Understanding our Authority in Christ

“Many in the church today are being held captive spiritually, not because of the enemy’s power, but because we do not clearly understand our authority and calling in Christ…  As we begin to understand the hope of His calling, we will begin to walk in an abundant life of freedom and power.” Angie Weaver 

Most Christians do not exercise the tremendous authority they have in Christ. God has called us to make a difference in our neighborhoods, cities, and nations.

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Prayerfully Watching the Signs of the Times

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“Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming” (Matthew 24:42).

Did you know that there are 22 signs of the time when Jesus will return to earth? You can find them in Matthew 24-25. Jesus is not wordy in what He tells us, but with precision He carefully picks what He shares. Isn’t it quite amazing that He spent two whole chapters telling us about the end times? It was a monumental teaching.

The last generation won’t pass away until these signs have taken place. Some of them have taken place before, but in the generation when Jesus returns to earth, every one of these signs will be happening. This is biblical information that we must know, study, and observe because God is warning us in advance. We must be aware of the season and take this seriously. Studying the end times will be an anchor in our lives and will help us to know how to maneuver through difficult days. We must be prepared and not let our hearts get discouraged as the days grow darker, but seek to understand what Jesus is saying.

Let’s look at the Parable of the Fig Tree in Matthew 24:32-34, because in his teaching Jesus is shifting to a pastoral exhortation on how to live and respond in the end times. A parable is an illustration or story that sheds light on the spiritual truth so that it is easy to grasp. The word “learn” is in this parable three times and means to be intentional. We must set our heart towards understanding the end times because it takes a determined effort.

We must learn watchfulness. When the branch is tender with leaves you know it is summer. These are time indicators so we can know what is coming. If we think about a thunderstorm, the dark clouds show us that we must be watchful because it is approaching. If we don’t run inside, we will get wet.

My grandfather did not take heed when a thunderstorm approached his Minnesota farm one warm summer evening. He was out on his tractor with his two sons when a terrible thunderstorm hit their land. A bolt of lightning suddenly struck him causing everyone to fly off the tractor. That bolt of lightning took his life when my father was only a young boy at the age of 13. It was sudden and swift. There was no longer time to run inside. Earlier there was the need to take heed and be watchful regarding those dark clouds, but my grandfather continued working and took his chances that all would be ok. But it wasn’t, and my father grew up until the age of 94 without a father.

Mt. 24:5-31, show us through the signs of the times that the day of the Lord is near and that we must take this seriously. We can’t be out in a thunderstorm when things suddenly change. We see in this parable important indicators of His coming, so that we can prepare in advance. Every calamity in biblical history was prophesized ahead of time. Look at the Flood, Egypt, the fall of Israel, and the others.

God is giving us insight into the generation when the Lord returns. He is warning us that the coming of the Lord is near, and is exhorting us to watch because we don’t know the hour. The Father only exclusively knows the day and the hour. He is reasserting the importance of the signs to be a predictor of his coming. We must prayerfully watch for the signs. The increasing of these 22 signs that have been promised for over 2000 years clearly point to the season of His return.

We can compare this with the days of Noah when people are drinking and having a good time. There was rebellion. We must realize two important truths. The world will not recognize these prophetic signs of the times, and they will be apathetic and live as they always lived. But remember Noah and how the flood suddenly came. Judgment was swift. God prophesizes for ages about it, but the fulfillment was sudden. It will happen quickly, just like the strike of lightning was for my grandfather.

Like in Noah’s day, many today are more concerned about the world, but we are not to let our hearts be weighed down by all its’ cares. It’s a snare to catch us by surprise if we are not prepared.

“For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark” (Matthew 24:38).

How to Apply the Parable of the Fig Tree

God wants us to prepare our hearts. Here are some ways we can prayerfully watch:

  • Learn from the parable of the fig tree and Matthew 24-25 – Know that these 22 signs will take place in the generation the Lord returns.
  • When you see the storm clouds approaching, seek to understand and line up your heart with God’s truth.
  • Watch for the signs of the times in a spirit of prayer and reverence.
  • Take heart and set to diligently study all the Scriptures about the end times.
  • Be careful of the seriousness of deception in the end times.
  • Know that these are times that God has ordained for the fulfillment of His purposes on earth.
  • Know that this will be a special time for God’s people and that the beauty of Jesus will be revealed in a glorious way.
  • Seek to keep your heart at peace.

