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PRAYING THROUGH THE SANCTUARY
A. Outer Court
1. Praise and Thanksgiving
(Psalm 100:4; Psalm 22:3)
Begin your prayer with thanking the Lord for His many blessings, His mercy, His forgiveness, His answers to prayer, His great love for you, His sacrifice for you, etc. You may want to sing a hymn of praise or read a Psalm to the Lord (Psalm l50 is an especially good one). Psalm 22:3 tells us that the Lord “dwells in the praises of His people”. So, when we praise Him, we are inviting His presence. And where the Lord is, there is no room for doubt, discouragement, etc. (Philippians 4:4)
2. Brazen Altar (Confession and Commitment)
This was where the sinner would confess his sins while he was putting his whole weight on the spotless lamb. Then the lamb was slain and offered on the brazen altar as a sacrifice to God. Jesus is the Lamb of God Who gave His life to take away our sins. At this point, picture yourself at the foot of the cross. Ask the Lord to reveal to you what separates you from Him. (Very often this is some form of “self.” Through the process of praying through the sanctuary we are laying down more and most of “self” at each step so the Lord can have more and more of us.) When you see what the sin is, confess it and claim 1st John 1:9, asking the Lord to forgive you and wash away the sin with His blood. (A good exercise is to go down the list of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) and ask Him to reveal to you at each one how you may have transgressed.) The brazen altar represents the cross (the place where Jesus gave His life for you). Think about His great love for you to share with Him all the wonderful blessings of heaven. Think about His character of love, which is revealed all through the Bible. Ask Him to show you what in your life is not like Him. Confess it, then ask Him to replace it with His character. (Example: “Worry” that is not from God. Confess it and ask Him to replace it with His total trust and dependence on His Father.) He is our example in all things. When His character is perfectly reproduced in His people, He will come to claim them and to bring them home with Him. (He is coming soon. When He comes, all sin will be destroyed. If there is any sin in our lives when it is consumed we well be consumed with it. Now is the time to put Sin out of our lives - through the grace of our Lord.) Also at the brazen altar, lay down your thoughts, feelings, plans, will, heart, mind, emotions, etc. Offer yourself (commitment) a sacrifice to the Lord (claim Romans 12:1-2). Ask Him to take away any distraction from your mind so you can have a one-on-one fellowship with Him. Lay down all your burdens, worries, problems, etc., - ask Him to rake ALL of them and replace them with His peace.) 1st Peter 5:7; Philippians 4:6-7)
At the laver the priest would wash his hands and feet before going into the Holy Place. At this point we ask the Lord to wash us with His living water. (John 13:8; Psalm 51:2; Psalm 51:7; Isaiah l:16; Jeremiah 4:14; 1st Corinthians 6:11; Revelation 1:5; Ephesians 5:26).
(NOW YOU ARE EMPTY, CLEANSED, AND NEED TO BE FILLED.)
B. THE HOLY PLACE
4. Candlestick (represents the Holy Spirit)
Ask the Lord to fill you with His Holy Spirit according to His promise in Luke 11:13. The Bible tells us that the spirit of man is the candle of the Lord. Claim Psalm 18:28. Ask Him to fill you with His light, His Spirit. Revelation 3:1 tells us of the “Seven Spirits of God”. Ask for them. They are:
4. Might (power)
6. Fear of the Lord (the fear of the Lord is to depart from evil -- see Proverbs 3:7 and Proverbs 8:13)
(Isaiah 4:4; Isaiah 28:6)
7. Judgment (discernment)
(Note: The book of Proverbs has much to say about these Seven Spirits of God - these are all characteristics of the Holy Spirit.)
5. Table of Shewbread
This was a table with two stacks of bread -6 loaves in each stack. Every Sabbath the priests would put new bread on the table and eat the bread which had been there for the past week (it had been in the Holy Place of the Lord's temple for a week). (It is also called the “bread of presence”) This was spiritual nourishment for them. We get our spiritual food/strength from the Word of God. Jesus is the “Bread of Life”. At this point you claim the Bible promises for yourself. Ask for strength, energy, healing, wisdom, etc., - all that you will need for the day. Also, claim His promises for all your other needs - material things, etc. I claim Psalm 37:23 and ask the Lord to order my steps for the day according to His perfect will.
