Learn to get in touch with silence within yourself, and know that everything in this life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.— Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
With the current devastating events that occurred in Paris this past week, nearly everyone on social media shared hashtags to #Pray4Paris. I wondered how do I even begin to pray, where do I even start, as my heart was so broken at the loss of so many innocent people, as well as the heartache of my Parisian friends because of this malevolent tragedy. Immediately the movie ‘War Room’ came to mind. I remembered the movie to be an excellent pictorial that speaks to the strength and power of prayer. After viewing it, I was greatly encouraged by it. It taught me how to pray and reminded me to keep pressing in with faith no matter what the circumstances look like!
There were scenes I clearly identified with in the movie that reminded me when I too first started getting serious with God: when the protagonist went into the prayer closet to pray and found herself either falling asleep, eating or becoming distracted. Guilty!
How should you pray?
As a novice Christian there would be times I prepared myself to pray, sat in a room and my mind started wandering, I got bored easily, and lastly, I felt like I did not know how to even start praying. This made me wonder how many others are going through this dilemma today.
When most people think about prayer, they may think about a scheduled time to talk to God, praying within the confines of their home, a house prayer meeting or prayer night at their local church.
In hindsight I too thought I needed to make time for God on a specific day, at a specific hour or pretty much only when I was going through something.
I would hear pastors, family and friends retort, “pray about it!” when trying times came. I Never quite fully grasped if I were praying correctly, was unsure if my prayers would be answered or was uncertain of how long to pray.
After many years of being a Christian I’ve learned a lot, have grown exponentially, and have learned how to perfect my prayer life.
We may think we know how to pray, but are we really utilizing (exploring ) the full magnitude of prayer? Which also includes waiting to hear from God.
Let’s examine the full gamut of a powerful prayer life. Firstly, prayer doesn’t just involve you talking to God and waiting aimlessly for an answer from Him or just waiting for a problem to be solved, but prayer is reciprocal. It’s giving and receiving; giving time to God whilst receiving and doggedly believing His promises found in His word. Receiving, in faith and hope, His leading, direction, and guidance. I have created the following list of what a well-rounded prayer life looks like:
1. Praying doctrinal prayers
That means praying God’s word (the bible) back to Him. Memorizing scripture and reciting aloud the promises God tells us in His word. Doctrinal prayers tells God that you believe His word and are standing firm on it until what you are praying for comes to pass. Moreover, it syncopates in the spirit realm that you know what the word of God says and you have hidden it in your heart. It is your spiritual sword. When the devil attacks you, you pull out your weapon and immediately go to war, as opposed to having to look for a verse while the devil is gaining precious ground. That’s why it is of utmost importance to memorize scripture. In these days and times you never know if you may find yourself in a precarious situation with no access to a Bible.
2. Pray wherever you are, at any time of the day
You don’t have to wait until you get home or set aside a time to pray, or wait a week to pray with your church! No! Seize the hour! Feeling overwhelmed at work? Step into the bathroom and pray! Faced with anxiety or stress on the job? Pray at your desk, take a minute to pray. Instead of taking a lunch break with coworkers which oftentimes entails being an ear to gossip, separate yourself and pray for that hour! Stuck in traffic? It’s a perfect time to pray! Maybe if more people took the time to pray in their cars we’d have less road rage. Treated rudely by a store clerk? Discipline yourself to pray before you react! I love the verse. “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). The Father is telling us, be indwelled with my love, peace, security; He’s telling us to shut out worldly chatter and reach in to Him; anytime and in whatever situation we are going through. He’s available around the clock. Amen! No matter how small or how big your need is.
3. Don’t pray in unbelief
As a neophyte, whenever I endured a painful situation I would shut down. I was so weak, distraught, knocked down, I could hardly utter a word out of my mouth. Slowly, I got to where I could pray for 5,10 minutes then eventually as I kept going, I was able to pray a little bit more. I had gone through so many bad things in my life, when I could pray, I prayed out of desperation. Quite frankly, not even believing what I was praying for and demanding God–while feeling helpless–to do this, or to do that. Telling Him He owed me for such a difficult life! Wow! Most sadly, I was praying in anger and unforgiveness. Beloved, we have to release these things and come before God with a pure heart. We have to wait on God’s timing, trust that the situation will work out in the best interest for us, and not judge by what we see. Lastly, forgive anyone who has offended you. Only then can you be assured your prayers are reaching the throne room! Amen!
