The Armor!

Ephesians 6:11-13 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil, For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

We’ve been looking at spiritual warfare, the weapons that God has given us to fight spiritual battles and today I want to talk with you about the soldier’s armor. God has armor that fits every believer. He has a tailor made suit of armor that will cover you for the battle depending on what type of battle it is. His armor covers you, is the right size and fit for you as an individual. The general description of His armor is found in Ephesians 6:14-18, but before we look at that portion of scripture let’s look at Ephesians 6:11-13.

The first thing I see about the armor is that it is the armor of God; not our own armor or what we think we need to wear to go out to the battle. God’s armor is the only thing that will work. This reminds me of when David went out to fight Goliath and Saul wanted him to wear his armor.

1 Samuel 17:38, 39 So Saul clothed David with his armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail. David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So David took them off.

Saul wanted David to wear his own personal armor, but it didn’t fit David properly. He hadn’t used it or tested it to see if he could fight in it. Our armor that is God’s is a perfect fit, designed for exactly what we need it to do. But we must test it. The way that we test the armor is by understanding the specifics of each piece, how it applies to our lives and the way we receive it through our relationship with Christ Jesus and then applying that knowledge to our lives. If we are not living close to Him how can we hear His voice to follow His commands in using the armor of God? The armor is not a physical suit that we put on, it is a spiritual garment that covers us, since we are not in a fight with flesh and blood but with spiritual forces of wickedness.

I experienced an encounter with the Lord one morning at the altar time at my church where I was slain in the Spirit, or as some say, overcome by the Spirit. During that time I had a vision of me standing behind the pulpit at my church delivering a message to the congregation. I saw Jesus standing behind me and as I was expounding on the word of God He moved forward closer to me to where He finally just walked into me. I saw Him fade into my very being. He reminded me of this scripture about Gideon:

Judges 6:34 But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; then he blew the trumpet, and the Abiezrites gathered behind him.

 

The Hebrew meaning of the phrase “the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon” literally means “The Spirit of the LORD clothed Himself with Gideon”. This is what I saw in my vision; the Lord clothed Himself with me.

It is said of Saul in 1 Samuel 10:6, 7 “Then the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. “And let it be, when these signs come to you, that you do as the occasion demands; for God is with you.”

The armor of God is a spiritual clothing that He establishes within us as we yield to Him to go into the battle. It is as understand that we are “one” with Him that we are suited up to win against the enemy in spiritual warfare. We become more like him, or as He comes upon us we are turned into a different person; we are clothed to fight and win the battles. Jesus prayed for his disciples and those who would follow after them in John 17. Here’s what He said in prayer for us as believers:

John 17:20-23 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; “That they all may be one as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. “And the glory which You gave me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one; “I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”

Jesus’ prayer for us was that we would be “One” with Him and the Father; that He would be in us and us in Him just as He and the Father are “One”. It is through this union with God that the realization of how the armor of God works becomes a reality to us. As we look at the general description of the armor in detail we will see how each particular piece is fitted to us to equip us to win.

Jesus prayed also for us in John 17:15: “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.”

 

We live in this world where there is constant evil going on around us. As long as we are in the world we will have trouble, but God has provided all that we need to fight the good fight of faith and win!

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Peace is a by-product of our union with Christ Jesus and flows to us as we suit up in Him and walk in the power and anointing that He places within us through our union with Him.

It is as we grow in our knowledge of who we are “in Him” that we are equipped with His armor for battle. He doesn’t deny the fact that we are going to have to go into the battle, but the key to winning is being in Him because He has already defeated the evil one. Satan was defeated on the cross of Calvary when Jesus was crucified for our sin, sickness and disease and poverty. Jesus said in Luke 10:19: “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” That word for “hurt” in Luke 10:19 means “to act criminally against you; to take illegal action against you to mistreat you”. The only ground that Satan can take from us is the ground that we give up to him. He has no legal right in the life of the believer to hurt us. But we still have to fight him off. He has to be convinced that he doesn’t have the right to afflict or steal, kill and destroy the life of a believer in Christ Jesus.

The victory is ours, but we must enforce what Jesus has died to give us. 2 Corinthians 2:14: Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

We, as born again believers in Jesus Christ, have our place “in Him”, and He will lead us to triumph over the devil in our lives. It is through our relationship with Him that we understand that we have already won the battle. We learn how to enforce the victory through fighting in the armor that He places on us as we draw near to Him.

Ephesians 6:13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Father, I thank You that You have already made us the victors in the battles that we fight against the evil one. Thank You for equipping us with Your armor that fits perfectly and protects us when we war against the devil. Lord, to You be the glory for the victory as You have already defeated Satan on the cross of Calvary. Thank You for giving us, Your church, the authority over all the power of the enemy. I thank You that Satan cannot legally inflict pain against Your children. It is only through lies and deception that he works his evil powers. Help us to be aware of his schemes; the wiles that he uses to stand against us. Thank You, Father, for the victory in Christ Jesus! Thank You for hearing and answering the prayers that I offer up to You in the name of Jesus! Amen.

Finally….Be Strong!

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

 

We’ve been talking about the weapons that God has given us to use in spiritual warfare to defeat the enemy in our lives and the lives of others for which we are praying. And I would be remiss if I didn’t talk with you about the effects that our own personal growth in the Lord as well as our relationships with others have on spiritual warfare. In Ephesians the Apostle Paul is speaking to believers in chapter 6 verse 10 about standing strong in the Lord, but he starts that verse with the word “Finally”. Why would he start talking about spiritual warfare by using the word “Finally”?

