Through all prayer and petition praying at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, being on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel. Ephesians 6:18-19.
Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart. Luke 18:1.
Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle. Psalm 144:1.
Today your LORD (יהוה) God (אלהים) says:
You will only be able to live a life of peace and contentment beyond human understanding if you live a life of constant prayer. “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am,” stated the apostle Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, and he penned that letter in prison. Philippians 4:11. And then he told you his secret, “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:19. But he told you the “how” behind his secret: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7.
If you want to overcome Satan in your life and take down every weapon he forms against you, there is only one way you can always be ready to quench all his fiery darts and cancel his schemes to take you captive to do his will, and if he can’t quite get that far at least to make you miserable and steal the peace I have already given you in Christ Jesus your Lord. Many believers are living an oppressed life far from peace and contentment, but this should not be if you have learned the truth that is in Christ. I have already given you peace, My peace, in Christ, it is up to you to enforce it. But you are not orphans. I am present as your helper. BUT THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY YOU WILL LIVE A VICTORIOUS LIFE, and that is a life of unceasing consultation, connection, and awareness of Me—which is a life of unceasing prayer. Eve never would have been deceived by the devil if she had brought Me into the dialogue and kept her attention on Me.
And that is today’s Life Lesson in how to avoid the devil’s traps: “Pray without ceasing.”
What is prayer? I share many prayers with you in My Word of those who lived successful, meaningful lives of victory filled with peace and contentment, and Jesus taught you a pattern for prayer containing worship, fellowship, intercession, and stewardship elements of prayer, but very simply put, PRAYER IS LOOKING AT ME. And when you do, you will be happy to find My loving eyes are on you.
When Hagar and Ishmael were sent away by Abraham and Sarah into the wilderness, Hagar was in distress, but she became aware of My presence, and I lifted her eyes to the answer to her distress and comforted her. And her response? “He is a God who sees me.” Yes, I see you. You are never unnoticed by Me. I have every hair of your head counted and know when you sit and when you stand. I am familiar with all your ways. And I know which ones are Mine, that is, those who have hearts towards Me, and they are the people who seek My face. “O LORD, let Your face shine upon us and we shall be saved.” I am a sun and a shield to you who seek Me. Look to Me that you may be radiant and your face will never be ashamed. You who love Me are known by Me.
My eyes roam to and fro across the earth looking for those who have hearts towards Me to show Myself strong on their behalf. And I tell you that I found David, a man after My own heart. He yearned to live constantly in My presence, “One thing I have asked from the LORD that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and to inquire of Him in His temple.” Psalm 27:4-5. And what did I tell him to do? “Seek My face,” and what did he reply? “My heart said to You, ‘Your face, O LORD, I shall seek.” Psalm 27:8. To be with Me was dearer to him than life itself and he could not withhold his songs. And what was his secret for always being so successful in overcoming his enemies and those who sought to harm him? “I have set the LORD continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will dwell securely.” Psalm 16:8-9.
Look to Me at all times for your answer, your deliverance, your healing, your provision—“The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food in due time.” Psalm 145:15. Just look at Me.
Do you remember what Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah did when three enemy armies banded together to capture them and destroy their lives (and this was purely the tactics of the devil through those that were cooperating with him)? They refused to give up in fear, but rather gathered in prayer in My presence, and Jehoshaphat led the prayer, “Now behold, the sons of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom You did not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt, see how they are rewarding us by coming to drive us out from Your possession which You have given us as an inheritance. O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but OUR EYES ARE ON YOU.” 2 Chronicles 20:10-12. And all Judah was standing before Me, with their infants, their wives and their children looking at Me. And they found I was looking at them. And I answered and gave them the instructions to have a miracle, a mighty work of deliverance, as I fought for them, but they had to keep looking at Me. The awareness of My presence by drawing close to Me in prayer. And they had no further stress or fear about it, they went into resounding praise and thanksgiving before, during, and after the battle. And they had checkmate. Nothing the devil had planned came to pass. They looked at Me and got the battle plan and I added riches as booty.
David knew the same and he sang about the secret of prayer, “My eyes are continually toward the LORD, for He will pluck my feet out of the net.” Psalm 25:15. Do not just be looking at the trials and temptations the devil is stirring up and shooting at you, look to Me and I will show you the one behind it all who is seeking to snare you. And I will show you how to take him down and lead him off captive rather than letting him get away with it with you. In My Son, I disarmed the devil and his demons, I made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through the Cross. Colossians 2:15.
