Several years ago, I set aside some time to pray, very much in the manner I was used to, and the Holy Ghost stopped me in my tracks. He said, “Prayer is a spiritual technology, and you need an upgrade.”
Immediately, I was curious.
Two words that really don’t belong or sit on the same page are the words boring and prayer. Yet it’s a sad truth that for many people, prayer has become a drudgery in the devoid of power, some kind of religious rigmarole that they go through. It’s a box to tick in, frustrating efforts to follow Christ and kind of sat on the shelf or stuffed alongside Church attendance and Bible reading. Yet I believe in all of our hearts, wherever we are in our prayer life and our engagement with God in and through prayer, I think we all know that there has to be so much more. Even if our prayer life has a level of satisfaction to it, even if there’s a vibrancy awake and alive in it, we still know that there’s so much further that we could go. Prayer we know should provide a vibrant connection of heaven to Earth, and we’re convinced that there’s more. But how do we discover the hidden treasures that prayer promises to those who choose to pursue God? I remember many years ago, I can’t remember exactly when. It was certainly probably three or four years ago. The Holy Ghost spoke to me.
He said, Prayer is a spiritual technology and you need an upgrade. I had set time aside to pray very much in the manner I was used to, and he just stopped me in my tracks and spoke those words to my heart. Prayer is a spiritual technology, and you need an upgrade. The picture that I felt that he was impressing upon me was one in which we can sometimes accomplish things with old technologies, but it takes a great deal more effort, and it takes a great deal more time to do so. It’s like the difference between using a modern day smartphone or jumping on your horse and riding thousands of miles to deliver a note or a letter. They can both accomplish the same outcome, but one of them definitely takes a great deal more sweat and effort. I believe that the technologies that God is talking about here, the spiritual technologies, can help us to become much more efficient, much more effective, much more powerful, and much more joyful in the exercise of prayer and of worship and engagement with the things of God. Understandably immediately when you spoke those words, I was curious, what does prayer technology look like and how does it work?
Is it like something out of Star Trek? What is this prayer technology or this spiritual technology that is talking about? And as far as getting an upgrade, in what way would an upgrade impact my present level of effectiveness and intimacy in the prayer closet? I was excited to hear it. I certainly didn’t feel offended because, as I’ve already said, most of us know in our knower that there is certainly more for us to discover and more for us to explore. For many years in the natural I carried around one of those old BlackBerry mobile phone devices. I don’t know if you remember them, the ones that had like the little keyboard on the bottom half and then a kind of tiny screen at the top and I never for years I never bothered upgrading or trading in. It worked and as far as I was concerned like why bother complicating things with something different on you? Certainly the device sent messages, it received and made calls without issue but compared to other modern smartphones that were beginning to appear on the market it was very quickly basically defunct. I mean, seriously, when was the last time you saw someone walking around with a BlackBerry?
I stubbornly held onto that particular phone device because it worked and to be.
Honest maybe the comparisons are a little limited in scope.
I’m still not really that fussed to have the latest, greatest phone in my pocket. It does the job it needs to do. If it does that, I’m content. The point that I want to make though and the point I believe the Holy Ghost was making to me when he spoke to me is that sometimes we can get stuck using old technologies because they’re familiar and in doing so we Rob ourselves of a richer, more colourful, more dynamic experience of God’s ways and his world. I dare say for many that their prayer life may feel like an old analogue phone. Do you remember those? I remember it well even in my own house but especially in my grandma’s house. My grandma had one of those phones where you put the finger in the hall and you got to pull the whole thing right round to phone the numbers and then it would kind of roll back round and then you put your finger in the other whole number and then drag it around and there is still a beautiful piece of what could we say more? Something that one might use as an ornament today, certainly not something that you would slip in your back pocket when you go out you carry your communication around with you in your pocket.
Nowadays in some ways they can accomplish similar feats but they do so in a very different manner and with some of the results of the older technology and the older ways and although many of the same principles may be involved the accomplishment of the outcome the desired end result can be done with greater efficiency, greater power and far broader scope when we upgrade and I believe that our prayer life can be like that. We don’t want a prayer life that’s like a bonfire on a hilltop rather than an UpToDate, all singing, all dancing communication device. We want to come in to the fullness and the richness and the deeply nuanced relationship that Jesus has purchased through his blood. It’s so easy in our spiritual walk to stick with our BlackBerry or use a Fax machine instead of just sending an email or hitting FaceTime and speaking face to face to a degree. As I said, they accomplished the same end, but in a slower, less effective way. And I believe that God wants to move us beyond some of our old ways, some of our familiar ways in prayer, and offer us an upgrade. Bring us up to speed, bring us up to date with what he wants to say, how he wants to say it so we can enjoy a Fuller, richer, more.
