Sunday, October 15, 2017

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

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.

This will be the last week of this study, but I encourage you to read and then pray the prayers that Stormie gives us in chapter 12 of the book.  She titles that chapter “Pray the Prayers Every Prayer Warrior Must Know”.  I looked at the list of prayers and they cover almost every area of spiritual warfare.  I for one am going to read them and pray then whenever I run into one of the enemy’s tactics that fit that prayer.  Here’s the list:

  1. Prayer for a Covering of Protection
  2. Prayer for Deliverance from Evil.
  3. Prayer for Healing
  4. Prayer for Personal Guidance and Direction
  5. Prayer for Provision
  6. Prayer for Victory over Enemy Attack
  7. Prayer for the Hearts of Children
  8. Prayer for a Safe Place and an End to Violence
  9. Prayer for an End of Confusion
  10. Prayer for Freedom from Enemy Harassment
  11. Prayer for Your Leaders
  12. Prayer for Others to be Saved
  13. Prayer for Racial Unity
  14. Prayer for Exaltation of God
  15. Prayer for Those Who Suffer Persecution
  16. Prayer for a Clean Heart and Humble Spirit
  17. Prayer for the Strength of the Battle
  18. Prayer for Peace in Relationships
  19. Prayer for Deliverance and Freedom
  20. Prayer for Serious Situations in the World

Throughout the study we’ve talked about how to be the most effective prayer warrior that we can be.    We started this study by recognizing that we are in a war.  A spiritual war against Satan and all his forces.  We talked about the authority that we have in prayer.  We have to make sure that we stay in condition to fight.  We have God’s armor  and weapons.   We have to be willing to engage the enemy any and every where.  We talked about the immediate battlefields, relationships, work, finances, family, and health, with  the biggest and most important battlefield and the one we must prevail in, the battlefield of the mind because all the other battlefields come from that one.  Finally last week we discussed how to stop the enemy from harassing us by resisting him through submitting to God.

  • Resist the Enemy by Rejecting Pride
  • Resist the Enemy by Refusing Fear
  • Resist the Enemy by Praying for Miracles
  • Resist the Enemy by Not Giving Up
  • Resist the Enemy by Refusing to Be Discontent
  • Resist the Enemy by Remembering the Truth

And Remembering these things

  • Remember this: God loves you more than you know and has a wonderful plan for your life. When you follow Him completely and surrender your life to Him, He enables you to become all He created you to be.
  • Remember this: The enemy hates you and despises all that God wants to do in your life. He has a plan for your life too, and that is to control you for his purposes and destroy you. He will do all he can to make that happen through his lies and deception.
  • Remember this: God has given you dominion power on the earth for His purposes.
  • Remember this: The enemy wants that power for himself for his own purposes.
  • Remember this: God wants to use you to accomplish His will and glorify Him, while blessing you atthe same time.
  • Remember this: The enemy wants to use your life to glorify himself and destroy you in the process.
  • Remember this: God has given you a free will, and He waits each day for you to invite Him to work powerfully in your life.
  • Remember this: The enemy doesn’t wait to be invited. He will work in your life unless he is stopped.  He wants you to reject God and open up to him instead.
  • Remember this: It is impossible for God to lie. God only speaks the truth, and He gives us His Word on that.
  • Remember this: The enemy is the father of all lies. He controls people by enticing them to believe the lies he tells them.

Now in our final session we talk about something that we talked about in our last study “Prayer:  Does It Make Any Difference”, and that is  that prayer allow us to change the view from ours to God’s.  Stormie calls it changing our perspective.

