Essays on Dick Eastman's
Change the World School of Prayer #1
We need to come to a place in our spiritual walk where we can say as David Brainerd said, "THE JOY OF GOING TO BED AT NIGHT IS THAT YOU KNOW THAT YOU WILL GET UP TO PRAY." Prayer does not have to be a burden or a duty, but it can be a delight. For so many people, prayer is drudgery. In order to be motivated to pray and to have a desire to pray, we must understand the potential of prayer.
First, prayer helps in world evangelism. In order for a person to hear the gospel and get saved, someone must be sent forth to tell him. Many people are close to being saved, but they just need to hear the gospel. Therefore, we ought to do as Jesus commanded us in Matt. 9:38, "[pray that] the Lord of the harvest send out workers into His harvest."
Second, when Christians pray, they are brought into unity. In Acts 4:31‑32, the believers gathered together and prayed and the place shook with the presence of God. Furthermore, they were then of "one heart and soul," as a result of praying. We need to pray to have that unity, and only then can we be effective in evangelism.
Third, prayer has the potential to change the body of Christ. The body is changed as each individual part is changed by prayer. A person will grow spiritually to the same degree as he increases his prayer life. Our ultimate goal in prayer is to strengthen our relationship with God. As we develop this relationship, we will each be changed, and thus change the whole body of Christ.
Prayer is important for several other reasons. First, God desires for us to call out to Him for help and for Himself to bring to pass what we have asked for.
Second, prayer is actually transacting spiritual business. Matt. 18:18 says that when we take authority on earth, God does things in heaven. We have been given power to bind and to loose in the name of Jesus. God desires for us to use this prayer power to establish His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
Third, prayer enables us to tap into spiritual secrets. As we pray we will develop the fear of the Lord, which brings wisdom and understanding. To "fear" God is to hate the things that God hates and to respect Him‑ the act of noticing God with attention.
Fourth, prayer develops a spiritual love relationship with God, known as YADAH. As we get to "know" God we "will display strength and take action," according to Dan. 11:32. We will be strong‑‑firm and durable, and do exploits‑‑daring acts. We need to have YADAH, the most intimate union in a relationship, with God.
The Prayer Warrior's Personal Life #2
Time is very important to us. We hate to waste it because time is an irreplaceable source. When we have idle time as a result of circumstances beyond our control, we can either react with impatience and aggravation or we can respond by praying. Time is too precious to waste, so we must use it‑‑praying. We all have a variety of different gifts and different measures of them, but we all have the same amount of time. No one can validly say that they do not have time to pray. When a person is not spending quality time in prayer, there is a deeper problem. Andrew Murray said, "All lack of power to pray correctly points to some lack in the Christian life."
For a Christian to have a powerful prayer life, he must have a strong personal life that is in order. Christian lives' need to have: total surrender, total discipline, and total compassion.
First, We need to be totally surrendered to the lordship of Jesus. This starts by considering ourselves, (our ways, desires, ambitions) as dead. When something is dead, the natural thing to do is to throw it out. When selfishness arises within us, we need to throw it out, but how? We can overcome selfishness, (the greatest enemy to total surrender) by being unselfish. We die to ourselves by giving things away, and then we will receive a spirit of unselfishness and be dead to self. We must have a willingness to voluntarily surrender what we have. To do this, we must not love the world, nor the things in the world, 1 John 2:15. The "world" is anything that cools our affection for Jesus and His kingdom.
Second, We need to have totally disciplined lives'. We need to develop self control in all things. We need to be faithful with what God has entrusted to us. God has given us time and talents to be used for His glory. He has given us healthy bodies in which His Spirit can dwell (1 Cor. 6:19‑20). Because God owns our bodies, we need to take very good care of His holy temple. Most people tend to do too much eating and too little sleeping and exercising.
We need to eat proper foods that will nourish our bodies, and we must not over‑eat. We need to get to bed early in order to wake up early and pray. Often, people have trouble getting to sleep. It is a good suggestion to read the Bible and meditate on it just before going to bed. Our spirits' will greatly benefit from this since the Word will go down into our spirits' as we sleep. This suggestion will also help to prevent bad dreams and it will take our minds' off bad things from that day or the next. We also need to exercise regularly. A good suggestion is to jump rope for 15 minutes each day.
