Book Of Prayers 2012 (E)


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BOOK OF PRAYERS, By Dr. Stephen Phinney, offers prayers, Scriptures, devotionals and encouragement to committed prayer warriors. The subject of aggressive spiritual warfare against the world, the flesh, and the devil is becoming increasingly important. Read More...

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Book Of Prayers 2012 (E)

  1. 1. THE BOOK OF PRAYERS Learning to Pray Doctrinally Dr. Stephen r. Phinney Dedicated to my wife: Janie Marie My prayer partner for life!2
  2. 2. THE HOLY WORD OF GOD Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American St 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1975 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. Scripture quotations marked NKJV are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Book of Prayers – Learning To Pray Doctrinally Copyright © 2007, 2009 & 2013 Permission Based Sample: 75 of 198 Pages To Order Complete Work: Click HereISBN: 978-1-300-48233-8Printed in the United States of AmericaLuLu Press, Inc.IOM AmericaP.O. Box 71Sterling, Kansas 67579(602) 292-2985www.iomamerica.orgChristAsLife@iomamerica.orgLibrary of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataPhinney, Stephen RayBook of Prayers /by Dr. Stephen R. Phinney.© 2013Exchanging Life PublishingCover Design: Inphinnety DesignsEditing: Edikat & Associate, Kathy HillSterling KS/Colorado Springs, CO 3
  3. 3. Fo r w ar d"Brevity is the soul of wit (wisdom)” said Shakespeare (parentheses added). [1] This is true in the case ofthe Book of Prayers, authored by Dr. Stephen R. Phinney of IOM America. It can be easily readthrough in one sitting; but it is worth reading over and over again, as well as practicing constantly.Indeed, I am grateful to Dr. Phinney for inviting me to write a Foreword to the present edition. Whata privilege it is.In this project, he has gained us in debt to him for his admonition, exhortation, counsel, and challenge.At the outset, the author introduces the reader to the reality of every born-again indwelt person asinvolved in a lifelong struggle against the devil and the forces of evil. He asserts the biblical truth thatthe Word of God and prayer are the two sure tools to fight the battle and emerge triumphant. Fearand/or unhealthy fascination with Satan and his domain are fatal, he warns. Steve bases the content ofthe book on his approach to the Scripture, which he affirms as God-breathed, infallible, andauthoritative on the belief and behavior of the Christian.A survey of the Contents pages show that the entire book are devoted to suggesting model prayerssuitable to various specific needs and occasions, grouped under various titles, such as: GeneralWarfare, Praying the Armor, Deeds of the Flesh, Family Life, and Prayer for Ministries and Leaders -making the title, Book of Prayers, realistic. Several subtopics may surprise the reader, as they dealwith areas of life most people hardly consider to be included in their prayer. Thus, this book is an eye-opener. The study of this book may initiate people to consider strange and new topics to be includedin their prayers; thus, enriching their personal prayer.The Affirmation Prayer section presents a theology of prayer interspersed with befitting Bible quotes.Let me repeat - the whole book is thoroughly based on the Bible, which Steve asserts as the inspired,infallible, and authoritative word of God. Any other standpoint should be judged as defective.The section on Scriptures includes Bible quotes on: faith, love, praise, obedience, fleshly mind, grace,Holy Spirit, faithfulness, Bride of Christ, and stewardship. These serve as challenges for topical study.The last dit of the text on The Victor will assist in the self-evaluation of the users of this manual.The list of books in Recommended Reading will prove very helpful for those who continue the studyfor enhancing spiritual growth. I would strongly recommend the serious reader and student to startreading at page 96 - About the Ministry of IOM America. It will give the proper orientation to thereader as to the authors focus and target audience.Your decision to read this book is commendable. May God bless you to improve your communicationwith Him.Professor P. P. ThomasGrace Counseling Center, India[1] Quote from Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2, by William Shakespeare, public domain.4
  4. 4. C O N T EN TS Pa g eINTRODUCTION 9The Power of Prayer 15Personal Reflection & Confession 16Sample Prayers 17PERMISSIBLE SUFFOCATION 22Reflecting on My Lessons of Job 22Biblical View of Suffering 23GENERAL WARFARE 53Selfer’s Prayer 54Victory 57Protection 58Repentance 59Mental Protection 61Forgiving Others 62How to Extend Forgiveness 64How to Seek Forgiveness 66Acts of Rebellion 68Renouncing Pride 70Renouncing Sexual Bonds 72Sinful Habits 74Sins of Forefathers 76Prayer for Illness 78Sensing an Evil Spirit 80Affirming Salvation 82Relational Walls 84Death of a Loved One 86PRAYING THE ARMOR 89Belt of Truth 90Righteousness 92 5
  5. 5. Peace 93 Faith 94 The Sword 95 Salvation 96 Full Armor 98 Aggressive Warfare 101 Praying Armor Onto Others 102 DEEDS OF THE FLESH 105 Flesh 106 Adultery 108 Fornication 110 Uncleanness 112 Sensuality 113 Idolatry 115 Stubbornness 117 Hatred 119 Quarreling 120 Jealousy 122 Anger 124 Arguing 126 Bad Doctrines 128 Envy 130 Temptation of Murder 132 Bathing in Sin 134 PRAYING FOR OTHERS 137 Warfare for Others 138 Prayer for Marriages 140 Family Life Prayers 141 Prayer for Parents 142 Prayer for Children 144 Prayer for Grandchildren 146 Seeing Evil Images 148 Fear of Losing a Child 1506
  6. 6. Prayer for Single Parents 152Protection at Bedtime 153Quarreling Between Children 155Children’s Fascination with Violence 157Children Attracted to the Occult 159Early Sensual Attractions 161Child Sexual Perversions 162Out of Control Children 163PRAYER FOR LEADERSHIP 156Prayers for Leaders 166Prayer for Ministry 168Affirmation Prayer 170VICTORY IN CHRIST 173Special Note from the AuthorSCRIPTURES OF HELP 179Faith 180Love 181Praise 182Obedience 184Fleshly Mind 185Grace 186Holy Spirit 187Faithfulness 189Bride of Christ 190Stewardship 191THE AUTHOR’S LIFE MISSION 193RECOMMENDED READING 196 7
  7. 7. 8
  8. 8. IN T R O D U C T IO N Book of Prayers – Learning To Pray DoctrinallyTOOLS OF WARFARE“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he hasstood the test, he will receive the victor’s crown, the life God haspromised to those who love Him” (James 1:12).As workers, you probably understand the importance of havinga toolbox equipped with the exact tools needed to accomplishthe task you have set out to do. There is nothing morefrustrating than wanting to do some project around the homeand not having the necessary tools.In the same way, we need a spiritual toolbox packed with theproper tools to accomplish the eternal project that God has setbefore us as Christians. This is the underlying purpose of theBook of Prayers – to provide practical, useful information,insights and scriptural prayers into waging war against thepowers of darkness that seem to bind us as Christians. Theworld, the flesh, and the devil will be continuously defeated ifwe use the weapons of our warfare effectively. The Lord Jesushas provided all the tools we need. He has already secured ourdaily victory. The tools His Father gave Him to “fight off” theenemy are the same tools He has made available to us. But, itremains our responsibility to activate these weapons by thepower of the indwelling Holy Spirit.“Consider mine enemies, for they are many; and they hate me withcruel hatred” (Psalm 25:19, NKJV). 9
  9. 9. The subject of aggressive spiritual warfare against the world, theflesh, and the devil is becoming increasingly important. We livein a degrading society that makes fleshly things more accessiblethan ever before. Many, if not most, Christians are givingthemselves to rampant abandonment and indulgence in fleshlysins. The enemy is pushing for conformity to his image throughthe power of media, unhealthy relationships, and anoverwhelming influx of opportunities to please ourselves. Satanand his demonic kingdom relentlessly press their battle againstbelievers and all of God’s provisions of freedom.Christians have the tendency to battle what they see. Thisincludes our wives, rebellious children, unfaithful friends,employers, employees, etc. The first thing you must embracebefore starting this study is that we do not fight flesh and blood,but powers of darkness. Satan simply uses and abuses what wesee in order to destroy God’s ordained leadership of the home,community, nation, and world. He hates leadership. He knowsthat through leadership comes authority and through authoritycomes power.DESENSITIZATION OF SATANSatan has successfully used the world, and all of its influences, tobring a light-hearted attitude and mindset regarding thekingdom of darkness. Just take a look at the enormous volumeof books, movies, video games, T-shirts, music, toys, television,advertisements, internet, fashions, jewelry, and course, sillyjesting that we are bombarded with wherever we turn!The desensitization about Satan and his role in man’s sins is asubtle, but strategic attack on God’s divine creation – His blessedchildren. The enemy of this world sees to it that the world (hisdomain) laughs him off with indifference. Always rememberthis callousness is the most powerful tool the enemy has in10
  10. 10. defusing God’s serious plan of redemption. Christians oughtnever to entertain crude joke making, purchase degrading mediaproducts, or lightheartedly support Satan in any way. Believersneed to exercise care in not assigning all of their wrongdoing asSatan’s responsibility. We must, with biblical insight,understand the limited power of Satan and his kingdom.Oppression and bondage are not joking matters.The key in the believer’s emphasis on spiritual warfare must bebased on a biblical approach to the subject. Subjective feelings,emotional desires, and fervent sincerity are not sufficientweaponry against an enemy who laughs in the face of one’sintents. He yields no ground to emotion or sincerity. He retreatsonly from the authority and power that has been given to theChristian through his/her union with the Lord Jesus Christ andthe absolute Truth of the Word of God. An illustration worthremembering is this: If I were to give you a sharp two-edgedsword and a butter knife, which would you use to fight anassailant? Dumb question? I don’t think so! Your logical maleside would choose the sharp, two-edged sword. However, inreality, when we do not use the Word of God to fight off theenemy, we are essentially using a butter knife to war against anenemy who slings a ball and chain.“Take . . . the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”(Ephesians 6:17b).We have two basic offensive weapons to use against Satan. Theyare the Word of God and the power of prayer. When we put thetwo of these together, we have the most intimidating weaponknown to the enemy. He knows he has been “had” when a manof God masters the art of using the Word of God in the power ofprayer. 11
