Friday, March 19, 2010

Falling Down From the Third Loft?

by TCharves FireSpeaks

“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.  Matthews 26:14

Not long ago I wrote what I thought was a very amazing blog on prayer, it was called “When the Enemy Attacks Your Prayers” in that blog I addressed some of the tools the enemy uses to stop or intercepts our prayers, and what we can do about it. Today I want to address in more detail just one of those tools. Sleep! And how the enemy has used sleep to keep us in darkness, even when our intent is to be closer to God

When I first met my wife I would sit up and night and talk to her on the phone until 4 or 5 o’clock in the morning, knowing full well that I had to be at work in just an hour or two. Most of the time I would decide to get off the phone with her only after glancing at the clock on my bedroom nightstand. Anyone that has ever gone through that courting period have done this at least once.

The problem was not getting up the next morning for work, but rather I was falling asleep in the middle of my prayers at night.  At first I thought it had to do with what time I was going to bed, but later I found that no matter what time I started to pray, or read my bible, even if it was first thing in the morning, a Spirit of Stupor would come over me.

If you go to most churches today you will find that during times of prayer, or for some during the sermon, many people are unaware of the going on of the service. They are either asleep, focusing on their cell phone, or just in a mental state of stupor. Even though in their obedience, they desire to be at church they find it almost impossible to stay awake especially during prayer, or the preached word. The reason for this inability to stay awake is that they are asleep in the spirit. They fully understand the need for God, but their spirit is in a state of slumber. Most Christian cannot see how this sudden lethargic feeling during prayer is a tool of the enemy. The devil intended sleep to be a barrier between them and their request to God,  and he has used this tool for many years, so that we have a disconnected, and fragmented relationship with God and Christ.  At a time when we should be excited about knowing God, the devil attacks the Christian with the Spirit of Stupor to come between us and God and in some cases this Spirit of Stupocan even kill us.

And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together. And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. Acts 20:7-9

Now let us consider the story of the Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, at his first departing Jesus says to his disciples “watch with me!” Now just hours earlier Jesus warned the disciples that he would be betrayed, with that knowledge in mind one would think that the disciples would be able to stay awake to make sure no one in secret arrested him. But one hour later Jesus returned and they were asleep. 

Now even after being scolded by Jesus and then assigned to watch and pray while he was gone, again they fell asleep, and again they fell asleep a third time. Why is it that the disciples could not stay awake and pray at this most passionate time of Christ?
The answer is simple; one of the tools that the enemy uses to come between our prayers and God is sleep. But the more difficult and passionate the prayer the more likely the devil will use this tool. 

In the same way the enemy attacks our bodies with slumber each night causing us to fall asleep while in prayer. Yet he never attacks us at the same hour of the night when we stay up late to watch TV or to talk on the phone. This is why in Matthew 26:14 Jesus warns “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 

So what was it that Jesus wanted the disciples to pray for? Was it to be in agreement with him? Well the answer is clear, Jesus says “Pray that ye enter not into temptation” And the temptation is the affection of the body to sleep, the flesh was truly weak,  and the tempter was ever present.

So if you are that person that falls to sleep during service, or dozes off during prayer, Can' concentrate when the pastor is giving the word, or are unable to set your cell phone aside. and you cannot find any physical reason for it, and you are unable to resist the temptation to keep your mind otherwise occupied.  It may very well be the devil is loathing you asleep so that your prayers don't reach heaven.  

Here is a very short prayer that I have found  helpful to me, i would suggest you use it when this problem come to light. I would suggest that you memorize the concept of the prayer and speak it as it applies to your struggles.

Oh heavenly father I come to your in prayer and supplication in Jesus’ name; Father  see to it  that my spirit remains alert to the things of you. I have been in a spiritual stupor, walking about with no purpose, asleep in the spirit, heavenly father, and because of this I have not been able to fully appreciate the need to know you. I have taken my relationship with you casually 

Now Father in Jesus name I reject every form of spiritual sleep in my life, and I profess my sprit to be alert and sensitive to the things of God in the name of Jesus; Heavenly Father I ask that You release Your anointing of prayer in my life, and give me a hunger to know You Personally, make me Alert to hear Your Word and give me the  obedience to subdue my affections and live my life in the Joy of Your presence, in  Jesus name.  I pray Amen

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