Bold Scriptural Prayer
Now that I had a better understanding of how to properly exercise my God-given authority and the great power of repentance, I next shifted my focus to the process of prayer. For a spiritual tool that was widely known as the most powerful life changing force in existence, in the past I had only tended to see modest results in my life by way of its practice. As I pondered upon this question, I was lead to a passage in the book of Hebrews 4:16 in which the apostle Paul encourages:
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
As I prayed for greater understanding of this concept, my mind once again drifted back to my dad's sickness and death; the tragic event that changed the course of my life. We were certainly in a time of great need and God's mercy and grace was exactly what we needed, and yet this passage seemed to contain something even more powerful. Remember that Jesus promised we could move this mountain of cancer and cast it into the sea, if we just had enough faith. I realized that within Paul's statement, lies the key to increasing and demonstrating that faith. That key is found in the word "boldly".
In Matthew 15: 21-28, the story is told of a gentile woman from Canaan whose daughter was demon-possessed, who began following Jesus around crying and pleading loudly in the hope that he might heal her daughter. We are told that even though she persisted, Jesus ignored her. She then began to pester his disciples, so much so that they pleaded with the Lord to send her away. Finally we are told that "she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!" To which Jesus replied, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” Now this might seem very rude but in Jewish culture at the time, certain Gentiles were referred to on occasion as dogs. Additionally people from Canaan were well known for the practice of dark spiritual arts and sorcery, which may have been the vehicle through which the woman's child was overtaken by darkness. As the story continues, it is clear that Jesus was testing her resolve. Now most would have given up at such a direct response, but the woman persisted by finally saying, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
Within this interaction is found an enormously powerful concept. The woman entreated Jesus persistently and boldly. She was not willing to give up. We are told that he acknowledged her request only after she began to worship him. Her persistence paid off as eventually he pronounced her great faith, after which he gave her the desire of her heart, the healing of her daughter.
In Luke 11:5-10 Jesus teaches a parable concerning a late night visit from a friend, by which we further learn the power of bold persistence in prayer:
And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.
So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
So again if I could journey back to the point at which my dad became ill, based on these Biblical teachings, I would ask my family to come to throne of God and worship him. To be persistent and to tenaciously approach him again and again. Our tendency in the past was toward reverent prayer, filled with timid requests and formal petitions. Now I would ask that they boldly approach him with his promises in hand and not give up until like the woman from Canaan, he noticed our great faith and gave us the greatest desire of our hearts, a complete healing of our dad.
I would suggest to my family that we begin to offer more prayers as did Jehoshaphat of the Old Testament for example, when a hoard of invaders threatened to destroy the people of Judah: (2nd Chronicles 20:6)
O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You? We know that you created both Heaven and Earth and the stars in the firmament. The cancerous invader that has attacked our family is no more than dust under your feet and is powerless in the mighty glow of your unparalleled light. We testify that Jesus has already defeated this filthy spirit of death and that it is nothing more than a thief in the night, attempting to steal, kill and destroy. We receive Christ's promise of an abundance of life and we stand up united carrying the two-edged sword of your word and beat back this invader in your Son's holy name. We command this evil depart from our dad's body and our family now. We command that his health begin to be restored and that days and then weeks and then months and eventually years and years be added to his life. We will not relent, we will not surrender; O Father we will sing the praises of your great works and our victory over cancer and death forever, so that all may know the wonder and mercy of your mighty works. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
Again I would encourage them to take the promises of God that they had found in their studies and boldly bring them to his throne:
Father we are promised in your word that the same spirit that dwelt in Jesus and powerfully raised him from the dead, dwells in our dad as well, and is giving life to his mortal body. We receive this promise and know that you are true to your word, because you cannot lie. We testify that we know that you are even now strengthening his body, and making it strong and vibrant and healthy. (Romans 8:11)
Another example might be:
Father your word tells us that Jesus was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities, and by his stripes we are healed. As disciples of Christ, we have received him as our Lord and Savior, and so we receive the blessing of this promise. We have identified the entry, through which this dark invader has accessed our lives, and we are closing that door. We have confessed that iniquity, and have repented of it. We testify that we know Jesus has already paid the price, and that this cancer must obey the power of that promise, and depart. We know now that by Jesus' stripes, our dad will be healed. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen (Isaiah 53:5)
Finally a change of attitude would be necessary. I would encourage my family to only speak faithful, hope-filled words and to not speak the words of the devil. When conversing with others about the situation only talk about God's coming blessing, not Satan's curse of cancer. Thank them for their sympathies but assure them that God has the situation well in hand and a miracle is on the way. I would stress the importance, whether it be in public or private, to never, ever, ever utter or even entertain Satan's words and threats of defeat, thus contradicting God's promises and diminishing the power of our new found bold and faith-filled prayers.
A Change of Approach
So based on this new information, I decided to change my approach to prayer, at least in part. I had been a "pray-er" most of my life. I prayed in the fashion that I had been taught. As I mentioned earlier, our prayers were reverent, humble, and petitionary but I realized that it was well past time that I start demonstrating my understanding of and trust in God when I approached Him in prayer. My prayers should become a testimony to His greatness, rather than an inquiry as to whether or not He was able or willing to respond. While I continued to have more traditional, sweet conversations with Father, I decide that at least once a day, I would begin to pray in a more bold and confident manner. One that demonstrated greater faith and belief that God could over come anything, and that abandoned my own will, and put it all into His hands.