David gave you a beautiful definition of prayer, “To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in You I trust.” Psalm 25:1. He saw his prayer as before My golden altar of incense in My house, “May my prayer be counted as incense before You; the lifting up of my hands as the evening offering.” Psalm 141:1-2.
You see how precious and sweet in fragrance your constant prayer connection with Me is at the glimpse I gave My beloved John of the throne room in Heaven, “When Jesus had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” Revelation 5:8. And again, “Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand.” Revelation 8:3-4. And My response? “Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.” Revelation 8:5. This is exactly what I did for Paul and Silas as they stayed in unceasing prayer looking at Me from their chains in the prison at Philippi. And that earthquake opened the prison gates and made all the chains fall off.
I will shake heaven and earth for you who keep your gaze upon Me no matter what is happening around you, as I lead you in right paths with Me for My Name’s sake. And you as the Church, the Body of Christ, keep your eyes on Jesus, which will keep your eyes on Me. Stay in My house, My secret place in your born again spirit, and take down the encumbrances of sin that so easily ensnare you and entangle you, “For thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the LORD of hosts. ‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares the LORD of hosts.” Haggai 2:6-9.
When Satan tried to shut the mouths of the members of the early Church to stop people from being enlightened to the authority they have in Christ to take him down and take the territory back he had taken, the Church knew what to do. Pray. They looked at Me. Just like Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah had known many years before, they prayed, “O Lord, it is You who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said, ‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples devise futile things? The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against His Messiah.’ For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy Son Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur. And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your Word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and attesting miracles and wonders take place through the name of Your holy Son Jesus.” Acts 4:24-30. And how did I answer? “When they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:31. And awesome miracles and wonders took place as they preached the Word.
If you notice they came to pray with awareness of My great power to answer and of the Scriptures that applied to their need. And they were of one heart and one mind. Hearts for Me in all of them. And this brought results. It also gave them peace and contentment despite the persecution of the religious leaders who had been taken captive by Satan to do his will. They were bold against the face of the enemy. Satan could not stop them, even with the threat of prison. And this was the same group that prayed when Peter was in prison and I sent an angel to let him out. Staying in My presence through constant prayer gets results.
When David lifted his hands before Me in prayer, what did he know must be done for him to protect his position of victory? “Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3. Never dwell upon the flaming arrows the devil shoots at you by saying them. And the best way to insulate yourself from these attacks so that you respond appropriately while keeping your peace and joy is to be in a place of unceasing prayer, that is, aware of My presence as you look to Me (which means look to My Word for I am My Word and in seeing and hearing My Word you see and hear Me). My secrets are for those who revere and honor Me, who seek Me with their hearts, and I will make them know My covenant. Psalm 25:14.
I notice you when you pray and seek Me and send you the help you need. Remember Cornelius? I sent My angel to him to direct him to what he must do. And why did I send him to Cornelius and not someone else? “Your prayers and alms have ascended as a memorial before God. Now dispatch some men to Joppa and send for a man named Simon, who is also called Peter; he is staying with a tanner named Simon, whose house is by the sea.” Acts 10:4-6. Your prayers come like incense before Me and I give you the directions you seek. And the result? Cornelius and his household learned the good news of salvation in Jesus, got filled with the Holy Spirit and were all born again as new creations in Christ. They were freed from the devil’s snare, all because of the prayer of Cornelius. In fact, I tell you that Cornelius prayed to Me continually. Acts 10:2.
Unceasing prayer will free you from the devil’s snare. “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust!” For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.” Psalm 91:1-4.
Prayer is your hiding place. Prayer is your place of safety. Under My wings you can sing for joy till harm passes by. “Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found; surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him. You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.” Psalm 32:6-7. And what happens in that hiding place of prayer? There is no snatching out of My hand and the evil one cannot touch you. 1 John 5:18. And it is there, in constant prayer as you look at Me during your busy day that “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” Psalm 32:8. But to see the direction that My eye is showing you, you must be looking at Me.
What is that flood of great waters that cannot reach you in the place of unceasing prayer? Just as the devil went after Jesus, so now he goes after His body, the Church, of which each of you who believes in and has confessed My Son as Lord is a member. “And the serpent threw water like a river out of his mouth after the woman (the Church, the bride of Christ), so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood.” Revelation 12:15. Besides shooting flaming arrows, he is throwing floods of attacks at your mind thinking he will sweep you out of his way. But remember what I did with the Red Sea? My people went through on dry land. And so will you if you stick with My Word, the devil’s floods of troubles, temptations, and thoughts contrary to My Word will not reach you. “But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon threw out of his mouth. So the dragon was enraged with the woman (the Church, the bride of Christ), and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” Revelation 12:16-17. Like a wolf he will try to separate the sheep from the flock. Do not absent yourself from assembling with your local church.
