These are notes on the sermon, Feeling Troubled? Start Praying In The Spirit!, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 6 September 2020, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!
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“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”
— 2 Peter 1:2 NKJV
Grace and peace can only be multiplied to us in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, not in us doing more.
In Hebrew, peace is the word “shalom” and in the Greek, it is the word “irene”—both include not just peace of mind but wholeness in every part of your body.
As you hear the Word preached today, expect to receive God’s peace and healing as it is written in Psalm 107:20, “He sent His word and healed them.” Likewise, If you are suffering any affliction in your body, even in your mind or emotions, God can send His Word right to where you are and He often does that through the preached Word.
“He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”
— Galatians 3:5 KJV
“ministereth to you the Spirit” — The word “ministers” here is in the present continuous tense in the Greek, which means God is constantly ministering to you the Holy Spirit and He is constantly working miracles among you as you listen to the word of faith.
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
— Romans 10:17 KJV
Faith can come even when we don’t have faith; it can be increased through the hearing of faith.
Some people think that we must hear from God directly but in this particular context, Paul is referring to the hearing of the word of Christ through a preacher.
“…how shall they hear without a preacher?”
— Romans 10:14 KJV
It’s important for us to expose ourselves to the preached Word. It is the preached Word that brings God’s healing. The preached Word is like a delivery system. It is through the foolishness of preaching—not the foolishness of the preacher—to heal, save, and deliver (see 1 Cor. 1:21).
As you’re listening to the Word, get ready to receive the breakthroughs you need. This includes even creative ideas—they spring forth as the Word is preached.
Recap of last week’s sermon:
“for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
— Philippians 2:13 NKJV
“works” — In Hebrew, this is the word “energeo,” which means “to put forth power.” The Lord gives us both the willingness (which means both “delight” and “pleasure” in Greek) and the power to perform and to carry it out. The word “energeo” is also in the present continuous tense in the Greek, which means God is constantly working in us the desire and the power. That’s how God transforms us continually.
There are some who believe that when you’re under grace, morality suffers. But that can’t be further from the truth. When you’re under grace, grace will produce in you moral excellence and beauty. When others look at you, they will not just see your moral goodness, but they will see the beauty and goodness of Jesus in you.
Grace always supersedes the law.
“Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.”
— Ephesians 4:28 NKJV
The law says, “Thou shalt not steal,” but grace gives you the power to not only refrain from stealing, but also the desire and ability to be a blessing to others.
“I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
— Acts 20:35 NKJV
The law says, “Thou shalt not covet,” but grace causes you to be generous to the people around you.
“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
— 1 John 3:16 NKJV
The law says, “Thou shalt not kill,” but grace causes you to live a life larger than yourself. It empowers you to put others before yourself.
“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”
— Colossians 4:6 NKJV
The law says, “Thou shalt not lie,” but grace causes our speech to be gracious and seasoned with salt. Salt is a preservative and is what gives certain foods its enduring quality. When your words are seasoned with salt it means that your words have a lasting impact on those who hear you speak.
But it is not enough that our words are seasoned with salt if they are not spoken with grace. Words that hurt can also endure. Grace causes your words to be seasoned with salt because they are gracious, full of undeserved favor. The Bible tells us this:
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God…”
— Ephesians 4:29–30 KJV
When you choose to speak words to build up instead of tear down, when your words minister grace (unmerited favor) to the people around you, the Holy Spirit is glad! Being under grace causes you to speak words of grace.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,”
— Ephesians 5:25 NKJV
The law says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” but grace causes you to love your spouse as Christ first loved you. Those who love best are those who are loved best. If you are going through a rough patch in your marriage, focus on Christ. When you realize how much He loves you, you will naturally be able to extend that love to your spouse.
Last week, we also learned in the context of marriage that we are no longer married to the law, but married to Jesus (grace):
“Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code. ”
— Romans 7:4–6 ESV
The only legal way out of a marriage with the law is through death, and even that death, Jesus provided for us at the cross. Today, because of the finished work of Christ, we are married to Jesus (grace). When you are married to grace, you will bear fruit for God. Your life will bear good fruit when you look to Jesus because grace (unmerited favor) is the result of union with Christ.
