[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]R[/mk_dropcaps]elentless- oppressively constant, incessant. This one word best describes what our prayer life should be. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 it says “pray without ceasing.” We are not to live under oppression to anything as children of God. Rather, we are to be oppressively constant in commanding Heaven to invade earth. A key facet to prayer is that it is not only for connection and development of intimacy with God but also to go to battle. When we battle in prayer, we command the blessing of Heaven here on earth. How often do we really do that?
With many believing that prayer is only submitting our requests to the Lord, it is understandable why we do not do this more. Prayer would quickly grow stale because there really is only so much one person can want. Yes, you can have vision, but what makes vision grow is putting your hand to the plow and getting to work.
When I look to the Lord’s prayer, (Luke 11:2-4) I see relentless prayer modeled in His command, “Your kingdom come, your will be done.” In laying out the standard of prayer here, Jesus is showing how simple and bold commanding blessing is. However, commanding a blessing does not come without a fight. This is the fight of faith and perseverance and our prayers must be relentless to see victory. Living in a fallen world, it can seem easier to stop pressing in or take ground because we are programed by our culture for instant gratification. This is not the standard of Heaven.
Our pull to instant gratification is the very reason why we must play our part. We do this not to seek approval from God. I used to think prayer was pleading with God to get Him to agree with me. In time, as I planted myself in the house of God, I saw how God already approves me. From that revelation it is a healthy response to honor the overflow we have by ensuring it flows out and into others. Creating that flow is key to our role as ambassadors for Christ. We are commissioned for this work and it's why you and I have breath.
Over the last two months God has challenged me to shift from prayers of connection to prayers that command the blessing of Heaven to fall. This requires two things.
- Identify the standard of Heaven.
- Submission and obedience to God to enforce that standard.
When your prayers shift from petitions to commanding the blessing of Heaven, you switch from relational prayers to battling prayers. This type of prayer is about taking ground.
Slow down to simply be in His presence. Submit to Him and draw Heaven down to earth. When your prayer life adopts this new default rhythm of both slowing and submitting, you will find new passion arise within your spirit. This rhythm requires commitment and intention but, in time, will become your new normal. I found that as I committed to wait upon the Lord to direct my prayers and also set down my need to perform as proof of my value, agitation arose.
Truth be told, “agitation” is putting it mildly. Two weeks ago my “agitation" turned into a breadown. It was as if a ninja snuck up on me out of nowhere and attacked. My boyfriend and I were having our usual debrief conversation from a sermon we had just listened to when my feelings took a sharp turn and I smacked right into this wall of thoughts accusing me that “I am not enough.” I found myself questioning everything. “Why am I even in this line of work? Will I really be able to be successful in business? Who am I to think I deserve it?” I know without a doubt these thoughts were whispers of the enemy. Yet, these beliefs had an undeniable and unavoidable connection to my heart. These thoughts revealed to both Alex and I that there was something blocking the flow of God’s love in my life and it was time to press in for freedom. You know you are facing spiritual bondage where there is a disconnect between what is truth (what you intellectually understand) and what you believe in your spirit.
Over the next couple of days, I laid this before the Lord and found the root issue. Shame. It’s language is always a whisper of “I am not ______ enough.” "I am not smart enough, outgoing enough, talented enough, or simply enough.” I was able to identify and uncover this root because I went to prayer not only in petitioning but exercising my authority in Christ. I asked God to reveal the source and put to use the power God has given me. You have this same power, if you so choose. I then bound the enemy and broke his hold over my life. I followed this up by loosing the presence of Heaven over that area in my life as well. [Note: Any time you take ground in spiritual things, you cannot just bind and break, you must always loose the presence of God. This includes healing the original wound and bringing His word into replace the old. Ignoring this leaves an empty space that must be filled with something - the presence and Word of God]. You can be free in a moment, but to remain free requires you to change the way you operate to stay in alignment with that freedom. Old habits must be dealt with due diligence done in prayer to receive full and complete inner healing.
Commanding blessing in prayer requires some sweat. Relentless prayer is not some quiet, sweet and somber moment you have kneeling beside your bed (though there can be moments of that). It requires that we rise up in our authority to the point that the devil gets fed up with our oppressively constant commands and flees. It is what authority we carry.
[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"]“Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7[/mk_blockquote]
The devil should not be oppressing us. Rather, because of the victory we lay hold to in Jesus Christ, we can oppress the enemy.
Jesus when speaking to Simon called Peter says
[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"]“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18[/mk_blockquote]
The defenses of the enemy cannot withstand our advances. We are victorious. The issue is that many of us have yet to have a revelation of the authority we carry. The enemy is the great deceiver, but I believe, as a church, we have awakened to our call to be relentless in prayer. As we command the blessing of Heaven to fall on situations we face, and the situations we pray for with others, revival is the only outcome.
When enough of us have had encounters with the living God, the world, with all it’s knowledge, will be at our mercy. We will break the chains of deception and set free those who are captive. Prayer is about intimacy but prayer that is relentless in nature is of utmost importance. It is a strength that is innate within you and all you must do is step out in faith to wield it.