Wisdom4Today with Dr. Mike
All of us go through times in our life when it seems like nothing goes right. It may be something as basic as problems at our jobs, rude drivers, out of control kids, or conflicts with our spouse or others. On the other hand, it could be the loss of a loved one, lingering trauma from abuse, or bad news from the doctor. No matter what the issue, God has provided a way for us to claim victory over life issues through firestorm prayer.
What is firestorm prayer and what used for?
Firestorm prayer is the type of prayer that is used when you are in the middle of a life issue firestorm. A life issue firestorm is a life issue that negatively consumes your very being. It could range from continual thoughts and worries about a life issue or it could be so mentally overwhelming or shocking that you can’t even speak or move. In other words, you feel like you are in the middle of a firestorm with nowhere to go and no idea what to do.
Where do life issue firestorms come from?
The two major sources of life issue firestorms are as follows:
1. Living in a world affected by sin
The Bible tells us that all of us are sinners (Romans 3:10-23). This is because when Eve and Adam sinned in the garden, the whole world, not just humans, became infected and suffer from the effects of sin (Romans 5:12-19; Romans 8:20-23). This infection results in our nature constantly being in direct rebellion against God (Ephesians 2:2-3).
A world infected by sin also prevents us from enjoying the blessing of living in an environment like Adam and Eve lived in before they sinned. We have to work and sweat for our food, our bodies suffer the effect of age and we die, and we are constantly having to struggle against sin (Genesis 3:9-24).
This rebellion against God results in humanity making choices that are harmful to all of creation. These choices result in wars, sexual abuse, child abuse, robberies, unfaithfulness, perversion, harmful pollution, exploitation, jealousy, religious heresy, wickedness, gossip, and a host of other things (Romans 7:23; Galatians 5:16-21) .
2. Living a life affected by our poor choices
Since we are all sinners, we are tempted by our own lusts to do things that are sinful (James 1:13-15; 1 John 2:15-16). These sinful choices not only harms us, but also harm others (Proverbs 13:15). This is because God does not directly bless those who sin and curses those who do (Deuteronomy 11:26-28; Proverbs 3:3; Proverbs 28:27; Galatians 3:10).
As a believer, when we sin, we are literally mocking God and can expect that God will discipline us because He loves us. If we sow seeds of corrupted sinful behavior we will suffer bad consequences. Likewise, if we sow seeds of Holy Spirit led behavior we will reap the good consequences of God’s blessing (Galatians 6:7-8).
Why does God allow us to go through life issue firestorms?
No matter if we are the cause of our firestorm or the victim of a firestorm that is caused by others or a fallen world, God allows us to go through firestorms of life for a reason. The reason can be found in Scripture as follows:
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:28-31)
Some may immediately think, “Oh, here we go again, it is for God’s purpose.” Before we look at the end result, we have to look at the process and the context of this passage. The context of this passage is found in verses preceding these verses:
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27)
The context of the previous passage is that we will go through times when we are dealing with life issues (firestorms) and we do not know where to even start when praying. Despite our inability to even come up with the words to say, the Holy Spirit is communicating with whomever it is that searches our hearts. That person is Jesus Christ, the Word of God, according to Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 4:12-13.
In addition to the Holy Spirit communicating with the Son, the Son makes intersession with the Father according to the will God (1 Timothy 2:15; Romans 8:27). The amazing thing is that all of this holy trinity communication takes place in a language that cannot be spoken by humans while we stand there speechless about what to even pray for! Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift (2 Corinthians 9:16)!
We can take comfort that when we do not know what to do, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are already putting a plan in motion to address the concerns on our heart. The question is, do we seek God’s help in the matter and trust that what He will work it out the way God wants it to work? Do we trust that God has a reason for how He is going to answers the wordless prayer of our heart?
We may be not sure of the reason, but the answer is clear. It is because the Father wants us to be conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). Being conformed to the image of His Son means God is allowing us to go through some of the things that Jesus went through to be stronger in seeking the will of the Father (Hebrews 2:10). However, none of us will fully go through what Jesus did, yet the Father will rebuke us, chastise us, and inspire us to seek a deeper faith with Jesus, the Word of God, who authors and finishes our faith and makes us strong (Hebrews 12).
How does growing stronger in Christ to have victory work?
We see the answer in Scripture as follows:
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:1-6)
We see from these verses that because we are saved we have peace with God that allows us to have access to His Spirit, His power, and His grace. Knowing this, we see life’s issues not as victims, but as victors because God is working in our lives.