It is difficult to be married to the law. The law is righteous but it cannot bend to help you. If the law bends to help you, it is no more the law. But when you are married to Jesus, you are married to Someone whose standards are even higher than the law yet what He demands, He provides for Himself. The demands are not on you, but supplied by Him.
“For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
— Romans 8:3–4 NKJV
“He condemned sin in the flesh” — Even though the flesh still rises up in you (in the form of negative or sinful thoughts, feelings, and actions), the fact is that the flesh has been condemned at the cross, and it ceases to exist in God’s eyes. We have to see that today too. When we see that, then the next part of the verse can happen:
“that the law might be fulfilled in us” — When you walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh, the righteous requirement of the law will be fulfilled in you, not by you. That means it is not up to you to keep the law and to fulfill it. The law is fulfilled in us as we just flow, walk, and be led by the Spirit.
“But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.”
— Romans 7:6 NLT
Now, we live in the new way of grace, flowing and being led by the Spirit in us.
“Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”
— Galatians 5:4 KJV
When you justify yourself by the law, you put yourself under the curse and you forfeit grace.
Look at the ark of the covenant: the mercy seat (a picture of grace) is placed above the two tablets of stone (the law). Grace is above the law. Grace, God’s unmerited favor, cannot operate in your life when you’re under the law.
How do you be effectively under grace in your day-to-day life?
“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,”
— Galatians 5:18–19 NKJV
When you are not led by the Spirit, you are under the law and that activates the works of the flesh. When you are under grace, you produce the fruits of the Spirit.
Works are the result of effort but fruit is a result of life.
Some examples of fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, and peace. Long before people see your self-control and moral excellence, they see your countenance—the love, joy, and peace on your face. When we produce the fruits of the Spirit by being under grace, we become effortless testimonies for the Lord.
We are Christians; our name means “anointed ones.” Grace causes us to live up to that name.
When we put ourselves back under the law, even though our intentions might be right, being under the law always produces strife and bad results.
The Spirit of God can do what the law cannot do for you. The law is one-size-fits-all—it gives no allowance to each individual. But under grace, the Spirit of God can lead you in ways that are based on your unique situations i.e. in your job, in your relationships, and in your parenting. Grace will lead you to do the right thing at the right time for your specific situation that will lead to the best results.
Where there is sin, grace abounds much more. We can see this reality in Luke 24:
“and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
— Luke 24:47 NKJV
“beginning at Jerusalem” — The very city that rejected Jesus became the first beneficiary of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Grace supersedes the law. It is not natural, but supernatural. Even in our parenting or in our workplace, we need to be sensitive to the flow of the Spirit.
When talking about grace-based marriage, it’s crucial for us to mention, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her” (Eph. 5:25).
Some people have removed that latter clause and turned this gentle instruction into a law.
How do you love your spouse and have a thriving marriage? You put Jesus at the center. Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church. When it comes to wives submitting to your husbands, see the Lord behind your husband as you submit to him (Eph. 5:22–24).
When you put Jesus in the picture, all the bitter waters become sweet.
Grace is what teaches people and leads them to do the Lord’s good pleasure.
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,”
— Titus 2:11–13 NIV
Grace is not a teaching nor a doctrine, it is a Person. Grace is our Lord Jesus Christ.
“It teaches us” — For pastors and preachers, there is a place for teaching practical wisdom but it is of utmost importance to always bring Jesus into the picture. When you bring Him into the picture, Grace Himself teaches the people.
As you follow grace (Jesus), Grace Himself will teach you godliness and produce the fruits of the Spirit.
How do we effectively walk in the Spirit?
By praying in the Spirit, also known as praying in tongues.
How does the Bible define praying in the Spirit? It isn’t the same as praying by the leading of the Spirit.
“For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth…”
— 1 Corinthians 14:14 KJV
Praying in tongues is something that was never given to the Old Testament saints because they were under the law. It is unique to the new covenant. Why is this so?
Praying in tongues only came into being on the day of Pentecost after Jesus went to the cross. It is a prayer that can only come forth from the Spirit who is in you. It denotes that you have been made so clean that God’s Spirit can dwell in you today. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit never dwelled in people—He only came upon at times then He left.
“…for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”
— John 14:17 KJV
Because the Spirit now dwells in you, you have this prayer language that you can readily access today.
