We are talking about prayer on the podcast this week so I thought this post from the archives was worth sharing. I used to get hung up on the "right way" pray. But then I learned God is more concerned having a relationship with us than how many minutes we pray or the exact words we use. What prayer looks like for me changes over time and looks different in each season. Here's just one example one way I pray.
I was a cheerleader in junior high. I can remember when the opposing team had the ball we would cheer:
Let’s Go, DEFENSE Hold them! D-E-F-E-N-S-E
We would encourage the team to stay strong and prevent points from being scored against us. When the game took a turn in our favor, when we had the ball, a different cheer could be heard coming from us girls.
Score! Score! We want more! We'll drive it to the finish, And own that board!
There are many different types of prayer. But just like those cheers, I have come to view my prayers as falling into one of two categories:
- Defensive (Lord, sustain me)
- Offensive (Lord, advance me in Your Will).
There will be times when we need to quit praying defenscively, take back the ball, and pray offense. We don’t just want to hold the line; we want progress.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”Eph. 6:10-11
We are in a war but not against flesh and blood.
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”Eph. 6:13
As you read a little further along in that chapter, you will learn that our armor consists of: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of readiness and peace, the shield of faith, and the helmet of salvation. The final item on this list is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God
It’s that last item that has the distinction of being an offensive weapon, and according to Hebrews 4:12, it’s a powerful one.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
We use that weapon when we pray the Word of God.
We can be confident in prayer when we know what the Bible says and speak it. Our troubling circumstance can be turned around and used to win the game for the glory of God through prayer.
We are more than conquerors because of the victory that has already won at Calvary.
▪ I pray Lord that my 6-year-old practices self-control (defense). I also pray that he will find favor in the eyes of his teacher because of his self-control and obedience. May the other students follow his lead by listening to the teacher, working when it’s time to work, and playing when it’s time to play (offense). (Psalm 5:12, Numbers 6:25–26)
▪ Father God, help my husband get up to speed with the knowledge he needs for his new job (defense). I also pray that You would give him the wisdom and knowledge he needs to operate in his position successfully. Give him insight into efficiencies that will cause his department to flourish despite this down economy (offense). (Jeremiah 29:11, Jeremiah 33:3
▪ Dear Lord, I choose to forgive_____________________________ for ______________________(defense). Lord, bless them and their family. I pray that Your love would penetrate their heart and that they would understand the grace you have made available to them (offense). (Luke 6:8, Luke 6:27, Psalm 103:10-14)
We have the advantage, but it’s us to us to advance.
Starting today, Circles of Faith will be hosting a Facebook Prayer community; a place where we can join together to share our prayer needs and testimonies of God’s provision. It is a forum for us to gather on-line and share what we are believing God for.
It’s there that we will knit our faith together and wield the Sword of the Spirit for His glory.
Head over there and see what is all about…