Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Loved more

Welcome and welcome back!  We have covered the book of James and yesterday we talked some about prayer. 

After watching War Room it awoke my spirit of prayer warrior, one whom has been silent as of late.  She went to sleep and had not really found her niche yet until ... and then my prayer warrior woke up!

Let me share with you a bit about me, maybe you knew or didn't know.  Almost 31 years ago, I found out I was pregnant and I was single with 2 babies already, they were 1 and 2.  The one year old was multi-handicapped and had lots of medical problems.  The two year old, oh man, a whole nother deal.  He was smart, walked at 7 or 8 months, 4 teeth by 6 months old and eating table foods by 8 months old.  I found out I was pregnant with my 2nd one when the first one was 4 months old.  I was hospitalized at 5 months pregnant almost losing the baby.  By the 3rd pregnancy, my marriage ended and I found out I was pregnant.  I chose to stay single and chose to keep the baby, even though it meant that they would be 3 1/2, 2 1/2 and baby and I was single.  This is where Jesus came in.  I had 3 choices, abortion, adoption, adapting.  I chose the latter and was so blessed.  During my pregnancy, the Lord and I began a conversation that changed my life.  I began to attend church with a neighbor and then found one on my own.  It changed me.  I began to grow in faith and knowing that my prayers were answered, sometimes not the way I wanted but they were answered.  My middle child passed away at age 6 1/2 and my faith never waivered, I never lost sight of who Jesus was or what He had done for us.  Many can lose their faith in times like that, but rest assured He is right there with you after all God watched His SON go to the cross to bear the sins of the world.  He knew and knows what we are going through when we watch a child leave us.


Through all that, prayer was my steady eddy.  It was what came naturally to me.    So with all that said, let's add some links, some help, some prayers and let's explain what it means to pray.  We will start with the last one first.
I have not always made great choices.  I married someone I should have never married twice! The first one, not sure why, but the 2nd one because I wanted a "dad" for my kids.  Years of abuse followed, yet my faith in the Lord grew.  I was able to homeschool for 10 years.  You may say well if you got to do that it could not have been that bad.  It was bad, but homeschooling allowed us to move and breathe better.  We got involved with a theater group, speech clubs, track, music lessons, so many things.  My goal was to graduate the kids.  As bad as it was, I grew in knowledge that the Lord always has our best, even in the worst situations He can turn it around.  After 16 years, and graduating the last one from school, saving a lot of money from a job the Lord provided because I was faithful in homeschooling my children, I was able to save.  The local bank helped me when it was time to prepare to leave.  I was bagging groceries at the base commissary and making about $50 a day in change and working 5 days a week for about 4 hours a day.  I began to put this money away, the bank helped me in so many ways.  I worked there for about 3 months and then got a job at the local elementary school.  While going into my interview, a prayer sister was in the parking lot and she asked what I was doing, I told her I had an interview, she said I will stay in prayer until you get out.  I was one of three women applying for this job, both of them had double Masters degrees and all I had was homeschooling two children with ADD.  I got the job!  Through prayer I believe this is why.  I was running Awana and working at the school.  At this time we were on a small island in the Azores Islands.  I met some great people, my daughter then was 16 and met her future husband while we were there for 2 years. 
Faith..:

In The Battle Plan for Prayer the writer says "Prayer is not about prayer.  Just like a cell phone is not about a cell phone.  There are many activities you can take on that look and feel like prayer, but they're not really prayer if God is not truly engaged."  The writer goes on to explain...Sitting with your eyes closed and trying to empty your head of all conscious brain activity is not prayer.  The moment of silence that is suppose to substitute prayer, is not prayer.  Repeating words incoherently is not prayer either.  Neither is crossing your legs and chanting a mantra or even lighting a candle.  Keeping someone in your thoughts or on your mind isn't either.  You may even get on your knees in church with your head bowed, eyes closed and even speak words out loud that sound like prayer, but that isn't prayer either."
"PRAYER is at its heart, communicating with God. Reverently and openly.  Sincerely.  Interacting directly with the magnificent God of the universe  who is really there." 

How many of those above have you done and believed they were prayer?  Me too.  But honestly, when it's just me and the Lord and honestly again, most of the time now, it's in the bathroom that He had I have conversations. 