One of the ways to be led and to walk by the Spirit is to pray in the Spirit. There are some people who have tied everything to works—tithing, serving, partaking of the Communion. These are responses to being led by the Spirit; they are not works that we have to do. We don’t “do Communion,” we “receive Communion.”
When Abraham received the bread and wine from the high priest Melchizedek, it was Melchizedek who brought the bread and the wine to him. After that, Abraham tithed in response to this (Gen. 14:18–20).
Pastor Prince shares that when he partakes of the Communion, he prays, “Lord, I receive these elements fresh from Your hands. Because the cross exists in a timeless zone, I receive Your body broken for my healing and Your blood shed for my forgiveness as if it only just happened.”
Our bodies can experience healing but our spirits do not because our spirits have already been born again.
In 2017, Pastor Prince preached a sermon titled The Prayer That Repairs Your Body (10 Sep 2017), where he expounded on the gift of praying in tongues and how it edifies not just our spirit but also our physical bodies, driving out disease and repairing our bodies.
“He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.”
— 1 Corinthians 14:4 KJV
“edifieth” — In the Greek, the word “edifieth” or “edifies” means “to build a house, to erect a building.” Whenever you pray in tongues, your spirit prays but it is your body that is being built, constructed, and repaired.
Unfortunately, there are many who are not open to praying in tongues, saying that it is a thing of the past. But in 1 Corinthians 13:8–10, it says that only “when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.” That means it is only when Jesus returns for us that praying in tongues will cease.
It seems like in many ministries, churches, and even in the lives of people who don’t believe in the power of praying in tongues, you don’t see as many manifestations of healing, prophecies, signs, and wonders. Even for Pastor Prince, before he was baptized in the Holy Spirit, he did not see as many manifestations in the lives of the people he prayed for as he does now.
“So shall they fear
The name of the Lord from the west,
And His glory from the rising of the sun;
When the enemy comes in like a flood,
The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.”
— Isaiah 59:19 NKJV
Pastor Prince believes that this passage of scripture is relevant to the times that we are living in. Here, the west refers to the countries in the west (i.e. the Americas). The east, which is where “the rising of the sun” takes place, refers to the Asian countries (especially Japan). The west had the revelation of the name of Jesus but the east will have the revelation of the glory of God. In these last days, God’s glory is going to spread all across Asia.
Glory always comes after grace.
In this time, even as the enemy tries to cover the earth like a flood (with attacks including this global pandemic), he can never catch up with God in all His glory and grace. When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him (Isa. 59:19). In the Hebrew, the word “standard” also means “to put to flight.” When the enemy comes in like a flood, as you pray in the Spirit, the Spirit of the Lord will route the enemy out of your life.
The Bible says in Ephesians 6 that God has provided us with seven pieces of spiritual armor:
“and the helmet of the salvation receive, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the saying of God, through all prayer and supplication praying at all times in the Spirit, and in regard to this same, watching in all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—”
— Ephesians 6:17–18 YLT
“the saying of God” — In the Greek, the word “saying” is translated as “rhema” of God, which means the word in season.
“through” — In the Greek, this is the word “dia,” which translates to “by means of, through the channels of.” How do you receive the helmet of salvation that protects you from all the fiery darts? Through all prayer and supplication, praying at all times in the Spirit.
“times” — In the Greek, this word refers to “kairos” time, which means “an opportune moment, a favorable season.” When you are praying in the Spirit, it will cause you to be placed in an opportune moment, a favorable season in spite of all that is happening around you.
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities . . . ”
— Romans 8:26 KJV
“infirmities” — The word “infirmities” here is the same word used as “diseases” in the gospels.
When you don’t know how to even pray for your body or any area of your life, you can tell the Spirit and just begin to pray in the Spirit.
A lot of teachings on prayer give us the impression that we have to solely devote to prayer a place and a time with no distractions. There is nothing bad in doing that but oftentimes, especially when you are busy, it may be difficult to find such a time and place to do that.
Pastor Prince shares that sometimes when he doesn’t know what to specifically pray for, especially in the area of healing, he will simply say to the Lord, “Lord, Your Holy Spirit knows how to pray for my perfect healing.” Then he will pray in the Spirit.
