How To Avoid The Haunting Memories Of Your Past. By Timothy Baugh. May 7, 2019.

At Mark 5:27 we read of Jesus saying, “No man can enter into a strong man’s house, (body) and spoil (rob, steal) his goods, (valuables) except he will first bind the strong man; (whoever is strong of character) and then he will spoil his house.” (with my own insights added.) Therefore, Evil can not inter into us and affect us unless it first holds us bound and captivated. Then can it enter in and overcome us. Jesus said, No tempter can enter into anyone’s body that has a strong will, that stands up for that which is good, except that the tempter touch that person in those moments of self-pity for having turned from and given up his/her past addictions, compulsions, and obsessions. Then will the temptation of the previous memory make that person discouraged because things are now going against his/her desires and intentions, and his/her mind is overcome with regrets and loving self.   This does not need to be our ongoing experience as Christians. We become defeated when we take our eyes off of Jesus and focus them on ouselves. That “trip down Memory Lane” will land us in trouble most certainly. Justice will be waiting there, just outside of that opportunity to arrest us once again and punish us for our misdeed. Never are we beyond the need of prayer. Never will the Word of God planted in our minds and hearts fail us, unless we ignore its need in that moment. And mostly, never are we without the Spirit to direct, guide, and lead us, unless we prefer to walk in the flesh and towards the darkness of sin from our past. We are the “strong man” not because of our own strength and power. But, because we choose to surrender our wills to Jesus as our Master on a moment-by-moment basis. Thank God for that! Amen.    

YouVersion Devotional

YIELD: The Fourth Step in Effective Prayer
Psalm 37:4 provides us the “Y” in the acronym P-R-A-Y, the four elements to effective prayer we have been discussing over the last few devotionals.

Here is what Psalm 37:4 says,

Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Now the Hebrew word for delight in this verse literally means to become soft or pliable. This means that “delighting” in the Lord is assuming a yielded posture before God.

So the “Y” in P-R-A-Y stands for yield. The question is: How do you practice yielding to God when you pray? Yielding is when you stop talking, and you wait, listen, and seek to hear from God.

In my own practice of prayer, I will often bow before God and ask Him, “God, is there anything You want to say to me? Do You have any instructions for me? Is there anything You want me to change?”

Then I silently wait for Him to speak to me.

As you assume this posture of being yielded and waiting quietly before Him, you will be surprised at some of the things that come to your attention: “You need to spend more time with your daughter,” “Take your wife out on a date,” “Bake your neighbor a pie and build a bridge over which the gospel can travel,” “Spend more time praising Me,” “Show your gratitude and appreciation for those who have been helping you in your life.”

You will indeed hear from God if you ask Him to speak into your heart, and wait silently before Him.

That is the last element of effective prayer: praise, repent, ask, yield. Your prayers can indeed be effective if you commit to these four principles. That is how to P-R-A-Y.

  More from Bayless Conley 

YouVersion Devotional

The Conditions for Answered Prayer
Last time we talked about the “A” in the acronym P-R-A-Y, which is our way of understanding the steps in effective prayer. That “A” stands for ask, and I have come to believe that too many Christians don’t believe that God wants them to ask.

God wants you to ask. He really does. But there are some conditions He gives in order to answer your requests. In John chapters 14-16 we find a number of these conditions.

We need to remember that these are Jesus’ last hours with the disciples; and He wants them to understand how prayer really works. Over and over He emphasizes the need to ask, but His answers will be based on three conditions.

First, in John 14:13, Jesus says your request must glorify God,

“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”

Second, in John 15:7, He says your request must be consistent and in harmony with His Word,

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”

And finally, in John 16:23-24, Jesus sets the condition that your request bring you joy,

“And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”

Over and over, Jesus commands you to ask. But when you ask, make sure your request will glorify God, that it is consistent with His Word, and that it will bring you joy.