Sunday, August 27, 2017

Prayer Warrior: Praying Your Way To Victory - Session 7 - Put On Your Protective Armor Each Morning




The Church of Divine Guidance Sunday Morning Adult Bible Study Group is going through
Prayer Warrior The Power Of Praying Your Way To Victory by Stormie Omartian.  For a copy of the book, click or touch this LINK or the image, of the book at the end of the notes.

No one can sit on the sidelines today when it comes to spiritual matters. A war is going on between good and evil, and every believer is involved. For every Christian who wants a meaningful prayer life that is more than just asking for blessings.  Bestselling author Stormie Omartian shows how to pray with strength and purpose―prayers resulting in great victory, not only personally but also in advancing God's kingdom and glory.



These are my notes for the study. The audio of the study is at the end of the notes.

Soldiers for Christ - In Touch - August 14, 2017  

Soldiers for Christ

Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. - 2 Timothy 2:1‭-‬4 NLT

Today's passage is from Paul's letter to Timothy. The apostle encourages the young man—and, by extension, every believer—to face difficulty as a good soldier. The military term "soldier" implies that we are in a battle. And in fact, the combat started before Adam and Eve's lifetime.
We see the first evidence when almighty God, who had created all the celestial beings, nevertheless allowed Satan and other angels (thereafter known as "demons") to rebel against Him. They established their own kingdom and waged war with the Lord.
Later we see this strife extend to all humankind. In the Garden of Eden, Satan tempted Eve to violate God's command by eating forbidden fruit. Her disobedience corrupted mankind's innocence, and ever since, all human beings have been born with a nature bent away from the Lord—and with a profound need for a Savior.
Tempted by Satan in the wilderness, Jesus modeled how to be victorious in spiritual conflict: by means of Scripture. God's Word gives us everything we need to win—from offensive and defensive weapons to the proper perspective on our adversaries' real identity: "Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the . . . spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places"


Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.  In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.  Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. - Ephesians 6:11‭-‬17 NLT

When we see ungodliness in our society, the Enemy may at times seem to be winning. Yet we who are saved have assurance that we belong to Him who is greater—and who will have the final victory


But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception. - 1 John 4:4‭-‬6 NLT


I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 NLT


View daily battles biblically and look to God, who is mightier than all evil.


PUT ON YOUR PROTECTIVE ARMOR EACH MORNING


Before a soldier goes on duty, no matter his or her job they make sure that they have everything that need for their task.  That means the uniform for the task and all the equipment they need to take with them.  For those going into a specific battle that requires engaging the enemy directly they may actually carry everything on their person.  If that's the case you don’t want anything that weighs you down or restricts your movement.  


It’s the same with us as prayer warriors.   We must not go to battle without the things we need in order to win. Our battle is spiritual, and what we accomplish in the spirit realm is as important as what the highly trained, prepared, and equipped soldier does in the physical.  First we must put on the armor God has given us in order to stand strong against the enemy.


A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. - Ephesians 6:10‭-‬13 NLT


We are given weapons because we are supposed to use them.  The reason we must put on the whole armor of God is to withstand evil. We don’t war against people, but against a spiritual hierarchy of invisible power.


Prayer warriors need to put on the armor of God every day because the war is always going on. New battles continually need to be fought so that evil will be driven back, the kingdom of God advanced, and the will of God be done. Our spiritual armor not only protects us from the enemy, it also gives us what we need in order to push against him.


We must have the whole armor of God protecting us at all times so we can stand successfully against the enemy’s plans for not only our life, but also the lives of others.


To “stand against” literally means to stand in front of and in opposition to the forces and plans of evil. It means to be the one standing after the battle. It also means to stand in preparation for the next battle.


You need this armor to stop any onslaught of the enemy’s destructive arrows into your life and the lives of those you care about—both now and in the future.