 

When you look back through the book of Ephesians we see the first two chapters describing who we are in Christ Jesus. It is because of the redemption we have that Jesus purchased for us on the cross of Calvary that we have been placed in Him far above the principalities, might and dominion of the evil one. We have been made His body with Christ Jesus Himself as our Head. We have been saved from the trespasses of sin that we once partook of by God’s grace through our faith. We have an inheritance in Him and have become His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works. Christ has been made our peace and it is through Him that we are brought near to God.

 

Then we go on in Chapter three to see that we, as the body of Christ, have a purpose given by God to show the principalities and powers in the heavenly places the manifold wisdom of God. We are a part of the family of God and as such we have His love residing within us and as we grow and are strengthened through His Spirit we come to understand His love and grow into His fullness.

 

As we progress into Chapter four we begin to see how the Apostle Paul is leading up to our stance in spiritual warfare by understanding that even though He has provided all that we have need of as believers in Christ Jesus, placing us in Him above all the principalities and powers and establishing us as His children with the purpose of speaking to the heavenly hosts of His manifold wisdom, we need the spiritual weapons described in chapters 4 and 5 to fully prepare us to stand strong in Him and against the wiles of the devil.

 

In chapters 4 and 5 we see these spiritual weapons:

  1. walking in unity and love with others keeping peace in the body of Christ (chapter 4:1-6);
  2. submitting to the teaching of the five-fold ministry gifts to equip us for ministry (chapter 4:7-12);
  3. growing into maturity to the fullness of the stature of Christ Jesus and walking as the new man that we are in Him renewing our minds to live in righteousness and holiness (chapter 4:13-24);
  4. learning to control our actions, speech and walking in forgiveness and personal purity so we don’t grieve the Holy Spirit (chapter 4:25-32);
  5. walking in love towards others (chapter 5:1-7);
  6. walking in the light of the Lord as His children turning away from and exposing the works of darkness (chapter 5:8-14);
  7. walking in wisdom, being filled with the Holy Spirit, and submitting to one another (chapter 5:15-21);
  8. walking in love, respect and obedience in marital and family relationships (chapter 5:22-6:4);
  9. walking in obedience and submission in work relationships (chapter 6:5-9).

All of these personal and relationship issues when applied correctly to our lives become spiritual weapons that lead up to Ephesians 6:10 where he says “Finally”.

 

Did you know that walking in love is a spiritual weapon? How about submission to other believers? Or what about growing into maturity in Christ Jesus? All of these are spiritual weapons that will position us to stand strong in the Lord and defeat the enemy in our lives. Understanding who we are in Christ Jesus and the position He has given us in His body is a spiritual weapon. When the enemy comes against you with his lies and deception you have to be able to say, “no, devil, the word of God says I am in Christ Jesus, far above you. You are under my feet!” When the enemy attacks you with relationship problems you must be able to submit to the Lord and love the other believer instead of attacking that person for coming against you. It is the spirit of the evil one that instigates relational problems, not the people themselves.

 

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

 

Be strong in your relationship with the Lord. Strength for spiritual warfare comes through intimacy with the Lord Jesus. It is as you interact with Him through that personal, living and vital relationship that you will be strong enough to stand against the evil one. It is through hearing His voice that you get your battle orders. Without God’s plan for spiritual warfare you will be fighting in your own power and ability. Success comes from asking God for His plan, waiting until He gives you the plan and then executing it to the letter.

 

Power – Greek word kratos – Strongs #2904: Dominion, strength, manifested power. The word especially signifies exerted strength, power shown effectively in a reining authority. Kratos primarily refers to God’s kingdom authority, dominion, and majesty.

 

After you’ve positioned yourself through using the spiritual weapons described in Ephesians 1:1-6:9 you will be able to stand in the dominion, strength and manifested power of the Kingdom of God. Knowing who you are in Christ Jesus will enable you to exert the manifested power of God to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. Walking in love in your relationships will enable you activate your faith to believe God for His power and authority to work through your life because faith works through love. (Galatians 5:6) All of Ephesians leads up to being able to put on the whole armor of God and fighting successfully as described in the last 14 verses of chapter 6. It all culminates in the spiritual warfare identified in the last half of that chapter.

 

Finally, my brethren……when you’ve got all this down you’ll be ready to stand strong in the Lord and His mighty power.

 

Father, I thank You for the personal and relational weapons you have given us in Your word in the book of Ephesians. May we all follow Your directions, Lord, in preparing ourselves to fight the enemy through Your power, dominion and might. Father, help us to see that every time we have a dispute with a loved one or a friend that the enemy is testing us to see if we will use the weapons of our warfare that You have provided for us to defeat him. Help us, Lord, to see that the problem is not in another individual but it is the wicked hosts in heavenly places that are instigating the problems. Father, help us to grow up in You, understanding who we are in You and the mighty power You have given us in Your Spirit who lives within us. Thank You for placing us in Your family and equipping us through the ministry leaders that You have given us to be able to do the work of ministry. Thank You, Father, for the strength that we have to stand strong in You! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

The Weapon of Praying In The Spirit

The next weapon in our arsenal for spiritual warfare is the Weapon of Praying in the Spirit. It has been termed as a secret weapon because it is primarily known as praying in tongues and only the Holy Spirit as He prays through us knows exactly what is being said.

 

This blog is written from my own experience in Him, a place of having been baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. Before I reached this place of understanding in Him I had a lot of questions. I spent a year praying and studying the Word of God before I would step out in faith asking God to fill me to overflowing with all that He had for me. God answered my prayer and I received my heavenly prayer language and I have been praying in tongues every day since. When I do not know how to pray effectively in the natural for someone I will pray in my heavenly prayer language because the Spirit of God within me knows exactly how to pray for that person or situation. I do not question what I am saying; I just trust God to fill my mouth with His prayers that are needed at that specific time.