What do you believe God looks like?  In Revelation 1:12-17  John writes this:
12 And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden lampstands
13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girt about the breasts with a golden girdle.
14 His head and his hairs were white like white wool, as the snow, and his eyes were as a flame of fire
15 and his feet like unto brilliant metal as if they burned in a furnace and his voice as the sound of many waters.
16 And he had in his right hand seven stars, and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword, and his countenance was as the sun when it shines in its strength.
17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I AM the first and the last,

The Amplified explains it this way: Revelation 1:9-20

The Patmos Vision

I, John, your brother and companion in the [m]tribulation and kingdom and patient endurance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos, [exiled there] because of [my preaching of] the word of God [regarding eternal salvation] and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the [n]Spirit [in special communication with the Holy Spirit and empowered to receive and record the revelation from Jesus Christ] on the [o]Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet, 11 saying, “Write on a scroll what you see [in this revelation], and send it to the [p]seven churches—to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”
12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And after turning I saw seven golden lampstands; 13 and in the midst of the lampstands I saw someone [q]like the Son of Man, dressed in a robe reaching to His feet, and with a golden sash wrapped around His chest. 14 His head and His hair were white like white wool, [glistening white] like snow; and His [all-seeing] eyes were [flashing] like a flame of fire [piercing into my being]. 15 His feet were like burnished [white-hot] bronze, refined in a furnace, and His voice was [powerful] like the sound of many waters. 16 In His right hand He held seven stars, and from His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword [of judgment]; and His face [reflecting His majesty and the [r]Shekinah glory] was like the sun shining in [all] its power [at midday].
17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though dead. And He placed His right hand on me and said, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last [absolute Deity, the Son of God], 18 and the Ever-living One [living in and beyond all time and space]. I died, but see, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of [absolute control and victory over] death and of Hades (the realm of the dead). 19 So write the things [s]which you have seen [in the vision], and the things [t]which are [now happening], and the things [u]which will take place after these things. 20 As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels ([v]divine messengers) of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

ISN'T he beautiful? Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  He is, He was and He is the I AM!  Those words right there, awaken the Holy Ghost who lives and dwells in me.  I begin to get my praise on with HIM. 

Here I will show you.  Lord, you are the Wonderful Counselor, you are the Great I AM, you are all and give all.  You bring light into my life, you give glory, you give power to the powerless, you created us in our mothers womb, you know every hair on my head, every thought I think, you loved me before I was even born.  You give me hope when I am hopeful or even hopeless. You are all that I need, you are all that I want.  Set a fire down in my bones, Lord, one that can not be contained or blown out.  I want more of you Lord, I want more.  All of me is more than enough for you, I give you everything I am and all I hope for or dream of, I lay it at your feet.  You are there when I struggle and you wash away every stain I have created.  You know my heart and I am yours.  Lord, I want to be more than what I am now.  I want to always sing your praises, walk with you and see your glory.  When I see the sunrise Lord, I am reminded of your beauty and when I see the sunset, I am thankful for yet another day here with others.  Thank you Lord, Thank you for all that you are, all that you have done, all that you are doing in my life and in my generations. 

10 prayers that draw me closer to God than any other prayers (actually 11; there's one bonus prayer)! Plus a free printable bookmark!: This is how I begin my prayers.  I want to adore my Jesus, my Lord, my God and thank Him as well.  I use the ACTS acronym at times to help remind me.    I adore Him first but then thank him, I will confess and then ask for others needs in this time of quietness.  It's usually just me and God.  I do this while I am driving or doing laundry, even sometimes while reading or writing- though that isn't the best time and doesn't work well, but I will stop what I am doing and do it. 

After seeing Jesus face to face, I know what he looks like and I know what He has done for me.





This is from the website http://www.prayerconnect.net/resources/prayer-guides/war-room-prayer-guide

