Spiritual Warfare: Time to Pray! –Pt. 1

DesperateA young father came home from work one day exhausted. Nothing had gone right at the office, his boss was angry, and there was an accident on the freeway making him late for dinner. At the table, he told his wife and two kids about how his project at work wasn’t coming together the way it should. Suddenly, his five-year-old daughter put down her fork and put her hand on his arm. She looked up at him with big serious eyes and said, “Did you pray about it, Daddy?”  That stopped him in his tracks. No, he hadn’t. He hadn’t done the most obvious thing in the world.

Remember to Pray

Prayer is the heart of spiritual warfare. It seems obvious, but the first thing to remember is to pray. Sometimes it’s easy to talk about how we’re under an attack of the enemy. (As someone once said, “Well, what are you doing under there?!”) It’s easy to think about all the things that aren’t going right, but we forget to pray! (For more on thinking versus praying, go here.) A great place to start in prayer is with praise. We talked about this when we started this series back in November with “Spiritual Weapons: Praise.” Praise and worship are powerful. Taking time to exalt the Lord gets our eyes on Him and on His power.

In Jesus’ Name

As we move into praying specifically to break any chains of the enemy, we need to always remember that we pray “in Jesus’ Name.” We have no power on our own. We always stand under the umbrella of the authority of Jesus. Our Lord Jesus, who was born of a virgin, crucified on a cross for our sins and raised from the dead to life by the power of God, is the One with all the power.

By Faith in the Name

Peter spoke and healed people by the authority of Jesus name in Acts 3. He came by a lame man who was crippled from birth. Peter said to him, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk” (Act. 3:6b.) The man stood up and walked. Later, talking about this miracle, Peter said, “By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see,” (Acts 3:16.)

Great explanation, Peter! 😉 Notice he didn’t say, “Because I am Peter and I walked with Jesus, I was able to heal you myself.” Um … no. In the same way, just because we are Christians and we know that Lord doesn’t mean we can work miracles ourselves or that we can make Satan vacate the premises ourselves. “It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him…”

By Faith in His Power

Notice it’s not that Jesus’ Name is a good luck charm or the magic word. The name of Jesus is not a talisman of any kind. It’s not like, as long as you say that when you pray, you can make things come true. See the difference in that statement? We do not make things happen. We are submitted to God’s will in prayer and we are really declaring His power over the enemy that He has already defeated.

I often pray something like this: “In Jesus name, I stand against the enemy and I cast down all of his works. Anything he would bring against me, I completely destroy. I will not accept this attack on (fill in the blank!) my body, my marriage, my family, my bank account, my career, etc. By the power of the blood of Jesus, I command him to be gone! He has no place in my life. I am a child of God and I walk in His ways. I am forgiven and the Bible says, ‘No weapon formed against me will prosper,’ so I call this attempt to derail me, ‘Done!’ In Jesus Name, Amen.”

This is taking a stand against the enemy in prayer and in Jesus’ Name. We need to pray! We need to pray about everything and we need to pray specifically. The Lord is ready and waiting to answer our prayers.

For a three-minute video on asking the Lord for what we need, join me on my YouTube channel here.

For an amazing song by Darlene Zschech called “In Jesus Name,” click here.

Take a stand against the enemy this week. In prayer. In Jesus Name. Amen!


God Still Heals

To Fly or Not to Fly

Growing up, I always loved airports. I just loved the atmosphere—all the people coming and going, the planes landing and taking off, the very air vibrating with the wonderful world of “travel.” I was sure I would LOVE to fly.

The first time I got on a plane (that I remember-the trip when I was 3 doesn’t count) was when Scott and I flew from San Jose, CA to Orlando, FL for our honeymoon. (Yes, we went to Disney World. We wanted to go somewhere fun!) The plane lifted off the ground carrying us up, up, up…and suddenly all I could think was, “Put me down!” Oh no. I didn’t like it. I was nervous and afraid. Every noise I asked Scott, “What was that?” Soon I didn’t feel so good either. Great. I didn’t actually throw up…on that trip.

Oh, So Sick

Since then, flying has been a trial for me. I figured it was the fear making me sick so I prayed against fear. I was still sick. Every once in awhile, I would feel fine on a plane, perfectly fine. So I knew it could happen. But then, just as quickly, I could be overcome by nausea. Once I would arrive at my destination, I would fight the dread that came with knowing each day led back to getting on a plane again to get home. Eventually I realized it wasn’t only anxiety bringing this on; I had a problem with plain old motion sickness.

Not that flying was the only time I got motion-sick. I had plenty of episodes in cars too. But they seemed random. Usually I was fine. I mean, I traveled full-time in a motorhome for three years and (after praying about it) I was never sick. I could read, crochet, walk around with no worries. But in later years, I would be blindsided by motion sickness, especially if we left early in the morning on a car trip.

The Trip That Changed It All

In February 2009, I took a trip with my oldest son, Bryn and his friend Dallen with Dallen’s parents, Gary and Deedra, to Dallas, TX for Campus Days at Christ for the Nations. (Awesome ministry school!) We had to drive 5 hours to Spokane first and then fly from there, through Denver to Dallas. Two plane rides, each way. Terrific.

The flights down were the same as always. I prayed. I tried to be calm. I brought tiny pretzels. I didn’t eat too much or too little. And I still felt sick most of the time. I was thinking on that second flight how I believe the Lord actually wants me to fly more in the future. I told Him, “Lord, I can’t show up some place, completely pale and sick and then go speak…Well, I guess actually I can and I will if You want me to, but it’s not going to be a great situation.” I survived and we arrived in Dallas.

