Rev Dr Edgar Mayer – Living Grace Lutheran Church, Toowoomba – Date: 7 August 2016

For more sermons and other writings, please check the following homepage: www.livinggracetoowoomba.org

 

[Preaching alongside Pastor Yonggi Cho’s book “Make Your Faith Work”.

Sermon 04: Praying to Win.]

 

Praying to Win

 

For the last few weeks, I have done something new in my prayer life. I am using a written prayer which I pray daily, using my vocal chords to speak the words aloud. And I find that my spirit is stirring as I go through the lines.

When we returned from long-service leave, I searched the net for a suitable prayer, not for myself, but for the pastor and congregation in Germany where we did the Holy Spirit seminar. I had it on my heart that they needed to add something to their prayers because the life of the church had become spiritually more intense – people were being filled with the Holy Spirit and now there was change and a church on the move. From experience (our experience here at Living Grace), I knew that they would want to avoid certain hiccups in the church and purposeful praying could make the difference. But when I found a good prayer for them (from Derek Prince, translated into German), I loved it so much that I wanted an English version of the same prayer and pray it myself [I did not find the same but similar prayer], and then – after a few days (of praying it myself with passion) – I was wondering how it would be if the whole of Living Grace began praying this. Would we go to another level of unity and love (joy and peace) and breakthrough in this church?

Here is the prayer. I read it to you and, as I am reading, can you identify what may be a little unusual in this prayer? Is it a little different from your normal way of praying, (at least for some of us)? At the end of the message, we will say it together and we will say the whole prayer, but for now a few selections are enough to know where it is going.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray this prayer in the power of the Holy Spirit and in the name of Jesus Christ. I bind and bring to no effect all division, discord, disunity, strife, anger, wrath, criticism, condemnation, pride, envy, jealousy, gossip, slander, complaining, lying, false teaching, false gifts, false manifestations, lying signs and wonders, poverty, fear of lack, fear, murmuring spirits, deceiving spirits and spirits of Antichrist. These are all bound in me, my family and church family.

 

I bind all curses that have been spoken against us. I bind the power of negative words and curses, and I bind and render useless all prayers not inspired by the Holy Spirit. 

 

I bless those who curse me and pray blessings on those who despitefully use me. I confess that I am a child of God, that I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. I am God’s property.

 

I confess the Holy Spirit guides and leads me. I do hear God’s voice as Jesus said in John 10:27. I can discern between what is righteous and wicked. I have authority over Satan and demons through Christ. I declare Satan is under my feet. I bind Satan from my family, my mind, my body, my home, my church and my finances.

 

I confess I am healed and whole, I flourish, I am stable, fruitful, full of peace, patience and love. Whatever I set my hands to shall prosper, for God supplies my every need. 

 

God, I pray for the ministries You have for me to be revealed and matured. Anoint me for all You have called me to do for You. You have opened a door into the Lutheran church, and now is the time to advance forcefully - into all the world, to Lutherans and everyone. I call forth divine appointments, open fields of opportunity, God ordained encounters, ministry opportunities and ministry positions. I will use my life and God given abilities for Your glory and honor, O Lord. 

 

I claim a fence of protection around myself, spouse and children day and night. I ask You, God, in the name of Jesus, to dispatch angels to surround me, my spouse and my children today and to put them throughout my home, cars and properties. I ask that angels protect my home from any intrusion and to protect me and my family from any harmful demonic, physical or mental attacks.  

 

And lastly, I declare by faith that revival is sweeping through me and my family, my church family and nation. I will allow it to bring about the necessary changes in me. I am open to correction, repentance, obedience and brokenness and a deeper walk with God. I deeply desire a more powerful prayer life and a greater intimacy with the Lord and a burden for the lost.

 

I pray this prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen. 