Third, Christians need total compassion, as Jesus had on the multitude (Mark 8:1‑2). We need to walk in love. To develop compassion we need to increase in three areas. First, we need intensity‑‑total concentration for the things we want to have compassion for. Jesus wept and prayed intensely, and he was heard because of his piety (Heb. 5:7). Second, we need sensitivity, just as the "good" Samaritan had. Third, we need to increase in generosity. Just as we have freely received, we ought to freely give. Increasing these three areas will help us to develop compassion which helps to improve a personal life so that we can be effective prayer warriors.
"God does nothing apart from prayer and everything by it." John Wesley said, "prayer is the secret source of power." One day he read a book that changed his life when he read, "LET EVERYTHING YOU DO BEGIN WITH PRAYER." We ought to make this our own motto that we live by and we will be changed.
The Prayer Warrior's Prayer Life #3
Every Christian ought to pray regularly no matter how busy (s)he is. A housewife, a business man, and a full time student are all very busy. Of course we're busy, but doesn't God deserve more than the left overs of our tired lives. God chooses to use those who give God their best and "Seek His kingdom first." To be motivated to incorporate prayer into our busy schedules, we must understand the purpose of prayer.
Prayer has a three‑fold purpose: God's glory, fellowship, and evangelization. "Whatever we do whether we eat or drink, we ought to do for the glory of God" (1 Cor. 10:31). Ultimately, our purpose in life and in prayer is to give glory to God. Glory, according to Webster, is great honor. Therefore, our reason for praying is to bring great honor, or pleasure, to the Lord.
Second, our purpose in praying is to have fellowship with God. God desired to have fellowship with Moses when God said in Ex. 25:22, "I will meet with you [Moses]." We should go into prayer to be with God and have companionship, and as a result we will be blessed. We are to mutually fellowship with the Lord.
Third, prayer helps to evangelize the lost souls. Romans 10:1 gives us an example that exhorts us to pray "to God for [people] for their salvation." God promises us that as we call unto Him, He will show us great things. We need to be fervent in our praying in order to accomplish much. In conclusion, prayer blesses God, blesses ourselves, and blesses others.
Is it wrong to repeat yourself in prayer? Jesus prayed the same prayer five times. Matt. 6:7 says we should not use "MEANINGLESS repetition, AS THE GENTILES DO." If we have sincere, meaningful prayers that a hypocritical Gentile would not pray, then our prayers are acceptable to God. We need substance to our prayers. We need to pray according to His Word.
Praying "in the name of Jesus" is more than just tacking a nice phrase to the end of our prayer. The phrase tells us, others, and God, where our authority and power come from. There are over 500 descriptions for the name of Jesus. We are to ask Jesus for things in His name in order that the Father may be glorified (John 14:13‑14). There is power in Jesus' name. Jesus is our protection, sure foundation (strength), security, light, guidance, authority, energy, among other things.
Prayer affects our entire lives. Primarily, we ought to pray because it is scriptural (God's will). God desires us to be devoted to prayer often and "not lose heart" in praying. Second prayer gives us benefits. Third, prayer is a personal relationship with God, and the scriptures exhort us to abide in Christ (John 15:7). Fourth, prayer satisfies our emotional needs since we have a need for communication with other people.
If we really understood what passionate prayer accomplished then we would never give up. C.S. Lewis said, "Prayer is often something bothersome we do not want to do, but we are co‑laborers with God in fulfilling His plan on the earth. God can do it all Himself but He has chosen to do it through us. Through prayer we collaborate with God."
The Prayer Warrior's Prayer Mission #4
It does not matter what our age is or what gifts we have. We have all been called to change the world through prayer. God has given us power to change the world by our prayers. Primarily, we ought to pray for the lost souls who are in rebellion to God, but how?
First, we can pray for divine energy for Christian workers who are witnessing in the harvest field (Matt. 9:37‑38). We need to pray that the Holy Spirit will send forth laborers and to strengthen these laborers. We ought to pray every day for our pastor and his wife.
Second, we ought to pray that "closed doors" will be open. In order for laborers to witness to people, they need "open doors", or opportunities, to be able to share to people or groups of people. Col. 4:2‑3 exhorts us to "devote ourselves to prayer... that God may open to us a door for the word so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ." We also ought to pray for leaders in countries and that these countries will be open to the Gospel.
Third, we ought to pray away spiritual darkness, and pray for lasting fruit. 2 Thess. 3:1 exhorts us to pray "that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be glorified." 2 Cor 4:3‑4 tells us that the "god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving." When the darkness is removed, the Word will shine. As we pray against this darkening force, and for the Word of the Lord to spread rapidly, Christians will bear fruit that will last.