  11. 11. I pray that you are beginning to see our critical need for theWord of God and prayer. The sword of the Spirit, God’s Word,is living and active. These are not words on a page. They arelife-giving Words from the mouth of a living God! Use our ownwords and we die. Use God’s Words and we live. It’s as simpleas that!”For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, ofboth joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentionsof the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).The Word is eternal just as God Himself is eternal. Just as God isomnipotent (all powerful), so does His Word have all the neededpower to defeat the enemy and to accomplish God’s will. Just asGod is immutable, so the Word of God will never change. Justas our Lord is omnipresent, so His Word is always there andready to be used in every situation. Just as God is holy, so HisWord is holy. The bottom line is this: His Word is living, active,and sharper than any two-edged sword. The enemy hateshearing it. Jesus used it to fight off temptation. We can’t survivewithout it.As a sword, the Word has the power to penetrate the life ofevery being who hears it and that includes the enemy. It ismeant to do corrective surgery within the soul, spirit, thoughts,attitudes, and body of all who hear it. This is the secret of itspower against the enemy. As it is read/heard, the Word canpenetrate, cleanse, and change the life of those who embrace it asTruth. This is why it cuts away at the grip of the enemy. Thereis nothing more powerful and there is certainly no substitute forpersistent, steady, consistent application of coming against theenemy. Even Jesus, the Son of God, used the written Word inthe wilderness to fight off Satan. What worked for the Son of theliving God will certainly do no less for us!12
  12. 12. “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was ledaround by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days being tempted bythe devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they hadended, He became hungry. And the devil said to Him, ‘If You are theSon of God, tell this stone to become bread’" (Luke 4:1-3).The importance of doctrinal Truth and doctrinal praying is givento us by God to use daily. Doctrine, God’s unchanging Truth, ismighty in defeating our enemies. As Christians, this Truth mustgo deep into our hearts. This can only come about as we gainunderstanding of the Holy Word of God and then use that Wordaggressively in our lives. The following material will be helpfulin keeping doctrinal Truth in the forefront of our warfareactivities.Normally speaking, I am not one who advocates following“steps” to embrace freedom. However, when it comes todeliverance from strongholds in our lives, I see a definite needfor a plan. Faithfully following these suggestions, word-for-word, will equip us and build a foundation for our souls. TheHoly Spirit will aggressively act to guard our hearts against ourenemies.WARNINGSWhenever we go to the frontlines, where the enemy lives andbreathes, he is bound to try chasing us away. Do not submit tohis deceptive ideas and lies: there is no time; this level of combatisn’t necessary; these are only words; we can put this off becausewe already have too many things to do; we’re tired or too sick;,or that we are already struggling with worries, doubts, and fearsthat will prevent us from completing our pathway todeliverance. We should push through it all and respond likewarriors! 13
  13. 13. In rare cases, some people experience terrifying feelings of guilt,worthlessness, physical symptoms (choking, pains movingaround the body, tightness above the eyes, dizziness, blackouts,or even fainting), and terrifying spells of panic and/ordepression. If any of these symptoms occur to the point of“paralyzing” you from not being able to go through the study,you will need another partner (same gender) to do the studywith you. Remember, fear is the fire of the dragon’s mouth – it ishis primary tool of intimidation. Don’t worry – it’s only hot air!Another warning: Avoid becoming preoccupied with Satan andhis domain. Have you ever wondered why people are intriguedwith movies, video games, and music based on the dark side?Well, one of the games that the enemy plays is to create anunhealthy fascination with his work. Many people are caughtup in giving more attention and credit to the enemy than they doGod. I call this a “demon behind every bush” mentality. It iscommon for those who are struggling with satanic affliction tobe preoccupied with the enemy due to their level of temptation,obsession, and negative thoughts. However, one must takespecial caution to keep their eyes upon Jesus. Well-trainedChristians in the Word and Spirit will not fear Satan or hisschemes.The Christian is engaged in a spiritual battle, even if he does notbelieve so. Satan and his spiritual forces are on the battle linewaiting for us each day. A man does not have a choice as to hisengagement in this battle, it awaits him each day and there is noway to get around it. If you are saved and have received JesusChrist as your Lord and Savior, you are in! Be alert and sober,for your enemy, Satan, roams around on the earth to seek whomhe can devour. Are you battle ready? If not, that’s OK. ThisBook of Prayers will equip and ready you for taking on the14
  14. 14. challenges he and his demonic influence have to offer. SEE YOUON THE FRONT LINES!THE POWER OF PRAYERBelievers are being awakened to the reality that their fight in lifeis not against flesh and blood, but the powers of darkness andthe principalities of the air (see Eph. 6:12). So many Christianstoday are deceived into thinking that what they see is what theyare to battle. As the Lord draws near, we can be assured that ourbattle with the world, the flesh, and the devil will intensify.Worldly ideas of pop psychology will increase as the primarysolution to our troubled minds. More rapidly than most of usrealize, the questions people ask are based on worldly fablescalled philosophies of man. God is calling each of His childrento call upon Him and He will deliver according to His divineTruth and Will.Fear of confronting the enemy has held most believers back frombolding going before the throne of God regarding thetemptations and afflictions of the enemy. God’s greatestservants have always shared an appreciation of the magnificentpower of prayer and the complete victory over Satan’s kingdomavailable to all believers through the mighty Person and work ofour Husband, Jesus Christ.The book of Ephesians is the New Testament handbook onspiritual warfare and prayer. Get to know this book like ahandbook. The believer’s emphasis in prayer must be upon abiblical and sound doctrinal approach to this subject. The Wordof God recognizes that we encounter the three faces of Satan—the world, the flesh, and the devil. When a person becomesborn-again, his/her relationship to everything in the physical,spiritual, mental, and emotional world completely changes.Since the believer is a citizen of heaven, he is given to power to 15
  15. 15. face the enemy toe-to-toe. Scary? Well, look at it this way.Either we face him head-on or he will constantly be nipping atour heels—eating away our lives a little at a time.To resist the limited power of the enemy, one must submit toGod first; then resist the evil one and he will flee. It is a promisegiven to us by God (see James 4:7).Because of our newfound relationship with God, all believers aremarked targets for attack from God’s enemy—Satan.Understanding that he is relentless in his attacks, believers mustembrace the Truth that the Father has given them a defensesystem—the power of prayer.First things first, we must not depend upon feelings andexperiences as an evidence of our being strong enough to pray.The power and ability to pray boldly is to be based uponobjective fact and not upon subjective feelings. The power ofprayer is to be appropriated by faith and faith alone. Thefollowing are the Four Phases of Effectual Prayers:1. Personal Reflection and Confession2. Praise and Adoration3. Prayers of Supplication4. Worship and AffirmationPERSONAL REFLECTION AND CONFESSIONThe following outline presents a biblical procedure for ourpersonal reflection and confession time with the Lord.• Engage in an honest appraisal regarding your selfishness. It isimportant to be open and honest with God about yourself .16
  16. 16. • Confess all known sin (1 John 1:9). Verbalize your sins againstyourself and others. Confessions take back from Satan anyground which he has taken from you.• Extend forgiveness to those who have hurt you.Unforgiveness is the primary reason most Christians don’t prayconsistently. List out who hurt you, how they hurt you, andyour reaction. Bring the offenders and how they hurt you beforeHim and extend forgiveness to them in prayer. Now confess toGod that your reactions to these offenses are sin, accept Hisforgiveness, and tell Him you are willing to seek the offenders’forgiveness for those reactions.• Yield yourself to God (Romans 6:13). As an act of your will(displace your feelings), yield all areas of your life to Him—spiritual, psychological, physical, social, marital, parental, andfinancial.• Express your passion and desire for the Holy Spirit to renewyour mind.• Believe with your mind that the Holy Spirit will fill you upwith His power—remember to set your “feelings” aside andclaim this by faith.• Now, obey God in all that He reveals and expresses in theScriptures and begin to pray doctrinally.Sample Doctrinal Prayer:Blessed Holy Father, In the name of my Husband and Savior JesusChrist, I choose to pray in the Light of the Holy Spirit. I recognize thatonly as Jesus lives in the life of my mortal body, will I be able to escapethe works of my flesh. I desire the Holy Spirit to bring all of the worksof my flesh to death. I choose to bring all of the work of co-crucifixion 17
  17. 17. and the resurrection of Christ into my life today. I pray that the life ofChrist may produce His fruit within my whole being and fill my heartwith Your love for You and others. I claim Your forgiveness for all theways I have grieved or quenched You. Enable me to embrace andrespond to Your grace. Cause me to be obedient to Your preciousWord. Grant me discernment to resist being deceived by the lies of theenemy. I choose this day to allow the Holy Spirit to control my heartand mind. I trust my victory over my flesh and worldly influence. Icompletely yield my life to You. I now pray that you empower me tobring praise and adoration before your throne. In the name of the LordJesus Christ, I receive all of the fullness of the Holy Spirit into all areasof my being today. Amen.PRAISE AND ADORATIONWalking after the Spirit is absolutely essential if we are to bringpraise and adoration before the Father. When God said to enterthe courtyard with thanksgiving and prayer—He was quiteserious. Many Christians attempt to praise God while having“things” in their lives for which they are not thankful.Philippians 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everythingby prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requestsbe made known to God.” It is difficult, if not impossible, to prayand supplicate with anxiety in our heart. The way to removeanxious thoughts is through thanksgiving! “In Him, you also,after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of yoursalvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him withthe Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of ourinheritance, with a view to the redemption of Gods ownpossession, to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14, ).Thanksgiving and praise for what He has accomplished for usthrough the Holy Spirit of promise is enough to be thankful forin spite of our infirmities. Prayers of praise and adoration aresimply admiring the Person and work of God no matter whatcircumstances we face. It is crucial to acknowledge before God18
