“Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18 CSB
Welcome to our brand new series “Praying God’s Word!” I know that we technically began last week with our intro on How to Pray God’s Word, and I trust that it blessed you and equipped you to start picking up your Sword (the Bible) in prayer…but now, we’re going to start getting into the nitty gritty of this thing. We’re going to start specifically addressing the different strongholds that threaten and strangle the abundant life in Christ. Here’s some good news for you today:
Christ died to set you free! It’s time for you and I to start walking in that freedom in every area of our lives. No more defeat. No more bondage. No more half-living. No more!
Before I get into this week’s stronghold of pride, I need to provide you with a definition of what we’re dealing with here. What is a stronghold? If we want to break free from the strongholds that are hindering us in our pursuit of Jesus, we must understand what they are so that we can recognize them when they rear their ugly heads.
“A stronghold is anything that exalts itself in our minds, pretending to be bigger or more powerful than our God. It steals much of our focus and causes us to feel overpowered. Controlled. Mastered.” —Beth Moore, Praying God’s Word
Moving forward in this series on Praying God’s Word, we’re going to be working from that definition. Therefore, in order for you and I to experience any amount of freedom in this, we’re going to need to be honest with ourselves and with the Lord. What is exalting itself in your mind? What feels bigger or more powerful than God right now in your life? What is stealing much of your focus? What is causing you to feel overpowered? Controlled? Mastered? Whatever you answered those questions with, that’s a stronghold. And it’s time for us to start taking back the ground in our lives that the enemy has stolen.
With that foundation laid, let’s take a good, long look at PRIDE. The original sin. Perhaps what is at the root of all sin. It is imperative that we address this soul-rot in our own lives.
Pride: a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.
One thing I’ve learned about freedom in Christ, especially from strongholds, is that repentance is key to walking in freedom. It just is. When we choose to come into agreement with God on the matter of our sin (being grieved by personal sin because it grieves the heart of God), it opens the floodgates of freedom into our lives. Pride is a barrier to that freedom. Pride is a vice that keeps us imprisoned. Pride is a cheater. To quote Beth Moore again, “Pride cheats you of your God-given destiny because you demand your own way. Pride cheats you of holiness because you refuse to admit when you’re wrong. Pride cheats you of God’s glory because it convinces you to seek your own.”
For those of you who may think that pride is not something you struggle with because you feel as if you have very low self-esteem, let me submit this to you today: Pride is the opposite of humility, not the opposite of low self-esteem. You can struggle with low self-esteem AND pride at the same time. It’s humility that we’re after in order to starve the stronghold of pride in our lives, not thinking less of ourselves but rather thinking of ourselves less. See the difference?
God wants to set us free from pride today! He wants us to come under the authority of His Word and begin slaying the enemy of pride in our lives. So, here’s what we’re going to do…we’re going to pray God’s Word to overcome this stronghold. We’re going to breathe the power of Scripture over this ungodly vice, and we’re going to start walking in freedom today, in Jesus’ name!
I’ve copied a few Scripture prayers below from Beth Moore’s book “Praying God’s Word” straight from the chapter on pride. This is just meant to be a start for you. Grab your own Bible, look up the word pride in the concordance, and start taking up your Sword of the Spirit to slay the stronghold of pride in your life.
“Father, you’ve said that to fear the Lord is to hate evil; You hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. (Proverbs 8:13) Help me to have a healthy fear of You that abolishes pride and arrogance.”
“Father, you’re teaching me that pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. (Proverbs 13:10) Help me to discern the pride that is involved when I am quarrelsome.”
“God, as one of your chosen people, holy and dearly loved, help me to clothe myself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)