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I received permission from Jon Graf to post the daily Connection! prayer devotions on Pray.Network.  These devotions are available as a free e-mail subscription from the Harvest Prayer Ministries website at http://connection.harvestprayer.com/.

I have found these devotionals to be not only inspirational but also great equipping for my own prayer life.  There aren't many devotionals that are actually about prayer - most have a quick prayer at the end and that's about it.  But this one has prayer as its focus.  I thought others on the Network might be interested in it.  I will attempt to post each one daily - although I'll inevitably miss here and there. 

I have previously written a Spotlight blog post on the Connection! devotional; if you're interested, check it out here: http://www.pray.network/profiles/blogs/praynetwork-spotlight-connec....

I hope you enjoy and benefit from this devotional as much as I have.

--Andrew

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Oct. 28: Delightful Insight

“I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.  I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word” (Psalm 119:115-116).

One of the obvious benefits of meditating on God’s Word is the way it expands our understanding and awe of Him.

God promises success to Joshua if he would meditate day and night on the book of the Law. “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” (Joshua 1:8).

The psalmist says wisdom comes from meditating on God’s Word. “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me” (Psalm 119:97–98). The psalmist also says that insight comes from meditating on God’s Word. “I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes” (Psalm 119:99). (Notice that it does not say that we will be more knowledgeable or smarter than our teachers but that we will simply have more insight.)

David says that we will prosper. “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers” (Psalm 1:2–3).

Father, I want to be like the tree planted by streams of water!  Give me the desire to discipline myself each day to meditate upon Your Word so that I may gain insight from Your perspective.  I long for the wisdom that comes from meditating upon Your Word!  Help me to be careful to be and do what You have written, as Jesus modeled for me. 

Prayer Points

Praise the sovereign one who works out everything for his own ends (Prov. 16:4). Thank God for determining your steps (16:9). Confess any area where you may be doubting that his leading is best. “Commit to the LORD whatever you [are planning to] do,” knowing that then “your plans will succeed” (16:3). Ask the Lord to alter any plans that are not fully in line with his best.

Pray that Christians’ generosity will shine beautifully in the darkness of our materialistic culture. Ask God to draw many through this light to exchange their trinkets for his true treasure.

Adapted from The Path toward Passion: Nine Disciplines that Connect Your Heart to God’s by Dean Trune.

Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend

Oct. 29: Praying in the Moment

“They said to Samuel, ‘Do not stop crying out to the Lord our God for us, that he may rescue us from the hand of the Philistines’” (1 Samuel 7:8).

When a friend confides in you that he and his wife have been doing quite a bit of arguing lately, don’t just offer him the latest Christian book on marriage.  Volunteer to pray for him.  When your neighbor whispers to you that she’s headed to the doctor tomorrow because of a suspicious lump in her breast, don’t just say, “I hope it turns out okay.”  Offer to pray for her.  When a work associate complains about being stressed out by everything that’s got to get done, don’t just commiserate by reciting your own “to do” list.  Pose the question: “Would you mind if I pray for you?  I’ve found that asking God for help does wonders for me.  Let me pray for you.”

Ninety-nine percent of the times that I offer to pray for people (which I’m doing more and more these days), they give me the green light to go ahead.  Christians and unbelievers alike!

Lord, You are active all around me, and so often I miss opportunities to bring the needs of others before You.  Give me boldness to offer to pray for those who confide their struggles to me; not tomorrow or the next day, but on the spot!  Don’t let me waste those holy moments when I am able to touch heaven on behalf of someone who asks!  Let me be an encourager and a conduit of Your power so that no one who comes to me asking for prayer goes away without being lifted up before You! 

Prayer Points

Praise God for his faithfulness (2 Cor. 1:18). Give thanks that “no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ” (1:20). Confess any reluctance to trust God. Commit to consciously remembering that God has “anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come” (1:21-22). Ask him to lead you in celebrating this faithfulness in worship.

Pray for the actions and attitudes of God’s people as they go out into your community to impact the unsaved. Ask God to use the faithfulness of his people to draw many to himself.

Adapted from Prayer Coach by James L. Nicodem.

Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend

Oct. 30: Encounter with a Holy God

“‘Do not come any closer,’ God said.  ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground’” (Exodus 3:5).

