Saturday, November 12, 2016

Prayer and Tearing Down Spiritual Strongholds

One Sunday morning at Redeemer God was moving and changing the direction of our service from the beginning. In the middle of worship there was a call to come forward and receive prayer for tearing down inner spiritual strongholds. Many people came forward and were released from the lies of the enemy.

We find the "spiritual stronghold" idea in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5:

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

A "spiritual stronghold" is an "argument," a "pretender" that builds itself "against the knowledge of God." Spiritual strongholds are fortresses made of pretense-thoughts that need to be torn down, lest our souls become captive to their lies.

Some examples of pretender-strongholds include:

·         Cares of the world
·         Anxiety
·         Unforgiveness
·         Bitterness
·         Grief (lasting)
·         Instability (emotions rule; the emotional rollercoaster)
·         Accusations (the “accuser of the brethren”)
·         Condemnation
·         Sin and patterns of sin

As I look at this list I realize I have battled everything on it. One of the weapons I have to demolish strongholds is praying.[1] In praying I take these thoughts captive, such as "I am a failure in God's eyes," or "God could never love someone like me." These are pretenders to the throne. They have no place in the fortress of God. I must remember that I am a temple of the Holy Spirit, and God's Spirit will never speak like this to a follower of Jesus.

I am praying for truth to defeat lies.

I’m asking God to:

  • Make me anxious for nothing
  • Give me his heart of forgiveness
  • Uproot any bitterness within me
  • Give me a heart of thankfulness
  • Heal my hurting, wounded heart
  • Have his truth, not my emotions, rule my heart
  • Free me from self-condemnation
  • Defeat sin in me once and for all
I write these prayers down on a list and carry them with me. I pray them, repetitively. I pray the Big Truth, which is: God loves me. As the Big Truth descends from my intellect to my heart it overwhelms the lies that threaten my status in Christ.

I pray this way a lot. While it's true that God can remove things once and for all, it is also true that I am in a spiritual battle, and the enemy of my soul does not let up.

[1] See Ephesians 6:18