Effective Prayer - P.U.S.H.
“… though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” (2 Cor 10:3-5)
Effective prayer clears the atmosphere of debris and reproach and replaces it with the authority and peace found in Christ. When we pray effectively, there is a cleansing that takes place in the world around us and in our minds. Sometimes, life and Satan will try to cloud our atmosphere with contrary emotions and thoughts. This subtle form of warfare can be general feelings of reproach, anxiety or futility. Effective prayer rips out these strongholds and silences the enemy’s subtle suggestions. Some of the clutter that the enemy will try to deposit in our lives starts as a kind of static. Maybe it begins as a subtle feeling that all of our efforts are futile. Maybe for you, the static that Satan tries to sow in your life is busyness, weariness and discontent, combined with the normal trials of life. For Hannah, the subtle stronghold that Satan was trying to plant in her life was reproach and failure.
“And whenever the time came for Elkanah to make an offering, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although the LORD had closed her womb. And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the LORD had closed her womb." (1 Samuel 1:5-6, NKJV)
Elkanah’s wives were Hannah and Peninnah. Elkanah loved and openly favored Hannah more than Peninnah. Peninnah could not only sense she was second place – she knew it for a fact. This created a fierce rivalry, full of jealousy, strife and competition between Peninnah and Hannah. Hannah could not have children which, in the standards of her day, meant she was less of a woman. Peninnah bore many children and was seen by the world as a success; Peninnah turned the full force of all the anger and bitterness she felt towards Elkanah on Hannah. In her home, Hannah could never forget that she couldn’t live up to the standards of being a woman. Satan used this rivalry to oppress Hannah with reproach and convince Hannah that she was an utter failure. It worked..for a little while.
So it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, that she provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat. Then Elkanah her husband said to her, "Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? [Am] I not better to you than ten sons?" (1 Samuel 1:7-8, NKJV)
We won’t go into depth on the statement Elkanah makes here, but we will note that he doesn’t seem to understand that his polygamy and overt favoritism has created a division and a rivalry that has made Hannah’s life a living hell. Sometimes the situations we face in life are the results of other people’s ignorance, but the Lord doesn’t leave it that way.
“So Hannah arose after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the tabernacle of the LORD. And she [was] in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the LORD and wept in anguish.” (1 Samuel 1:9-10, NKJV)
Back in the day, there used to be a saying – P.U.S.H. It stood for “Pray Until Something Happens.” In times of intense prayer, we need to keep all of our being completely focused on the task at hand – pushing and laboring in prayer. That’s probably why the wise prayer warriors of the past kept it simple: “P.U.S.H.” That’s exactly what Hannah does. She pushes!
Then she made a vow and said, "O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head. And it happened, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli watched her mouth. Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard." (1 Samuel 1:11-13, NKJV)
When we sense that strongholds are coming down, we are quickened and get more fervent in prayer. Effective prayer can seem like a birthing process and it will crucify your flesh. It may not initially sound like something we want to do– until we get desperate, get momentum and finally, regain the authority and clear the atmosphere of anything ungodly.
Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. So Eli said to her, "How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!" But Hannah answered and said, "No, my lord, I [am] a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD. Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now." (1 Samuel 1:13-16, NKJV)
When we feel something break and receive the peace that falls afterwards as the Spirit of God clears all the clutter, we know that we have the thing we requested. We know our prayers have been effective when we feel a barrier break and total peace return while in the flow of prayer.
Then Eli answered and said, "Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him." ...So it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, "Because I have asked for him from the LORD." (1 Samuel 1:17; 1 Samuel 1:20)
Effective prayer will cleanse our atmosphere and restore it to the condition it should be in – full of peace and the knowledge of Christ’s reign. This month I want to encourage and equip the body of Christ to fervently, routinely pray to cleanse their atmospheres, rip out demonic strongholds of static, and P.U.S.H. – pray until something happens. In my next article, I want to share with you what God’s Word has to say about praying in the Spirit and using the sword of the Spirit to invoke victory in prayer. Until then, God bless you. Please be sure to let us know about your victories in prayer.
It's time to equip yourself not just to pray, but pray more effectively through these powerful teaching resources. In Paula's new 3 CD series "Prayer" she covers the topic of prayer intensely with guests Archbishop Nicholas Duncan Williams, who specializes in prayer, and Evangelist Shane Perry who has made prayer the cornerstone of his ministry.
For your Ministry Gift of $25 or more you will receive "Prayer along with Suzette Caldwell's book "Praying to Change Your Life," a book that will take you from 0 to 10 in your prayer life, and Prayer Declarations to help you fight the enemy and declare the Word over your life.
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