By Clifton Jones
Anytime we can find what the word of God is saying, we can rest confidently that He will back it. The best way I know to truly fellowship with the Lord in prayer, is by presenting His Word back to Him. Using His own word really allows us to commune with Him. Each Holy Ghost filled person is in union with the Lord. But everyone that is in union doesn’t seem to enjoy communion with Him. To many Christians the word communion is limited to the serving of bread and wine. The scriptures assure us that communion goes deeper than that, it is the sharing of a relationship.
We share with Him our feelings, and He in turn shares His feeling with us. This may account for people dropping out of prayer so easily: they didn’t know that they were suppose to be having communion with the Lord. And since they don’t seem to be benefiting, they just call it quits. I’ll give grace and glory; no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” The promise of God assures our prayers, money back guaranteed. The Lord isn’t afraid to reveal His mind through His Word because He knows if anyone will stand on it, they will never fall. We cannot fall standing on God’s Word. More and more the words of Jesus stand out. “Without me you can do nothing.” Nothing!
What happens when a limb is cut from a peach tree? The limb will die. What if I cut the limb, and tie it to an oak tree? It will still die. It’s tied to a tree. Why will it die? It is attached to another tree. Someone said it’s not making a connection. It is separated from it’s source. It’s not properly attached to the main supplier. It’s still a limb off a peach tree, and it’s still attached to another tree, but its real supply is cut off. “There are many people who look like Christians, but we can tell they are not drawing from the main base.”
We can tell quite well when we are not drawing what we need, our faith gets so weak, we need someone to set up with it. We can tell. We get so discouraged; it seems as if a fly would light on our head we would faint. We can tell when we are not full of power; no one has to announce it for us, because we will know it long before anyone else will. What we need to do is take Psalm 84:11 in our time of praying and believing and stand on it. “Lord, you said in your word that no good thing will be with held from them that walk upright. You, said it Lord!” This doesn’t require a tune either. Too often we have gotten accustomed to a certain practices that we feel is the way it ought to be. We ought to be so close to the Lord that we feel safe using His word.
We should have a relationship that will allow us to talk to Him. When we pray in faith, we can go and do what we have to. We don’t have to lay around and worry about it, because we have already turned it over to the master. We have placed our order. The next time we pray, we should thank Him. Thank Him for supplying all our needs. Thank Him that our needs are met in Him. Thank Him for providing for us.
Philippians 4:6 (L.B.) “Everything by prayer and thanksgiving.” “Don’t forget to thank God for the answer.” Thank him for the answer when? When you get it? No. When you believe it. When you are praying, thank him for it. The moment we believe it’s going to happen, we can thank Him for it. The minute we believe it is going to happen, is the same minute we ought to thank Him. Psalms 91:14 “Because he has set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.” Psalm 37:4 “Delight thyself also in the Lord, and he will give thee the desires of thine heart.”
Excuse me, but it appears to me that some people get saved, stay saved for awhile, and then lose their excitement. I will never believe that is the way it should to be. Never! After walking with the Lord for years, I’m more inspired now than ever. I appreciate the Lord more than I ever have in my life. Too often we get saved and stay around but in reality we are just there. “Instead of standing on the promises, we are just sitting on the premises.” Where did we get such idiotic notions that we get saved and burn for a week or two and then become one of God’s frozen few?
I believe from the depths of my soul, that your appetite for God should increase. The only reason it doesn’t, is because we cease to have regular communion with him. When we maintain regular communion with the Lord, it will increase and stimulate our appetites. We are often surrounded by people who seem to spend most of their time nursing depressions, burdens and other complaints. They seem to always have a arm full of problems. When do they enjoy the Lord? When do you really enjoy him? When do you and the Lord have an excitable time?
May I say that our relationship with God shouldn’t be limited to a service in a building, or with a gathering of people? I often say, I’m not subscribing that men should pray just an hour, but try not to let an hour pass without praying. I must stay in communion with God, at any cost. If we are washing pots and pans, that shouldn’t prevent us from communing with the Lord in our spirits. Nothing but us. When we do not develop a hunger for God, we are reduced to ordinary church goers. I have said repeatedly that we do not have to walk out the church door in order to be a backslider.
