Have you ever had a sense that God has given you a vision of some completed project, or a mission to complete, or a direction to step into? It might have been a multi-color vision dream, or an extremely clear mental picture of an outcome or direction.
A vision like this in prayer can be God’s invitation for you to pray this vision into reality.
How does a vision from God direct a man or woman (young or old) to pray? How do we go beyond praying empty words?
We face here the mystery of God’s activity among us.
Seeds of Renewal
Bob Whitaker compares answered prayer to cultivating a garden; while there are seasons that faith-filled prayers are answered immediately, most of the time these responses to our requests come as the result of faithfully nurturing and cultivating the ground.
Cultivating a garden is an active and ongoing process.
First, the soil must be prepared, then seeds planted.
Then, water from the earth and sky, followed by radiant sunshine and light.
Next, the fun part begins.
We find the rooting out of weeds and keeping away from pests a challenge, oftentimes taxing on the believer. But still there is hope.
So neither the one who plants counts for anything, nor the one who waters, but God who causes the growth. The one who plants and the one who waters work as one, but each will receive his reward according to his work. We are coworkers belonging to God. You are God’s field, God’s building.1 Corinthians 3:7
Finally, after many steps and remaining obedient in cultivating a garden, one may receive a bountiful harvest.
There is a process in prayer that is the same as this harvest, where one must prepare and get things in order to see the growth coming from God.
because the person who sows to his own flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So we must not grow weary in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who belong to the family of faith.Galatians 6:8-10
Intercessory prayer means, “to meet with, come between.” This prayer is not a technique for changing God’s mind.
Rather, it is a releasing of God’s power through placing ourselves in a relationship of cooperating with God by the unsolicited guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Vision Reflected in Action
Intercession means literally to stand between, to become involved in the conflict or even how God is instructing you to pray.
Our means for participating in the divine nature of Jesus’ work here on earth and remaining obedient to the voice found in the call of God placed on our lives, this begins with intentional faith-filled prayers.
I tell you the solemn truth, the person who believes in me will perform the miraculous deeds that I am doing, and will perform greater deeds than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.John 14:12-14
It is a special task for a believer in Jesus to intercede and pray, as one who is assigned by the Holy Spirit to advance the Kingdom of God with spiritual discernment.
Our Invitation to Shape the Future
In the Scriptures and in Church history we discover that vision is the primary means that God has given for His people to share with Him in shaping reality.
Without vision there would have been no salvation history, no church, no great works of mercy, no advancement of the cause of Christ.
There are principles that seek to clarify the dynamics of vision and prayer, as given in order to assist those who are called to be visionaries.
These principles are explored based on the teaching given in Principles of Power Ministry in the Dunamis Project manual, “In the Spirit’s Power.”
How Vision Shaped Human Civilization
For the Christian all that we are and all that we do, are to be directed to the glory of God and to following His Spirit!
The tools that all human beings have been given to share in the ability to become a visionaries are summed up at the Wright Brothers memorial: “In commemoration of the conquest of the air by the brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright, conceived by genius, achieved by dauntless resolution and unconquerable faith.”
- Conceived- Creative imagination entering into all that enables us to see the genesis of new unseen possibilities brought forth in the Spirit. (Genesis 6:5, 8:21, 11:6)
- Genius– The rational facility that empowers us to analyze and to plan diligently.
- Dauntless Resolution – This directs and focuses our energy toward a particular end goal.
- Unconquerable Faith– Grasps the vision in its purest form, carries out the main objective and connects the seeker to natural and supernatural powers needed for fulfillment.
This dimension of exploratory vision is the true means that prayer is shaping history, “This message is clear: history belongs to the intercessors, who believe the future into being. This is not simply a religious statement. It is as true of communists or capitalists or anarchists as it is of Christians. The future belongs to whoever can envision in the manifold of its potentials a new and desirable possibility, which faith then fixes upon as inevitable.”Walter Wink, Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992), p. 299
Vision and Holiness of Life
Perception comes at God’s initiative, where there is valuable connection between vision and holiness of life.
It is given as His gracious gift, just as in receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit, a human part of the process is also mandated to carry out the call.
Vision, in essence connects both the outward and the inward operations of the Holy Spirit enabling the believer to walk out through unwavering faith the assignment given.
And in the last days it will be, ‘God says, that I will pour out my Spirit on all people, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy, and your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.Acts 2:17
Vision is found by the promptings of the Holy Spirit, who is able to open our spiritual eyes and brings us into an encounter with the Living God.
Humble Obedience to the Vision
Vision will be given in vain unless acted upon in radical obedience.
Obedience is the result of an inward outpouring and outward activation into the move of the Holy Spirit among us. Our role in preparing to receive a vision from God begins with turning away from sin, in humble confession and seeking truth to cultivate the soil in our lives.
Holiness discovered in a life yielded to the Kingdom, reveals an entrusting that happens when a believer is ready to accomplish the will of God.
For we are His workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them.Ephesians 2:10
We prepare to receive a vision by voluntarily withdrawing into the presence of God; asking Him to birth in us the faith and determination required to move forward on a particular assignment.
This may be done in the form of taking a prayer retreat with God. To go to the mountain as Moses did and seek His face. God will grant us a vision and show us the aspect of the Kingdom of God we are called to create with Him.
We undertake the discipline of centering prayer in which we “withdraw” from the distractions and busyness of the world.
Our invitation is to move step by step from contemplation, to intercession and into prayer-filled action, reflective of the Kingdom!
Fulfillment of Jesus’ Vision
One who is totally dedicated to labor with Jesus, is ripe to locate this blessing- heavenly visitation.
To receive the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and share the call God has given for us to walk in and transform the world.
The rain and snow fall from the sky and do not return, but instead water the earth and make it produce and yield crops, and provide seed for the planter and food for those who must eat. In the same way, the promise that I make does not return to me, having accomplished nothing. No, it is realized as I desire and is fulfilled as I intend.Isaiah 55:10-11
Our vision is given by God as an invitation and command, to share in the fulfillment of God’s purposes.
It is the nature of a God-given vision to set in motion a process that will ultimately lead to the fulfillment of the path contained within that vision brought forth in the light of Christ!