Some people think that because Jesus accomplished everything on the cross, we don’t have to do anything at all. But if that’s true, why did Jesus teach us to pray,  “Deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13)? Why did Paul say to “pray without ceasing.   (1 Thessalonians 5:17)? Yes, the victory over evil was accomplished on the cross, but the enemy is still here. He is a defeated enemy, but he is still waging the war. We don’t want him winning any battles on our watch, especially as long as we can be part of the force God has called to stop him.


Let’s take a look at this armor.  


Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.  In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.  Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. - Ephesians 6:14‭-‬18 NLT


Paul would have watched the soldier who was always near him. He would have seen him put on his armor. The soldier put on each piece in the right order. So Paul tells his readers: Wear your armor as the soldier does.


Paul uses the Roman soldier's armor as a metaphor for our spiritual armor.   At that time the Roman army was by far the most powerful army of that time, and he relates the pieces of armor they had with what God has given us in the spirit realm.


Gird Your Waist with the Truth


Roman soldiers girded their waist with something similar to what a weight lifter wears to give him strength and support so he won’t hurt the core of his body. It enabled the soldiers to stand stronger against their enemy.


The belt is first before any of the outer pieces. The clothes underneath must first be in place. Then the soldier can put on the outer pieces. The belt will hold all the pieces together. Then the soldier will be ready for action.
We, too, need that kind of support to give us strength in our spiritual core. That means we must tightly surround ourselves with truth and not allow for anything other than the truth to enter into our thinking or situation. It means asking God to keep us undeceived so that we never allow deception to take root. Knowing the truth liberates us from all possibility of deception and illuminates any darkness in our life.
John 8:31-32 (NLT)31  Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.32  And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
     
This doesn’t mean just know about the truth. It means know it so that it becomes part of you and you live it. And it is not just any truth that sets you free. It is God’s truth. When we wrap God’s truth around us, it protects us by strengthening our core being.  Truth is can be everything that God has told us about himself and Jesus Christ.  We find that truth in His Word the Bible.
Put On the Breastplate of Righteousness (Body Armor)


A Roman soldier’s metal breastplate covered his chest and kept him from being fatally wounded in the heart. Jesus’ perfect righteousness is what covers our heart, and that is what God sees when He looks at us. But we still have to put on righteousness like a soldier puts on a bulletproof vest. That means we must choose to live God’s way. We cannot be protected if we deliberately walk outside the ways and will of God.  Our breastplate of righteousness is the righteousness of Jesus in us. It protects our heart from any mortal wounds and assures us that the enemy can never destroy us because of sin.


Now we know that we are justified or made righteous by God but we still have the choice of living righteous  
God himself puts it on us
Romans 3:21-22 (NLT)21  But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago.22  We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
It makes us right with God. It is as if we had never sinned. It is goodness on the inside of us.
The breastplate covered the body from the neck to the thighs, and consisted of two parts, one covering the front and the other the back. It was made of rings, or in the form of scales, or of plates, so fastened together that they, would be flexible, and yet guard the body from a sword, spear, or arrow. It was often formed of plates of brass, laid one upon another, like the scales of a fish.  The breast-plate defended the vital parts of the body; and the idea here may be that the integrity of life, and righteousness of character, is as necessary to defend us from the assaults of Satan, as the coat of mail was to preserve the heart from the arrows of an enemy.
Shoe Your Feet with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace


Every soldier learns to protect his feet. They have special shoes or boots for that purpose. Roman soldiers had strong military shoes studded on the bottom of the soles in a way similar to cleats. Properly shod feet can stand strong against the enemy and keep from slipping. As a prayer warrior, we need to have the foundation we walkin to be solid and protective.


The Roman soldier’s shoes were short leather boots. These would grip the ground and they would keep his feet firm on the ground. They would prevent him from falling. The idea is that we should stand firm in the war. But this is not all. We should also tell the good news to other people. Our gospel boots should be a proper fit. We fight the war. But we send out the good news about peace at the same time.  This is the good news about the peace of God. We should always be ready to tell this to other people.  The word “preparation” means that the gospel of peace has already been accomplished.  
The good news is Jesus already prepared that for us.  Having peace with God and peace in God is an unshakeable foundation from which we can defend ourselves and stay standing strong.


