Approaching Prayer Properly

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  • Approaching Prayer Properly

    Written from the heart by S. E. Ray - 06/15/08

    I firmly accept the Old Testament as a “type” of New Testament blueprint. That we are now priests, in the covenant and are required to approach the Holy of Holies with a clean heart. Whereas Christ taught saying "Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering." Matthew 5:23-26 That before we come to embark upon a journey of soul moving prayer, our hearts MUST be free of unforgiveness, the weight of justified sin and any relationship issues that remain unresolved.

    In as much as the high priest performed a ritual of purification before approaching the Ark of the Covenant, where the Shekinah Glory dwelt upon the mercy seat, we too with a surgeons precision, must cut loose the shackles that weighs the soul and stifles the Spirit’s flow. Pride, Lust, Envy, Hate, Anger, Resentment, Covetness… such has no acceptable place in the heart of a saint or prayer warrior with genuine intent. Only as we resist the flesh and it’s nature and submit to the Spirit can we even begin to have a victorious walk.

    I often use this analogy in the past, that as an orchestra would dare not begin a performance without a time of tuning the instruments, so we too cannot rush into the Holy of Holies without preparing our heart. That a genuine time of repentance and releasing of residual darkness is absolutely necessary for a time of profitable prayer, especially as a group of believers. Whereas only a little leaven makes the whole loaf rise, a little retained darkness can suppress the unrestricted move of the Spirit as an instrument playing out of tune can potentially annul the group as a the whole. (Galatians 5:7-10)

    You may already know that the Jewish people have a ritual of finding the hidden leaven during the Pesach (Passover). Those who desire to enter into the full celebration of the holy day begin before the arrival of the community seder by cleansing all leaven from the house. Floors are swept, vacuumed and mopped. Cupboards are cleared of leavened products and cleaned. Pots and dishes are thoroughly washed to remove any possible fragments of leaven. The spirit of the law is to remove all leaven from our houses (Exodus 12. 19-20). This is also symbolic of the spiritual cleansing of our hearts (I Corinthians 5:6-8).

    After a general cleaning in the first weeks of Nisan, the attention becomes more focused as the day of Pesach approaches. After sundown on the fourteenth of Nisan, a special ceremony called Bedikat Khameytz (the search for the leaven) takes place in the home. The last little bits of leaven are found and removed from the premises. The details of this process are intriguing. Since the house has previously been cleaned, the leader of the house must purposely hide some leaven (bits of cookie or bread) in various places. Then the leader takes a feather, a wooden spoon and a lighted candle, and the family begins searching for the final leaven. This can be a great time to get children involved because it is like a game of hide-and-seek.

    The spiritual lessons are quite striking, however. The leaven (sin) must be cleansed from our dwellings (and hearts). The method itself is informative. The light of the candle (the Word of God) illumines our sin (Psalm 1 19: 1 I ). The leaven is whisked onto the wooden spoon by the feather for removal (feather being the Holy Spirit and spoon the wooden cross of the Messiah). The following morning, this last bit of collected leaven is burnt outside the home (in a can or bag) to symbolize its final destruction. This symbolizes Messiah's destroying sin "outside the camp," and making freedom from the power of sin available for all who believe.

    Let us enter before God with holy reverence and profound awe.

    Called by Mercy ~ Saved by Grace,

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