Before you pray, discern your “time”
In what prophetic moment are you living? What is the prophetic moment that your church and city are living in? What is God doing in your life right now? What is God changing at this time? What is the Word of God for this moment? The simple fact of hearing God with respect to these matters can place us in a strategic position of prayer and intercession: “He who keeps His command will experience nothing harmful; And a wise man’s heart discerns both time and judgment, Because for every matter there is a time and judgment, Though the misery of man increases greatly.” (Ecclesiastes 8:5, 6)
It is God’s intent that you pray discerning the spiritual moment in which you live and it would be tragic for you to ignore the prophetic occasion. “You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.” (Matthew 16:3b). This is one of the principle confrontations of Jesus with the Pharisees. Even after this harsh rebuke they continued to be blind in relation to the Kairos of God. The result ended up being tragic: (Luke 19:44). When we don’t understand and refuse to receive the prophetic word in God’s timing, it will only be a matter of time before destruction comes.
Father, the hour has come
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” (John 17:1-5)
Jesus was aware of what he had to do and prepared for the darkest moment and the greatest suffering of His life. For this reason He was able to offer the correct prayer. He knew how to interpret that moment, prioritizing its greatest truth, as the test from God that it was. He reacted by praying.
From that moment on, each one of his reactions would be measured by the pattern of divine approval. His focus was neither on the devil, nor on the failures of His disciples, the inconsistency of the multitude, the evilness of the ungodly, the cruelty of the Pharisees, the cowardice of Pilate, nor the cold-bloodedness of the Roman soldiers, but on the fact that God was testing Him. He had to be the perfect sacrifice, the spotless Lamb. When the time came to pay the price, when the time for the test had arrived, what is our reaction, or better yet, what is our prayer? Our prayer expresses the spiritual position that we have taken or that we have neglected to take.
One of our greatest problems is that we are so spiritually ignorant that we can’t even discern the spiritual timing that we are in. If we do not understand the timing of God, we will offer unjust, bitter and ignorant prayers that will be like firing shots blindfolded, merely increasing our frustration.
Those who do not understand the correct “time”, flee, disburse, betray, deny, sleep and become disillusioned. The disciples were scattered because they didn’t understand the moment. Those who understand God’s timing can say: “the flesh is weak, but the spirit is ready!”
Jesus would be abandoned, betrayed, denied, persecuted, arrested, whipped, humiliated, beaten, judged, crucified and killed. The Lord’s discernment of the prophetic moment led Him to offer this strategic prayer that became a shield so as to assure that all of God’s plans could flow into His life and into the life of His disciples.