 

Pastor John Kilpatrick (modified)

 

What strikes you about this prayer? What is maybe a little different from the prayers that you are used to? I find two features of this kind of praying important: 1) This is a warfare prayer. There is a lot of binding going on – curses, negative words, discord and division – and we are claiming and declaring protection from injury and demonic attacks. 2) This is not so much a prayer of asking or petitioning God (we are not really on our knees pleading for anything), but a prayer of declaring and taking authority with words – “I bind the power of negative words and curses, and I bind and render useless all prayers not inspired by the Holy Spirit.” / “I confess I am healed and whole … Whatever I set my hands to shall prosper, for God supplies my every need.” / “I claim a fence of protection around myself, spouse and children day and night.” – as the Spirit-filled children of God. I will unpack and expand on both of these features.

Yonggi Cho, now retired, was the pastor of the largest church in the world. His church in Seoul (Korea) grew from nothing to more than 800,000 members in about fifty years. And last week we heard what happens to him in prayer:

 

According to Yonggi Cho, prayer is his first priority, and he is telling everyone: “I am convinced that renewal is possible anywhere people dedicate themselves to prayer” (Paul Yonggi Cho with R. Whitney Manzano: Prayer: Key to Revival, Waco, Word Publishing 1984, p7).

 

Paul Yonggi Cho: Make Your Faith Work, Chapter 1: People ask me, ‘Why should you pray so much?’

I’m praying because I can only receive the light of the Holy Spirit by repenting genuinely through prayer every day. If I don’t pray, I won’t really repent because every day I become contaminated by the world of sin. Because we are all living in a sinful world, we are constantly being contaminated. And so, when I pray, the Holy Spirit comes into my heart and I can see my reality and can genuinely repent of my sins.

Of course, every day I commit many sins of the lips because I hear so much from people and then I’m tempted to join them in criticising others. When I pray in the Holy Spirit, he lights up my heart and rebukes me about some of these situations. I fight the habitual sin of criticising others. I determine over and over again to rid myself completely of this sin, but again and again I fall into that trap. Therefore I need to get cleansed every day and if I don‘t pray, I can’t get myself cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.

I’ve been in my ministry for twenty-six years, but still I need the Holy Spirit every day to cleanse my life because there are many temptations that creep in. When you become the pastor of almost half a million people, you are in the centre of temptation. You are tempted to make money. If I have the desire, I can make big money, not just a few pennies. I could become a multi-millionaire! The devil comes to me and says, ‘Yes, you can become a millionaire legally. Why don’t you make money while you have the chance?’

Also, there are tremendous temptations from the opposite sex. You become like an angel to them. On the platform I always talk about the word of God and they think I’m an angel sent from the Lord. One day my wife came to me and said, ‘Let’s go up on the platform and live there together.’ '

I asked, ‘Why?’

Her answer was simple, ‘You talk like an angel on the platform, but then when you come home you become a red, hotblooded human being and I am so confused.’

Since I represent Jesus Christ, my people take me as an angel from the Lord — so the temptation from women is tremendous. I used to think that when I was 50, I’d be exempt from those temptations. When I was in my 20s and 30s I used to pray, ‘Oh, God, make me old quickly!’ Now I’m beginning to see that temptation is even more subtle as I get older. If I don’t pray, I can very easily become the target of temptation.

Also there is the temptation of pride because people treat me like a king. They try to touch me. They swarm around and struggle even to touch my coat. The devil comes and tries to put pride into my heart. If I don’t pray, I can’t see the real situation of my heart because the devil comes and says, ‘This is fine. You are justified in being proud.’  Justified or unjustified, I can really see the reality of the situation only when the Holy Spirit helps me.  For this reason, when I pray, the Holy Spirit shines in my heart and I begin to see myself through the eyes of God and then I repent daily. If I don’t go before him asking forgiveness daily, then I cannot keep my position straight before the Lord. I need to pray so I can be delivered from worldliness because worldliness is strong — like a mighty wave. To keep myself in Christ’s likeness I need to repent …

 

Paul Yonggi Cho with R. Whitney Manzano: Prayer: Key to Revival, Waco, Word Publishing 1984, p24-24: When you come into contact with God in your time of prayer, the first thing you feel in your heart, as you enter into His divine presence, is a realization of your sin. No one can sense pride in the presence of the holy God. Once you sense your lack of natural qualifications to be in His holy Presence, you will begin to confess your sin and humble yourself before God… Amazingly, as you enter into his Presence, you will be made aware of reactions, attitudes and actions that you may have forgotten … The next very natural reaction to the Presence is to desire to be forgiven for your sin. This is true in my own experience…

 

Comment: This is not a waste of time – not holding us back from praying more important petitions (such as our needs and wants for our family, the church family and nation) – but winning the victory over the battleground that is our own person. God is ready to move, but we need to be free of contamination. And he is doing this for us in prayer.

