Transforming the Troubled Mind
into a Peaceful Mind
A TROUBLED MIND is fertile ground for the enemy to do his work. The Lord Jesus spoke clearly: . . .in the world we shall have tribulation. He followed this, however, with but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33). Through the grace and power of His triumph, we need never be overcome by the pressures and troubles of this life—nor the works of darkness—if we but receive the grace and power of His Kingdom.
THE LORD JESUS NEVER SHIELDED HIS DISCIPLES FROM THE IDEA THAT IN THE WORLD THEY WOULD FACE TRIBULATION..... He did, however, give them the assurance they could become overcomers.
DAY 1—Jesus encouraged us to be of good cheer when we face trouble.
John 16:32,33 Behold the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave Me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
· DEAR LORD, You have been so clear with us that we shall, indeed, have trouble while in this world. But I must admit, even small troubles have sometimes distressed me. But now I praise You! ALL the trouble I know is ready to press me into knowing You and our Father more intimately.
Day 2—Jesus has promised us peace; the Holy Spirit will make this real with us.
John 14:26,27 But the Comforter which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My Name. lt shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
·Oh, DEAR LORD, I am beginning to really hear this! You are helping me know day after day that peace can be mine and trouble need never rule my heart. I receive this promise from You and give myself to You to walk in its light. Thus, make me an ambassador of peace for Your Kingdom.
DAY 3—Jesus told His disciples they would suffer betrayal but they would he protected.
Luke 21:16-18 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for My Name’s sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
· DEAR LORD, sometimes it’s hard to hear all You have said to us. Please give me a right understanding. Open my mind so I can receive Your Words. Then settle them in me by Your Spirit. Let them be a strength to me and my family in our time of trouble.
DAY 4—When God’s Word takes root in us, we are strengthened to overcome trouble.
Mark 4:16,17 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground: who, when they have heard the Word, immediately receive it with gladness: and have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the Word’s sake, immediately they are offended.
Psalm 119:11 Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.· LORD, I see that just receiving Your Word sets me in line for affliction. Oh, let the Word be so strong in my heart and mind that the trouble I face each day will only make me stronger for Your Kingdom! By faith, I thank You for this present affliction.
DAY 5—Jesus told His disciples they would face trouble, but they could expect His enabling grace in it.
Luke 21:12-15 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts not to meditate before what ye shall answer: for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.· LORD, I praise You for preparing me for the day when I will face adversaries who hate me for Your Name’s sake. I believe Your wisdom and grace are working their way in my life even now. I believe I will be able to stand firm in the day of affliction.
PAUL SAW THE VALUE IN AFFLICTION. He taught his disciples that distress can help press us into the Kingdom.
DAY 6—Paul strengthened the disciples by teaching them they would face suffering.
Acts 14:21,22 And when they had preached the Gospel to that city and had taught many they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith and that we must through much tribulation (pressure) enter into the Kingdom of God.
·FATHER, thank You for sanctifying the trouble that has come upon us lately. I complained and became depressed over what happened, but You helped me repent so I could receive it all as a stroke from Your loving hand. I am coming to the place I can see Your work even in the darkest days. I receive this painful betrayal as a good thing in our lives. Oh, thank You, thank You, for giving us your enabling grace!
DAY 7—Paul saw the value in tribulation, thus he could bless God for it.
II Corinthians 1:3,4 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
· FATHER, help me learn from the pressure that is upon me today. Even now I can see Your mercy in it. I am growing while in this trouble and I will become a better minister of mercy and comfort to others. I confess Your Holy Spirit is helping me right now.
DAY 8—When affliction is upon us, if we allow it, it will press us into the Life of Jesus.
II Corinthians 4:8-11 We are troubled on even side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
·DEAR LORD, I thank You for my own weakness. It is a platform for Your grace and power. Thank you for the persecution. It is pressing me into Your bosom. Thank You for the death that stares me in the eye. It is making me see eternal life more clearly.
DAY 9—If we suffer with Christ, we can have the expectation of being glorified with Him.
Romans 8:16-18 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorifled together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
· FATHER, how little I have suffered with Your Son! I’ve sought after a life of ease, even while calling myself a Christian. Today I give up this inordinate love of self and give myself anew to the purpose You have for me in Your Kingdom, even if it calls for hardship and suffering. Oh, let Your grace prevail!
DAY 10—No adversary need terrify us; Christ has given it to us to suffer for His sake.
Philippians 1:28,29 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.
·DEAR LORD, I glorify You even while I live in the midst of adversity. These problems are actually causing me to learn more of Your salvation. I praise You for this time and I see Your hand moving in my behalf. What I thought was impossible is being cast aside. Oh! I am beholding a miracle taking place!
We need never fear affliction; it will make us better for the Kingdom—II Tim 2:10-13
DAY 11—In our spiritual warfare we bring our minds into obedience to Christ.
II Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
· FATHER GOD, I thank You for the victory that is becoming mine. lam learning to think in line with Your Kingdom. I am learning to keep my thoughts under control. I am learning not to give in to emotional reactions when things come against me. It’s all because of Your wonderful love and grace.
From David we learn to speak much of God’s Kingdom—Ps 145:1-21
DAY 12—Peter also saw the value in trials.