4. Pray in faith
The Bible says faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen, Hebrews 11:6. It takes a lot of courage to hope for something when you are in the middle of a terrible situation and can’t possibly see a way out that will end good. But the good news is–you ready?–you need to go through some bad things in order to perfect your faith and to stretch your faith. It is not something that can be taught; but practiced. The more things you go through, the more you begin to see how God delivers you out of them all! It is building your warfare muscles! So each forthcoming obstacle becomes a little easier to believe God for deliverance. You won’t be as frightened as you used to be when problems arise. You won’t worry and fear as much as you used to. But, it will definitely be a challenge! That’s why it’s of utmost importance to replace your words with God’s words, replace your thoughts with His thoughts. This will greatly encourage your faith.
5. Command your future
The Bible says that death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21).When the devil attacks our mind with fear, worry and lies, we have to learn not to accept it as truth. No, we have to refute the enemies’ lies. We have to speak back to the devil and reiterate to him what God’s word says is true, not the contrary! Moreover, we have to prophesy over our own future! We have to learn to speak into existence the things that we want to happen in our lives and pray for God’s will regarding it! As opposed to speaking negatively, degrading ourselves or our family members or children; no matter how bad we think they are, we must prophesy over their lives with positive words. When you use epithets towards and talk down to your children, spouse or family member when they do something wrong, you are speaking a curse over them that will eventually manifest! Learn to speak life over every situation in your life!
6. Command joy, peace and love
One day after I finished praying, a gloominess came over me. I couldn’t shake the feeling and was really bothered that I had just prayed and felt as if a cloud were hanging over my head. So I started asking God what’s going on, I just prayed why am I feeling like this? So out of frustration I just started speaking over my life and commanding whatever that feeling was to leave! On my way out of the house I kept demanding the feeling to go, singing in the spirit and calling forth joy, peace and tranquillity to surround me! I thought, how many times are we attacked mentally and accept this feeling as we go about our day and tell others, “I’m in a bad mood,” or I’m not feeling my best,” when asked. No! Command your happiness! Don’t let the devil oppress you when you have a Loving Father who has already defeated satan and has passed on to you his inheritance of abundant joy and happiness! His inheritance of victory, power, and the ability to conquer any enemy that attacks you. I’ve learned that when I’m feeling sad or downtrodden, not to settle for that feeling, but change my spiritual atmosphere by simply confessing life out of my mouth! I then saw how God changed my prayer language from desperation to prophesying over my life!
7. Encourage yourself
I hate to say it, but the road on this Christian journey can be very lonely at times. You’re not always gonna have people who are happy for you, happy for your success, cheering you on and excited about your progress. More, there will be times when you need encouragement and no one will be there! Sometimes people will be just busy with their own life. Other times God will use this isolation to teach you to depend totally on Him. Moreover, We have to learn how to stop depending on people when we need to be encouraged, but depend on God to uplift your mood. He will always be there when no one else is.
8. Create and compile a prayer list/vision board
A prayer list entails writing down a list of people to pray for or things that you would like to happen or come to pass in your life, then praying over it daily. Whether it’s people in your inner circle or people you feel led to pray for or pressing situations in your life that you really need to hear from God. Likewise, a vision board goes one step further. The term vision board has become very popular as of late. It is simply creating a visual board of reference, kind of like a powerpoint presentation at an office meeting. It is a visual compilation of words, pictures, and ideas. People cut out quotes, affirmative statements, or pictures out of magazines, news papers etc. and paste it onto a board. It is their visual story board that chronicles their future dreams and goals.
It is of utmost importance to fast in desperate times of need; times when you need an answer, a breakthrough, healing or direction. I have found that when I had a pressing situation or needed direction on which way to go, when I fasted God always gave me the answer via a dream, sermon, person or made it clearly stand out to me in the Bible!
