Pray

We Are Under Attack: Three Ways To Prepare For War

prayer

The Bible describes Satan in different ways. It describes him as a serpent (Genesis 3:1), a murderer (Psalm 106:37), a dragon (Revelation 12: 9) and a father of lies (John 8:44). His desire is to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10) and ultimately cause us to turn away from God. When we read about him in scripture we know Satan is no good. So why do we invite the enemy into our homes, jobs and minds? You might say, “What?! I don’t invite him into my life, I’m saved.” But that’s the thing -it is the saved that are under attack and sometimes we let Satan in without even knowing. We are at war and Satan is our enemy. The good news is that we have God fighting with us and for us. With God we’ve already won the battle! However, this will not stop Satan from tryng to come in. So, we must fight with prayer and supplication in order to defeat the enemy.

 

ferventFor my church’s women’s bible study, we are reading this amazing book called Fervent by Priscilla Shirer. I’m only on the second chapter and I’m already ready to war; war against the enemy. Fervent is mainly about prayer. Prayer is our weapon of choice when going against the enemy. It’s not only meant to combat war, it is also our way to express our trust in God. In turn, our trust in Him will increase. By increasing our trust in His plan we are also increasing our faith. The Bible says- “You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.” Mathew 21:22 (NLT) And the enemy knows this! He knows if we pray more our faith will grow. So to decrease our faith he distracts us from prayer. How many times have you got on your knees to pray and all of sudden your phone goes off, or your mind starts racing about other things? These distractions are not coincidences. They are strategies from the enemy. So how do you prepare for the enemies attacks and block his tactics? Here are three ways to prepare for war-

1.) Praying with precession

Priscilla suggested praying with precession to remove distractions. Focus on areas where we know the enemy is attacking. It could be focused prayer on family, friends, job, children, school or whatever. I prayed for my time crunch constraints. I thought I was too busy for  prayer.  I prayed about this and gave this concern to God. I am now able to get up earlier and pray. I even found a church by my job that opens for their sanctuary for prayer. I like to go there during my lunch break. So now I have time in the middle of the day to pray without the urge to rush through the prayer. I feel at peace during prayer now and I can focus on being in His presence while spending time with Him.

2.) Exercise your prayer life

Another great thing about prayer is that it doesn’t just increase our trust in God, it also makes us dangerous and a threat to the enemy. We become prepared soldiers in this war ready for combat. We become a threat to the enemy’s kingdom. A few of my friends are in the army and they told me about the preparation and training they had to do for a career in the armed forces. Gurgling boots camps, long days of training and a lot of exercise, to test endurance. They endured weeks and weeks of this preparation beforehand. Why? To prepare for a possible attack. This is what we need to do in our prayer life. We need to exercise our faith with prayer. We need to have prayer and worship “boot camps” to make sure we can endure the attacks that will come with the enemy’s strategies.

3.) Get intimate with God

Lastly, prayer not only increases faith, but it allows us to grow deeper in fellowship with God. It is an intimate experience with God. These prayers will change our insides and also manifest outwardly. “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5: 16 (NIV) When we pray we are able to able grow close to God. It’s the one on one quality time with God that allows us to connect. The more time you fill with Him the more you will be able to hear His voice, feel the Holy Spirit and understand your purpose. When you don’t spend time with Him  you won’t know Him. We cannot get so caught up in the religion that we forget the relationship.

So ladies, I encourage you all to keep striving and living for God, remain prayerful and trust God. Build a relationship with God and know that with God on our side the enemy has already been defeated.

By Patrice McKenzie
patrice@areyoushe.com

Photos: sistersevolve.com & christianbook.com

 

 

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Testimony Tuesday- Fearless Faith: 3 Steps To Be Bold In Your Faith And Trust God’s Plan

I often let fear hold me back from so many opportunities. Whether it is a job opportunity, relationship opportunities and even ministry opportunities. I do this because I don’t have trust in His plan over my life. I will rely on my own abilities first before letting God work in my life. The Bible clearly says:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

I always said I was too busy or I did not have time. I had so much on my plate, and I did not want to fail. So I decided I was going to try to juggle multiple things at once.  The problem was I was so busy doing things that were not kingdom’s work that I often felt emotionally, physically and spiritually drained. When I was spiritually drained, the enemy came in to attack my confidence in God’s power. He’d reiterate the fact that I was so “busy”  and that because my time was limited something had to give. One of the first things that went was spending time with God. Here are the excuses I made:

  • “I’m too busy to read my Bible because I have to work.”
  • “I’m too busy to pray because I’m tired.”
  • “I’m too busy to go to church because I have to study.”

The second lie I believed from the enemy was that I was not qualified. Again, because I was fearful of failure and I was relying on my own abilities, I held myself back. Whatever “it” was, “it” was not going to happen.

I had one potential job opportunity where I allowed fear to hold me back and make me feel unqualified. I got to an interview, dressed in a suit and with my résumé in hand. Instead of having confidence, I doubted myself so much that the employer had second thoughts and I did not get the job.

I even did this within ministry. I left ministry positions because I thought I did not have the time to be effective, not trusting that God will help me be effective regardless of my circumstances. What I did not realize is my qualification does not come from man but from God.

“It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.” 2 Corinthians 3:5

So this year, 2016, and from now on, I will have Fearless Faith. I will no longer let fear hold me back from my purpose and the plan God has over my life.

