I’m a hopeless book worm. E-readers have saved our house from being over-run with books. Discount e-books have saved our bank accounts from ruin. Occasionally, however, there are books that I just must have in print and paper so that I can mark them, dog-ear the pages, and simply wear them out. This blog entry is about one of those books.
The book, Fervent
by Priscilla Shirer, was recommended by a Facebook friend (who was my husband’s nurse after his brain surgery). Having recently seen Shirer’s powerful performance in War Room
, I was immediately intrigued by the book. I immediately purchased a hard copy and counted the days until it arrived.
In Priscilla’s book, she lists ten areas where Satan likes to interfere with our lives. Each chapter closes with Bible verses targeted to a particular area of attack. Remember the “dry bones
” in Ezekiel? God told Ezekiel what to speak. Ezekiel said it. It happened. The bones returned to life. After praying these Bible verses over an area of life where I struggle, I experienced my biggest “A-ha’s” in prayer and Bible study.
In the chapter about passion
, Priscilla explains how Satan convinces us that it’s useless to pray. He persuades us that we are too busy, that our prayers are too ineffective, and that it is not worth the effort. She explains how the enemy attacks our passion even when we are in the middle of doing God’s work. He makes us feel empty and flat. He makes us feel like none of this “God-stuff” is worth it. Once we are convinced, our prayer life dies.
One of the prayer verses she recommends is Ezekiel 36:26:
“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (ESV)
Having identified with most of this chapter, I began to pray that God would remove my unfeeling heart and give me a new, soft heart. Within days, I found myself responding with immense anger towards empty religion. I found a passion and excitement in my Bible study that had never been there before. Prayer time became alive and exciting. The strength of these emotions startled me…until I realized that God was answering my prayer.
In the chapter about focus, Priscilla reveals Satan’s masquerade tactics. He quietly sneaks into our relationships to bring friction, disagreement, discontent, and irritation. We find ourselves fighting each other, when all the time, Satan is the one we SHOULD be fighting
A snippet from Isaiah 54:17 became my go-to response to the bickering and discord that Satan stirs up at my house: “No weapon formed against you shall prosper.” Suddenly the kids’ arguments ceased to be “me against them”. They became “us against the enemy”. I began to see our home life through new eyes.
One rough Sunday morning, everything conspired against us getting to sound check on time. Two out of three kids managed to get dressed slower than turtles, only to come down wearing wadded up clothes and looking like they had slept in the laundry basket. My piano notebooks, which are usually in one of two places, were nowhere to be found. I searched for at least ten minutes before finding them. Then I snapped in complete frustration and said something horrible to one of the kids.
Suddenly, I realized that Satan was at work. I asked my kids for forgiveness, and then we all prayed in the car on the way to church. The friction disappeared instantly. The kids were again my allies. Satan’s weapons did not prosper against us…because we identified his tactics and used Scripture to pray for our situation.
That morning at church, I was blessed by a friend showing me her journal about all she had learned that week from her Bible. Because God’s Word prevailed over our bad morning, I was able to really hear what my friend had to say. She shared with me victory that she was experiencing during a rough time of life. (When God is ready to do something big, Satan brings in the chaos!)
Why does praying God’s Word work?
Ezekiel spoke God’s words over the dry bones
. They reassembled and grew flesh and muscle. God told him to command the wind to fill the bones with life. Ezekiel spoke God’s words again. God breathed into them the breath of life.
God has given us sixty-six books filled with His words. We don’t have to wait for an audible voice from the sky to tell us what to say to our life problems. We can simply open up His Book, find verses that apply to our struggles, and then pray those over our problems.
Want New Testament proof?
The power of speaking God’s words is not just an Old Testament prophet phenomenon.
In Ephesians 6, Paul reminds us to use the Word of God as a sword against the enemy:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil
. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against
the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil
in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit
, with all prayer and supplication.” (ESV)
Satan wants to defeat us, devour us, and keep us and our loved ones from God. We can thwart his plans by praying God’s words.
When you don’t know what to say to God about your problems, let HIM speak to your problems.
Say out loud what the Bible says.
Start with Psalm 138:7 from the “focus” chapter on page 52:
“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
And Your right hand will save me.” (NASB)
In the name of Jesus, tell your enemy where to go!!