 

Romans 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

 

God’s Spirit within me knows what to pray for everyone. When I pray in that heavenly prayer language that He gave me when I was baptized in His Spirit, He prays through me according to the perfect will of the Father. I can trust Him to pray exactly what that person needs. I don’t have to understand what I am praying because the Holy Spirit prays according to the perfect will of God for that other person. All I have to do is yield to Him to be the vessel that He prays through in that situation.

 

1 Corinthians 14:2 For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.

 

When I yield my tongue to be used of the Holy Spirit in this type of praying it is as if God Himself is praying to Himself through me, speaking mysteries into existence through the spirit realm. This is not a prayer for the hearing and understanding of other people, it is simply the Holy Spirit within my spirit carrying prayers to the Father.

 

Paul said that he wished we all spoke in tongues. (1 Corinthians 14:5) In that portion of scripture he is talking about the supernatural gifts of the Spirit, of which tongues is one. There are other gifts of the Spirit that are spoken of in that chapter as well as 1 Corinthians 12. All are valid gifts from the Father. If the gift of tongues comes forth in a church service there must be an interpreter that can hear from God through the gift of the interpretation of tongues to be able to share that interpretation with the church so the whole body of believers can be built up or edified. Tongues with the interpretation of the tongue equals prophesy, the supernatural utterance of a message from God for the church. When you are praying alone in your own prayer language that is just between you and God and you do not have to have an interpretation, however, God can give you one if He feels it is beneficial to your situation at the time. Paul goes on to say in 1 Corinthians 14:15:

 

What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.

 

He is saying that there is a place for both praying in the natural and praying in the spirit, or the heavenly prayer language. Paul says this about it in 1 Corinthians 14:18, 19: I thank my God that I speak with tongues more than you all, yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue. A person’s individual prayer language is best when used privately in your own individual prayer time so that it doesn’t cause confusion in the church service. When I am in church I usually will not prayer in my prayer language unless I am in our pre-service prayer time where we are all praying in the Spirit. When in the service it is best to reserve that heavenly language for when God gives a message in tongues for the interpretation to build up the whole church. The gift of tongues that is spoken of in 1 Corinthians 12:10 is a different aspect of speaking in tongues than your heavenly prayer language used to communicate spirit to Spirit as you pray. Both are tongues but the gift of tongues is specifically given as the Spirit wills for the edification of the church as a message in tongues and must have an interpretation after it comes forth. The church cannot be edified if they can’t understand the message that God is giving through the tongue.

 

Why, then, would it be beneficial for us to pray in tongues?

  1. God prays through you His will for a situation. (Romans 8:27)
  2. The devil doesn’t understand the language of the Spirit and is confused when we pray in tongues.
  3. It is evidence of the infilling of the Holy Spirit and He is the one giving the utterance. (Acts 2:4)
  4. It builds your faith and your ability to persevere. (Jude 20)
  5. It gives you power to become God’s witnesses. (Acts 1:8)

 

You might say, well, what if I don’t have a heavenly prayer language? Am I less effective than someone who does? In answer to these questions, I would have to say that you are just at a different place in your walk with the Lord and He will instruct you in how to pray as effectively as possible right where you are. If you would like to be baptized in His Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues you can receive that gift just as you received forgiveness of your sin; by God’s grace, through your faith. It is refreshing to pray in tongues because when you feel that you have run out of words in the natural you can switch over to praying in tongues and know that God is praying through you without your mind having to weigh every thought and process the right words. It is just something that must be received by faith; intellect cannot understand the ways of the Spirit.

 

Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

 

Father, I thank You for filling me to overflowing with Your very own Spirit and giving me my heavenly prayer language with which I can use to pray effectively in situations where I don’t have the right words to pray in the natural. Thank You, Lord, for praying through me according to Your perfect will as I yield my tongue to You. I pray, Father, for those who do not have that heavenly prayer language that they will not feel inferior to any other believer in the body of Christ, for all who have received Jesus as Savior and Lord are Your children. There is none superior to another. I pray that if they want to be baptized in Your Spirit, Lord, that they will ask and then receive their heavenly prayer language. Thank You, Father, for leading us in the way that You would have us to go to fulfill Your plan for our lives. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

The Weapon of the Prayer of Agreement

Matthew 18:19, 20 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. “For where two or three are gathered in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

 

This spiritual weapon is the Prayer of Agreement. It is in operation when two or three believers come together to agree together for someone in prayer. We probably see the Prayer of Agreement in operation more than any other spiritual weapon as people often ask others to pray with them for a particular thing to take place in their lives. What I would like to point out about about this spiritual weapon is that the key to it’s success is found in the word “agree”.

Agree – Greek word sumphoneo – Strong’s #4856: From sum, “together,” and phoneo, “to sound.” Sumphoneo is to sound together, be in accord, be in harmony. The word “symphony” comes from sumphoneo. Metaphorically, the word means to agree together in prayer that is concordant, or harmonious.

Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?

