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40-Day Challenge: Week Three

Week Three:  Pray with AUTHORITY

My word that goes out from my mouth will not return to me empty, 
but will accomplish what I desire
 and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11).

God’s Word works. It’s that simple.  But during my atheist days,  I’d have told you the Bible was nothing but a dead book.  Imaging my surprise after I met Jesus to read that same “dead book,” only to discover that it was alive.  Active.  Powerful.

As we roll into week three of our 40-Day Challenge, let’s turbo-charge our prayers. That’s what happens when you combine prayer with the reading of God’s Word.

This week we focus on Step Three: Pray with AUTHORITY. 

I hope you’re learning to be alert and specific when you pray.  Now it’s time to pray with authority.  We have authority in prayer when we are in agreement with the Word of God.

Our 40-Day Challenge is not just about prayer—it’s also about faith.  Faith empowers prayer. So how do we build our faith?  The Bible tells us that faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).  Ponder that for a minute.  We feed our faith through the promises of Scripture.

But it takes spiritual muscle to take authority and stand on God’s Word when we face overwhelming problems. No wonder it’s called a fight of faith. As my prayer partner Beth is fond of saying: “We glance at the problem, but we gaze on the promise.”

Meditate and Memorize:

As the rain and the snow
 come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
 without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
 It will not return to me empty, 
but will accomplish what I desire
 and achieve the purpose for which I sent it  (Isaiah 55:10, 11).

Assignment:  Read Chapter 5, “The 21-Day Experiment,” and Chapter 6, “Growing Deeper,” in Sometimes He Whispers, Sometimes He Roars: Learning to Hear the Voice of God. 

Answer the Personal Reflection Questions on pages 190, 191.

Action Step #1:  The goal this week is to pray with greater authority.  It’s important to nourish yourself daily on God’s Word.  I encourage you to work on creating a habit of the morning launch.  As my husband always says,  “Put first things first.”  Carve out a half hour first thing to seek God, before your day gets gobbled up by lesser things.

Action Step #2: Select a day to begin you your daily reading of John’s Gospel.  If you don’t have access to my book, here’s a free download of the 21-Day Experiment  in John.

Action Step #3  Each morning,  ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate one verse out of your reading to ignite your heart. Write the verse in your Chubby Book or journal.  This will be your watchword for the day.  Meditate on it. Memorize it. Pray it.

Action step #3:  Compare several translations to get a more complete understanding of your Scripture reading.  Bible Gateway has made this easy for you.  You can even look at several versions at once.  For example, check out  three  versions of Philippians 4:6,7, some of my favorite verses.

Training Tip:  John Wesley’s advice on reading your Bible: Be sure to read…with great attention, with proper pauses and intervals so that you may allow for the enlightenings of divine grace. For more on Wesley’s Bible reading method, click here.

PRAYER ALERT: I’ve encouraged you to prayer for God’s larger world.  Will you join me today praying for the Persecuted Church in Syria? Join with others around the world who have designated today, September 15th, as a day of fasting and prayer to lift up our brothers and sisters in this war-torn land.

Prayer:  Lord, I wonder.  Do I truly believe that time spent in Your Word and prayer will change my day? Change my world?  Change Your larger world? Your Word never returns void.  Empower my prayers with your Word and bring Your light to this broken and hurting world. Give me strength this week to carve out my time with You early.  Help me keep first things first.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.