Strategy In Prayer
Everything that is successful usually has a strategy. What I mean is that for us to have any realistic expectations for an endeavor to be even remotely successful, we need to have a strategy. We need to have a plan.
We would not expect to start a new business without a strategy. We have a strategy for how we raise our children, how we work in our careers, how we run our finances, and for anything and everything that we consider important. If we want to succeed in it—we have a plan of action or a strategy for it.
If the above is true, and it is, why don’t we have a strategy for prayer? Why don’t we have a strategy for the most important activity that we can participate in? Why don’t we have an action plan for our prayer life?
When Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray, He gave them this prayer: “Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory, forever. Amen!” Now this is not just a prayer, but it is a divine strategy to make sure that we are successful in prayer.
When we look at this prayer as our model for strategy in prayer, what we will have to admit is that we have not done a very good job, for the most part, of being successful. Here are a few glaring points that prove the validity of the previous statement:
Our prayers should begin and end with a focus on God, who He is and what He can do. This prayer begins with acknowledging that God is our Father through both creation and, as believers, through spiritual rebirth. We are reminded that He resides in heaven and that He is holy. We come to Him on His agenda and not on ours, and our first desire is that His Kingdom will be advanced and His will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. This prayer ends by declaring that all kingship, power, and glory belong to Him, not just for now, but forever and ever.
More than half of our prayer time should consist of us exalting God. We should spend most of our time in prayer telling Him who He is to us. Not because He needs to know, but because we need to know and be reminded of His greatness. We need to spend the majority of our prayer time telling God about His greatness because heaven needs to know we know, hell shudders when it knows we know, and most importantly when we know the greatness of our God, we are confident to walk in obedience to His word.
A third of our time in prayer should focus on our spiritual needs. We should confess our sins and ask God to forgive us. To not just forgive us, but to help us to forgive others. And to help us to overcome temptation. These are all spiritual things. We should ask God to manifest in our lives the promises of a spiritually transformed life. We can ask Him with confidence to have a spirit of harmony, unity, forgiveness, reconciliation, and love for others that are not like us, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. We must spend time evaluating our spiritual needs and petitioning the throne of God to meet those needs. This is significant and much needed.
Only 10 percent of our prayer time is to focus on our material needs.
The benefits of following the above strategy in prayer are legion. The biggest benefit for the disciple of Jesus Christ is that they will have spiritual strength during adversity. Adversity comes to mock our commitment to Christ, and it is during adversity that we prove whether we are really authentic children of God or not. The moment that we contemplate obedience—adversity begins to reveal itself. How do we typically handle adversity? My experience is that even most believers start out with a non-biblical approach. We seldom start by applying biblical wisdom and principles. And as a result, we usually falter, fall, or fail. We fail because we have not utilized the above strategy in prayer. We fail because we don’t have any confidence in who our God is and the faithfulness of His word. We fail because we have not asked God for the spiritual resources to overcome our challenges, prior to encountering those challenges.
The truth is that the very thought of obedience brings spiritual pressure. Right now, think about something that you know you need to change to align your behavior with God’s will for your life. Do you feel the pressure not to change? Do you hear the voice telling you all the reasons why you shouldn’t and can’t? The thought of obedience and the pressures that it brings makes us tremble. I declare that we tremble at the wrong things.
In and of itself, there is nothing wrong with trembling. But we cannot allow trembling to prevent our obedience. Tremble, but be right. Tremble, but walk in obedience to Jesus Christ. We must tremble at the right things. We must tremble at the thought of who God is. We must tremble at His Presence and at His Word. We must tremble at the thought of displeasing Him.
I encourage you today to pray the way that Jesus taught us to pray. Pray with a heavenly strategy. Pray that you will understand what Christ wants you to do and that when you understand, you will not hesitate to do it. I encourage you to begin your divine prayer strategy today.
We've Been Lied To
We have been told that material possessions are a measure of real success. This lie is responsible for our current economic crisis, which was set off by the decline in the housing market. Even when we have the trappings of success that are supposed to meet our needs and desires, many of us still find ourselves completely unfulfilled.
We have also been told that self gratification is more important than self discipline. Have you ever heard of Tiger Woods? I don't have time in this brief preview to discuss all of the major problems that we have encountered and are still dealing with as a result of this lie. Surely, our concerns about the environment and our divorce rate are both issues that have been birthed directly from our wholesale acceptance of this falsehood.
And these are just two of the many lies that we have been told and that we have used as a standard by which we live our lives.
If the current world system of power acquisition, control and success is working so well, then why are so many “successful" people leading defeated lives? Why do so many people who have access to incredible resources, still find themselves unable to restrain themselves and make disciplined positive choices that not only benefit them, but also those that they love. The truth is that our present world system of power acquisition, success and control is flawed, it does not completely fulfill.