  18. 18. that we are grateful for all things before we petition for allthings.Sample Prayer of AdorationDear Lord, I humbly approach You - the God of Abraham, Isaac, andJacob - the God of promise, hope, love, and grace. I come before You inthe merit, the holiness, and the righteousness of my Husband, the LordJesus Christ. I praise You for the blessed ministry of prayer throughthe Holy Spirit. I thank you for the privilege of intercession for all ofYour saints.I praise You for being the God of all the living. I recognize that You arethe Life-giver and the substance of my faith. You are the God ofperfection and purity. I bless you for the mighty work of thecrucifixion, which You accomplished through Jesus. Thank you for thecleansing work you accomplished through the blood of Your Son andfor taking the penalty and guilt for my sin. I bless you for the privilegeYou give me to fellowship with You. Thank You that the work of theCross brings Satan’s work to nothing. I will be grateful all of the daysof my life for the deliberate act of sacrifice You demonstrated by givingYour only Son to free us from the domain of darkness and transferringus into Your kingdom of light. I will accept in my life only what comesby way of the Cross of Christ. I chose to die to my old ways and countmy flesh dead with Christ on the Cross. Therefore, I thank You for mynew identity and praise You for the redemptive act of putting off myold self and granting me new life! I now ask that you would receive myprayers of supplication . . . Amen.PRAYERS AND SUPPLICATIONSIntercessory prayer is the practice of praying or applying theobjective, absolute Truth of the Word of God as the hope andbasis of resolving our prayer burden. God loves for us to prayHis Word back to Him; claiming His attributes, promises, and 19
  19. 19. redemptive work as the foundation of our faith and hope thatHe will answer our supplications. The hope and solution of theprayer burden however, is always based upon the objectiveabsolutes of God’s attributes and character as revealed in HisHoly Word.Experienced prayer warriors know that using their own ideas, orwords, accomplishes nothing; but by using the Word of God inprayers, the enemy (Satan) shutters and backs down. Satancannot stand when the Word is used to combat the elements ofhis doings. Quoting verses while praying is what puts theenemy in his place—dark places. When we attempt to confrontthe tactics of our foe by using our own sincerity and efforts, wewill soon discover he is not intimidated by us or our efforts.Doctrinal praying should occupy much of our daily prayer time.It must be used in praise, petition, and intercession. Herein liesone of God’s greatest gifts to us for our prayer time.Believers have a supernatural resource of wealth and riches inthe grace and gifts bestowed upon them in the Lord Jesus Christ.The Truths are ours for claiming power, position, authority, andtotal victory over Satan’s world, which actually belongs to Godthe Father. The believers’ victory over the enemy is absolutewhen he attempts to use God’s Truth to defeat us—his primarytactic of deception.“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinelypowerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroyingspeculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge ofGod, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience ofChrist” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).It is important that we learn to pray aggressive warfare prayersfor family and friends whom we believe are struggling with20
  20. 20. bondage. Pray this prayer aloud when led to intercede for anindividual.Sample Prayer of SupplicationMy dear heavenly Father, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I bringbefore You in prayer, (loved one’s name) _______. I ask for the HolySpirits guidance that I might pray in the Spirit as You have taughtme. I thank You, Father, that You have sovereign control over_______. I thank You for the qualities you have placed in _______. Inthe name of the Lord Jesus and as a priest of God, I ask for mercy andforgiveness for the sins by which _______ has grieved You. I plead thesufficiency of the blood of Christ to meet the full penalty their sinsdeserve. I claim back the ground, which _______ has given to Satan bybelieving the enemy’s deception. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Iresist all of Satan’s activity to hold _______in blindness and darkness.Exercising my authority which is given to me in my union with theLord Jesus Christ, I pull down the strongholds which the kingdom ofdarkness has formed against _______. I smash, break, and destroy allthose plans formed against _______’s mind, will, emotions, and body.In prayer, I destroy the spiritual blindness and deafness that Satankeeps on _______. I invite the Holy Spirit of God to bring the fullnessof His power to convict, to bring to repentance, and to lead _______into faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. I cover ________ with theblood of the Lord Jesus Christ and I break Satan’s power to blind_______ to the Truth of God.Believing that You, Holy Spirit, are leading me, I claim ________ forYou, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and I thank You for theanswer to my prayer. In the name of Jesus, I joyfully lay this prayerbefore You in the worthiness of His completed work. Amen. 21
  21. 21. Permissible Suffocation † REFLECTING ON MY LESSONS OF JOBTo derail the temptation for readers to use the “Book of Prayers”as some spiritual formula to deliver them from potentiallyassigned circumstances of our Lord, I implore you to read thischapter before making use of the prayers and content within thisbook.My wife has said for many years, “I am certain that the older Iget – the less I know.” I cannot tell you how many times thosewords have rung my bell! I have been a born-again indweltChristian since I was 16 years of age. I have fought my waythrough the jungle of deception and worldly fables for over 50years and I still ask questions like: † How could a righteous God allow such an evil world? † How could a loving God allow the enemy to torture His children with despair and emotional suffocation? † Why do righteous people suffer, when they diligently worked to seek His divine will? † Why does God allow the ungodly to prosper? † My utmost favorite is: are adversity and affliction a sign that a suffering Christian has unconfessed sin?22
  22. 22. After discipling others in the message of the Exchanged Life(Not I, but Christ: Galatians 2:20) for 30+ years, I have discoveredsomething rather simple, but profound. The Exchanged Life, norexpelling doctrinal prayers, rid us of suffering, but rather invitesit all the more. That leaves us with a question; ”Why should weappeal to God to relieve us of sufferings?” That is why I believethis chapter must be read.MY OWN SUFFERINGLike many (if not most) Christians, I have suffered my ownmeasurement of troubles – the type of troubles that bringheartache, physical challenges, and emotional ramifications. Themost difficult of all suffering has been the constant unmercifulcriticizing from fellow Body members. When fronted with anear terminal ailment, some Christians had the audacity toconclude that there must be some kind of sin in my life. Theypushed and peddled the worldly thought that all suffering isalways the result of sin; therefore, simplistically teaching that if I(we) simply repent of this “unknown sin,” that the momentarylight affliction would somehow disappear. Even though weknow the error of this dogmatism, we fall into this dark place oftreating repentance like “a pill” – “a pill” that will somehowdeliver us from our moments of despair and emotionalsuffocation.When is the last time you had a mounting of perpetualcircumstances thrown in your face at such a rate that youoftentimes felt you couldn’t surface long enough to take a deepbreath? The feeling of suffocation, in my opinion, is one of theworst kinds of suffering. Several years ago, when I firstcontracted an infection in my heart that ultimately led to heartfailure, I had severe problems with my breathing. At first, wethought it was from a head cold. The doctor gave memedication to fight the viral infection. It only made things 23
  23. 23. worst. Next in line was the thought my “childhood asthma” wasreturning. Treatment was applied, which of course made itworse. In fact, it was adding to the liquid building up in mylungs. Then it got to the point that I was only able to lay back,forget laying down, for several minutes at a time. Due to onlygetting 15 minutes of sleep a day, they thought I was developingsleep apnea. In reality, I was suffocating. By the time I wasadmitted to the ER, one lung was completely filled and thesecond was at its “half full” mark. I cannot tell you the horridfeelings this suffocation brought on. In fact, at one point in theER, they were frantically working to “bring me back.”Once arresting the crisis, I was placed in a care unit to begin myhealing process. While there, I was visited by an array of“friends” and family. Some visitors came to confess their sins ofoffense against me, they left, and I never heard from them again.Others came to visit to offer true and respectable comfort. Then,there were some who came as representatives of a “group offriends” to confront me about the “sin” in my life. One “oldfriend” in particular asked if I thought that God was putting thison me due to some type of sin in my life.Now, I am a firm believer in declaring that afflictions sometimesdo come from God in order to purify us and that this, in no way,indicates that God is unloving. It is only His way of leading usback to a dependent “talk and walk” relationship to Himself -kind of like a father would discipline a child. Even though Iknow that suffering instructs us in righteousness and preventsus from sinning, it doesn’t make the journey any easier. Itcertainly puts us in the position of determining if we are going toquestion God’s sovereignty or accuse Him of hurting Hischildren. This all leads to the biggest question of all: Will wehumbly submit ourselves to God’s will?24
