PRAYERS THAT PACK A PUNCH
Behold, 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
Joe bowed his head to pray, "Dear God, bless my wife and my kids and my family and me. Help the preacher and the missionaries... and Aunt Sue who has bunions. And if I have sinned, forgive me. Amen."
Sadly, that describes the prayer lives of so many - generalized, canned, ho hum, cover the bases, go through the motions types of prayers. Do you think that kind of praying stirs and moves the heart of God? Do you think old Joe is praying the way the Lord wants us to... in faith and power and authority? Obviously not! (Old Joe is a fictitious person, mind you. So no nasty grams from guys named Joe.)
PRAYER IS WARFARE
Without a doubt, the Bible teaches that prayer is not to be meek and mild and canned and watered down. Prayer is warfare against our adversary, the devil. In Ephesians 6, Paul speaks about doing battle with the devil and his demonic hoard. He tells us to put on the full armor of God... and then he tells us to "pray at all times in the Spirit." Prayer is a vital part in the spiritual battle against the "forces of darkness."
The longer I live and serve the Lord, the more I am convinced of my need to pray with the authority Jesus gave me as a follower of His. You see, the devil will take all the ground you are willing to give him. If he can get you thinking that you are spiritually feeble, without power and authority from God, he will keep you defeated and will minimize your effectiveness for the Kingdom.
If, however, you and I begin to take God at His Word, believing that we have authority from above to tread on serpents and scorpions (metaphorical for the spiritual forces of wickedness), we will see God do miracles in our midst! Jesus said, "Be it done to you according to your faith" (Matthew 9:29).
AN OLD TESTAMENT PICTURE
Nehemiah was commissioned by God to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. As in any endeavor with the will of God, there was opposition and intimidation from the enemy. Sanballat and Tobiah led a contingent to stop the work Nehemiah was doing. They were threatening to kill Nehemiah and the builders of the wall. God's people were afraid... so, Nehemiah rallied the troops and said, "Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, AND FIGHT for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses"(Nehemiah 4:14).
God's Word to us with regard to prayer is the same. Remember who He is and what he has given you... and FIGHT! The enemy wants to steal and kill and destroy. Pray in power and authority for your children and grandchildren, your marriages and families. Pray in power and authority for your church, your community, our nation and the world. Pray for darkness to be lifted from spiritually blinded eyes... for strongholds of sin to be shattered... for rebellion to be broken, for marriages and families to be restored.
God will do AMAZING things as His people begin to boldly pray in faith, believing that God will answer with a mighty miracle. Remember, "Greater is He who is in you [Jesus] than he who is in the world [the devil]" (1 John 4:4).
Start today to take back spiritual ground that you may have carelessly and unwittingly yielded to the devil. He is a defeated foe!
And remember the words of the great Jewish sage Mickey Goldstein from Rocky II, "YOU ARE A TANK! RUN OVER HIM!! GO THROUGH HIM!!!" God has given us the victory... so seize it in Jesus name!
From His Heart Ministries can be seen on LightSource.com. This is another opportunity to reach people throughout the world with the love of Christ. Tell your friends and check us out.
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast. Click here to become a ministry partner.