War Room: A Thirty-Day Boot Camp Response


By Kathy Branzell


The following is a free resource to help you get started and build on the motivation of wanting to grow and strengthen your prayer life after viewing the War Room movie. You can also purchase excellent resources written by Alex and Stephen Kendrick from Lifeway (lifeway.com).
Day 1:
Elizabeth begins reading the papers taped to Clara’s closet and asks Clara, “You wrote prayers for every area of your life?”
Clara replies, “Yes! A prayer strategy!”
In a recent interview, Alex Kendrick said, “We have plans for everything—careers, finances, health. But what about a strategy for prayer for our lives, our spouses, and our children?” This movie and that interview prompted me to put together this 30-day prayer calendar of how to create your personal prayer strategy and “War Room.”
The strategy begins by examining your circumstances right now, and visualizing how things should be—and could be. As you pray over these relationships and responsibilities, write down plans and procedures for getting from here to there.
This means producing a prayer strategy so that God can take you from where you are to where He wants you to be. Prayer clears the path to God’s best for your life: His best plans, best opportunities and blessings, His best path and provision for His glory, and His Kingdom purpose in your life.
After seeing War Room, many people will want to immediately pinpoint a place of prayer, a “War Room,” in their home, and possibly even a secondary “War Room” in their church, school campus, and workplace. Begin to pray about this and write down your commitment to God to be more specific and strategic in prayer. Ask Him to show you where you can start your prayer closet/War Room.
It does not necessarily mean emptying your closet, but we all have a space that we can repurpose, even if it is shared space. Many times a “War Room” must be disguised as a mild-mannered linen closet or storage closet. The Spirit will lead you to pick a place to meet with God each day.
Sometimes we get to post our strategy and Scriptures on the wall, and sometimes we have to keep them secured in a notebook or box that we carry into prayer each day. The important thing is to commit and be consistent; let prayer grow and guide you.
Each day of this calendar will add an opportunity to post something new to grow and sow into your prayer strategy. The devil does not have a fighting chance if you let God do your fighting for you. Start today (Prov. 20:18).
Day 2:Miss Clara cried out in her powerful prayer, “Lord, we need an army of believers who will stand on Your Word above all else. Lord, call us to battle! Raise them up, Lord! Raise them up!”
Before an army can be shipped into battle, they have to go through boot camp or some sort of training. God needs to train us up in order to raise us up, as we volunteer to be soldiers in His army.
The old hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers” keeps running through my mind as I type these battle plans. Worship music is a strong motivator, but always remember your “sword”—the Word of God. There may be times we are tempted to “lean on our own understanding,” instead of standing on the Word of God.
Human experiences and education are good, but God’s Word is best. God uses our education and experience to help us grow as the branches abiding in Him, the Vine. His Word is the root that keeps us steadfast and the sap that feeds and strengthens us. We must look at our experiences and education through the lens of God’s Word; it is our “Christian worldview.”
Write down a few things that you believe that determine the way you behave; find them in Scripture and write down each verse that is the foundation of this belief you stand on above all else. If you cannot substantiate your belief with Scripture then you need to replace it with truth. Be careful, Satan is sneaky. He likes to twist and blur the Word to make it sound like something else that appeals to our flesh. Write down the Scriptures that give you clear wisdom about God’s will and ways and do not waver! Then open your ears to hear Him calling you to battle; be prepared and armor up, He is raising up an army and you have just been recruited (Eph. 6:10–18).
Day 3:
Miss Clara says, “There is not room for you and God on the throne of your heart. It’s either Him or you. You have to step down! If you want victory, you have to surrender first.”
Surrender seems backwards and counterproductive to our earthly mindset of success and victory. But in Christ, the key to success is to surrender, seek Him, and submit to Him daily.
Write down the “rights” and wrong thinking that you need to surrender to God, and profess His Lordship over you. Ask forgiveness where you have placed yourself on the throne of your heart and life; as judge of others, or trying to justifying the breaking of His Word to get what you thought you “deserved” (Phil 2:1–11).
Day 4:
Miss Clara tells Elizabeth, “You need to plead with God to do only what He can do; then you need to get out of the way and let Him do it!”
After you surrender your life to the leadership and Lordship of Jesus, you position yourself to listen and obey His commands. Submission invites God into every area of your life to both prune and protect so that we will bear much fruit to His glory. Submission wants and waits for His Kingdom to come and will be done. Submission also leaves room for God to move in the areas/relationships that we might be tempted to manipulate or mess up. Submission makes spaces for God’s wrath or healing as He sees fit. Remember from the movie what Mandy (Beth Moore) said was her “Mama’s definition of submission”? It was, “Being willing to duck so God can. . . .”
So while you are ducking, just fall on down to those knees and pray. Submit to His decisions and direction. Write down a sentence or a declaration of submission and refer to it daily. Pledge to obey, or to get out of His way, and always pray (Matt 6:5–15).
Day 5:In a recent interview Stephen Kendrick said, “Prayer is so much more than people realize. It can powerfully affect every problem and need in our lives if engaged from within a vibrant relationship with God.”
So how “vibrant” is your relationship with God? Write down some adjectives, characteristics, and evidences that describe your current relationship with Jesus. Describe your daily interaction and affection toward Him. How many times do you think about Him during the day? How often do you talk with Him, thank Him, or give Him credit for something good or beautiful? Is prayer your first response or your last resort?