“in all perseverance” — Sometimes, your healing or your breakthrough might not manifest immediately but as you continue to pray, you will experience that breakthrough.
You can even pray in the Spirit for your family and children when you don’t know what to pray for them. Something powerful happens while you are praying in tongues because Someone more powerful than you is praying and interceding for you. The Holy Spirit Himself is praying for you.
You can seek a man of God for prayer but nothing compares to the Holy Spirit praying for you. There is a peace that comes when you know that the perfect One is praying perfect prayers for you. Grace transcends our finite vocabulary and through the Spirit, we can pray perfect prayers.
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come . . . And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
— Acts 2:1,4 NKJV
“utterance” — The Spirit gave them utterance. There are some who despise the gift of praying in tongues, saying it is of lesser value than understandable speech, but according to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, the word “utterance” is not a word used for everyday speech, but refers to “dignified and elevated discourse.”
When you pray in tongues, you are praying elevated prayers!
When you pray in tongues, you can’t help but pray unselfish prayers because you can’t circumvent them with your own desires.
While you’re praying in tongues, even before the breakthrough comes, you are liberated from worries and cares because you are assured that the Holy Spirit is doing something about your situation as you release that flow (of praying in tongues).
The moment you’re born again, the moment you’ve received the Lord, you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you. But don’t just settle for the Spirit in you. Let the Lord take you and immerse you in the Spirit. Make use of what the Lord has already put in you.
Pastor Prince encourages us to pray in the Spirit especially for situations that we feel troubled about and have no power in, whether it’s a health issue, a strained relationship with your spouse, or the loss of your job.
Don’t interpret retrenchment as rejection. It can actually be a step upwards, a redirection from the Lord so that you end up with a job that is even better for you. Pastor Prince shares a testimony from a lady who got retrenched but received an 8-month severance package, and 3 weeks after her retrenchment, she got a new job that paid better than the one she lost.
As you pray in the Spirit, you put on the helmet of salvation and hope (a positive expectation of good), which guards your mind and thoughts.
The Year of Time and Space continued:
Just a few weeks ago, it was reported in Israel that two Israeli teenagers uncovered hundreds of 1,100 year old gold coins during an archaeological excavation. First the natural Israel and then the spiritual Israel (the church) will follow. Going back to the message of the year, Pastor Prince shares how the three chambers of Solomon’s temple represent the three parts of this year:
In the first part of the year, the Lord brought us to the first-floor chamber where the grain, the wine, and the oil are stored. The grain and the wine are a picture of the holy Communion, and we saw many testimonies of people who regularly partook of the Communion and received healing and protection from the COVID-19 virus.
During the second part of the year, we experienced the second-floor chamber which is the resting quarters of the priests. We experienced this during lockdown when we got to stay at home and rest with our families.
Right now, we are entering the last quarter of the year and we are also stepping into the third-floor chamber of the temple—the treasury where all the gold is stored.
Gold is first and foremost a symbol of the righteousness we have in Christ and also a symbol of divinity. But it is also representative of material wealth and possessions. So as we step into the last four months of the year, let’s expect to step into God's provision for us. Despite all that is going on in the world right now, we have the Word of God to hold on to. Faith doesn’t come by hearing the word of man, it comes by hearing the Word of Christ.
Pastor Prince prays for those who have not prayed in tongues before to receive this gift.
If there is something that is troubling you or weighing on your heart, the Holy Spirit can take care of it. Take time to pray in the Spirit and allow the Spirit to strengthen you on the inside.
Pastor Prince prays for the following conditions/situations:
“The Lord bless you and the Lord keep you, you and your loved ones. The Lord keep you and preserve you throughout this week from the Coronavirus, from every infection, from every disease, from all evil. The Lord preserve your coming in and your going out. The Lord bless you with the blessings of father Abraham. And the Lord make His face shine on you and be favorable to you. May you abound in the favor of God. And the Lord lift up His countenance on you and grant to you and your loved ones His shalom peace, wholeness, and well-being in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you.”
We hope these sermon notes blessed you! If they did, we encourage you to get the sermon and allow the Lord to speak to you personally as you watch or listen to it.
© Copyright JosephPrince.com 2020
These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.
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