To agree is to come together in harmony through prayer for a need or situation in someone’s life. This is where two or three people meet together at the same level of faith to pray for something going on in one’s life. For example: I am on our prayer team at church. I minister to people who need prayer at the altar time. If someone comes to me with a physical illness requesting prayer I may ask them what they are believing God will do through our prayer; supernatural healing, treatment through medicine, surgery, or some other type of medical treatment. It is important in order to come together in harmony with someone that we both be at the same level of faith. If I was to pray for supernatural healing and that person was believing that the medicine the doctor had given them would bring a quick healing then we would not be praying in agreement. I would be praying on a level of faith that is altogether different than the person requesting prayer. For example, about 13 years ago I went to Utah where my brother was going into the hospital for open heart surgery. My desire was that when I laid my hands on Him and prayed, that he would be supernaturally healed so he wouldn’t have to go through that surgery and God would be glorified through the sign to my brother that God heals supernaturally. They were believing that God would bring him through the surgery and he would be healed through medical treatment. We could not pray in agreement until I came into agreement at the level of their faith. When I joined with them and prayed the prayer of agreement for him to come through the surgery and the problem with his heart to be corrected through medical treatment we were able to pray the prayer of agreement. To be in harmony is like two instruments coming together in one accord, both different instruments with different sounds but playing notes that harmonize. When we pray the prayer of agreement we come together in one accord bringing a particular request before the Father. To be in agreement we must be in unity in our thinking, our speaking, our believing and our expecting.

The next thing I want to point out is that we must also be in agreement with God. If you remember the lesson on the weapon of the Name of Jesus we talked about how when we pray in the Name of Jesus we are praying as if we are “one” with Him, representing His character and nature or praying as His representative. In order for the prayer of agreement to be the most effective we must be in agreement with God, as if we were “one” with Jesus, praying according to His will, His character and His nature. Much power is released through the prayer of agreement as two or three of us come together in the will of the Father for that particular person or situation.

1 John 5:14, 15 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us, And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

Immature faith tries to manipulate God. It arises from a heart that desires it’s own will to be done, not God’s. In order to pray the prayer of agreement with someone else that we can have confidence in God hearing and answering we must pray in agreement with God’s will. We will have confidence that God will hear and answer our prayer if we first find out His will for that person or situation and then pray accordingly. To know the word of God is to know His will. For example, when someone comes to me for prayer for a physical healing I must first know that it is God’s will to heal before I can come into agreement with that person for healing. If I doubt that God still heals today then I cannot pray in agreement with them with confidence that God will do what we ask of Him. But if I know it is God’s will to heal then I can have confidence that we will have the petitions that we have asked of Him. We ask according to His will, then we stand in faith, confident that God hears us and that what we ask for is already ours.

Matthew 21:22 “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

John 15:7, 8 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”

When God’s word abides or lives continually within you it will be natural to pray the prayer of agreement with someone else and see the manifestation of what you have asked. Matthew 12:34 says that whatever is in abundance in our hearts is what will come out of our mouths. When you are full of the word of God and you speak that word is going to come out. When you pray according to God’s word it will flow from your heart because you are full of His word. It is as two of you come together in harmony presenting your requests, as if you are “one” with Jesus, that are according to God’s will, that will be answered as requested. That is the highest form of the weapon of the Prayer of Agreement.

Father, I thank You for enabling me to pray in agreement with another believer for something that we know is according to Your will and then seeing You answer that request. Thank You, Father, for Your faithfulness to Your word and Your children. I pray, Father, for those who are needing a prayer partner to agree with them in prayer that You will place someone in their path that will be able to pray effectively for their needs. Father, You have provided all that we need in the sacrifice of Your Son for our sin, sickness and disease and poverty and lack. Thank You for our Savior, who through His sacrifice on the cross paid for our salvation; spirit, soul and body. Thank You, Lord Jesus for laying down Your life for us. Thank You for taking stripes upon Your back to secure our physical healing. Thank You, for purchasing our total redemption. I praise Your name today, Lord Jesus, for You are worthy to receive my praise. I pray and ask these things presented according to Your will and in Your name. Amen.

The Weapon of Binding And Loosing

This next spiritual warfare weapon, the weapon of binding and loosing, may be one that you have not heard much about, but is a good weapon to use against the enemy. When we enter into spiritual warfare we are not fighting against people, but as the scripture says in Ephesians 6:12, “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places”.

 

I am sure you, as I, have heard stories of people going into a dark room, yelling and shadowboxing or karate-chopping the devil, all done in the name of intercession. Please do not think that the use of the spiritual weapon of binding and loosing is in any way similar to the practices of those who have become out of balance in their prayer lives. Sometimes we fear things that are new to us or that we don’t understand. Binding and loosing is one of those concepts that may not be familiar to you, but it is definitely not a part of “flaky” intercession.

 

The way to avoid “flaky” intercession is by submitting yourself to someone in spiritual authority over you who will help keep you in balance and by using sound biblical principles as a foundation and standard for intercession. Allow the Word of God to be your standard of measurement. The Holy Spirit will never tell you anything that goes in opposition to the Word of God. Test the spirits of what you think you’ve heard from God. He doesn’t mind you questioning Him to make sure you have heard correctly. When going into prayer, always go before the Lord with a clean heart which follows the guidelines of Psalm 51:10: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

 

When keeping a clean heart you must first ask God to reveal to you any area of contamination or sin within your own heart. Be willing to confess it and repent of it and then allow God to cleanse you of the sin in your heart before trying to intercede for someone else. Also allow Him to deal with the wounds in your heart as well as the sin. Any type of sin or hurt that you have experienced, but not dealt with, can distort what you hear from God as it is filtered through a grid of those emotions, and in order to be able to hear His voice clearly sin and past hurts must be cleansed and healed. In order to intercede properly we must hear clearly from God the plan that He wants us to use in praying and then be able to carry it through exactly as He has said.

 

With all that said, let’s look at the weapon of binding and loosing.

