Amazingly, the War Room is now the number one movie in America! My heart rejoices knowing that such a powerful movie is moving the hearts of God’s people and calling them back to a life of prayer. Prayer should not be relegated to five minutes before we go to bed. It should be a central part of our time and efforts. And that is what the movie showed.
Reflecting on the movie, and as begin to host prayer events in my house, I wanted to put together a cheat sheet, especially to those that are new to prayer to help them improve their prayer life. It will help you not only elongate your prayer, but also improve the quality of it by using Biblical principles. These are principles that I learned from women in my life that are prayer warriors that will spend hours on their and knees and who actually hear from God (not surprisingly). These are the Miss Claras in my life. Obviously, prayer does not have to follow this pattern exactly, but I have found that including these elements will help keep your heart in the right place day after day and you will see God move in your life more and more.
Get ready for War!!
PRAYER OPERATIONAL PLAN
Evaluate Your Strategic Environment
1. Praises and Thankfulness:
Begin your prayer by praising God either through words or songs. Through your praises you will be reminded about how big He is and how little the enemy is in comparison. Through thankfulness you will strengthen your faith. You will be reminded about all the things that He has done for you and all the ways that He has blessed you. It will give you confidence that He will come through for you once again.
Psalm 69:34 I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.
Psalm 95:2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
Phillippians 4:6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Psalm 9:1 ….I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
Set Up Your Defenses
2. Forgive and Be Forgiven:
Because prayer is such a powerful force, if you start praying more, you become a bigger target for the enemy. The enemy will look for weaknesses in your life to attack you or your family. Therefore you need to make sure your walls are built up high to keep the enemy out. All he needs is a little open crack to wreak havoc so patch up those cracks quickly. Open cracks include unconfessed sins especially a failure to forgive others.
During this portion of you prayer you want to forgive anyone you have not forgiven and you want to ask for forgiveness for your errors. Be specific, acknowledge your sins/mistakes and ask for forgiveness. It also puts you in a place of humility and helps you search your heart to make sure the petitions you ask of God are coming from a pure heart.
Matthew 6:15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Luke 17:4 and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;
James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
I John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
3. Ask God for Protection:
This is essentially where you set up spiritual forces around your perimeter. You do this by asking God to protect you either through His mighty hand, through his angels, and through what Jesus accomplished by his blood (think Passover Lamb).
Psalm 91 (the whole thing) but some specifics part of it… verse 11: For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. verses 9-10: Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place—the Most High, who is my refuge, no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.
I John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Go on the Offensive
4. Put Forward Your Petitions:
This is the time to tell God your needs. It is the first step in going on the offensive by identifying the targets. Give him every detail and make your requests specific. This is your time to “gossip” with God. Tell him what bothers you, what things in your life are affecting you. If you think about it that way, you will find that your prayer just turned from a five minute prayer to an hour prayer.
And think about your requests. Do they line up with the word of God? Is your request something that would please God to do based now what you know of the Bible? Asking for the latest new gadget to show off to your friends probably does not line up with the word of God, but asking for healing for a family member or asking for your financial needs to be met so that you may provide for your family and be able to give to others probably does.
I John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
James 1: 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Matthew 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
5. Let God Lead You in Prayer:
At this point you want to quiet your heart. Let God talk to you. If something comes to mind that you should pray for, then do it then. I have often found that it is at these times that God tells us what areas in our life and the lives of others need prayers. These are the times that God tells you what areas the enemy is attacking and encourages to pray more fervently for those areas. This is the time where you are actively engaging the enemy and where somewhere in the spiritual world God is focusing his forces against the enemy’s minions! This is where the supernatural happens! This is where the miracles happen!
John 4:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Luke 12:12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.
READ Daniel chapter 10 to see how God’s angels actually engage in war against the enemy.