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Pray for Boldness

Praying for boldness is key when faced with opposition and severe threats against the advancement of God’s Kingdom agenda.

PRAY for Boldness, prayer, prayer coach, prayer blog

Have you ever been threaten to keep silent when you were the minority speaking the truth amid immorality or anything against the knowledge of God’s expressed will?

If so, maybe you can relate to Peter’s and John’s ordeal in Acts 4.  However, to clearly understand why they prayed for courage is in chapter three of Acts—the healing of the lame man at the gate of the Temple, which caused opposition to the continuation of Jesus’ earthly ministry through His apostles.  After the healing of the lame man, Peter seized the opportunity to preach Jesus.  He expounded on the miraculous demonstration of God’s supernatural power that amazed the onlookers and those who witnessed the lame man walking, leaping and praising God (Acts 3:9-26).

Peter spoke the Truth boldly:

13 For it is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of all our ancestors—who has brought glory to his servant Jesus by doing this. This is the same Jesus whom you handed over and rejected before Pilate, despite Pilate’s decision to release him. 14 You rejected this holy, righteous one and instead demanded the release of a murderer. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. And we are witnesses of this fact!  16 “Through faith in the name of Jesus, this man was healed—and you know how crippled he was before. Faith in Jesus’ name has healed him before your very eyes. 17 “Friends, I realize that what you and your leaders did to Jesus was done in ignorance.

If you really want to upset people, speak the truth while confronting their denial or rejection of it.

Although many will reject it, many will also receive it!  For example, upon hearing Peter’s message about 5,000 believed it.

Opposition grew stronger. Peter and John were arrested for preaching and teaching Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.  But when they sat before the Sanhedrin, Peter stood firm by continuing to speak the truth.  No one could deny the miracle; therefore, they used intimidation as a tactic to silence them. They perceived Peter and John were uneducated and unlearned men in comparison to themselves; they were only fishermen.  Yet they marveled at their boldness, realizing they had been with Jesus.  

Note:  Never allow intimidation by your opponent to make you fearful of declaring God’s Truth.

Intimidation is a strategy often used by your opponent to weaken your confidence.  It’s a tactic to make you fearful.  The rulers, elders, priests, and religious leaders did not want the Good News to spread.  They forbade them to speak or teach in the name of Jesus.

Again, Peter boldly declared we must speak the things which we have seen and heard.  In essence, Peter was saying, we cannot deny what we know as truth; we are speaking what we experienced personally as witnesses of Jesus Christ. The one thing your opponents cannot do, that is take away what you know.  Your personal encounter with Jesus Christ is your truth, which establishes your convictions and confirms your confidence.

What happens next is enlightening! Rather than back down because of their threat, they came together in prayer—on one accord (harmoniously). They prayed:

“And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”  (Read the entire prayer in Acts 4:23-31).

The results: God answered their prayer!

“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”

The answer to their prayer for boldness came with the powerful infilling of the Holy Spirit!

This is a noteworthy point: Although Peter spoke boldly in that situation, opposition would continue.  Therefore, they would need boldness for the next time threats arose, and the next. They had already been filled with the Holy Spirit.  However,  in order to continue in ministry, and stand in the face of opposition in spite of threats to declare the truth, we need to be refilled, refreshed and refueled.  In essence, praying for boldness should not be a “one-time” prayer request. 

Are you facing opposition? Are you being threaten because you refuse to keep silent any longer? If so, prayer for boldness is key when faced with opposition and severe threats against the advancement of God’s Kingdom agenda. The boldness, courage and confidence you need is available through the supernatural power of God’s Spirit. Therefore, PRAY FOR BOLDNESS!

Praying for boldness,

prayercoach

Keep’em simple

prayinghandsNo matter how perplexing or challenging your situation is your prayers do not have to be.  They should be specific, but keep ’em simple.  God is not impressed with lengthy prayers and flattering words to show off your vast vocabulary.   Notwithstanding, there is absolutely nothing wrong with intelligent, articulate prayers.  However, it’s not about being grammatically correct and fancy words; it’s about a believing heart.   Since the Lord knows everything, there is no need to pretend.  It is not your vocabulary that gets God’s attention, it is your faith.