Often many have missed the purpose and essence of prayer. Prayer is not a time in which we come to receive something from God. Prayer is an encounter with a holy God. It is coming into His presence—entering into fellowship and a relationship with Him. It is the means by which we get to know Him. Out of the personal, intimate knowledge of God the victory of Jesus flows through us and into the world around us.

Moses was brought to this knowledge of God in the second period in his life. After He encountered God on Mount Horeb he was never the same. He no longer carried an ordinary rod—he carried the rod of God. He did not act with might and military strategy, but he acted with God’s power and wisdom. His confidence was no longer in himself but in the God He encountered on the mountain. The victory and deliverance of the nation of Israel came as a direct result of meeting with God.

Father, when I encounter You, I am always changed!  Remind me that the victory of Jesus flows through me into the world around me because of my friendship with You.  Give me the confidence Moses had after he met you on the mountain, so that I might be salt and light to others. 

Prayer Points

Praise “the God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever” (2 Cor. 11:31). Thank him for giving you spiritual leaders, past and present, who have led you in walking with God. Confess times of veering away on ungodly sidetracks. Commit yourself to following leaders who truly follow Christ, and ask God to use you as a godly leader for someone else.

Pray by name for those called to be the spiritual leaders in the households of your family and friends. Ask God’s Spirit to prompt them to the diligence such a great responsibility requires.

Adapted from The Prayer Factor by Sammy Tippit. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend

Oct. 31: A Thankful Friend of God

Consider this verse carefully: “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.  Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).

Now ask for the kingdom to come in your life—for a richer, closer friendship with God, even while you sort through what tasks need to be done today to help you earn a living.

Take some time today to just “be” before God. Praise Him. Specifically remember the good things that He has done for us—in biblical history through His birth, His life and teaching, His death and resurrection, and in your life through how He has worked with you. Thank God that you are friends with Him, and that the whole point of His coming was to make us His friends. Thank Him that any tasks that God assigns will only make us closer to Him. End by remembering that eternal life is to know Him.

Glorious God, I give You thanks for allowing me to be a friend and for showing me that sending Jesus was they key to this intimate relationship with You.  May I prayerfully submit myself to You daily…not for the purpose of “doing” anything, but simply to “be” in Your Presence, getting to know You more and more.  

Prayer Points

Praise Jesus Christ, the Lord, the image of God (2 Cor. 4:4-5). Thank God for making “his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (4:6). Confess times of disinterest in knowing God fully. Commit yourself to thinking daily about him and his glory. Ask God to make his light shine more fully in your heart.

Pray for God to shine through you to your family and friends, even though they know you well enough to see your weaknesses. Thank God that this shows even more clearly that the power is from him rather than you (4:7).

Adapted from Power Praying: Hearing Jesus’ Spirit by Praying Jesus’ Prayer by David Chotka. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend

Nov. 01: Bitterness Leads to Ineffective Praying

“Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times’” (Matthew 18:22).

There are two poisonous and deadly attitudes that the Christian can harbor: guilt and bitterness. Guilt is the result of our failure; however, bitterness is much more subtle. Bitterness is the result of the actions and words of someone who has failed us. Guilt is the result of our wrong, but bitterness is the result of someone else’s wrong.

The man of prayer must deal with both deadly sins. Both are opposed to the throne of heaven. And grace cannot flow into the heart that acts on the principle of performance.

In Matthew 18:22–35 Jesus explains the principle of grace and forgiveness. In His parable there were two slaves. Although the first slave owed his master approximately $10 million, the master forgave the first slave his debt. The first slave then found his fellow slave, who owed him approximately one day’s wages. The first slave refused to live by grace and would not forgive his fellow slave of his debt. When the master heard that the original slave was no longer living by grace, he turned the slave over to the tormentors.

The master in Jesus’ parable represents God. God is a God of grace, and He is willing to forgive. The follower of Jesus is like the first slave. He has been graced by God—forgiven a debt that would be impossible to repay. When the follower of Jesus refuses to forgive his brother in Christ, however, he ceases to live by grace. His heart is tormented. The tormentor many times is called “bitterness.”

Bitterness is evil and destructive. It has caused many murders and wars. It has broken marriages and divided churches. Bitterness has separated the believer from the power of God. True power is not in Moscow or the White House; true power is in the throne room of heaven. And God’s throne is a throne of grace. Bitterness cannot walk into the presence of grace. Consequently, bitterness renders the prayer life of the disciple ineffective.