 

Matthew 16:19 “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

 

As I said in yesterday’s teaching on the weapon of the name of Jesus, we, as believers, have been given the authority to present prayers through the name of Jesus or through His character and nature as His representative and God will hear and answer them. Jesus is the head of the church and we are His body. As we receive instructions from Jesus, our Head, as to what to bind and what to loose we can put this weapon into practice, thus accomplishing the work that the Lord would have us do in defeating the enemy and setting the captives free. Jesus said that binding and loosing are the keys to the kingdom of heaven and that whatever we bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever we loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. That means that all of heaven is backing our words as we stand against the enemy to bind him from actively coming against ourselves or another believer and as we loose the power of God into the situation. In Matthew 16:18 He told Peter that His church would be built on the rock of the revelation of who He is to individual believers who have joined together as His church and that the gates of Hades would not be able to prevail against it. Through using the keys of binding and loosing His church would be able to defeat the forces of Hell.

 

Again in Matthew 18:18 Jesus said: “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

 

When binding and loosing through prayer, we bind the spirit of whatever is affecting a person and we loose something else into their lives. For example: we might bind the spirit of infirmity that is causing a health problem for the person and loose healing to flow freely throughout their bodies. If someone is demonically oppressed we would bind the spirit of oppression and loose freedom into their life. You might bind the spirit of weakness and loose strength to them. As you proceed into situations where binding and loosing is required, you will find that the Lord will reveal to you what to bind and what to loose. Binding and loosing is done through prayer, through speaking into the spirit realm, and is not in any way manifested in the physical realm. We do not bind people; we bind spirits. The spirit behind the person is what is causing the problem in relationships because according to God’s word we do not fight with flesh and blood but with entities in the spirit realm. (Ephesians 6:12)

 

The job of an intercessor is to saturate people in prayer and God’s job is to convict and heal. It is as we follow His directions as to how to effectively pray that we can use the weapon of binding and loosing.

 

Father, I thank You for the weapon of binding and loosing that you have given us as Your body, the Church. Thank You for backing our words that bind the enemy and loose Your will into a person’s life. Father, as we seek Your will for those folks who we are interceding for, please cause us to hear Your voice clearly to know exactly how You would have us to pray. May we always come before You with a clean heart to receive Your directions for our intercession. Father, thank You, for placing us in Christ Jesus as His body and for giving us the instructions from Him as our head so we can effectively carry out Your will to destroy the works of the devil in our lives. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer as I’ve prayed in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

The Weapon of the Name of Jesus

Ephesians 2:9-11 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

What is in a name? Is it simply a form of identification; of recognizing a person as who they are? Or is there more to it? The NIV study Bible notes gives this definition of the significance of a name. “In Bible times a person’s name stood for the person–and represented him and his characteristics. God’s name… is a symbol of [His] nature, character, and person… The name of the Lord is the manifestation of His character… it is synonymous with the Lord Himself. To Jews a name stood for the full character of a person in all he was and did.”

 

The name of Jesus is to be highly exalted. It is above all other names. God has given Jesus a place of pre-eminence above every other name. The name of Jesus represents His character and nature; that of the Father. John 5:43 (NIV) [Jesus] “I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.” The name of Jesus means “Yahweh is Salvation”. Another name for Jesus is Immanuel, meaning “God with us”.  Salvation, the Greek words Soteria and Soterion, meaning rescue, deliverance, safety, liberation, release, preservation, forgiveness, healing, prosperity and restoration.  In the name of Jesus is His character and nature to save, heal, deliver and set free.  The name of Jesus is above the name of sickness and disease; above the name of poverty and lack; and above the name of the devil and all his demonic power. Every knee must bow to the name of Jesus!

 

Ephesians 1:20 says that God worked His mighty power in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places. He goes on to say in verses 21-23:

 

  1. far above principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but also in that which is to come,
  2. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,
  3. which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

 

God highly exalted Jesus when He ascended back to heaven after nailing our sins to the cross and regaining the authority and dominion that Adam had relinquished to the devil in the Garden of Eden. He seated Him at His right hand and gave Him authority over all principalities and powers! He gave Him the Headship of the church, which is His body!

 

So, how did we gain the privilege of using the name of Jesus in spiritual warfare? How does all this tie together and how can using the name of Jesus help us defeat the enemy in our lives?

 

Jesus, when speaking to His disciples of His upcoming crucifixion said this in John 16:22-24:

 

  1. “Therefore you now have sorrow, but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.
  1. “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.
  2. “Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive that your joy may be full.”

 

Jesus was saying that those coming to the Father with requests after His crucifixion would be able to ask in His name, as being one with Him and representing His character and nature, and the Father would answer those requests. This is a privilege we, as born again believers, in the resurrected Christ, have. When we ascertain God’s will in a situation in our lives and come before Him asking in the name of Jesus, as His representatives, we will receive, according to what Jesus Himself said. The name of Jesus is a powerful weapon that we have been given to defeat the enemy in our lives. Jesus Himself has given us the authority to use His name! The words ‘in Jesus’ name’ are not a magical formula which enable the user to get his will done, but are actually used as a representation of Him, as if He has clothed Himself with us and is doing the works through us. Oswald Chambers said of using the name of Jesus: “‘… In my name,’ i.e., in My nature. Not–‘You shall use my name as a magic word,’ but–‘You will be so intimate with Me that you will be one with Me.’

 

 

In John 14:12-14, we are told by Jesus that if we have faith in Him, we will do what He has done and even greater things. He goes on to say that anything we ask in His name, He will do it.

 

  1. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
  2. “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
  3. “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”

 

So, according to these scriptures, Jesus and the Father will honor our prayers when we come, asking anything according to His will and presenting it in the name of Jesus, according to His character and nature and as a representative of Him. Jesus, Himself, said we would have the power through His name to do the same works that He did and even greater works because He was going to His Father. Jesus was limited in His earthly ministry by being able to be in only one place at a time, but now that He has gone to be with the Father, His Spirit is in all believers and will work through them representing Jesus to accomplish the works that He comes to do in the lives of all people, tribes and nations.

