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Christy Johnston: "Strike the Ground: The Power of Fearless Prayer"


Christy Johnston
Oct 30, 2020

From the Desk of Steve Shultz:

Steve ShultzPraying boldly or without fear used to be (or it felt) nearly impossible for me to do.

I was controlled by both debilitating fear and by a lack of confidence in both my prayers and God's faithfulness.

I'm happy to say that I've made a lot of progress in this area...but that's after about 40 years of practice.

As you read this article, please know that it's BOLD FAITH, CONFIDENT FAITH, and TRUST-FILLED FAITH that moves the Hand of God and that sends the devil fleeing.

Grab a cup of coffee and work your way through this word of the Lord. It's going to help you, I promise. (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)

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"Vision is the power that sustains. Whatever we keep in front of our eyes is what will determine our outcome!" ‚ÄďJames W. Goll, The Seer

Have you ever prayed over a situation that looks outwardly impossible, and no matter how much you pray it continues to visibly remain seemingly immovable? God calls us to have a type of faith that defiantly resists impossibilities. A type of bold, offensive faith that stares down the laws of what physically may appear immovable and command it to bow to His name. It's this kind of faith that pleases Him. Hebrews 11:6 tells us, "And without faith living within us it would be impossible to please God. For we come to God in faith knowing that He is real and that He rewards the faith of those who give all their passion and strength into seeking Him."

Abraham needed faith to seize the impossible promise of his child in his old age. Noah needed faith to build the ark despite the ongoing echoes of mockery from those all around him. David needed faith to take down the giant when all the rest of the people of Israel were too afraid to confront him. Daniel needed faith to continue worshiping God despite the threat of being thrown in the lions' den. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego needed faith to trust God as they refused to bow down to the idol—their faith carried them into, through, and out of the fire.

Unfortunately, all too many give up in this process of what I like to call "striking the ground." It is the process of persistent, defiant prayer when all seems hopeless, impossible, and immovable.

When God calls us to a mission of prayer over a situation, we often start out excited, with all guns blazing and ready to cast this mountain into the sea. However, after multiple strikes and no obvious change, we far too quickly give up. What many don't realize is releasing prophetic prayer is a deployment. A period of time when you have been moved into a position to contend and call down the Kingdom of God into the situation and region where you have been placed.

As you have read [in this book], I have had many moments of instant breakthroughs, but there are other assignments that I have been deployed to pray into that I am still contending for to this day. A calling to prophetic prayer is not an overnight, microwave, magic potion; it is the lifestyle of a servant-soldier, a laid-down lover of the King who has said in his or her heart, "I will lay my life down for this." It is the daily choice to surrender your will to His, and in doing so He uses your life as an arrow to strike and strike again at the stubborn rocks of resistance. Your life becomes the very tool that breaks the enemy into pieces, but you have to be willing to be in it for both the short and the long haul, knowing that His grace will sustain you.

At the time of writing this, we have just returned to Australia from a four-week-long ministry trip in the United States with our two girls in tow. Travel, ministry, and parenting combined, while simultaneously orchestrating online courses, is no easy task, so allow me to just say from the outset that I am not typically one who has this magical ability to escape the snares of jet lag. Maybe it's because of how much we do, but instead of bouncing back like an energizer bunny, jet lag often lulls me into its sleepy trance. It usually takes me a number of days to emerge out of its clutches where I am able to feel like a normal human being again. I also tend to dream nightly, but when jet lag hits, I neither dream nor remember where I am or who I am and find that my sleep is more like a coma than an ordinary night's rest.

Our first night arriving back was oddly different though. Where I usually hit the pillow like a sack of concrete, this night my mind was a buzzing hive of thoughts.

Nate and I are currently on the verge of crossing into a long-awaited promise of moving to the United States, a promise that God gave us ten years ago, and we are in the final process of coming back to Australia to tie up all the details with the plan to return permanently to the United States within a few months. As I fell asleep early one afternoon, I felt a sense of fear sweep over me with the thoughts racing through my mind, "What if it all doesn't work out? What if the home you found and fell in love with doesn't work out? What if your visas don't go through like you think they will?"

Right at that moment, I knew I had a decision to make, even in the midst of my jet lagged state of mind. All of these "what ifs" were trying to entice my authority into submissive defeat.

