prayer

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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Switch Up Your Strategy.

Switch up your strategy.

Those are the words God spoke to me about prayer the other day.

I’ve been interceding for months about a lot of things.

But sometimes prayer doesn’t seem to be working.

Many of us know the verse from 1 Thessalonians 5:17 — pray without ceasing.

But often times, we forget the words that follow it:

Give thanks in every circumstance.

Sometimes that’s hard to do especially when everything appears as if it’s against you.

Despite the seed of disbelief the devil plants to derail you, giving thanks is key to the victory.

God wants us to pray and praise when we enter the throne room.

If you’ve got word a promise is about to come to pass, pray as if the miracle has manifested.

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Pray in a position from victory, not for victory.

During last month’s Eyes & Wings Prophetic Conference at Petra International Ministries, a powerful and dynamic woman of God named Dr. Pat Francis inspired me with a message that changed my perspective as a Christian forever. She said what many believers don’t realize is that there’s already been a revival going on. Even though thousands have been fasting and praying for a great move of God, the enemy’s awakening has already begun.

Psychics, mediums and others operating in the occult world understand the powers of darkness. So if that’s the case, why don’t Christians realize the power they have in Christ? If we truly believe God is Ruler of All and above everything, then wouldn’t that make the church unstoppable? In order for that to happen, we have to a revelation of not only the power of God, but that power that’s inside of us. And the best way to communicate that power is through prayer.

That’s why we need to switch up our strategy. That’s why we can’t pray the same old things. That’s why it’s time to ditch the old wineskin mentality and pray with boldness and faith.

When we truly understand our dominion and authority, then we know when we go in our war rooms, our obstacles are already obsolete because Christ got our opponent — the enemy — beat.

By Sydni Grant
sydni@areyoushe.com

Photo: Shutterstock

Are You Expecting?

For the past month or so, I’ve been wrestling with what God had spoken to me through a prayer encounter called Encountering Glory. Several weeks later, I went to dinner with my mentor, Mrs. Deah, and her spiritual mother, Elder Denice, for guidance and insight. They were both pouring wisdom into me and challenging me.

Elder Denice encouraged me to look at my situation in a way I didn’t think aboutexpecting.

She said, “What does a woman say when she’s pregnant? She says she’s expecting. And when she’s expecting she starts preparing and getting things ready for what she’s expecting. She doesn’t wait until the ninth month to prepare. God wants you to agree with what He’s told you and prepare for what you’re expecting.”

That hit me. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but it was what I needed to hear.

We’re each pregnant with purpose. Believe it or not, God placed purpose in you. We’re pregnant with whatever God spoke to us about that we would conceive.  He instills purpose and promise in each of us. God knew us and our purpose here on earth before our mothers even conceived us.   — “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5 NKJV

So what are you expecting?

Have you started preparing?

My prayer for each of us is that we have a receptive spirit toward whatever God instills in us as Mary did when the angel of the Lord, Gabriel, told her she would conceive and give birth to Jesus. — “Then Mary said, ‘Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.” Luke‬ ‭1:38‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

For more encouragement and insight on birthing your purpose, check out Sydni’s posts: When Are You Due? and Are You Ready To Push?

By Ashley A. Johnson
ashley@areyoushe.com

Photo: stocksnap.io

Order Off The Menu.

It’s been often said God answers prayers with yes, no and not yet.

But I think it’s much simpler than that.

Almost every day when I get into the secret place, I pray one of my favorite verses:

“If you abide in Me, My words abide in you,”

But until recently, I realized I haven’t been praying the second part.

Ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. (John 15:7) 

And I’m a living witness one of my wishes came true.

The other day I went to Stone Pizza in downtown Pittsburgh with my friend Carmen. All I wanted was a white spinach pizza but the problem was spinach wasn’t on the menu. I thought about substituting spinach with arugula but I realized arugula just wouldn’t do. Carmen said it wouldn’t hurt to ask so I did. And you know what the manager told me? For the first time in two years, they had spinach in the restaurant. 

As I smiled and thanked God for releasing His favor on me, this is what He immediately told me:

I want you to order off the menu. 

Standing at the counter getting ready to pay for my pizza, those words kept resonating in me over and over again.

And then it hit me.

