Praying Heaven Opened
“Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, ‘You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.’” (Luke 3:21-22)
Here we see the record of Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist, standing in the waters of repentance on our behalf so that He could take our place on the Cross. As Jesus was baptized, He prayed, and three things happened.
First, as Jesus began to pray, heaven opened! Prayer opens heaven and all the resources and blessings that are ours in heaven (Ephesians 1:3). Too often we are looking for God’s blessings in all the wrong places. We look to people or situations, or money and think that is where God will bless us. But Paul tells us that “every spiritual blessing” is “in the heavenly places in Christ.” Prayer opens the vault of heaven! Prayer is real and it works! Meditate on these verses to strengthen your faith: James 5:16; Matthew 21:21-22; Mark 11:24; Luke 11:9-10; John 14:15; 15:7; 1 John 3:21-22; 5:14-15. Jesus knew at the moment of His baptism, from which He would begin His public ministry, and which would take Him to the Cross, that what He needed was not on earth. It was with the Father in heaven. What you need is not of earthly origin. It is in heavenly places in Christ Jesus our Lord. Is heaven opened to you? If not, the key to unlock its doors is prayer.
Second, when Jesus prayed “the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove.” This is what we need, brothers and sisters – we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The answers to our problems will not be found in the things of this world. All of the blessings of God are in and with the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God is the promise of the Gospel (Acts 2:38-39). The devil can destroy our works, our bodies, and our achievements, but he can never take from us the things of the Spirit. The things of this world are temporal and will pass away, but the things of the Spirit are eternal and will last forever. The Spirit came upon Jesus in the form of a dove which is a picture of the work and effect of the Spirit in our lives – shalom, which means peace, wholeness, and embodies all that God has created you for and has given to you in Christ. Shalom frees us from the bondage of the curse, which is fruitless labor (Genesis 3:17-19). It gives us God’s grace, which is labor-less fruit! Are you weary, struggling, burdened with things too heavy to carry? Pray, and the Holy Spirit will come upon you and deliver you from the weight of the curse. Prayer releases this work of the Spirit in our lives: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” (John 14:27)
Finally, as Jesus prayed “a voice came out of heaven.” Prayer reveals the voice of God. God speaks, and when God speaks supernatural things happen. God spoke the universe into existence. God’s voice saves, heals, delivers, provides, transforms, comforts, brings life into that which is death, tears down strongholds, casts out demons, brings victory, and overcomes every work of the evil one.
Pray until heaven opens above you! Pray until you are filled with the Holy Spirit! Pray until the voice of God is released into your life! And what will the Father speak to you, what will His voice give you? The greatest gift of all – the revelation of His Son, our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.” You are a child of God. God is not angry with you. He is well-pleased with you through your faith in His Son, Jesus. Be blessed in the knowledge of your sonship, knowing your inheritance in Christ through the Spirit.
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The Keystone Project is a global missions network of churches and leaders committed to the fulfillment of the Great Commission in this generation.