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Thursday, December 26, 2013

PRAY

What if we face spiritual attack when we try to increase our prayer life? In that case we need to pray. I am not sure I need to write anything else in this blog entry. The primary reason the enemy of our souls attacks when we pray is to stop us from praying. When you pray even  more you are by definition victorious.

Of course you should pray for deliverance. When you fall into sin, ask for forgiveness. When you see temptation coming pray for protection. And pray that you will not miss the growth and blessings that God has for you in the midst of a particularly painful trial.

Pray also for God to be glorified through the attack. Pray that He will be glorified as He keeps you strong. Pray that He will be glorified even in your failure.

And pray for others. Peter wrote, “Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. [1] Let spiritual attack remind you that others are under similar attack, and need your prayer.

When you find yourself under spiritual onslaught, pray.

PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!




[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (1 Pe 5:9). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

EMERSE YOURSELF IN GOD'S WORD

It is tempting to write my blog this week and next on Christmas. I thrill with all the truth brought to us at Christmas. But I have been writing the past few weeks about facing spiritual attack that comes when we try to increase our prayer life. And along with loneliness and depression this time of year, most of us face spiritual attack.

After the glorious experience of Jesus’ baptism He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting 40 days He was hungry. The tempter came to Him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” Again the enemy took Him to a high mountain and in an instant showed Him all the kingdoms of the world with all their splendor. “All this I will give you if you bow down and worship me.” Jesus answered, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” Finally he too Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple. “Throw yourself down, if you are the Son of God. For it is written that he will command his angels to lift you up lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered, “It is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Do you see the pattern? Each time Jesus was tempted He quoted scripture. David wrote, “Thy word have I hid in my heart that I may not sin against Thee.” I have often heard that hiding His word in our hearts is more than simply memorizing scripture. That is true, but memorizing is a great beginning. As we commit scripture to memory we allow the Holy Spirit to transform all of our thinking, praying and living.

Put on the armor of God’s word in your life.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

RESPONDING IN PRAYER

If you significantly increase your prayer life you will certainly come under spiritual attack. So if I am going to encourage you to pray more, I need to help you prepare for the onslaught of the evil one.

I believe one of the most important things you can do when you come under spiritual attack is praise God. It is true that you need to wake up to the reality of our enemy’s schemes. But you also need to connect with the reality of our God. Nothing focuses us on the power, glory and victory of our Lord in our lives and on the earth as swiftly or thoroughly as praise. Without it even our prayers can be filled with discouragement.
I write regularly in a prayer journal. This is often my best outlet for the frustration and fear of spiritual attack. But I discipline myself to begin every entry with praise. “Father, You are glorious! You are majestic! You are mighty! You are holy! You are God Almighty!” Such praise changes the entire perspective of my prayers. I challenge you to spend some significant time today simply praising God. He is worthy of our praise and worship. He will deliver you from the hand of the enemy.
”Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord. Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with very loud voice.”
(2 Chronicles 20:18,19)
Verse 22 tells us that when they began to praise, God began to bring about their deliverance.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

BRACE FOR ATTACK

My primary goal in this blog is to encourage you to pray and possibly to grow your prayer life. I pray that many of you who read this blog will make significant advances in the amount of time you spend in the presence of God, worshipping, petitioning and drawing nearer to God’s heart.

So what do you think will happen if you significantly increase your prayer life? This may surprise some of you. You will certainly come under spiritual attack. So if I am going to encourage you to pray more, I need to help you prepare for the onslaught of the evil one.

The first thing you need to do is brace yourself for this reality. It is like the escapes made from German Prisoner of War Camps during WWII. When prisoners managed to escape the maximum security prison camps they knew the NAZIs would go on high alert. When you break through Satan’s efforts to keep you from praying, you will face the enemy of our souls.

In the next few weeks I will give you several means of countering spiritual attack. Our Lord has not left us defenseless. But all of these defenses require us to wake up the reality of spiritual war. Satan has asked to sift you like wheat (Luke 22:31). Are you on your guard? Much victory is achieved by simply understanding that we are called into battle.