Changing the Atmosphere through Prayer
Over the past few months we have been talking about the Promises of God. The importance of living with a daily understanding of these promises is essential to living a life of godliness. We are transformed one promise at a time. We live in the world but are not of the world as followers of Jesus Christ; we are called to be world changers, not world chasers. The Church is to be a ‘counter-culture’ to what the world presents as their way, truth and life. In other words, we are not a ‘sub-culture’ that ebbs and flows with the shifting philosophies of our day. Paul exhorts the church of Colossae – “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ (Col 2:8).
The Prince of the Air
We are told in Eph 2:2 that Satan is the ruler of the kingdom of the air (atmosphere), the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient (on earth). In other words, Satan is given authority and power through the disobedience of people and this affects the surrounding atmosphere. Jesus speaks of Satan as the ruler of this world who has now come under judgement through his life and death and resurrection (John 12:31; 16:11). John the Apostle goes onto say – “We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). As followers of Jesus we are to discern what is of the Kingdom of God in contrast to what is of the world; by simple definition the “world” refers to systems of thought ruled by Satan. As children of God, we can truly appreciate Christ’s claims that believers are no longer of the world—we are no longer ruled by sin, nor are we bound by the principles of the world. It is not information but a work of transformation that changes us into the image of Christ, causing our interest in the things of the world to become less and less as we mature in Christ. A powerful Scripture that captures this transformation is Romans 12:1-2 – “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Changing the Atmosphere
What do I mean by “changing the atmosphere”? As I have travelled in missions over the years, I have been blessed to see many beautiful and unique physical locations. The various countries also have distinctive spiritual atmospheres, the pervading mood or tone of the place, sometimes very positive and other times dark and oppressing. As followers of Jesus, we have the privilege and responsibility to preach and demonstrate the Kingdom of God. This invites the atmosphere of heaven to change the hearts of mankind.
There are several keys to change the atmosphere in and around our lives.
· Obedience is required. Obedience is attractive to God and invites the Presence of God, which in turn changes the atmosphere.
· How we speak is significant. In many physical areas there are negative things that take place and it is important to speak in a godly spirit. It is important to speak God’s Word and truth.
· Attitude is 80 % of our success in life, more than knowledge or skill. The significance of having a positive faith-full mindset brings pleasure to God and changes the atmosphere.
· Prayer is foundational; Jesus told us to pray “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10). We encounter all kinds of circumstances in life and it is essential to pray with all kinds of prayers for God’s rule and reign to manifest.
God is looking for his children to be world – changers by inviting God’s Presence and changing the atmosphere. It is exciting to be part of God’s plan to release his kingdom on earth. The Scripture says, “the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chron 16:9a). God is looking and searching for those who will be his ambassadors on earth. We have the opportunity and pleasure of seeing God at work in these days. The world may seem to be succumbing to the effects of sin and Satan, but we must remember that as long as we are still here, God is at work changing the atmosphere one salvation at a time…
This morning we want to change the atmosphere through joining together in prayer for each other and for our neighbourhood. As we pray, we pray in grace. We pray in love for each other. We pray for God’s generosity to touch our lives. The Lord rewards those who seek him in faith. So, let’s pray believing that God will touch our lives and neighbourhood with his Presence changing the very atmosphere for his glory.