One of the biggest mistakes made in prayer is that we make it about us. We think that we only need to talk to God when we need something. But that is not how any successful relationship communicates. If your write your spouse a love note, or a friend a thank-you note, you do not fill it with ways they can make your life better and easier. You thank them for all they have done and the meaning that they have already brought to your life.
Love expresses and affirms affection without attaching a required expectation at the end of the sentence. We do not say, “You bring so much joy to my life, so give me $50.” Practice praying throughout your day; a sentence here, a thought there that just tells God how much you love and appreciate Him. Then begin to practice making your requests in the mindset of His will, so He receives glory and His Kingdom is impacted.
A happy marriage glorifies God, so does an addict who recovers, a prodigal who repents and comes home, a bill that gets paid, a church that is filled with people who have a heart for prayer, worship and service, etc. Abiding in Him teaches us to value what He values, not the other way around. Write down ways to praise and thank Him as you see Him move in your requests, and in your relationship (Isa. 55).
Day 6:Miss Clara prays, “Raise up those who call upon Your Name, and love you and trust You and will seek You!”
Write down, “Lord, in Your love and authority You beckon me to call upon Your Name, thank You! Prayer is our time together in conversation that makes our relationship stronger and more intimate in my life. I love You because ____________; I trust You because____________, and I will seek You first, every day and in all circumstances.
Write down and pray all the ways that you commit to seek Him. Seek Him first thing every morning; seek Him in the good and worse of circumstances, in His creation, in crisis, in decisions and the demands of life. Pledge to seek Him first, instead of fear, worry, or selfish ambition (Ps. 31:1–8).
Day 7:Miss Clara tells Elizabeth, “Just because you argue a lot, does not mean that you fight well.”
If you find yourself doing the same wearisome or worrisome thing over and over again without seeing any progress or resolve; then you are definitely not doing it well! It is past time for a prayer strategy over that issue or relationship. Pray and then write down 1–3 situations in your life that exhaust and exasperate you. Then write down and pray a Scripture over each of those areas. As we progress through our War Room strategy we continue to add prayers over each of these topics (Isa. 40:21-31).
Day 8:“Victory does not happen by accident.”
Victory can only happen with tenacious training, scrupulous strategy and persistent practice. We do not stumble into victory, we battle our way to victory. We are warriors, prayer warriors—the most lethal and feared warriors in God’s army. Satan shutters when we start to pray; he flees as the name of Jesus rolls off our lips.
If you want victory to come to your life, your church, your family, your community and nation then you have to be deliberate in prayer. Prayer is a habit, not happenstance. There is no such thing as a coincidence.
Write down the answers to the following questions: What does victory look like? Where do you need to advance and from which direction? Who is your enemy and how does your enemy fight? How will you know when the battle is won—when the prayer is answered?
You have already identified 1–3 areas that need a prayer strategy; now write down your specific requests, characteristics, changes, etc. that will define what “victory” will look like in each of those areas. God may change your heart or definition of success along the way, but as you pour out the desires of your heart for the areas that need God’s triumphal touch, and write down what victory looks like so you will know when it is time to celebrate (Ps. 20).
Day 9:The mission statement of the Kendrick Brothers Productions is that they are “a company of brothers; Alex, Stephen and Shannon Kendrick, that exists to honor Jesus Christ and make His truth and love known among the nations through movies, books, curriculum and speaking. By prayerfully blending engaging stories with scriptural integrity, the Kendricks seek to encourage and inspire viewers and readers with resources that impact their daily lives and strengthen their families and personal relationships.”
Think and pray about a personal and/or family mission statement that could be used to direct you in decisions and daily life. Over the next few days write down some ideas and formulate a mission statement as part of your personal and family prayer strategy (Rom. 12).
Day 10:
Every strategy includes identifying your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). It helps you to take a critical and complete look at what you have and what is needed for success (victory) to occur. God is your strength, and He has given you many talents, gifts, resources, and opportunities. Write down these strengths. Ask at least three people who know you well to tell you what they have seen and experienced as your strengths. Write down their responses and keep them/post them with your list.
Be honest about your weaknesses; pray and seek guidance from God and others when needed. Pray for opportunities to use but not abuse your training. Never manipulate people or projects; that is Satan’s game and gain. Know your threats—recognize the real enemy, temptations, and tricks you tend for fall for. Fortify your offense and defense in your War Room. We will continue to build on each of these points throughout this battle plan (2 Cor. 12:9–10).
Day 11:Miss Clara points out to Elizabeth that Satan is the enemy, not her husband—and that all of her complaining brings curses and not blessing or healing to her marriage. Complaining is the praise music of hell. Satan loves to hear us gripe and grumble.
On the other hand, Satan hates to hear us pray. He can deceive, distract, and discourage us all he wants until we turn to God to fight for us—and then Satan is defeated! God has no tolerance for complaining; it does not express faith.