Romans 5:1 (NLT)1  Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.


You just have to walk in it. God has peace for us that is beyond our comprehension. It is not that we can’t imagine having peace;  it’s just that we can’t imagine having that kind of peace in the midst of the things we experience here on earth.  Jesus made it possible for us to have the peace that passes all understanding—the kind that carries us, stabilizes us, grounds us, and keeps us from slipping.


John 14:27 (NLT)  “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.


Philippians 4:7 (NLT) Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
The Apostle Peter said this too.
1 Peter 3:15 (NLT)  Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.
Take the Shield of Faith


Every soldier needs something to shield and protect him from the weapons of the enemy.  


This protects all the rest of the armor. It was a large object in the shape of a door. The Greek word for ‘shield’ is from the Greek word for ‘door’. The burning arrow would hit the shield. So the wooden shields needed a leather cover. They would also put the shields into water. Then the wet shields could put out the fire quickly.
The Romans would fix their shields together. That would make a larger wall. It would cover more soldiers. It is the same with the Christian church. Christians can join together. Then they can be safe from the attacks of the enemy.
The enemy shoots spiritual arrows and darts at us designed to pierce our heart with discouragement and make us fearful, anxious, uncertain, or incapacitated. The shield we have against these arrows of the enemy is our faith, and it is powerful protection from all that.  


How do we know our faith is strong enough to be a protective shield from the enemy?  We know because God’s Word says that it is our faith in God and His faithfulness to us that becomes a shield for us.


Genesis 15:1 (NKJV)1  After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward."


Psalm 91:4 (NKJV)  He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.


The buckler is a small shield, used mainly to deflect, trap and strike.  While it is useful for duels and small fights, it is not good for large-scale battle.  Bucklers are not good for handling arrows or other large projectiles.  These little shields were mostly carried by individuals who might have to defend themselves in day to day situations.  They were a civilian weapon. .


Psalm 84:11 (NKJV)11  For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.


When we put our faith in God and His Word, He is our shield and defense.


When the enemy comes to test your allegiance to the Lord, focus on God, His Word, and His faithfulness.  


Our faith must grow strong enough to believe for the impossible because we believe in the God of the impossible, and with Him all things are possible.  


And the angel answered and said to her, “ The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” - Luke 1:35‭-‬37 NKJV


Take the Helmet of Salvation


The helmet protects a soldier’s head.  The helmet was a cap made of thick leather, or brass, fitted to the head, and was usually crowned with a plume, or crest, as an ornament. Its use was to guard the head from a blow by a sword, or war-club, or battle-axe.


Our spiritual helmet protects our head as well.  And what does our head most need protection from? The lies of the enemy, of course.   The enemy wants to keep you from understanding—and living in—all that salvation means for you. He wants you blinded to everything Jesus died for you to have. He wants you convinced that you are worthless, rejected, weak, bad, unimportant, hopeless, and unlovable. Or if he can’t get you to think that way, he tempts you to go in the opposite direction and be full of pride. Either way, you fall.


He wants to fill our minds with feelings of guilt, helplessness, and misery. He doesn't want us to understand all that Jesus did for us on the cross because he knows when we put on that helmet of salvation and are transformed through the renewing of our mind, we will be able to see ourselves as God sees us—someone worth dying for.


Romans 8:35-39 (NLT)35  Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?36  (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”)37  No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.38  And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.39  No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.  


God loves us, but we too often see ourselves as unloved. God sees us as chosen and accepted, but we may see ourselves as rejected. God sees us from the perspective of who He created us to be, but we too often see ourselves from our limitations instead of our possibilities. The helmet of salvation gives us new perspective of ourselves that aligns with our heavenly Father’s view of us.


Romans 12:2 (NLT)2  Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.


We put on the helmet of salvation the moment we receive the Lord, but we must constantly remember what Jesus saved us for and from and who we are in Him.


Put on the helmet of salvation every day by reminding yourself of what Jesus did for you and why you now have the right to wear it as a royal crown.