Father of Grace, how easily I forget what You have done for me on the cross! My flesh is so weak when it comes to those who have damaged me. Sometimes I even feel that I deserve to be bitter towards certain people, but You call me to quick and complete forgiveness. Give me strength to be unoffendable, and to love those who fail me. Fill my heart with compassion and not wrath. Make me quick to be a grace-filled light in my family, my church and my community.

Prayer Points

Praise the meek and gentle Christ, who has power to demolish strongholds (2 Cor. 10:1, 4). Thank God for his truth and power, which are so different from the world’s. Confess times of placing ultimate reliance in mere human resources. Commit to putting your confidence and pride in the Lord (10:17). Ask God to guide you to live in such a way that you receive his commendation, no matter what the world says (10:18).

Pray for your households to be founded upon the principles of God rather than the mere “wisdom” of this world. Ask God to guide and protect your home with his truth.

–Adapted from The Prayer Factor by Sammy Tippit.  This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Nov. 02: Our Prayers…His Authority!

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come” (Ephesians 1:18-21).

Our prayers of intercession are integrally related to Jesus’ intercession. When we pray in His name we join Christ in His high priestly ministry, because to pray in His name is to pray as though Christ himself prayed. We are so united with Him in prayer that He prays in and through us, and we pray in and through Him. Christ authorizes His disciples on earth to represent Him, to be in a place for Him. He wants us to see things the way He sees them, to want what He wants, to love what He loves, and to do what He does— and out of that frame of reference to ask what He would ask. Such prayers will always relate in some way to the King’s interests and desires. If our prayers miss the target, Christ will revise them and make them acceptable to the Father.

When we partner with the interceding Christ who is “seated at his [the Father’s] right hand . . . far above all rule and authority, power and dominion” (Ephesians 1:20–21) we are also sharing in His authority. Our prayers get tied to His authority. This means that God having “raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 2:6) allows us to pray with power, and promises to crush Satan under our feet, as we share in the authority of His throne. What a place! What a power! And all because our lives and our prayers are linked with the one who is the ultimate intercessor.

Lord God Almighty, please turn my selfishness into yieldedness so that my prayers will be aligned with Your desires and purposes. Help me to grasp that prayer is not about my own comfort and wants, but about Your kingdom.  Because I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms, I am able to pray with Your power. Because of Your authority, I am able to defeat the enemy! For this I give You highest praise! Thank You Father!

Prayer Points

Praise the sovereign God who opens doors for the gospel of Christ (2 Cor.2:12). Thank God for leading you “in triumphal procession in Christ” and using you to spread “the fragrance of the knowledge of him” (2:14). Confess any lack of desire to be part of this procession. Commit to joining this great procession, and ask God to use you to bring “the knowledge of him” to your areas of influence.

Pray for those for whom “the aroma of Christ” in the “triumphal procession” is “the smell of death,” asking God to work his grace into their hearts to change it to “the fragrance of life” (2:14-17).

–Adapted from Praying God’s Heart (Prayers that Make a Difference) by Alvin VanderGriend. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Nov. 04: Centered in the Will of God

James 4:3 says, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” Prayer should submit our lives to the lordship of Christ. How then can we bring our own selfish desires and activities to God’s throne and expect His blessing?

One of our greatest problems is that we have a generation of self-seeking, manipulative Christians. We have learned the methods of the world and tried to mingle them with the method of God. Many well-meaning believers initiate an idea or ministry without consulting the Father. Mass marketing techniques and appeals for funds are used to launch ministries. Things often go well until we reach the limits of human ability. Then we begin to pray fervently for God’s assistance.

But God refuses to answer. He had nothing to do with our self-motivated and self-initiated prayer in the beginning and He has nothing to do with it now. The windows of heaven are only open to prayer that is centered in the will of God rather than the will of man.

In his book, The Root of the Righteous, A.W. Tozer says, “If I mingle some pet religious enterprise of mine with the will of God and come to think of them as one, I can be hindered in my religious life.” Effective prayer discovers the will of God and passionately pursues it. Anything that would direct us away from His plans and maneuver us in the direction of our own ways will hinder our intimacy with God.