Rather than looking at things from our perspective we should pray that God gives us His perspective into the things we are praying about.  We have realize how small we are and how big God is, and how short our time of existence is compared to eternity.   
Psalm 90:2 (NLT)2  Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are God.
Psalm 39:4 (HCSB)4  “LORD, reveal to me the end of my life and the number of my days. Let me know how short-lived I am.
James 4:13-14 (HCSB)13  Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.”14  You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are ⌊like⌋ smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes.
1 Peter 1:24 (HCSB)24  For All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like a flower of the grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls,
When Job was having his trouble and wanted to question God here’ the answer he got;
Job 38:1-11 (HCSB)1  Then the LORD answered Job from the whirlwind. He said:2  Who is this who obscures ⌊My⌋ counsel with ignorant words?3  Get ready to answer Me like a man; when I question you, you will inform Me.4  Where were you when I established the earth? Tell ⌊Me⌋, if you have understanding.5  Who fixed its dimensions? Certainly you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?6  What supports its foundations? Or who laid its cornerstone7  while the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?8  Who enclosed the sea behind doors when it burst from the womb,9  when I made the clouds its garment and thick darkness its blanket,10  when I determined its boundaries and put ⌊its⌋ bars and doors in place,11  when I declared: “You may come this far, but no farther; your proud waves stop here”?
We are really not in control of the world God is.  We are not really in control of our futures, God is.  The only response to our problems or our condition is to be still and turn them over to God.
When we pray either alone or with others we need to be aware of God’s urging us to pray for specific things or specific people.  Now let’s be careful and ask for discernment because if we are praying in a group God won’t tell only one and keep it a secret from the others.  The example in Stormie’s book is a good one.

When they were praying for their friend and Stormie got an urge to go to the hospital the others agreed right away.  In other words they were on one accord.  Some other things happened during that time, like her being led to remove the flowers.  Similar things may happen in our experiences but we must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit.   Make sure it’s the Holy Spirit and not you.   

God wants us to see things from His perspective so we need to ask Him to show us that perspective which is revealed through His word and by the Spirit.  

When we things from God’s perspective it helps to not become frustrated or angry with God and His timing.  And when our prayers aren’t answered the way we expect, it helps us to trust without hesitation that God knows what He is doing far better than we know how we think things should be done.

We can’t dictate to God as to if or how He will answer prayer.  Here’s what Stormie says “Thank God that He is not limited by what we think or imagine.  When we are attacked by the enemy and we see nothing but disaster in the situation, we have to remember that the solution may be far beyond what we can envision.

God wants us to always keep eternity in mind, because that is His perspective.  When we do, it helps us to understand that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans8:18).

Understanding that changes our perspective on everything.

That’s why when our prayers are not answered the way we hoped they would be, we cannot question it. We must always keep in mind that He is God and we are not. That is definitely His perspective and it must be ours as well. God is not a genie we can command. Not even close.
So even if we pray for a sick believer, for example, and that person not only does not recover, but dies, we must ask God to help us see the situation from His perspective.

Here's something that I read yesterday about spiritual eyesight.

Scripture: “We look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18

We have been trained through the prideful perspective of many that we are only to look to and believe that which we can see and physically experience here on earth. We’re told that there couldn’t possibly be more to life than what we’ve seen because the unseen can’t be experienced in the physical. What a self-centered perspective! Why do we have to know and be able to presently experience all there is in order for it to be real? Why are we, with our limited capacities, the ultimate judge in the debate of what is real and important? In Ephesians 1:18-20, Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus praying,

Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places.

“Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened . . . .” What does it mean for our hearts to have eyes? And what does it mean for those eyes to be enlightened? The truth is that all of us are given spiritual eyes. All of us know and experience things that can’t be physically seen. We’ve all received and given some type of love. We’ve all had an intuition or belief that couldn’t be physically proven. And as believers, we’ve been filled with the Holy Spirit who longs to guide us to a perspective that far exceeds the span of this world.

2 Corinthians 4:18 says, “We look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” Our Savior is calling us to a life lived for that which is unseen: the eternal. He is calling us out of the cycle of worldly pursuit into a greater calling of eternal significance. To live for heaven is to cast off that which is fleeting and temporary and seek that which can only be found with our heavenly Father.

