Today’s devotion included below “When You’re Struggling with Strongholds and Strangleholds” is a reminder from GiG Sharon that, “The only way to expose the enemy and defeat him is to tear down the stronghold, the fortress where he is hiding… recognize a lie in your life reject the lie and replace it with truth.”
GiG, “Some of us are so comfortable with our strongholds we don’t even realize they are there.” OUCH or Amen!
PRAYER CHANGES THINGS
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” James 5:16 NLT
GiG, our most powerful resource is communion with God through prayer. The results are often greater than we thought were possible. However, some unfortunately see prayer as a last resort to be tried when all else fails. Oh, but this approach is backwards. Prayer really should come first. Because God’s power is infinitely greater than ours, it only makes sense to rely on it—especially because God encourages us to do so.
I’m reminded to pray about what’s on my mind every time I walk down my hall wall. There are two hand-made wooden plaques at opposite ends. One reads, “A Day Hemmed in Prayer Seldom Unravels” and the other “Prayer Changes Things.”
Starting in kindergarten I would encourage my son to talk about a difficulty he was experiencing, I’d share a difficulty as well (mind you I only discussed age-appropriate things with him), and then we would pray about them together and then continue praying separately. When God answered our prayers we always were sure to give Him the glory. In all honesty, sometimes we liked the answer and at other times we didn’t, but we trusted God and His direction concerning the situations.
It’s funny how God brings things to you remembrance right when you need them. Da’rell and I still continue this “ritual” with one another because this is our confidence taken from a Dr. Stanley sermon: “Anything we pray for that aligns with the Father’s plan will be granted. Consequently, the more time we spend with Him, the more we’ll come to understand His will and how to pray for it.”
Christ has made it possible for us to go directly to God whether it is for forgiveness, direction, or correction. But we don’t often talk about confessing our sins to each other. Believe it or not doing so still has an important place in the life of the church. Here are four reasons why:
(1) If we have sinned against an individual, we must ask her or him to forgive us.
(2) If our sin has affected the church, we must confess it publicly
(3) If we need loving support as we struggle with a sin, we should confess that sin to those who are able to provide that support
(4) If after confessing a private sin to God, we still don’t “feel” his forgiveness, we may wish to confess that sin to a fellow believer and hear her or him assure us of God’s pardon. In Christ’s kingdom every believer is a priest to other believers (1 Peter 2:9)
Remember, prayer doesn’t change God’s mind, but it does transform our heart.
May we be encouraged to trust that God has only the very best in store for us. However, that means we might not receive exactly what we’re asking for, but something even better. Whether a stronghold, stranglehold, for direction, or in a state of indecision our most powerful tool for shaping us and the world is always available.
Let’s quit walking around saved but enslaved; instead persevere in prayer and witness God’s hand in any situation. There’s no limit to what He can achieve in our hearts and circumstances.
Called to serve and encouraging others to thrive,
"My situation should not change my praise, but my praise can certainly change my situation!" Semper Gratus—always grateful—my 40 day focus.
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