This is The next level series on Fervent Prayer. We are using the book Fervent by Priscilla Shirer, and I highly recommend you purchase it as a resource. You’re probably going to want a paper copy, because it’s one you will pull out again and again if you’re like me. We are going through the 10 most common strategies the enemy uses in our lives, and we are going to learn how to strategically pray so that we can combat those dealings in our lives. This is a deeper series that the previous one we went through. It’s spiritual warfare. Are you ready to go to war on this?
Lifeway has a Blue, Leatheresque Copy of this book that will be on sale for $5 this Friday & Saturday for their post-Thanksgiving sale. It will be available on Lifeway.com or at your nearest Lifeway store.
Thanks for sharing that with us, Mrs. Holly. 😉
Be sure to subscribe to my blog by email to be entered to win a copy of this book that I will be giving away this week! You don’t want to miss any of the posts in this series.
If I were your enemy, I’d devalue your strength and magnify your insecurities until they dominate how you see yourself, disabling and disarming you from fighting back, from being free, from being who God has created you to be. I’d work hard to ensure that you never realize what God has given you so you’ll doubt the power of God within you.
Your Identity. Remembering Who You Are.
The enemy wants you to suffer from a case of mistaken identity. Makes his job a whole lot easier. And makes your defenses a lot weaker. He’s working overtime to keep your identity masked, to keep the truth from coming out- that you are indeed alive and free and empowered by God’s own Spirit to fight victoriously against him. He’d rather conspire to keep you in a constant state of mourning, grieving over who you wish you were, instead of relishing who you really are, exacerbated by insecurity and crippled by self-doubt.
That’s why he doesn’t want you praying – not fervently – because fervent prayer keeps your true identity in focus. Reminds us of who we really are and taps into the power we really have in Christ.
He doesn’t want your nose in the Word or your knees on the hardwood. Because that’s where the light comes on. That’s where you find out the good news, perhaps the surprisingly euphoric news – that you are alive, fully equipped to stand firm against him. “Formerly darkness,” the Bible says, yes. Formerly. At one time. But now “Light in the Lord”… “children of Light”… able through Christ to produce “the fruit of the Light” (Ephesians 5:8-9)
Paul reminds the Ephesians of the spiritual blessings we’ve been given in Ephesians 1, purely as the result of Christ’s love toward us, commensurate with the enormous value He’s placed on us. Soak them into your soul. Let these words embed into the floorboard of your deepest insecurities.
- equipped through Christ with “every spiritual blessing” (vs. 3)
- chosen in Him “before the foundation of the world” (vs. 4)
- regarded as “holy and blameless before Him” (vs. 4)
- adopted through the “kind intention of His will” (vs. 5)
- redeemed and forgiven, “lavished” with grace (vs. 7-8)
- recipients of a glorius “inheritance” in heaven (vs. 11)
- secured forever by “the Holy Spirit of promise” (vs. 13-14)
Then, right in the middle of Paul’s dictation, notice how his prepared monologue (around verses 15 and 16) begins blending almost seamlessly into a prayer. You think he’s just talking, and then just like that… he’s praying. Praying that our eyes would be open to really, fully see and recognize who we truly are. Praying that we would:
- receive a “spirit of wisdom” from the Father (vs. 17)
- be enlightened to grasp the “hope of His calling” (vs. 18)
- recognize the “riches of the glory of His inheritance” (vs. 18)
- know the “surpassing greatness of His power” toward us (vs. 19)
- realize we are “seated with Him… in heavenly places” (vs. 20)
- and that even though we were “dead”, He has given us life (2:5)
There’s strategy to this combination of the Word and prayer. From Scripture we receive written proof of what God has done for us, what He’s created us and called us and empowered us into becoming. Then, in prayer we cooperate with Him to stamp these truths repeatedly into our hearts. And then, more than that, we access them and engage them and draw their power into our everyday experience.
In prayer we watch words on a page turn a new leaf in us, both in our hearts and in our day-to-day living. In prayer we feel a bolstering that energizes us with holy confidence. In prayer we set off like trailblazers, carving fresh neural pathways within our brains, transforming the way we think of ourselves, receiving and believing our true identity – the one that was stamped on us the moment we ran to the foot of the cross. Pray long and hard enough, and not only do we realize we’re indeed alive, but we become angry – furious! – that we’ve been in mourning for so long, saddened by a tragedy whose outcome was totally misreported to us.
If we’re not strategically praying in accordance with who our Maker and Redeemer says we are, if we aren’t calling ourselves by name according to that list from Ephesians, serving the devil notice that we know who we really are, we’ll always be subject to his attemps at devaluing us. We’ll downplay our real strength. We’ll hate our bodies, highlight our weaknesses, cringe with insecurities, and constantly view ourselves as “less than” by comparison with others. He’ll diffuse our power simply by downplaying our true position. If he can get you to believe his lies, you won’t feel equipped or entitled to stand up against him.
That’s why you and I need to keep praying – to keep the truth about our real identity in constant, unbroken focus before us. The truth. The Belt of Truth as outlined in Ephesians 6, in our spiritual armor. Truth – God’s standard and viewpoint about us – must come first in our hearts and minds if we want to be effective in battle against the enemy. We need to put on our belt of truth every day. Without it, we aren’t really suited for spiritual battle. We’re not dressed for the occasion. Not ready for what’s coming.
Paul prayed so fervently that the true identiy of those first-century believers would be unveiled in their hearts. He wasn’t asking God to make sure they received these things. They already had them. He was praying that they’d realize they already had them. It wasn’t a shopping list. It was a packing list, and it’s the same for us today.
And now we’re ready to take that to battle, on our knees, in prayer. We’re fully alive and on the path to healing and wholeness. Now build a prayer strategy using these passages as a backdrop to remind yourself of this truth for the rest of your life.
God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. It is only by grace that you have been saved! For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-6
As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13
We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffered with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. Romans 8:15-17
Look to the rock from which you were hewn And to the quarry from which you were dug. Isaiah 51:1
The Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be a people for His own possession. Deuteronomy 4:20
Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me. Isaiah 49:16
For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.
2 Corinthians 4:6-7
You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 24-25