Pray like Jesus!

Matthew 6:9-13 “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we also forgive this who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever, Amen.”

The one thing the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to do was to pray. Traditionally, this has become known as the “Lord’s Prayer”. In fact, it should be renamed the “Disciples Prayer” because it was for our benefit, not Jesus. Jesus never committed any sin, so Jesus never had to pray for forgiveness but in the prayer taught by Jesus, he taught the disciples to ask for forgiveness. In addition, this prayer contains within it all the key ingredients needed for a powerful breakthrough in every area of your life.

Prayer is WORSHIP: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Begin with praise and worship of God’s goodness every time you enter into God’s presence. Worship lifts your focus off of yourself and magnifies God’s greatness over your life.

Prayer establishes GOD’S RULE: Your kingdom come means for the authority of God’s kingdom to be present in your daily life.

Prayer aligns with GOD’S WILL: Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Prayer releases the abundant resource of heaven into the earthly realm so that more and more of our natural reality looks more and more like the kingdom of heaven.

Prayer PETITIONS and RECEIVES by faith: Give us this day our daily bread. Prayer deals with the practical areas of our lives. God delights to give good things to those who ask in faith.

Prayer is REPENTANCE: And forgive us our trespasses. Repentance is turning away from self and turning towards God. In prayer God gives us the strength to overcome sin.

Prayer releases GRACE for RELATIONSHIPS: As we also forgive those who trespass against us. Because of the fall of humanity, our relational worlds are under the stress of brokenness. In prayer we receive grace to reconcile and engage in healthy relationships.

Prayer builds CHARACTER: Lead us not into temptation. In prayer we find the strength to become more like Jesus and resist the temptation of the enemy and our flesh.

Prayer is SPIRITUAL WARFARE: Deliver us from evil. One of the primary weapons to fight against Satan is prayer. Pray in the Spirit on all occasions and you’ll discover grace and power to be victorious over all the attacks of the enemy against you.

Prayer is DECLARATION: For yours is the kingdom. Prayer partners with the primary message of Jesus, the gospel of the kingdom. Prayer isn’t passive, it’s forceful declaration of God’s heart for his kingdom to be established in the earthly realm.

Prayer releases God’s POWER and PRESENCE: The power and the glory forever and ever, Amen. Without prayer, we have no access to God’s power. We need power top effect change in our lives and in the earth. In prayer we become aware of God’s glorious presence. Prayer manifests the glory of God. Selah!

Catalyst for the Supernatural!

Acts 13:12 “Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord.”In Acts 13, Barnabas and Saul are on Cyprus ministering but Elymas the magician, demonically inspired, is opposing their ministry and leading the proconsul away from hearing the gospel. Paul, filled with righteous indignation curses Elymas with blindness for a season and immediately darkness falls upon him. The proconsul witnessed first hand the miraculous power of the spirit and the demonstration of authority through the apostle Paul. Not only was he astonished in his teaching but he believed that Jesus was the Christ. No one wants resistance in life but opposition is often the catalyst for supernatural intervention. Many of us pray for miracles but miracles are needed because of the contradictions and paradoxes we encounter in life. Growth in the supernatural is often birthed out of an encounter with opposition that drives us closer to God in faith and prayer. See resistance from Gods perspective and watch God move mightily on your behalf as you boldly step out in faith. Explosive Insights!

Stand Firm!

man-praying“…And having done all, stand firm.” (Ephesians 6:13)

4 times in this passage the apostle Paul emphasizes the word ‘Stand’. Sometimes the only thing that will overcome the onslaught of Satan is to simply hold your ground and stand firm. Standing firm has a defensive posture to it. Life will sometimes feel like the enemy of your soul is throwing everything at you to distract you and ultimately destroy you. His attack can come in multiple forms, including, sexual temptation, condemnation, offense, fear and intimidation to name a few. Remember, the primary battlefield Satan attempts to conquer you in, is in your mind. When his attack comes, don’t merely fight it in the natural with positive thinking but resist the devil by submitting to God and using the spiritual weapons God has supplied to you. These weapons include praising God, acting in faith, meditating on and declaring the truth of Gods Word, choosing the pathway of peace versus conflict and finally standing firm. The next time you find yourself in a firefight with Satan, utilize the arsenal of weapons at your disposal but after having done all, stand firm, submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Refuse to Lie Down!

