Friday, March 2, 2018

March 2nd

This is a slightly different sort of blog post- it's not a journal entry or a section of writing. I had an experience in the last month or so that has led to a change in the way I have been praying, and what I will do is share that experience and then share a prayer that has come about because of it.

About a month ago, the Lord led me through one of the most intense battles I have ever had with fear of the future, over things that I cherish most. I had to be willing to face a worst case scenario in order to walk steadily toward the best possible ending.

I did not do very well in this battle. Countless times I succumbed to fear, sometimes all night long I was oppressed by the fears of what might occur. Jesus was very kind to me in my weakness and each time, His mercy was new every morning.

As time went by, fear and anxiety was slowly burned off of me, as I had to trust Jesus no matter what terrible prospect I was facing. Eventually, I was able to surrender to Jesus things that I had not even known that I was trying to hold on to.

At a critical point, after this surrender to Him, Jesus stepped in and simply turned the whole battle on a dime. First, that giant was stunned, then it fell and it was helpless. I have no idea how Jesus did this. I just watched it happen.

For a day or so afterward, I was too shy to speak directly to Jesus in prayer, because of the knowledge of His power and sovereignty, and the fact that He is the Living God. After this, Jesus set to work refining me further, cutting down through things that had become dull around my heart. Then He set my heart on fire.

One day during this time, I was working out downstairs, as I was in the habit of doing almost every day. I was getting stronger and able to run for longer distances, but on this particular day, I was falling short and reaching a point of exhaustion.

I was listening to music to help motivate me to continue on, but the music itself was not compelling. I desperately wanted to hear different kind of song, one that would help me go on, but the right songs weren't coming.

I began to be certain that I was going to end up failing, and as this feeling grew in me, Jesus began speaking to me through two Scriptures- "For lack of a vision, my people fail," He was repeating to me with urgency, and, "If they do not sound the trumpet clearly, how will they know to assemble?"

I was strongly convicted and moved by this message because of the strength of Jesus' voice, the intensity with which He conveyed it to me, and because I was feeling this message in myself, exhausted and ready to give up when I knew I should continue on. I was in tears. Then I stopped and changed the music. The change was swift. I was able to continue and to go on farther than before.

Since that time, I have returned to the discipline of praying the Scriptures. The word of God is an unmistakable call. It provides a clear vision. This has had a powerful, immediate effect upon my prayers, both on my own and with my prayer partners.

The Holy Spirit has been helping me put together several prayers, but this one that I am being asked to share here is one particularly for spiritual warfare. I have written this as though praying in a group, but I have also, when led by the Holy Spirit, prayed it while during my private prayers.

I have placed brackets where specific things may be named, and if, being led by the Holy Spirit, you use this prayer, I would recommend naming things specifically. This is about seven pages long, but not all of the prayer needs to be said at one time, though it can be.

There is one other thing. Around this time, I was working outside in the woods. My husband and I have been clearing them out of overgrown bushes since we bought the property. It has been slow work. At first, I was able only to reach the outer branches of brambles and bushes. That done, I was able to cut all the branches down to the trunk. The trunks themselves were too thick to cut, and I had to leave them until my husband could cut them down with a tool that I wasn't strong enough to use.

The next summer, the bushes grew back from the stumps. I was amazed at how quickly they grew. I tried to uproot a few of them, but I could not get down through the hard ground easily. I was thrilled that I managed to get rid of four or five.

Lately, it is been very rainy here and the ground has grown soft. I went out a week or so ago and began working on the stumps again. This time, I pulled out over ten in about one hour. Some of the roots I was able to pull up with only my hands. Some required the sharp edge of a shovel, but after the roots were cut, I was able to lift the whole mass up, shake the loose dirt off, and toss the thing into the trailer, to be hauled away.

Between this and the giant that the Lord laid out for my family, I wonder if it might be time for taking ground for the Kingdom of God after a long season of perseverance. The Holy Spirit will make it clear, if it is.

*

Lord Jesus, here are Your servants who have gathered obediently to do Your will. Before we take up Your holy work, we humbly ask that You send down Your Holy Spirit now to search our hearts and convict us of any sin, and take from us any hidden faults or crooked ways- Lord Jesus, if there be anything in us that is lifted above You or Your will, in Your mercy, Savior, show us so and humble us and restore to us a clean heart and a steadfast spirit. Lord, wash us and cleanse us in the blood of the Lamb, that we might have pure hearts of gratitude, faith and trust, and clean hands to take up Your work.