I teach you things in prayer. Call to Me and I will tell you great and mighty things you could not know. Jeremiah 33:3. But there is MUCH more. I teach you battle strategies so that you are not caught by the devil. Do not allow him to win the game even once. David shared this with you by My Spirit, “He trains my hands for battle, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, and Your right hand upholds me; and You have stooped to make me great. You enlarge my steps under me, and my feet have not slipped. I pursued my enemies and overtook them, and I did not turn back until they were consumed. I shattered them, so that they were not able to rise; they fell under my feet. For You have girded me with strength for battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.” Psalm 18:34-39. And “Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; my lovingkindness and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and He in whom I take refuge.” Psalm 144:1-3. Life with Me is sweet and you will know fullness of joy in My presence and the delights at My right hand forever. The closer you draw to Me the happier and more miraculous your life will be. And you draw close by the prayer connection. Look at Me.
And if you are having a problem with the devil stealing your finances, be sure you are learning from Me. I teach you to profit and the way you should go. And I promise that for you that are tithers and give offerings that I will open the windows of Heaven to you and pour out a blessing you cannot contain. And I will rebuke the devourer so he can’t take it. And that is your answer to him when he moves to steal from you: “Oh no you don’t, I have tither’s rights!” I teach you how to prosper. But it all comes from remaining in My Word and being a doer of My Word.
With David, the devil won once, and it broke David’s heart and took his willing spirit down that he had given in and done such evil against Me. Psalm 51. I told David I had forgiven him but he never forgave himself. He died young. He broke his own heart by his sin. The devil moved and took the game that day and then he accused David for the rest of his life. David took that thought of accusation and wrote, “my sin is ever before me.” Psalm 51:3. Why did this happen to My victorious David who delighted to be with Me more than life itself? He took his eyes off Me and looked at the devil’s bait and took the devil’s thought and began to speak to his servants that thought to go fetch Bathsheba. And it got worse after that. Never think just giving in to the devil even once will end there. It won’t. It affected her husband’s life, her life, David’s life, Solomon’s life, and finally caused the division of Israel and Judah and the turning to the worship of idols instead of Me. Judah managed to recover somewhat after the Babylonian exile but the northern kingdom of Israel never recovered. It was gone. Samaria became a place of idols and pagan peoples. And the tribes of Dan and Ephraim are not named among the 144,000. But that is a story for another time. For now, just know this, NEVER GIVE INTO SATAN EVEN ONCE, YOU MUST ANSWER HIM WITH MY WORD. And you can only do this from a place of unceasing prayer. Jesus prayed without ceasing even though He was so busy with the work I gave Him to do. But He only said My Words and only did the works I SHOWED Him. He had His eyes on Me. And you must learn from His successful life, free from the devil having any part in Him, to do the same. Jesus was an expert, He had the skill, to play and win whenever the devil instituted a new game by moving his dark presence across the board. Check, check, checkmate!
And yet all David, Uriah, Bathsheba, and Solomon were saved and loved by Me. But even one time to give in to Satan can cause horrible results for years, for generations. Eve learned this when she thought she would try the forbidden fruit just once. It had a very far reaching result which is still being lived out in your world today. What she did caused destruction beyond anything she could have imagined the day she gave in to the lie of the devil. But if she had just been in a place of unceasing prayer, looking to Me, which it would have been easy for her and Adam to do as they knew Me, none of it would have happened.
But now Jesus has made it for all of you who believe as if it never did happen. You have the blood of Jesus and your sins and offenses I remember NO MORE. Forgetting what lies behind you can go forward to your high calling in Christ. Do not turn back a second time and submit to the devil. You have My Spirit within you to lead you, guide you to all truth, and remind you of all I have said.
And that is how I conclude when I give you My armor, telling you that in putting it on and taking up My armor you must do it through prayer: “through all prayer and petition praying at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, being on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel. Ephesians 6:18-19. PRAYING AT ALL TIMES IN THE SPIRIT. And that is one way to stay in unceasing prayer, pray in tongues like a fountain from Heaven under your breath and in your heart. This is not tiresome and you do not have to be expressing words. My apostle Paul told you to pray without ceasing and he also told you that he prayed in tongues more than any of you. And he had more revelation than most, but you see there was a reason that you too can imitate and find the same results. And Satan was never able to take Paul down, not even once. The devil could incite others to stone him, put him in prison, reject him, persecute him, seek to kill him, beat him, and send shipwrecks and poisonous snakes his way and what did Paul call it all? Light affliction as he continually gave thanks that I had seen him worthy to entrust with the task of preaching the unfathomable riches of Christ. He counted everything else rubbish compared with knowing Me and My Son. Do you feel that way about Me and Jesus? Do you love to be in My presence and hear from Me? If you do not, then you have never really looked at Me and let Me look at you. In My presence there is every good thing and fullness of joy. Come taste My goodness and you will never want to be away from the sweetness of My presence. My mouth is all sweetness, I am altogether lovely, and I am your lover and your friend.