When I take notice of my prayer language, it often sounds like this: God please! God I need! God won’t you! God could you! God, help me! It’s I, I, I, I, I ! It’s like children, not fully grasping the concept of hard work and appreciation, but always asking their parents to buy them things.
One day when I went to pray yet again for that problem, I just felt so guilty of this behavior that I just started worshipping God. Even though my heart was heavy, I had just started thanking Him for what He had already done for me. I think that’s why God doesn’t sometimes immediately answer prayer, oh how forgetful we are and take his blessings for granted. Sometimes as humans we take, take, take. To have a balanced, healthy relationship, it involves giving, thanking and appreciation. We have to begin to thank God for His many blessings and deliverance in our lives. We have to thank Him for our health, strength and mobility, among many other ways He’s blessing us. We have to tell God that we appreciate Him and what He has done and is doing in our lives. Thank Him for being a true and living God whom we have the benefit of being able to talk to on a daily basis! Thank Him for being our friend!
Beloved, to fully grasp this type of prayer life, it may take many years. I’m still trying to discipline myself in some of these areas.
I had been wanting to go to Thailand since forever! I can remember as a child, it seemed as if every product, toy or candy was labeled, made in Thailand. I envisioned a tropical island with colorful flowers, sandy beaches, and people lounging on hammocks all day, sipping fruity drinks out of coconuts. Thailand…it sounded so exotic! And, it was very fascinating to me that these products came all the way from across the world to my local stores.
Fast forward to now as an adult. Because of the foodie in me, and a penchant to try foods from different countries, I was reacquainted with Thailand. The first Thai dish I tried is still my favorite: Pad Thai! It was love at first bite! Moreover, Thailand has become quite the popular tourist destination in recent years. Many of my friends have made the trek some 8,000 miles or so across the world, and they’ve all come back telling me how fun, lively and exciting it was! Not to mention all the shopping they’d done and all the great deals they found at rocket bottom prices! It’s settled, I’m going one day, I quipped!
A few years later, the time, or shall I say times came, but both trips fell through. Quite disappointed, I thought Ok, am I ever going to get to go to Thailand. While complaining to God over the mishaps, a thought came to me, did you ask God should you go. What? Ask God? As a Christian, it didn’t even dawn on me to ask God should I take a trip. I’m so used to taking off and running when I make a decision about something, without first ensuring if it is God’s will. I was then reminded of the Buddhist culture there and the many temples and idol worship in Thailand.
When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it. And she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out of the window. (2 Kings 9:30 ESV)
Whether we care to admit it or not Kim Kardashian is an outwardly beautiful woman. It seems at the bat of her alluring eyelash the world is under her seductive spell.
In this season, Kim Kardashian’s name is on everyone’s lips and her brand is ubiquitous. I never really paid attention to all the hoopla surrounding her. Then, all of a sudden Ms. Kimberly’s world came crashing into mine! Everywhere I went family, friends, co-worker’s were all watching and talking about her reality show.
So I started to wonder just what is this Kardashian business all about? At one viewing I found myself laughing hysterically at the family’s antics while simultaneously disturbed by the common use of epithets. But, nonetheless I continued watching. It had become a guilty pleasure! I must admit I felt convicted watching it. After about the fourth viewing I had a reality check! I had to ask myself: as a person wanting to know God’s heart more intimately does this show’s values line up with my spiritual walk? Does its message correlate with what the word of God says on how to conduct one’s self: Christ being the head of our life
(1Corinthians 11:3), not worshipping idols (Colossians 3:5), abstaining from premarital sex (Heb 13:4), not lusting after material things (1John 2:16), not lusting after money (1Tim 6:10)? The answer was an astounding no!
Most reality shows deem to portray power, overt sexuality, and covetousness as the status quo, as the worldly trinkets to strive for, while subsconsciously seducing with its superflous, extravagance, and materialism. Its objective to mirror greed, violence, and immorality as common place to a naive viewing audience; ‘this is what the American dream is’, it taunts! It beguiles to make one accept its behavior as normalcy, slowly desensitizing the masses against the very values Christ died for!