As we go through the life issue we have to learn patience because most issues do not get resolved overnight, or never in some cases. As we go through the issue, we soon begin to get experience. As our experience grows over time, we learn that God does get us through it. As we experience God getting us through it, we start to get hope.
We get hope because our experience teaches us that since God got us through it this far, He will continue to get us through it. We learn that He will give us the solutions and the peace of mind that comes with victory that is a result of bigger and bigger measures of grace and faith. This hope then makes us not ashamed, (shy, fearful, or reserved) about stepping out and doing great things for God not as victims, but as victors!
How do we pray a firestorm prayer?
Since we understand God’s plan and His part in all the issues we experience in life, we have to know that we have a part to do. We do not just sit around sulking and moping and doing nothing. We see in Scripture the steps in praying a firestorm prayer:
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1:2-8)
We learn from this passage that, as we learned in Romans 5:1-6, that God does a work in us beginning with patience. This tells us that the first step we must take is to realize that God is already working to grow us and deliver us through the life issue and we have a part to do.
Second, we see that we are to ask God for wisdom. This helps to get our mind focused on the fact that God has an answer even if we do not. We also see that when God gives us wisdom, He gives us all that we need and does not upbraid the answer. This means that the answer is not woven in a complex riddle of things to do like a braid of hair that is carefully woven and cannot be easily combed. It means that God will give us a simple answer.
Third, we see that we must ask in faith without wavering. This means that we must believe that God’s answer and what he will do will work as much as we do that He saved us. This requires a complete trust, not a wavering trust. A trust like the trust we have that goes to the depth of saving our soul (Ephesians 3:14-21; Colossians 1:21-29; Hebrews 10:30).
Fourth, we must remember that when our mind is not stayed on Christ, we become double minded and cannot expect that God will give us victory. This verse presents a picture of a mind that shifts back and forth between trusting and not trusting God to handle the issue much like the in and out motion of waves on a beach that make it difficult to stand. Double-minded thinking leaves the person unstable and without the power to have victory. We must let God handle it in His time and in His way without trying to wrestle a solution on our terms.
Once we have these things in mind, we can begin to pray. We see how to do this in Philippians 4:4-9 as follows:
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. (Philippians 4:4-9)
First, we see that we are told to rejoice in the Lord all the time and let our moderation be known to all men because the Lord is at hand. When the Holy Spirit is in us, He is at hand and we can live a life with stability and self-control. This enables us to rejoice all the time because He is always with us and will never leave us (Hebrews 13:5-6). This reinforces what we have learned in Romans 5:3-5 and James 1:2-4.
When we find ourselves in a situation, where our thoughts, behaviors, and emotions are not in keeping with the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and we are caught up in the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21), we must stop what we are doing and pray immediately.
If we are fighting with our spouse, stop and pray together and for each other. If we are having conflict with a child, stop and pray. No matter what it is, especially if we find ourselves feeling frustrated, or angry, or at the end of our rope, when we think there is no way out of what we are experiencing, Stop and PRAY!
Second, when we pray, remember that we are told to be careful for nothing. This literally means that nothing should make us anxious. We should continue to the third step and submit our requests to God in thankful prayer along with a request for God to mold our thinking.
When we do this, God give us peace and protects our heart and mind through the power of the Holy Spirit. However, in order to keep that peace and protection over our mind, we must continue to the fourth step and think about things that are true, honest, just, pure and so on. This is where meditating on Bible verses that teach things that are true, honest, just, etc., and memorizing them as part of our daily Bible study are so important. Without doing this, we are left with nothing to meditate upon.
Finally, we must reinforce to our self that when we do the things that we have learned in dealing with firestorm life issues, God will give us peace (2 Timothy 1:7). And the peace that God gives us truly is beyond all understanding because it is supernatural in wisdom and power (1 John 4:4; 1 John5:9).
When we are overcome with life issues, God has provided for us a way to have victory and retain our sanity so that we can continue to be productive in life. It begins by recognizing that God protects the hearts and minds of His children by supernaturally putting plans in motion to grow us to be stronger and to protect us. However, He requires that we take an active part by studying His Word and believing it as much as we trust Him for salvation.
When struggling with the firestorms of life or if we want protection from the same, we must actively pray, trusting that God will guard our hearts and minds. When we pray and meditate upon His Word, He strengthens us and conforms us a little bit more to by like His Son. When we do these things, we not only have victory over the firestorms of life, we glorify God.
Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, King James Version