 

The first thing that happens for Yonggi Cho in prayer is that he feels in his heart a realization of his sin: “Amazingly, as you enter into his Presence, you will be made aware of reactions, attitudes and actions that you may have forgotten … The next very natural reaction to the Presence is to desire to be forgiven for your sin.” “I’ve been in my ministry for twenty-six years, but still I need the Holy Spirit every day to cleanse my life because there are many temptations that creep in.” Therefore, the first thing that happens for Yonggi Cho in prayer is personal. However, it is not personal in a holy bubble of carefree intimacy with God. It is immediately about warfare – his personal need for cleansing from the contamination with sin and his need for forgiveness as he battles (not always successfully) against temptations. From the beginning – before he even considers the state of his family, church and nation – Yonggi Cho’s prayers take him into warfare, because (according to the Bible) God does not tempt anyone but Satan does. [He does not always have to use demons (or get involved himself as he did with Jesus) to increase the force of temptations. Our own sinful desires (living in this fallen world) are powerful enough in themselves. See James 1:13-15 “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone. We are tempted by our own desires that drag us off and trap us. Our desires make us sin, and when sin is finished with us, it leaves us dead.” / Matthew 4:1: “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”]

It doesn’t always have to strenuous warfare – the Holy Spirit is gentle and loving – but confronting temptations and allowing God to cleanse us from contamination with sin is engaging in spiritual warfare whereby we submit to God’s rule and saynoto disobedience and what Satan has to offer.

One day, the disciples of Jesus asked him: “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). And Jesus answered them. He spelled out a model prayer for them which – at its core – is a warfare prayer. Have a look. He said – Matthew 6:9-13: “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven … [Then, it is about daily bread and forgiveness, and finishes on this strong note:] Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

The whole prayer is about the establishment of God’s rule on earth – the honouring of his name, the coming of his kingdom, government according to his will (on earth the same as in heaven) – and the climax of the prayer at the end leaves us in no doubt about the warfare nature of what we are praying. God’s kingdom is coming – his reign is coming as we all submit to him – but this is not happening without a fight against temptations and the evil one.

Martin Luther paid special attention to the close of Jesus’ prayer and said:

 

Luther’s Large Catechism, translated by Friedemann Hebart, Adelaide: Lutheran Publishing House 1983, p160: The petition [“deliver us from evil” from the Lord’s Prayer actually means – rightly translated from the Greek of the New Testament – “deliver us from the evil one” and] seems to refer to the devil, as if to compress everything into the one idea that the sum total of all our prayer should be aimed at this main enemy of ours. For he is the one who gets in the way of everything we ask for: God’s name or his honor, God’s kingdom and his will, our daily bread, a clear and happy conscience, and the rest. So right at the end, we sum it all up by saying: ‘Dear Father, help us to be free of all this trouble.’

But, at the same time, this petition also includes all the evil that can happen to us under the devil’s rule: poverty, disgrace, death, and, in short, all the dreadful trouble and heartache which never ends here in the world. Because the devil is not only a liar but also a murderer, he never stops trying to kill us, and takes his anger out on us by doing what he can to get us hurt in accidents, and to do us physical harm. This is how he manages to break many a person’s neck and to drive others insane. Some he drowns, and many he pushes into suicide and many other terrible evils. So there is nothing for us to do on earth but to go on asking for help against this main enemy of ours…

 

This is important. When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them about prayer, Jesus highlighted to them warfare petitions about the establishment of the Father’s kingdom – his reign – which included deliverance from the evil one and his reign. And the Bible confirms everywhere the importance of Jesus’ prayer and the warfare aspect of our whole existence here on earth:

 

Ephesians 6:12: Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

 

2 Corinthians 4:4: The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ…

 

Acts 26:17-18: …I am sending you … to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins…

 

Ephesians 2:1-10: As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient … But because of his great love for us, God … made us alive in Christ …

 

Ephesians 4:27: Do not give the devil a foothold. [Do not sin.]

