Exploring Prayer With
By Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
Chapter 5 — The Original Purpose of Prayer
Genesis 1:26, " And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."
Man was given dominion over all the earth. He was God's representative or viceroy. God gave him two main purpose: fellowship and word. Because of the fellowship and the work, man was given this dominion, and prayer was the tool of dominion. Note the divine order—fellowship, work, dominion and prayer. As God's earthly viceroy, man had to apply for his needs to carry out his work. This applying was prayer. Now the wishes of man were to be granted with two prerequisites—fellowship and work.
But man fell! When he fell, his fellowship with God was broken. Hence, he lost his rule or dominion. Since he had no rule or dominion, he lost his desire to pray, for no longer was he God's viceroy.
God, however, in His mercy and grace planned a way of restitution. Man who is saved now is both the first creature and the second creature. He is that creature made for dominion as is shown in Psalm 8:4-9, " What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!"
Man is also that creature who is dominated. There is the old nature that is dominated and the new nature that is meant to dominate. This new nature has been restored to fellowship and work. Because man has been restored to fellowship and work, to what degree he fellowships with God and works, he has that same amount of dominion. So he needs to pray again, for as God's viceroy he needs to requisition God for his needs with which to carry on the work. Since prayer is needed for dominion, and since dominion is allowed by fellowship and work, to whatever degree we abide in Christ and work, we have that amount of dominion and, hence, that degree of power in prayer.
John 14:12, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." John 15:7, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." John 15:16, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."
It's up to you! If you abide in Christ much and work much, you have much dominion and power in God's economy and God's plan. If you abide in Christ little and work little, you have little dominion.
Man was originally created to have total dominion; hence, he had total prayer. When man lost his dominion, he lost his desire for prayer, for he had no reason to requisition God. Now that man through Christ has had the opportunity for fellowship and work for God restored, he can have as much dominion as he chooses to work and abide in Christ. It is entirely up to man how much dominion he has. When he has this dominion, he will need provisions, help, power and blessing. He will requisition God for these, and this is prayer!
The millennial age when Jesus rules and reigns for 1000 years will restore man's dominion completely. Revelation 20:6, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."
Perhaps the depth of this teaching should be summarized as follows:
1. Man was created and given dominion over all the earth.
2. In return for this dominion or power, he was asked to give God fellowship and work.
3. Because he had this dominion and fellowship and work, it was necessary for him to pray in order to receive the needs to carry out his work.
4. The only prerequisites for this prayer were fellowship and work. With that, man earned dominion, and with dominion, man needed to pray.
5. Man fell. Sin broke the fellowship. Man lost his dominion and lost his desire to pray.
6. God planned a way of restoration through the death and resurrection of Christ.
7. Redeemed man has both the first creature and the second creature—that one made for dominion and that one who is dominated.
8. The new one can have fellowship and work.
9. Hence, to whatever degree man fellowships with God and works for God, he can have dominion again.
10. Because he has dominion, he wants to pray again.
11. Since prayer is needed by dominion, and dominion is allowed by fellowship and work, to whatever degree man abides in Christ and works, God gives man that degree of dominion and, hence, that degree of power in prayer.
12. The millennium will restore that dominion completely because it restores the fellowship and work completely. Hence, it restores our total dependence on Christ and our desire to requisition Him for our needs which, of course, is prayer.
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