The truth is that you don’t have to live a depressed, anxious or stressed out life. The truth is that you can have real power, real success, real control over every situation that life presents, but it requires a change in your thought process. How you think will determine how you behave and how you behave will determine your destiny. We must not just understand the truth from the point of intellectual attainment, but we must move beyond that level of understanding to the point of action, to the point of change.
Assessing The Supernatural
Nothing supernatural happens outside of the presence of God. The presence of Jesus Christ transforms everything. In His presence we will find: Illumination, Revelation, Protection, Prosperity, Purity, Power, Provisions, Peace, Life, Wisdom, Victory, Abundance, Joy, Honor & Glory and the fullness of the good news of Jesus Christ.
Every challenge of the enemy is designed to keep us out of God’s presence. Since the fall of man in the garden of Eden, it has become natural for us to avoid His presence. We have occasionally tried to find His presence during the death of a loved one or during some other trying moment. Many Christians have practiced His presence irregularly, at best.
We must be reminded that Christ died on the cross for our spiritual deliverance and for the restoration of our birthright as children of God. But He also died that He might reinstate our privilege of being able to come into the presence of God. We must practice His presence if we are to become truly successful in accomplishing the purpose of our existence.
The supernatural, visibly seen, power of God is only released in His presence. That is why we must practice His presence. We must learn how through the word of God, praise and prayer, to practice being in the presence of God. We must be quick to allow nothing to keep us from getting into His presence. We must fight to not allow the pressures and problems of this life, our addictions, our complaining, and not even our fear, to prevent us from practicing the presence of Jesus Christ. Nothing, should keep us from the presence of the Lord. For when we are in His presence the impossible immediately becomes possible.
This is the purpose of Tony Collins Ministries. We desire to teach each individual about the power and ease of accessibility to the supernatural life changing presence of the one true living God – Jesus Christ. We desire to teach all how to fight and over come spiritual darkness and live the life of abundance that Christ came that we might live.
Slaying Our Little Gods
READ THIS AND GET YOUR BREAKTHROUGH: Are God’s promises not being fulfilled in your life? Has Christ made some promises to you through His word, but you are still waiting on them to show up in your life? Do you have areas in your life where you don’t do what you know you should do? You hear God’s word. You agree with His word. You determine that you are going to do the right thing, but then you don’t. You even feel guilty about it and you tell yourself that you are definitely going to do the right thing, but then you don’t. Are you struggling in any area of your life to do what you know you should do? If so, you are not alone. Even the Apostle Paul who wrote many of the books in the New Testament said in essence: “the thing I want to do, I don’t do, and the thing I don’t want to do, I do”. You may be a pastor, deacon or elder in your church. You may be reading your bible every day, fasting and praying, and crying out to Jesus for help. But you still have those areas where you are not walking in obedience to The Lord. In any area that we are not obedient to Jesus we are in rebellion. Rebellion in that area means that we have established another king or god whose voice we value more than Christ’s. We can say that’s not true all we want, but the fact that we are disobedient proves otherwise. And as blessed as we may think that we are, we must understand that we can never walk in the fullness of the promises of God until we dethrone our little gods and walk in obedience to Jesus Christ. It is these little gods, these areas of spiritual weakness that are keeping the great promises of God from manifesting themselves in our lives.
We can see this played out in the Holy Scriptures as the emancipated nation of Israel comes to the precipice of their promise, the land flowing with milk and honey, that God had promised Abraham and his descendants. The reason that this generation was not able to take hold of what God had clearly given them was simply they allowed the little god of fear to take the place of the God that brought them out of darkness and who had given them this land based upon His promise – His word. You can see evidence of this in Numbers 13 as the spies give their report. In verse 31 ten of the twelve spies say that they “can't attack those people; they are stronger than we are." We can go on to read in chapter 14 that they were afraid that their wives and children would be taken as plunder. And so we see that the “little god of fear" was more important to them than the God of all creation and as a result they were not able to manifest the promise of God for their lives. However, if we look at the next generation of God's people in Joshua chapter 3, they are ready to take hold of what it is that God has promised them. In Joshua 3:5, Joshua says to the people as they are “preparing" to enter the promised land “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow The Lord will do amazing things among you." Consecrate means to set yourself apart for The Lord. And they were to do that by getting rid of all of their other gods – their “little gods". I declare to you today – “Get rid of your little gods and watch Jesus Christ do amazing things among you."
So how do we dethrone these demons, these little gods and establish Christ as King in every area of our lives? We do so by literally identifying by name the evil spirit that is attacking us and telling it four things. Here are the four steps to dethroning the little gods in your life and walking in the fullness of God’s promises.
- I have given my heart to Jesus
- I live for Jesus now
- I’ve been delivered from you
- I don’t love you more than I love Jesus
If you will, in the spirit, look that dark thing in the eye and call it by name, and say out loud these four things every time you feel that spirit attack you and mean it, I promise you that you will see a significant difference in your spiritual walk with The Lord Jesus Christ. This information is a game changer, spiritually. As you use it and see the fruit of it in your life, share it with anyone that you love that needs a breakthrough in their life. When you use this it won’t take long for you to see positive results.