Your faith in God, your relationship with Jesus Christ and your commitment to that relationship, regardless of your adversity, give you the privilege of talking to the Creator of the Universe, our Father, in your native language to express your needs and concerns in simplicity.  After all, God can even  interpret your silence because He hears your heart and sees your faith.

 

#1 Unforgiving Spirit

Praying with Specificity

throneofgraceIt is easy to pray generalized prayers asking God to bless us, our home, children, church, community, nation, etc.   What makes it easy is that no detailed thought is put into how you want God to bless.  What are you requesting God do? Rather than take the time to really consider the situation or condition and “pray” about how to “pray” saying general prayers is easier.

Does praying general prayers means a person is not sincere in their prayers? No. I think most people are sincere; they really do want God to bless, heal, save, etc.  I have learned that many don’t know to make specific prayer requests.  And, some don’t believe they should because God knows what they need even before they ask (Matthew 6:8).  That is true; Jesus said so, but He expects us to ask.  Being specific in prayer is a matter of clear and concise communication as if in a one-on-one conversation with another human being.  In order to “make sense” and avoid vain babbling in conversation, you seek to communicate clearly so that each person understands what is being conveyed. Although you are talking with God, clear and concise communication is just as important; however, it is more to our advantage.

I serve as altar prayer counselor at my local church. It is common for individuals to request prayer, but their requests are so general that I ask for more specifics, not to be nosy, but to be effective in prayer and articulate clearly.   In addition, as I seek to be specific, the Holy Spirit gives me additional insight and specifics to pray concerning their need and situation.  Therefore, they are enlightened concerning their own need and how to continue praying.

You may ask, “Why is praying with specificity important? God  understands and knows our heart.”

Here are three (3) reasons we should be specific in our prayers:

  1. Being specific helps us to understand and know God’s heart concerning our need, request and the needs of those we may be praying for.  In order to understand, know His heart we should be clear in our thoughts to articulate God’s will revealed in His Word. When we understand and know God’s will, our prayers are like guided missiles that hit the target with precision–they are more effective when we are specific. (Acts 4:23-31)
  2. Praying with specificity provides the proof when those prayers are answered.  When we make specific requests rather than praying general prayers, we can be certain when that specific prayer is answered.  (John 11:40-44)
  3. Praying with specificity builds our faith and confidence as we become more sensitive to the Spirit by allowing Him to pray through us.  As we study the Word of God, we are better equipped to pray in agreement with God’s Word and be specific because we know what He says.  When we pray specifically according to God’s Word and He answers specifically, we can pray with specificity in confidence that He hears our prayers and He will answer us as He promised in His Word (Jeremiah 33:3).

Here is an extended example of praying with specificity:

Heavenly Father,

You are holy, righteous and just.  I reverence you. Your works are marvelous in our eyes; I praise your holy Name.  You said in your Word that we can come boldly to the Throne of Grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Father, I come in confidence requesting your mercy be extended to Doris. I pray for your favor to surround her like a shield. I pray that she does not lose heart and faint in her faith because of the report she has been given.  I pray that she will believe your report. May she be steadfast and immovable from her position of hope in Christ and in your unconditional love for her regardless of how she feels.  Lord, I ask that she becomes more sensitive and alert to your Presence in the next three months as she undergo more tests.  I pray that every doctor, nurse, and all medical staff are handpicked by you to ensure the best medical care with her best interest in mind.  I pray that they are kind, gentle and express genuine concern for her well-being.  I ask that family members and close friends are strengthened by your hand to give Doris the support and love she needs to endure this time of testing.

Lord, I believe that you are the same yesterday, today and forever, so I ask that your healing virtue flow continuously through Doris’ body. Let your power to heal be manifested in her life to give testimony and glory to you as the only true and living God.

I speak words of comfort, peace and encouragement and send them forth in the Spirit to give life.  I pray that the words of life and not death are spoken by Doris and all in her environment. Let the words of life permeate her atmosphere! Father, I thank you that you hear the prayers of those who believe and stand firmly on the truth of your Word.

I pray this prayer in faith with thanksgiving in the Name of Jesus the Christ.  Amen.

After reading this, from this day forward, I pray that you begin praying with specificity according to God’s Word having confidence that He hears and will answer!

