Browsing "Breakthrough Prayers"

Strategic Intercession for Pastors and Leaders

The tragic statistics are that 1500 pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout, or contention in their churches. 4000 new churches open each year, but over seven thousand established churches close.

*  50% of pastors’ marriages end in divorce.

*  50% of pastors are so discouraged, they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way to make a living.

*  80% of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry leave the ministry within the first five years.

*  80% of pastors’ spouses wish their spouse would choose another profession. The majority of pastor’s wives surveyed said that the most destructive event that has occurred in their marriage and family was the day they entered the ministry.

*  70% of pastors constantly fight depression.

Without a move of God, these numbers are unlikely to change for the better.  Pastors often say they know there are people praying for them, but what is often lacking is unity and strategy.

The Roman army was able to conquer much of the known world because of their unique strategy against the Barbarians.  While both armies had the same weapons and armor, Read more »

Healing Proclamations

In the book, Good to Great, author Jim Collins, shares about an interview he had with James Stockdale, a survivor of the POW camps in Vietnam.  Though experiencing 8 years of torture and near starvation, he resisted the enemy, developed a communication system for the prisoners, and sent important intelligence information secretly encoded in letters to his wife.  James told the interviewer:

“I never lost faith in the end of the story, I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.”[1

When the interviewer asked James, who didn’t make it out of the POW camps, he said,

“Oh, that’s easy, the optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart.”

This surprises us and has come to be known as the Stockdale Paradox which James sums up as:

“This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

I appreciate understanding this paradox because many times, Read more »

Turning Declarations into Thanksgiving Prayer

We all have different styles of speaking and praying.  For some people, declaring flows more naturally.  For others, thanksgiving is more comfortable than declaration.  Try the same declarations we’ve looked at the last three weeks, but this time use them as thanksgivings:

1.  Thank You, Father, that my prayers are powerful and effective (2 Cor 5:21; James 5:16b)

2.  Thank You for making me dead to sin and alive to obeying God (Romans 6:11)

3.  Thank You, Father, that through Jesus, I am 100% loved and worthy to receive all of God’s blessings (Gal 3:1-5)

4.  Thank You for being on my side today and giving me confidence that I cannot be defeated (Romans 8:37; Psalm 91)

5.  Thank You for the wisdom of God for every decision and situation I face (1 Cor 2:16)

6.  Thank You for life, health, joy and favor – the abundant satisfaction that I have in You. (Deut. 30:19; Neh 8:10, Psalm 36, Psalm 103:1-3; 2 Tim 1:6, 7)

7.  Thank You, Father for ever-increasing health (Isa 53:3-5)

8.  Thank You, Father, for supernatural protection (Psalm 91)

9.  Thank You for using me to bring God encounters to other people.  (Mark 16:17, 18)

10. Thank You for richly supplying my financial needs.  (Phil 4:19)

How does it feel this way?  Are you more comfortable with declarations or thanksgivings?  I personally find thanksgivings easier than declarations, which probably reflects my personality.  It actually frustrates my children Read more »

Declaration Prayers #3

Our spoken words can promote good or evil.  While we want only good to come from our mouth, we often find ourselves declaring things that are contrary to God and His will for us.  James addressed this issue in his epistle saying, “And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!”  James 3:10  Using declaration prayers doesn’t mean we deny our circumstances or our feelings, but we make conscious choices regularly to agree with what God says about them.

Declarations stir our faith to believe God’s promises for us, however, if we don’t understand  God’s ways and how to partner with Him, we can be disappointed and lose hope if we don’t see the immediate results we think we should get.   God’s ways are so different from ours.  He is always good and faithful, whether Read more »

Declaration Prayers #2

Declarations aren’t about convincing God of anything.  They are about convincing ourselves of God’s Word and His truth about us.  Satan unceasingly speaks his lies to us and if we don’t have a solid foundational understanding of who God is and how He feels/thinks about us, we can easily fall for his trap.

We also don’t declare them in a frivolous, flippant or arrogant way.  It is humbling to consider the God of the universe who created all things actually loves, intimately cares for and desires relationship with me.

Make these declarations regularly.  Put them on Read more »

Declaration Prayers #1

A friend of mine, Gina Hyatt, recently shared with me some declaration prayers that I believe are powerful tools in strengthening our prayer life.  I could list them all here at once, but feel there’s value in sharing a few at a time.

Words are powerful.  God used them to create our world (Genesis 1).  When He spoke, it happened.  We aren’t God, but we are created in His image and our words also have power.

This doesn’t mean that Read more »

Corporate Repentance

While corporate repentance and identificational repentance may be very similar in the content of the prayers, corporate repentance is done by a group or a representation of the group.

Daniel prayed individually for his nation (Indentificational repentance), however, in one of the biggest examples of corporate repentance, the city of Nineveh all came together to repent.  It had dramatic results!  A city doomed for destruction was saved!  God heard the prayers of a pagan city and turned away the judgement He had declared through Jonah.  The king of Nineveh himself bowed low in sackcloth and ashes and required everyone to do the same. He decreed: “But let man and beast be covered with sackcloths and cry mightily to God; yes let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish?”Jonah 3:8-9

in 1977 South Africa experienced a severe drought.  The president of the country called for a national day of repentance.  Masses of people left Read more »

Meditation, Part Three, Lectio Divinia

In the active pace of our lives, we seldom take the time to contemplate or meditate on Scripture to hear God’s whispers.  It takes effort to set aside time to be still and listen.  Much of our Christian life is often focused on what we do, yet God intends for us to experience the rhythm of who He is in both stillness and activity.

Lectio Divinia is an ancient practice of contemplation and meditation, of opening up the eyes of our heart to really hear God’s Word to us through the Scriptures.

To begin, get in a comfortable position and spend a few minutes Read more »

Meditation, Part Two

Wondering where to start in going deeper in Biblical meditation?  Try these suggestions from Kirk Bennett (www.7thunders.org).

  • Find a quiet place with space enough to walk, pace or even dance!
  • Play anointed music the helps you focus on Jesus
  • Get in a position that helps you stay alert and not fall asleep
  • Have your Bible, pen, paper and water available.
  • On your paper, section off one side to write tasks that will “pop in” as you try to meditate.  Then you can put it out of your mind and focus back on Jesus.

Then pick a verse from Scripture that you would like to gain greater understanding in.  Then as you begin, try this method of meditation (R-W-S-S-P) Read more »

Desperate Prayers

I’m grateful we can come to God in our most desperate times and He is there.  We can cry out to Him from places of pain and need and He doesn’t turn away.  I love that in the Psalms, David and others were able to express the depths of their feeling without fear of being judged, condemned or dismissed.  Though He holds galaxies in His hands, God is still interested in the smallest details of my life, including my emotions.  I don’t have to craft the perfect prayer to please Him.  I can pour out my heart to God, unedited and He loves my honesty.

Consider the desperate Read more »

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