Fourth, we need to pray in financial assistance (money). Rom. 10:14‑15 tells us that people need to call upon the Lord to be saved, but to do this they need to believe. However, for them to believe, they need to hear the Gospel. To hear the Gospel someone must tell them. However, often it takes money for people to spread the Gospel. We need to not only PRAY for finances for others, but also give to others. Prayer is never an excuse for inactivity.
John Bunyan said, "prayer is a sincere, affectionate, outpouring of our soul to God. We pray with FAITH, the assurance of the Word, and the HOPE of its fulfillment."
Prayer Warrior and Prayer Program #5
We need to develop a regular prayer habit. Most of what we learn about prayer we learn as a result of praying. We need to be like Jeremiah in that everything he undertook he sought the Lord. As we make a regular habit to seek the Lord in everything we do, we will learn much about prayer and the secrets of the spiritual world.
As we pray, we will grow spiritually. We usually become like a person whom we spend much time with. Similarly, we become like God by spending time with Him in prayer. Also, spiritual strength will come to those who pray, as well as spiritual consistency.
Power comes to our words from years of consistent prayer. Praying one hour per day is "disciplined liberty" not legalism. David exhorts us to seek the Lord early in the morning and order our prayers to God (Ps. 5:3). May our desire be that "the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer" (Ps. 19:14). To be acceptable and pleasing to God, we need to add substance to make our prayers complete. We should arrange and organize our prayers and be specific. Dick Eastman says in one of his books:
To be effective our sixty minutes with God should be carefully arranged. Systematic prayer adds health to the devotional habit. Most tasks in life are accomplished systematically. In fact, without a systematic approach to life, many goals would remain unreached.
Dick Eastman offers a varied plan in his book, The Hour that Changes the World. His prayer system divides the one hour prayer time into 12 five minute time slots to pray about different topics. At the beginning of our prayer, we should PRAISE God and hallow His name as mentioned in the Lord's Prayer. Next is the process of WAITING, which is silent surrendering of the soul to God. After we have looked first to God we can then engage in CONFESSION of our sins. Next we should incorporate SCRIPTURE PRAYING. We next spend a time of WATCHING (praying according to the relevant issues of the world). INTERCESSION for the lost souls comes next. PETITION is the act of praying for specific personal needs, which we do next. Afterwards, we offer up a sacrifice of THANKSGIVING to the Lord. We are exhorted in Ps. 100:2 to "serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with joyful SINGING." Next, we take time to MEDITATE upon a "spiritual theme in reference to God." LISTENING is the act of mental absorption of "divine instruction from God concerning matters for that day" or for other things including answers to specific questions. We should begin our prayers with PRAISE, and end our prayers with PRAISE, looking to God as being number one in our lives'.
Prayer can be done anywhere at anytime, but we ought to enter into our "closet" to pray (Matt. 6:6). In other words, we ought to pray alone without a motive for righteous glory from men for this deed. We need to find a special place to pray. Gen. 24:63 tells us that Isaac prayed in the fields. Daniel prayed in a chamber. Jesus departed to a lonely place and prayed there (Mark 1:35). Jesus also met with his disciples in a garden to be with God (John 18:1‑2). Similarly, we need to find a special place of prayer to share with God.
The Prayer Warrior's Praise Life #6
Worship and prayer should not just be confined to the devotional hour, but we should "pray without ceasing" (1 Thess 5:17). The Word of God says that "he who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving [or praise] honors Me." We glorify God when we give Him praise, so we ought to praise Him often. What is praise?
First, praise is the priesthood of the believer. Second, praise is a ministry of the Lord. God desires for us to minister to Him with love. God desires us to have intimacy with Him. Hezekiah became king at the age of 25 and prophesied from God, "consecrate yourselves now... for the Lord has chosen you to stand before Him, to minister to Him, and to be His ministers and burn incense" (2 Chron. 29:11).
According to 2 Chron. 29:11, the Lord has chosen each one of us to "praise" Him. The scripture exhorts us to stand before Him, or to be available. Also it exhorts us to serve Him, but we can't unless we are first available. We are to minister unto God, to be a blessing unto Him. When we pray, we ought to pray alone in secret and have YADAH, intimacy with God. God spoke to Moses for him to find a place by Him to pray; so we ought to find that special place to pray.
Fourth, praise is spiritual freedom. We have freedom in Jesus Christ. We are assured that God will supply our needs as we "seek first His kingdom and His righteousness" (Matt. 6:33). "Let all the people praise Thee, O God" (Ps. 67:3). Praising God is freedom and a privilege.