Your prayer coach,

Prayer of Confession

I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I have not hidden.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”
And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.” —Psalm 32:5

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9)

I am so thankful that Father God is kind and forgiving. After all, it was kindness and unconditional love for us that He made Jesus Christ, who had no sin be sin for us so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). And He continues to forgive all who will acknowledge/confess their sin to Him now.

Confession is an essential form of prayer (communication with God); it is also a serious aspect of the Christian lifestyle. When we acknowledge or confess (admit) our sins, ask for forgiveness and repent, God is faithful and just to forgive us, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). 

In order to confess/acknowledge our sins, we should be sensitive to the work of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit convicts us of our wrongdoing; He shows us the sin in our life so that we deal with it. If we don’t confess our sins, receive God’s forgiveness and cleansing power, we will continue to commit sinful acts.  If we continue in sin, we cannot continue walking in the light and enjoying relationship with Christ. Sin can be compared to an infection that if goes untreated will spread and result in death.  Spiritually speaking, if we don’t confess our sins to the Lord and allow Him to cleanse us, we risk being disconnected from Him and dying spiritually.

We should prayerfully examine our lives frequently, daily if necessary, to make sure we don’t allow sin to fester in our lives.  I might also note that sins of the heart (jealousy, envy, covetousness) are sometimes easier to overlook than sinful acts such as fornication, adultery, theft, murder.  Sin cannot be classified or categorized as “small”  and “big”.  We must confess all sin.

Also, use Scriptures when confessing your sins to God.  Here is an example of a prayer of confession:

Heavenly Father,

I come to you in the Name of Jesus Christ, my Savior and Lord.  I ask You to have mercy upon me, Father, according to your loving kindness. Wash me and I shall be clean; purify my heart, cleanse me from all unrighteousness as you said in your word according to 1 John 1:9.  Lord, I confess I sinned against you; I acknowledge my disobedience.  I ask that you forgive me for grumbling and complaining and not walking in faith.  I know that without faith it is impossible to please you.  My desire is to please you, Father. Help me control my anger and have the right attitude that reflects your character. I am sorry;I turn away from my sin toward you in all honesty. Create a clean heart in me and renew my spirit to remain loyal to you.  Thank you, Father for forgiving me and cleansing me.  In Jesus’ Name with thanksgiving. Amen.

________________________________

I recommend that after you pray, remain in silence to listen for Him to speak to your spirit concerning your confession and request for forgiveness.  Make sure you confess all known or revealed sin; you may want to be specific about your sin (in your private prayer time, of course).  After you’ve finished praying,  He may give you Scriptures, or speak in a still small whisper to assure and comfort you.  However, if He does not speak immediately after your prayer,  let your faith and the Word give you the assurance that your prayer was heard, and you are forgiven, if you prayed earnestly in faith. 

Overwhelmed by trouble?

Listen to my prayer, O God.
Do not ignore my cry for help!
2 Please listen and answer me,
for I am overwhelmed by my troubles.
3 My enemies shout at me,
making loud and wicked threats.
They bring trouble on me
and angrily hunt me down.

My heart pounds in my chest.
The terror of death assaults me.
5 Fear and trembling overwhelm me,
and I can’t stop shaking.
6 Oh, that I had wings like a dove;
then I would fly away and rest!
7 I would fly far away
far from this wild storm of hatred.

Life happens! Day after day or week after week there is something to deal with that can cause overwhelming anguish.

Have you ever felt like God was ignoring your cry for help? Have you ever felt like God doesn’t care about your troubles?

I know I’m not the only one that has felt like the psalmist in the above Scriptures.   Have you ever just wanted to get away from it all—ESCAPE? That would  be the easy way out…fly away from it all. But notice what the psalmist said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest! I would fly far away far from this wild storm of hatred.”  But the truth is we don’t have wings like a dove to fly away!  Since we don’t have wings flying away is not an option to escape from troubles. Just in case you’re thinking suicide is a way of escape….No! It’s an easy way out with eternal damnation (Judas, the son of perdition, Jesus’ betrayer, Matthew 27:3-5, John 17:12), and leaves an overwhelming burden on others to feel guilty and responsible for your lack of faith and feelings of hopelessness and despair due to life’s troubles. Don’t let the cares of life, guilt from past mistakes make you take the easy way out! Fight for your life and surrender your all to Christ…He loves you even if you “feel” like He does.  It’s by faith that you receive His gift of salvation, not by feelings.