Let’s realize that in the darkest of hours, those who are prepared will shine brightly. Studying about the end times has helped me to understand, prepare my heart, and live above the storm. Let’s be prepared by carefully studying, prayerfully watching, and radically living for eternity. Let’s set our minds and hearts on things above.

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:1-4).

By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
http://www.intercessorsarise.org

How to Grow in Intimacy with God

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Do you feel far away from God?

Would you like to know Him as your best friend?

Don’t miss this absolutely crucial webinar on how to grow in your intimacy with God.

It’s filled with free giveaways and with proven step-by-step help that really works.

This is a coaching and transformational prayer webinar designed especially for you.

Register Here – How to Grow in Intimacy with God

Don’t miss it! – March 16, 2017.

Learn to Watch and Pray in 2017

946444_1077690778960695_8044411060511755856_n“A watchman on the wall does many things. He carefully watches what is happening and alerts the community when good ambassadors approach the city… A watchman also warns the city far in advance when an enemy approaches. He sounds an alarm to awaken the people because he knows ‘to forewarn them is to alert and arm them.’ Then they quickly can rally to take their stand on the wall against the enemy before he wrongfully tries to enter into the city.” James Goll

We are now at a gate, a place where we have to face the reality of the days we are living in. We can stay where we are and do nothing or we as Christians can rise up, prioritize united, watchful prayer and come to a new door of opportunity—a place of advancement—a pathway to enlargement and harvest. Nation after nation is facing feelings of uncertainty, fear, and hopelessness. But you and I can rise up at this very time with the greatest weapon of all, prayer, and see God do mighty, supernatural things right in our midst. God can turn around the downward course of any nation and bring revival, but we need to be persistent in repentant and watchful prayer.

The watchmen who are truly listening to the Lord would agree that we are at an urgent hour in history. The greatest thing the enemy would desire of us at this time would be to miss the urgency of the hour by putting our attention on secondary matters. We are in a season where we have a significant role in touching the nations deeply through our watchful prayers. We need to believe that God can bring breakthrough in any difficult situation through prayer.

God’s watchmen in prayer see into the distance, observe what is happening, and lean forward in prayer. Sometimes they see with eyes of discernment, and at other times they may see things way in advance. God gives them insight in order to intercede. The Greek word for “watch” means, “to be vigilant, wake, to be watchful.”

Did you know that prayer changes the atmosphere of your city? If there was ever a time when we needed to be on alert for our cities and pray day and night for our neighborhoods, it is now. Too many evil things are happening at an increasing rate. We have the secret of prayer and God’s presence that can touch our cities and ward off the evil intent of the enemy. Prayer is much more powerful than we realize. It can release the power of God and His anointing in even the darkest of places.

When we watch and pray for our city, we welcome and honor the Holy Spirit, asking Him to lead us in our prayer time. We need to pray by the power and at the initiation of the Holy Spirit. We can’t do it ourselves (John 5:19). Sometimes He whispers to us with an impression in our heart as to what to pray. Sometimes He directs us to specific Scriptures to pray. We need to be watchful and attentive to the Spirit’s leading (1 Peter 4:7; Ephesians 6:18). We ask the Lord what He is doing and listen. We spend time in worship when we come into God’s presence.

It’s almost like putting up the sail in a boat on a lake when the weather is calm. Suddenly the sail catches the wind even with the most gentle breeze, and the boat begins to move. We position our heart to listen carefully for the knowledge of His will; then we pray it back to Him. Many times God’s leading is like a whisper. Sometimes the action God wants us to take is prayer for protection. Sometimes it is reaching out in love to a needy person in the inner city.

In an area of Africa, the first Christians were very serious about watchful pray. Each believer had their own special place outside the village where they could be alone to pray in solitude. They reached these out door “prayer rooms” by walking through their own private footpath through the brush. But when the grass began to grow over one of the trails, they knew something was desperately wrong—someone wasn’t praying.

They were perfect examples of watchmen because they were so concerned about the spiritual welfare of each other. A custom sprang up among them. Whenever one of them noticed an overgrown prayer path, they would go to the person and warn them in a loving way by saying, “Friend, there’s grass on your path!”

God is urgently calling you to be an alert watchman just like these villagers in Africa. He wants you to join with others in prayer for your city and for one another. The same is true for each one of our cities. As you begin to look at your city through the eyes of God and with His heart, realize that it belongs to Him. We read in Psalm 24:1, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.” God wants you to contend for your city in prayer. He wants you to pray for His authority to rule supreme in your city. Although Satan has invaded our cities, through prayer and action we can take them back.

