I recently pulled this book off the shelf and began flipping through its (worn) pages. The pages were filled with written and dated prayers I had scribbled in the margins, from years past. Prayers, needs, concerns and fears fill the pages of this book. The prayers, reflect many needs- needs for my children, friends and family. Some pages were ear-marked while others reflected warped areas where I had obviously shed some tears. Believe me, I’ve been to hell and back in my short life and I’ve had many reasons to (unashamedly) cry out to God. That’s pretty much the only reason I’m even here today, but that’s a whole other topic.
You would never leave your house butt-naked, would you? Well of course you wouldn’t! If it’s cold outside you’re going to put on long pants, shirt and a jacket, socks and shoes maybe even a warm hat on your head, right? Well, when you leave each day, you should consider putting on a spiritual coat as well! When I look at the pages of this book, I realize that before my son was ever born, I was “covering” him. More than 16 years ago, I was dressing him up in prayers that could and would potentially cover him, years down the road. Although I am greatly challenged by him and I’m tested daily, I’m still clinging to those prayers! I’m trusting that the spiritual seed I sowed, so many years ago, is still growing and maturing deep inside my teenager, today! Also, penciled-in prayers on the edges of the pages, acted as spiritual blankets that covered different friends who were going through horrible situations of pain and loss in their lives.
Putting your clothes on every day is what you do in order have your body covered and protected from the elements… duhhh, this is common sense! Putting spiritual clothes on is just as important (if not more so) because you are then protected from the spiritual attacks that will come upon you throughout the day. Does that make sense? This isn’t weird or cooky- so stay with me here for a few minutes!! God knows we need to be dressed in something spiritual! I don’t know about you, but there’s a lot of crap out in the world that hurts, offends or angers me! Mean words are spoken, impure motives are rampant and gossip reigns in the air. People in the workplace tend to attack one another with back-biting, strangers can be insensitive, rude or condescending and others just spew their negativity all over everyone in their sphere of influence. YUK!!! Let me just remind you that your words have power. You have the ability to speak positive, joy, peace, happiness and life over yourself, over your kids, their schools and teachers!! You have the ability to speak life into your workspace, over the company you work for, and over that constantly complaining chick in the cubicle next to you! Your words can change the spiritual climate in whatever environment you’re in! But nothing will change unless you open your mouth and speak forth life.
As I reread some of the prayers that I recorded on the pages of this book, I was greatly encouraged! I could see in my words, a desperate cry for a friend who was in need- and today I reflect on where that friend is in her life and I can see that the prayers I spoke over her, so many years ago, were answered!! But listen, there were also A LOT of prayers I wrote in that book that were NOT answered. There were a few pages where I was asking God to work a miracle in my (first) marriage. I was asking him to intervene and touch the situation that I was in. God did not answer my prayer because he knew what was best for me. He slammed the door on a situation that was negative and very toxic. Yet, as toxic as it was, I was blind and couldn’t see it! Thankfully, I listened to God and trusted him and moved on. God doesn’t always answer us the way we want him to. And that’s because we don’t see the “big picture” in life. Sometimes unanswered prayers are actually the answer. When he doesn’t answer, that’s his way of saying, “no, this isn’t good, this is not what you need right now, this isn’t who you should be with, this could bring harm to you later, this isn’t healthy for you or I’m not going to give you this job, because you don’t know it, but the company is closing down in six months!” Many times his silence is for our protection! God knows MORE than we do!! That shouldn’t be a shocker! He’s God, for crying’ out loud! I often say, “Thank you God, for not answering every, single demanding prayer that I have prayed over the years!” If he had, I would not be where I am today!
Friends, covering yourself in a spiritual set of clothes is super important! Take some time each day to start dressing yourself up in what the Bible calls, the “Armor of God.” It’s just like physical clothing, but these clothes have a spiritual (and very important) meaning. None of this can hurt you, but can only bring protection over you…. all the days of your life! Put on and wear the Belt of Truth buckled around your waist. This keeps truth at the forefront of your mind. Choosing to walk in truth and integrity will bring blessing and favor to you). The Breastplate of Righteousness– okay, so this sounds weird- but it’s super important!! (Picture in your mind a Roman Solider). Properly fitted and worn over your chest, this is symbolic of God protecting your heart and soul from lies and deception. The heart is a very tender place- so you want to be protected from the evil crap that will try to harm your heart!!! Boots of Peace are a reflection of your feet being fitted with the readiness and awareness that comes from the gospel of peace. God is peace! You want to be in the right place at the right time with the right people. You want to be ready at all times and aware of your surroundings! Don’t you!? In addition to all this, we should take up the Shield of Faith, with which we can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one (the devil- see the picture below- it’s pretty accurate!). So, just so you know, “flaming arrows” are discouraging, mean and/or disparaging remarks of the haters. Arrows could be mean, offensive and hurtful words or actions that others might do to you personally or actions that have intent to bring harm to you, your marriage, your children, your job, your reputations etc, etc. !! Some haters in the world, carry a quiver full of hateful, fully-loaded arrows, so be ready to hold your shield high!! Put on your head, the Helmet of Salvation because this will protect your mind from making bad choices and will help protect your mind from the polluted words of others, that would attempt to penetrate your perspective on yourself, others or any given situation. You want a clear, sound mind, don’t you!? YES, you do!! You do not want to be deceived by cloudy thoughts or blurred vision!
Lastly, you should carry with you at all times, the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Now you might be saying, “umm, I have never read the Bible, I don’t even know what it says and I don’t even own one.” Well I want to encourage you to think about what your needs are!! And guess what, lucky for you, the Bible is online! Haaaa! You can go to good ‘ol Google and type in “what does the Bible say about blah blah blah.” If you need HOPE, find a Bible scripture about hope and then speak it to yourself all day long. Write it down on a little note card or sticky note. Stick it in your car or on your desk. Memorize it! Before you know it, that scripture (or word) about hope, will be hidden in your heart. Waaaa-laaaa!! Now you are carrying a sword that reflects hope and hope brings life! Friend, the world we live in is harsh. Don’t sit around on a pitty-pot waiting on someone to come be your personal cheerleader! Get up and encourage yourself! Each day, get a fresh, powerful sword (word) to carry with you. Don’t become the Devi’s next victim-he’s looking to rip you apart!! The word you needed yesterday might have just been for yesterday. Today, you might need something totally different. So- go find it and repeat the same process. Before you know it, you will be carrying a big spiritual sword with you. And the best thing about the sword is that you can use it to combat any and all negative lies spoken to you or over you! You will find yourself saying, “ummmm, no that’s not true about me, that’s total BS!! The Word of God says this….” Haaaaaa!!! Yea to You!! You can combat lies, because you know the truth! Make sense!?
So there you have it! Now you can get dressed every day in your regular clothes and then spend about five minutes thinking about your spiritual clothes. Ask God to dress you up in everything I just described! Quit walking around spiritually naked people! Get it together! No one is gonna do it for you, so start speaking life over yourself and your circumstances!! You’ve got this!!! Life is good! If you don’t feel like it’s good today, trust me it will get better tomorrow and a little better the next day and the next. Words have life, so choose your words wisely!
Prayers that Avail Much, by Word Ministries, Inc. is a great resource!! If you need a book that will help guide you through prayers when you face different needs through your life journey- click here- I highly recommend it!