One of the principle weapons Satan uses to disable God’s people is discouragement. Every person I’ve ever met and conversed with about their personal life journey have got reasons to feel discouraged enough to want to quit. Sadly, some people do quit and give up. Thankfully, others refuse to lie down and inspire us by their example.

We live in a fallen world that is characterised by selfishness, doubt, pessimism, discouragement and darkness. The kingdom of God is counter-cultural and is marked by generosity, faith, optimism, hope, encouragement and light. If your life is going to reflect the kingdom of God more than the kingdom of this world, you will have to be intentional about it because your flesh will naturally default to the spirit of this age.

I wrestle with discouragement a lot. It can come over me like a dark cloud and blanket me in such a way that it feels oppressive. The only way I break through it, is not by positive self-talk but by pressing into the sanctuary of God’s presence. In his presence I’m reminded that nothing is too hard for him. In his presence, my joy returns and I find the strength to keep believing, keep moving forward and keep positioning myself for greater things to come. God’s presence is a tower of strength and when we distance ourselves from him, we become a target for the devil to take us out with discouragement.

Too many of us accept the lies of the enemy too readily. Too many of us allow Satan to steamroll us with a barrage of condemnation and accusation, as if we were utterly powerless. But the truth is, we are powerful in God and his purpose for us (Ephesians 1).

I encourage you to draw a line in the sand and make a decision to stop entertaining the discouraging string of ideas Satan sends your way. Stop the broken record of wrong thinking and renew your mind with God-Truth. Life is fleeting and days pass by so quickly. Don’t give your best thoughts and years to the enemy of your soul. Your better than that and Gods calling on your life is too precious to let go of just because you’re in a season of discouragement. Refuse to lie down.

The Oracle!

Spiritual Warfare!

Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-11)

There is a spiritual battle waging for your soul, whether you can see it or not. Being a Christian and having a Biblical worldview exposes me to the reality of the devil and his agenda on the earth. We must avoid 2 extremes when it comes to Spiritual Warfare. Too many of us either, attribute too much credit to the devil’s influence in our lives or we don’t acknowledge his presence at all and write him off as just being pure fantasy.

Someone once said, “One of the greatest lies Satan ever convinced us with, is that he doesn’t exist”.

The Scriptures exhort us to remember, our battle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, authorities and cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. The 1st lesson of spiritual warfare is to know thy enemy. Unlike the common caricature of horns, pitch-fork and pointy tail, the devil masquerades himself as an angel of light, he distorts the truth and the bible says that he is an accuser of God’s people and continually opposes Gods purposes on planet earth.

Keep in mind that Satan is not like God in any way. He is not omnipresent, omnipotent or omniscient. Only God is completely and utterly holy and sovereign. Our approach to spiritual warfare must be shaped by a biblical worldview. The reason Ephesians 6:10-20 exhorts us to stand and defend against Satan’s attacks is because the decisive battle over Satan has already been won by Jesus. 1 John 3:8 says, the reason Jesus Christ appeared was to destroy the works of Satan. Christ has disarmed the rulers and authorities, putting them to open shame.

God hasn’t called us to be cowboys when it comes to spiritual warfare because Jesus has already done the heavy lifting against Satan rendering him a defeated foe. Our job as believers is to enforce the victory Christ has already one and drive out the kingdom of darkness from the world through the weapons of Gods truth, prayer, faith, the gospel, salvation and our righteousness in Christ.

Satan doesn’t have any new tricks up his sleeve. He just tries the same old well-worn attacks he has used for centuries. He attacks the mind with strongholds. He attacks the body through physical sickness. He attacks relationships with strife and he attacks the church with doctrine, disunity, persecution and apathy.

Our response to these attacks is to root out anything in our lives the devil could use as a foothold to enter in and destroy us. We are to submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from us. When you stand strong in God, you won’t fall when Satan attacks you.

Insight!