Take the Sword of the Spirit, Which Is the Word of God


The ancient sword was short, and usually two-edged, and resembled very much a dagger.  The sword is the only piece of armor that they used for attack. The other pieces are for protection.
The sword was an essential part of the armor of an ancient soldier. His other weapons were the bow, the spear, or the battle-axe. But, without a sword, no soldier would have regarded himself as well armed. The word of God is itself is like a ‘sword’
Hebrews 4:12 (NLT)12  For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
The Bible is like a sword.  When we we are attacked we have to use our weapon.  A good example of this is our Lord himself.  When Jesus was baptized and led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit, Satan attacked Him again. Jesus’ weapon against him was God’s Word—which is the “sword of the Spirit.”  No spiritual battle can be fought and won without our greatest weapon—the Word of God.  
The word is a defensive as well as offensive weapon. As prayer warriors, we need both.  speak the word, pray the Word, live the Word, and let it live in you.


Pray Always with All Prayer and Supplication in the Spirit


God wants us to be persistent in our praying. That’s what it means to pray without ceasing. It is not intermittent start-and-stop-whenever-I-am-desperate kind of praying.  It is deliberate. It is with knowledge of what we are doing and why. It is not random throw-it-up-and-see-if-it-sticks kind of praying. It’s praying always, with every kind of prayer and supplication in the Spirit, which means it is Holy Spirit ignited.


Luke 11:5-10 (NLT)5  Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him,
6  ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’7  And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’8  But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.9  “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.10  For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
     
Praying always means praying through things and not giving up. It means being ever-watchful and persevering in prayer in order to see breakthrough.    It is important to pray according to the will of God.  And itis to pray with the leading of the Spirit.


1 John 5:14 (NKJV)  Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.


The way to do that is to pray with the Word of God woven into our heart and our prayers.


John 15:7 (NLT)7  But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!
Be Watchful to the End


When a soldier is on active duty, he sleeps in his battle gear.  He stays dressed in case of a surprise attack. We do the same. We don’t take our armor off when we go to bed at night. It is protecting us while we sleep. But in the morning we need to put it on fresh and new—polished, so to speak—so that we have maximum protection for the day.


Our prayers are not answered as a way of rewarding us for good behavior, like a child who is promised an ice-cream cone if he behaves in the grocery store. Our obedience to God is evidence that we are in alignment with His will. The most important thing is not to get what we want in prayer, but to accomplish what God wants. We delight ourselves in Him first. We make Him our priority and our greatest desire is to please Him.  When we delight ourselves in Him and listen for His Holy Spirit to guide us as we pray, powerful things happen. Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord , and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Psalms 37:3‭-‬4 NLT

Every Christian is in the war against *Satan. But a Christian prays not only for himself. He prays not only for his own part in the war. He prays also for the whole *church of Christ. He prays ‘for all Christians.


PRAYER FOR THE PRAYER WARRIORS
LORD, help me to put on the full spiritual armor You have provided for me so that I can stand against the wiles of the devil” every day. Show me how to gird up the core of my being with Your truth so that I don’t fall into deception of any kind. Teach me to not only know Your truth, but to live in it. Help me to put on the breastplate of righteousness that protects me from the enemy's attacks. I know it is Your righteousness in me that protects me, but I also know I must not neglect to put on Your righteousness like a bulletproof vest by doing what is right in Your eyes. Reveal to me thoughts, attitudes, and habits of my heart that are not pleasing to You. Show me what I have done, or am about to do, that does not glorify You. I want to see anything in me that violates Your high standards for my life so I can confess it, turn away from it, and be cleansed from all unrighteousness.
     
Thank You, Jesus, that I have peace beyond comprehension because of what You accomplished on the cross for me. Help me to stand secure with my feet protected by the good news that You have already prepared and secured for me. Because I have peace with You and from You, I am able to not only stand strong but to walk forward against the enemy and take back territory he has stolen from us all.
     