 

Father, I thank You for Your Son, Jesus Christ, who bore my sin on the cross and purchased me back from the kingdom of darkness translating me into the Kingdom of Your Son. Thank You, Jesus, for being my Savior and Lord. Father, I pray that we will be able to understand the power that You have placed in the name of Jesus; that same great power that raised Him from the dead and seated Him in the heavenly places at Your right hand. I thank You for giving us the name of Jesus as a weapon to defeat the enemy in our lives. It is when we pray according to Your will, presenting it in the name of Jesus, His character and nature, that demons tremble and must flee from our presence. I thank You that the name of Jesus is above all names! It is above the name of cancer and all forms of sickness and disease; it is above the name of financial disaster, poverty and lack; it is above the name of unemployment; it is above the name of mental and emotional distress; it is the NAME above ALL NAMES! And at the name of Jesus all sickness must bow; all poverty must bow to the name of Jesus; all mental and emotional problems must bow to the name of Jesus! I praise You, Lord Jesus, for Your name! All glory and honor and praise be unto You! Father, thank You for hearing my prayer offered up to You in the name of Jesus! Amen.

 

 

The Weapon of the Word of God

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the the thoughts and intents of the heart.

 

The word of God is our most powerful weapon in spiritual warfare. In Ephesians 6:17 where the Lord is talking about the armor that a soldier wears when going out to fight the enemy, it is called the “sword of the Spirit”. The reason that it is called the “sword of the Spirit” is because when we are in the battle the Holy Spirit will give us the scriptures that we need to use to fight the enemy that will be effective for the battle at hand. The way you find out the scriptures to use in your particular situation is by seeking the Lord through prayer and the study of His word. You must have an intimate working knowledge of the word of God in order for the Holy Spirit to bring to your remembrance the particular scriptures that you need to fight the battle you are in.

 

Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

 

The Greek word for “word” in that scripture is Rhema, which means “spoken”. The Holy Spirit speaks to you the scriptures to use as your sword; the ones that will work for the battle at hand.

 

Jesus, when fighting the devil in the wilderness, used scriptures that pertained to each one of the devil’s attacks.

 

  1. Matthew 4:3, 4 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

  2. Matthew 4:5-7 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’”

  3. Matthew 4:8-10 Again the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”

 

God knows exactly what scriptures will work to defeat the enemy in your life. When you seek Him, he will give you the weapon of the word of God that you need to use as your sword, but if you never put the word into your heart, the Holy Spirit does not have anything to bring to your remembrance when you need it. A regular feeding on the word of God is necessary for success! God told Joshua when he was getting ready to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land that he needed to meditate on the word of God day and night, follow it’s instructions, and in so doing he would be prosperous and have good success.

 

Joshua 1:8 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

 

Notice also that the Lord told him the word shall not depart from your mouth. In other words, keep speaking the word of God. It is as the word is spoken that becomes a weapon. Jesus spoke the word to the devil, He didn’t just think it and win. It is the spoken word that is becomes a sword. Also, notice that the instruction to Joshua was to be a doer of the word. James mentions that in James 1:22, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” If you have known sin in your life you will not be able to defeat the enemy. God told Joshua to make sure he did all that was written in the Book of the Law. God wanted him to be free from sin by obeying His commandments. Sin hinders your prayers and give the enemy a foothold, or a legal right into your life.

 

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.

 

The words that a person speaks carry the power to kill or to give life. When God’s word becomes the weapon that is coming out of your mouth it will always work. Make sure that you are speaking death to the enemy and not to another person. The battle is not against other people, it is against the enemy of our souls, the devil.

 

Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against, powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

 

The weapon of the word of God, when ordered by God, will be absolutely effective in the mission it is sent out to do. But you must get the proper orders to have the right weapon. When you pray, ask the Lord what scriptures you will need to use to fight this particular battle. Trust Him to give you the plan of action that will work. Then when He has given the plan to you, follow it to the letter. Receive it and obey it immediately. Don’t improvise or change it, just obey it, persevere in fighting, and watch the results unfold before you. Thank God for the plan and expect it to work.

 

Father, I thank You for Your word! I thank You that when I seek You for the plan of action to take in fighting spiritual battles You always give me the right scriptures to use as my sword. Thank You, Father, for causing Your word to go forth with such power! I know that Your word is living and active and it will work in defeating the enemy in my life. Father, I pray this morning, that those who need to use Your word as their weapon in fighting the battles of life will seek You for the right scriptures to use. Give them the Word that will work in their lives, Father. Show them how to fight effectively so the enemy has to flee from them. Empower them by Your Spirit to win! Thank You, Lord, for hearing and answering my prayer because as Your word instructs in Matthew 21:22 I believe that I receive when I pray. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

The Weapon of Praise

2 Corinthians 10:3-6 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

 

For the last couple of days we’ve talked about spiritual warfare being two parts: 1) standing in the gap before God asking Him to intervene in the life of yourself or someone else; and 2) fighting against the enemy to defeat his plan of destruction in your life or the life of someone else. Now, I want to talk with you about the weapons that God has given us to fight these battles.

 

Psalm 149:5-9 Let the saints be joyful in glory; Let them sing aloud on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand, To execute vengeance on the nations, And punishments on the peoples; To bind their kings with chains of iron; To execute on them the written judgment—This honor have all His saints. Praise the Lord!

 

In this portion of scripture the Lord gives us a couple of weapons to use in winning the battle. Praise in our mouths and the Word, noted as a two-edged sword, both go together to win the battle. Things in the old Testament are types and shadows of things in the New Testament. I want to talk this morning about the power of praise to defeat the enemy.