From God’s Perspective, We Can See a Second Chance for Greatness
Photo credit:  Pastor Oliver Williams,
Pastor at Newness of Life Outreach Center

Stormie’s example, David, was given a second, third, fourth, and even more chances.  “King David, who got off the path God had for him and into as much sin and trouble as anyone could—with adultery, deception, and murder on his record knew that he had been given chance after chance.  That’s why he said, “You who have done great things; O God, who is like You? You, who have shown me great and severe  troubles, shall revive me again, and bring me up again from the depths of the earth. You shall increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side” (Psalm 71:19-21).
If God can do that for David, who after all that he had done, called him a man after His own heart,  He can do that for you.”  What we have to remember is that

We can’t and shouldn’t discount our pasts because they did happen, but we shouldn’t let it define our future.  Our past isn’t us.  We should ask God to forgive for our past sins and then walk in that forgiveness.  We have to believe what it says in

1 John 1:9 (NKJV) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We have to seek God for our future.  We should seek Him in every major move in our lives.  

Proverbs 3:5 (NKJV) Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;

Proverbs 19:21 (NKJV)  There are many plans in a man's heart, Nevertheless the LORD'S counsel--that will stand.  

James 4:13-17 (NKJV)13  Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit";14  whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.15  Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that."16  But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.17  Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Stormie gives the story of Lot after he left Abraham.  She says that Lot made his decision on selecting to go to Gomorrah without seeking God and we all know the end result.  He had to leave Gomorrah in a hurry, lost his wife, ended up impregnating his daughters who ended up having children whose  descendants became enemies of Abraham's descendants.

The oldest daughter bore a son named Moab—who became father of the Moabites. The youngest daughter bore a son name Ben-Ammi—who became the father of the Ammonites. The origin of the Moabites and Ammonites—enemies of God’s people—began with Lot’s daughters committing incest with their father in order to have children. There is no limit to how low people can get who do not seek God. (It all started with Lot not seeking direction from God.  See the story of Lot in the book of Genesis, chapters 13–19.)

Then there’s the story about her family’s move to Tennessee that was made after much prayer.  

“So we moved to Tennessee without selling the California house—a very scary thing todo—and just a few months afterward our house was destroyed in the Northridge earthquakeof 1994. My family and I were stunned with what would probably have happened to ushad we stayed in California. We have never forgotten how we listened to God and wereblessed for it. Because the house had not sold, we lost a lot of money on it, in spite of having earthquake insurance, which we found out only pays for what the house is worth at the time of the earthquake. (My advice is to buy a strong magnifying glass in order to read fine print before you sign any contract.) Nevertheless, we were grateful to be alive and thankful we had taken out all of our furniture and possessions before it was destroyed.”

Then there’s the story about the may who got the job that he prayer for then after getting an offer from another company didn’t seek God, took the second job and then ended up without a job at all.  The point being consult God before any major decision.  We can be fooled by the enemy or by the next shiny object.  

“When we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, we end up in a place of safety and blessing. When we insist on our own way—an opportunistic way of life causing us to grab what appears to be the greatest perceived opportunity for ourselves instead of what God is leading us to do—we don’t get to experience God’s best. We must be able to see things from God’s perspective. And that takes asking God to show us the truth of a situation from His standpoint.” - Stormie

From God’s Perspective, We See the Importance of Our Prayers

Here’s what Stormie says

“In order to see anything from God’s perspective we have to be a part of His kingdom and a prayer warrior for the kingdom and anchored in the Word from which our weapons originate.   Stormie points out that we should be encouraged by the promise in the Word that says we reap what we sow.

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (Galatians 6:7-8).

She’s talking specifically about prayer so that we don’t become discouraged.  If you plant or reap you, or somebody will eventually sow, but with God we can’t but a method or timetable on it.  

We shouldn’t become discouraged when you don’t see the results you want right away. You are on God’s timetable; He is not on yours. He guarantees that you will reap a harvest. He didn't say exactly how long it would take. If we keep on with great faith, spending our life sowing seeds in prayer, we are sure to reap the harvest according to what we have shown.
In certain cases we may not see the harvest from the seeds of prayer we have planted in our lifetime, but because our prayers don’t die, their effect will continue on after we have gone to be with the Lord.  There is not a timer on our prayer that causes them to be ineffective after a certain amount of time has passed. There’s no time limit like on a sale.  
Every time you pray, a seed is planted so don’t get frustrated when you don't see an answer right away.  Don’t assume that God won’t answer.  In fact we are to keep seeking, asking, and knocking until God either answers or says stop.  

“Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:9-10). One of the good things we can do is to pray.

We can even ask God to show us His purpose.  Pray that God will give you insight into His Word every time you read it. Pray that the Holy Spirit will continually enlighten your understanding. Ask God to help you understand His calling on your life and to give you a vision of what He wants to do. You need that. If you don’t ask God to help you see things from His perspective, there will be times when you may not understand how to pray at all.”

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.

From God’s Perspective, We Understand the Last Days and Why We Should Pray During Them

“In the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.  And from such people turn away!” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

Paul said that in the end-time people will turn away from the truth. “They will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers” (2 Timothy 4:3).

But just because it has been foretold in the Bible that the days will be evil and people will do terrible things doesn’t mean we don’t pray about it. We must continue to pray for our children, our family members, and the people God puts on our heart.  We must pray more than ever that believers will be protected and not swept up in such evil things.

Don’t just read newspapers or nightly news programs on TV that tell you only what they want you to know. You are not getting the full picture from any of them. Only God can show you the whole picture because it can only be accurately seen from His perspective. He knows the beginning and the end and everything in between.

Stormie give the example of Elisha's servant when he thought that they were going to be captured by the Syrian army, from 2 Kings 6.  

2 Kings 6:8-18 (NKJV)8  Now the king of Syria was making war against Israel; and he consulted with his servants, saying, "My camp will be in such and such a place."9  And the man of God sent to the king of Israel, saying, "Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are coming down there."10  Then the king of Israel sent someone to the place of which the man of God had told him. Thus he warned him, and he was watchful there, not just once or twice.11  Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was greatly troubled by this thing; and he called his servants and said to them, "Will you not show me which of us is for the king of Israel?"12  And one of his servants said, "None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom."13  So he said, "Go and see where he is, that I may send and get him." And it was told him, saying, "Surely he is in Dothan."14  Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city.15  And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?"16  So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them."17  And Elisha prayed, and said, "LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.18  So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, and said, "Strike this people, I pray, with blindness." And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.

Pray for your eyes to be open to the truth in every situation and reveal the strategies of the enemy. Pray to be able to see into the invisible spiritual realm. We want our spiritual eyes to be opened when we are praying for people or situations. We need to know when something bad happens if it is an attack of the enemy or the result of corrupt seeds sown in the flesh.

Then she talks about the protection that we get from angels.  When prayer warriors pray, angels help us in our battle against the enemy.

Hebrews 1:14 (NKJV)14  Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?

From God’s Perspective, We See the Right Thing to Do

Sometimes God will call on  us to pray or do something that doesn’t make sense to us.  Just like God’s telling Noah to build a boat in a place where there was no water.  He obeyed and  because he did it he saved his family.   

Ask God for His perspective when you are praying for others.

Your prayers can open doors for someone’s salvation into God’s kingdom for eternity.  Your prayers can save countless people from suffering and disaster, including yourself and your loved ones. Your prayers may save lives that would otherwise be destroyed, or prevent terrible things from happening that the enemy has planned.  Your prayers are vital. Every prayer can save a life, change a life, spare a life,  or redeem a life.

Remember the examples from our last study of people praying for year is the Soviet Union

God wants us to walk closely with Him in prayer. He wants us to worship Him and praise His name. We are a royal priesthood, which means we are kings and priests (Revelation 1:5-6). And we not only walk with Him in His “marvelous light,” but we go to war with Him and for Him against the forces of darkness. We believers are a holy nation formed from every nation and race of all who believe in Jesus. We are “His own special people” who are “the called” who are to proclaim praise to Him wherever we are and wherever we go. It is an honor and a privilege.
God sees all that you do. He sees how you pray. He sees your heart for Him and others.  “God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister” (Hebrews 6:10). We cannot lose heart because we see horrible things that will happen in the end-time. We must keep praying as faithful prayer warriors in God’s army. “We desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:11-12). “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
Jesus knows the enemy. He understands the battle. Because He has overcome, so will we.

Bible Study Audio

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