Shift the Environment. Pray. Then Proclaim.

Is something sick or dying in your world? It’s comeback time. Peter modeled something for us in the book of Acts. He learned it from Jesus. And there’s no reason why we can’t do the same.

A relationship. Finances, career, or business. Ministry. A project. A cause.

Peter modeled 3 Kingdom dynamics to seeing someone (or something) experience new life. These are key.

Tabitha fell sick and died (see Acts 9:36-43). Luke writes she was a woman who abounded with “deeds of kindness and charity.” Something good and beneficial had been terminated.

How would Peter move forward in the face of this?

1. Recondition the Environment for Breakthrough

“When he arrived, they brought him into the upper room; and all the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing all the tunics and garments that Dorcas used to make while she was with them. But Peter sent them all out ….” (Acts 9:39-40 NASB)

Of course grieving is real. Understandable.

But this woman was taken out early. Peter knew if they were to see the extraordinary, he had to shift the environment to condition it for Kingdom possibilities.

He saw Jesus do the same with a little girl who died:

“He (Jesus) said, ‘Leave’ … when the crowed had been sent out, He entered and took her by the hand, and the girl got up.” (Matthew 9:24-25 NASB)

It’s not a formula. It’s not, “Follow these steps and this will happen.” But this “Kingdom template” is clearly seen in how Jesus and Peter operated. Authentic faith is relationally-based—our vital connection with the living Christ. It’s organic in nature, not technical. The living voice of Christ to us in the moment creates faith, even when there has been none!

We too can follow the modeling of Jesus …

Condition the environment. We probably need to stop listening to some things. Stop viewing some things. Stop looking at people. Stop allowing the circumstantial and environmental to affect us.

The Lord may lead us to graciously transform, or if necessary, release some relationships. We should be open to new relationships. We likely need to forsake negative memories and past experiences.

There are many ways we condition our physical environment, as well as our internal environment (our inner person).

See Actually, It Doesn’t Take a Village with Jesus

2. Pray Through to Win the Day

We can learn something from old school believers—they prayed through. Cool and casual won’t win the day.

After conditioning the environment, Peter “knelt down and prayed (Acts 9:40 NASB).”

This is where we go to see the grace and power flow. We can “draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16 NASB).”

We dial in to the heart and mind of God. His mind and ability are imparted to us.

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory ….” (Ephesians 3:20 NASB)

shift the environment
We can practice the patterns that Jesus used. He is our model.

3. Then Turn and Speak to the Situation

“And turning to the body, he said, ‘Tabitha, arise.’ And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he gave her his hand and raised her up; and calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive.” (Acts 9:40-41 NASB)

Jesus defined functional faith as belief-filled speaking which is sourced in prayer:

“Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.” (Matthew 11:22 NASB)

This is an eye-opener. Jesus defines the function of faith first as “saying.” And yet we also need to know that faith-filled speaking is sourced in the womb of prayer. In the next verse in Mark 11 Jesus said, “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you” (Mark 11:24 NASB).

Explore Matthew 8:5-13 where Jesus identifies the greatest faith He had ever seen. The Roman centurion understood authority and commanding words … “Just say the word, and my servant will be healed.”

Peter stood up from a place of praying through, turned to face the situation and then spoke. Kingdom possibility was released through prayer-sourced, belief-filled proclamation.

It’s Comeback Time …

Is something sick or dead? Why not use the Kingdom template that Jesus (and then Peter) practiced!

  1. Condition your environment for the extraordinary.
  2. Pray through until you receive.
  3. Now, turn to the situation in faith and proclaim.

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