If watchmen do not keep their post on a ship during serious weather conditions, it could mean the loss of the ship and every person on board. Remember the Titanic, which sank very quickly because the watchmen were not doing their job. Let’s learn to concentrate on prayer, listening with expectation, and seize the moment as we keep our watch. Let’s learn to be God’s watchmen and accept God’s urgent call to watch and pray in 2017.

My Prayer for Watchful Prayer

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).

Lord, I pray that You will teach me the secret of listening and being a watchman in prayer. Teach me to watch and prayer. Help me to move into a new dimension in my relationship with You. I desire to rise above the noise of this world, to be still in silence, and to learn the skill of watching for my city and nation. I want to learn to ascend the heights in watchful prayer.

Forgive me for running ahead of You and failing to listen to Your still, small voice. Forgive me for being anxious whenever I hurry and take matters into my own hands. Help me to realize my responsibility in being a watchman in prayer. Show me how to pray against evil in my city. Help me to pray diligently for the government leaders and the needs in my nation. Teach me to persistently claim the promises You give me in the secret place of listening prayer. I want to seize the moment in watchful prayer. I choose to throw off everything that hinders, fix my eyes on You, and run with perseverance the race marked out for me (Hebrews 12:1-2). In Jesus’ name, amen.

“Watchmen are ordinarily placed on the walls of a city to give notice to the rulers of coming danger. God appoints watchmen not only to warn men – often they will not hear – but also to summon Him to come to their aid whenever need or the enemy may be threatening. The great mark of the intercessors are that they are not to hold their peace day or night, to take no rest, and to give God no rest, until the deliverance comes. In faith they may count upon the assurance that God will answer their prayers.” Andrew Murray

By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC)
www.intercessorsarise.org

How to Stand Strong in Steadfast Authority in Prayer

“Many in the church today are being held captive spiritually, not because of the enemy’s power, but because we do not clearly understand our authority and calling in Christ…  As we begin to understand the hope of His calling, we will begin to walk in an abundant life of freedom and power.” Angie Weaver 

12341048_1071089846287455_3551926128578100816_nMost Christians do not exercise the tremendous authority they have in Christ. God has called us to make a difference in our nation. He can enforce His will, but He limits His dealings on earth by working through His people. He does not want us to passively stand by and watch the earth fall into decay (Psalm 8:4-6, 115:16). But if we were to evaluate the situation, isn’t this what many Christians are doing? How many of us exercise our authority? This needs to change in the coming days.

God has given us authority on earth to rule. It may not feel like it, but it’s true. He does nothing on earth unless he does it through a person. He always intended to rule the earth but through His delegated authority in mankind (Genesis 1:26). We were to carry out the government of the earth, but Adam and Eve gave it away through disobedience. You know the story. Adam transferred authority over the earth to Satan (Luke 4:4, 2 Corinthians 4:4). All of mankind was then under his dominion. God did not give Satan authority over the earth, Adam did.

We needed someone to stand between us, and Satan, in order to break that dominion. Jesus was the only one who could. He came as a man completely fulfilling God’s will and became our intercessor – the one who could join us to God again and break Satan’s headship over us (Isaiah 53:12). Jesus purchased us with his blood (Revelation 5:9, 1 Timothy 2:5) and not only restored us to God, He became the way that God could again have dominion over the earth (1 Corinthians 15, Matthew 28:19-20). Jesus could now rule in the affairs of earth.

He has given us authority to rule – and through prayer – we exercise this authority in Christ.  

We are called to pray and seek justice on the earth on behalf of others. Not only can we break the personal strongholds in our lives through prayer, but we can impact our cities and nations. The world lies in the power of the evil one (1 John 5:19). Look around and you see this everywhere; drugs, pornography, murder, evil and so on. But we can make a difference. Jesus has authority in heaven and on earth, but since He is no longer on the earth, He rules through his Church. He changes things on earth through us! We must learn to exercise our authority right in the middle of Satan’s territory. As we use our authority, we can actually subdue powers and principalities (Ephesians 3:10). Wow!

But how can we walk in authority in the midst of personal, and sometimes unrelenting, spiritual warfare? What are some ways we can stand strong?

Ways to Stand Strong in Steadfast Authority

“Praise be to the Lord, my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle” (Psalm 144:1).