Jezebel is a spirit of seduction, sexuality, lust and greed! (Revelation 2:20-23). It looks beautiful and inviting but is inwardly wicked and evil! It lures you in, bates you with its power and worldly riches, then devours you! So many souls are lost each day trying to attain this false image presented before them. More and more isolated incidents are making headline news of people embezzling money, committing suicide, murder, Ponzi schemes trying to bite into the proverbial carrot the devil keeps dangling in front of them.
This spirit seeks to seduce, entice, and brainwash. Anything that is an impasse, it seeks to annihilate; anything unlike itself–just like the priestess Jezebel! In the book of 2 Kings she sent out a decree to kill Elijah:
Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” (1Kings 19:2)
Because Elijah killed her prophets who were practicing evil, Jezebel sent out a decree to kill Elijah. Elijah represents Godliness, discipline, holiness. This Jezebel spirit hates righteousness, purity, and integrity.
The Jezebel spirit is particularily rampant in the entertainment industry. This demonic spirit seeks to spiritually demolish those who live for truth, righteousness, vitrue, and morality with spirits of impurity, violence, profanity, and fornication in this generation. The hunt for Elijah is very meticulous yet subtle. This Jezebel spirit is very daunting, imposing, and seducing. Really, just turn on the TV it’s there! It seeks to manipulate and restructure our thinking with excuses such as:
“this is the times we live in, or this is normal,” but in actuality the metaphor I like to use is it’s like a winding, choking, anaconda, slowly enrapturing and swirling around its victim until it goes in for the kill!
Reality TV is only one of the many new millennium tools Jezebel is using to spread her mayhem. As a Christian young woman I am appalled to turn on the TV and see grown women fist fighting and using such obscene language. It saddends me even further that as a daugter, sister, and aunt that most of the female reality shows are laden with violence, sex, and hatred towards one another. Is this really the legacy we have to leave for the next generation? Women that’s made up to look like over sexed, money hungry, street walkers? With no substance and dignity. Revelation 17 calls her the great prostitute, sexually immoral, full of blasphemous names. And most importantly, Revelation 17:6 goes on to say she is drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus!!!
Beloved, we are Elijah! We have to wake up! Jezebel is after us, our children, our families! She wants to kill us! She wants to murder our seed of greatness! We have to fight back! Starting with ourselves, monitor what we are allowing into our spirit: what we are reading, listening to and watching on TV, most importantly; the media and images in the entertainment industry we are allowing our children to ingest into their spirit. Take a stand! Boycott the programs in your home that have no moral value or integrity. Wage a war against Jezebel! Don’t allow her to demoralize your spirit. Pray dilligently and ask God to kill the Jezebel in your life.
In the beginning of this post I opened with the verse referencing Jehu. Jehu was the physical manifestation of Elijah’s prophecy from God of Jezebel’s death.
2 Kings 9:30-37
When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it. And she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out of the window. And as Jehu entered the gate, she said, “Is it peace, you Zimri, murderer of your master?” And he lifted up his face to the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three eunuchs looked out at him.
He said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down. And some of her blood spattered on the wall and on the horses, and they trampled on her. Then he went in and ate and drank. And he said, “See now to this cursed woman and bury her, for she is a king’s daughter.” But when they went to bury her, they found no more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands. When they came back and told him, he said, “This is the word of the Lord, which he spoke by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, ‘In the territory of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel, and the corpse of Jezebel shall be as dung on the face of the field in the territory of Jezreel, so that no one can say, This is Jezebel.’