And never listen to what people or circumstances are telling you without consulting Me. I never push or drive you by fear. If the devil himself or through others is speaking to you to do something that is making you feel fear or other wrong influences but is disguising in in Scripture as if you must do it immediately or I am displeased, that is not from Me. He tried that with Jesus in the wilderness but Jesus did not fall for it.
This happened to Joshua and the elders of Israel. Joshua was in My Word day and night, and generally consulted Me before battles or doing anything, such as commanding the sun and the moon, but there was a time that the circumstances looked so true that he got himself and Israel into a situation that I had warned them NOT to do. But then, because they swore it by covenant, they had to keep it. I am talking about the Gibeonites. I want to show you that the devil’s missiles do not just come by thoughts, but also by people, circumstances, books, relatives, friends, wrong teaching (even by those you respect) and other ways the devil will try to put a stumbling block in your path. Prayer is the only way you can find out what is the correct way to deal with these things that may look like opportunities that you should take or harmful things that the devil tries to pass off as coming from Me to shake your faith.
When the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai, they acted craftily and set out as envoys, and took worn-out sacks on their donkeys, and wineskins worn-out and torn and mended, and worn-out and patched sandals on their feet, and worn-out clothes on themselves; and all the bread of their provision was dry and had become crumbled. They went to Joshua at the camp at Gilgal and said to him and to the men of Israel, “We have come from a far country; now therefore, make a covenant with us.” The men of Israel said, “Perhaps you are living within our land; how then shall we make a covenant with you?” You see I was trying to warn them and they got this thought. But they said to Joshua, “We are your servants.” Then Joshua said to them, “Who are you and where do you come from?” They said to him, “Your servants have come from a very far country because of the fame of the LORD your God; for we have heard the report of Him and all that He did in Egypt, and all that He did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon and to Og king of Bashan who was at Ashtaroth. So our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spoke to us, saying, ‘Take provisions in your hand for the journey, and go to meet them and say to them, “We are your servants; now then, make a covenant with us.”’ This our bread was warm when we took it for our provisions out of our houses on the day that we left to come to you; but now behold, it is dry and has become crumbled. These wineskins which we filled were new, and behold, they are torn; and these our clothes and our sandals are worn out because of the very long journey.” Now they had been flattered by these men and they knew a lot about what I had done so they seemed plausible. So the men of Israel took some of their provisions and did not ask for My counsel before responding. Do not be in too much of a hurry. Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live; and the leaders of the congregation swore an oath to them. But then came the rude awakening. Joshua 9:1-15.
It came about at the end of three days after they had made a covenant with them, that they heard that they were neighbors and that they were living within their land. Then the sons of Israel set out and came to their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon and Chephirah and Beeroth and Kiriath-jearim. The sons of Israel did not strike them because the leaders of the congregation had sworn to them by Me, the LORD the God of Israel. And the whole congregation grumbled against the leaders. But all the leaders said to the whole congregation, “We have sworn to them by the LORD, the God of Israel, and now we cannot touch them. This we will do to them, even let them live, so that wrath will not be upon us for the oath which we swore to them.” Joshua 9:16-20. And the Gibeonites than had the protection of Israel against the other nations and stayed among them as their servants, hewers of wood and drawers of water, from then on.
I made it turn out well enough but Joshua and the leaders went against My Will and made a foolish decision, that then bound them, because they did not consult Me before making covenant. Be careful to consult Me before you marry, take a job, enter a business deal, invest your money, attend a particular school, or even decide upon the church you attend. without looking more carefully into the matter with Me and consulting My Word. Look at Me. “Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, until He is gracious to us.” Psalm 123:2.
Come with confidence in prayer to My throne of grace and receive mercy and find grace to help just when you need it. Hebrews 4:16. I am always there for you. Why not spend your day at the throne of grace with Me. I have already seated you there with Me in Christ in the Spirit.
I love you. Look at Me and never look away. I am looking at you and I never look away. It will make you radiant.
For thus the LORD has told me, “I will look from My dwelling place quietly like dazzling heat in the sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.” Isaiah 18:4.