Thank You that You have given me faith and have grown my faith in Your Word. I don't have faith in my own faith, as if I have accomplished anything myself, but I have faith in You and Your faithfulness to me, which is a shield from the enemy’s arrows.  Just as You were Abraham’s shield and David’s shield, You are mine as well.
Thank You that even if my faith is shaky one day, Your faithfulness never is. “O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in You!” (Psalm 84:12). Help me to remember Your faithfulness at all times. You, Lord, are “my strength and my shield”; my heart trusts in You “and I am helped” (Psalm 28:7). Enable me to take up the shield of faith as constant protection from the enemy. My soul waits for You, Lord, my help and my shield (Psalm 33:20).
     
Help me to put on the helmet of salvation to protect my head and mind each day by remembering all You have saved me from, including the lies of the enemy. Enable me to remember only what You say about me and not what the enemy wants me to believe. Thank You that Your helmet of salvation protects me from warfare in my mind. Your salvation gives me everything I need in order to live successfully.
     
Help me to take up the sword of the Spirit every day, for Your Word not only protects me from the enemy, but it is my greatest weapon against him. Enable me to always pray as Your Spirit leads me, and to keep on praying as long as I should. Teach me to be the strong and unshakeable prayer warrior You want me to be so I can accomplish Your will.
     
In Jesus’ name I pray.  

The night is far spent, the day is at hand.  Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.
 ROMANS 13:12


Bible Study Audio






Sunday, August 20, 2017

Prayer Warrior: Praying Your Way To Victory - Session 6- Condition Yourself To Be All You Can Be Cont'd




The Church of Divine Guidance Sunday Morning Adult Bible Study Group is going through
Prayer Warrior The Power Of Praying Your Way To Victory by Stormie Omartian.  For a copy of the book, click or touch this LINK or the image, of the book at the end of the notes.

No one can sit on the sidelines today when it comes to spiritual matters. A war is going on between good and evil, and every believer is involved. For every Christian who wants a meaningful prayer life that is more than just asking for blessings.  Bestselling author Stormie Omartian shows how to pray with strength and purpose―prayers resulting in great victory, not only personally but also in advancing God's kingdom and glory.

These are my notes for the study. The audio of the study is at the end of the notes.


Last week in chapter 5 “Condition Yourself To Be All You Can Be” we said we need to do these things to stay in condition as prayer warriors.


  • Spend time with God in Prayer
  • Live in a way that pleases God
  • Acknowledge God’s call to holiness


This week:


Get Rid of Anything in Your Life That Is Not Glorifying to God


Things of the flesh don’t glorify God.


When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:19‭-‬21 NLT
We can further define these things, as Stormie did, as bad habits, stubbornness, inflexibility, bondage, bad influences, unhealthy practices, or possessions that are not glorifying to Him. These things can be in our lives and we don’t even recognize them.


Here is something else that she says;  “Separating ourselves from things that do not glorify God is a matter of reverencing Him. It means we have the fear of God in our heart. And having the fear of God means we know there are consequences for not having it—the greatest of which is separation from God.


The Bible says that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.  


Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.
Proverbs 9:10 NLT
No one who has felt the love,  peace, and transforming presence of God wants to ever experience any distance from Him”.


“Corruption enters in the hearts of people who have no fear of God. When people feel they don’t have to answer to God for what they do or possess, they are courting a rebellious spirit.


We see that a lot in the accounts of the Prophets in the Old Testament.


This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and stand in the gates of Jerusalem, first in the gate where the king goes in and out, and then in each of the other gates. Say to all the people, ‘Listen to this message from the Lord , you kings of Judah and all you people of Judah and everyone living in Jerusalem. This is what the Lord says: Listen to my warning! Stop carrying on your trade at Jerusalem’s gates on the Sabbath day. Do not do your work on the Sabbath, but make it a holy day. I gave this command to your ancestors, but they did not listen or obey. They stubbornly refused to pay attention or accept my discipline.
Jeremiah 17:19‭-‬23 NLT


“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another. Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor. And do not scheme against each other. “Your ancestors refused to listen to this message. They stubbornly turned away and put their fingers in their ears to keep from hearing. They made their hearts as hard as stone, so they could not hear the instructions or the messages that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies had sent them by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. That is why the Lord of Heaven’s Armies was so angry with them. “Since they refused to listen when I called to them, I would not listen when they called to me, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. As with a whirlwind, I scattered them among the distant nations, where they lived as strangers. Their land became so desolate that no one even traveled through it. They turned their pleasant land into a desert.”
Zechariah 7:9‭-‬14 NLT


There’s something in the New Testament about that too.


