No doubt we've all spent time in laborious prayer. The kind where you catch yourself glancing at your watch every so often. The kind where you begin to wonder if your prayers are even making a difference.
Several years ago, that all changed for me. The Holy Spirit overtook my life and ceased to serve as my "consultant." As I yielded, He immersed me in Himself and my life became the prayer. I began to see healings and miracles. Marriages were restored. Finances were loosed. I had to make an effort to stop praying if the Holy Spirit had something else for me to do.
Yet what changed most was my position of prayer. As someone once said, "Too often we see ourselves as human beings living a temporary spiritual existence. The truth is, we are spiritual beings living a temporary human existence." I no longer prayed toward heaven as an earthly beggar but from heaven with godly insight.
As I understood more about my true identity as a son of God and an heir, my prayers changed. A son knows his father intimately and is able to make a request in confidence that a servant or a distant relative could not. An heir knows he has a right to his inheritance, so he has no problem asking for a portion to spend.
I began to see that this was how the Holy Spirit wanted me to pray. This was not a prayer generated out of need by my mind or soul. It was a prayer birthed in my spirit out of the leading of the Lord and in agreement with His Word.
My words became prayers of authority. There are many kinds of prayersâ€”petition, supplication, inquiry, to name a fewâ€”but prayers of authority are unique in their power. Most often, they are declaratory in nature and issue a godly charge. They tap the riches of God's kingdom: healing, salvation, provision, reconciliation, miracles, joy and more.
Perhaps the greatest example of authoritative praying is found in Jesus' renowned words in Matthew: "Your kingdom come. Your will be done" (6:10). His prayer, obviously, was in agreement with God's will; yet notice how it was both in the imperative tense and huge in scope. The literal Greek translation of this verse reads, "Come, Thy kingdom. Be done, Thy will."
His was not an arrogant prayer but one of understanding. Jesus knew His purpose: to bring heaven to earth. He had the authority. He was not uttering a temporary spiritual prayer as a human being, but making an incredible spiritual declaration as a spiritual being.
He has given us authority to do the same. In fact, He commands it by telling us to pray in this same manner.
Just like salvation, our privilege in prayer comes not from our having earned or deserved it, but from having been given it. What do we have that we have not received (see 1 Cor. 4:7)? Again, it is through His grace and love. Yet as with all gifts the Father has offered, they must be received.
Have you found delight in prayer and in your identity? Are you confident in asking as a son or daughter of God, and declaring as an heir? Do you realize that "all things are yours" (see 2 Pet. 1:3; 1 Cor. 3:21-22)? Are you a conduit to bring heaven to earth through your words? Do you pull down what exists in heaven now to be a reality on earth? If not, today's a great day to believe that you canâ€”and begin.
ChĂ© Ahn is senior pastor of Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, Calif., and apostolic leader of Harvest International Ministry, a network of 1,500 churches worldwide.