  24. 24. I don’t know about you, but I find God’s will at times to be quitepainful. I am NOT saying He doesn’t provide comfort, healing,and guidance; but I am saying that the walk, for the most part, isretentively daunting. To be straightforward, I find that Goddoes not choose to answer most of my penetrating questions.Instead, He overwhelms me with a panoramic view of Hiscreative power and perfect Divine wisdom. In fact, I usually getreprimanded for attempting to figure out the reason for my painand suffering. This is the sin that gets me in trouble the most. Ican’t tell you how many times I have walked away from aconversation with God where I felt humbled and a bit foolish forimplying that God owes me some type of explanation. Since Iwill never be big enough to canvas my own world, how would Iever presume to tell God how to run His world?I think most indwelt Christians have embraced the fact that Jesusshed His blood to deliver us from our sins, but how many of ushave really embraced the full Exchanged Life? Now, think aboutit – if we actually exchange our lives for His, doesn’t it mean thatin the exchange comes all of what comes with His life – likesuffering?“Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.”(2 Timothy 2:3)“The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children ofGod, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs withChrist, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorifiedwith Him” (Romans 8:16-17).“For to you it has been granted for Christs sake, not only to believe inHim, but also to suffer for His sake” (Philippians 1:29).If you are like most of us fair weathered Christians, you don’tmind the positive attributes of Christ in the great Exchange; but 25
  25. 25. elements that are not so positive, like the “fellowship of Hissufferings, well – that is a different story.“More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassingvalue of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered theloss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my ownderived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, therighteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I mayknow Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of Hissufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain tothe resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:8-11).PAIN & SUFFERINGWas there ever a time in your Christian life when you couldreally say that you were righteous in most of your ways, while atthe same time experiencing little affliction? I have many fondmemories of those days…then came God’s “permissibleaffliction.” Even though I have wrestled with the “theology” ofthe purpose of “bad things happening to good people,” in myolder years I have come to understand that Satan is the forcebehind all the calamities that come upon us. Keep in mind that Ididn’t say “reason,” but the “force.” Personally, I believe this isone of THE most important elements for Christians tounderstand and believe.When I prayed the Selfer’s Prayer (see APPENDIX section), backin 1979, I thought Exchanging my life for His would minimallyreduce my pain and suffering; but little did I expect that it wouldactually offer me more. Right around that same time, I askedGod to grant me half the measurement of wisdom andunderstanding He gave Solomon, primarily because I “felt” sostupid. After several years of exchanging suffering for morepain, the Lord led me to this passage:26
  26. 26. “Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasingknowledge results in increasing pain” (Ecclesiastes 1:18).At first, this passage raised more questions than it answered.From what I have learned from the Holy Scriptures, Satanactually needs permission from the Father in order to do hisafflictions.“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselvesbefore the LORD, and Satan also came among them. The LORD said toSatan, ‘From where do you come?’ Then Satan answered the LORDand said, ‘From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.’The LORD said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job? Forthere is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man,fearing God and turning away from evil.’ Then Satan answered theLORD, ‘Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedgeabout him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You haveblessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in theland. But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he willsurely curse You to Your face.’ Then the LORD said to Satan, ‘Behold,all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand onhim.’ So Satan departed from the presence of the LORD” (Job 1:6-12).There are many theological elements contained within thispassage. One that tends to glare at me the most is “permissibleaffliction.” This passage reveals that Satan works to trap andensnare God’s people, with the deception that it is God’s faultand He is “out to get us.”Several other significant doctrinal issues present themselveshere. First, we find that Satan had to approach God and get inline with the rest of the “sons of God” – angels. Once Satan wasat the bench of God, the two of them had this unique dialogue.God first asked Satan where he came from. This suggests that 27
  27. 27. God didn’t know where he was or what he was doing. The truthof the matter is that God knew exactly who he was and what hewas up to. God, by proof of most of His dialogues, reveals theprerogative of being the One who asks the questions – not manor spiritual beings. Next, we see God bringing up theopportunity to persecute Job before Satan could open his mouthto suggest it (v. 8). It’s almost like God set the stage ofprospering Job in order to offer Satan this opportunity. Did Goddesire to bring hurt and destruction upon His beloved servant?Did God have this hidden curiosity to test Job to see if he wouldbe attacked, tempted, drawn into sin, or become ensnared by thedevil? No – He was confident in the investment He had made inJob up to this point in His Divine design. God clearly knewthere was none like him on the face of the earth. Since Godknows and watches every thought and footprint of man, Heknew that no man has been able to withstand a full-on attack ofSatan since the days of Noah. He had confidence in this!Personally, I believe Satan completely understood the level ofcharacter Job radiated. He obviously knew that he couldn’tcharge Job with any sin, because he (Satan) was the author of it.Just as God knew He was confident in Job’s obedience to theWord, Satan knew of Job’s confidence of disobedience to Satan’swords. What we have is the great standoff, duel per se, betweenthe confidence of God versus the confidence of Satan.What is up with this satanic statement of “Does Job fear God fornothing?” (v. 9). The implication here is that Satan thinks Job“fears” God, NOT because of love, but because of the perceptionthat God spoils him with riches, healthy children, and theprosperity assigned. He is under direct belief that Job would“curse God” and be done with Him if he had these “blessings”or luxuries taken away from him – thus proving that Job’s fearwas simply outward and hypocritical. Satan clearly knows howman’s flesh functions – he does to get. After all, Satan developed28
  28. 28. the demonic reward system of “doing to get.” The bottom line:Satan was convinced that Job was afraid of being punished byGod if he didn’t “jump through the hoops” that God set beforehim.The second and less primal issue Satan throws God’s way is theissue of protection. Satan now tempts God with the twistedtruth that Job is righteous because he lives in a bubble, aprotection, a shield of sorts that God formed around him. Thetruth of the matter is we can’t function righteously without thealmighty protection of God; but Satan is hinging Job’s life uponthis one principle. Yes, God did border Job’s life and all that wasentrusted to him with angels (hedge) to encamp about him. Thispassage reveals clear evidence that Satan is a pouty big bullywho likes picking on the little guy. He basically is saying that ifJob didn’t have a big brother protecting him, Job would lose thefight. Well, duh! Satan never picks on someone his own size,although a day is coming when he picks a fight with SOMEONEwho is truly going to “clean his clock.” Typical bully – alwaysthinking he is “the man,” all the while suffering with “little mansyndrome.” Hmm – maybe that is what this is all about.Allow me to do some immediacy here. Satan believes that Jobbreaths freely because he is in the protective bubble that Godprovided for him. Satan is suggesting having God remove thisbubble and allowing him to suffocate Job by way hellish anddemonic circumstances; then, Job is surely to curse God to Hisface. The second point of immediacy is that Satan knows hecan’t do a blasted thing without God “putting forth His handand touching all that he has.” It is what we call in counseling acovert confession of impotence. Satan NEVER comes out andopenly admits he is impotent, but manipulates in such a waythat a covert confession spills out. This is a classic way ofconfession for bullies. 29
  29. 29. The Lord’s response to this not so clever form of manipulationappeared to be in Satan’s favor. With God saying, “Behold, allthat he has (externally) is in your power (strength), only do notput forth your hand on him” (v. 12, parentheses mine), sendshim off most assuredly living out his deception. It alwaysamazes me how God will not dialogue, prove, or interact withSatan (or man) over their manipulative and stupid ways. Hegives man, and beast, the appearance of “having their own way”in order for them to learn from the consequences of those ways.What a loving and respectful God we have.The “Godological” statement here is rather critical for believersto see and embrace. God is not angry and displeased with Job,nor does He want to get some kind of thrill out of hurting him,nor is He gratifying Satan; but he does want Satan to face thedoom of his own deception once again, while He (God)ultimately enjoys more glory. The truest form of stupidity ispicking a fight with someone who has full and complete controlover the universe. This passage shows us how stupid Satanreally is. Secondly, it shows us that when “bad things” happento good people, it does not mean that God is angry,disappointed, or “out to get us.” God just has a thing aboutpurifying the Bride of Christ for His Son and rubbing Satan’sface in his own confusion. These are the two primary reasons forthe existence of God’s creation – to gain a Bride for His belovedSon and provide a place of torment and punishment for Satan.Humans can deluge their minds with other reasons, but theseare the simple facts.“Then the LORD said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in yourpower, only do not put forth your hand on him.’ So Satan departedfrom the presence of the LORD” (Job 1:12).With this, the Lord sends a restrained Satan off to accomplish themission of God, with Satan thinking it is all about his own30
  30. 30. mission. That is the beauty of this story; God proves thestupidity that deception forms when mixed with pride. Satan isnothing but a tool God uses to advance His Kingdom. Whydoesn’t Satan figure this out? Simply, because sin makes usstupid. Satan’s limited authority isn’t even his – it belongs toGod. All authority is owned by the One who imparts it.“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. Forthere is no authority except from God, and those which exist areestablished by God” (Rom 13:1).Any human or spiritual being who stretches their imagination tothink they have ownership of anything, particularly authority, issuffering with the same deception of Satan himself. Anyauthority managed is authority assigned. Therefore, God is insovereign charge of all things, including those who think theyare in charge of anything.The believer’s emotions are in need of being exchanged just asour mind and will. God has blessed us with the positiveemotions of Christ Himself; love, joy, cheerfulness, excitement,kindness, peace, and many others. What many of us don’trealize is that when we make this great Exchange, we also inheritHis not so positive emotions: sorrow, grief, misery, moaning,dejection, confusion – for God only knows how long this list is.It is in the back side of Christ’s emotions that Satan feeds into. IfHe, our Lord and Savior, suffered such affliction – then in ourExchange, we should also be willing to fellowship in those samesufferings. We should be willing to exchange our sufferings formore of His pain. Ouch – now that hurts!I AM A NOBODYHave you ever had rapid succession of affliction to the point ofnot being able to catch your breath between afflictions? This is a 31