  • Abide in Christ – As you abide, you are able to pray the things that are on God’s heart.
  • Be steadfast in prayer and ready for battle – Know that you are in enemy territory, and you are here to fight for God’s Kingdom in prayer. Watch for those fiery darts, hold up your shield of faith, and put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6).
  • Stand upon the promises of God – Do not listen to the enemy. Speak God’s promises over your family, neighborhood, city, and nation.
  • Know and Pray God’s Word – The Bible is filled with Scripture you can pray. Declarative prayer is a key way to exercise your authority in prayer. Try praying Daniel’s prayer in Daniel 9:3-19.
  • Focus on God during times of warfare – The enemy will try to discourage you as to your authority. Focus on God instead of the things you see happening in the world. Remember, you have authority in Christ.
  • Mix praise and prayer together – Worship is the atmosphere where truth dwells. There is power released in worship warfare. God is greater than all enemy attacks.
  • Practice fasting on a regular basis – Fasting gives you spiritual power and strength to steadfastly stand against the enemy.
  • Let God’s peace rule in your heart – Come in the opposite spirit of the world system. An attitude of peace and joy in the midst of darkness is powerful (Colossians 3:15).

When we got new inter-net access a few years ago, a man came and installed it outside our house. While we were at church one Sunday, someone cut the wires. We were unable to communicate with anyone! We knew that it was an unreasonable next-door neighbor because he had done bad things to us in the past. In this and other difficulties, we’ve learned to walk in God’s peace and take our authority in prayer by practicing these points. Perhaps you can identify with some form of spiritual warfare where you live or work. Practice taking your authority in prayer, look to Jesus, and realize that God has called you to live in steadfast authority on earth for such a time as this.

It’s time for the Church of Jesus Christ to arise and aggressively take back land stolen by the enemy. Are you and I going to let the devil control our cities when Jesus died for the entire world? The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it (Psalm 24:1). Let’s not forget that. This will be our finest hour if we learn to wield the weapons of warfare and stand in our God-given authority. It’s time to arise and realize the victory we have in Christ. It’s time to arise in steadfast authority in prayer.

A Prayer for Steadfast Authority

“Dear Lord, I thank You for giving Your people authority to rule on earth. Help me to understand the hope of my calling. Teach me to exercise this authority in my life, my city, and my nation. Thank You for becoming my intercessor and breaking Satan’s headship over my life (Isaiah 53:12). Help me to pray and seek justice on the earth on behalf of others. I thank You for giving your people authority to actually subdue powers and principalities (Ephesians 3:10). I choose to reign with You and walk in Your authority. I am called to declare Your authority and rule the earth with You (Revelation 1:6). Through steadfast authority in prayer, I can enforce Your victory on earth (Romans 16:20, Colossians 2:13-15) and fight for the nations (Psalm 2:7). ‘Praise be to the Lord, my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle’ (Psalm 144:1). In Jesus’ name, amen.”

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” (Ephesians 6:10-13).

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By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC)
deb@intercessorsarise.org
www.intercessorsarise.org

The Power of Praying God’s Word

“The life of a Christian is all about passion… Nothing is more powerful than when the Holy Spirit reveals the Son of God through the words of Scripture. Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, every heart began to burn when God revealed Himself. When He unveils Himself and we have understanding of what He is saying, passion is the result. Seeing the face of God, and then gazing at it, has to begin sometime and someplace. It begins by bringing our whole person before the consuming fire who is God, reciting His words—the Bible—out loud to Him and then letting the Holy Spirit reveal Christ to us. That is why we pray the Bible.”

Jesus was passionate about the Word of God. He used it when He prayed. He knew the power of the Word of God in intercession. When He was tempted by the devil in the wilderness, He quoted the Word of God. The devil left because of the power of the Word of God. Jesus knew that speaking the Word of God would bring spiritual breakthrough in the most difficult times of spiritual attack.

Praying God’s Word fights the fleshly battles of life using His spiritual weapons. This gives us authority in the supernatural realm to pull down strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). We no longer are in agreement with darkness but agree with the light of God’s Word.

Praying the Word of God brings freedom, discernment, and protection. God’s Word can bring life in a most amazing way!

In Baghdad, Iraq, a 22-year-old Army Private First Class soldier named Brendan Schweigart was on a critical mission wearing a bullet proof shield for protection. You can only imagine the tension in that situation. Before going out to battle, he carefully tucked his Bible in his pocket beneath his bulletproof shield. While on a dangerous mission, he was shot with a high-powered rifle. The Bible saved his life when it shielded the bullet from his heart. He told his mother that he always carried his Bible into battle. Brendan received a Purple Heart and was soon released from the hospital. The bullet was still in the pages of his Bible, a miraculous reminder of the amazing power and protection of the Word of God.