Here is a how I will have fearless faith this year and moving forward-

  • Deeper in the Word– I will be intentional about having quiet time and to have consistent prayer. Some people said if I don’t have time I should multitask. This is true but I cannot multitask prayer because I’ll only do one thing well. In order to have faith and a stronger relationship, I need that quiet quality time with Him. So I plan to set time aside to read His word and to pray.
  • Deeper in my Worship– One area I didn’t realize I have fear in is my worship. I used to believe I can only worship in church or only behind close doors. But now I know I can worship multiple different ways. Now, I will be obedient to how the Holy Spirit is leading me to worship.
  • To have FAITH– I no longer want to worry about the unknown. Even though I cannot see the future I still need to have faith in God’s plan. I will trust God’s got my back. No matter what I’m going through God will see me through it. Lastly, I will not worry! My go to scripture for this is:

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Philippians 4:6

I know this is easier said than done, but I I need to remain faithful daily. I sometimes have to say this to myself periodically through the day. This reminds me to stop worrying and give it to God.

I hope this encouraged you all. Remember to have fearless faith, trust God and know He’s got your back.

By Patrice McKenzie
patrice@areyoushe.com

P.S.- Check out this awesome spontaneous worship song by Bethel Music featuring William Matthews

On The Brink Of Something Beautiful.

Push. 

Those are the words God spoke to me as I laid in bed this morning.

It’s a word I’ve been hearing over and over again this season, but it’s meaning never meant so much to me as it did today.

As I laid in my bed looking out the window, feeling overwhelmed and spiritually exhausted with tears running down my face, those four little words did more than just encourage me; they hit my spirit differently.

cry

Doctors tell women to push for a reason.

And God is trying to say the same thing to us in this season.

When you’re on the brink of birthing something beautiful, that’s when it gets the hardest. The hardest to pray. The hardest to believe. And the hardest to think the breakthrough will ever be seen. But all God is calling us to do is to just dare to believe and have faith of a mustard seed.  

If you feel like you’re standing outside the walls of Jericho, this is the time like never before to go before the LORD and get down on your knees. When you’re in the middle of a miracle, the worst thing you could do is turn back around. You’ve come too far. You’re in too deep. The time to push is now .

A few weeks ago, Bishop TD Jakes preached a powerful sermon about fighting for your territory. Based on the story about the demon possessed man in Mark 5, Jakes said what many of us fail to realize is that the enemy is not after us — but our territory. He’s after the things in your life God is calling you to possess. Don’t think the enemy doesn’t know what’s on the other side. If that wasn’t the case, he wouldn’t be going in so hard after you. Since we’re new creatures in Christ, we’re called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). And there’s nothing more that the enemy hates than a woman after God’s own heart, contending for the Kingdom and declaring His promises over her life.

If there’s any heroine in the bible we can look up to in this season, it’s Mary. She was an unwed pregnant teenager but didn’t fret when Joseph decided he wanted to leave her. During Mary and Joseph’s time of separation, she still praised the LORD in the midst of her pain. “My soul magnifies the LORD, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth, all generations will call me blessed.” Luke 1:47 (NKJV). Despite what it looked like on the outside, Mary gave God the glory and pressed on by believing the promises spoken over her life. Mary pushed spiritually before she gave birth naturally. 

So whatever you’re fighting for, just know you’re going to have to push like Mary.

Pray until something happens. 

Praise until something happens.

Persevere until something happens.

The truth of the matter is, whatever you’re pushing isn’t about you — it’s about the Kingdom. God wants to birth His kingdom through us. Just look at the way He used Mary. The gifts and callings on our lives are all part of His plan of what He wants to do throughout the earth.

That’s why we gotta push. That’s why we gotta pray. That’s why we gotta praise. What we’re going through is bigger than our own personal breakthroughs. The world needs you to push so you can shine your light — the Christ that’s within you.

By Sydni Grant
sydni@areyoushe.com
Photo: pixshark.com

3 Things To Remember When You’re Angry

I’m sure we all can attest to getting angry. Anger is something I can definitely admit I struggle with. I can think of constant times where I was frustrated or impatient. Whether I was upset witwoman_screaming_page-bg_12177h family, frustrations with my job, or even not getting the grades I desired when I was in college/graduate school, I’ve struggled with managing my anger. Sometimes anger takes precedence in the moment we’re upset and we say things we don’t mean and words we cannot take back. Anger itself is not a sin; however, as believers, we are not called to sin because of anger. It’s so easy to get caught up in our anger and go off. Well how do we manage this?

Pray

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalms 139:23-24 NKJV

Take a moment to pray. No matter how angry you are, place yourself before God. Give God your anger. Seek His Presence. Exchange your anger for His Peace. Offer yourself to God and allow Him to examine your heart and the issue. Be transparent with God as David was. Allow God to lead you through it all.

Don’t Fuel The Enemy’s Flame

“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” Ephesians 4:26-27 ESV

Satan wants nothing more than for us to sin in our anger. By sinning because of anger, it only feeds into Satan’s schemes. As hard as it is to refrain from acting out in our anger, we need to remember Who we represent. When we’re ALL in for Christ, the enemy hates that. He will use any situation, person (even those closest to you), or thing to kill your entire vibe. We don’t want to give the enemy any part of ourselves as an opportunity for his own gain. Stand firm and remember it’s for Christ we live. — “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” Galatians 2:20 NASB

Count It All Joy

 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” James 1:2-3 NKJV

No matter what trials we face, there is purpose in it. You can either look at situations blindly or with a spiritual perspective. It’s not easy to look at situations we’re in that cause us to be angry, yet God’s Word calls us to consider it ALL joy. When our faith is tested, it produces patience. We can either remain frustrated and angry because of the situations we’re in or we can count it all joy.

When you find yourself angry or upset, remember to pray, don’t fuel the enemy’s flame, and count it all joy. Continue Striving for His Excellence!

By Ashley A. Johnson
ashley@areyoushe.com

Photo: imgkid.com