Lord, how often I strive to achieve spiritual results with human ability before seeking Your assistance! Change my mindset and the longing of my heart to be a willing listener so that You are able to guide and direct my thoughts and actions to focus on Your kingdom. How You must grieve when I go my own way in my own strength. Forgive me, Father. Start fresh with me from this moment as I allow Your Holy Spirit to lead me towards whatever will bring You the most glory in and through my life.

Prayer Points

Praise God, who “is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Cor. 9:8). Thank God for his abundant grace to you. Confess times of hoarding God’s resources, as if his loving supply for you were not continuous. Commit to being “generous on every occasion,” asking that such “generosity will result in thanksgiving to God” (9:11).

Praise God for believers who have “rich generosity,” at times giving even beyond their normal ability in self-sacrificing love. Thank him especially for those who give themselves first to the Lord and then to each other, and ask that such generosity be multiplied in many others (2 Cor. 8:1-5).

–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 37, Hindrances to Effective Prayer by Sammy Tippit). This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Nov. 05: Pray without Anxiety

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).

In Philippians 4:6, Paul warns us not to pray anxiety-ridden, worry-filled prayers because worry is calling into question God’s integrity. It’s questioning whether or not God means what He’s promised; or whether or not He can do what He says. Instead, we are to pray faith-filled prayers, and make our petitions (requests of God), with thanksgiving.

Gratitude and anxiety cannot coexist. One will always displace the other. An anxious person is double-minded. He believes in prayer, and believes that God answers prayer, but he’s just not certain he can trust God to answer his prayer. Prayer with thanksgiving is an expression of our faith. Praise in prayer is the door that allows thanksgiving and faith to meet.

Merciful Father, I don’t want to be a double-minded believer! You have shown me over and over again that You are trustworthy and still I struggle with doubt. My heart desires to be filled with gratitude and not anxiety! Fill me with faith to believe that You will do what You say You will do. Help me to pray faith-filled prayers and to make my requests with joy and thanksgiving as I trust You to answer.

Prayer Points

Praise God for his Word that is so available for meaningful worship. Give thanks for the power to minister in God’s name (Lk. 9:1-3). Confess those times when you neglect God’s Word or fail to spend daily time with him (Lk. 18:1). Commit yourself to teaching, fellowship, and prayer (Acts 2:42). Ask God to bless you and to “enlarge [your] territory” with his power, presence, and protection (1 Chron. 4:10).

Pray that God will increase your faith through corporate worship. Ask that your pastor not compromise God’s Word, even though methods of communicating that Word may change.

Prayer Pointer

“Prayer is striking the winning blow; service is gathering up the results. You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.” —S. D. Gordon

–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 39, The Secret of Single-Minded Prayer by Eddie Smith). This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Nov. 06: True Believers are Forgivers

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Ephesians 1:7).

I have heard Christians say, “I cannot forgive. You don’t understand the depth of hurt that was inflicted upon me.” I must disagree. A true believer can forgive. It is the ability to forgive that distinguishes the Christian from the world.

We must understand the depth of the hurt that we have inflicted upon the heart of God. It was neither Jews nor Roman soldiers that kept Jesus on that cross; He could have called ten legions of angels to rescue Him. It was our sins. Think of the horribleness of that statement. The pure, perfect, altogether lovely Son of God was kept on that cruel cross by our rebellion. Yet the Father looks at us and says, “Forgiven.” The grace of God is marvelous!

Lord, the depth of Your grace is beyond my comprehension! Show me how to be an instrument of that grace as I refuse to be offended by anyone who causes me pain or hurt. Allow me to be a healer, a reconciler and a forgiver. Never let me forget the horrendous price You paid so that I could have eternal life in Christ. The fact that You have forgiven me for the sin that placed Jesus on the cross overwhelms me, and compels me to forgive others. 

Prayer Points

Praise God that he is coming with the clouds and every eye shall see him (Rev. 1:7). Give thanks that you have a personal relationship with God and will be with him for all eternity (1 Cor. 15:51-52). Confess your clinging to a sinful deed or habit that needs to be overcome. Commit yourself to being on guard and standing firm in your faith (Eph. 6:13-18). Ask God to hold that vision of glory before you, restraining you from strong attachment to earthly possessions.

