Sunday, September 24, 2017

Prayer Warrior: Praying Your Way To Victory - Session 9 Engage In The War Knowing Time Is Short

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.

In the last couple of months in this study we’ve talked about a lot of things:

We started by recognizing that we are in a war.  A spiritual war against Satan and all his forces.  It doesn’t matter if we believe in Satan or not, or believe that we are in a war or not, or believe that we have an enemy or not. Once you make your confession of faith and are baptised by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ you immediately become an enemy of Satan and subject to attack.  That also makes you a prayer warrior like it or not.  Of course we are to pray for ourselves but as prayer warriors we are to pray for the world.  That includes believers, unbelievers the entire creation against God’s enemy.  We have talked about who the true enemy is.  It’s not other people or nations although they are used by our true enemy who is Satan.  He is God’s enemy which makes him our enemy.  We also know that our true enemies are spiritual.  

Isaiah 14:12-15 (NKJV)12  "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!13  For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north;14  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.'
They use people and material things but they are spirits.  

Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)12  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

We talked about the authority that we have in prayer.

The basis for our authority in prayer is that Jesus gave it to  us.

John 16:23-24 (NKJV)23  And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.24  Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

2 Corinthians 13:3-4 (NKJV)3  since you seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you.4  For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.  

So we don’t have to depend on our own strength or authority it’s really all on Jesus’ shoulders.

We have to make sure that we stay in condition to fight.  We said, last week, we have God’s armor  and weapons all of which are spiritual, as are our ememies.   

Ephesians 6:10-18 (NKJV)10  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.11  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.12  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.13  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.14  Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,15  and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;16  above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;18  praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints--

2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (NKJV)4  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,5  casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,6  and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

The weapons we talked about last week are; God’s word, worship, grace, prayer with fasting, faith, and prayer alone.  

None of the things we have talked about this entire study matter if we are not willing to engage the enemy.  This is from our book on page 103.

Engage” means to pledge. To promise. To give an oath. To pledge one’s word to assume an obligation. To enter into conflict. It also means to bring troops into conflict. “Engage” means choosing to involve oneself or commit oneself to something. It means you have pledged to be involved in entering into conflict. It means you recognize that a war is going on and you understand God is calling you to pray.
For us as prayer warriors, “engage” means to pledge to God that you are choosing to oppose the plans of the enemy by praying for God’s will to be done on earth.

We shouldn’t be afraid to engage because as we’ve seen we have authority, armor, and weapons, and if we’ve trained in their use we are more than a match for the enemy.  If we use our weapons which are powered by God’s word what happens?  The enemy will flee.

Matthew 4:10-11 (NKJV)10  Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.' "11  Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

James 4:7 (NKJV)7  Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

We can look at those who in the past who have engage the enemy, some even having lost their lives, but have continued to fight the enemy. Look at the heros of faith in Hebrews 11.

Stormie makes a very good point beginning on page 104.  We can’t always be putting out fires.  We must become proactive.  We must pray prayers of protection from the enemy for ourselves, our families, and all the people whom God puts on our heart. But first we have to deliberately engage in the war.

Engage Because You Don’t Know All That Your Prayers May Accomplish

We talked about this in our last study “Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference”.  The author constantly encouraged us to pray even when things didn’t appear to be changing or that our praying made any difference.   We pray for peace in the world, and there is no peace, we pray for healing for friends and family and they don’t recover, we pray that hurricanes don’t hit or that earthquakes don’t happen but they do.  But Jesus taught us that we should still pray and pray that God’s will be done, and then don’t question or complain when His will is done.  But perhaps the most important thing is that through prayer our focus changes.  Remember what we said in our last study?  When we pray the view changes from our view to God’s view.  Things may not change but we change.

Stormie give the example about the Berlin Wall.   Our last author gives the example of the fall of the Soviet Union, and apartheid in South Africa.   People prayed for years and nothing happened then one day those prayers were answered.  The point is we may never know what our prayers accomplish, but we never stop praying.

Here’s what Stormie says on page 106;

You might think there is no immediate benefit to you if you are praying for other people or situations in other places, but that’s not true. As long as you are praying, you are receiving blessings from God that might not be there if you were not praying.  First of all, you are drawing close to God, and that is always a good thing. Being with the Lord is a reward in itself. I know you are not praying just to get something out of it, or hesitating to pray because you think there is nothing in it for you, but some people do think that way. We think we are sacrificing for the Lord by praying, but we are the biggest benefactors of all. We can be in a group praying for other people and nothing for ourselves, and we will walk away fully blessed by God. Not only are our prayers accomplishing much for others, but for ourselves as well—more than we even realize.

Engage Because You Serve God

When we talked about worship being a weapon, last week, we said that worship wasn’t about us it’s about God.  Our complete focus is on Him when we worship.  Our engagement in prayer doesn’t have to be perfect.  We’ve talked about that in our studies this year too.  Prayer is communication with God where we are and in whatever mood we’re in.  We realize that He is the only one that has permanent solutions to the world’s problems and our enemies tactics, and we serve Him.