In my previous approach to prayer, I did not always demonstrate interest in God's plan for my life, but I wanted my way. So my prayers often became what amounted to attempts at bending God's will to fit my own. Upon reflection, I must have thought if I prayed enough, I could eventually change His mind. Based on this, I would at times pray in a pleading manner, unsure if anything would actually ever come of it. I had been taught to give thanks for my blessings at the beginning of each prayer, and this I did religiously. But frankly, most often I would gloss over this portion of the prayer, in a rush to get to the part that was all about me and my needs.
The only occasions when I would come close to praying fervently were those times when things weren't going well in my life and I again needed something. On the other hand, when things were going well, my prayers became less passionate and often quite repetitive and automatic. In fact, if life was good, I now recall that the frequency of my prayers declined quite significantly.
If you think of the above examples in terms of an earthly father/son relationship, I don't represent a very good child. No, upon reflection I am ashamed to say that what I have just described is a selfish, demanding, ungrateful, manipulative, spoiled brat. I was in no way, shape or form, demonstrating respect or genuine love toward my Father in Heaven when approaching Him in prayer.
I certainly would not have treated my earthly father in such a manner. As a child, I thought my dad was the greatest guy alive. In my mind, he could do anything. I knew that he was approachable and I could always talk to him about anything. I knew that he would always take care of me, no matter what. I did not worry about the future, because I knew that he had things well in hand. As I got older, I did not ask him excessively for things, because I knew that he had always provided for all of my needs. I knew that when I listened to and followed his guidance, things usually worked out for the better. And I knew, with all my heart, that he loved me unconditionally, with all of his heart. Didn't my Father in Heaven deserve the same level of confidence, love and respect?
Now while I can't blame my previous approach to prayer completely for these past attitudes toward God, I was gradually becoming aware of something of which I had been previously oblivious; that the way I approached Him affected the way that I viewed Him.
Instead of pleading with Him, I needed to praise him. Instead of timidly asking whether He could do something in my life, I needed to bear testimony of my confidence in His ability to accomplish all things. Instead of approaching Him in a careful and timid manner, I needed to approach Him in a bold and confident manner, celebrating the great power of His love and His promises.
So now, at least once a day in prayer, I no longer beg for His help but I testify to the faith and belief I have in His ability to overcome any problem within my life. I no longer plead for a particular outcome, but I ask for His plan to fill my heart and mind, and for the strength and wisdom to follow His guidance to the letter, and do His will, not only in the current situation but in all things. I no longer inquire as to whether He is or is not willing to help me, but instead I approach Him with the knowledge that He will most definitely deliver me! And instead of inquiring about how he can help me, I ask how I can be of help to him, as He performs mighty works in my life. When I pray for others, I pray with great expectation for the arrival of blessings in their lives. And instead of my standard catalogue of things for which I am thankful, I now boldly praise him for many of the miracles, past and present, big and small, that I and my family see in our lives regularly, as a result of His love and never ceasing attention. And just like the rebuke, whenever possible, I add the power of God's promises as found in the Bible to this new approach to prayer.
An example of a powerful promise from the Lord, that can be applied within a stronger approach to prayer, is found in Psalm 91:9-12 (NKJV):
Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
A component of a bold prayer incorporating the power of these promises, might go like this:
You are the Lord God, even the Most High, and because I have made you my refuge and dwelling place, you have promised, that no evil, shall befall me or my family. Because we place our trust in you, you have given us assurance, that no serious disease or sickness, shall approach us or darken the doorstep of our home. We thank you, that you have given your angels, charge over us, to keep us in all our ways, and that in their hands, they will always bear us up.
When we enter the true adoption of Jesus Christ, the promises that were made to the children of Israel, become our own, and what wonderful promises they are.
Another example is found in Galatians 2:20 (NKJV)
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God. who loved me and gave himself for me.
Another prayer component referencing the power of this promise, could go like this:
For I can no longer live vulnerably, alone in the flesh, open to use and abuse by the spirits of disobedience. Instead I desire that Christ live in me; and the life that I live in the flesh, I will live by faith in him, the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Regularly reaching out for the life changing strength of this promise, will not only invite the saving presence of Christ to dwell in your heart and to be the prevailing guide throughout your life but it will help to keep him there. There are many promises made by God to His people. By incorporating them into a stronger, testimony based approach to prayer, you will be recommitting to God and His plan for your life daily. You will be testifying to your confidence and faith in Him and the power of his promises in delivering you from evil and in blessing your life.
The Next Step: The Need for Redemption
Next we place our focus on the most important concept of all, "The Need for Redemption". No single event in human history carries with it more importance or more power. Join us in clarifying this principle, and in emphasizing it's critical role in the defeat of evil and the freeing of the captives. Please click here to continue, or click on the link below to return to the "Weapons of Warfare" index.
The Need for
Many Christians lack a basic understanding of the concepts of sin and salvation, and their relation to the devil's works.
Next, in addition to the power of the ESAT process, God has given us other weapons to drive back and defeat the devil in our lives