War Room was the number-one movie in America when it was released! My heart rejoices to know that such a powerful movie moved the hearts of God’s people and called them back to a life of prayer. In addition, the movie showed that prayer is how we engage in the spiritual battle, and for that reason, Ms. Clara encouraged the lead character to have a prayer strategy. In military terms, that is called an operational plan (battle plan for prayer). That is why I like to call my prayer strategy a prayer operational plan (Prayer OPLAN).
When we pray, we are engaging in a spiritual fight. In the natural world, military leaders put together operational plans to help guide them through the war. When we engage in spiritual warfare, it is also helpful to have an operational plan. It can help focus our prayers, but it also puts into action many Biblical principles. I share my prayer operational plan (prayer OPLAN) below.
In my prayer OPLAN, I include principles that I learned from brothers and sisters in Christ that are prayer warriors, many with a prophetic gifting. These are the Miss Claras in my life. Obviously, prayer does not have to follow this pattern exactly as I have laid it out, but I have found that including these elements helps keep my heart in the right place day after day and makes my prayer time more effective.In the natural world, military leaders put together operational plans to help guide them through the war. When we engage in spiritual warfare, it is also helpful to have an operational plan. Click To Tweet
PRAYER OPERATIONAL PLAN (Battle Plan for Prayer)
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Evaluate Your Strategic Environment
When military leaders put together an OPLAN, they first take into consideration the strategic environment. That means they look at the big picture and consider all the major players. In prayer, we must do the same and we do that through praises and thankfulness.
1. Praises and Thankfulness:
We evaluate our strategic environment by praising God either through words or songs. Through praises, we are reminded about how big He is and how little the enemy is in comparison. Through thankfulness, we strengthen our faith. Thankfulness helps remind us about all the things that He has done for us and all the ways that He has blessed us. It will give us confidence that He will come through for us 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 for an Effective Battle Plan
When military leaders develop their OPLAN, they take into consideration the defense of key geographical areas, military bases, or forces. In spiritual warfare, we must take the same care to develop our own defenses.
2. Forgive and Be Forgiven:
Because prayer is such a powerful force, if we start praying more, we become bigger targets for the enemy. The enemy will look for weaknesses in our life to attack us or our families. Therefore we need to make sure our walls are built up high to keep the enemy out. All he needs is a little crack to wreak havoc so patch up those cracks quickly. These breaches include unconfessed sins, especially a failure to forgive others.
During this portion of our prayer, we want to forgive anyone we have not forgiven and we want to ask for forgiveness for our errors. We need to be specific, acknowledge our sins/mistakes, and ask for forgiveness. It also puts us in a place of humility and helps search our hearts to make sure the petitions we 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 we set up spiritual forces around our perimeter. We do this by asking God to protect us 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 show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Go on the Offensive
No OPLAN (or battle plan for prayer) will be effective without a well-thought-out plan for offensive maneuvers. In spiritual warfare, we also need to develop the offensive part of our battle plan for prayer.
4. Put Forward Your Petitions:
This is the portion of our prayers where we ask God for our needs. It is the first step in going on the offensive by identifying the targets. We need to give him every detail and make our requests specific. This is our time to “gossip” with God. Tell him what bothers us, what things in our lives are affecting us. If we think about it that way, we will find that our prayer just turned from a five-minute prayer to an hour prayer. That is not to say that short prayers can’t be effective, but long prayers help build our relationship with Him.
And we should think about our requests. Do they line up with the word of God? Is our request something that would please God to do based on what we know of the Bible? Asking for the latest new gadget to show off to our friends probably does not line up with the word of God, but asking for healing for a family member or asking for our financial needs to be met so that we may provide for our family and be able to give to others certainly does.
I John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything 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, we want to quiet our hearts. Let God talk to us. If something comes to mind that we should pray for, pray for 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 when God tells us what areas the enemy is attacking and encourages us to pray more fervently for those areas. I believe this is the time when we 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 get a good description of how God’s angels actually engage in war against the enemy.
Other Articles About Prayer You Might Enjoy:
- Top 5 Spiritual Warfare Books to Read
- Five Powerful Prayers to Pray Over Your Kids
- Seven Prayers of Blessing for Your Week
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