Too many of us are ordering on the menu. We’re looking to the world instead of Christ to determine what life has in store for us. Let me put it to you this way: The world is the menu and Satan is the manager. There’s nothing more that he would love to do than rob you of all the joy and blessings God has in store for you. Instead of turning your heart to Him, the one seated in high and heavenly places, the enemy uses distraction to get your mind off the things the LORD really wants for you. Don’t you know in the word it says the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy but Jesus came to gives us life and more abundantly? (John 10:10)

menu

Don’t settle for arugula if you want spinach. Too many of us are making sacrifices for substitutes. That’s what living life based on the menu will do to you. It will keep you jaded and stymie you from understanding your calling and worth in Christ. Instead of shooting for the moon, waiting for God’s best instead of settling for the rest, you’ll be catercorner in a hole never designed for you. Don’t put arugula on your pizza if you want spinach. Walk a path of purity, refusing to be adulterated by the world. God will reward your faithfulness. “And so, after [she] had patiently endured, [she] obtained the promise.” Hebrews 6:15

His will is too big for the menu. The truth of the matter is, there’s nothing too big for our God. He wants us to dare greatly and believe all things are possible with Christ. (Philippians 4:13). That’s why we pray “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. His kingdom is bigger than the realities of this world. And He wants to manifest it through you. When we begin to walk in His ways and wear His word around our necks, that’s when out-of-this-world blessings begin to start.

So ladies, I dare you today to start ordering off the menu. With a heart surrendered to God and dependent on Christ — there’s no telling what the Spirit will do through you.

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” Ephesians 3:20 

By Sydni Grant
sydni@areyoushe.com

Photo: Huffington Post

3 Things To Do When Everyone Is Getting Blessed Except For You.

If your news feed is anything like mine, it’s filled with engagement announcements and pictures of ultrasounds.

You’re happy for the people who are getting married and having babies. But have you ever wondered, “When is it going to be me?”

If so, you’re not alone. Many young women I have been talking to lately are struggling with the same thing. They’re trusting in the LORD, doing everything right, but their time hasn’t come yet. And sometimes, it can feel like a lonely road.

waiting for blessingI thought I was going to be one of those girls who meets “the one” and then would be married immediately. But God apparently had different plans for me. My man and I had accountability partners, abstained from sex and took pre-martial counseling classes at our church. But after several years of our courtship, spiritual attacks and personal setbacks, we still weren’t engaged. Instead of waiting on God and trusting in His timing, I was frustrated with where I was and wasn’t going.

Whether you’re hoping for marriage, a family or a new career, it’s not easy seeing everyone else get blessed except for you. During this season of waiting, God revealed to me I had a heart issue. I was looking more at the world instead of focusing on Him. I had to repent because I was coveting what others had instead of being grateful for all God has given me. But in the midst of my sin, God taught me 3 things to do while waiting for a breakthrough.

Pray In Circles. If God has placed a promise in your heart or prophetic words have been spoken over you, keep praying. The word instructs us to pray without ceasing day and night. You can’t birth something unless you push — pray until something happens. Don’t give up just because you don’t see anything happening in the natural. We’re called to walk by faith and not by sight. Jesus is our intercessor, presenting our prayers before the Father. When we pray according to His will, we can’t lose because He already won it all for us when He went to the cross.  “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Luke 9:11 (NIV) 

Praise Him For The Breakthrough. When we give God thanksgiving, we’re thanking Him for what He’s already done. When we praise Him, it’s to glorify who He is and what He’s about to do. Praise isn’t just for Sunday. We’re called to go into the secret place with Him everyday. Tell God how good He is and how much you love Him. We’re always waiting on God to make a move but sometimes, He’s waiting on you. Don’t wait for the worship team and your pastor to glorify His name. Be bold and be brave and start worshiping Him on your own. “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.” Psalm 98:4 

Count It All Joy. That’s one of the hardest things a Christian is called to do. When your world is falling apart and there seems to be no breakthrough in sight — counting it all joy isn’t easy. When our soul becomes downcast because of our situations, we lose sight of what God is doing behind the scenes. The hardships are all just a set up to move you closer to your destiny. They are meant to test and try you so you become the woman God has called and destined you to be. “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, James 1:2”

When you’re waiting for breakthrough, God is all about healing your heart and building your character. He wants you humble and whole so when the promise is fulfilled, all the glory goes to God instead of your head.

As you go through trials and tribulations in this season, remember this:

“…suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:4 

By Sydni Grant
sydni@areyoushe.com
Photo: people.desktopnexus.com

He Hears Us.

If you don’t think God hears our prayers, think again.

While I was sitting in a car last Thursday night, praying for my sister in Christ Rebekah, God put it on my heart to pray for our two other friends sitting in the car across from us in a church parking lot. Seconds after I prayed to God to be with them as well, I got a phone call from one of them.

God’s message in that moment was clear: He’s with us and He hears us.

“And we are confident that He hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him.” 1 John 5:14 

By Sydni Grant
sydni@areyoushe.com