Fifth, praise brings spiritual understanding. We need to listen to God through our spirits', and then God will reveal secrets to us "which eye has not seen and ear has not heard" (1 Cor. 2:9‑10). The more you grow in YADAH, the more you will hear God's voice. Hearing the secrets of God comes when you minister unto the Lord.
We can praise God in several ways. First, we can give him thanksgiving by verbalizing a thank you for something He has given you. We should be specific with our praise. We can acknowledge God for WHO He is. Our praise are the fruits of our lips to God (Heb. 13:15). We praise God by singing a new song; perhaps, we can sing a passage and make melody in our hearts' (Eph. 5:19). We ought to practice the presence of God as stated in Ps. 27:4, "one thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to meditate in His temple." We ought to thank God for our Bibles since 7 out of 8 Christians in the world have never held a Bible. The more praises you give God, the more He will be blessed and the more blessings you will receive.
We are assured that if Jesus' words abide in our hearts' and we ask anything we want, then God will answer it (John 15:7). There is never a prayer offered that God does not hear if it is based on God's will and His Word and we are abiding in Him.
Dick Eastman's Prayer Video #7
When we are alone, we hear God best. As Christians we desire to do God's will. We are assured that if we pray according to His will, God will hear us and grant us our request; but, how do we find out God's will? First, God's will is defined in the Scriptures, which is the primary means which God uses to speak to us. For example, it is scriptural, and God's will, for us to "grow spiritually." Second, we can know God's will for personal decisions by Divine Guidance.
To be divinely guided, we need continual communication daily with God. God can speak to us in several ways. First, God can speak audibly to us as He did with Paul in Acts 9:5. Just because we have never heard God speak in a certain way does not mean that God does not speak that way to others. The more you pray, the more coincidences you will "seemingly" have. The less you pray, the less coincidences you will have.
God can also speak to us in visions and in dreams as He did with Paul and Job respectively. God can also use the spiritual gifts of 1 Cor. 12:4‑10 to speak to us supernaturally. He could give us a word of wisdom, a word of knowledge, a prophesy, a tongue and/or an interpretation of a tongue. Very often God will direct us by wisdom, knowledge, and circumstances. We can be assured of this as we have faith in Prov. 3:5‑6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." Also, God uses the Holy Spirit, the still soft small voice within us, to speak to us. How can we be sure that what we hear is God? We must put the impressions and desires aside and go to the Word. God will confirm inspiration with His Word, never contradict it. Finally, God will use the Bible to speak to us as we read it‑‑either by having a passage relate directly to our situation or by giving us impressions concerning our situation as we read the passage.
Divine guidance will flow from the dwelling place of God, which is the heart of man. The Holy Spirit, the Comforter, abides within us and lives in our bodies, not outside of it.
Divine guidance must be sought with caution and counsel (Prov. 11:14). We are exhorted to test the spirits to see whether they are from God. There are three voices that can speak to us: our own, Satan's, and God's. You must put your mind in neutral and be indifferent about your decision before you ask for God's Will. As we draw close to God, He will draw close to us and reveal His will to us.
Furthermore, for divine guidance to be effective, it requires a response of obedience. We need to practice what is pleasing to God. To find God's will we should do the following:
1. Spend a season in prayer daily about a certain matter in question.
2. Spend time in prayer actually listening for God.
3. Study God's Word in reference to it.
4. Seek counsel from 3 of those who can hear God's voice.
5. Evaluate all that has come to you
6. To the best of your ability, ACT on what you believe is God's Word.
7. Don't look back once you start, even when going through tough times.
God brings us into hard situations so that we can trust Him.
8. Persist and don't give up.
As we follow these guidelines we will leave nothing undone that God wants us to do: Joshua did what God commanded Moses and "he left nothing undone of all that the Lord had commanded Moses" (Joshua 11:15).
As we seek God's will in our lives and trust him to guide us, we will change the world. God will use us to affect the nations more than we can ever realize. God wants to take us further than we can imagine. There is a day coming when "the kingdom of this world shall become the kingdom of our God and of His Christ" (Rev. 11:15). The Gospel shall be preached to the whole world, then the end will come.
Before the end comes, we have a lot of work to do. We are co‑laborers with God. We need to spend time in prayer to change ourselves and to change the world around us. By praying, we are "allowing" God to work in our lives and in the world. After we have prayed, Martin Luther suggests that we make our "Amen" strong. "Amen" means "so be it." It means that we are sure that God has heard our prayers. AMEN.