Have you ever wondered what Jesus was doing when he went and prayed alone? Many assume prayer is something we do in talking to God, but it is so much more than this.
Last week was a week where I would have rather hung up the towel and called it quits in trying to fight the battle of this sudden depression that had overtaken me for 3 days and the constant self-loathing thoughts that kept creeping into my mind for no reason at all. I was physical, mentally, and spiritually weak and it was that time of the month and I had some pretty gruesome cramps and a nightmare of a cycle on top of it all. So there I was just letting the emotional roller coaster overtake me and have full reign of my day. So that afternoon my husband had left to get some things done and my son was napping so I decided that what I truly needed, what would help me out the most in my situation was… A Nap!!!
So as I pitifully crawled into bed, just as I had pulled the covers over my head I begin to feel the Spirit of God stir in my heart, then as if by a vision I seen myself here before and had remembered what I was to do in situations like this when depression, anger and all these emotions were rising up against me. I was to pray. Oh yes, praying sounds so simple, right? We all have been there in these moments when we are feeling so weak and just want to sleep because sleeping will mean that for a short time I will not have to think or battle all of these thoughts of torment in my head, like an escape route that had my name written all over it in bright flashing colors! And I had been praying ALL dang week because I was not having a great week so I would constantly be saying “ah, lord you have got to help me with this today..blah…blah…blah” So all day I had been crying out to my Father and in communication with him through prayer and what more could I have prayed about that I had not already spoken to Him about during my day crying out for the relief of all this self-loathing agony? So why now do I feel God pressing into me that it is vital that I pray when I feel I have been doing it all day long already?
But I knew I had to obey the push of the Holy Spirit, I have learned to allot in my days of disobedience and trials that when the Holy Spirit is ushering me to something it is best to obey immediately. So even with my annoyance that I would rather just fall asleep then pray, because I feel I have already done this and it is not working, I ignore my rebellious flesh and obey the Spirit of God and start the same prayers I had been praying for myself all week when instantly God stepped in and told me “be more demanding and declare what is yours today.”
…Pause story, I have to share this first!
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
In Philippians Paul tells us straightforward how to handle our problems, that we are to be anxious for NOTHING – do not worry about anything, anything at all even the problem you are going through right now, and it may not even be physical it may be a spiritual battle of some sort that you are facing (I mean that you are going through something that is a spiritual growth in you that feels like a battle in your heart before God, and these are tough let me tell ya!), but even in this we are commanded by God to not worry and not be anxious about it. But in ALL things IN PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION, with THANKSGIVING let your requests be known to God…
I have to stop here because it is so clear here in this scripture how our prayer life is supposed to look like! But first, let me dive in a little deeper so that you understand what I am talking about or else I will sound like I am rambling on and on and on! I assure you I am not, I have a point… or at least I think I do, Lord help me not get sidetracked!
So here is a little background: See we are to come before God in prayer which means in Greek proseuche which is a blended Greek word taken from words pros and euche. The word pros meaning face-to-face, and the second word, euche, is a Greek word that means a wish, desire, or vow. In this, we are first to meet God face-to-face and use prayer as a means of building a relationship with our heavenly Father, and then upon having that established in our hearts so to speak, we are to give our requests to God. And the word supplication translated as “petition”. Which comes from the Greek word deesis, which is taken from the verb deomai and specifically describes a need or a want. This word illustrates a cry for God’s help that reveals our weakness to meet our own needs thus relying on God solely to do so.
These two Greek words proseuche and deesis are used together in Philippians 4:6 which is above (also these 2 Greek words were used by Paul in 1 Timothy 2:1 and 5:5) The word proseuche is based on the one to whom the prayer is directed too where the word deesis is based on the need being requested to our Heavenly Father.
So when we think of Prayer, we need to view this in a different way other than letting God know our needs, because keep in mind he already knows them! But when using the word prayer in the new testament especially concerning Jesus when He would go to be alone with God, he was praying which is to have a relationship with God, he was building on the foundation of His relationship with God during these private moments on the hill. Many would think that He was just going and saying requests and wants before God (or as the disciples witnessed what they understood of as praying) but Jesus was actually deepening his relationship with His Father. ( I could go on and on about this because it is so deep but please excuse me as I try to stay on point!)
So God has called us to have a relationship with Him, that in our relationship with Him we may cry out to Him our requests and needs to the Father (For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father” Romans 8:15) Now having the relationship established we are to in supplication let our requests be known to God, as we are building trust in Him daily, we are building a relationship that is founded on the word of God which is truth and promise to our lives, then because we trust in God and know He is our provision in all things, we cry out to Him for help in our situations or our needs. See if we truly did not trust God even just a little, we would not cry out to Him in Faith knowing He will do something about what we are requesting about. So once we have given our requests to God out of trust in Him based off the relationship that we have built, we then are to finish our requests with THANKSGIVING UNTO HIM- knowing ladies that what we have asked we will receive.