Moving From Faith To Trust
There is a difference between having faith in someone and having trust in someone. Faith is simply the conviction or belief that something is true. The word faith is the word “pistes" in the Greek. We can have faith in anything. We can even have faith in a lie. Remembering that “faith" isn’t faith until it shows itself in action, I can believe that an old rickety chair will hold my weight only to sit on it and fall to the floor. Just because I believe it, doesn’t make it true. No matter how vehemently I believe.
Ultimately the object of the faith will determine whether our faith is credible or unwarranted. That’s why the object of our faith must always be the truth of Jesus Christ. Our personal faith in Jesus Christ is the only thing that can save us from our sin nature, death, hell and the grave – all in one swoop. Our personal faith in the person of Jesus Christ, that He is God, that He is the son of God, and that He died on the cross for our sins because of His great love for us – that faith saves us, heals us, delivers, makes us free and gives us the victory, forever.
But just because we have faith in Christ as our Savior, doesn’t mean that we trust Him with our today and our tomorrow. The word trust is the greek word “batach". It means security and denotes the idea that “you won’t have the rug pulled out from underneath you." Here is the problem. We can have faith in Jesus Christ to the point that we have moved from the darkness into the light – we have been truly transformed into a spiritual child of God, but still not trust Jesus with our life’s situations. The problem is that we can’t understand God. His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. He just doesn’t do things the way we would. He waits too long, for us. He uses the wrong people, for us. He is just unpredictable in the process of life. We can see that over and over again in the Holy Scriptures. We want Him to go left and not only does He go right, He goes incredibly, totally right – and then some. And because of this, we find that we have faith enough to get saved and trust Jesus for our eternity, but we refuse to trust Him for our tomorrow. Let me prove it.
In the fifth chapter of Galatians beginning at verse twenty-two the Holy Bible (NASB) reads “But the fruit of The Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…" This in essence means that once we surrender our selves to Jesus Christ and ask Him to be our Lord, when we instantly receive the presence of The Holy Spirit authenticating that our faith in Jesus Christ is true – we immediately have “The Fruit of The Spirit". In The Spirit we are given the ability to do all these things as Christ did them, as He modeled them for us. If that is true, and it is, why don’t we see more believers living a holy life as is outlined in Galatians 5:22-23? The obvious answer is that we don’t trust God to handle these situations according to His Word. And as a result, so few people are modeling holiness that it is viewed as a strange thing, even in the church. All because we choose not to trust God. We don’t know what He will do. I might not like what He does or how He does it. I may agree intellectually that His word is true, but I am not willing to trust Him with my life’s choices. So we see that I have the victory spiritually, but I am not able to reveal it in the natural. I have abundance and prosperity, spiritually first and then in every other way, but I can’t walk in it – because I won’t trust Jesus with my right now. Faith gives me access to it in the spirit. Trust brings the promises and the power of the word into my life’s situations. God wants to bless you in an incredibly public way financially, but I won’t trust Jesus to tithe. Christ wants to bless my marriage abundantly, but I won’t trust God to love my wife the way that Christ loves the church, or submit to my husband the way the church submits to Christ. Is anyone willing to trust His word and receive a supernatural blessing?
As a result of the above we have watered down the holiness of God and made almost anything permissible in our lives and in the church. All we do is excuse it away. We are no longer validated by God’s word and the movement of The Holy Spirit, but now we are validated by men, tradition, and a world corporation spirit in the church. We sing our songs and play our music and preach our messages and we call it worship. But how can it be worship if it’s not HOLY? We have been lied to and believed the lie. We have allowed an Ishmael spirit to rise up in us and in the church. It looks like the real thing – it sounds like the real thing – but it has no promise, and thus no power. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not just words, but power. If our actions don’t validate the scriptures then our actions are null and void. Where is our spiritual power? We have excused it away. Instead of saying that our actions are null and void we have said that the scriptures are null and void. Where is our holiness that honors Jesus Christ and draws the world? We have sold it for our large facilities and a comfortable pension. Who is modeling Christ?
One of the main reasons that Jesus Christ came was to model the truth that we can do all things through Christ that gives us strength. That doesn’t mean that we have to be perfect. What it does mean is that we are legitimately trying to be perfect. Grace will fill in the gap. The reason that Christ modeled holiness is to show us that it could be done. His disciples went forth from among Him and did their best to model holiness. And they didn’t do it perfectly, but they did it well enough to change the world. Christ is looking for someone to model holiness so that the people that we come in contact with can know that it can be done, that Jesus is real, and that His word is true. You won’t do it perfectly, but if you give it your best effort, it will most certainly change the world around you. Isn’t it time you moved from faith to trust?
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