I Peter 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
·GRACIOUS LORD, how wealthy I am! This testing of my faith is causing me to find something more precious than gold. It is the faith, and the praise and honor and glory that even now is coming upon us as we anticipate Your appearing.
FROM DAVID WE GAIN GREAT HELP IN PRAYING THROUGH TROUBLES THAT COME UPON US. Take note that these following prayers from him come from the Psalms immediately following Psalm 2, the Covenant Psalm that provides foundation for the Kingdom of Christ. Thus the hatred that comes from the enemy.
DAY 13—Even when discouraged by those who know us, we can know the glory of God.
Psalm 3:1-3 LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! Many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
· FATHER, I don’t have much to encourage me—that is in the natural realm. Oh, but just in this time of waiting before You I am receiving encouragement! You are the shield that is protecting me. Your presence is helping me know Your glory. I am ready now to lift up my head and rejoice.
When we cry to Him, He hears us. Then we can rest in peace—Ps 3:4-8
DAY 14—The Lord will cause us to grow spiritually in our times of distress.
Psalm 4:1,8 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer...I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
· O LORD, distress is increasing in the land. It seems to be coming close upon my family and these others that I love so dearly. Oh, enlarge us in Your Kingdom! Cause us to know its triumph. Show us we can live under its protection and draw upon its resources.
Here we see David’s admonition to the sons of men to turn from their vanity—Ps 4:1-8
DAY 15—Confidence comes in a person who knows God’s Kingdom.
Psalm 5:2,11 Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King and my God: for unto Thee will I pray... But let all those that put their trust in Thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because Thou defendest them: let them also that Love Thy name be joyful in Thee.
· O LORD, I love Your Name. It is precious to me. Its very sound brings healing to my spirit. I worship and adore You. Your rule in my life is bringing me to new confidence even in the face of today’s pressures.
Those who despise God’s Kingdom face judgment; those who love it can expect His blessing—Ps 5:1-12
DAY 16—Those who learn to harass the enemy can see him put to shame.
Psalm 6:9,10 The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer. ...Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.
· LORD, the strong cry of my supplication has come before You time and again. Yet still there are spirits that harass my soul, especially when I am alone. But today, I praise You even in their ears. Let them be vexed. Let them be turned back. Let them be ashamed. LORD JESUS, I exalt Your Name!
Consider the prayer and deliverance of Jonah—Jonah 2:1-10
THE PROPHET DANIEL LEARNED THE VALUE OF STRONG SUPPLICATION WHEN IN A DESPERATE LAND. He withheld nothing as he confessed his sins and made strong cry unto the Lord. The Lord responded in a powerful way.
DAY 17—Daniel made confession as to why he and his people were in confusion.
Daniel 9:4a,5,6a,7a And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord... We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from Thy precepts and from Thy judgments: neither have we hearkened unto Thy servants the Prophets ... O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto Thee, but unto us confusion of faces...
· DEAR LORD, nothing of our sin is hid from You. Even after trusting You for our salvation, things grievous to Your Spirit—and to ours—have continued with us. We’re in confusion. Our minds are darkened. I am now ready to lay before You all that I am, and think, and do. Judge us. Heal us. Bring us out of our confusion into Your righteousness.
Consider the testimony of Moses before Israel—Deut 26:6-9
DAY 18—Daniel’s supplication embraced the leaders of the land.
Daniel 9:8-10 O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
· FATHER, our leaders are in confusion. They know not how to rightly govern us. Our hope is Your mercy and forgiveness. Please bring upon them a spirit of repentance. Grant them the mercy of Your presence as they gather in counsel. Help them lead us according the righteousness of Your decrees.
The mercy of the Lord is ready to restore His people and reveal His Kingdom—Ps 145:8-12
DAY 19—Daniel made supplication on behalf of God’s sanctuary.
Daniel 9:16,17 O Lord, according to all Thy righteousness, I beseech Thee, let Thine anger and Thy fury be turned away from Thy city Jerusalem, Thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and the people are become a reproach to all that are about us. Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Thy servant, and his supplications, and cause Thy face to shine upon Thy Sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake.
· O LORD, Jerusalem is under attack, even while much of the church is at ease. Bring us to understanding for this awesome hour. Bring all Your people to repentance. Let Your Holy Place become ready for Your dwelling. Bring to completion Your sanctification upon my life, my family, this congregation of believers.
Jesus taught that God is more pleased with repentance than self-righteousness—Lk 18:9-14
DAY 20—Daniel made his supplication based on the mercy of the Lord.
Daniel 9:18-19 O my God incline Thine ear, and hear; open Thine eyes and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by Thy Name: for we do not present our supplications before Thee for our righteousnesses but for Thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; Oh Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for Thine own sake, O my God: for Thy city and Thy people are called by Thy Name.
· O LORD, we’re not praying because we’re righteous, but because You are merciful. For the sake of Your Kingdom, please bring upon Your people a spirit of revelation, and repentance, and faith. Turn us from our dark ways so we will embrace the ways of Your Kingdom.
IN THE NEXT SERIES of “prayer starters” we will deal with each of the works of darkness we listed from Paul’s Epistles at the end of the accompanying article. We’ll have a powerful time seeing each one bound under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Kingdom In which He rules.
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