 

We see a good example of how praise defeats the enemy in people’s lives in 2 Chronicles chapter 20. The Israelites were being attacked by some of their enemies so King Jehoshaphat called a for a fast and petitioned God for the plan of attack to use in defeating their enemies. God’s answer to them was “Do not be afraid….for the battle is not yours, but God’s. He told them they would have to go down against the enemy, but that they would not have to fight. So as they went down against their enemies they went singing and praising the Lord and this is how the battle went:

 

2 Chronicles 20:20-22 So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the LORD your God, and you shall be established; believe the prophets, and you shall prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the LORD, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the LORD, For His mercy endures forever.” Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.

 

When you go on to read the remainder of that story you find that the enemy was confused when they came out against them praising the Lord. In their confusion they began to fight each other instead of the Israelites, and wound up killing those who were on their side instead of the Israelites. Praise coming from the mouth of a believer silences the enemy and strengthens the believer.

 

Praise as described in Psalm 149:5-9 binds the enemy with chains and fetters of iron! Praise confuses the enemy and renders him powerless! When you praise during the battle you are acknowledging God as being bigger than what is coming against you. Magnifying the Lord gives Him the place of pre-eminence that He deserves and minimizes the power of the enemy. As you praise the Lord you will feel yourself being built up, strengthened and empowered! Sometimes the battle seems so great that you don’t know how you could possibly take your eyes off the wind and waves of the storm to focus on the Lord, but Hebrews 13:15 says that we should continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God! You see, God sees praise coming from us in the midst of our storms as being an offering unto Him. It pleases Him. Praise often requires that we put to death our own fears and pride so we can exalt the name of Jesus and bring honor to Him.

 

Psalm 34:1-6 gives a good understanding of how praise affects us and our problems.

 

I WILL bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; The humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together. I sought the LORD, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles.

 

When we praise the Lord through difficult times He hears and comes to our rescue. Our eyes are turned away from the problems and onto the Lord. This changes even our countenance. We see things differently. God is exalted and our problems are minimized. It is when we release our fears and emotional ties to the problems that God is able to move in and change us and our situations.

 

I remember a time when I was walking through a storm that concerned my daughter and granddaughter. They were in the midst of a battle for custody of my granddaughter with her father. He was into drugs and dog fighting and lived in an atmosphere that would not have been the best for my granddaughter to be raised in. It was hard for me to take my eyes off the battle and look to the Lord, but at His direction I did. I began to praise the Lord for His intervention in this situation and the day came when my daughter was to go to court. At the very last minute her ex-husband dropped the case. He relinquished his right to fight for custody and allowed my daughter to continue to raise my granddaughter in the ways of the Lord. This little girl was delivered from having to be exposed to drugs and dog fighting. She didn’t even have to go to court. The battle was fought by the Lord on her behalf.

 

Father, I thank You that You are bigger than any problem that we might encounter. You are greater than our enemy. You have given us weapons to fight against the enemy that are not physical or fleshly, but mighty in You for pulling down strongholds and casting out arguments or those things that try to place themselves in a higher position than You. You are greater, Lord Jesus; You are mightier; You are magnificent! Thank You for fighting these battles for us when we praise You. Thank You for defeating the enemy through our praises and for silencing His voice of fear and discouragement. Thank You, Lord, for strengthening us as we praise Your name! Worthy are You, Lord Jesus, to receive glory and honor and praise! Hallelujah! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Still Standing?

1 Corinthians 16:13 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.

There are two parts to spiritual warfare. One is the prayer of intercession that we talked about yesterday where we stand in the gap before God on behalf of our loved ones, friends and nation. We talked about the importance of prayer. This morning I want to talk with you about the other part of spiritual warfare, which is standing against the enemy on behalf of yourself, a loved one, a friend, a ministry or a country.

Matthew 4:1-11 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’” Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

In this portion of scripture we see a perfect example of the other part of spiritual warfare. When we look at how Jesus handles the devil we see five main principles that we can follow to defeat the enemy in our own lives or the lives of another.

The first thing we notice is that Jesus was totally committed to the Father. He had fasted and prayed for forty days and nights. His will was to do the Father’s will. He was totally in tune with the Holy Spirit. The Word says in 1 John 3:8 that the Son of God was manifested to destroy the works of the devil.

The second thing that we see is that He coupled fasting with his prayers. Fasting while praying builds you up and strengthens you for the battle. We gain the power and anointing to win our battles and victories for Him through prayer and fasting. However, fasting by itself doesn’t do anything but waste your time. You must couple the two together to get the desired results. Jesus said in Matthew 6:16-18 “when you fast”. He didn’t say “if”, He said “when” so fasting is a normal part of a disciple’s life.

The third thing we see in the example of Jesus is that He persevered until He saw the manifestation of the victory. He didn’t give up before the enemy was defeated. Sometimes when we are in the heat of the battle against the devil we get tired and quit before we win the fight. Jesus gives us the perfect example of fighting to the end! 1 Timothy 6:12 says to “fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life”. The devil comes only to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10) and if we are going to experience all that Jesus died to give us, we will have to fight when the enemy comes trying to steal, kill or destroy our lives and the lives of those around us.

The next thing that we see is that Jesus had an intimate knowledge of the Word of God and He used it as the Sword of the Spirit. He spoke not what He saw, felt or thought, but what God’s Word said. He used the Word to defeat the enemy. Hebrews 4:12 says that the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword. It pierces and divides and is a powerful weapon to use against the enemy. Ephesians 6:17 refers to the Word of God as the Sword of the Spirit; that which the Holy Spirit has spoken to us to use in fighting against the enemy.