  31. 31. classic technique used by the enemy. It is a way of wearing usdown to the point of cursing something or someone. This is thevery technique Satan used on Job and his wife as they werereclining one particular evening. The first wave arrives: theSabeans attack and Job loses his oxen, donkeys, and first groupof servants. Then while the servant was delivering this horridnews, wave two comes in: a fire broke out and consumed thesheep and servants on another part of their ranch. Whilelistening to the pathetic news of the second servant, wave threearrives: the Chaldeans attack another part of the ranch, take thecamels, and kill more servants. Before this servant could finish,the worst news is delivered: Job’s sons and daughters werereclining at the eldest brother’s house, a great wind came,destroyed the house, and all died – every man, woman, andbeast dead - except for Job, his wife, and four messengers (seeJob 1:13-19).Can you imagine the amount of pain and suffering the two ofthem must have gone through? Usually when one hassuccession affliction, the overwhelming feeling of suffocationusually follows. In many cases, if literally affects the breathing.Some faint, some have panic attacks, and others just sink intodespair. What did Job do? It says in Job 1:20 that Job shaved hishead/beard (a sign of mourning), tore his robe (symbolizing thedeath of a loved one), fell to the ground, and began worshipingGod, saying:“Naked I came from my mothers womb, and naked I shall return there.The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name ofthe LORD” (Job 1:21).Since the day of my Salvation 40 years ago, for the most part, Ihave embraced affliction as God has allowed it – until these pastfew years. I am not saying the afflictions He assigned to methroughout my days were easy or lighthearted. But I am saying32
  32. 32. that I have never experienced this level of suffering - the type ofsuffering that produced physical, emotional, and spiritualsuffocation – the kind that would stretch my Exchanged life withChrist like never before. In fact, read what my wife wrote in herjournal after one of my many moments of permissiblesuffocation.I had never seen him in this state in 34 years of knowing him. Myearthly “rock” had been broken physically and now soulically (i.e.mind, will, and emotions). Help him Lord, to embrace your love fullyand completely. Let him feel your compassion and kindness. He feelsso misunderstood, so kicked in the teeth, so alone, so wanting to die.He is so pessimistic about people’s intentions because of hurt. No trust– but suspicious and expectant of betrayal. He has been beaten downby too many, for too long and he is without hope, joy, and strength.Over the past several years, Job’s prayer of desperation andgreat Exchange has found new meaning in my heart of hearts.Looking back, I literally came into this world naked, dependent,and very sick – living in an oxygen tent the first five years of mylife. I grew up shamed, embarrassed, and incompetent in almosteverything I said and did. My entire childhood was filled withbeing hated, despised, and made fun of by family and “friends” -all for the sake of accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviorat 16 years of age. Then shortly after learning to read at the ageof 22, God graced me with one of my favorite passages in theBible:“Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason,to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in theflesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me--to keep me from exaltingmyself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it mightleave me. And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, forpower is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will ratherboast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in 33
  33. 33. me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, withdistresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christs sake; forwhen I am weak, then I am strong. I have become foolish; youyourselves compelled me. Actually I should have been commended byyou, for in no respect was I inferior to the most eminent apostles, eventhough I am a nobody” (2 Cor. 12:7-11).Thanks to God, I learned to journal my thoughts in prayer earlyon. Please keep in mind that these entries are NOT replacing theWord of God – not one bit. They are personal writings ofthoughts that I believe God put in my mind to help meunderstand the Word. Here is what I recorded shortly afterbeing blessed with this passage:Stephen, because of your willingness to embrace My Truth and speak itas I reveal it to you, I will be granting you affliction throughout yourlife in order for you to NOT exalt yourself. You will often cry out toMe for relief and I shall grant you comfort, but not necessarilycircumstantial deliverance. Stephen, it is through your afflictions andweaknesses that you will discover the power of My grace. As you takethis new journey, you will struggle with pride, arrogance, andboasting. I am calling you to boast only in this – that you came intothis world weak and dependent and you will leave it in the samemanner. When you were born, you were dependent on man andindependent of Me. When you depart from this wicked world, you willbe independent of man and completely dependent on Me. When I amfinished with you, you will be able to embrace your weaknesses andhandle insults, stress, and imparted hatred with the power of Grace. Inthe end, you will shine for your acute ability to hear Me, understandthe deeper Life, and lead others into like-minded Truth – even thoughin the world’s eyes, you will be a nobody. Stephen, do you have ears tolisten?Well – when the Lord revealed this to me, I had no clue as tohow much suffering was ahead of me. For 40 years, my life has34
  34. 34. been filled with many external hardships, but I must say thetoughest has been the rejection from so-called self-proclaimed“Christians.” The portion of the passage that I didn’t give asecond thought to at the time - became my worst struggle in life.“I have become foolish; you yourselves compelled me. Actually I shouldhave been commended by you, for in no respect was I inferior to themost eminent apostles…” (Job 1:11).I totally expect the unbelieving world to hate me because ofChrist. What surprised me was the level of backstabbing, kissingon the cheek, and rejection from the “body of Christ.” For mostof my adult Christian life I fought this and was compellinglyconfused by it. In my naive way of living out my Christian life, Ithought the body of Christ would be the first to build me up,patch up my wounds, and send me back into battle. It was a bitshocking to discover this was not the case. This soul shakingreality was what God used to open the door to my final days ofministry – ministering to a broken church that is neither hot, norcold, but rather lukewarm - like the church of Laodicea. Itbecame evident to me that this so-called “body of Christ” that Iwas so repelled by, was filled with members who were not trueBody members of Christ. These non-members act like realChristians, but in actuality are as fake as a bowl of plastic fruit –looks real but is filled with the hollowness of self-deception. Italso became evident to me that this “group” was to be my “thornin the flesh” – personally assigned to me by God. Little did Irealize that their grievous ways were not by chance, but were byDivine appointment. These “ways” were designed to rid me ofthe pride of men and to assist me in making the true and fullExchanged Life with Christ Jesus, even with Satan’s hand beingat the root of these afflictions.I have come to realize that the power of the Cross has asignificant impact on my emotions. The hard and sobering 35
  35. 35. lesson here for me is that after the Cross made this impact,Christ’s life in me expects the emotions to no longer be anobstruction, but rather to be cooperative with the Spirit of Lifethat indwells my mortal body – for the purpose of embracing thefull exchange. You see, the fact that I died with Christ on HisCross gives me the freedom to claim the death of my emotionalreactions as to why I am hanging on it. Once I can experientiallydigest this, then my emotions can be renewed along with mymind and thus, provide a pathway for the Spirit to express theemotions of Christ through me.THE ELEMENTS OF PAINWhen we commit ourselves to the power of the Cross, we mustremember that this commitment does not free us from the“fellowship of His sufferings.” The old self and its function werenailed to the Cross with Christ and our crucifixion with Him.This was not to stop us from thinking, choosing, or feeling. Onthe contrary – it was for us to think, choose, and feel righteously.The Cross ends the nasty flesh bondage that typically leads us togiving the enemy, Satan, too much credit.My mind tends to look at details that oftentimes don’t stand outon the page. An example is the passage of permissible afflictionin Job 1:13-19, which few of us take the time to review. Whodoes Satan use to do this affliction? What techniques does heuse? What elements of permissible power does he have? Inasking these questions of myself, I found something ratherinteresting. In my discovery, I found three primary forms ofattack or permissible affliction that God uses to assist us in a trueexchange of life.The first form of permissible affliction is his use of humanswho have partnered in with the enemy’s deceptive ways. Lookat the Sabeans in verse 15. The Sabeans were descendants of the36
  36. 36. cursed lineage of Ham. They were haters of the God ofAbraham and all of His children. Then we have the Chaldeansin verse 17 – they were basically the Babylonians. Babylonia wasthe nation that birthed some of the most evil nations in theworld. What are the Chaldeans most known for?"For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, that fierce and impetuouspeople who march throughout the earth to seize dwelling places whichare not theirs” (Hab. 1:6).Here we have Satan being granted permission to afflict Job. Heaccomplishes his mission through willing earthlings who seemto be pons of possession. In my older age, I have come to realizethat there is really nothing new under the sun. Satan’s approachto slowing the righteous down has not changed all that much.He still uses “fake” followers to sneak in the back door to deliverdespair and hopelessness.The second element of permissible affliction granted to Satanseems to be the elements – earth, wind, and fire (v. 16). No, notthe rock band; but the band of rocks that are about to fall in onJob’s family. Even though the elements are ultimately controlledby God, permission is granted. I see this as the enemy toyingwith our externals, delivering destruction in order to formunrest, inconvenience, or financial hardship. He knows that ourflesh tends to find security in the things we can see. Since he is agod of the externals, he also knows that if he keeps the externalsunpredictable and constantly changing, eventually it will bringpredictable despair.The third and final element is physiological health. Job’sresponse of falling on the ground and worshipping God was notan expected one. After taking away all of his externals (exceptfor his wife), Satan was obviously proving God to be right. Weare not sure how much time passed between the first appeal to 37
