It all began in a dream. I had come face to face with a spiritual enemy inside of a nightmare, which then awakened an intense season of spiritual warfare in my life that lasted for three years. That season was so intense that I almost didn't make it through.
Nevertheless, the point of breakthrough came on the heels of a "violent prayer." One evening, while alone in our church's prayer chapel, I experienced a sudden shift. I was simply worshipping the Lord when the Holy Spirit abruptly rose up on the inside of me and took over. Words began to spill out of my mouth that I've never used before in the context of prayer.
The demonic spirit that had buffeted me for three years was now being judged and sentenced for destruction (Ps. 149:6-9). I want to emphasize that this scene was about a spirit, and not a person. I could hear myself releasing the judgment, but it wasn't me who said it. It was the Holy Spirit speaking through me. And, everything did shift after that night. I also watched as God released His angel from heaven to destroy the spirit that had stood against me. This battle was finally over, and this experience—although violent in nature—expanded what I thought I knew about prayer.
Satan and his demonic cohorts have committed acts of terror against the people of God. The Holy Spirit is ready to pass judgment on the spirit(s) that have stood against them. There is the coming sound of violent prayer.
Prayer Is the Sound That Parts the Heavens
The Israelites had been subjected over and over to hostile takeovers by cruel and merciless nations. God had absolute power to protect His chosen people, but chose not to in these instances. Why? The Prophet Isaiah seemed to almost shout at God in frustration, "Rend the heavens and come down! (Is. 64:1)"
Heaven had closed over the Israelites, which meant the blessings of heaven (i.e. protection, abundance, health, leadership) had been withheld from them (Mal. 3:10). Later in the passage, Isaiah shares why heaven had shut over the nation. He said, "And there is no one who calls on your name, who stirs himself up to take hold of You (v. 7)." Their captivity was connected to their prayerlessness. They had preferred to pray to idols instead of the one true God; a choice that bound them instead of blessed them.
We read that Jesus prayed, and specifically that heaven opened when He prayed (Luke 3:21). This passage in Luke isn't direct instruction to us, but it shows us what prayer does. Prayer is a sound that parts the heavens. When heaven is open, the angels come and the blessings of God begin to fall upon us like the rain. In Christ, we are blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places (Eph. 1:3) and through prayer we receive our heavenly blessings here on Earth (Matt. 6:10).
Prayer is also a sound that sets the captives free. When Peter went to prison for preaching the gospel, we read how the church made continuous prayer for him. Peter was miraculously released from prison by an angel. It's not recorded how they prayed, but I know from experience that wimpy, stoic, disengaged prayer does not produce this kind of deliverance. Prophetic words of freedom were launched from those intercessors, an angel came in response, and Peter was set free.
God has big vision for prayer on the earth! He prophesied through the Prophet Isaiah about the priorities of the modern day church. "...For My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations (Is. 56:7)." Prayer, then, becomes the first thing we do. We, the church, are more powerful in prayer than we think and nations will rise or fall in accordance with our prayers.
It's time to release your sound! It's time to part the heavens! Can you hear the rumble of violent prayer for the nations? It's a prayer that releases angels. It's a sound of divine turnaround.
Strike the Ground
King Joash came to Elisha weeping over Syrian oppression of Israel. Elisha responds to him with a prophetic command saying, "Shoot the arrow!" After Joash released the arrow, the prophet explained this prophetic act to be Israel's arrow of deliverance from Syria. Elisha instructs him further saying, "Strike the ground!" Joash did so, and struck the ground with arrows three times. He received no applause from the prophet, however, only anger.
"Why did you strike only three times?" the prophet demanded. Apparently Joash had missed the point on the arrows. The king's passive attitude about a prophetic act ended up having spiritual consequences. Apathy had interfered with God's intentions at a crucial moment. Elisha then informed Joash of the future, namely that his assignment would now be incomplete. King Joash would strike the Syrians only three times, which was not enough to destroy them. The Syrians would live to come back and oppress Israel another day.
What did Jesus sound like in prayer? When He interceded, He would pray with vehement cries and tears (Heb. 5:7). In other words, Jesus wasn't passive, restrained or apathetic in prayer. He was persistent and passionate! The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force (Matt. 11:12). Bondage breaking prayer is a violent prayer. It's a prayer that presses in to seize a kingdom promise. It's a prayer that keeps "striking the ground." We are being summoned to violent prayer. It's time for divine turnarounds.
The Gift of Discerning of Spirits
One of the most valuable gifts to those who pray is the Holy Spirit's gift of discerning of spirits. This gift enables you to distinguish between all spirits—divine, demonic and human. It is also a supernatural ability to discern the hidden motives of the heart so you can pray intelligently. This gift shows you what's in the dark so you won't stay in the dark. You cannot pray right until you have the right information.
The Holy Spirit's gift of discerning of spirits is being released in greater measures to the body of Christ. Keep in mind that this is a supernatural gift with a powerful expression and manifestation. It's going to elevate in expression to undergird a much deeper move of deliverance throughout the body of Christ and in the Earth. At the same time, God is raising up powerful armies of praying prophets and prophetic intercessors. They will be powerful discerners who prophesy with precision and supernaturally untangle people, cities and nations. Get ready for it. This gift is going to make a very strong showing in the body of Christ.
Our assignment is to pray relentlessly—even violently—for nations, but Satan will try to convince us to give up praying. How does he do that?
He provokes us to be offended at people and nations—because offended people stop praying.
He persuades us to believe bad things happening on the Earth must be a sign of the times, meaning a sign of Christ's return to Earth, and that therefore we should just accept it. If we think that way, we will fail to challenge patterns of destruction in prayer.
Satan also tries to convince us God is judging people and nations for their evil, that somehow they have it coming to them, in order to restrain us from praying. There is a day set aside for judgment (Acts 17:31), but today is not that day.
All of these ideas and more are thrown at us intercessors to distract us from our assignment—the redemption of nations and the salvation of mankind.
Jesus taught His disciples about prayer through a parable about a widow and an unjust judge (Luke 18:1–8). In the parable, the widow insists that she get justice from her adversary and pesters the unjust judge day and night about it. The judge gives in to her demands not because he cares but because he wants her to stop bothering him. Through this parable, Jesus is teaching us to pray and not ever give up. He also finishes His story with a question: "When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" (verse 8).
That is because faith looks like extreme persistence and becomes a prayer that doesn't quit.
Before there is a revival, there is an intercessor. God is releasing the praying prophets and prophetic intercessors to plow the spiritual ground, to pray the violent prayers, and to prepare the way for the harvesters. There is a coming sound of a violent prayer rumble. It's the sound to shake the nations free.
Jennifer Eivaz is a vibrant minister and international conference speaker who carries the wisdom and fire of the Holy Spirit. She presently serves as an executive pastor with Harvest Christian Center in Turlock, California, and is focused on raising up a passionate and effective prayer community that is tempered with love and hears the voice of God accurately. Jennifer loves the presence of God and is a prophetic voice to her church and to others. She is married to HCC Senior Pastor Ron Eivaz. She's a featured writer for several online publications, including the Elijah List and Charisma magazine. She's also written a book titled The Intercessor's Handbook.
For the original article, visit jennifereivazblog.com.
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