So how do you deal with troubles? How do you deal with the violence and wickedness you see?  How do you handle broken relationship—friends who are now your enemies?  Although it may feel as if God is ignoring you, believe that He hears and will answer.  Don’t stop believing; don’t stop praying. Do just as the psalmist said in verse sixteen, “But I will call on God, and the LORD will rescue me. Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress and the LORD hears my voice.”  And he continues in verse twenty-two, “Give your burdens to the LORD, and He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.”

Jesus Christ is our example. Judas was His friend turned enemy and betrayed Him.  Jesus was overwhelmed with anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane, but He continued to cry out to Father.  But more important, Jesus committed Himself to the Father, who rescued Him (Luke 23:46), and rewarded Him.  And, because Jesus was rescued and rewarded, we reap the benefits (Isaiah 53:10-12).

Yes! Life happens! Day after day, week after week there is something to deal with that can cause overwhelming anguish, but as Believers in the all-powerful God, we continue to cry out for help, and believe He will rescue us.  Our escape has already been provided. Our life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). We don’t live on feelings, we live by faith in the Son of God

Persist in prayer!

Learning from Habakkuk, Part 1

Objectives:

1) To provide prayer coaching insights to inspire and encourage you to keep praying in spite of external circumstances and even though present conditions seems to worsen;

2) Enhance your knowledge about your position, perspective and perception of prayer; 3) Provide wisdom and understanding to new converts struggling to develop and maintain a consistent prayer life; 4) Give you a Rhema Word from the Lord about prayer.

Hear the Word of the Lord, “Tell my people do not be dismayed by what they see.  My plan is in motion to bring about My purpose. You keep praying, keep asking, keep believing, and keep trusting (resting) in Me.  The Word I have spoken shall stand forever!”

The question many are asking is the same concern the prophet Habakkuk asked God…basically, how long will I have to pray and you don’t answer and do something about all the evil and injustice that’s going on… Read it for yourself, Habakkuk 1:2-4:

How long, O Lord, must I call for help?
But you do not listen!
“Violence is everywhere!” I cry,
but you do not come to save.
3 Must I forever see these evil deeds?
Why must I watch all this misery?
Wherever I look,
I see destruction and violence.
I am surrounded by people
who love to argue and fight.
4 The law has become paralyzed,
and there is no justice in the courts.
The wicked far outnumber the righteous,
so that justice has become perverted.

The first thing I noticed is that God did not rebuke the prophet for his inquiry.  This helps to understand that God does not despise questions when they are brought to him from an honest heart in prayer. The truth is it is the responsibility of the prophet (five-fold ministry leaders), men and women of God to inquire of the Lord.  Address your concerns to Him, and express your innermost thoughts so that you can get “first-hand” knowledge, insight and revelation from the mind of God.  This is what Habakkuk did —went to Adonai, expressed his concerns, presented his case to God from his perspective, based on his perception of present circumstances and waited in confidence for an answer.

NOTICE I said Habakkuk presented his case from his perspective based on his perception of things.  Whenever you go to God with complaints, or concerns that suggest His inactivity, it is usually from your viewpoint because you’re looking at present situations and circumstances that cause you to question God’s control and sovereignty.

Nevertheless, God will answer us.  Although His answer may be perplexing, and His way may not be comprehensible to us, we can rest assured that His purposes will prevail (Proverbs 16:4, 19:21).

I encourage you to study the setting in the Book of Habakkuk to get a better understanding of the conditions.  Basically, Judah had sunken deeper into sin and idolatry. All Habakkuk saw was wickedness and injustice; and it appeared as though God was doing nothing about it.  Not only that, but when God showed Habakkuk his plan, it didn’t make sense to him—using the cruel and wicked, idolatrous Neo-Babylonians to judge His people—using the wicked to punish the wicked.  Although it may seem as though nothing is changing for the better, always know God is working. And His plan is always laid out to bring about redemption, restoration, reconciliation, and relationship.  (Read God’s reply to Habakkuk (1:5-11).

Application:

How can you relate to Habakkuk’s complaints to God ?

What have you been praying about for a long time but have seen no change?

Gleaning from this insight, how will you approach God differently in prayer?

Was this helpful?  Leave a Comment; your feedback is welcome.

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