God’s Word will protect our lives when in spiritual battle. It can bring forth life in the darkest of situations. It can save us from those fiery darts from the enemy. I wonder how many of us carry our Bibles into battle like Army Private Brendan?

The mystery of intercession is actually profoundly simple. We tell God what he says in His Word. Everyone can pray like this—young and old, beginners and the experienced. God knows everything. We don’t have to come up with some intelligent method of praying, but He is deeply touched when we pray the truths in His heart back to Him. God loves it when we agree with Him through His Word. We read His Word and let the Holy Spirit speaks to us through it. Then we pray it back to Him as the Holy Spirit leads us. His Words are Spirit and Truth (John 4:23-24; 6:63). When we pray God’s Word, it marks us on the inside, changes us, and builds us up. We unite with God’s heart in a most amazing way.

Our own hearts are transformed as we pray God’s Word.

He will actually withhold His blessing until we stand in faith, agree with His heart, and pray it back to Him (James 4:2). Praying God’s Word gives us sustaining power. The revelation we get from Him through His Word strengthens our emotions. We can change whole cities when we agree with God’s heart in prayer. Power and revival are released when we pray His Word over a city. God runs the universe through prayer.

Haven’t you noticed when you’re discouraged, how different you feel after God speaks to your heart through His Word? It’s as if a light goes on that dispels the darkness. God upholds all things by the word of His power (Hebrew 1:3). When we read and pray His Word we can have a living, active dialogue with Him in our heart (Hebrews 4:12). But we must receive it with obedience, faith, and devotion. When we abide in it (John 15:7), everything else seems to falls into place.

Bible prayers are easy to find. There are many types of prayers in the Bible. For example, there are the Psalms, the prayers of wisdom such as the book of Proverbs, the Song of Songs, the prayers of the Prophets, the prayers of Jesus, the apostolic prayers, and the hymns of Revelation.

Praying the Bible can and will have a dramatic effect in our prayer lives and prayer meetings. It is definitely a key to the success of day and night prayer and worship. It’s advantageous in our walk with God. It takes us to such a higher level in our relationship with Him. Our faith increases and rises to a new place in authoritative strength. We pray the will of God and see answers to our prayers (1 John 5:14-15). We become fixed on God with a greater determination to please Jesus in all that we do and say. Praying Scripture helps us to grow in Biblical knowledge. God is able to bring our prayer lives into an entirely new focus.

We are in a serious battle throughout the world over the authority of the Bible. There is a great decline in the belief that you can know absolute truth and right from wrong. This is one reason why we must uphold it as absolute, authoritative truth in our prayers. Jesus prayed from the foundation of absolute truth. We must also. As we pray God’s Word out loud, our faith grows and we are equipped for every good work.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work”
(2 Timothy 3:16-17).

We must emphasize the Bible in our prayer meetings and everywhere we go. As we do this, we combat the lies of the enemy and spiritually strengthen our ability to abide in God’s Word. We choose to obey God’s Word as we pray it. We feed our hearts on it. We learn to talk to God about His Word and then we listen. We internalize it, and we say it back to Him.

Praying God’s Word refreshes us internally and enables us to live radically for Him long-term. Let’s learn to cultivate a spirit of radical devotion to God’s Word as our everyday lifestyle. David wrote many of the Psalms in the Bible. He saw himself and others through the eyes of God as he prayed. He understood the love of God even when facing difficulty because His attitude was right. Praying God’s Word is a positive way to live.

“When you pray the Bible, you will understand how God views you and how He views others. In a culture distorted by negative media images, we all need to be founded on what God thinks of us. David’s self-image came through prayer. He saw himself as God’s anointed, as the apple of God’s eye. David knew that God loved him, and that he was favored when the wicked were not. Therefore, we need to pray the Bible until we receive the same attitude that David did.”

By Debbie Przybylski

Joyful in Prayer

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:4-6).

Is it truly possible to rejoice in the Lord always?

Paul says twice in Philippians 4:4 that we should do this. He knows that it’s something we have to command and encourage ourselves to practice. We all struggle, and it’s not fun. But Paul sets the bar high: While in prison, he rejoiced! And then he tells us to pray about everything with thanksgiving as we present our requests to God.