  37. 37. God and the second one. Many Jewish writers have believed it tobe one year. This is not likely, as Satan would never give him somuch breathing time; nor can it be thought that Job’s friendsshould stay so long before they paid him a visit, which was notuntil after the second appeal. In any case, we find him at theLord’s workbench again. The same question is put to him byGod and the same answer is given. Interestingly enough, Godsuggests another attack on Job. God cites the same verbiageregarding Job’s integrity, but this time He adds, “And he stillholds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him, toruin him without cause” (Job 2:3). With that, Satan becomes a bitmore belligerent – “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he willgive for his life (skin). However, put forth Thy hand, now, andtouch his bone and his flesh; he will curse Thee to Thy face” (Job2:4-5, parentheses added).You would think that Satan would have seen the proof of Job’sintegrity by now. But he still believes Job was a selfish andmercenary type; what had been done to him was not a sufficientenough trial to truly test his integrity and the affliction had notbeen intense enough to discover the real man. I believe thisreveals Satan’s belief that a man can lose all his externals, but aslong as he enjoys physical health – it will be easy for him to serveGod. The general sense of the passage here is plain, for theenemy is proclaiming that a man would give everything he hadto save his own hide (skin). In fact, I really think Satan believesthat Job is so afflicted in his body that he likely wants to die, orat least give up his faith in God, in order to save his own hide.In spite of the deception Satan is under, God puts Job back intohis hands once again. God allows full-on attack, but will notallow the enemy to take Job’s breath from him. Personally, afterstudying the book of Job – death would have been a welcomedoption.38
  38. 38. Job is about to be tested beyond human strength and willpower.He is about to learn what the backbone to the Exchanged Lifereally is. Just because Job walked uprightly and unexceptionallyto the will of God does not necessarily guarantee him to havemade the true Exchange – Not I, but God.It is an impossible feat to try to separate the power of the Crossfrom the power given to us through the Resurrection.“For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death,certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection” (Romans6:5).As Job learned, the death we experience on the Cross with Christdoes not give us a way of escape from the pain of the Cross, butrather a way to bear with it. I weep like a child every time Iwatch movies or media clips that depict our Lord bearing thepain resulting from our sins. Even though I know there are twotypes of suffering (for my own sins and for the sins of others), Istill find myself caught in the snag of refusing to suffer for thesake of another. Hmm – I think I am beginning to truly hate my“self.”"He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this worldwill keep it to life eternal” (John 12:25)SATAN USED TO BREAK USThere is an old adage that says, “The thing that holds ouraffections holds our souls.” Whether it was the Chinese, theChristians, or the Chaldeans who gave us this proverb, theywere right on. The baptism of fire that our Lord speaks of is to 39
  39. 39. quickly “burn off” all people, places, and things that hold ouraffections outside of the will of God. The Lord is pretty single-minded about where our affections should be lodged. Anyone,who has placed his affections in anything else besides God, ischallenging God to put a permission slip in the hand of hisenemy (Satan) to refine him and purify his intentions ofaffection.As in the Biblical account of Job, we see Satan is given apermission slip by God to sift and afflict Job. The enemy hasbeen given the power to afflict Job in any manner, includingdisease, providing the affliction is not terminally fatal. Whatdoes he pick? Suspected leprosy, a disease involving nerveinfection, boils, and ulcerated sores - a disease considered to beone of the most painful maladies known to man. If you haveever had a single boil (sore), you know how painful it can be. Ifyou have ever had an infected boil, you know how quickly it canspread. Now try to imagine about 150 of those spreadthroughout your entire body – primarily to the feet, buttocks,face, and hands. Job had these ulcers from the soles of his feet tothe top of his head. Chapter 2:8 shows us this:“And he took a potsherd to scrape himself while he was sitting amongthe ashes” (Job 2:8).Potsherd was a fragment of broken pottery – a homemade knife.The object was for the sole purpose of removing the filth ofaccumulated infection that was layering upon each festeringsore. Sitting among the ashes was a practice of forced humilityand confession to the greatness of one’s calamity and sorrow.Back during the ancients of days, people were accustomed toshowing their grief by significant external actions, like sitting inashes. It represented death (from dust to dust and ashes toashes). Nothing could more strongly express the humility thatcomes with calamity. Here was a man of wealth, honor, and40
  40. 40. distinction sitting down in a pile of ashes, taking pieces ofbroken pottery and scraping the oozing infected sores thatcovered his naked body. It does not appear anything was doneto bring relief or healing, nor any kindness shown in taking careof his disease – not even from his wife.Here sat a man in a pile of ashes who was once sought after.Now, it would seem, he was completely separated and rejectedby all - even those who claimed to “love” him. He was now adiseased man, whom none would venture to approach, and wasdoomed to endure his suffering without sympathy from others.I’m not sure which is worse - his physical pain or the sorrow ofbeing completely alone. No children, grandchildren, servants,friends, or even a committed and loving wife. Speaking of Job’swife; what was up with her?“Then his wife said to him, ‘Do you still hold fast your integrity?Curse God and die!’" (Job 2:9).Job’s wife was no ordinary woman; she was the blood of Jacob.Her name is unknown. But in ancient versions of this passage,the English word for wife, in the Hebrew, is actually diynah(daughter of Jacob). Can you imagine the sorrow she wasexperiencing? Day after day, she watched her husband suffer,all while attempting to process her own grief: the disappearanceof her earthly securities, the loss of ten sons and daughters, theheartache and sorrows of her womb, and most likely thinkingthat she had toiled laboriously in vain. Now she watched herbeloved sitting among loathsome worms and ashes, passing thenight in the open air, cutting on himself with earthenware,watching the sun go down upon his sorrows day after day,without any sudden relief from their God. I, too, would betempted to be done with it all. I understand the spotlight is onJob, but his sorrow is shared by Job’s wife. In fact, our womencarry our sorrow for us in ways that are incomprehensible to us 41
  41. 41. as men. It was the “curse God” portion of her speech thataroused the rebuke of her husband.“But he said to her, ‘You speak as one of the foolish women speaks.Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?’ In allthis Job did not sin with his lips” (Job 2:10).This clearly tells me that Job’s wife was a good woman filledwith wisdom and truth. She was not a foolish nagging womanof her time. Her sorrow was overtaking her and she wantedrelief. Seriously, who would blame her? I have a woman likethis, who is faithful as the day is long. But mess with herhusband and you’ll hear about it. As with Job’s wife, she carriesthe sorrow of her husband, children, and grandchildren deeply.She, too, has had her moments of giving up. I, like Job, havebeen blessed with one of the daughters of Jacob. She isoftentimes the breath within my being when I have barelyenough strength to take a deep breath. So, I think I understandwhy Satan was not allowed to touch Job’s wife. God needed herto be the completer of Job during his great sorrow and to use herwomb to bless Job with seven sons and three daughters. One ofmy favorite Scriptures in the entire Bible is: “And in all the landno women were found so fair as Job’s daughters…” (Job 42:15). Iprayed this Scripture over each of my baby girls as God broughtthem into this world. You might say that I have a ton of respectfor Job’s wife. I have literally wept over her sorrow many times.Now, Job’s “friends” are a different story. I call them his “fair-weather” fellows. These friends obviously got the news theirfaithful and “beloved friend” was under some severe suffering.The first challenge was that wealthy men tend to speak throughtheir wealth, which is exactly what took place in their dialoguewith Job. No matter what is said about those with excessivemoney, wealth does tend to camouflage sorrow. When counsel42
  42. 42. is passed through earthly securities, it tends to turn lukewarm oremergent rather quickly. Job certainly learned this.DON’T BANK ON THE COMFORT OF OTHERSWhy did Job’s comforters decide to come? The Scriptures tell ustheir initial intention was to “sympathize” and “comfort” him. Iguess the question would be what the definition of comfort wasto these so- called “friends’? Comfort means so many differentthings to so many people. To some it is a bowl of ice cream,while for others it could be having their feet held to the fire. Forwealthy people, hardship is typically a result of missing thereward. They’re inclined to believe something (sin) is stoppingthe flow of prosperity. They also tend to live based on thereward system: you do well, you get “good”; you do badly, youget “bad.” These men came to comfort a man who was barelyrecognizable due to his disfiguring disease and in such pain thatno words could bring comfort. They should have gained a“brownie point” just for effort.“When they lifted up their eyes at a distance and did not recognize him,they raised their voices and wept. And each of them tore his robe andthey threw dust over their heads toward the sky. Then they sat down onthe ground with him for seven days and seven nights with no onespeaking a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great”(Job 2:12-13).Friend One: I look back on my heart failure hospital experienceat several visitors who had come to bring me comfort. The firstwas a young man who came to clear his conscience. He said, “Icouldn’t bear the thought of something happening to you(death) before I got a chance to seek your forgiveness.” I smiled,he confessed more stuff, we prayed, and I never saw or heardfrom him again. To whom was he comforting? Was it me? Notreally. In due time, I looked back as this as an enormous act of 43
