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Before you pray, discern your “time”

before you prayOur “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.

Kairos and Cronos

The prophetic discernment of the present moment

Kairos-and-Cronos The moment of prayer requires the prayer of the moment – Not just any prayer is useful at any time. Key moments demand key prayers. Proper timing is the spiritual intelligence of prayer.

Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You” (John 17:1)

The first perspective of the high priestly prayer of Jesus comes from the discernment of the moment in which he lived and which he would have to face. This provided Him with wind in His sails and the necessary spiritual composure. He would not be surprised by anything and even less so by anyone. He was prepared for what would come and strengthened to face the day of anguish and suffering.

Some prayers are intelligent and others are ignorant. Some are blind and others are visionary. Some are stubborn and others are perseverant. Some are mature and others are immature. What elements would make such a great difference in prayer? The answer: Nothing other than the discernment of the spiritual moment at hand. When you understand the spiritual moment in which you are living, it is easier to take your eyes off of the circumstances and lift them up to the Father. The Father’s purpose is the reference point and not the circumstances themselves. This is an intelligent prayer that discerns the divine mind, being one step ahead of the enemy and overcoming circumstances.

The discernment of time permits us to offer intelligent prayer that comes from a correct perspective of the spiritual situation. The lack of discernment in relation to the present time can compromise our spiritual integrity. It is an open door to many emotional wounds and even to rebellion. Prayer that is inspired by these wounds always sins against the wisdom that comes from heaven. Instead of benefits we reap losses.

Cronos and Kairos

Cronos and Kairos are the two Greek words that designate “physical time” and “spiritual time” respectively. The physical world is in the dimension of “cronos”, however the spiritual world in “Kairos”. Kairos determines the appropriateness of the true spiritual moment. Kairos also determines the ability of not rushing what God wants to do as well is not delaying it. It is the “today” of God.

Worse than a word or action at the wrong time is an inappropriate prayer that ignores the spiritual moment: A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver (Proverbs 25:11). A befitting presentation always increases the value of a behavior, just as a valuable word is appreciated more when it is spoken at the right time. If a word spoken at the right time is precious, how much more a prayer offered at the right time.

There is a synergy between the word and time, between the prayer and the discernment of the moment. This is one of the greatest secrets of effectiveness in prayer. The correct word at the prophetic time revolutionizes the effects of a prayer.

A classic example of this was the prayer of Daniel. Here we understand how the discernment of the moment is something highly relevant in the development of the prophetic ministry. His prayer revolutionized the spiritual world, knocking down the demonic principality of Persia, as well as changing the destiny of the nation of Israel making possible the fulfillment of God’s will for that generation.

In the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. (Daniel 9:2, 3)

Based on the prophecies of Jeremiah concerning the Babylonian captivity of Judah, Daniel “understood” the prophetic moment in which he lived. He knew how to go to the correct source. The same prophet that had prophesied the coming of the captivity also prophesied its duration. The time had been fulfilled, but nobody perceived it.

Before praying, Daniel applied his heart to understand and to humble himself. He had the vital discernment that the hour of freedom had come to the nation. The time of punishment had come to an end and as far as it depended on God the spiritual world was favorable to the return of the captives to their native land.

While everyone was accustomed to a life of slavery, he discerned that the time for freedom and arrived. Based on this prophetic understanding Daniel began to seek the Lord. Prayers in harmony with the God’s spiritual timing are prophetically sharp obtaining effective results and immediate answers:

Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty- one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia (Daniel 10:12, 13)

Daniel prayed and sought how to pray in prayer. The next time you go to God in prayer, think about what you are asking for and the place it has in the time and the timing of the situation that you are currently in. Perhaps the Holy Spirit will lead you in a different and more intelligent and effective direction then would be your natural inclination. Who knows God’s work might get done faster if we all prayed in this manner.

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