Fervent Prayer: Your Passion and Your Focus

Fervent prayer is fueled by passion and relies on focus. -Priscilla Shirer

Welcome to the first week of Fervent. The act of a deeper prayer time has been prodding at me for a while now. I've learned that my spirit will not rest until it complies with the promptings of His Spirit.

As Priscilla shares throughout the introduction of Fervent, we have a real enemy and we need to make sure we recognize that so we know where to aim. Actually, we have several enemies. One is quite obvious and that's Satan. The other one is our own flesh. I don't know about you but I am constantly battling my own fleshly desires. The third enemy is the world -- not the world as people, but the world as principal. 

The world tugs at us to compromise Truth through such avenues as media, false doctrine, and societal pressure. As we enter in and continue with this study, we need to remember who the real enemies are. We need to remember, 

We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. -Ephesians 6:12

What we wrestle is spiritual and the only way we can do battle is on our knees. Wishing, hoping, ignoring, pretending...none of that will make it go away. We are all in a battle and we need to fight through prayer. 

Priscilla says, 

We pray because our own solutions don’t work and because prayer deploys, activates, and fortifies us against the attacks of the enemy.

But make no mistake, this enemy will seek to discourage you from doing it. Dissuade you. Disarm you by putting a distaste for prayer in your mouth.

Right there...right there is one battle we have to fight and in order to fight it, we need to neglect our flesh for the needs of our spirit. 

Passion

Having a passion for prayer is a good springboard, but let's be honest. Not all of us have a passion to sit down when there are a thousand things to do and try to focus on praying. I get it!! It's a challenge! 

But prayer is a necessity, not an accessory, in the life of a believer of Jesus.  

Think about what may have happened to your passion. I know mine has dwindled significantly and for the longest time I couldn't understand why. I have an enemy.

When you can’t seem to respond to spiritual stimuli with the same optimism and obedience as you once did, why do you think it could only be attributable to your bad character? Instead of convicting you for the purpose of restoration, as God’s Spirit does, he condemns you for the purpose of destroying, humiliating.
— Priscilla Shirer

We definitely need to recognize and understand the difference between conviction and condemnation. Condemnation is riddled with guilt while conviction corrects and invites us to try again. One is self-focused while the other is Christ-focused. 

In order to get our passion back, we need to recognize our need for God's grace. We also need to recognize where our passion comes from. It's not from ourself, but it is a gift from God. 

Let's go to Him and ask Him to rekindle that flame of passion and use it! 

Priscilla mentions also, that passion doesn't mean you have to be energetically charged in prayer and get all sweaty doing it. Passion comes through quiet prayers just as much. 

I'll admit that for me, prayer is very difficult because I have a hard time staying still and staying focused. It's also an act that must be done in the early morning, while my children are still asleep. Once the day begins, there's no stopping it. So being disciplined to get up and make my appointment with God a priority is an act of passion by itself.

Which leads to the next strategy.

Focus

Let's be real here. Focus is not something that comes easily in today's culture. There are so many things that distract, not only from focusing in prayer, but what we're praying for. This is the place we need to remember who the real enemy is. As Priscilla points out, it's not our husbands or our church or our hurt or finances. 

The real enemy here is Satan and we need to keep that in our focus as we deal with things in the supernatural. We have to do more than stem off the symptoms. We need to get to the root and fight our battles in the right place with weapons that will be effective against the enemy.

What does focus do? Focus minimizes distractions which lowers our risk of being blindsided and it protects our goals and dreams from being consumed in small bites, stolen right out from under us. It clears away clutter and works as an antenna to keep us alert. 

It's important to note, Priscilla says this several times throughout the book so far:

I’m not saying, now, that every bad, uncomfortable thing that enters your life is automatically oozing up from the pit of hell. Sometimes simply the nature of the world in which we live can bring “tribulation” out of the woodwork (John 16:33), and sometimes the reap-what-we-sow consequences of our own actions can put us in challenging, arduous positions (Galatians 6:7).

So this week, let's focus on praying for that passion to grow and let's remember where to keep our focus --- on the real enemy.

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We pray because our own solutions don't work and because prayer deploys, activates, and fortifies us against the attacks of the enemy. -Priscilla Shirer

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