Connect, Direct, Project

At the beginning of the year I was approached by the editor of a Christian magazine with this question: "What should Christians be praying for in the coming year?"

I think I surprised her with my answer. "It is not so important what we pray," I told her, "as it is how we pray."

In a world lacking for prayer, this answer may seem odd. Some would say that any form of prayer is better than no prayer at all. I have a wonderful unsaved friend who often tells me: "I am sending good thoughts." Sending good thoughts (or good "vibes") might be better than sending bad thoughts, but it is not the same as Holy Spirit-empowered prayer. We should expect ignorance of prayer from a non-Christian but, unfortunately, many believers have this same ignorance.

Too often Christians take an "informational" attitude toward prayer as if God simply did not know what they needed and if they could inform Him then their needs would be met. Added to this is the belief that the more praying people who can inform God,the better the numbers on their side. While it may not be wrong, informational praying can lead to false responsibility, false burden-bearing and performance attitudes, all of which lead to weariness and discouragement.

Christians also like to tag "in the name of Jesus" onto the end of prayers as if this was a secret code. "In the name of Jesus" more correctly means "in the nature of Jesus" and if we begin our prayer with this admonition toward ourselves we are more likely to escape informational praying and enter the realm of impartational prayer. "Impartation" means "to make known, to give, to bestow, or grant a share of." Impart can mean to transfer but we cannot transfer that which we do not possess. To pray so as to receive, and then give impartation, we must first make a "connection."

Connection is dependent upon affection.I connect to the Lord through reading His word, meditation, thanksgiving, praise, and worship. I connect to Him by placing my affection upon Him.

It is good if we have some way to gauge our connection, a spiritual volt-meter of sorts. For me it is a burning sensation and a weightiness in my hands. For some it might be His peace invading their spirit. Whatever it is, it is likely to be very subjective so we must be discerning. Goose-bumps are not necessarily a sign of anointing. But with practice, we can learn to discern and have an individual way of registering His presence.

Following connection is direction. Because the Father knows far better than I what to pray about, I would rather pray His heart than mine. But, chances are there are things on my heart that need to be released just to get them out of the way. Often we discover in this realm that the things that have so unsettled us and motivated us to prayer are not high on His agenda at all. But, once we dispose of these burdens -- and often this will include a self-deliverance -- we are free to pray prophetically, which is to say, we "pray forth" instead of "praying for." At this stage the Lord might pull back a veil. You then pray according to what you see. This can be how He provides direction.

Projection follows direction. Projection is an increase in authority but it is not necessarily an increase in volume. The Pharisees liked to pray long and loud and they certainly didn't impress our Lord. Too often Christians enter into projection first with a belief that the longer and louder they pray the better. They work themselves into a frenzy then release this energy in the direction of their own choosing.

This direction might be influenced bySatan, the will of other people, or even circumstances or countries and is almost always nothing more than litter upon a soulish landscape. But, buffeting the air is a release and the soul loves to be released. Convinced now that they are mighty warriors, they steam from their prayer closets with a sense of self-righteousness based on nothing more than illusion and self-deception.

True projection results from first making a connection first then following the right direction upward to the lap of the Father. Seated there, we now pray from a sense of relationship, not a sense of detachment. Authority comes from position within the Author not by self-publishing our own agendas.

The idea of "connection, direction, projection" is a mechanical concept, not a formula. God tends to laugh at our formulas. Spiritual mechanics is only a system of applied principles that are established for our protection. It is dangerous to reverse this principle. Those who project first often go in the wrong direction, and, if uncorrected, will fail to make a connection with the Holy One. Those who connect first are safe within that connection no matter what happens after that. Connection, remember, is simply affection. If we are somehow stalled at this level at least we are stalled in love. Immaturity and inexperience may briefly halt us, but His presence will soon mature and educate us. We can then proceed on the path of direction, and eventually, be fruitful in commanding proper authority.


John L. Moore