We can sit right in the building or, stand behind the pulpit and be as out of tune with the Lord as the town drunk. When we have no devotional life, we can be in a critical state and not know it. If we haven’t learned how to soak our souls in the Word of God, and commune with Him in the Word, we are in bad shape. I mean real bad shape! After a while, we will stop cursing in our minds and start cursing with our mouth. My concern is not just to have people sitting in the pew. I would love to see us really get to know the Lord.
When we get to know the Lord, wherever we are, we will sense that He is there. But when we don’t really know Him, we can only relate to him after we get into a building or a gathering of people. We need to out grow that kind of thinking! Don’t do that, you are in church. We should have some convictions if we were on the lake bank. I don’t think it would be any greater sin to lie in the church than it is to lie on the lake bank!
We read in Psalms 37:4, “That if we delight ourselves in the Lord, He would give us the desires of our heart.” If we could just get an appetite for God; become hungry for God; wake up yearning for Him and go to bed yearning for Him – to the degree that we would meet with Him at night in our sleep – that’s unbroken communion. Isaiah 26:9 “With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.”
Psalms 63:3 “Because thy loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.” These men are talking about being saturated and greedy after God. They are talking about an appetite that is not associated with time or anything else. Just keep on hungering after him. Looking for him at night, soul searching. Souls that hunger after God don’t get in trouble like those who are complacent. They guard their affections. When we get a person who is hungry after God to church, they usually come to refill their tank. So that they can press on a little bit further.
Those who have a spectator spirit, doesn’t come to be refueled because they haven’t used what they were given the last time. When we get up and seek God early, it really helps to tune our commune with Him throughout the day. “I don’t know anything that sets the stage for our daily communion like meeting God early.” Getting out of bed just in time to get to work without spending some quality time with the Lord, can get us into some deep spiritual ruts. This kind of situation will rob us of our communion time, every time times. If we don’t have enough discipline, there are enough shows on TV that will knock all the bibles out of our hands and hearts if we are not watchful.
Show after show, all channels are competing to be number one. While they are striving to be all they can be, they are performing an abortion on many spirits. The principle intent is to get God clean out of our heart or to weaken our relationship to the point we will be unfruitful. The bad thing about our Weakness, it always shows up when we least expect it. The flesh will raise his old ugly head without a moment notice. “Delight thyself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” This is a condition. I must do something. God is looking for someone that’s looking for Him. The Lord wants to overwhelm and load those who are overwhelmed and loaded with Him.
He can afford to do that, because he knows if we delight ourselves in Him we are going to ask for something that’s good for us and Him. We are not going to ask for anything that will interfere with our relationship with Him. We are so concerned about being in union and having communion and fellowship with Him that we don’t want anything to come between us and Him, to break that on-going daily fellowship. That’s where we get our thrill. From now on when we pray, we shouldn’t think of it as a task or doing something hard, but think of it as talking to our friend. Maybe that will help us stick with prayer even better. Think of it as being in the presence of a friend.
Now if that’s not close enough, we are talking with our daddy. After all our daddy is under a strong obligation to care for and meet our needs. We won’t have to twist his arm, we can just thank Daddy for being there. Let’s stop seeing ourselves trying to catch an elevator to get upstairs, where the great God is. Let us practice talking to Him on a very personal level. We can tell Him, “I know my heart is said to be deceitful and desperately wicked, but since it’s been born again, I believe it has the capacity to maintain a relationship with you. If you see anything that has crept in unnoticed, I need to know.
I don’t want anything in me that will cause my relationship with you to be lessened. When I raise my hands, I want them to be holy hands.” Your spirit is concerned about a relationship with the Lord; an on-going relationship, not just an occasional one, but daily fellowship with Jesus. When you have daily fellowship with Jesus, I promise you the other things that have been kicking you around will have to stop kicking you. You will have some kick in you! Lord, help me not to let circumstances perform surgery on me because I’ve gotten hold to something that I cannot afford to lose.
