Why do breakthroughs in prayer surprise me?
I’d prayed over this request specifically for over two years, but God’s affirmative answer still shocked me. Maybe desperation holds more sway with God than I realized. In the course of this journey, I learned three powerful lessons regarding desperate prayer that will forever shape my critical intercession.
1) Just because prayer is a battle doesn’t mean I have to accept defeat.
When God gave the Israelites instructions for warfare, He said “When you go out to battle against your enemies and see…people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God…is with you. Do not be afraid, or panic, or tremble before them. For the Lord Your God is the One Who goes with you — to fight for you against your enemies, to save you” (Deuteronomy 20:1, 3-4).
Fear and anxiety often describe my dread of the unknown. But evidently God knows that. “Stop it!” He says. “Don’t even let your mind go there. Look here at Me. I’m not only Your Commander-in-Chief. I’m also Your Father. I’ve got this!”
2) His Word blows away all opposition.
We don’t have to understand how His Word works (Mark 4:27), but the fact of the matter is He does work. When we pray His Word, power explodes. His Word is:
Sharp enough to slice away the competition (Hebrews 4:12)
Surging with Inner Life (Hebrews 4:12)
Far-reaching in effectiveness (Acts 6:7)
Forward advancing (Acts 12:24)
Forceful, potent, and dominant (Acts 19:20)
Constantly strengthened with fresh reinforcements (Colossians 1:6)
Activated to move quickly (2 Thessalonians 3:1)
Our prayers command power in direct proportion to our knowledge of His Truth.
3) When His Word has authority over your life, your life has authority over the enemy.
Under the old covenant, God promised to conquer the enemy of those who fully obeyed the written Law (Joshua 23:6,9). But when Christ came, He repealed that Law (Hebrews 7:12). He set aside all the complicated conditions for victory and gave us only one: faith (John 6:29). Our faith has victory because we believe (not in our own conduct but) in His indestructible life (Hebrews 7:18,16). “Through the obedience of One the many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:19). Not through mine!
Under the new covenant, God promises to conquer the enemy of those who faith Him (1 John 5:4). When we hold up the shield of faith and move offensively with the sword of His Word, our prayers pack a punch. “One of your men puts to flight a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, just as He promised you” (Joshua 23:10). “A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not approach you (Psalms 91:7).
But what about the crafty serpent — the devil, who prowls about like a roaring lion (Genesis 3:1; 1 Peter 5:8)?
“The battle is not yours, but God’s (2 Chronicles 20:15). “You will tread upon the lion and cobra, the young lion and the serpent you will trample down” (Psalm 91:13). “Behold,” says Jesus, “I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall injure you” (Luke 10:19).
Let’s go to the war room together this week, shall we?
We have been inundated with so much bad news lately that it is difficult to keep our minds positive. Indeed, we are in a battle as the evil one seeks to make us his next meal. I don’t want it to be me or mine, how about you?
So, I’d like to challenge you to commit to praying this prayer every day for a span of seven days. Not only will God’s Word remind you who you are in Christ, you can join many in pushing back the darkness. If you would like to print it out to put in your war room, there is a link at the bottom to do just that.
If you are willing to make this commitment — to join me in praying this prayer for the next seven days — would you indicate your commitment with a “I’m praying!” in the comment section below? Let’s share this widely and encourage our friends and churches to join us in this mighty effort.
I praise You that I can come boldly in prayer to Your throne today. You have provided me with every spiritual blessing through Christ and have granted me everything pertaining to life and godliness. You have given me the keys to the kingdom of heaven and You have already loosed Your love, approval, and completeness into my life through Your life. Teach me how to use these keys to access all that You have in store for me and the world around me. How blessed I am that the Almighty King of Kings is also my Abba, Father.
Thank You for forgiving all my sins. My past sins, my present sins, and my future sins are all forgiven — not because I have done something right — but because You have. Because of Christ’s once-for-all obedience. You choose to keep me forgiven, not because I’m “doing better”, but because the blood of Christ satisfies You. My entire Christian experience is now lived out within Christ, not within me. Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, satan is my defeated foe. Remind me often of that fact.