The Battering Ram

"Holy Spirit, what do You say about this?" I asked Him wearily. I then heard His simple but clear reply, "Send in the battering ram." I shot up straight in bed in surprise. What an odd thought—a battering ram. I vaguely understood what He was saying and simply replied, "Okay, Lord, whatever You say," and in my tiredness I fell back onto my pillow and went straight to sleep.

All night long I dreamt of those words as the Holy Spirit whispered them directly into my ear, "Send in the battering ram." This in itself was unusual as I rarely dream when I am this tired. So when I woke up at 3 AM the following morning (thank you jet lag), it was all I could think about. "The battering ram."

A quick Google search revealed its definition in Merriam-Webster's dictionary: "a military siege engine consisting of a large wooden beam with a head of iron used in ancient times to beat down the walls of a besieged place." I wrote this in a prophetic word after receiving further revelation about the battering ram:

You're likely familiar with the picture of a battering ram if you've ever watched a war movie of any kind. It's a large beam-like structure with a pointed head, generally made of iron, hinged upon a pendulum device and it is used by an invading army to break down a wall or door. The invading army will align their battering ram with the entrance of the fortified structure that they want to break into, and they will begin pulling back the beam which will swing forward with force into the target. They will repeat this until, finally, the fortified door breaks down. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

I find it amazing that the head of the battering ram is generally made out of iron. In Psalm 2:9 it speaks of Jesus wielding a rod of iron saying, "And you will shepherd them with unlimited authority, crushing their rebellion as an iron rod smashes jars of clay!" Did you catch that? Iron biblically represents your authority in Christ. Jesus is the battering ram who breaks through the enemy's rebellion.

In Genesis 22:13, Abraham discovered a ram caught in the thicket and used the ram as a sacrifice in place of his son. The ram prophetically points to Jesus, the battering ram stuck in the thicket on our behalf. He has gone before you and made a way for you into your promised land. You can know with confidence today that you are not stuck, for He was stuck for you. His Blood has become that iron head of a weapon that will break down any obstacle and breach that stands between you and your promise.

Did you catch that? Iron biblically represents your authority. The Hebrew word for "rod" in this Scripture is the word shebet, which points to a scepter or a mark of authority (Strong's, H7626). What is the rebellion this Scripture is speaking of though? It is the rebellion of the enemy. Anything that you see that does not line up with the Word of God and the finished work of the Cross is the work of the rebellion of the enemy.

It always grieves my heart when I hear people say that they have received an illness from God so that He can teach them something in it. Jesus never gave sickness; He always healed people of their illnesses. If you don't see it in Jesus and if you don't see it in the finished work of the Cross, then you can know for sure that it is the workings of rebellion from the enemy.

This can apply to every area of our lives, both personally and to nations. If there is terror ruling and reigning over a nation, you can know for certain that you have been given the authority of Christ to cast it out (see 1 John 4:17). You have His authority to smash any rebellion and command it to align with His will. The key is found in consistency.

The battering ram was modeled after a male sheep, a ram that is fighting his opponent for territory. The ram will hit his opponent repetitively until his contender either backs down or dies. You and I need to have that same resilience and steadfastness as the battering ram—to look at the door of impossibility and smash it over and over with Word of God.

I believe we are the generation that was prophesied about in Psalm 24:6: "Such is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face, God of Jacob" (NIV). We are the generation that will see a mighty outpouring sweep across the earth, not because we are lying on our backs passively but because we are the likeness of Jesus, the battering ram of Heaven, who does not back down. We are the generation that refuses to give up and we are taking back territory that has long been in the enemy's clutches. An outpouring of His glory will come by way of our contending, not by our works but by our fevered passion to see our King glorified.

We need to look at the impossibilities that we face all around us and hold up our siege engine of promise and decree what He has spoken, striking it again and again until we see the Word smash the impossibilities like a jar of clay.

The Power of "Continue"

In Revelation 2, Jesus sends a letter to each of the churches. His letter to the church named Thyatira is particularly interesting. Thyatira means "continual sacrifice." The context of Jesus' letter to this particular church gives us greater understanding of this meaning and how it adds depth to the battering ram. Jesus talks to the church of Thyatira about avoiding the practices of Jezebel.