 

Coming back to Yonggi Cho, he did not feel overwhelmed when he started praying. But God – very lovingly – led him immediately into warfare – the warfare over his own soul. I am not sure whether he actually used Jesus’ prayer at this point but – in alignment and according to Jesus’ prayer – it was all about the honouring of God’s name, the coming of his kingdom, the doing of his will, and freedom from temptations and the evil one in Yonggi Cho’s own life:

 

Paul Yonggi Cho with R. Whitney Manzano: Prayer: Key to Revival, Waco, Word Publishing 1984, p24-24: When you come into contact with God in your time of prayer, the first thing you feel in your heart, as you enter into His divine presence, is a realization of your sin. No one can sense pride in the presence of the holy God. Once you sense your lack of natural qualifications to be in His holy Presence, you will begin to confess your sin and humble yourself before God… Amazingly, as you enter into his Presence, you will be made aware of reactions, attitudes and actions that you may have forgotten … The next very natural reaction to the Presence is to desire to be forgiven for your sin. This is true in my own experience…

 

After allowing God to deal with him in prayer and cleansing him, (so we read in his book) Yonggi Cho moves on and begins praying about his church. He writes:

 

Paul Yonggi Cho: Make Your Faith Work, Eastbourne: Kingsway Publications 1985, p14: I pray because I can break down the opposition of Satan through prayer. Throughout my ministry I have never seen any division in my church. We have a lot of arguments among our ministers and elders. Koreans are much like Latin people. It’s as if we had Latin blood. If you have two Koreans, you have three ideas. Because of this, we have a lot of struggles, but through all these struggles I have never seen any division in my church. That is one reason we are growing so fast.

Every day Satan visits and tries to create an argument and cause division among my people, but I always bind the power of Satan. ‘You power of Satan among the elders,’ I cry, ‘I cast you out in the name of Jesus!’ We have more than 30,000 deacons. If I don’t bind Satan, those 30,000 deacons will have more than 30,000 ideas among themselves. I bind the devils who want to cause disturbance in our ministry and our church.

Paul says, ‘We are wrestling against principalities and the powers of the air.’ That’s not just theory, that’s practical. I have got to fight to bind them. Since I have been binding and praying, we have had many crises, but we have not had any division at all thus far.

 

The warfare continues and Yonggi Cho targets especially the battle over unity in the church. In his view, Satan is responsible for many of the arguments that can cause divisions among God’s people, and he takes authority over what Satan is doing by binding him. In prayer, Yonggi Cho forbids Satan to mess with the unity of the church, and he credits this kind of praying with keeping the church together for more than twenty years.

Yonggi Cho seems wise to pray for unity – for peace in the community – every day, because Jesus also prioritized praying for the unity of God’s people, and we know from experience how difficult it is to remain free from strife and taking offense. Throughout the Bible, there is always a contending for God’s people to love one another and be one:

 

John 17:20-23: My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

 

Galatians 5:15-16:  If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

 

Ephesians 4:29-32: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

 

How are we going right now with loving one another and being one? How are we talking about one another? Actually, I can report that I hear a lot of gratitude and admiration for one another. Last week, someone paid us a visit after many years and he only came (he didn’t even stay for much of the service) because he knew that he would be loved her and wanted some of that love again (and he received). However, we know about other times how tricky community life can be and

When the warfare was about Yonggi Cho himself, he simply repented of his sin and asked God to forgive him which he did. But when the warfare was over the unity of the church, Yonggi Cho was binding Satan which was a different kind of prayer. In the Bible, there is more than one way of winning in prayer. One time, God’s people fought against invading armies by sending the worship team ahead and, as they were praising God, the war was won:

 

2 Chronicles 20:21-22: After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.” As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.