For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.
2 Timothy 4:3‭-‬4 NLT


If you see a Christian violating the will of God blatantly and arrogantly, you can be sure that person has shut out the voice of  Spirit to his heart a long time ago.


However, as prayer warriors,  it’s our responsibility to warn them.  


“If righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and ignore the obstacles I put in their way, they will die. And if you do not warn them, they will die in their sins. None of their righteous acts will be remembered, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. But if you warn righteous people not to sin and they listen to you and do not sin, they will live, and you will have saved yourself, too.”
Ezekiel 3:20‭-‬21 NLT


Warn, not bagger.  After the warning let God take over.  You can’t change anybody.  Jesus is the only one that can make a new creature.


“Get rid of any bad attitude, destructive habit, wrong mindset, unhealthy practice, or forbidden activity that hinders your spiritual growth and development. This is not to be legalistic. It is to be aware of the leading of the Holy Spirit as you seek His guidance. Say, “Lord, show me if there is anything in my life that should not be there, or anything that displeases You and hurts me physically, mentally, or spiritually.”  When He shows you something, ask Him to help you rid your life of everything that is not of Him”.


Refuse All Pride


Pride is the main characteristic of the enemy. That is what caused Satan’s downfall.


“How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world. For you said to yourself, ‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north. I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.’ Instead, you will be brought down to the place of the dead, down to its lowest depths.
Isaiah 14:12‭-‬15 NLT


When we fall into pride, we align ourselves with the enemy.  We must never think of ourselves as worth less than God sees us. Nor should we think of ourselves as worth more than anyone else.


Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.
Romans 12:3 NLT
Pride causes us to compare ourselves to other people when we should only compare ourselves to God’s standards.


If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.
Galatians 6:3 NLT
Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.
Proverbs 16:18 NLT


The truth is that we are not worth more because of what we do but because of what Jesus has done.
     
Ask God to reveal any pride in you. When you see it, resist it by confessing it to God and ask Him to help you get free of it.


Fulfill God’s Command to Love Others


This doesn’t mean that you have to hang with everybody, but it does mean that you must care about their welfare, not talk about them or ignore them.  Even with those of us that are the most unlovable.   We can’t change people but we can pray for them.


But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Matthew 22:34‭, ‬36‭-‬36‭, ‬38‭-‬39 NLT


So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.  Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
John 13:34‭-‬35 NLT


If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers.
1 John 4:20‭-‬21 NLT


Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord .
Romans 12:17‭-‬19 NLT


Don’t Be Careless with Your Body


Now we know that we all age and with age come some limits on what we can physically do.  We also know that because we live in a fallen world that sickness and death are facts of life.  But we shouldn't do things that we know cause sickness or break down our bodies. We know what those this are so we don’t need to talk about that today.  We need to do what we can do to protect the temple of the Holy Spirit.   


Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
1 Corinthians 3:16‭-‬17 NLT


Separate Yourself from the Ungodly


If you hang around the ungodly you can be contaminated.


This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough!
Galatians 5:9 NLT
Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord . Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you.
2 Corinthians 6:14‭, ‬17 NLT
On the other hand, while we are not of the world we are still in it.  It is our witness that the Spirit uses to convict and the bring others to Christ.


I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.  I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.  They do not belong to this world any more than I do.  Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.
John 17:14‭-‬17 NLT
Plus we have something that we are to do.


Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18‭-‬20 NLT
So while we are to separate ourselves from the ungodly, as prayer warriors we are not to forget about our orders to go witness to them.


