The Power of Prayer
Over this past weekend, my church, as we do on the last weekend of every January, had “Freedom Weekend.” It was the last weekend of how my church starts every new year. The first weekend is “Shredder Weekend.” On that weekend, we write down things from the previous year that we are leaving behind in the old year. The next weekend is “Vision Weekend,” and on that weekend we write down our visions for the new year.
On both of those weekends, after the speaker finishes their message, each person who has written down those things they are shredding or their visions, they go forward to pray with one of the pastors or church leaders. The power in this is that for many centuries during old testament times, covenants were made by two people cutting an animal in half and then walking through the two halves.
Of course, on Shredder Weekend, when a person goes down for prayer, they bring down their pieces of paper and put them into paper shredders. Then, the pastor or church leader prays for them. That next weekend, then, is the weekend when every person walks through into a new vision for their new year.
Then, there is faith weekend, which is a weekend to prepare the church for “Freedom Weekend.” During Freedom Weekend, which was this last weekend, after the speaker finishes their message, the speaking pastor leads the congregation in a prayer of healing and deliverance. Then, again, people go down for prayer with one of the pastors or church leaders.
On that weekend, when the people go forward, they do not bring any paper with them. Rather, the person praying for them asks them what they need prayer for, and that person confesses to them what they need deliverance from. The deliverance and healing experienced on Freedom Weekend is intense to say the least. Chains are broken, and people are set free.
Our Freedom in Christ
Yesterday morning, before church, when I was praying, God said to me, “You will not receive freedom from rather you will receive freedom to.” What He meant is that I am a free man by the blood of His son, as are all of His sons and daughters, but my healing yesterday was my freedom to experience all that He has for me. It was a time for every person in the church, in Christ, to experience Freedom to be whole, Freedom to be healed, Freedom to be delivered, Freedom to experience the wholeness of the new man or woman they are in Christ, and Freedom to lay hold of eternal life (I Tim. 6:12-19). It is possible for a person to be a Christian and to be free in Christ but to not realize, enjoy, or abide within that freedom.
Now, maybe you’re wondering what the significance of Freedom Weekend is. James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Each person who went forward confessed their sins and received prayer from a righteous person. Therefore, the powerful and effective prayers of that righteous person led to the healing of those people who received prayer. It is now the day by day decision of the person who received prayer and healing to continue to walk in that freedom.
One thing the pastor who spoke last night said was that even after we are delivered from our past, that does not mean we cannot go back to our past. Just as a person who is released from prison must make a moment by moment choice to not go back to those places, people, and habits that caused them to become imprisoned, we, as those who are free in Christ must not go back to those places, people, and habits that caused us to fall into bondage.
For the remainder of this year and beyond, I will continue to relentlessly pursue God, not that I may experience healing, for I am healed, but so that I may remember who I am in Christ and dwell within the healing I received by the blood of the Lamb.
I encourage you to run with me.
But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.