 

Praising God can be a powerful weapon in prayer. Then, we can simply pray the petitions which Jesus taught the disciples, or we can pray in tongues, or we may repent on behalf of the community to invite God in, or we intercede with specific requests for people. There is more than one way of winning in prayer (and God himself will lead us into different prayer strategies at different times), but a key strategy seems to be what Yonggi Cho did. We take authority by binding Satan and declaring God’s will about what is to happen.

 

Suzette Hattingh: Discovering the Secret to a Successful Prayer Life, San Giovanni Teatino: Destiny Image Europe 2008, p20: We need to know that there are two main actions of intercession:

1.       Warfare – facing satan or the oppressive forces, in the name of Jesus, on behalf of a person or a situation. This represents one edge of the double-edged sword.

2.       Travail – facing the Father, on behalf of a person or situation, through weeping, prayer, and pleading for that person or situation. This represents the opposite edge of the sword.

 

Matthew 18:18-20: Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will have been loosed in heaven.

Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.

 

Matthew 16:18-19: … on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will have been loosed in heaven.

 

=> In our binding and loosing, we “synchronize” earth with heaven, declaring what has been bound and loosed in heaven here on earth.

 

Matthew 8:1-3: When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.

 

Matthew 8:5-13: When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”

Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”

The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.

 

Mark 8:14-17: When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.

When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.”

 

=> Jesus did not so much pray for healing but declared healing, bound the sickness and loosed well-being.

 

Cf. Acts 3:1-10: One day, Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

 

Exodus 14:10-16: As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord …  Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today … The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.

 

=> God challenged the prayers and called upon Moses to take authority by raising his staff and stretching out his hand.

 

[How would you feel if God challenged you in this way? Don’t plead any more but know who you and the authority that has been given to you.]

 

This takes us back to the prayer in the beginning. The warfare angle is right. The boldness of the prayer is right. The binding and declaring are right. And – like Yonggi Cho – we do it every day:

 

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray this prayer in the power of the Holy Spirit and in the name of Jesus Christ. I bind and bring to no effect all division, discord, disunity, strife, anger …

I bind all curses that have been spoken against us. I bind the power of negative words and curses, and I bind and render useless all prayers not inspired by the Holy Spirit …

I confess I am healed and whole, I flourish, I am stable … full of peace … Whatever I set my hands to shall prosper, for God supplies my every need…

I pray this prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen. 

 

Pastor John Kilpatrick (modified)

 

I would also recommend that you do not speak this prayer silently in your head but speak it out aloud. Jesus did this frequently:

 

Matthew 8:23-27: Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him! [Jesus could have rebuked the wind and the waves in his mind but he spoke the words out aloud.]

 

Mark 7:31-35: Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him.

After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly. [Jesus spoke the command to the ears in an audible voice.]

 

Then, there were times when God instructed very clearly to use our voices and do so with force:

 

Joshua 6:2-5: Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”

 

God does not need our shouting. On occasion, the Bible mocks shouting prayers when they are based on desperation – unbelief rather than faith.

 

1 Kings 18:26-29: … Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.

At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.

 

[See also Matthew 6:5: And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others… / Luke 20:46-47: Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.]

 

God is not deaf. [Some Christians think that we need to bind and loose audibly because we are facing the devil who cannot read our minds. However, we bind and loose in the authority of God and he acts on our faith.] We do not have to be loud to get his attention, but voicing the prayer helps us. We make a stand. We show commitment. As long as the prayer is silent in our mind, it may only remain a thought that we like – a pleasing idea – but as soon as we bind and loose – declare the will of God – with our voices, we have put ourselves on the line.

 

Cf. Romans 10:9-10: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

 

Cf. 1 Kings 15:15-19: Elisha said, “Get a bow and some arrows,” and he did so. “Take the bow in your hands,” he said to the king of Israel. When he had taken it, Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands …

Then he said, “Take the arrows,” and the king took them. Elisha told him, “Strike the ground.” He struck it three times and stopped. The man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times.”

