Woman praying

Not all prayer is the same. Intellectually we know that God hears every prayer, but it sure seems some prayers just “work” better than others. I learned through hard experience what the most powerful prayer can do, and that changed everything.

The Bible assures us that God hears us if we ask according to his will (1 John 5:14). And we know He desires our good. It’s also possible to ask “with wrong motives” (James 4:3), or for our prayers to be hindered (1 Peter 3:7). The disciples could see how vital prayer was to Jesus, and asked Him to teach them to pray the same (Luke 11:1). Some prayer is truly effective and accomplishes much (James 5:16).

So if all prayers are not the same, what makes an effective prayer?

As a young professional I went through a period of severe distress that rendered me nearly unable to function. My physical and psychological symptoms went on for some years in spite of professional help. I looked good on the outside, but inside I was a mess. I spent long hours crying, or sometimes literally curled up on the floor.

Yes, I knew God had the answer, but I wasn’t finding it. I kept trying this and that, searching and praying for relief. I wondered if I was someone who was destined to live broken. While I’d always gone to church, coming to know Jesus personally during that time began to make a difference, but my progress was still miniscule.

Learning the Most Powerful Prayer

During some of my darkest days a Christian friend helped me understand what it meant to plead the blood of Jesus. At first I struggled to even say the words “I plead the blood of Jesus.” Doing so seemed strange, weird. But I was desperate.

As I began pleading the blood of Jesus over my own life on a daily basis things changed rapidly. My symptoms both physical and emotional dramatically improved. I could hardly believe the amazing freedom I was experiencing. Thank You, Lord! I felt like the lame man Peter and John healed at the temple gate, walking and leaping and praising God.

But that’s only chapter one of the story. God had a lot of growing up of me to do, and I was appreciating the process. After several months of true joy and growth I thought, “I’m incredibly grateful for the freedom God has brought me. That’s what pleading the blood of Jesus has made available! But I’m better now, and I don’t have to do that anymore.”

How wrong I was!

Within a matter of weeks my symptoms began to return. The psychological distress and dysfunction started to take over my life again. I became terrified that I would end up in the same mess I had just escaped not that long before.

I will never forget the morning in the shower when the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart. It was not an audible voice, but it was as clear as if it had been. His words were a knife and a lightbulb to my heart all at the same time; “You are not protected. You stopped pleading the blood of Jesus.”

And twenty years later I still plead the blood of Jesus. Out loud. Every day. No matter what. It’s part of my life with God every single day. And my symptoms have never returned. Even with the painful circumstances surrounding the death of my husband last year I did not fall back into that pit.

And I know you can experience that kind of freedom and power too.

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Why Plead the Blood of Jesus?

When Moses was about to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, God instructed them to take the blood of a lamb and physically apply it to the door of their homes. That blood signified their membership in God’s company and protected them from the destroying angel who came to kill every first-born (Exod. 12:3–13). They were to remember that day forever in the Passover celebration. It also foreshadowed Jesus’s suffering and death through which we would be delivered.

Revelation makes it clear: “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Rev. 12:11). There is no other way to overcome Satan and his kingdom!

The Israelites would not be protected unless they applied the blood of the lamb to the door of their homes. And you and I cannot be protected unless we apply the blood of Jesus, the true Passover Lamb, to our lives. Pleading the blood of Jesus prevents the enemy from the access to your life he would otherwise have. Satan and his kingdom cannot stand when the blood of Jesus is applied.

Spiritual warfare is bloody, and it’s time to take the gloves off. Without Jesus shedding His blood there would be no victory. And we cannot experience victory in our lives now without His blood.

This is not only a one-time thing two thousand years ago, or one moment when you first come to know Jesus. It’s an every day, every moment thing. The enemy has not laid down his weapons, and until he is destroyed in the end, you and I must stay covered with the blood of Jesus. We will never be able to claim victory apart from living in the victory which He achieved—through His blood.

How to Plead the Blood of Jesus

How do you do apply the blood of Jesus? With your words.

I encourage you to do this daily. I do! Specifically, out loud, place everything in your life under His blood. Plead His blood over any problem you have. You may also, as I sometimes do, prayerfully take your own private communion at the same time, physically taking into yourself the symbols of Jesus’s broken body and spilled blood as you accept His sacrifice and victory for yourself.

There is no magic in specific words. Don’t make the mistake of thinking of this as some ritual with supernatural power in itself. But there is power in the blood of Jesus! And that power is available to you today.

Pray something like this, OUT LOUD:

I plead the blood of Jesus over my life today—my spirit, my soul, my body. I plead the blood of Jesus over my spouse—spirit, soul, and body. And I plead the blood of Jesus over my children: [name them individually]. I plead the blood of Jesus over everything in my life that may be troubled; my fears, my anxiety, my sickness, my confusion, my brokenness, my sin, my anger, my worry about other people, my future, my job, my marriage, my money, my sex life, my eating, my time, my entertainment, my church affiliation, my thinking, my sleep. I place it all under the blood of Jesus, and I leave it there.

I surround myself and my family today with the blood of Jesus. Let nothing affect me or my family that does not first come through the blood of Jesus—nothing from the enemy, from other people, or from the natural world. I let go of anything that cannot remain under the blood of Jesus—any habits, any material things, any thoughts, any people. I choose to remain under the blood of Jesus, and claim His protection, provision, and direction today. Amen.

May you know the freedom, victory, and power that comes in the most powerful prayer of all.

Your Turn: Have you experienced the power of pleading the blood of Jesus over your life? If not, will you do so now? Leave a comment below.

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