I will be one of the first to admit, as long as some of us have been in church, we should be further along than we are. Our level of searching after God isn’t nearly as impressive as it could be. We are just too causal about eternal matters. Psalms 91:15 “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him.” You’re talking about assurance. Anytime a man, woman, boy, or girl come under the attacked of trying predicaments and can find this kind of promise and yet feel that they can’t continue, they indeed have a serious problem. “He shall call upon me.” Maybe we don’t understand that God answers his calls.
Don’t we answer our calls when our phones ring? We sometimes cry out, “Somebody get the phone,” we want it answered. Sometimes the person may have the wrong number and sometimes they don’t want a dime worth of anything, yet we want it answered. I want you to know that God answers His calls too. Jeremiah 33:3 “Call unto me, and I will answer thee and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” If we call God will answer, and the only reason He doesn’t answer is we don’t call. Ask, seek knock-knock, ask, and seek. He will answer. A New Testament person who caught the faith of Psalms 91:15, is blind Bartimaeus by the wayside begging and Jesus came by.
He called and the people told him to hush because he was making too much noise. “Jesus, Have mercy!” “Jesus said, “Bring that man here! Bring him here!” Why did he say, “bring him here?” Because that man had cried out, “Lord have mercy on me!” I’m not in a position to say that blind Bartimaeus belonged to Jesus church and yet I doubt that he did. I think he was just a man by the wayside begging.
If the non-members can get an answer, what about the members? The woman who came to Jesus in St. Matthew 15, because of her daughter’s demonic condition, called and Jesus ignored her for awhile and the disciples criticized her for crying after Him, but she wouldn’t go anywhere.
“When you know that you are at the right place, don’t let anyone run you away. Circumstances and conditions will always seek to drive us out of the prayer meeting and from the presence of God.” If we know we are in the right place, we need to keep calling. We should not be swayed by someone testifying that they called one time and got an answer, while we may have called for thirty-nine days, without seemingly being heard. There is no need to be defeated or depressed, let us just rejoice because God is on the move.
He’s just stopping at the person who prayed once and got what they needed. Since He is moving, we could be next. We will never see the Lord’s delivery truck parked on a flat, that’s what keeps us feeling we could be next. I love the determination of Bartimaeus, how he called and the people tried to make him hush, but he knew he had the right number, rather than heed what the people were saying, he got louder. heard our cry? When Jesus prayed at the grave site of Lazarus, He said, “Father, I thank you that you always hear me.”
II John 5:14 states, therefore, we can say I love the Lord. This poor man cried and the Lord heard him and delivered him. Since he heard me and inclined, then I am going to keep praying. I can understand those of us who pray and never get an answer why would be dropping out of prayer. Psalms 66: 16″Come and hear, all ye that fear God and I will tell you what he has done for my soul.” I was coming down the highway this afternoon and I was extolling the Lord and I said, “Lord there is nobody like you.
You are such a wonderful God! If we hear anyone says they have someone just like Jesus, they either have Jesus, or they are confused. The only reason He would not hear us is found in verse 18, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” If, I treat sinning like it’s alright, the Lord will not hear me. But verse 19 lets us know that by all mean the Lord will hear me. “But verily God has heard me; He hath attended to the voice of my prayer. He has heard me and is merciful to me.”
St. John 16 is an assurance policy that does something for the spirit. verses 23 and 24, “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” I agree with the song, “0, what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.” Let us take a look at some of the Scriptures that helps our prayer vocabulary.
Psalms 51:15 “0 Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.”
When we are looking for something to say to the Lord, we can say something that His Word has said. Those good religious sounding words and tunes have no more substance than the bark off a tree. If you really want to get next to God, we need to lay hold to his Word. Verse 15 saying, “Lord I don’t know what to say any more than a blind man knows his way down town. Put something in my mouth and give me something to say. One way to not pray empty prayers is to get something to fill our mouth with. That’s the only way.