If you want to fight the good fight, it is time to turn our eyes on Jesus and profess our faith in Him. Praise expresses the awe-inducing, unchanging, mighty attributes of God. As we profess that He is Almighty, we perceive that our problems are not big and bad after all.
Write down some attributes of God from Scripture and pray them to remind yourself and the enemy that God is stronger and sovereign. Write down blessings to pray over the people connected to your prayer strategy. Remember, asking God to reveal anything they are doing in deceit is a blessing as long as you pray repentance and redemption over them as well (2 Tim. 2:22–26).
Day 12:Elizabeth realizes that she needs to kick Satan out of her house. She quotes James 4:7, “Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee.” It is a procedure with a promise. Jesus quoted Scripture against Satan’s temptations in the wilderness and Satan’s schemes were unsuccessful.
What tricks, threats, or treats has Satan used to tempt you? Ask God to forgive you if you have followed the tempter or even fallen into a pit of sin and destruction. Ask God to lift you up and set you firmly back on His path for His glory. Choose and write down verses you will use to deflect and defeat the devil next time he comes prowling around your life (Rom. 4).
Day 13:Satan does not give up. Even in Jesus’ ministry after the three temptations in the wilderness, Satan continued to use demons and other people to be a distraction or disruption—or even try to detour Jesus from God’s plan by the people’s desire to make Jesus their earthly King. Jesus as an earthly king sounds like a good idea that could yield some good, temporary benefits to the Jews in the first century; yet God’s plan was best—the eternal defeat of sin and death and redemption of the created with their Creator for all eternity.
Write down ways that you have been detoured or distracted into settling for “good” instead of God’s best. Pray for God to show you areas of your life that you need to release in order to have open hands (and time) to receive what He wants to give you and where He wants to grow you (1 Peter 5:6–9).
Day 14:In a recent interview, Pricilla Shirer said, “Prayer is the most powerful weapon the church has to unlock the activity of heaven on earth.”
It is important to write out a prayer strategy for every area of your life, but there is nothing powerful about writing them and taping them to a wall. No strategy will ever be successful without a leader that is devoted to its success, and your devotion is expressed through your consistent, faith-filled prayers.
Prayer moves the hands that move the universe. Prayer invites God to glorify Himself in our needs and weakness. Prayer confesses desperation for God and sets our attention on His ability and authority make things right and make people righteous. God not only heals, He restores, redeems, and can make things even greater than you can imagine or dream if you set your heart on His will.
Write down Pricilla’s quote and post it in your War Room. Prepare and commit to using this weapon frequently throughout the day and night, to not only unlock the door, but to usher in the activity of heaven into your relationships and circumstances (Luke 11:9–13).
Day 15:Beth Moore recently said, “God waits to see a generation that will take Him at His Word. Let’s be that generation.”
Is there a part of God’s Word that you have not believed? Is there a promise that you disbelieve? A command you disregard or something you do or say that regularly disrespects God? It is vital that you believe God’s Word from beginning to end; you do not get to pick and choose through the stories and verses.
If you have any questions make an appointment with your pastor, and read some Christian books on the reliability of the Bible such as The Case for the Bible by Lee Strobel. Read, pray, and write down a strategy that professes your faith and commitment to God’s Word. Believe it! Memorize it! Write down verses and post them in your War Room. Let it guide and guard your heart and life (Ps. 112).
Day 16:Miss Clara prays, “Raise up those who will worship you with their whole heart, that we may proclaim You King of kings and Lord of lords!”
We divide up our time, our energy, our attention, and our resources but we cannot give God a divided heart. His Word promises that we will find Him when we seek Him with our whole heart. Psychology 101 teaches that we behave as we believe. If our lives do not worship Him whole-heartedly, we are not an effective witness to proclaim God as King. Half-hearted Christians are not ready for the frontline of warfare. The most dangerous soldier is one who is distracted or ready to retreat at the first sign of danger.
Only God is worthy of our worship but we are distracted and attracted to so many other things that take His place; our self, our stuff, our schedules that overflow—and we leave God with a sliver of our heart, time, and worship. When you go into your War Room, or prayer time leave your cell phone in another room. Give Him your undivided attention.
Write down anything that distracts you, pray over it, and keep your whole focus on Him the whole time. If you think about something that happened earlier, write it down and pray over it. If you think of something you need at the store, write it down and thank Him for His provision. If you think of something you need to do, write it down and pray for guidance and for Him to be glorified in it. If you think of people you need to call, write their names down and pray for them. Keep your heart, mind, and attention wholly holy for Him (Ps. 119:1–10).
Day 17:Miss Clara begins her powerful prayer at the end of the movie by saying, “Lord, You are good, You are Mighty and You are Merciful—Praise You, Jesus!
You will notice a pattern in the prayers written in the Bible and spoken by Miss Clara—most begin with praise. Praise is the professing and blessing of God’s unchanging attributes. Focusing on His attributes gives us courage and confidence to lay down any of our challenges, crisis, or concerns into the hands of our God who knows and does what is best.
Get into the habit of starting every prayer, even if it is only a sentence or two, with words of praise and adoration. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise before you proceed any further in your conversation with Him. Finish each prayer by telling Him that you love and trust Him. For each of your prayer strategies write down three or more attributes of God that you will focus on in awe, affection, and affirmation of His authority and power in all things (Ps. 34:1–8).