If you have been around church circles long enough, you will know that Jezebel is a commonly used name. Interestingly, however, many within the Church in our day and age may know of her name but are misconceived about the reality of what and who she is. There are common misconceptions that women teachers or women prophets are operating in the spirit of Jezebel or that every woman who walks in any kind of authority has this trait.

Let's clear something up. Jezebel is not in the form of a human being in our present time; she is a demonic principality—though humans may indeed be possessed by her. Scripture does not tell us that all women are therefore of Jezebel. It is a spirit of this age and it is not difficult to see. Jezebel is a principality of seduction. She seduces by means of sexuality, unauthorized authority, distraction, confusion, mockery, and sacrifice. We see this principality is prevalent in today's society where generations are obsessed with body image, sexuality, sexual identity, feminism, distraction, confusion, mockery of Jesus, and even through the common child sacrificial practices of abortion. (Photo via Unsplash)

How much of this has been tolerated by the Church as a whole? How long have we stood off to the side, afraid to confront what is right in front of our eyes? We have chosen tolerance as acceptance, and we must decide to change that decision. We must decide to take back the reins of society through our God-given authority and remove the ranks of this principality's unauthorized authority. We must take back what rightfully belongs to us as inherent sons and daughters of the King. Yes, we are to do it in love, but love should never be translated as tolerance.

I wonder, how long have we been lulled into a state of "modernism" that we have tolerated the ways of Jezebel in our lives and nations without even realizing it? Much like jet lag, we have grown weary and exhausted in our efforts of well-doing, and just like those simple but sneaky "what ifs" that tried to gain my agreement, many have made a transaction of agreement with an inferior truth. Through our agreement with a simple but destructive lie, we have handed the rights of a generation to Jezebel's control.

In our tired, exhausted, and distracted states, far too many of us have allowed the poisonous wisdom of the world to pollute our beliefs of truth like a cancer. We have believed the lie that acceptance and tolerance is love, and in doing so it has disarmed our authority. What we have failed to recognize is our God-given authority isn't just for ourselves and our own benefit; it is for the people of the earth.

I believe that Jesus' words to the church of Thyatira are indeed speaking to the modern-day Church that has largely tolerated Jezebel. We have lost sight of what rightfully belongs to us and to the Kingdom of God, and by tolerance we have handed over the scepter of iron to an inferior and illegal seductress. This is important to understand, because if we allow these beliefs to continue to seduce us we will forget what we are actually fighting for and we will turn into a tolerating lamb rather than a battering ram. This doesn't mean we batter down people. We batter down the enemy who is holding this world in his unworthy grip.

It's time to take back what was rightfully given into our hands—the discipling of nations. We have tolerated the beliefs of the world for far too long, which has essentially disarmed our authority in Christ and moved us into passivity rather than activity.

Read carefully the words of Jesus to Thyatira:

"Cling tightly to all that you have until I appear. To everyone who is victorious and continues to do My works to the very end I will give you authority over the nations to shepherd them with a royal scepter. And the rebellious will be shattered as clay pots—even as I also received authority from the presence of My Father. I will give the morning star to the one who experiences victory. (Revelation 2:25-28)

Our God-given authority was not given into our hands so that we would march around in prideful arrogance like a dictator, but it was given that we might serve the earth as dispensers of His glory, that all may see and know Him through us. Notice Jesus said, "Cling tightly." Just like the battering ram, we are to hold tightly to the promises He has given us, both personally and on a larger scale.

Then it says, "To everyone who is victorious and continues to do My works to the very end I will give you authority over the nations." That word continues is where many lose sight. We fail to continue in truth. We fail when we [don't] continue to keep the promise before our eyes. We fail when we [don't] continue in persistence to see what He has promised in the supernatural eventuate in the natural. However, we find victory over this principality, and every other demonic principality in Hell, when we continue.

It is amazing that Thyatira means "continual sacrifice." It tells me that our ability to continue in prayer becomes like a sacrifice on the altar of worship to our King. It pleases Him when we continue.

The Power of "Resist"

James 4:7 puts it simply like this: "So then, surrender to God. Stand up to the devil and resist him and he will turn and run away from you."