Once you have done this and have given over your anxieties to God, laid at His feet and just soaked in His presence of who He is (and please know that doing this looks different for every person- some go alone in a private room, some do it daily while they are cleaning house, and others chose to do so over praise and worship music- each relationship is different therefore so is our soaking of Him and His presence!), and let Him know what is burdening you and put trust in Him that He will take care of it (which means letting it goes, stop bringing it back up in your mind to worry about it, or question it… completely and solely trusting that God has taken it and you no longer carry that burden)
The peace of God will begin immediately guarding your heart and mind through Christ Jesus, and this peace that is guarding your heart and mind will surpass all your understanding, so much so, that to understand how it is that you can have such peace in the midst of this horrible storm in your life will amaze you. But first, you must do the first following commandments (as I call them) that God is directing us to do in Philippians 4:6. Because when we pray with God, we are receiving so much more than we can witness with our own eyes, we are receiving His peace over us and He is strengthening us and building a firm foundation in us. (praying meaning here that we are spending time with God, building on our relationship with Him)
So after we have spent time in our relationship with Him, and given our requests to Him we are then to thank Him for the requests being answered. We are not to sit around and wonder if or when they will be granted to us, instead we are to instantly THANK HIM for the answers to our burdens and problems in our life. Thank Him knowing in your heart that you have received that which you have just requested of God.
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” John 15:7
Did you know that the word “ask” is the Greek word aiteo, and it means I ask or I demand? (Remember how God told me to be more demanding and declare what is mine for the day?!!!) Now many can take this out of context if you ignore what Jesus first said. See if you take out the part where he says IF you abide in Me, and My words abide in you then yes this Greek word aiteo in this scripture would be very rude before God I think! But Jesus is not saying to be demanding of your desires before God and He will grant you your wishes, what Jesus is stating here is that if Christ abides in you, and His words ( the word of God) are being put at the highest priority in your heart and mind then if this is the case in your walk with God, you would never ask of anything outside of the will of God or His purpose for your life anyways. Because His word would transform our mind that when we pray and give our requests to God it would be in alignment with the word of God over our lives, and it would be demanding our promises in the word of God over our lives as well!
(Ladies, I am not saying here that God only answers prayers that are aligned with his word, we all know this to not be entirely true because in my past when I was experiencing the things of this world in my early 20’s, I would pray things that I swear God would not answer because they were selfish or worldly desires, and he still did and I assure you my mind was not transformed or renewed by the word at that time, but I was still a child of God and that counts because He truly loves His children and will always answer our prayers- even if sometimes it is a no instead of a yes! But it is still answered)
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2
…Back to Story now!
I hope I have not lost you yet! So when God told me to be more demanding and declare what is mine for the day. I began to do just that, and I began to speak the word of God over myself, my marriage, my house, and my child. I began to speak life to my emotions and declared that the death of depression over me is no more and began speaking life-giving promises to my situation. Not only speaking them, but believing in what I was speaking, and instantly as if a fog had left my house, the sun shined in my window and my depression, self-loathing and anger were gone and I could feel as if God were there in the room with me smiling at me saying “that a girl”.
See when God had told me to pray, all I really wanted to do was sleep instead. But that was because I did not understand what kind of praying He was asking of me at that time, what God was asking of me was not just a simple prayer to get me through my day, because He even knows I had been doing that all day long as I mentioned above! But my Father knew that the kind of prayer I needed was the kind mentioned in Philippians 4:6-7 and in John 15:7 that it was this type of prayer that Jesus was talking about here that I needed to demand in my life to overcome this battle I was in.
Ladies God has taught me so much in just the last week when it comes to prayer and demanding promises into my day and I am not being prideful in saying this, more actually as a humble child of God who is learning more and more how to pray every day! See I ask God to teach me how to pray (seriously as I am typing this He just told me that is why I am learning so much- because I ask this of Him) God is so good! But I have learned so much about prayer and in such a profound way that I am astonished that I have allowed myself to be overtaken by the enemy in my past, especially when I see that prayer is not just a weapon to be used in this kingdom world we live in, but that the weapon itself is in the prayer and prayer being in the relationship we have with God. When we know who we are in God and as a child of God, we have more knowledge of our authority in Christ and can then begin to demand and declare those promises in the word of God over our lives and declare our life to change by what the word of God says about who we are and what we are to possess (love, peace, joy, healing etc.)
God has shown me who I am and what I have as His daughter, and when I allow my emotions to take precedence in my life over who I know I am, that is when God comes in and puts me in check and He told me to demand the promises of who I am in Him, and by golly I did and it set me free! And since I have begun to do this daily, even when I am just walking around the house or cleaning or taking the dog for a walk, like today I was walking down the street demanding and declaring who I am in Christ, and declaring the promises of the word of God over my life and over my families lives. We are called to live a life of promise ladies!! And even as do my research in writing this blog God begins to teach me new things, and I truly do love that God uses this blog to teach me things in His word, and that I get to share my heart with you lovely people!
Thank you for listening to me share my heart on this, and I do apologize if I have any parts in here that are confusing and mixed up a little. Please understand that God had put on my heart to post this a week ago and out of fear I did not post this. So here I am a week later updating things because God has revealed even more to me about the “Prayer” he called me to that day, and I had to update this post. So understand I have about 3 separate days worth of work in one writing, so I do apologize if this confuses anyone or if my writing is not all at the same target point!
With great Love & Peace,