National Day of Prayer
Prayer can be challenging at times.I would imagine that one thing all of us have in common is that at some point in our walk with Jesus, prayer has been more difficult during some days, weeks or even seasons of our journey. Another commonality is that no matter where we are on our journey with Jesus all of us can learn more in our understanding of prayer and grow more in our practice of prayer.
We set aside today to pray for each other, our community and our nation. However, I also want to give you, on this National Day of Prayer, some ways to look at prayer for every other day of the year as well. Most of these ideas come from other Bible-believing, Jesus-following authors. I wanted you to see and have these effective resources as you go through either a tough season or your daily life in order to live out the Word of God. I am not called to be original just effective. (I got that from Dr. Tom Smiley.)
2 Corinthians 10:4,5 states that the weapons we have to demolish strongholds are divinely powerful and not of the flesh, and we take speculations (something we imagine that is going on without evidence) captive to the obedience of Christ. Beth Moore states in her book Living Free that the stick of dynamite that can demolish strongholds is prayer and Scripture used together. When we pray through a passage of Scripture our thought patterns begin to be transformed by Truth. “A stronghold is anything that exalts itself in our minds, pretending to be bigger or more powerful than our God. It steals our focus and causes us to feel overpowered, controlled, mastered.” (Living Free)
What are the current strongholds in your life? What is a thought that has a stronghold on your mind and you can’t seem to shake it on your own?
Is it a lie about where you find your identity?
Is it something untrue about God that you have believed?
Is it anxiety, unforgiveness, rejection?
When the thought patterns in our minds are louder than the Truth of God’s Word it’s time to use our dynamite! I can choose to focus on my stronghold or I can choose to focus on how can I believe God, glorify Him, find satisfaction in Him, experience His peace, and enjoy His Presence.
Find Scripture that directly goes at that lie or stronghold and pray through it repeatedly. I said repeatedly because this will take time and regular application for you to change a pattern. Just like making a new physical habit takes time and practice, changing your mind and thinking will as well. If you just give up you will stay stuck right where you are. Let’s be transformed by the renewing of our minds together! (Romans 12:2)
“God insists on prayer because His chief objective is to keep us connected entirely to Him.” (Living Free) He wants to show us through prayer how He made us new creations at salvation and He is changing our old patterns continually if we will cooperate with Him in the process.
So here are some passages to begin using your dynamite. Read one of these passages of Scripture several times. Then ask some questions about how you are applying the passage to your daily life. Then pray each portion and communicate with God about how He can help you to live it out. Meditate on that passage for several days and let the Word be sown deep into your life so that it will produce the fruit that God intended.
1 Peter 5:6-10: Ask the Lord how to cast your cares on Him and give Him your anxieties.
Romans 12:2: What ways are you living conformed to this world?
Hebrews 11- 12:3: Read about faith in action and how you can fix your eyes on Jesus and then pray to Him about how to do that today.
Psalm 139: Spend some time praising Him for how He made you and how you are known by Him in every way.
Here are some additional resources to help you understand areas that may have a strong hold on your thinking:
Living Free—Beth Moore Bible Study
Bondage Breaker and Steps to Freedom—Neil T. Anderson
Praying God’s Word—Beth Moore
Here is a link to a practical guide to Biblically dealing with anxiety:
Be blessed on this National Day of Prayer and begin using the powerful and effective tools He designed in order to transform you.
Beth Everett, Counseling and Prayer Ministry