  43. 43. betrayal. For him, it was obviously to free himself from a life ofguilt.Friend Two: Another visitor came with yet another form ofcomfort. This one was from the land of wealth. After a period ofsilence, he asked, “Do you think there is something in your lifethat would cause God to allow this?” After I told him my heartfailure was a result of a virus and that I didn’t want God to letup on me until I learned everything He had in store for me, alook of disappointment came over him. It is almost like hewanted me to suffer more in the thought of the rebuke of God,than the heart failure itself. It was through this particular“friend’s” expression of comfort that God began to journey methrough the truest definition of friendship.Friend Three: There was yet another kind of comforter whocame to see me that week; those who feared what would happento them if their “counselor” was dead. These “friends” camewith words and gifts of comfort. But within a short period oftime, the discussion turned toward their own personal problems.Without delay, they started asking for counsel. Here I wasmoments from death, even upon their visit, and they wereasking for advice. This group opened my eyes to yet anotherreality of true friendship.There were four different types of friends who came to visit methat week, but the third was the most difficult to embrace. Thefirst group: well, one can’t expect depth out of shallowness. Thesecond group: I could appreciate his desire for freedom. But, thethird: these people thought they were true and honorablefriends. In God’s reality, they were fearful of what the costwould be like for them if I wasn’t around. They suffered with thedeception that because they were close enough to get regularcounsel, they were close friends. The problem was - I wascaught up in the deception as well. I had to be shown by the44
  44. 44. Lord that I, too, found closeness and friendship in giving my lifeaway. My grievous struggle came when group three took a hike.Yes – full on betrayal. When they discovered that I was notavailable for “regular” counsel, they were nowhere to be found.Sparse spiritual, psychological, or physical support was offered.One of my board members said in one of our moments of deepfinancial need, “Now is the time when you will discover whoyour real friends are.” I hate to admit it, but I am a man of fewfriends.The fourth group of friends is who God used to actually sustainme in the most difficult year of my entire life. But, honestlystating, it was the first three groups that God shared some veryintimate lessons.Much can be learned about a man by his confession. Whatwords come out of the mouth when pain and suffering finallybreak him? Does he curse God? Man? Both? Or do his wordslevel the playing field of his own existence? One of the criticalpoints of interest I have learned to watch for in myself, as well asothers, is: To whom and where does the blame get cast? CanChristians who have not experienced the Exchanged Life trulyprovide Christ as Life comfort and compassion? All thesequestions are reasonable questions begging for great answers. Inthe up-and-coming articles, we will attempt to do just that.ENGAGING OUR SUFFERINGSHave you ever been in a position where you had to sit through asharing time with a “friend” who truly thought their counselwas perfect for you and in reality you knew by the standards ofGod they were missing the point completely? For those of youwho have, you know it isn’t any fun. 45
  45. 45. Many times if we count on the words of others, we miss out onthe Word of God. God wants us to embrace that all things comeby the permissible Hand of the Almighty. I agree with the factthat most Christians suffer with the thought of embracing whyGod allows suffering but it is a God thing, not a human thing.Figuring out the “why” is usually what gets us into trouble withthe Lord. The key is not denying the words and works of God."But it is still my consolation, and I rejoice in unsparing pain, that Ihave not denied the words of the Holy One.” (Job 6:10 NASB)In reflecting on my notes with my study of Job – I learn that he iscareful not to curse God in his words or his conclusions. He is ingreat wonder as to why he should be waiting for the answer tohis cry. He wants to know the end reason for his waiting so hecan endure with confidence. It is certain that he has a smallconfidence problem but not the kind that accuses the mind of theLord. As for his friends, he asks: For the despairing man thereshould be kindness from his friend; so that he does not forsakethe fear of the Almighty. Job is not getting a lot of compassionfrom his first “friend.” He even goes so far to say that hisbrothers have acted deceitfully like a wadi (brook), like thetorrents of wadis which vanish, which are turbid because of iceand into which the snow melts. In other words, here today, andgone tomorrow, they are not providing him with any propercounsel that will empower him to keep up the good fight. Thetruth of the matter is that these “friends” came in confoundedand perplexed – they have no clue how to comfort their“brother.” These “friends” see the terror striking the life of Joband they too are afraid, in fact Job says, you see terror and areafraid.Job really doesn’t want anything from these men, outside of alittle empathy and comfort. He isn’t even asking for them todeliver him from the hand of adversity or redeem him from the46
  46. 46. hand of tyrants. What Job does do is humbles himself by saying:Teach me, and I will be silent; and show me how I have erred.He goes on to say: how painful are honest words but what doesyour argument prove? He even goes so far as asking them toplease look at me, and see if I lie to your face. Since they areincapable of offering such solace, Job’s discomfort deepens. Dueto this, Job asks his “friends” to desist now, let there be noinjustice; even desist, my righteousness is yet in it. Through allof this, Job still is about his wits. There is no injustice on histongue and he is continues to be able to discern calamity!I think maybe the pain that Job suffered at the hand of his“friends” foolish counsel was equally or more painful than hisstate of ashes. Suffering without being able to receive help andguidance from an Exchanged Life counselor is the worst kind ofsuffering there is. When you hurt as bad as Job did, every breathyou take begs for redemptive freedom. When you are beggingto have someone help you embrace your Exchange but insteadyou are told to “work harder” and “stop whining,” well reader –that would be like asking for a drink of water and getting asponge full of vinegar instead. Sound familiar?DEFENDING YOUR SUFFERINGI have been professionally counseling for well over 30 years andI cannot remember one counselee that was not quick to defendtheir suffering. Some lie and flat out make up wild reasons fortheir pain and suffrage, while others beat themselves to anemotional death before another has the opportunity to do so. Inall cases and in both extremes, self-pity rules the flesh of maneven while he/she is searching to discover the reason for it.It is impossible for a child of God to understand the ExchangedLife without embracing the privilege and reason for the painGod has granted them to suffer. Often times when a person 47
  47. 47. does not discover the reason for their pain – suicide is sure tofollow, at least thoughts of it.Recently I received some traumatic news about a fellow ministryleader had committed suicide. He was one of the mostcompassionate and caring leaders I knew in ministry. Why didhe commit such an act that was so opposite of his character? Theanswer is not found in rumors or latent scandals. The answer isonly found in his unaddressed emotional pain & suffering. Onlythis man & his Lord knew exactly what his emotional suffocationinvolved but whatever it was, we know this – he did notembrace the reason for his suffering. How do I know this, byway of how he departed this world!Since my heart failure several years ago, I am not the man I useto be. I can only do light labor for several hours before having totake a nap like a napping preschooler. I continue to war with thebattle between significance and the love of God – a battle I mustembrace daily. I too have occasional night terrors and waves ofthe suffocations of death knocking at my door. I cannot tell youhow much I co-labor in the sufferings of Job, let alone Christ. Iam compelled to know the heart of God in this most honest andpainful write of our Living God. God has used Job’s story tobring me to the truth of I too am only a man. I would not haveadmitted this several years ago but I thought that I was prettymuch invincible in ministry. Anyone who puts themselves inthe position of buying into that lie is about to have an extendeddance with suffering.I refuse to turn Job into anything other than that of a man. Jesusis the only One who can be put into the mold of man and God.Any other life form, including Satan, who dares to conform thatthat mold, is certain to wish death upon themselves. I believe itis good to war over the common questions, which normally popup in times of despair. The plain truth is – it helps us to come to48
  48. 48. the end of ourselves. In the midst of our life’s discourse, we areto lift our thoughts to God with some faith and hope hiddenwithin the recesses of our sorrow. God wants us to wrestle withour concern over our own sin. When push comes to shove, Goddoes not want us to accuse Him of being unjust! What is ourbiggest sin in suffering? It is most likely that of questioning Godwith too many questions. I get it that we want relief, butembracing His sovereign commission of the assigned pain couldbe a more adequate task. We need to be dedicated in NOTfocusing on the removal of outward trouble, and be quick tofocus on the return of Gods presence, a desire that God puts inall indwelt Christians.I recall another time when I was feeling such despair. My heartwas questioning the Hand of God and honestly, I was becomingweary of Him. Whenever I am in such despair and call out toHim, the advice I get from Him is usually unsettling at first.Here is an entry in my journal after feeling such despair:Yet you have not called on me Stephen; but you have become weary ofMe. You have not brought Me the first fruit of your offerings; nor haveyou honored Me with your sacrifices. I have not burdened you withofferings, nor wearied you with fruitless prayers. You have not usedthe resources I have given you to purchase opportunities for Mymessage. Neither have you filled Me with the best of My blessings Ihave imparted to you; rather you have burdened Me with your sins.You have wearied Me with your guilt. I, even I, am the One who wipesout your sins for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.Stephen, put Me in your remembrance; let us together argue our case,state your cause, that you may be proved right as My beloved servant.Your forefathers have sinned before Me and those who speak on yourbehalf have sinned against Me. For I have called you to lead them intoMy presence! Show them My ways by your testimony. 49
