Last week I shared an excerpt about a vision God gave me, from my book Present Access To Heaven. I saw two groups of people. Most of the people were in the first group. They were fasting and praying, banging on a wall with their fists, but they had little to show for their prayers. Yet there were a few people who had a different approach. Their prayers were being answered quickly and miracles were happening all around them.
The vision highlighted some reasons that many Christians have become frustrated with prayer. It showed me why many of my prayers had been so ineffective.
This is a continuation of that excerpt, from chapter 5 of Present Access To Heaven.
“Oh, That You Would Rend The Heavens And Come Down!”
This was one of the prayers the people in the first group kept repeating. Although this is a scriptural prayer, it’s a prayer that was fulfilled by Christ’s coming and by his sacrifice. Therefore, to continue to pray it is to act and think as if we still need a savior to die for us. It is denying the gospel without realizing what we are saying.
Isaiah 64.1 (NIV) Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you!
I didn’t know this prayer in Isaiah had already been fulfilled until I understand Hebrews 9 and 10. Jesus’ body is the veil that was rent. The true Holy of Holies which this veil covered is heaven itself. Therefore, the heavens were rent when Jesus’ body was torn on the cross.
The action of “rending the heavens” corresponds to Jesus’ atonement. To ask God to rend the heavens is like asking God to provide a sacrifice for sin and a way into his presence, a way of salvation. He already did!
In the same way, when Jesus’ came in the flesh, as a man, God came down! He became one of us, accessible to us, so that we could approach him face to face, as to a man. This was what Job longed for! To keep begging God to come down is to act as if Jesus never came in the flesh. God came down, and he is Immanuel, God with us, who will never leave us. He promised to be with us always.
Yet I had spent many years praying this prayer of Isaiah and singing in worship songs “God, rend the heavens and come down!” The logical conclusion of my prayer is that I was asking God to provide a sacrifice for sins so I could have access to his presence.
That which I prayed without understanding was in total denial of the gospel message of what Christ had already done for me! I was asking God to rend the heavens, as if Jesus’ body never was torn for me! I was also begging God to come down, as if Jesus had never come in the flesh!
Of course, I didn’t realize this at the time. In hindsight, I saw that years of powerlessness and frustration were caused by my acknowledging the gospel but denying it at the same time! In other words, I was double minded! I acknowledged that Jesus’ body was torn so I could approach God, but then begged God to rend the heavens. I acknowledged that Jesus came in the flesh, but then begged God to come down.
James 1:6-8 (NIV) But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
I was frustrated because I was double minded. The fact that I was praying these prayers showed that I still did not fully understand the gospel or the implications thereof.
Since the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, if we are really believing it we should be continuously experiencing the power of God bringing salvation. That salvation should be evident in the power, love, and unspeakable joy that exude from our lives. If that is not the case, we should ask, “Am I really believing the gospel?”
I had thought I believed the gospel, but in my prayers, mindset, and actions, I denied Jesus came in the flesh, I denied Christ’s sacrifice for sins which gave me access to God’s presence, and I denied that Christ rose from the dead. The reason I often felt the gospel wasn’t working for me was that I was thinking and acting as if it weren’t true!
Chapter 5 of Present Access To Heaven continues to expound on the vision, explaining how Christians sometimes try to “ascend into heaven” or “descend into the abyss” when they pray, acting as if Jesus never rose from the dead. This is a major reason for getting hurt in “spiritual warfare.” Many Christians are worried that “needless casualties of war” result from assaulting demonic powers that we don’t have authority over. On the contrary, I believe that Jesus has given us authority to trample on all the power of the enemy, and these “needless casualties” often result from praying as if Jesus never rose from the dead.
If you’d like to read more, you may want to check out my Heaven Now book trilogy. It contains many similar insights into understanding simple gospel truths and exercising heaven’s dominion on earth. It’s also filled with testimonies of what happened when I put these truths into practice. I’m sure these books will encourage you and help you learn to walk as a heavenly person. Not only that, but your purchase supports our missionary work in Brazil and in every other place we go!
 Job 9:32-35
 Matthew 28:20
 Romans 1:16