Day 18:Michael tells Tony, “Marriage is not some buffet where you get to pick and choose what you want; you married her junk and all.”
Life, commitment, marriage, parenting, career, etc. are not a buffet where we get to pick what we enjoy and leave the rest behind. We are in a covenant with Christ; in marriage and in life as the Bride of Christ, for richer, poorer, better or worse, sickness and in health, rested, tired, happy, sad, and so forth. The blessing is that we do life together, guided and guarded by the hand and heart of God when we pray.
The best thing you can do together as a couple, as a family, as friends, as neighbors, as co-workers, is pray together and pray for one another. Nothing leaves a blessing like hearing someone pray over you, nothing brings unity like two or more praying together, locking their prayer shields and taking ground away from the enemy.
Examine your attitude about some of your relationships and responsibilities. Write down anything that you have ignored because you just “did not want to deal with it.” If you have had a “buffet mentality,” write down some of the areas you have been turning a blind eye or hard heart toward. Remember who the real enemy is—it is not your spouse, your children, your pastor, your boss, or any of the people you are praying for! Ask God to examine your heart and point out the areas you need to address in prayer and compassion. Be brave; ask Him to shine His light in the dark places that you would rather not deal with, but know that you can because of Him. Ignoring even one area of your life gives Satan a place to hide and harbor.
Write down a Scripture or prayer for each of these areas as they come to mind. Give grace and mercy in these areas as God heals and restores (Heb. 4:12–16).
Day 19:Clara continues in prayer, “Raise up warriors who will fight on their knees.”
Sometimes the most difficult part of the fight is to stay on our knees. In our impatience or pride, we may think that we have diagnosed the problem and know just how to fix things. But the truth is that we don’t know what we don’t know. Only God knows every detail—the past, present, and even the future. Only God knows the intention the heart and mind behind the decision and situation, who the victim is and where the fault really belongs.
Staying on our knees keeps us from charging in and making the situation worse in our ignorance. Write down your prayer requests and ask God to give you insight and instructions. In situations where you feel anger, frustration, or other negative feelings, ask God to deal with your emotions and attitudes. Stay on your knees and ask the questions, “What does love require? Are my desires self-serving or God-serving?”
Write down how you would want to be treated if the tables were turned. Would you be willing to change the tire of the man who wanted you thrown in jail? God can only raise you up if you are willing to stay down on your knees in humble prayer (Ps. 69:13).
Day 20:Michael tells Tony, “Yeah, I’m a paramedic. But I’m also a Christian, which means I help people while I am helping people.”
Pray about how you can live out being a Christian where ever your work, whatever the circumstances, however hard it may be to speak the truth with love. Write down some positions/ titles you hold and profess: “I’m a mom/dad, CEO, nurse, IT expert, executive, grandparent, educator, coach, etc., but most importantly, I’m a Christian, which means I ______________ while I am __________.
Ask God to permeate every relationship and responsibility in your life. Write down and pray about specific situations where it is difficult to be a Christian. Ask God to give you courage, strength and steadfastness do His will, no matter what (Ps. 31:1–5).
Day 21:Miss Clara prayed and asked God to, “Guide me to who You want me to help.”
Her hurts and past lessons gave her a testimony and teaching strategy to share with others so that they did not have to go through the pain she had suffered. Write down lessons God has taught you through past experiences. Write down your testimony and always be ready to share it with others. Ask God to guide you to someone He wants you to help. Write down a name as He shows you opportunity to share His love.
Pray for clarity so that you do not hesitate nor manipulate the situation. Ask for wisdom. Remember Miss Clara’s profound prayer, “Lord, do not let me push too hard; I know I have a big mouth!” Write down a prayer for a specific area where you already know you will need God’s hand to move as you reach out to the one He guides you to help. Remember that He may guide you to someone who is not at all like you had hoped or imagined. Be obedient no matter who He leads you to (John 13:34–35).
Day 22:Every strategy includes “keeping score.” This is not keeping a score of rights and wrongs between you and another person, or even the wrong theology that if our right behavior outweighs our sin.
In business, employees/employers write goals that are measurable and timely targets. This is often called a scorecard, which acts as an instrument panel guiding your people and company toward achieving your vision. With the scorecard, you can actively track your progress on a monthly basis.
One of the best ways to see God’s faithfulness is to keep a record of our answered prayers. Miss Clara had framed a list of “Answered Prayers” on her hallway wall. As you ask God to move or meet a need, write it down on a list or keep a journal. Make written notes when you see God’s hand moving, circumstances changing, and, finally, when the prayer is answered (Ps. 138).
Day 23:Michael tells Tony, “I’d like to see the church in you, Bro!”
Write down what you think it means for others to “see the church in you.” Write down a couple of Scriptures that teach or touch that topic. Pray about what the lost see when they look at you, and when they look at the church.
How much time have you spent on your knees for the lost? For the sinner? Ask God to show you if you have had a judgmental attitude instead of a prayerful attitude toward those whose lifestyles reflect the depravity of their souls. Write down a prayer that asks God to bring His presence into their lives, to reveal Himself in a way that they cannot deny Him. Ask God to draw the lost, to fill and heal the hurt in their lives, to give you an opportunity to love them in His grace and truth, and to bring them to a place of repentance and salvation in Him. Pray that they will know His salvation and not His judgement. Let this be your strategy so that you are prepared to pull them from the fire, to free them from the captivity of the enemy (2 Peter 3:7–10).