Ask that you never be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ for it is the power of God for salvation (Rom. 1:16). Share that salvation today with a non-Christian.

Prayer Pointer

“If I commit myself for the day to the Lord Jesus, then I may rest assured that it is his eternal, almighty power which has taken me under its protection and which will accomplish everything for me.” —Andrew Murray

–Adapted from The Prayer Factor by Sammy Tippit. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Nov. 07: The Spirit, Our Indwelling Intercessor

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” (Romans 8:26).

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayer and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).

One of the keys to a powerful intercessory prayer life is praying “in the Spirit.” Dutch Sheets states boldly, “Without any doubt the greatest single key to successful intercession is learning to cooperate with the Holy Spirit, allowing him to be all he was sent to be in us.” Happily, the Holy Spirit is both willing and able to give us the prayer help that we need. But we do have to learn to cooperate with Him.

Having acknowledged that “we do not know what we are to pray,” Paul asserts that “the Spirit helps us in our weakness.” The weakness of which he speaks is a weakness in prayer. The Greek word for weakness (asthenes) is literally “strength-less.” In calling our prayer lives strength-less, Paul is not referring to an occasional glitch in our praying but an underlying disability. When it comes to prayer we are all disabled.

We know intuitively that Paul’s assertion about our weak prayer lives is true. I don’t think that I have ever met another Christian who didn’t think his or her prayer life needed to be improved. But the question remains, how? There are so many distractions, and there is so little time in our busy schedules. Nothing is easier to neglect. The truth is we cannot develop a meaningful prayer life in our own strength. God must be in it, and He is ready and willing to help.

The Father is in the prayer-assistance business. He has appointed His Son, Jesus, to be our enthroned prayer assistant, and His Holy Spirit to be our indwelling prayer assistant. The Son does His assisting at the Father’s right hand. The Spirit does His assisting from His place within our hearts. The Spirit is able to more than make up for what is lacking in our prayer lives. He is the all-sufficient helper. He knows all about us and all about prayer. He has the power to compensate for our weaknesses and the wisdom to enhance our prayer lives. And He wants to help us be strong in prayer. It’s to God’s advantage as well as our own.

Holy Spirit, You are very near and present within me. You know the heart of the Father and desire to walk alongside of me as I intercede before the throne of grace. Thank You for strengthening my prayer life as I look to You for help rather than relying upon my own effort. Show me how to cooperate with You to bring people and situations to God the Father in the Name of Jesus, the Son, so that His desires are brought about upon this earth.

Prayer Points

Praise God that he is the Chief Shepherd, preparing for you the crown of glory that will not fade (1 Pet. 5:4). Thank him for leading you like a shepherd to well-watered gardens. Confess those times you stray like a lost sheep and forget God’s commands (Ps. 119:176). Commit your life to doing what is pleasing to God (Heb. 13:20-21). Ask him to help you recognize false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ferocious wolves (Mt. 7:15).

Many have family members who are like sheep without a shepherd (Mt. 9:36). Pray that God will use you as a shepherd in some way today.

–Adapted from Praying God’s Heart (Prayers that Make a Difference) by Alvin VanderGriend. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Nov. 08: Send Jesus to the Door

Early in my Christian life I had the privilege of listening to Oswald J. Smith. He told a story of a girl who was converted under his ministry. He asked the young girl what she was going to do when the devil came to knock at the door of her heart. The girl thought for a moment and with a smile replied, “I guess I’ll just have to send Jesus to the door.”

That girl knew the secret of the Christian battle.  A good disciple needs to simply put on Jesus and stand firm in Him. The victory is the Lord’s! The enemy and all of the demons of hell have to flee in the face of Jesus. He is the conquering Captain.

There is one important factor that we must realize. Almost all of the armor that Jesus’ disciples clothe themselves with is defensive in nature. Although Jesus wants His people to be protected from the enemy, He also desires us to be on the offensive. He wants believers to tear down the strongholds of Satan and capture the hearts of those that have been enslaved by him.

Jesus has given believers one piece of equipment that is powerful for tearing down the strongholds of the enemy: the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. This sword can pierce the most hardened heart and bring liberty and freedom from the bondage of sin.