(NOTE: AT EACH STEP IN YOUR PRAYERS YOU HAVE BEEN LAYING DOWN MORE AND MORE OF “SELF. NOW YOU ARE IN A RIGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD, YOU HAVE BEEN COMING CLOSER AND CLOSER TO HIM, SO YOUR PRAYERS ON BEHALF OF OTHERS SHOULD HAVE MUCH MORE POWER, AND BE OP GREAT EFFECT.)
6. Altar of Incense (Intercessory Prayer)
At this point you bring before the Lord the people on your prayer list. Ask the Lord to send mighty angels that excel in strength (Psalm 103:20) to do battle for each person. Ask the Lord to set the person free from ____,____,____(his sins) (be as specific as you can). Ask the Lord to wash the person with His blood and send His Holy Spirit to work upon their mind, heart and spirit. Claim promises such as James 5:15; Isaiah 49:25; Ezekiel 36:26 and 27; Proverbs 21:1 (by faith you place his heart in the Lord's hands and ask Him to turn his heart toward Him); Jeremiah 24:7; II Corinthians 2:10 and 11 (tell the Lord YOU forgive the person for what he has done to you and claim this promise that the Lord will also forgive so Satan CANNOT take advantage of the person); Genesis 3:15 (this is a promise that the Lord will give us a hatred for sin -ask Him to give the person a hatred for the sins he has been committing. Next, ask the Lord to fill the person with His Holy Spirit. Also, every morning ask the Lord to put His armor on you and all whom you are praying for. (Ephesians 6:14-17)
1. fill with Your light
2. breastplate of righteousness
5. girdle of truth
4. preparation of the gospel of peace as footwear
5. helmet of salvation
6. sword of the Spirit (which is the Word of God)
7. the shield of faith.
When you are at the altar of incense, ask the Lord who “wants you to pray for. He will bring people to your mind that He wants you to intercede for. (He is counting on YOU to give Him an open door to work for people.)
(ASK THE LORD TO PUT ON YOU THE ROBE OF HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. WITHOUT IT YOU CANNOT ENTER INTO THE NEXT APARTMENT.)
7. The Most Holy Place
It was in the Most Holy Place that the presence of God was manifested in the sanctuary. (It was called the `SHEKINAH.) It was here that the high priest would ask the Lord questions. This is where the Lord gives guidance, direction, and reveals the deep roots of the problems in our lives. If we have a problem that keeps coming up (we keep committing the same sin) here we ask the Lord to show us the root of the problem. Sometimes He will give us a memory of something that happened long ago and we will see when the problem first came into our lives. Sometimes He will tell us by bringing to our mind a Bible text, or part of a text. When the root is revealed, then we confess it, ask Him to cleanse that area of our lives and replace it with His character. Take back the ground in your life and the lives of your children in this area (because sometimes they inherit these problems) and claim Joel 2:25 that the Lord will heal and restore and give back the effects of the time wasted through this problem. Also, sometimes these deep roots will be revealed through a dream.
(EXAMPLE: I was going through a period where I didn't feel “accepted” by the Lord. I was trying to do everything I knew to do, but still didn't feel accepted by Him. I was praying and it was at this point I started to remember when I was a child - I was always trying to win my mother's approval, nothing ever worked. I didn't know why I wasn't accepted, and I kept trying in vain to win her approval. Then part of Psalm 50:21, came through my mind (“thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself'). The next thing that happened was that it “clicked” in my mind that I was basing my relationship with God according to my relationship with my mother. I confessed that I had done this, I confessed my `feeling of unacceptance” and thanked Him that I AM accepted by Him because He told me so in Ephesians 1:6. The feeling was then gone. It was overcome by faith in Jesus, through His Word (1st John 5:4), We cannot trust our feelings - we must live by FAITH in the Word of God.)
Sometimes the Lord will bring to your mind someone He wants you to pray for while you are in the Most Holy Place. Whenever He brings someone to your mind, be alert and pray for the person.
When you go through this process on a daily basis, your relationship with the Lord goes deeper and deeper. This is the daily experience referred to in Daniel 8:11, etc.
It may look like a lot to go through every day, but you become familiar with the format, you will automatically go through the steps. When you have gone through this entire process, and are “locked in” to the presence of God, you can remain right there with Him throughout the day. Wherever you are, you can still sense His nearness and He upholds you throughout the day.