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-- © GodSpeak International 2007 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

Author: John DeLaughter <john.godspeak@sbcglobal.net>
Editors: Teresa Seputis and Sue Spaulding

Prayer-School Course #38

Praying To Obtain God's Best

By John DeLaughter

Lesson 20
Satanic Roadblocks to Obtaining God's Best
(Part 1 of 2)

The title of this series has been "Praying to Obtain God's Best." As you draw near to God and seek His best, you inevitably discover an important truth.

Both God and Satan have prayer agendas. The Lord invites Christians to discover the power of prayer. On the other hand, the devil aims to intercept this invitation. He does so by interrupting our walk with Christ, questioning our position in Christ, and challenging our faith in Christ.

What tactics does the enemy employ? And how can you derail his devices?

We are going to explore how to beat seven common satanic strategies that can hamper our prayers. These strategies are:

1. Satan attempts to crowd prayer out of our schedules.
2. Satan tries to silence our prayers with intimidation.
3. Satan seeks to disrupt our prayers in progress.
4. Satan questions whether we are holy enough to pray.
5. Satan questions God's willingness to hear us.
6. Satan implies that God doesn't need our prayers.
7. Satan questions whether we have enough faith to pray effectively.

(We will look at the first five in this lesson and the remaining two in our next lesson.)

Strategy #1

First, Satan tries to crowd prayer out of our schedules.

The evil one uses many devices. The upkeep of prized possessions eats up spare moments. Innocent pursuits, like reading a paper, leave us wondering where the time went. And job demands make intercession a low priority on our "To Do" list. As a result, the adversary reduces prayer to a nice, but unnecessary sentiment.

Is prayer important? Changed lives draw more knees to pray than charged debates. And where better to see effective prayer than in a company of dedicated intercessors? Your pastor can introduce you to the church's prayer warriors.

As group supplication grows, and God transforms lives, attitudes change. Gradually, you'll want God's solutions for troubled friends and family. Intercession unleashes the Lord's power to unload the burdens of others. And then we will exhaust God's ear to obtain what He promised us.

Strategy #2

Second, Satan attempts to silence our prayers with intimidation. For instance, the devil may threaten to harm a loved one if you pray, as he did to an acquaintance of mine. Lucifer points to Job's children as an example of what happens when a parent prays too much (Job 1:18-19). Then he whispers, "Your kid could be next."

Organized crime uses the same scheme. If one of their people stands trial, they'll kidnap a witness' family member. Their kin's safety depends on the witness' willingness to lie under oath. Or the criminals force the person to refuse to testify.

But think about Satan's warning: What harm can the enemy do to a prodigal? Wrong choices have already brought them much ruin. And, what hope does your loved one--backslidden or otherwise--have unless you intercede? Our prayers lessen their exposure to the enemy's attacks.

Strategy #3

Third, Satan seeks to disrupt our prayers in progress.

Ever had an evil thought during prayer? What about an urge to take care of a business detail? Or, have you abruptly felt sleepy? Those distractions often come from the devil. The adversary wishes to discourage your prayers before they endanger him.

One means to counter the enemy is a preventive strike. If you belong to Jesus, demons are subject to you in His name (Mark 6:13). Before you pray, tell the dark angels to be silent and leave. Later, should a disturbance reappear, stop and repeat the same step. If the interruption has a spiritual basis, the use of Jesus' Name should stop the intrusion.

The Archangel Michael invoked the Lord's name against Satan as they fought over Moses' dead body (Jude 9). Why not follow the same steps as you intercede over a live saint?

The enemy may even interrupt your prayer with sudden aches or pains. More than once, a spirit of infirmity has tried to stop my intercession or worship with sudden earaches. The timing of such pains is one way to identify their origin. In my case, when I rebuked the earaches in the Name of Jesus, the uninvited hurts quickly disappeared. That's another clue to the source of the malady.

Peter said: "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world" (1 Peter 5:8-9).

Strategy #4

Fourth, Satan questions whether we are holy enough to pray.

Accusation is one of the devil's main weapons. When you step on the enemy's toes, he hollers condemnation. Demons can imitate God's voice. As you pray, the dark host reminds you of past failures. Feeling unworthy, you ask, "How dare I approach a Holy God?" Soon the accuser's scheme works and you stop praying.

How can you resist Lucifer's ploys? To begin, pinpoint the source of your inner turmoil. Satan disguises his condemnation as the Holy Spirit's conviction. The accuser can also quote Scripture--so that's no guarantee you've heard from God (Matthew 4: 6). What marks the difference? The enemy's criticism wounds, while the Spirit gives life.

Then, stake out your position in Christ. Jesus' righteousness, not yours, grants you access to God (Romans 5:1-2). Good works can't maintain your position before the throne, and noble deeds don't increase God's favor towards you (Ephesians 2:8-10). These truths form the basis of our prayers. If sin is confessed, your walk with the Lord remains unbroken (1 John 1:9).

God's forgiveness lasts forever. After all, changed lives draw more knees to pray than charged debates.

Strategy #5

Fifth, Satan questions God's willingness to hear us.

The accuser uses several untruths. He says God is too big to care for little concerns. Or, he'll suggest that God's answers will disappoint us.

One key to rebutting the enemy is knowledge of the Word. How do you get more of the Bible into your life? First, list the subjects where Lucifer tempts you to mistrust God; then let that record guide your devotions. For example, the Father knows the number of hairs on your head (Luke 12:7). Why would God track those statistics unless He cared? That truth counters the lie that God isn't interested in you. Eventually, the Lord's truth forms a breastplate around your heart (Ephesians 6:14). Your hearing grows attuned to God, and deaf towards the enemy.

-- © GodSpeak International 2007 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from copyright@godspeak.org --

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