  49. 49. This is not what I expected to hear. I wanted God to feel sorryfor me. But, in God’s typical and mighty way, He calls forth thereal issue in my heart:1. I became weary of God.2. I was not bringing God His first fruit of His offering to me.3. I was not honoring God with my sacrifices.4. I was not using the resources He had given me to advance His Kingdom work.5. I was not filling Him with His own blessings.6. I was burdening Him with sins that had already been forgiven.7. I was not allowing God to argue my case regarding my enemy.8. I was not leading those who were persecuting me.There are way too many “I’s” being pointed out here! Afterstudying the book of Job, I find some mind altering similaritiesbetween what Job was suffering and that of my own. When wesuffer permissible suffocation, humans tend to default back tome-me-me. I don’t think the frailty of Job’s story is muchdifferent. I am aware that we tend to turn normal men of God inthe Bible into super-heroes. I too am guilty of this, but throughthe ages of my own existence, I am learning NOT to commitsuch sins.Mankind has fallen far from Him, for they call upon thedeception of power, fame and a name they try to make forthemselves. When man exalts his name above the Lord’s, theydeny the power of His name.God’s perspective of my despair is not focused on me, but ratheron Him accomplishing His work through me! And if you notice,it is not the work He does IN Me, that’s a given, but rather thework He does THROUGH me – that is what matters.50
  50. 50. Here we see the difference between me and He. God is all aboutHimself. He is the only One who has the right to be “self-centered” – rightfully so. I really wonder if this was the full onlesson God was showing Job. Even though we know that thereal issue of the story of Job is all about God and His adversarySatan, but my experience is that God makes use of everythingSatan throws at His people. God wants Job to proclaim anddeclare that there is NO God like his God. He wants him torecount the order since the birth of Job’s life – which he (Job) ispresently cursing. He wants Job to declare to the world thethings that are coming and the events that are going to take placeonce this trial is behind him. He certainly does not want Job toforget the promises He gave him throughout his life. God has aspecific purpose for Job’s life and it appears that Job is losingsight of it.Who really is like God? Seriously! We should be proclaimingand declaring it; yes recounting it to Him in order, from the timethat He established His calling for our lives. Declare to theworld the things that are coming and the events that are going totake place. As God has sent us out, He does not want us to beafraid and tremble but rather announce the victories of Christ.We should never forget the promises He has given us in ouryouth regarding speaking out His message for all to hear. Wemust quit using the excuse that we are untrained or youthfuland simply go forth and proclaim His Words.This is why I have such a respect for Job. His level of sufferingsdid not stop him from speaking the truth - even during Hisworst moments of suffocation. He was truly a man of theExchanged Life and full of wisdom. His life story reminded meof some very powerful words of Jesus in Luke: 51
  51. 51. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and towhom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more. (Luke12:48)Could this be what is going on between God and our suffering?Is our level of suffering comparable to our level of wisdom andknowledge? I say – yes!Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledgeresults in increasing pain. (Ecclesiastes 1:18)As you make use of The Book of Prayers as a resource in dailyliving, please allow the Spirit to bring remembrance the words ofRomans:In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not knowhow to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us withgroanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knowswhat the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saintsaccording to the will of God. And we know that God causes all thingsto work together for good to those who love God, to those who are calledaccording to His purpose. (Romans 8:26-28)52
  52. 52. GENERAL WARFARE † 53
  53. 53. Selfer’s Prayer † "But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be! "For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed,I prove myself to be a transgressor. "For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. (Galatians 2:17-20)ENCOURAGEMENT:: Because the objective of an ExchangedLife believer is to become victorious indwelt Christians andministers of the Cross, we should not aim merely at helpingourselves or others at resolving “problems.” What most peopleperceive as the problems may be God’s instruments foraccomplishing the most significant work in an indwelt believer –that of being brought to the end of oneself. Without those“impossible situations,” we might never have come to the placeof brokenness and emptiness before our Groom and Savior andthrough this “death” entered into Christ’s resurrection powerand life as a daily reality.There is a nasty habit in the church today of thinking thatcounseling is the answer to all “psychological” issues in aperson’s life. This is a fantasy resulting itself from a church whoreferred people away from the church when “counseling wasneeded.” The irony of this twist is that God works diligently tosend hurting souls to the church, while 91% of Americanchurches refer people away from the church when the hurting54
  54. 54. soul reveals “counseling related” issues that are beyond prayeror Bible reading! When in reality, God has empowered everybeliever with the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit to offerwise counsel and assist others in repentance in wrong attitudesand actions (sin). It is the experience of most Exchanged Lifeworkers that when the Holy Spirit is released to be obedient toChrist within the worker – transformation is quick and certain.And when I was getting my Master’s degree, it was stated thatthe average stay of counseling is 10—12 years. There seems tobe something wrong with that picture.Anyone who has worked with a hurting soul knows that theprocess is dirty and messy and it is due to this mess that thediscipler needs the mind of Jesus to do the work through them.This requires the believer to self-reckoned oneself to be dead andthis must start with a prayer – the Selfer’s Prayer. This way, wewill not be so apt to function like a “texted-book” Christian,doing to get. If we focus on being a Christ as Life believer, wewill be more apt to invest our own lives in another so that Christwill be formed in the one being ministered to. This certainlymeans that we need to start at the foot of the Cross. Consideringpraying the following prayer.PRAYERI hereby surrender everything that I am, and have, and ever will be. Itake my hands off of my life and release every relationship to You: everyhabit, every goal, my health, my wealth, and everything that meansanything. I surrender it ALL to You. By faith I take my place at theCross, believing that when the Lord Jesus was crucified, according toYour Word, I was crucified with Him; when He was buried, I wasburied; when He was raised from the dead, I was raised with Him. Ideny myself the right to rule and reign in my own life and I take up theCross believing that I was raised from the dead and seated at Your righthand. 55
  55. 55. I thank You for saving me from my sins and myself. From this momenton I am trusting You to live Your life in me and through me, instead ofme; to do what I cant do; quit what I cant quit; start what I cantstart; and--most of all--to be what I cant be. I am trusting you torenew my mind and heal damaged emotions in Your time. I thank Younow by faith for accepting me in the Lord Jesus, for giving me Yourgrace, Your freedom, Your joy, Your victory and Your righteousness asmy inheritance. Even if I dont feel anything, I know that Your Word istrue; I am counting on Your Spirit to do what Your Word says-- to setme free from myself, that Your resurrection life may be lived outthrough me, and that You may receive all the glory.I thank You and praise You for victory right now in Jesus name,Amen.56
  56. 56. Victory † “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57)PRAYERDear Abba Father, I lift Your holy name up in the name of Jesus Christ,my Lord. I praise You that Satan is a defeated enemy. I take great joy inthe fact that Jesus accomplished Satan’s defeat by giving up His life on theCross. I appropriate Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and ascension inmy daily living. I look forward to the day that Satan is bound to thebottomless pit for eternity. I rejoice that You, the King of kings and Lordof lords, give me perfect unity and victory over the enemy today.I choose to enter into my victory and claim my place as being more than aconqueror through Christ who loves me. I refuse to admit to ongoingdefeat by Satan in any area of my life. He cannot and will not rule overme, my family, or any of my loved ones. I affirm that Your grace andmercy rule all areas of my life through my union and victory in Christ.Please give me the strength and grace to affirm Your Truth in times oftemptation. I bless and thank You for these daily battles and that You seekto accomplish Your divine will in my life. I accept the battlefield You haveplaced me in today and rejoice in Your divine purpose of it. I reject all ofthe satanic purposes the enemy has hidden behind his attacks. Through thevictory of my Warrior and Savior, I stand resolute and strong upon thecertainty of my victory. In confidence, I commit to come before Yourthrone boldly each day. All this I do in the name and authority of theLord Jesus Christ. Amen. 57
  57. 57. Protection †For wisdom is protection just as money is protection, but the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the lives of its possessors. (Ecclesiastes 7:12)PRAYERDear Heavenly Father, I come before You boldly on behalf of _______. Icover _______ with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ as protection duringthis time of prayer. I surrender _______to You completely andunreservedly in every area of their. I take a stand against all of theworkings of Satan that would hinder _______from this time of prayer. Iaddress the two of us only to the true and living God and refuse anyinvolvement of Satan in our prayer.Satan, the Lord Jesus commands you to leave our presence with all of yourdemons. We bring the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ between us.I pray that You Lord Jesus, blessed Holy Spirit, would bring all the work ofthe crucifixion, all the work of the resurrection, all the work of theglorification, and all the work of Pentecost into _______’s life today. Isurrender _______to You. I renounce any and all discouragement, guilt,and condemnation from being in _______’s heart and mind. I pray nowthat You would release _______ to pray this prayer of repentance.You, Lord, have proven Your power by resurrecting Jesus Christ from thedead. I claim in every way Your victory over all satanic forces active in hislife and I reject these forces. I pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christwith thanksgiving. In Jesus’ name, you, ________ are now released topray! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.58