If you like bright experience in the prayer closet, another way to look at it would be to think about a Workman’s belt. When I think of a tool belt, hammer is a technology. If you want to knock a hole in a wall or drive a nail, it’s absolutely perfect for the job. But what if you want to place a screw into some kind of furniture? You get some antique piece of furniture. You’re not going to start whacking that thing with a hammer when you’re trying to fix it. What if you want to paint a picture? What if you want to carve some kind of intricate design? You can swing a hammer all you like. Your results are going to be less than satisfactory. Now, different jobs need different tools, and different tools are designed to get different results. Tools are designed with a specific outcome in mind. And so it is in prayer. Often we’ve experienced a level of success with one form of prayer, so we blindly apply it to every situation. Prayer for the sick. Hammer it repent of sin. Hammer it. Seek intimacy with the Lord. Hammer it. Hammer, hammer, hammer, hammer.
Prayer, though, is really not meant to be a one tool track. It is a deepening journey into the heart of God and one in which God will entrust you with greater and more effective tools to further your walk together with Him. Paul urged the Ephesians to pray with all manner of prayer. Ephesians 6:18 in the Amplified Bible reads, Pray at all times, on every occasion and in every season in the Spirit with all manner of prayer and entreaty. There are different tools and technologies designed by God to accomplish various outcomes in the spiritual realm. There is an all manner of prayer, many kinds of prayer that we can take a hold of and utilise to accomplish Kingdom ends. And the Holy Ghost wants to equip us for deeper intimacy and greater victory. What worked yesterday will certainly most likely work today. To some degree, principles are principles, but there’s a difference between, say, for example, a manual screwdriver with just one flat head, one size fits all, and a power tool screwdriver with many heads and different settings. They can both accomplish the same thing. But the power screwdriver with the many heads and different settings can accomplish a far greater scope of work.
Plus, it can do the same job as that one flat headed screwdriver very much more effectively and efficiently and with a great deal less human sweat. And we don’t want our prayer closet to just be a place where we bring all of our burdened humanity and try in our own efforts to help God out in some way that is not the most effective way for us to come and to partner with God in his heavenly exercise, in his heavenly purposes. He wants to bring us in to an intimate Communion, and from that place of Communion, from the place of his presence, from the place of his speaking intimately with our heart, specifically with our heart. Allow us to work together with Him to work his works in the spirit realm and see the results here on Earth. Maybe God can take the foundations that you’ve laid in the secret place and build upon them. Every practise in the private place of prayer can be, if you like, souped up and injected with fresh revelation and excitement. In some cases, certain ways that we’ve done things may even be superseded and completely replaced. There are certain ways in which I may be at one time approached God that I never come that way anymore because I understand Him better.
I’ve got a deeper revelation, say, for example, of His Grace or his ways that have superseded the old way that I used to approach Him. And he wants, I believe, to progressively open our eyes so we can become closer and more effective. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man, someone who is in right standing with God, who understands his way of being and his way of doing the effective fervent prayers of a righteous man or woman avail much. They make much power available. Maybe, like me, you feel that it’s time for an upgrade in the prayer closet. Maybe there’s more to be explored in prayer than we’ve ever been led to believe. If your prayer life at times feels lifeless, fear not. The Lord of Life Himself has opened a new and living way for you. His blood has paid a price, and it has paid the full price of entrance. And there is a wonder that awaits beyond the door as you avail yourself of that invitation, as you take that ticket and come boldly before the throne of Grace. I believe that the Holy Ghost has got much that he wants to give you, much that he wants to teach you, and many wonderful gifts he wants to place in your hand.
Let’s forever banish this idea of boredom from the prayer closet, for the two things do not belong in the same space. A boring prayer closet is a completely contrary use of words. They don’t exist in the same realm. Maybe coming in and shutting yourself in a room and just saying a bunch of prayers, parroting off a bunch of religious sounding words. Yes, indeed, boring. I mean, seriously, like, do something more lively and more life filled. Whatever else it may be, just go do it. But if you come with your heart, open your life and your spirit engaged with the Holy ghost, sincerely seeking him, looking to move beyond your mind and your flesh and to engage spirit to spirit with the living God. Then the prayer closet becomes the very greatest of places up on Earth. And I guess that’s because it’s the place that you experience heaven. Prayer is a great adventure. It is the great adventure. It’s the greatest adventure any man or woman will ever embark upon. So don’t settle for drudgery resist the idea that some people are called to deep satisfaction, but somehow you are kind of like down the line and you’re consigned to some kind of spiritually mediocre experience of prayer.
It’s just simply not true. And so over this month, I would love to crack open some ideas and practises that have helped me move from just hammering away at every challenge I faced to a much more nuanced and richly satisfying experience that I now enjoy behind the prayer closet door. And I found that by allowing the Holy ghost to challenge my status quo and to put new technologies, if you like. I guess in some ways it’s a picture that I’m not entirely. I’m still searching it out. I do understand what the Holy ghost was trying to say. I’m not sure that I’m best communicating it, But I want him to put those new technologies into my hand. I want these whole new vistas of possibility to open up before me. The Majesty of prayer stands before you. There is so much more to discover and the adventure of intimacy will never end. Lord, take us deeper, make us more powerful in prayer, More effective in every way. Equip us today with fresh insights So we can upgrade our lives with the technologies of heaven. Thanks for listening to today’s episode. Hopefully it was a blessing to you.
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