Don’t Dwell on What You Are Not


Too many believers don’t know what God says about them. They think about what someone else has said about them, or what they keep telling themselves in all their self-criticism. Don’t let this happen to you because this is not of the Lord and it only weakens you.
     
Don’t allow the enemy to put thoughts in your head of all that you aren’t. Instead, think about what you can be. Don’t dwell on what you think you should be. Think about what God says you are.


Walk in a Way to Produce the Fruit of the Spirit


We talked earlier about being filled with the Holy Spirit and as the fruit of the Spirit grows and develops.  We become more and more conformed to the image of Christ.    


And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
Romans 8:28‭-‬29 NLT


Be Renewed in Your Mind


Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Romans 12:2 NLT
That’s pretty self explanatory, but how do you renew your mind?   How do we filter out all the negative things from our past,  and deal with all the things we are bombarded with constantly every day?


Be filled by the Holy Spirit and pray so that you can do this;


So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:25‭-‬32 NLT

Be Forgiving at All Times


In the Lord’s Prayer we ask God to forgive us just like we forgive others


and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
Matthew 6:12 NLT


Unforgiveness is a sin and if we have unconfessed sin we have a problem.


“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.  But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Matthew 6:14‭-‬15 NLT
If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
Psalms 66:18 NLT


Here’s how Stormie addresses the subject of unconfessed sin;


“It’s not that the Lord cannot hear our prayer, but He chooses not to”.


It is true that our prayers can be hindered.


In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.
1 Peter 3:7 NLT
While Peter is talking to husbands here the point is that there are some things that can hinder our prayers.


“You don’t want to hinder your prayers from being answered and stop up your life from receiving the blessings God has for you. You don’t want to be weakened in your spiritual battle. You want to be empowered by the all-powerful God you serve. Ask God to reveal any unforgiveness in you so that you can be rid of it.
     
Jesus gives us complete forgiveness for our sins, so we must lay down all guilt and receive it. Not being convinced that you are completely forgiven of your sins means you have to carry around heavy baggage of condemnation. That’s just as bad as unforgiveness  which is a heavy burden your shoulders were not built to carry. It doesn’t allow you the freedom to be the person you are called to be. Because He has forgiven you, you must forgive others.”


Watch What You Say


I don’t believe Stormie is talking only about foul language, although the Bible says don’t use it;


Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
Ephesians 4:29 NLT
She’s talking about everything that comes from you mouth.


A gossip goes around telling secrets, so don’t hang around with chatterers.
Proverbs 20:19 NLT


For I am afraid that when I come I won’t like what I find, and you won’t like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly behavior. Yes, I am afraid that when I come again, God will humble me in your presence. And I will be grieved because many of you have not given up your old sins. You have not repented of your impurity, sexual immorality, and eagerness for lustful pleasure.
2 Corinthians 12:20‭-‬21 NLT
Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you.
James 4:11 NLT


Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.
Proverbs 10:19 NLT

The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
Proverbs 18:21 NLT


There’s lots more scripture about running your mouth too much.  


I agree when Stormie says “There is a connection between what we say—whether it is evil or not—and answered prayer God hears our prayers when our words reflect His truth”.


Where is His truth?  In His Word.


Here’s Stormie’s list of the things we need to do to stay in condition as prayer warriors;


  • Spend time with God in Prayer
  • Live in a way that pleases God
  • Acknowledge God’s call to holiness
  • Get rid of anything in your life that is not glorifying to God
  • Refuse all pride
  • Fulfill God’s command to love others
  • Don’t be careless with your body
  • Separate yourself from the ungodly
  • Walk in a way to produce the fruit of the Spirit
  • Be renewed in your mind
  • Be forgiving at all times
  • Watch what you say

We must constantly train, just like any soldier, otherwise when we are attacked or sent on a mission as a prayer warrior we will not be prepared.


Paul had it right.


Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
1 Corinthians 9:24‭-‬27 NLT

Bible Study Audio







Prayer Warrior: Praying Your Way To Victory - Session 12 - See What's Happening From God Perspective

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