Do you pay attention to every thought that runs through your mind throughout the day? Would you say that they are honoring and reflective of a person who loves and follows after our Abba? If not, why? What’s stopping your attentiveness?
Welcome back to day 10 of the 30 Days of Prayer series! I hope you enjoyed the little break yesterday. I know I sure did.
But today it is time to dig back in and rise up for yet the next challenge we find in the scriptures: to take our thoughts captive.
Ready, sweet sister? Let’s begin.
30 Days of Prayer: Pray to Take Every Thought Captive
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” ~ 2 Cor. 10:5
Scripture has quite a lot to say about the importance of the mind. From the Hebraic perspective, the heart and the mind are one and the same, actually intertwined and combined in their work.
The emotions and the mind work in quite a bit of harmony, and the emotions of one can be spurned into action by the other.
The problem is that with the busyness of life, we often do not give attention to every thought of our inner world. Rather than lead them with intentional thinking, we are led by these random “ramblings of the mind” and often left with great confusion and emotional upheaval wondering, “what is happening to me?”
Thoughts are often the product of people, television, social media, or radio around us (and this is very intentional to provide adequate mind control). This is why we must be vigilant to be careful what we allow to enter into our minds. The enemy surely is planting his seeds of destruction all around, all the time.
We must not only be careful to keep the distractions and confusion OUT of our minds, but we also must intentionally plant to Truth in our minds. We must be readers and doers of the Word.
Related: Pray to Have a Hunger for the Word
Remember, we are a set apart people.
Just prior to this admonition to take thoughts captive we see what this is all about: spiritual warfare and recognizing that this is not our home.
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” ~ 2 Cor. 10:3-5
We are to be a set apart people, and to be so we must first begin in our minds. This is where the foundational elements of our character and personhood lie. What do you focus your thoughts on throughout the day? Is it on the things that please and honor God, or is it on the things of the world?
Do you listen to the Word or things of the Spirit? Or do you let your mind wander and be led by the passions of the body and the world?
Related: Pray to Have a Hunger for the Word
Do you lead your mind with intentional prayers when you notice things running through your mind that are not beneficial? Do you rebuke and correct inaccurate lies that pop up as you navigate tricky and troublesome situations?
What you allow to survive, you allow to thrive.
Each of these responses set the stage for your walk with the Lord. What we allow to survive and thrive in our minds become the foreground of growth and cultivation in our hearts.
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” ~ Luke 6: 45
It is not enough to simply make every thought happy or positive, like the New Age Movement teaches. Rather, we must turn our minds over to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This is why it is imperative to be in the Word regularly, so that the washing and cleansing of the Word (Eph. 5: 26) can do its good work to purify our hearts and minds.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” ~ Ps. 51: 10
However, thankfully, it is never too late to take your thoughts captive! The Spirit will help you to regain control of every thought of the mind. Our Lord is generous and quick to save those who cry out for help and assistance. So, if you know that your mind is going places it need not go, now is the time to begin the active walk of obedience in Him. The Holy Spirit will provide you with the way out. Seek His guidance, always.
What does scripture say?
Let’s see what scripture says about the heart and mind (again, these words are synonymous in Hebrew). Do any of these jump out at you as necessary to memorize and internalize for you?
Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.” ~ Prov. 4: 23
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~ Phil. 4: 6-7
“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” ~ Rom. 8: 6
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” ~ Mark 12: 30
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” ~ 1 Peter 1: 13
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” ~ Rom. 12: 2
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” ~ Is. 26: 3
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” ~ 2 Tim. 1: 7
“He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” ~ James 1: 8
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” ~ Phil. 4: 8
“But I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.” ~ Rom. 7: 23
“To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” ~ Eph. 4: 22-24
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” ~ Col. 3: 1-2
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” ~ Prov. 3: 5
“But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” ~ Matt. 5: 28
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” ~ Ps. 19: 14
…and SO many more.
Read the Word and Your Take Thoughts Captive to Christ
As you keep praying to have a hunger for the Word, pray for the Spirit to bring scriptures alive to you. Ask for Him to convict you of the areas within yourself that He wants you to focus on and work on first. The Spirit is diligent to reveal to us the most prevalent areas that need to be immediately addressed.
Listen to the leading of the Lord and correct what needs correcting.
Abba, help me to take control of my thoughts so that my mind may be pure before You. I know that You know all things and there is nothing that I can hide from You. Forgive me for my unrighteous, sinful thoughts. Give me the strength to rebuke those which are contrary to Your commands, and instill in me a clean heart of love and commitment to You. I love You. Show me the Way, Abba, one step at a time. And thank You for Your constant hand of grace upon my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
May your mind be strengthened to fight for the battle is raging all around. But, first, it begins with your inner fight. Claim the land of your own mind first that you have the right soil prospering the right seeds for the good fight.
And, He will continue to lead you each day.