Lord Jesus, we fully acknowledge that apart from You, we can do nothing. But we are not here to do anything of ourselves, we are here because You have called us. You have granted us the privilege of doing Your work on this earth- as You were sent, so You have sent us, and we love You, Lord Jesus, precious Savior and King, and our hearts burn that You should be glorified on earth as You are in Heaven, and that truth prevail in Your church and that You receive everything that You deserve because of Your great sacrifice on the cross.

Lord Jesus, we acknowledge that You are our Lord and Master, and we are Your loving bondservants. We have given You our entire lives and we gladly and trustingly submit entirely to You, Lord Jesus. You have bought us with Your precious blood, and we are not our own. You have redeemed us and taken us out of the kingdom of darkness and into the Kingdom of Heaven.

You have given us the very Spirit of the Living God, Your own Spirit, to indwell us, and we put our whole dependence on Him now to guide us in Your work, to give us eyes to see in the dark, and to give us the sword of Your word and to show us how to direct and strike with that sword, knowing that the life and the power and the glory are Yours, Lord Jesus.

We are Your Body here on earth and when Your Father and our Father raised You, Lord Jesus from the dead, He seated You at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, all power and dominion, and above every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And the Eternal and Living God placed all things under Your feet, Lord Jesus, and appointed You to be head over everything for the church, which is Your body, the fullness of You who fills everything in every way. We recognize that we are a part of that Body, called by Your name, connected to You as a branch to the Living Vine.

Because of this, we are resolved to be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. We put on the full armor of God, taking our stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood. We stand with the belt of truth buckled around our waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with our feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. We take up the shield of faith, with which we will extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. We take on the helmet of salvation and with reverent love and trust, we take up the sword of the Holy Spirit, which is the word of God.

We declare that we have been crucified with Christ, and no longer do we live, but Christ lives in us, and the life we live, we live to Christ Jesus our Lord. Our Lord Jesus said to us, Do not be afraid, for I have overcome the world.

And we declare right now, that we are not afraid. In anything, any trial or tribulation, we are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us. We have been chosen by God according to His purpose, and anything that comes against us will only be used by God to conform us to the image of His dear Son, and will in the end, give glory to God. Every day of our life has been written by the hand of the Living God and we trust Him with our whole hearts. All that we have belongs to our Lord and is under His authority.

We stand on this truth- our Lord Jesus has disarmed the rulers and authorities, those supernatural forces of evil operating against us, and Jesus Christ made a public example of them- exhibiting them as captives in His victory procession, having triumphed over them through the cross.

We take up the weapons Jesus has given us- they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We will demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

The keys of absolute control and victory over death and of Hades is in the hands of our Lord Jesus Christ. He has broken through our enemies before us, like a breakthrough of water- He is our Master of Breakthroughs. The Messiah has opened the way and goes up before us, liberating His own, and we break out after Him, passing through the gate and going out, as our King goes on before us- The Lord Jesus is at our head! We follow Him wherever He goes.


“Is not My word like fire that consumes all that cannot endure the test?” says the Lord God, “and like a hammer that breaks the most stubborn rock in pieces?”

And we declare, Yes, Lord Jesus Christ, Your word is a fire that consumers all that cannot endure the test, and Your word is a hammer that breaks the most stubborn rock in pieces.

“Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel;
I will help you,” declares the Lord, “and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.

“In fact, I have made of you a new threshing implement with sharp edges;
You will thresh the mountains and crush them,
And make the hills like chaff.

“You will winnow them, and the wind will carry them away,
And a high wind will scatter them;
But you will rejoice in the Lord,
You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.”
(Isaiah 41:14-16)

And we glory in You, Lord Jesus Christ! We shout Your praise! We cry out, we cry out, Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest, You mighty to save! Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior! He saves to the uttermost! Nothing withstands Him! He is the Lord of lords and the King of kings and we glory in Him!

Worthy is the Lamb! Worthy is the Lamb who sits on the throne, to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.

When our Lord Jesus was walking on this earth, He said to us, "Listen carefully: I have given you authority that you now possess to tread on serpents and scorpions, and the ability to exercise authority over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will in any way harm you. Nevertheless do not rejoice at this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”

And we do rejoice!

Hallelujah! Yes, praise the Lord! Sing him a new song. Sing his praises, all his people.

O Israel, rejoice in your Maker. O people of Jerusalem, exult in your King.

Praise his name with dancing, accompanied by drums and lyre.

For Jehovah enjoys his people; he will save the humble. Let his people rejoice in this honor. Let them sing for joy as they lie upon their beds.

Adore him, O his people!

And take a double-edged sword to execute his punishment upon the nations.