There is one important fact, however, that we, as disciples, must never forget. The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit. It is not the sword of human flesh and effort. It can only be properly used in battle by the Holy Spirit. Many have been turned further away from the gospel by someone who tried to browbeat them into the kingdom with his Bible. Others have been gently led to receive eternal life by properly using the sword, the Word of God.

Only the Holy Spirit can properly utilize Scripture. He knows the deep needs of every captive. The only question to be resolved is this: How do disciples place their lives under the control of the Holy Spirit so that God can use them effectively in the offensive battle?

We are told what to do in Ephesians 6:18 once we are clothed with all of our armor and hold the sword in our hands: “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.” Prayer places disciples at God’s disposal. The greatest power that we have in this battle is made available to us through prayer.

Loving Father, thank You for the protective armor You have designed so that I can protect myself from the attacks of the enemy! As I clothe myself with this amazing armor, I am also clothing myself with Jesus Christ, who is my salvation, my righteousness, the Truth, and the Good News! Thank You also for the Sword of the Spirit, Your powerful Word, with which I can go on the offensive against Satan, who desires to destroy my witness for the sake of Your kingdom.

Prayer Points

Praise God for his command to serve him faithfully with all your heart, considering what great things he has done for you (1 Sam. 12:24). Thank God for the greatest of all gifts, salvation in Jesus Christ (Jn. 3:16). Confess your lack of faith as you attempt to flee from God in the midst of trying circumstances (1 Kings 19). Commit yourself to growing in the knowledge and grace of God, giving him the glory (2 Pet. 3:18). Ask God to show you daily how your faith is a Fantastic Adventure In Trusting Him.

Pray that joy and gladness may be found throughout God’s kingdom, with thanksgiving and songs of gladness for God’s faithfulness to all generations (Isa. 51:11).

–Adapted from The Prayer Factor by Sammy Tippit. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Nov. 09: God Desires Your Intercession

One of the areas that I believe is least understood by Christians is the partnership that God has called us to with Himself in prayer. God, in His wisdom and sovereign power, has chosen to accomplish His will on this planet through the prayers of His people. God has decided not to arbitrarily move in and out of situations on earth, even though He is able to do just that. Instead, He waits on His people to pray and then pours out His power in response to those prayers.

Ezekiel 22:30 is a passage of Scripture that illustrates this principle of how the Lord works. “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.” God uses the illustration of a walled city to demonstrate His commitment to prayer. The walls protect a city from enemy attack. But through neglect (sin), the walls can begin to crumble and a gap or opening in the wall can create a dangerous situation where the enemy can come in. God said of Israel in Ezekiel’s day, that they had allowed such a situation to develop. It was going to result in the destruction of the land, unless someone stood before the Lord in the gap on behalf of the land. This is a clear picture of God’s desire for us to engage in intercessory prayer.

What is absolutely heartbreaking is that God Himself was looking for an intercessor. He was looking for someone who would stand before Him in prayer on behalf of Israel so that He would not have to destroy her because of sin and rebellion. God’s desire is made clear here. He did not want to destroy Israel. He was waiting for an intercessor so He wouldn’t have to. God had chosen to reserve His power to save the nation of Israel for those who prayed. But no intercessor was to be found. Israel was defeated by the Babylonians and her people were in exile for 70 years.

Loving Father, I know there are many times I should intercede on behalf of others, but I neglect the assignment in favor of other activity or pursuits. Forgive my prayerlessness, and give me a fresh resolve to stand in the gap on behalf of the people and situations that You place upon my heart. May I never neglect an opportunity to be Your instrument of prayer. 

Prayer Points

Praise God that he speaks in ways that even the lonely, anguished, and defeated can understand (2 Cor. 1:3-4). Give thanks that all things are possible in God (Mt. 19:26). Confess the many times you are tempted to work things out yourself, or are enmeshed in self-pity (Rom. 8:28). Commit to God all who are defeated and lonely. Ask God to help you remember that all you do is to be done in the name of Jesus, giving thanks and glory to him (Col. 3:17).

Pray that God will give your church a heart for reaching the nations of the world for Christ, through encouragement of missionaries, through giving, and through prayers.

–Adapted from the article Partnering with God in Prayer by David Butts, co-author of Pray Like the King: Lessons from the Prayers of Israel’s Kings. This book is available at prayershop.org.Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

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