Are you spending your days praying earnest prayers for breakthrough all throughout the day? When you have one area of your life that won’t change, it can start to consume you.
Over the years, we experienced many breakthroughs as we walked with the Lord. All kinds of barriers had been erected in our lives through past sins, generational problems, or wrong beliefs. Sometimes the barriers came through simple mistakes we had made such as taking unnecessary oaths or vows, tying our own situation to another person’s situation, and so on. Other times, we were erecting barriers unknowingly through our own negative attitudes and words.
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When there is some kind of barrier in your life that you can’t seem to move past, there is usually some root cause that can be identified and dealt with. Dealing with that root cause often ushers in breakthrough. Sometimes it comes immediately, but other times it’s more gradual.
Our God is the God of breakthrough. We should recognize and acknowledge that. He goes before His people to break open the way for us!
“The One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their King will pass through before them, the LORD at their head.” (Micah 2:13 NIV)
What we’ve found is that breakthrough almost never looks the way we pictured it—but it does come. Looking back over our experiences in light of Scripture, we have found that there are some common methods people can employ to receive their breakthrough.
Key #1 for How to Receive Breakthrough: Asking with Right Motives
Prayer is really involved in all of the various keys. But the first thing is to simply ask for what you’re needing. If you still don’t receive, then ask God to purify your motives. That way, you can ask with the right motives.
“You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (James 4:2-3 NIV)
This is admittedly the toughest one for us. We all have a tendency to think about ourselves, our situation, and our own families more than anyone else. This is especially true when we feel that we have major needs or desires going unmet.
But if your prayer life is all about you, it’s easy to get stuck. Talk to the Lord about your motives. He already knows what they are so it’s beneficial to talk openly about them. Ask Him to help you focus less on yourself. If you can do that, you’re already on the road to greater peace and joy.
And according to the verse from James, our prayers for breakthrough are much more likely to be answered.
Key #2 for How to Receive Breakthrough: Pray for Others
God will move you sometimes to intercede earnestly for other people’s situations.
We have probably seen God move by answering our prayers for breakthrough for other people more than we’ve seen Him answer the prayers we prayed for ourselves.
That’s true even though the ratio of selfless prayers to self-centered prayers is lower than we’d care to admit. What would happen if we all started interceding for each other?
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2 NIV)
Key #3 for How to Receive Breakthrough: Speak God’s Word Over Your Situation
Claiming God’s promises is a major key when praying prayers for breakthrough. The best thing to do is get a list of verses that apply directly to your situation and start decreeing them.
God’s Word is a weapon, and the word “decree” is used repeatedly in the Old Testament to describe the things God has spoken over us. If you think about kings in the ancient world, they could decree something and it had the effect of law. A king’s decree is very powerful.
But, that decree still has to be sent out into the kingdom by messengers. Until the messengers deliver the decree, there is no way for it to be enforced.
Start declaring, decreeing, and claiming God’s promises over your life and your situation. You will see change.
You may not see everything you want to see immediately, but you will see many breakthroughs. And you’ll be able to look back and see how the changes line up with one or more of the verses you’ve been decreeing. Decreeing God’s Word is one major way we go in and take our promised land.
“Now, Israel, hear the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you.” (Deuteronomy 4:1 NIV)
Key #4 for Receiving Breakthrough: Persevere in Following God
When you are experiencing a major trial in your life—and that trial lasts for years—there will be a major temptation. The major temptation you face will be to simply give up, walk away from God, and go your own way for a time.
You may not want to live a life of deep and destructive sin, but the enticement that is presented to you will sound something like, “This faith thing doesn’t work. God seems to move in some people’s lives, but obviously not mine. He just didn’t show up in my situation, and that’s not my fault. I don’t know what else to do…”
If you know God has called you to do something, stay on His path. You can’t just decide that it’s too hard and then give up. Don’t even let that be an option in your mind.
If you don’t turn away from God, but submit yourself to Him instead, you will eventually end up in a good place. It may not be the place you had in mind. The journey may take longer than anything you ever dreamed was reasonable. But you will end up in a good place.
The sheer fact that you stayed on His path… that you kept walking. Kept pressing. Kept believing beyond all human reason, hope, and willpower. The fact that you kept moving forward with God will eventually bring breakthroughs of various kinds.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9 NIV)
Key #5 for Receiving Breakthrough: Deliverance Ministry
Most of us need to get set free of many things from our past and probably several things from our present. Forgiveness especially is a major key to receiving breakthrough.
Unforgiveness can wreak havoc in our lives in many ways. We normally won’t even realize that many problems we face are connected to this root cause.
Why is that the case?
When we harbor unforgiveness toward another person, we are basically refusing to receive and walk in the fullness of God’s forgiveness toward us. In other words, if we want to hold others accountable for the debts they owe us, God will hold us accountable for the debts we owe Him, even if we are saved.
In the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant (Matthew 18), we find that a servant was forgiven a massive debt from his master. Yet when a fellow servant asked for his forgiveness, the man refused. Jesus told us what the result would be:
“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” (Matthew 18:32-35 NIV)
Jesus is not talking about Hell in this passage. Hell is an unending payment for the debt owed to God. Rather, this is talking about discipline and correction for a believer. God is saying that He will hand you over to the enemy to be tormented in this life, until you learn to forgive others.
I have personally experienced this, and “torment” is definitely the most accurate word I can think of to describe it.
If there is a person, situation, ministry, or church where you need to forgive and be healed, make a decision to do it now. Just say, “Lord, I choose to forgive. I can’t help the hurt I feel, but I choose not to harbor bitterness and unforgiveness toward them anymore.”
Beyond forgiveness, there are many issues that can give the enemy a stronghold in our lives. It could be our refusal to obey some other command from God’s Word. There could be sexual sins in our past that we’ve never dealt with. Sometimes people have had traumas or abuse that the enemy seizes upon to build up walls in their lives.
If you are in need of a breakthrough and you’ve never been through deliverance ministry, find a good church that does deliverance ministry. Do it now. Take it seriously. Be as thorough as you can. God will do the rest.
You can also look for Derek Prince’s deliverance videos, sermons, and prayers on YouTube. Those can be very helpful as well.
Key #6 for Receiving Breakthrough: Look for Divine Opportunities
Along your journey, there will be times when God is moving in a particular way for a particular purpose. You will often find that He’s inviting you to partner with Him and exercise your faith. These divine opportunities often lead to breakthrough.
Some examples might be stepping out of your comfort zone to serve God in a new way. Facing a fear that you’ve had for a long time. Staying awake all night in prayer. Participating in a group fast. Taking a step of faith to start tackling old debts. There will be times when the Holy Spirit is prompting you to do something, and your flesh probably won’t feel like doing it.
Recently, we went through the Jericho Fast. The Jericho Fast is a 7-day fast designed to bring breakthrough for stubborn areas of our lives. There is a book that walks people through the fast. The author and the book launch team were set to go through the fast together right before the book’s release.
As publishers, we felt inclined to participate. But my flesh did not want to do it. Still, we did believe that God was involved in what was happening, so we participated.
My wife prayed primarily for our son. For years, there were certain problems taking place. Breakthrough happened in that situation during the fast, and we’ve been seeing improvement ever since. We’re even starting to get reports from others about the differences in him.
I prayed primarily for greater blessings and opportunities for our publishing company. Three days after the fast ended, I got invited to be a guest on a nationally-broadcast Christian television show. I did not even know I was being considered for the show.
When you hear His voice inviting you to participate in what He’s doing, be sure you respond!
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” (Isaiah 30:21 NIV)
What is He telling you to do right now?