Taking Authority in Prayer

Taking Authority in Prayer
The most important authority God has given us is the authority to pray. Think how often Jesus said if we believed in Him we would have access in prayer to the Father, and that we could be confident that whatever we needed He would give us (John 14:13-14; 15:7; 16:23-27). By His death and resurrection Jesus not only cleansed our sins and gave us eternal life, but He also restored the spiritual authority God intended for us when He created us.
The Work of Prayer:
Many of us realize prayer is a great source of power, but we still don’t pray that much. This may be because we don’t realize how much spiritual opposition there is to our prayers. There is nothing the devil hates and fears more than humans discovering how to destroy his plans through prayer, so he opposes us every time we try to pray. A mature believer learns to expect this opposition, and develops ways to press past it, but someone who doesn’t understand what is happening to them can become distracted and discouraged. Their prayer-life can end up focused on a few of their own personal needs. In effect, their authority goes unused and the devil’s plans go unchanged.
Practical Steps:
Here are some practical steps that might help to strengthen our prayer-life:
1. Realize that much of the weakness and failure we experience, and even the struggles of others around us, can be changed when we learn to pray as we should. Listen to Paul: “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. (Ro 8:26). With this in mind, should we be surprised that when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, God touches our lips and gives us a gift that empowers us to pray what we “ought to pray”? “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.” (Jude 1:20).
2. Realize there will always be a spiritual struggle to prevent us from praying because the devil knows this is the key to his defeat.
3. Make prayer a discipline. Develop ways of reminding yourself of areas you need to consistently hold before God, but listen for the Spirit’s guidance each time you pray. Jesus said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses…” (Acts 1:8).
4. Find a regular place and time; use a journal; write down revelations and answers to prayer.
5. Make the effort to gather with others to do intercessory prayer. We need to be part of gathered-prayer just as we need to be part of gathered-worship. Praying with others strengthens our private prayer.
6. Continually remind yourself not to beg or bargain when you pray. Ask Him to show you how to pray for that person or situation, and recall the promises God has given us in Scripture. Then pray boldly and with the authority God has given you, even if you don’t feel it at the time. Trust and remember that God rewards and blesses those who earnestly seek Him. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exits and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (Heb.11:6).
Discussion Questions:
1. Life is challenging and all of us are on our God-given assignments: our family, workplace, school, church, our community…etc. Pick one and tell us how you think God wants you to pray for that situation.
2. Name someone (or feel free not to use their name) who God wants you to fight for in prayer. Why?