A believer’s control of their own spiritual growth, experiences in the Spirit, prayer, intercession, and Pentecostal beliefs are considered, today.  No BATTLE AXE appears.  The “Yahoo! Answers” fighter using the ID “Ozzfoxx” (Level 2 with 461 points, a member since April 18, 2011) posted the question that follows.  [After sharing my response, I discovered a writer using ID “WwwdotBibleSelectordotcom” had posted a response with a definition stating “ “intercessory prayer” literally means that you are praying for someone or something other than yourself. ”  This same writer also stated that charismatic experiences are a form of “stage hypnosis” and “groupthink”.  I responded to this by sharing the following clarification:  “Many believers regard it as “intercessory prayer” when the Holy Spirit speaks to other members of the Godhead, and gives utterance on behalf of the individual believer.  Everything—petition, praise, reverence, submission, and worship—are all established upon a higher plane.”  Sadly, Ozzfoxx published a reply to “WwwdotBibleSelectordotcom” agreeing, and expressing regret that “it had been his whole life.” ]

 

What is actually happening during intercessory prayer?

I grew up in the Pentecostal church and have spoken in tongues, slain in the spirit and even nearly unconscious from intense prayer sessions at the alter.

I have since grown up and as an adult reconciled that the way I was raised is no different than many other religions, as these experiences occur all over the spectrum of belief systems. They used to be my primary reason for believing, but were not unique at all when compared to other belief systems. I also realized the evolution of belief systems themselves were all very suspect, especially mine. I am so grateful I was able to get out and have experienced such a weight off my shoulders and profound happiness like never before since doing so.

But my question is what was actually happening during those intense prayer sessions that made me shake uncontrollably; that made me lie on the floor uttering gibberish; that made me feel the “butterflies in my stomach” take over my body? When it happened, it felt pretty darn real. What is happening? Is it just the pure emotion of the situation? Because of these questions, I was able to rationalize delusional beliefs for years even when I felt at my core they never added up.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.  For we are saved by hope:  but hope that is seen is not hope:  for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?  But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.  Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities:  for we know not what we should pray for as we ought:  but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.  (Romans 8:  22-27, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Why Christians Pray for Others (01/12/2014); GOD is Jesus? (01/13/2014); Intercession (12/27/2013); Jesus Is GOD’s Word (12/28/2013); Prayer on Behalf of Others? (11/25/2013); Too Much Holy Spirit? (11/19/2013); Understanding Peace? (11/20/2013); When Prayer Works (10/11/2012); Double Standard? (10/12/2012); Unwelcome Gifts? (09/17/2012); Does Believing Make It Happen? (09/18/2012)

 

“Ozzfoxx” Christian belief centers in acknowledging dependence upon GOD, and is not a matter of comprehending, or controlling divinity.  Yet, here are a few points you may have overlooked that are necessary to avoid spiritual confusion, and to be at peace with Christ:

(1.)  GOD is a spirit who has put forth material beings and objects that also are to be peculiar vessels of divine substance.  The transformation of mankind to exist as an eternal companion to divinity who is immortal and incorruptible is a comprehensive and profound sacred process that involves all the spheres of existence for created beings and living creatures (we say, heaven, earth, the universe); every aspect of divine order; multiple divine operations, eternal purposes, and sacred events (we say, miracles); permanent changes in the form, nature, process, and substance of existence; and the full extent of all material and spirit matter.

(2.)  Experiences in the Spirit all are directed to installing permanent changes for transformation of awareness and self-will that are not achieved through the mechanical processes for natural growth and learning.  The person who is “born again” through baptism must experience and realize a death of the inborn spirit with rebirth having new divine substance.  The believer must become mature and perfected (we say, grow up again; face growing pains), realizing new patterns within such aspects of their life experience as their abilities, desires, intent, purpose, readiness to learn, and self-expression.  A person is no longer to follow routines of life generated by their own appetite (e.g., hunger, thirst, craving for sex), sense (e.g., hearing, seeing, tasting), and emotional/mental functions (e.g., desire, fear, imagination, recall).  Believers are to contain and rely upon Spirit content from the makeup of GOD such as faith, forgiveness, holiness, joy, longsuffering, love, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

(3.)  As entities that are discrete and separate from the GODhead, angels, humans, the sacred beasts of heaven, and all other forms of life are endowed with awareness, person, and self-will.  Sin opposes the continued existence of divine law, of the Law Giver, and of all Creation that is maintained or nourished through sacred law.  Sin is not a living thing; is not something carnal, concrete and material you may hold in your hand or put in your pocket; sin is no spirit substance created by GOD; yet, sin has direction, effect, and presence.  As an artifact of separation from GOD, sin may dominate awareness and self-will in the living.

(4.)  In the same way GOD can not be known to created beings and living creatures by their relying entirely upon aspects of the flesh (e.g., appetite, sensation, emotional/mental features), sin may not be detected, eliminated and resisted relying entirely upon the finite tools of feeling, intellect, logic, mathematics, reason, philosophy, and science.  Sin first appeared among the angels; and the process of limiting sin now must address a broad range of issues including defiance of authority, presumption, exaggerated operations of pride as well as the detection of sin that is hidden and invisible until exposed using tools provided by GOD.  

(5.)  With this in view, experiences in the Spirit are all provided by GOD to foster submission and surrender of ones awareness and self-will.  There are many ongoing divine operations that must occur for Creation to be entirely free from the corruption and death that have been introduced by sin.  Mankind exists within a divine order that did not emerge from human ability, knowledge, skill, and potential.  While the living are to have benefit from Creation, Judgment, Revelation, Salvation, and Sanctification, these are all divine operations that do not genuinely allow human alterations and inputs. 

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  For example, (6.)  Analysis and academic study of experiences in the Spirit have failed to make them something predictable, that may be duplicated exactly, that may be explained in detail, or reproduced in a standardized manner.  All human beings are not believers in GOD, or his Christ.  All who have heard the Gospel, do not accept it; and all who do accept  have not received the same gifts and aspects of divine content.  Until perfected, believers all display such features as ambivalence, imbalance, inconsistency, inner conflict, instability, lack of knowledge and correct information, resisting the Spirit, and self-contradiction.  With this in view, for many within the body of believers faith and wisdom have answered:  It is not correct to question the presence of Spirit experiences (how few, how many, how long, etc.).  It is only necessary to accept their presence as a gift, a peculiar ministry, and phenomena for the body as a whole that will not be directly experienced by every individual member.  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your knowledge and faith from GOD.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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