have some degree of selfishness and sin. They are all growing old and will die. Christ is the head of a new breed of humanity composed of all who are born again. The secret of their unity is Christ. It is His life and His leadership that unite them in a new kind of community. This new kind of community has the potential of becoming one spirit, one heart, and one mind through Christ. The old community in Adam does not have that kind of unity.
Christian Faith Is Unique: All other religions are following dead prophets. Only Christians share life, love and obedience to our living Founder, the Lord Jesus Christ.
8. The Presence of Christ: Christ is God. Thus, His presence is everywhere (Ps. 139:7-12). He is present in the midst of the churches in a special relationship of love as our Shepherd and Head (Mt. 18:19-20; 28:18-20; Rev. 1:13-20). This love relationship must be kept alive and well or else He will depart (Rev. 2:4-5; 3:14-22). His presence is displayed in glorious power to transform believers, save the lost and turn the pagan world upside down when believers seek Him with all their heart in prayer (Acts 1:14-15; 2:42-47; 4:23-35; 17:6; 19:18-27)