Bind their kings and leaders with iron chains,

and execute their sentences.

He is the glory of his people. Hallelujah! Praise him!

(Psalm 149, TLT)

Right now we declare the truth that what is bound on earth is bound in Heaven, and whatever is loosed on earth is loosed in Heaven. Your Kingdom come, Lord Jesus; Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

(----), the Lord Jesus Christ rebukes you through His Body, the Church. The Lord Jesus Christ has disarmed you through the cross and thrown you down from the places where you thought to exalt yourself against His name. The holy light of heaven shines down right into the midst of your tangle of darkness. The word of the Lord Jesus falls on this stronghold, tearing down and breaking it in pieces, this stronghold breaks into chaff before the Lord Jesus Christ and the winds of the Holy Spirit blow it away. We declare in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that you are bound in chains on earth and in heaven, for the power and the glory and the Kingdom belong to Christ Jesus.

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command (---), to withdraw entirely from this (place). Judgment has been passed on you and you have been rendered null and void by the cross. We command you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, to go out into the dry places and there await the final judgment of the Living God. This battle is already won.

Let the heavens join in praising the wonderful works of the Eternal.
    The holy ones have gathered, singing of Your faithfulness.

For there is no one above who compares to the Eternal,
    not one of heaven’s creatures is like Him in the least.

In the council of holy ones, God is lifted high and feared;
    His presence overwhelms all who are near Him.

O Eternal God, Commander of heaven’s armies,
    who is mighty like You?
You are completely faithful; that’s why we trust You.

The ocean waters are at Your command.
    When violent waves rise up, You still them.

You defeated Rahab, that ancient monster of chaos,
    and left it lifeless.
    You routed Your enemies and scattered them by Your great arm of power.

Everything in the sky above and the earth below are Yours.
    The world and all it contains are Yours, for You created them all.

Everything was created by You—the north, the south—
    the mountains of Tabor and Hermon echo joyously the song of Your name.

Your arm is strong.
    Your grip is powerful.
    Your right hand is raised up high.

Your rule is rooted deeply in justice and righteousness—
    unfailing love and truth lead from the way ahead of You.

How happy are those who have learned how to praise You;
    those who journey through life by the light of Your face.

Every hour of the day, they rejoice at the sound of Your name.
    They are lifted up and encouraged by Your righteousness.

For You are the beauty of their strength.
    On account of Your favor, our strength, our horn, is increased.

For our shield of protection comes from the Eternal,
    and the Holy One of Israel has given us our King.
(Psalm 89:5-18)

Now we with these delivered we will a new song to You, Lord Jesus-

We will sing to You-

Others had ruled over us,
You, Lord Jesus, have brought them all to ruin.
They lie helpless in the dust, lifeless, without hands or feet or mouth.
Just as the idol fell on its face before the ark of the Lord,
so anything that exalts itself against the Living God
must fall down under the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The mountain that was lifted up against the Lord Jesus
has been made chaff before His face, which shines brighter than the sun.

All that were incensed against us are as nothing,
as a nonexistent thing.
Even the memory of them is taken from us,
because You have won the victory for us, Lord Jesus.

Lord Jesus, You will not let us be put to shame!

No one who looks to You will ever be ashamed:

Everyone who looks to You, Lord Jesus, will be radiant with joy
because of the perfect beauty of Your faithfulness and redemption.
All thanks to You, Heavenly Father, for sending the Son!

We are looking to You with no shadow of shame and radiant with joy,
because You have sat down at the right hand of Abba.
All authority and dominion to You, Lamb of God!

We are looking to You with no shadow of shame and radiant with joy,
because of the glory of God radiating from Your face.
All honor and praise to You, Incarnate Light of God!

We are looking to You with no shadow of shame and radiant with joy,
Because Your face is shining in our hearts, unveiled, as we behold You there.
All trust and adoration to You, indwelling Holy Spirit of God!

Beholding You, we are passing from glory to glory, growing into Your likeness.
Praise and honor and glory be to the Living God-
because You have sent Your Son that we might be redeemed by His blood,
brought back into the image of His Father and our Father, His God and our God.

Your words, Lord Jesus, You are laying up living in our hearts,
because You are writing them there Yourself,
building up and hallowing Your holy dwelling place within us.
Beloved Jesus, You live in us and we in You,
that we might be with You now
and always,
that we might reverence and adore and obey You,
together made a living city for Your dwelling place, made for Your glory.

Receive the glory, Lord, receive the praise, receive all that You are worth.

In Your name we pray, Lord Jesus. So be it.