Ask and You Will Receive

In the first service at CFNI, during worship, I thought again about arriving sick everywhere I fly to and realized (light bulb moment!) I had done everything I could do and I could not fix this. I raised my arms toward heaven, surrounded by music and voices in praise to God, and prayed, “Lord, I need You to heal me.” I sensed His Presence come down and touch my upraised hands. I didn’t physically feel anything, but I knew He was there and I knew He had touched me. I was pretty sure I was healed.

Testing Out a Healing

I was kind of excited to get on the plane to go home and see if God had really healed me. We boarded a big plane in Dallas. Lots of people. We taxied out to our runway and stopped. Then we turned and taxied back to the gate. A mechanical problem, they said. Before, that would have been “it.” I would have been sick already. Not that day. I had perfect peace in my body. We sat there for two hours. A problem with one of the engines, but not to worry; they could fix it! I knew we would miss our connection in Denver. I still felt fine. I couldn’t wait to take off and get up in the air to be sure God had healed me. We finally took off and even though I was on the aisle of a packed plane, I didn’t have a trace of nausea. Yeah!

We got to Denver. We stood in long lines. We had no luggage, but we would be put up in a motel overnight. My son had a raging headache. We couldn’t find our shuttle. When we finally did get on a short, full shuttle bus to go to our hotel, the driver was definitely incapacitated in some way. Too tired? Too much to drink? The little bus swerved all over the road. My son started to feel sick. I wondered if we would be in an accident when the driver almost took a freeway exit and pulled back at the last minute. I just laughed. I didn’t want to crash, but I was so happy that I felt fine. Perfectly, wonderfully, so-not-sick, fine.

Joy, Joy, Joy

The next day we flew to Spokane. I felt great. Our luggage didn’t arrive till later. We had to wait for it and then drive five hours. I felt fine then too. And I haven’t had a moment of motion sickness in any moving anything ever since!

Can I tell you that flying is a lot more fun when you’re not sick?! The trip is more fun when you aren’t dreading getting back on the plane too.

I just flew to WA and back to visit my parents and my brother and his family. It was great. On the way home, our little, 20-row plane bucked and bolted as we came down through the clouds. Then we edged back up a little. My head felt so funny with the pressure change, but my stomach was solid as a rock—which gives me such joy. Just getting on a plane makes me smile now because of what the Lord has done for me.

I’m so thankful to the Lord. I look forward to many flights in the future because of His touch.

If you’re wondering whether God still heals or not–take it from me–He does!

The Voice of Pain

A Long Silence…Only a Pause

Hi Friends. So sorry for the long absence. I feel like we were in the middle of a conversation and I suddenly went and took a nap. So rude! I see that some of you have been checking in, probably wondering if I would reappear. Thanks so much. I appreciate that.

Fibromyalgia Surprise

I was surprised by a Fibromyalgia flare-up. I was diagnosed with FMS in July of 1997, so I’ve dealt with this for a long time and I’ve greatly recovered over the years. I can’t remember the last time (before this) I had such pain. But I was overzealous on a workout machine one day and irritated my chest muscles (they’re a little sensitive like that.) The next day they ached and the next day they hurt worse. Soon, they were intensely unhappy and me along with them!

It took three weeks to get back to completely pain free and because it was my chest wall muscles that were inflamed, some everyday things were difficult, like—oh I don’t know—breathing! Breathing, talking, singing, using my arms (yes, it’s all connected) became a challenge. I had to pull back and wait it out.

That’s what we have to do sometimes.

Be Still & Wait

I much prefer the “press forward, push ahead, try harder and make it happen” approach. But I have learned (the hard way) that is not wise when it comes to my body and Fibromyalgia. Pushing forward, in the sense of not listening to the pain, will make it worse. Much worse.

Sometimes, we do what we can and wait. In this case, what I could do was take Ibuprofen, apply a topical anti-inflammatory and hold still. I could also pray…and wait. “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;” Isaiah 40:31 (KJV).

Listen to Pain

Pain should always get our attention. It is designed to make us listen. We are supposed to hear what pain is saying. Pain points us to a problem. And yet, so often we ignore pain in our lives. We think we are being tough and pushing through, but we are not listening to the pain or the problem to which it is trying to point us.

Pain is a signal something is wrong and a call to action.

Pain: A Call to Action

Physically, that call to action may be a call to rest and hold still (seems counter-intuitive, but it is a call to do what will help the problem causing the pain) or it may be a call to go to the doctor, set the broken leg or have surgery to correct an internal problem.

Emotionally and spiritually, pain is the same kind of call to action. If our emotions or spirit is hurting, we need to attend to that. Maybe we need to kindly give ourselves a band-aid over the hurtful words said to us last week. Maybe we need to set a “broken bone” by giving it a cast of forgiveness to heal a big betrayal. Or maybe there is a buried internal problem that started long ago, and Jesus needs to do spiritual surgery to correct it. He can go in deep and take out the poison or disease and all the damage it has caused and bring complete healing to that place.

The Lord, Our Healer

The most important thing is to acknowledge this kind of pain and take it to the Lord. What is the specific situation, conversation, relationship or memory causing pain? What does the Word say about it?

Do we need His comfort? He offers it to us every moment. Do we need to forgive or ask forgiveness? We must take that action. The Lord is our help. We must not try to bury it or it will get worse. Much worse.

May you find continued freedom from all pain.

What kind of pain do you need to bring before the Lord for healing today?

  • Hi, I'm Erica ~ a wife, a mom, a Christian speaker, singer, author, and worship leader. I love coffee & chocolate, reading & writing, music & more music, Facebook & Twitter, time with family & friends! Thanks for dropping by ~ I hope you are encouraged here.

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