“I’m not good enough for Jesus to answer my prayers.”
Do you ever tell yourself such a lie?
We have an enemy who taunts us with those kinds of thoughts. He attacks our faith and confidence by pointing out how much we DON’T deserve to be heard.
The reason these accusations work so well on me is because I agree with him.
I DON’T deserved to be heard. But I am.
I SHOULDN’T have access to the Lord. But I do.
I SHOULDN’T go unpunished. But I will.
Why? Because I stand in righteousness, not because of my work, but because of Jesus.
When I pray, if I don’t hold up my Breastplate of Righteousness, I will be paralyzed by the despair the enemy’s attacks will cause. Satan’s accusation about my lack of righteousness might be accurate, but it’s incomplete. He ignores the protection Jesus’s righteousness provides.
To pray powerfully we need all our spiritual armor in place.
To be assured of my position and and be able to pray with confidence I need to understand righteousness. So join me and let’s study what righteous is.
Let’s combat the lies the enemy throws SO THAT our prayer life can be mighty, effective, and powerful.
The Breastplate of Righteousness
But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love,
and for a helmet the hope of salvation.
1 Thessalonians 5:8
The enemy aims at our most vulnerable and deadly area, where a hit here could incapacitated me. But I have a Breastplate that covers our core, protecting our vital organs.
The Liar tries to fool us into believing our righteousness is passive— that since righteousness is from Jesus, we have nothing to DO. Yes, righteousness is from Jesus alone. But we have work to do with Righteousness now! And the enemy knows it.
We have weapons of righteousness! How cool is that?
To have ourselves safely wrapped in the protection of righteousness, we need to understand what it is.
Righteousness is a work accomplished by Jesus. We can never do enough to be righteous, we only become righteous by standing in Jesus. The only reason we HAVE a breastplate to hold up while we pray is because Jesus gave it to us. Hallelujah— my worthiness is not a part of God’s decision to listen to me!
2 Corinthians 5:21- For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Righteousness comes through healing. Every sin we’ve committed was carried on the body of our Lord. He did that to heal us. And it is in that position of healing from which we pray.
1 Peter 2:24- He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
Righteousness produces hunger and thirst. My urgency to pray for my family, my nation, and the world is BECAUSE I hunger and thirst for His righteousness. I desire to see others healed as I have been healed. So, my breastplate not only protects me as I pray, it also motivates me to pray.
Matthew 5:6- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Righteousness can be taught. I stand holding my shield of righteousness, but that is not passive. The effectiveness of the breastplate is revealed in battle. What gives me courage to keep praying as the fiery darts are headed my way? The Truth— like our Belt! Truth teaches me confidence and grows faith. The inspired Word TRAINS me in righteousness, gives me the strength to stand, and tells me the words to pray.
2 Timothy 3:16- All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
The Lord’s righteousness covers me, even when I’m surrounded by enemies. The only way I find the straight path, where I keep faith and keep praying, is by following Him wherever He leads.
Psalm 5:8- Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me.
Replace Prayer Lies About Righteousness
LIE #1: I have to BE righteous for my prayers to be heard.
Truth #1: We don’t have to BE righteous. We are righteous because of Jesus's blood.
Philippians 3:9- and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—
The lying enemy will constantly taunt you: you're not worthy; you’re a sinner; you're unworthy. Just look him in the eye and say, "Yep I am. And yet- through His work and His blood I stand righteous. So, please shut up— I’m PRAYING!"
LIE #2- Because righteous comes through Jesus I’m free to pray for whatever I want.
Truth #2- Righteousness that comes through Jesus frees us from slavery to our enemy and slavery to ourselves.
Romans 6:18-20- and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. …For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
Righteousness TRANSFERS us from slavery to Jesus. I’m FREE to pray for what honors the Lord and makes much of Him. I’m not asking for a Mercedes or a winning lottery ticket.
Lie #3- Praying means I ask God for things I need, or that others need.
Truth #3- Praying includes praising, thanking, glorifying, and lifting up the mighty name of the Lord.
Psalm 35:28- Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long.
We should spend time in prayer praising the Lord for His righteousness.
LIE #4- Since life is hard and so many things are wrong, I must not be good enough and not even own a Breastplate of Righteousness. I must be doing something wrong if I’m suffering.
Truth #4- Even with my Breastplate of Righteousness I will suffer.
1 Peter 3:14 - But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,
Righteousness cost Jesus, and could cost us. Life might not look great right now. The front line of the battle rarely seems pleasant. So, strap on Jesus and stand.
LIE #5- I don’t need to pray. Since Jesus did all the work on the cross, I’ll just sit back and wait for heaven.
Truth #5- Righteousness isn’t just standing and waiting. It’s supposed to produce fruit.
Philippians 1:11 - filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
UNTIL I get to heaven, I'm asking Him to grow that fruit in me and my kids. I pray for Jesus to be glorified.
Putting On My Breastplate
So join me.
Let’s strap on our Breastplate and stand confidently in Jesus’s righteousness, praying, even when the enemy’s fiery darts are aimed at our heart.
Jesus can cover us and we needn’t cower in fear. We must stand in His protection and fight with our prayer.
Pray and fight!
Every time the enemy accuses you of not being good enough to pray or that you are not worthy of the Lord’s ear, just smile, agree with Him, and wrap yourself in Jesus.
Armor Of God
Don’t forget your Belt of Truth!