The Greek word used for "resist" here is the word anthistemi. It is a compound word where anti means "to oppose/against" and histemi means to "take a complete stand against, a 180-degree, contrary position" (Strong's, G436). To establish one's position publicly by conspicuously "holding one's ground," refusing to be moved ("pushed back"). It also means to oppose fully, to forcefully declare one's personal conviction where they unswervingly stand, to keep one's possession, ardently withstand without giving up (letting go). It was also a military term in classical Greek meaning "to strongly resist an opponent."

I find it intriguing that one of the definitions for this word means to "establish publicly by conspicuously holding one's ground," which is ironic if we bring into consideration the principality of Jezebel, which causes the Church to run and hide from confrontation rather than directly opposing her. I'm not just referring to Jezebel either, but in this day and age what we do in secret will be displayed in public.

We can no longer passively oppose issues like abortion, but we must be confronting these issues publicly and boldly. I am not suggesting to do this without wisdom, but when we apply all of the principles I have been showing you, we resist satan with the solutions of Heaven, and we do so with a strong stance to not give up until we see his walls of fortification fall. (Photo via Pxfuel)

We should be holding a contrary position to the world, not one that agrees with it. We can love the world without agreeing with it. It is when we have this stance of direct opposition to satan, refusing to let up or let go, that we will cause him and his minions like Jezebel to flee.

It is a military stance where we grab hold of what the Word of God says about a matter and hammer satan with it. We are not those who back down; we are those who charge forward unafraid. This is our day to seize. I'm not suggesting we run into a situation without the solution of Heaven first, but I am suggesting that when you have that solution, use it and do not let go of it until you see something break. Like a piece of pottery smashing on the ground, the places that have been long held in the enemy's grasp will shatter in a moment when you resist his ploys with forceful conviction.

I am here to tell you today that you have the perseverance to continue, like the battering ram, to strike upon the promises of God for your life, your home, your family, and your nation. You have the perseverance that Jesus is speaking of here and you will be of those who will see the victory and release the prophetic solutions of Heaven into the earth.

The continual sacrifice of choosing to live in the place of seeing God's promises in the spirit before seeing them in the natural is what releases the iron scepter of your authority. Jesus is the battering ram of your authority, and it is He who smashes into pieces every trace of impossibility and rebellion in your life and in the earth.

"'Is not My Word like fire,' says the Lord, 'and like iron that breaks a rock in pieces?'" (Jeremiah 23:29 NLV)

Strike Not Once or Twice

In case you're not familiar with the term strike the ground and where it came from, I want to further illustrate the picture of persistent prayer through this amazing story found in 2 Kings 13:18-19:

"Now Elisha had been suffering from the illness from which he died. Jehoash king of Israel went down to see him and wept over him. 'My father! My father!' he cried. 'The chariots and horsemen of Israel!'

"Elisha said, 'Get a bow and some arrows,' and he did so. 'Take the bow in your hands,' he said to the king of Israel. When he had taken it, Elisha put his hands on the king's hands.

"'Open the east window,' he said, and he opened it. 'Shoot!' Elisha said, and he shot. 'The Lord's arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Aram!' Elisha declared. 'You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek.'

"Then he said, 'Take the arrows,' and the king took them. Elisha told him, 'Strike the ground.' He struck it three times and stopped. The man of God was angry with him and said, 'You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times.'" (2 Kings 13:14-19 NIV)

I want to give you some context for Jeohash, the King of Israel in this story. In verse 24 of this same chapter, the writer tells us that "He did evil in the eyes of the Lord and did not turn away from any of the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit; he continued in them" (NIV).

Why is this relevant? Well, first, Jeroboam was accountable for introducing more idol worship in Israel, and it tells us that Jehoash continued in that idol worship, among other things. From this information alone, we know that Jehoash's heart was not in a position of faith but rebellion when he came before Elisha. He was overcome with fear and trembling because of the armies that were coming up against him.

I always wondered though—knowing this, why did Elisha become angry with Jehoash when he didn't strike the ground more than three times? Elisha was never specific with him as to how many times he should have struck, so why was he angry? Then I realized—it is simply because Jehoash was not moving in faith. His heart was in a position of fear and it disabled the mission of prayer. (Photo via Needpix)

Verse 16 gives us further insight into the power of prophetic prayer: "'Take the bow in your hands,' he said to the king of Israel. When he had taken it, Elisha put his hands on the king's hands" (NIV).