If you are living according to the mandates of the Holy Bible and are being persecuted it’s because you are an effective witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. Contrarily, if you are sitting comfortable in the Lord satan doesn’t want to bother you. He see’s you sitting perched high on your religious chair–not ministering to anybody, not praying…let alone praying for anybody else, not reading your Bible, not serving in a ministry. Your ministry is your lip service, “God is good all the time!” Or, “I’m blessed, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost!” Oh, satan’s going to leave that one alone. When you are complacent you are doing his work for him, matter-of-fact he’s going to pamper you, make every thing go right for you, and build you up in false pride. He’s going to get you real comfortable so he can get you to a place of compromise. He whets your appetite by dangling the worldly carrot in front of your eyes, “sure, you can still have, fame, fortune, material prosperity, act like the world, dress like the world, talk like the world, watch what the world watches, party, drink, smoke, have sex; even with somebody’s else’s husband or wife and then tell yourself, “we are in love.” Oh, satan will have you so comfortable in him, until you start believing his lies!!! You will begin to ration in your mind, “we get along so well, God must have put us together.” In your heart you remember the Word, but out of compromise you let satan lead you by your emotions, by your wants, lusts, and the desires of this wicked world. Slowly he’s pulling you back on his side. But you know what’s the best part about it for him? Not only has he snatched you out of God’s hands, He now has you calling yourself a “Christian,” sitting up in the church doing his will! He’s now using you as his protegé to blind, destroy, deteriorate souls that God is trying to save, by your lifestyle. They look at you and say, ‘they’re just like me; they do the same things I do, say the same things that I say, and go to the same night clubs I go to, why should I follow God’? Some others will say ok well it looks like I don’t have to give up anything to become a Christian, so “sign me up!” When you compromise you are leading souls into darkness! You are telling the world a spiritual lie that you can have the world and God at the same time!!! 2 Corinthians 6:17 warns us to,”come out from among them, and be you separate, said the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” And you wonder why you don’t have any power or authority in your Christian walk so you blaspheme the person who is on fire for the Lord. Talking about them, ridiculing them. “Oh they think they are Paul, with all of that preaching and ministering! It don’t take all of that!” You wonder why God is not using you! You become jealous of their power and try to speak against what God is doing in their life! But I tell ya, to get that power you gotta suffer, you gotta go through some things, you gotta know what it feels like to be so hungry that your stomach feels like it’s eating your insides! I tell you, you gotta know what it’s like to go in the prayer closet in the morning and don’t come out until late at night. And you’re talking about this person, “if they were living right and doing God’s will they wouldn’t be persecuted. They must not be living right because they are always going through something.” But you just don’t know God has to bring them t-h-r-o-u-g-h before they can get a BREAKTHROUGH! “They are always suffering.” That’s because they are not compromising! They are a threat to satan! They are PRAYING souls out of his hand. Their ministry is breaking the shackles of sin, loosing the bonds of wickedness, feeding the bread of life to a starving and hungry generation. And you wonder why they are being persecuted. They are a threat to the kingdom of darkness! Satan is hot on their trails because they are a formidable opponent to his kingdom. He’s trying to stop the mouth of God with attacks, tribulation, war, and suffering but the more he attacks, the more he’s helping to further spread the gospel. This Christianity was built on the blood of persecution. Need a refresher course? Read the book of Mark. God will allow it for every Christian that desires to know His will for their lives in order to establish a deeper relationship with Him. Because every time they’re attacked, guess what? It’s going to drive them to their knees to seek the heart of God. Oh but when they get back up~ Isaiah 40:31 says but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint…so satan’s attacks are only creating testimonies, bringing resistant souls to Christ by the miracles that’s being done in the spirit realm , and creating a “fire” in that person that you complain about is too zealous for the Lord. God commands us in Mark 16:16 to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Complacency should not be commonplace in the kingdom of God. If you are lukewarm I ask you to reexamine your relationship with Christ. Ask Him to give you a fresh outpouring, a new anointing of the spirit. So many people have been hurt and turned away by the so-called “church.” Beloved, there are souls that are desperate, and hungry for the pure word of God, they are seeking Christians that will walk upright, and in integrity in the things of God. They are tired of being mislead. They seek a people who will speak the truth according to the Holy Bible and live according to its doctrine. Beloved, you are the only Bible some people will ever read. Let your life serve as light on a high tower, beaming ever so brightly to those who are perishing in darkness.
By Puah NeielNagual