 

I know that in prayer ministry – as I am praying for people along the prayer line – it can be uncomfortable for me to pray loudly because then I am exposed. Everyone knows then that I am believing for healing. As long as I am silently praying, I can hide a little but raising my voice is putting my faith on the line. Either there is breakthrough now or I look a little foolish. [And it is God who prompts me sometimes to raise my voice.] However, there is also freedom in the total abandonment of trusting God. He will do it. Raising our voices helps us to step over the line of toing and froing and act on our faith. We may still not be totally sure in our minds but our mouths have made a faith commitment. [Interestingly, many of us find it difficult to pray in tongues silently in our heads. I need to speak the words aloud to move in the gift of speaking in tongues.]

Do you want to give it a go now? The prayer from the beginning is suitable for daily praying. It is a warfare prayer. It is not so much asking God for anything but taking authority as his children. In this sense, it may be a little different from our normal praying, but it is right and you may find your spirit stirring as you speak it.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray this prayer in the power of the Holy Spirit and in the name of Jesus Christ. I bind and bring to no effect all division, discord, disunity, strife, anger, wrath, criticism, condemnation, pride, envy, jealousy, gossip, slander, complaining, lying, false teaching, false gifts, false manifestations, lying signs and wonders, poverty, fear of lack, fear, murmuring spirits, deceiving spirits and spirits of Antichrist. These are all bound in me, my family and church family.

 

I bind all curses that have been spoken against us. I bind the power of negative words and curses, and I bind and render useless all prayers not inspired by the Holy Spirit. 

 

I bless those who curse me and pray blessings on those who despitefully use me. I confess that I am a child of God, that I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. I am God’s property.

 

I confess the Holy Spirit guides and leads me. I do hear God’s voice as Jesus said in John 10:27. I can discern between what is righteous and wicked. I have authority over Satan and demons through Christ. I declare Satan is under my feet. I bind Satan from my family, my mind, my body, my home, my church and my finances.

 

I confess I am healed and whole, I flourish, I am stable, fruitful, full of peace, patience and love. Whatever I set my hands to shall prosper, for God supplies my every need. 

 

God, I pray for the ministries You have for me to be revealed and matured. Anoint me for all You have called me to do for You. You have opened a door into the Lutheran church, and now is the time to advance forcefully - into all the world, to Lutherans and everyone. I call forth divine appointments, open fields of opportunity, God ordained encounters, ministry opportunities and ministry positions. I will use my life and God given abilities for Your glory and honor, O Lord. 

 

I claim a fence of protection around myself, spouse and children day and night. I ask You, God, in the name of Jesus, to dispatch angels to surround me, my spouse and my children today and to put them throughout my home, cars and properties. I ask that angels protect my home from any intrusion and to protect me and my family from any harmful demonic, physical or mental attacks.  

 

And lastly, I declare by faith that revival is sweeping through me and my family, my church family and nation. I will allow it to bring about the necessary changes in me. I am open to correction, repentance, obedience and brokenness and a deeper walk with God. I deeply desire a more powerful prayer life and a greater intimacy with the Lord and a burden for the lost.

 

I pray this prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen. 

 

Pastor John Kilpatrick (modified)

 

How did this feel? Yonggi Cho was praying this kind of prayer daily over his church. How would you feel about trying something? What if we all made a commitment to pray this prayer for a month – covering ourselves, our families and Living Grace – and then we compare notes? Would this prayer change anything in our experience of following Jesus? [Would it lighten the load of our prayer teams?] What do you think? Do we want to do this? Please raise your hands, if you want to make this commitment for a month. I will also email out the prayer and put it on our homepage. If you have a smartphone, you may have it there. I want to encourage especially the men, the spiritual heads over their families, to pray this prayer and do not be shy in speaking it aloud. Jesus taught us about warfare in prayer, and we pray to win. Amen.