Day 24:Miss Clara asks Elizabeth, “Do you deserve grace?”
Clara continues as Elizabeth squirms, “God gives us grace and He helps us to give it to others even when they do not deserve it.”
Do you deserve grace? Think about the times that our Holy God has given you grace instead of the judgment you deserve. Do not write them down, because if you have asked for forgiveness they are gone—wiped away—as far as the east is from the west! He has erased them, so do not dare re-write them. Just praise and thank Him for His grace and mercy.
Write down names and ways you need to give grace to others, even though they have not asked for it or deserve it (Eph. 2:1–10).
Day 25:During Elizabeth’s fierce stand against Satan as she throws him out of her life, marriage, and home, she promptly fills the space where Satan’s schemes and lies had filled her mind with truth from God’s Word. “My joy does not come from my friends . . . my job, or even my husband,” She declares. “My joy is found in Jesus!” Then she reminds the devil—“in case he had forgotten”—that Jesus has defeated him!
It is vital to kick Satan and his wrong thinking out of our thoughts, but we must replace that space with Truth. Take every thought captive! Write down scriptural truth in the areas that Satan had you believing lies (2 Cor. 10:3–5).
Day 26:Miss Clara has a big celebration in her kitchen, shouting, “Ooooh, devil, you just got your butt kicked!”
Go ahead and smile. I am sure Jesus did! Many times we forget to have a good celebration of joy and thankfulness over our answered prayers. Sadly, we may even give the answer a passing glance as we start a new list of requests.
Write down some past answered prayers: victories, needs met, problems solved, things you asked protection from that never even got to make an appearance in your life. Now, celebrate these answers, these gifts, blessings, and victories! Shout, dance, fist pump, twirl, jump up and down—make a big deal out of your appreciation in response to God’s answers and affection (Ps. 9:1–2).
Day 27:Part of living out a strategy is to remember where you came from and where you are going. We are all sinners in need of a Savior. Once upon a time, we were on our way to eternal despair and punishment in view of God’s holy wrath. But Jesus came, and now those who believe and trust in Him as Lord and Savior have eternal life! You are a child of God, created in love and with amazing purpose!
Write down your answered prayers. Look at your list of answered prayers when you lose sight of God’s faithfulness and write down promises about your future from Scripture. Rejoice always! (Ps. 32).
Day 28:On Day 5 I asked, “So how ‘vibrant’ is your relationship with God?” I also asked you to examine and write down some adjectives, characteristics, and evidences that described your current relationship with Jesus. You also described your daily interaction and affection toward Him, how many times you think about Him during the day, and how often you talk with Him, thank Him, or give Him credit for something good or beautiful.
I asked the question, “Is prayer your first response or your last resort?” To quote Miss Clara, “Would you say your prayer life is hot or cold?”
You have been on a very intense prayer journey! This month has been about writing a strategic battle plan for specific areas of your life. I am sure the enemy has fired back at you more than once; I know it has been difficult to build a habit of planned prayer time as well as writing down all of the tactical parts of your strategy. I know you have been challenged. No battle is easy, and I pray you have seen God’s hand move as you have sought His face each day.
Now, 23 days later, I want to ask you again, “How ‘vibrant’ is your relationship with God?” Write down how your relationship with Him has changed and thank Him for the growth and guidance. I pray this has been a time of deep discipleship and that you have developed new and profound disciplines in prayer. Think about all that you have posted on your War Room wall/ notebook, and all the prayers you have prayed.
The battle is not over as long as we are still breathing, so be as bold as Moses and ask God for more of Him and His blessings (Ex. 33:12–23).
Day 29:Michael tells Tony, “Look, Tony, you can fight against your wife and maybe hold your own. But if God is fighting for her, you can hit the gym all you want, Bro. It’s not looking good for you!”
Please do not think that every one of your prayers will be answered and your life will be perfect in 30 days of battle. Some strategies and prayer requests take years to gain ground. But don’t give up! If God is fighting for you, it is not looking good for the enemy. Never stop praying. Never stop following God’s battle plan. Always do what you are called to do and never do anything that could get in the way of what God is doing to answer your prayers and bring His plan and process to pass.
Celebrate the little victories as well as the big ones. Write down prayers that profess your confidence in the Lord. Remember that praise adjusts our view to how big God is and how small our challenges, crises, and concerns are in His hands. Seek God’s face throughout the fight. Let joy and peace profess your confidence in Him even in the chaos of combat (Ex. 15:2–3).
Day 30:As we end the 30 days, there may be sections you skipped, days you skimmed, or strategies that need more structure and Scripture. We must persevere in prayer! The battles are waged all around us for marriages, our children and grandchildren, our church, and the souls of the sinners as well as the attention and testimony of the saints.
As God answers your prayers, begin to write down new strategies for other areas of your life. Surely you had more than 1-3 prayer requests or areas that need God’s touch! Begin the process again. Continue to cover the walls and doorframes of your War Room. “Bake prayer in” to that space in your home and in your heart (2 Cor. 4:7–18).
KATHY BRANZELL is the founder and CEO/president of Fellowship and Christian Encouragement (FACE) for Educators . She is also a member of the National Day of Prayer Task Force and America’s National Prayer Committee.
(c) 2015 Prayer Connect magazine.

