“The quality of our lives often depends on the quality of our habits” James Clear
The prayer and fellowship time Jesus enjoyed with His Father included declaring prophetic words from the Old Testament over His life. Case in point: Luke 4:18-19. A synagogue leader handed Him a scroll. Jesus didn’t simply read it out loud. He declared it boldly with authority that no one present had ever experienced. I have no doubt that Jesus had prayed and declared prophetic words written about Him. In Luke 4:18 Jesus unrolls a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Here’s the King James translation of that text:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
There is a powerful intersection we cross when we pray the Word and declare it over our lives. Jesus told His disciples that they could do the things that He did and even greater things! Read John 14:12 out loud to yourself and then read Luke 4:18-19. How do we get our faith to line up with Jesus’ bold declaration in John 14:12 and live out Luke 4:18-19? Dare we deny these verses or believe them. If we believe them, should we pray them? And if we pray them, should we also declare them out loud and act on them? This set of devotions are entitled “Lordship Habits”. Praying the Word of God is only one of four “habits”. We come to this fourth habit by guarding our heart and by renewing our mind. Why? Because with a guarded heart and a renewed mind, we pray differently and we pray with more authority.
This is where prayer from a humble believer reaches the authentic level Jesus expected. Here we actually do what He said we could do. It takes effectual prayer evolving into a bold and faith-filled declaration. Without first praying God’s Word concerning what He commissioned us to do, we will never declare it!
Jesus prayed and declared the Word over Himself. Then He acted! The result was that people heard Him speak with authority and power that religious leaders lacked. Their faith came to life. Multitudes chased Him down for healing and deliverance. He recognized their faith and responded. His depth of prayer and fellowship with His Heavenly Father was not just busy work. He learned. He grew. He acted. So, can we!
For example, several years ago our son PJ was accidently stabbed. He was preparing with the U. S. Army to be deployed to the Iraq War. Soldiers in his barracks were on a break. For fun they began to throw knives around. PJ was knapping. One knife ricocheted off a target, sailed through the air and went right though PJ’s chest. He awoke and pulled the knife out! Not a good thing! When I got word of the accident, Psalm 91 immediately came to my mind. Verses 14-16 became my prayer and my declaration:
Because he loves me, says the Lord, I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.
I not only prayed these scriptures over him, but I also declared them. It was a miracle that PJ recovered. Praying the Word should prompt us to declare the Word as well. When we do both, we are more prone to believe and act on that Word. When praying and declaring the Word becomes habit, miracles result!