I’m really excited to share about prayer mapping because of how badly I did NOT want to go! I had about a dozen excuses of other things I could do instead, and the closer it came to the event, the more dread I felt. What I didn’t realize until that weekend was that the resistance I experienced was from the enemy and his desire to keep me away from freedom and truth. That’s how he works. He comes up with schemes that aim to keep us in the dark.
For the past couple of years, that darkness for me has been a painful situation in my life and a spirit of fear that has held me back in many ways. The week that led up to prayer mapping had been especially difficult, and in a moment of despair, I cried out, “God, I know you have a plan, but I really feel like the past two years have been a waste!” It was a prayer that I didn’t really expect God to answer, but my world was actually about to be rocked by this prayer during prayer mapping as I learned about the ways God interacts with each of us.
One of the most helpful things that I learned at prayer mapping was to pray specifically against any lies and strongholds that the enemy has been using against us by replacing them with the Truth and promises from God’s Word. Talking to God is how we deepen our relationship with him, and our faith grows as we see him answer our prayers. When we pray specifically, God shows us the incredible power he has in hearing us and intervening in a way that only he could. When we immerse ourselves in Scripture, that helps us know what to pray for and how to pray.
At prayer mapping Friday night, we prayed that God would reveal to us any of these lies we’d been believing or any other things that could be holding us captive. When I prayed that, I was surprised that God would answer that prayer so quickly and meaningfully! That’s what made the weekend so special to me–I learned a lot about prayer and spiritual warfare, but it wasn’t just notes to store away for later. I actually got to experience the way God responds to prayer even during the prayer mapping workshop itself!
Even though I had never met or talked to either of the speakers before, at the end of the seminar, one of the speakers started to pray over me. It came as such a shock to me that when she started praying, with no idea what I’d been struggling with or what I’d brought to God earlier that week, she asked that God would show me that the past two years of my life were not a waste, but to help me see that God was redeeming them. Hearing that prayer after just bringing that very frustration to God solidified beautifully that God hears every specific care that I bring to him and that he takes delight in responding. I needed that encouragement, and God knew that.
It didn’t stop there. The day before, I had asked God to expose lies I’d been believing, and as soon as I got home from prayer mapping, I had the clearest realization come from out of nowhere, “You keep believing that there is no way to not be so afraid all the time…that you’ll never really be free from fear. But that’s a lie.” And when opened my Bible, I saw this lie replaced with truth. Even though I’d seen this verse before, it finally clicked, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” After what I learned at prayer mapping, I realized what I needed to do: to renounce the lie, and instead replace it with the truth of God’s word and start praying that. I love that God showed me right away exactly what he wanted me to make my first prayer map for, and in the past two weeks since, I’ve gotten to watch my fear melt away little by little…Because God loves it when we come to him and ask him to do amazing things because of his care and promises for his children.