This afternoon my heart was troubled by a phone call from a friend who said she was in a “Spiritual Crisis”. The tone of her voice and the words she used evidenced deep distress. I didn’t find much success in trying to help her reframe her story into something with some hope.
After the phone call I wanted to comfort myself with the scripture that says the enemy has been defeated at the cross. I wanted to declare this truth and find the reference for it.
I couldn’t remember where in the Bible it was found so I typed in “disempowered enemy” . An article came up that addressed this theme. As I opened it I was amazed to find it had been written by me!!!
I didn’t know it was on the web. I also didn’t know today the truth that I knew when I wrote this a year and a half ago.
I’ll share it with you now, but want to encourage you to read your own stuff. Most of you keep journals. Many of you write blogs. There is much wisdom in what you, yourself, have written.
This is from an interview for which I was given both the topic and these assigned questions.
You Have an Enemy: The power of Prayer
“If you are a Christian, you are a target and if you are in ministry, you are a bulls eye” – Neil Anderson
How do you serve, lead and minister with the reality and presence of the enemy all around you?
On a visit to China, I met some widows who lived in the church and prayed. My interpreter explained to me that this was important because the enemy could come in at anytime. As I processed this, I realized that the only difference here in the States is that the enemy does not wear a uniform.
I remind myself that the enemy is present but disempowered. At the cross, Jesus stripped the enemy of power, allowing him to live (for now) but giving the power that the enemy had coveted to those who are sons and daughters of the King. When we recognize who we are in Christ we can address the enemy from victory rather than pleading for victory.
Prayer is a natural conversation with our Father who loves to hear my voice, is interested in what I have to say and loves to confide in me.
What has been the most challenging thing about prayer for you?
Unlearning that prayer is a discipline that I need to cultivate and learning that it is a natural conversation with our Father who loves to hear my voice, is interested in what I have to say and loves to confide in me.
What difference has it made?
I no longer scold myself for not praying enough but instead look forward to building intimacy with God through spending time with Him.
How have you allowed God to speak to your heart?
I love to listen to worship music that welcomes the Holy Spirit and helps me focus on the Presence of God. When a time of encountering His Presence happens early in the morning it is easy to return to it throughout the day.
God speaks to me through His world. I meet the Artist as I ponder the artwork of creation.
I give myself permission to let scripture speak to my heart, even when it is not in context. (When I teach, I am careful to get the context right). When I am “hanging out with God” I discover Him speaking directly into my story from random scriptures.
What replenishes you?
- Watching God be God
- Friends who love me enough to pray for me, correct me and encourage me.
- Knowing my cat is waiting for me at the door.
- Watching my Koi swim peacefully, never worrying about being wet.
My faith in a verse: “The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue that I may know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen as one being taught.” — Isaiah 50:4