Ephesians 1:14 “Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” Is there anything wrong with acknowledging that these virtues rest in the God we pray to? Is there any thing wrong with asking Him that these virtues be manifested in us? We are talking about the vocabulary we learned from the scriptures. It is so much better than the vocabulary we picked up from our imagination and out of our association with others.
1 Corinthians 1:30 declares that He’s made unto us wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption. It’s nothing wrong with thanking Him for being our wisdom. Thanking Him for being our righteousness, and our sanctification and redemption. If that fails to wake something up in us, then we need to make another trip to the altar, or get someone who knows how to work with dead men, to work with us. “Our conversation with the Lord, reveals how well we really know Him.” Talking to the Lord, in a way, is like talking to a friend. We talk better when we talk to someone we really know. We feel free talking to someone we definitely know.
You listen to some of us pray and you can tell we don’t know the Lord well enough by the way we talk to Him. “When nothing we are saying is personal & intimate, it is a sign that we are not well acquainted with the one we are speaking with.” Everything is casual and ordinary. Our prayer language testifies for us. Some of us have very little time for strangers. If we speak, that is about the best that can be expected. Some of us never sit down and hold a conversation with strangers. Likewise, some of us have difficulty holding conversations with the Lord, because we don’t feel close enough to Him. We may speak to Him, but we don’t hold a conversation.
The more intimate we are in a relationship with anyone, the more private things we can share with them. The more we confide in a person, the more secrets we can reveal to them. The less we know about someone; the least likely we are to tell our hidden secrets. It’s not every day that people walk up to a stranger and clatter off about their problems. For all we know, we could be talking to a news reporter. Next morning you could be reading what you said with something of a commercial flavoring added to it. We say it one way, but once they add to it, we would have trouble identifying it. Did I say that? When people are not close with the Lord, it is hard to keep them involved in the prayer ministry. That’s a fact.
“There are those who will do many things for the Lord, such as sing, preach, work at the altar, usher, but only those who have a relationship with Him will talk with Him.” If you had a close friend and suddenly they stop speaking to you, wouldn’t it bother you? We would no doubt be concerned. What about the Lord, do you not know that he is concerned. It must break the Lord’s heart that we won’t speak to him. We must watch the many reasons we give and the things we do that don’t have anything to do with prayer.
I am trying my utmost to inspire people to develop a relationship with the Lord, so they can spend conscious time all through the day communing with Him, so that our joy will be full. We wouldn’t have time to backslide, if we would go forward in Jesus. When our relationship with God becomes dull, it is because of our lack of union and communion with Him. “There is no way we can maintain fresh union, constant communion, daily fellowship & have a dull spiritual life.”
If anyone who knows me saw me sad and spaced out, they would surely know that something was wrong with me? My excitement isn’t because I am a preacher, it is because of my God, we are going to be productive in our service for Him operating under His influence, and we will attract or provoke more people by godly example than by our mouth.” If we would do what we are supposed to, we would reflect in our character a likeness of Jesus Christ. That would be efficient and sufficient to make men want what we have. Souls will be inspired. Nothing we do tickles the Lord like our praying. If we want to tickle the Lord and light him up, just talk to him.
Take time to talk with him. I live the Lord, he heard my cry; I thank you for hearing my cry. I thank you for giving ear to my cry. Lord, thank you for allowing me to be in union. Lord since I’ve been in you. I’, getting things I never thought I would get. I’m being blessed like I never knew one could be blessed. Thank you, thank you! “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you.”
Those of us, who are abiding, need to stop acting like he won’t answer. If we know we are abiding then we need to talk like He has heard our cry. The God that I serve has allowed me to find a place in him that has taken away worry. I see no need to worry. He has told me to ask and I’ve done that. I’m not going to try to make Him do it on my time, and I’m not going to faint before he does it. I’m going to thank Mil for that spark of faith in me that knows He is going to do it. He said, “He gives grace and glory.” He said, “No good thing will he withhold from them that walk upright.”
This article “Communion Through Scripture Vocabulary” was taken from “Intimacy With God” by Clifton Jones and may be used for study and research purposes only.