Here are some links that may help you connect better and more passionately with the Lord of Lords.

https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=Prayer&rs=remove
http://www.prayerconnect.net/online-articles/prayer-101
http://christianprayersdaily.com/
http://www.crosswalk.com/

Here is a prayer for our country, join me in praying this.

Lord God, we desperately need your wisdom. You have given us a great country, founded on principles and truths from Your Word. We need men and women who will honor You, trust You, and lead us once again back to You. We pray for servant leaders who love the things You love and who care more about others than themselves.
Give us leaders with discerning hearts, bold faith, and wise minds that model Your character. Teach them—and us—not just what is good, but what is best. Guide them in the way our country should go. Give them purity in their intentions, and godliness in their convictions. Energize their spirits and bodies physically and spiritually, and keep them emotionally secure in the knowledge of who You are—and whose they are. Help them to be bighearted and sincere, energetic in goodness, and courteous in their manners.
Raise up leaders with the greatest potential of godly leadership, those who can ease confusion, expose illusion, and heal delusion. You alone hold the power to turn the hearts of leaders, but You listen and use our prayers to move them into right action. Help us to be faithful to care and to pursue Your heart in prayer.
Help our leaders to be quick to admit failure, but ready to rebound in persistent resilience. Encourage them to choose wisely, and when they don't know what to do, help them keep their eyes on You. Let them take a firm stand on issues that truly matter to You, regardless of the consequences or approval ratings. Make them God-pleasers, not puppets; leaders filled with conviction, not corruption.
As a nation, God, help us to desire righteousness more than rights, and to mirror sacrifice more than selfishness. You know us well, and You understand our flaws. Turn those weaknesses into strengths; bathe us with Your grace and mercy, though none of us deserve it. Fill us with the boldness to choose the kind of freedom that will benefit all, rather than a few. Open our eyes to see others as You do—with godly potential and value. But help us, too, to recognize our own pride in trying to elevate ourselves and others above You and Your purpose for our lives.
We need, You, God. Oh, how we need You! You have exercised nothing but faithfulness and fairness in Your treatment of our country, even when we've turned our back on You and forgotten Your goodness to us. Your discipline at times is hard, but You are just. Your purpose is always to draw us close to You, to bless us, and to make us a great nation who honors You. You are a good, good, Father—and Your love for us has a proven track record.
Forgive us for wanting our own way and making our own paths—often the ones paved with least resistance. Forgive us for fence-walking, or for ignoring completely the truths that can so easily set us free. Deliver us from mindless quarrels and destinations that lead us nowhere, but away from You. Free us from divisiveness, and melt our hardened hearts to love, not hate, and to heal, not debate.
Our history has cried for king-like leaders who will solve our problems and meet our needs. But there is only one King, and that is You, Lord. We have blindly sought answers from others to life's unresolved questions through the years, but You are the only wise Counselor. We have longed for peace, but You are the only Peacemaker, and the only Prince of Peace. We’ve clung to our weapons of warfare, not as measures of defense, but as strongholds of selfish pride. We look at outward appearances; You see the heart. With You, nothing formed against us can prosper. Without You, we are nothing.
Make us a great nation, yes. But more than that, make us good, Lord, with a heartbeat that wants every person of every creed and color to know Your love, Your goodness, and Your worth. Make us wise as serpents, but gentle as doves. Turn our fears to faith, as we look to You and You alone for the future of our country. Give us God-confidence that no matter what happens, we will believe You are not only in control, but that You know exactly what is needed to accomplish Your purpose. Help us not to second-guess Your moves, but to move at Your command, always without hesitation.
We look to You and to You, only, Lord. Help us make wise decisions that move our country in the right direction. Help us to do our part in praying and in staying with what we know is right according to the truth of Your Word. Teach us to make our actions count and our words matter, and line them both up to Your sense of rightness, not ours. Guide us with Your eye; grip us with Your strong arm; teach us what we need to know to make our lives—and our nation—count for you. We pray for our leaders, but we ask You to make us both leaders and followers: leading in the way of Truth, and following those who honor You.
In the precious and powerful name of Jesus,
Amen
 
Rebecca Barlow Jordan is an inspirational author, speaker, and passionate follower of Jesus who loves to encourage others heart to heart. She has written 11 books and over 1700 other articles, greeting cards, and other inspirational pieces. Her daily devotional Daily in Your Presence is available for delivery through Crosswalk.com. You can find out more about Rebecca at www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com.

I had so much fun collaborating with Wes Molebash to bring this illustration together! We have made this into a postcard to put in our orders, keep it for yourself or turn it around, write a message and pop it…:

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