Granted, satan continues to condemn me of faults. He is a lying accuser at his core. Father, remind me not to look at my own works for justification. Satan was rendered powerless in my life because of Your doing, not mine. You, O God, have acquitted me. You, O God, have absolved me. What right does anything or anyone have to condemn me? Christ’s blood cleanses me, even when my own conscience criticizes me. Praise You, Father for being greater than all, including my overly sensitive heart.
Thank You, not only for forgiving all my transgressions, but for canceling every bit of the debt I owed You. What my own religion could not do, You did, by fulfilling Your own requirements for me. Hallelujah! You nailed me on the cross with Christ, so that my old Adam-like nature is dead and gone. Christ’s blood dealt with my past actions and Christ’s cross separates me from a daily bent toward disobedience. I came into this world as a living soul. I’ve been born again into Your Kingdom by Your life-giving spirit. Grant me a spirit of wisdom and revelation to know all that I have in You.
Although You have freely given me every Kingdom provision, I still war against the forces of darkness and wickedness. The evil one prowls about, trying to devour me and mine at every turn. Thank You that because I am in You and You are in me, I do not have to fear satan. You are greater in me than the power of the evil one around me. (Help me when my belief in this fact waivers!) I will not cower in fear, because in You I have an overcoming power, an overwhelming love, and a perfectly, sound mind. In fact, I have the very mind of Christ Himself. I will resist the evil one, firm in my faith, and watch satan fall.
I recognize that You have provided me with full spiritual armor against the schemes of the devil. So today, I agree to my status as victor by wearing my armor proudly. I cinch my emotions with Your truth, my heart with Your righteousness, my mind with Your salvation, and my direction with Your peaceful preparation. I vigorously lift up the action of faith, knowing that trusting You is the only way to effectively extinguish satan’s fiery doubts. Faith is my triumph and satan’s defeat. I will walk by substantiating what You say, not by reliance on what I can see. Lord, increase my faith.
Now Father, I take up my only offensive weapon, the blessed Word of God. Alive and active, Your Word is specifically suited to destroy satan’s strongholds. All around our culture and even within my own mind, the devil has constructed lies, twisted truth, and cast insinuations against Your Word. Layer upon layer, satan’s deceptive darkness raises up distractions, doubts, and distrust against Your Truth. Yet, today I stand against this work and bring every thought captive to Your feet. Reveal to me any area of my thoughts or emotions that side with the enemy. May both the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to You, O Lord. I invite Your razor-sharp Word to pierce through my emotions and thoughts, so that Springs of Your Spirit already living in my inner man can overflow through my outer actions. May I handle the sword of the Spirit accurately, so that Your Word may spread rapidly and You may be glorified.
As I look around me, I see evidence of a strong man, fully armed, guarding his own homestead. The spirits of fear and despair, materialism and greed, pornography and lust, addiction, pleasure and unforgiveness, all have headquarters in our world. But You, O Lord, are the Stronger Man — with strength exceeding all these others in power. You ride upon the highest heavens and speak forth against these spirits with a great and mighty voice. Cast out these evil influences by a simple point of Your finger. I join with You in telling them “No!” especially as they whisper deception into my life and into those I love. (You may want to mention specific situations or individuals here). No matter where darkness has shadowed my thinking, I step out boldly into the Light. Expose these dark spirits with Your Light. Remove the influence they have held over me and restore the places in my life where I’ve been defeated. In fact, I ask that You actually use for good all that satan meant for evil. Take all that he once stole from me and redistribute it back into Kingdom use. I also ask this for others whom I know have fallen under the deceit and destruction of the strong man.
Thank You for giving me complete authority over all the power of the enemy. Continue to give me a hunger and thirst for Your Word, so that I can discern between good and evil. Even though satan can sometimes disguise himself as an angel of light, I will not allow him to take advantage of me because I will not remain ignorant of his schemes. I will set my mind on things above, not on the counterfeit things of the earth. I will daily take refuge in Christ, Who is Truth and my firm anchor of Hope. In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.