Perhaps prayer is a key to the ability to rejoice always. It certainly is not easy to rejoice in certain circumstances of life, but we have a choice of how we will view those circumstances. God has an answer for everything, even when we don’t see it through our human eyes. He knows the beginning from the end, and it’s our choice if we want to link with Him or not. The world is negative and tries to squeeze us into its mold, but God has a way that we can walk through our circumstances victoriously.

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. It is not something we can create ourselves—it comes from God. It’s supernatural and persists in a deep, abiding way, even when we are in the midst of hardship. Joy is not the absence of pain or difficult circumstances. What could be harder than a Roman prison? But rejoicing always is learning to let God’s Spirit fill you with His unquenchable joy, regardless of your circumstances. If you’re joyful, your life becomes a testimony of Christ’s light for a world looking desperately for hope.

Joy in the Secret Place of Prayer

I cannot tell you the number of times I have walked into a prayer meeting burdened with the cares of everyday life only to discover an unquenchable joy in God’s presence. Often as I pray with others or silently wait upon God, I experience a joy that no circumstances can destroy.

In 2005, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This totally unexpected diagnosis initially threw me into deep darkness and discouragement. My entire future was threatened. But in the place of prayer in God’s presence, I found hope even while going through cancer. I cannot begin to describe God’s sustaining power and joy in the midst of a life-threatening illness. His joy is real and far deeper than any earthshaking life experience. I thank God for my experience with cancer, because through it God was able to develop a more Christlike character in me. Now I have a new appreciation for life.

Choosing to pray is not always easy, but it is the true path of life. Psalm 16:11 says, “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

There is joy in the secret place of prayer. There is joy as we choose to center our life in God and knowing Him. There is joy and breakthrough even in the darkest of circumstances when we choose to make Jesus our highest ambition, our deepest desire, and our greatest goal. Then He breaks through for us with transcending peace and supernatural understanding. Henry and Richard Blackaby remind us:

“Jesus did not pray that you would be merely happy or even that you would escape grief. He prayed that you would have the same joy that the Father had given Him: a divine joy, a joy that comes from a deep and unwavering relationship with the Father. It is a joy that is grounded so firmly in a relationship with God that no change in circumstances could ever shake it. This is the kind of joy that Christ is praying will be in you.”

Destroyers of Joyful and Effective Prayer

The enemy uses destroyers of effective prayer to try to diminish our power in intercession. He hates the secret place of prayer. In the book of Philippians, Paul recognizes these strategies of the enemy and gives practical advice for how we might respond to them. It would be good for us to evaluate ourselves so that we may guard diligently against these thieves of our prayers. Here’s what Paul has to say about some of the ways the enemy uses to steal our joy and diminish our effectiveness in prayer:

  • Anxiety – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (4:6-7).
  • Self-righteousness – “Be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith” (3:9).
  • Disagreements and poor relationships – “I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord” (4:2).

  • Difficult circumstances – “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (4:11).

  • Wrong thinking – “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (4:8).
  • Lack of confidence – “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (4:13).

  • Complaining – “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe” (2:14-15).

  • Selfish ambition – “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves” (2:3).

  • Bad attitudes – “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (2:5-7).

  • Pride – “Being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (2:8).

A Prayer for a Joyful Life

Lord, give me joy in the secret place. I pray for a joyful life. Free me from all of those things that steal my joy and from an ineffective prayer life. Give me new insight, confidence, and faith in my prayers. Help me to walk in purity and humility. You are my righteousness and peace. Teach me contentment in the difficult circumstances that I face. I long for Your attitude of selfless giving and choose not to complain about anything. Help me to think only on that which is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. I desire to walk in Your joy and to rejoice in You always in both good and difficult times. Help me to joyfully abide in the secret place with You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

My husband and I are presently in Jerusalem. This morning we were standing on the Temple Mount—the very place where Jesus will return to earth! Regardless of the present circumstances and difficulties we may be facing, in light of the Second Coming of Christ, we have every reason to rejoice! We have so much to joyfully anticipate, and Jesus will wipe away every tear.

“Don’t be satisfied with a joyless life. There ought to be in every Christian a deep, settled fullness of the joy of Christ that no circumstance of life can dispel. This comes as you allow the Holy Spirit to express himself in your life. One of the fruits of the Spirit is joy (Galatians 5:22). This joy is unlike any happiness that is produced by the world. It fills you and permeates everything you do.” Henry and Richard Blackaby

Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOP) KC Staff
deb@intercessorsarise.org
http://www.intercessorsarise.org