Engagement and prayer are constant even when we don’t see the results.  Engagement is both persistent and specific.  The scripture that Stormie uses is

1 Corinthians 15:58 (NKJV)58  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

We don’t need to talk about persistence  today because we’ve talked about it a lot this year.  There are the two parables about persistence. The one about the woman who kept bugging the judge, the other about the man asking a neighbor to give him some bread so he could feed his guest.  We talked about Jesus three times asking God to take the cup of suffering from Him.  We know that Jesus said

Matthew 7:7 (NKJV)7  "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Here’s what Stormie says on page 107;

Whenever you pray for your own needs and the things heaviest on your heart, ask God to show you what else He wants you to pray for right then. God will show you by bringing a person, a people group, or a situation to your mind. He will reveal to you His heart for a person or situation. The Holy Spirit in you will help you to pray, and you will feel a passion about it—even moved to tears if it involves the suffering of others. You may be sensing the grief the Lord has over the situation, or you may be actually feeling that person’s pain. You will know when God is calling you to pray for something or someone in a profound way because of that passion you feel while you are praying.

In our last study we talked about creating a “God space” and stopping time and that when we did this we would often have the same kind of experience that Stormie had about praying for a young man and his mother.  

Her conclusions were

1. God hears your prayers.
2. God is answering in His way and His time.

Engage Because You Know the Time Is Short

With all the things that are going on today a lot of people believe that Jesus’ return is imminent.  That may or may not be true.  Much of what’s happening appears to be fulfillment of prophecy, signaling the tribulation and Christ’s return.  I’m not sure that you can make identical comparisons to the specific things happening although I do believe that we are living in the last days.  I just don’t know and am unwilling to say that those days are going to end soon.  Many people say that the position of Virgo, the sun, moon, and Jupiter were foretold in Revelations 12:1 and that yesterday started the final countdown.

Revelation 12:1-2 (NKJV)1  Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars.2  Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.  
In my opinion, in order to believe that you have to stretch the imagination to the breaking point.    

Back to my point.   I do believe that we are in the last days, and if we are then our emphasis should not be on ourselves because we’re good.  We should be concerned about those not saved.  We, just like God, should not want anybody to perish.  

2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV)9  The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

No matter who they are or how they have treated us.  That’s hard to do so we must rely on the Holy Spirit to help us do that.  We have to rely on His praying for and through us.

Romans 8:26 (NKJV)26  Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

We have to realize, as Stormie reminds us, that those people aren’t the enemy, Satan and his army of demons and evil are.  As she says on page 110;

Otherwise, we are battling people in another political party. People of another race or social level. Or the boss at work. Or the unpleasant neighbor nextdoor. Or the coworker from hell whom you have to deal with every day. If we start fighting with them, it not only exhausts us but doesn’t accomplish anything. If we are battling people instead of the forces of darkness, then we are only defeating ourselves.

Engage Because You Are Engaged

When I first looked at this section title I said that doesn’t make any sense however when I read it again it makes perfect sense.  In other words we don’t have time to spend with anyone other than our Savior.  We don’t have time to be concerned with the world’s issues, only our interceding for the world, but when we’re doing that we are talking to God who we are, in a sense engaged to.  Because of our relationship with him our focus is on Him which is worship, and worship is a spiritual weapon.

We can pray alone, and we should all have our own personal time with God when it’s just the two of you in your “God space”.  But there is a lot of power when we pray with others who are engaged to God.  Here’s what Stormie writes on page 111.

Jesus said you can pray alone—just you and Him in private devotion. Or you can pray with another person—a prayer partner. Jesus said, “If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:19). Or you can pray with two or more people—a prayer group. Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). No other grounds are needed for praying with other people. The unity of believers praying together has power because of the presence of Jesus and the assurance of answered prayer.
When you pray with someone else, the Holy Spirit in you is connected with the Holy Spirit in them and your prayers are powerful because of it.


LORD, help me to engage with You in prayer every day in a powerful and effective way.
I want to see Your will done on the earth, so I choose to engage in this war against our enemy. I commit to hear Your call to pray for people and situations as You lead me.
     Thank You that You have given me protective armor, powerful weapons, and the promise that You are always with me. Help me to “cast off the works of darkness” and “put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12). I know time is growing short because the enemy knows he has only a short time left to accomplish his evil plans. I know that as the time gets closer to Your return, the enemy wants as many hearts and minds sold out to him as he can get. Help me to always keep that in mind so that no matter what is happening in me, around me, or in the world, I am praying for Your will to be done.
     I am grateful to be part of Your great army of prayer warriors who have heard Your call to pray and are listening every day for Your instructions. I am excited to see what all You will do through our prayers. Help me to not sit in judgment on my prayers for Your answers. I commit to simply praying and leaving the answer in Your hands to accomplish in Your way, in Your time, and according to Your will. I want to serve You and Your plans because I love You and am grateful to You for all You’ve done for me and will do in the future.
Help me to stand strong in the simplicity that is in Christ. Teach me to identify true spiritual power and not feigned spirituality. Help me to not succumb to spiritual or theological quarreling with people because Your Word says it is never productive.  Enable me to always hear Your call to pray. Give me Your heart for people and the struggles they are in. Help me to pray right on target every time. I engage in the spiritual war because I am engaged completely with You and want to serve You well.
In Jesus’ name I pray.
Rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earthand the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knowsthat he has a short time.  REVELATION 12:12

Bible Study Audio

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