I love this verse. It's a beautiful picture of Jesus doing as Elisha did and placing His hands upon ours to strengthen us as we strike in prayer. He adds His strength to our weakness. It's as though He is saying to you and me in this verse, "Hey, you're not alone. I'm with you. I'm holding you and steadying you, though you may feel scared or terrified at what is before you—just remember, it is by My strength and power that your victory comes. Simply trust Me."

Don't be like Jehoash and partner with fear, but rather partner with faith and keep striking. When we continue to strike in prayer, like the battering ram, regardless of whether we see immediate change or not, we will see the victory.

Bold Faith

If faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, it is this kind of defiant faith that causes us to seize the promises we have been waiting for over our own lives, the lives of our families, our cities, and nations. Let me warn you, though, bold faith offends those who do not dare to believe. Bold faith interrupts their status quo and confronts their own beliefs of what they thought was acceptable. Bold faith attracts ridicule. But if you will continue, as the greats of our faith did, despite every opposition and mockery that may come your way, you will see the answer.

Hebrews 11 is such an amazing chapter on this topic. I encourage you to read this chapter on your own, but for now, I want to pull on some of its most profound verses. It tells us:

"Now faith brings our hopes into reality and becomes the foundation needed to acquire the things we long for. It is all the evidence required to prove what is still unseen. This testimony of faith is what previous generations were commended for. Faith empowers us to see that the universe was created and beautifully coordinated by the power of God's words! He spoke and the invisible realm gave birth to all that is seen." (Hebrews 11:1-3)

Prophetic prayer is no more than bold faith in action—by prophesying the answers and solutions of God's heart, we are bringing our hopes (and His) into reality.

Finally, again, this is reiterated in the following verses:

"Through faith's power they conquered kingdoms and established true justice. Their faith fastened onto their promises and pulled them into reality!...Faith sparked courage within them and they became mighty warriors in battle, pulling armies from another realm into battle array. Faith-filled women saw their dead children raised in resurrection power..." (Hebrews 11:33-35).

I want you to truly allow those words to rest in your spirit.

• "Through faith's power they conquered kingdoms and established true justice."

• "Their faith fastened onto their promises and pulled them into reality!"

• "They became mighty warriors in battle."

• "Pulling armies from another realm into battle array."

• "Faith-filled women saw their dead children raised in resurrection power."

Your persistence to stand in faith and release the prophetic decrees of Heaven is far more powerful than you realize. Your faith is what conquers the kingdoms of this earth (the enemy); your faith is what pulls the promises and solutions of God into reality. Your faith is what releases the armies of Heaven into battle array—they do the fighting, and you go down in the history books of eternity as a mighty warrior, all because you stood your ground. Faith raises the dead; faith interjects the natural realm and commands it to bow at the name of Jesus. Faith is a defiant act. But it is what brings Heaven's promises into the earth.

Prophetic Solution Key

Pray with persistent faith.

What promises have you let go of that God is reminding you to pick up again and stand in defiant, bold, resilient faith with? Start striking the ground again. Remind yourself what God has spoken, what promises He has given you personally and governmentally—and begin waging war with your prophecies again.

(To purchase Christy Johnston's recent book, "Releasing Prophetic Solutions: Praying Heaven's Promises Over Your Home, Family, and Nation," click here for Book and here for E-book.)

Whatever you do, don't miss another ELIJAH LIST email! Subscribe at this link: https://elijahlist.com/subscribe.

(Used by permission via Destiny Image)

Christy Johnston
Everyday Revivalists

Email: click here
Website: www.nateandchristy.co

Christy Johnston was born and raised in Australia. After living the majority of her life plagued with insecurity and fear, she came to learn the power of her identity in Christ. She now lives with the mandate to breathe fresh hope and life into God's sons and daughters through her passion of writing, uncovering the truths of living in grace and freedom through our identity in Christ. Nate and Christy have two daughters, Charlotte and Sophie, and currently live on the Gold Coast in Australia. She is the author: "Releasing Prophetic Solutions: Praying Heaven's Promises Over Your Home, Family, and Nation" - click here for Book and here for E-book.

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