The last thing that we see in this example is that He spoke directly to the devil. He didn’t beat around the bush, He addressed Satan with the Word of God. He didn’t carry on a conversation with the devil but He spoke the Word that was a Rhema Word from the Holy Spirit to address the problem He was encountering. James 4:7 says that when we submit ourselves to God and resist the devil that He will flee from us.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

Jesus showed us several of the weapons that God has given us to defeat the devil and tear down strongholds in our lives. A stronghold is a fortified thought process that Satan erects in a person’s life that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. It is a battle in the mind. Satan will speak to a person’s mind things that are totally against God’s word and have a person convinced that nothing will ever change even though God’s word tells us that nothing is impossible with God. Jesus applied the Word of God to His situation and won the battle. We can petition the Father on our behalf or on behalf of someone else, but we must also fight the good fight of faith to defeat the enemy. Both are necessary parts of spiritual warfare. Many times we beg God to do something for us when we need to be standing strong in the power of His might to overcome the devil and enforce the victory of the covenant that Jesus purchased for us. He defeated the devil on the cross, but it is our job as the Church to enforce that victory. We do that through spiritual warfare.

Father, I thank You for showing us how to properly fight and win the victory over the devil. Thank You for the example, Lord Jesus, that you gave us! Father, help us to seek you for just the right plan that will give us the victory. I pray, Father, that we will seek Your face and ask You for the scriptures that we need to pray and speak to the devil to defeat him. Father, help us to guard our hearts and minds and to keep our focus on You, Lord. Show us the plan that You have for every battle that we encounter. Thank You for empowering us by Your Spirit and for speaking clearly to us what we need to do to overcome. To You be the glory, Father! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Are You Standing In The Gap?

Ezekiel 22:30 “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; for I found no one.”

This morning as I’ve been praying the Lord has been speaking to me about the importance of standing in the gap before Him on behalf of our nation, our families and our friends. Are you standing in the gap before Him this morning on behalf of someone? Here is what I’ve heard from the Father this morning:

“Everything that you enjoy, Child, is because someone paid a price to purchase it for you. From the freedoms you enjoy as an American to the freedoms of salvation. They were all paid for through the sacrifice of people’s lives. The ultimate sacrifice was when My Son purchased your salvation. Treasure the freedoms that you have, Child. Pray that the enemy of your soul may not have his way in destroying your freedoms. Stand in the gap on behalf of the land in which you live—the land of the free and the home of the brave. Stand in the gap on behalf of those who are fighting for their spiritual freedom. Pray for those around you. Move into the battle through your prayers to Me, for I hear and answer the prayers of My people.”

Prayer has been on my mind a lot lately. The last course I took was on Spiritual Warfare and the Lord has been impressing on me more and more the importance of standing in the gap before Him on behalf of others. God encourages us to pray. He has designed our lives to revolve around the relationship that we have with Him through prayer. When we come before Him on behalf of others He is ready and willing to act on their behalf.

2 Chronicles 7:14 “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Christians are His people. If Christians will humble themselves and pray and seek His face and turn from their wicked ways, then will He hear and forgive and heal our land. It is our responsibility as born again believers to humble ourselves before God on behalf of our nation, our families and our friends.

Proverbs 21:1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.

God holds people’s hearts in His hand and can change their situations just like He formed and channeled the rivers. Nothing is too difficult for Him. But He has limited His activity in nations and people’s lives to others who pray for them.

1 Timothy 2:1-4 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

He exhorts us to pray, especially for those in authority over us in our nation with this result in mind: that we may live a quiet and peaceable life, godly and reverent in His eyes. He exhorts us to pray for men to be saved and come to the knowledge of His truth so they don’t spend an eternity apart from Him.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

God is waiting for us to pray for people to be saved because He is not will that they perish. He doesn’t want people to die and spend eternity apart from Him. He is calling us to pray!

A further excerpt from the Lord this morning:

“Prayer changes people and situations. I am calling you to prayer. Do not turn a deaf ear to My request, Child. The welfare of those around you are dependent upon those who will stand in the gap before Me on their behalf. Be the priest that I have called you to be. Come before Me on behalf of the people and then take what I say to them. Be the intercessor that I have called you to be. Fight for the freedom of your people.”

I want to pass this conversation on to you, my friends, because the mandate that God has given me applies to every one of us as believers. We are all called to pray. It is not a mandate exclusive to any one person. We all, as believers, are placed in the position of being a priest before our God. He instructed me to not only come before Him on behalf of others, but then to take what I heard from Him and tell it to you. As believers, purchased by the blood of Jesus, we have been placed before God as modern day kings and priests.

Revelation 1:5,6 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

 

Father, I thank You for giving Your very own Son to die for my freedom from the kingdom of darkness. Thank You for purchasing my redemption, Lord Jesus! Father, as I come before You this morning I pray for my friends as well as myself, that we will listen and hear the admonition that You have given us this morning to pray, to stand in the gap before You on behalf of our nation, our families and our friends. Help us to see the importance of our prayers, Father. Show us how we can make a difference in people’s lives through praying. Let us catch a glimpse of what You are doing as we pray. Thank You, Lord, for the privilege of bringing others before You to see change in their lives. I ask You this morning, Lord, to turn the king’s heart as You desire. Father, intervene in the life of our nation, Lord, to reflect the nation that we were at the beginning, founded upon Your principles, “one nation under God”. Lord, change the course of our country and cause the eyes of the people to once again be turned back to You. Father, move in the lives of our families; bring salvation to the lost, healing and deliverance to those who are oppressed. Father, save, heal and deliver our people! Thank You, Lord, for hearing and answering my prayers. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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