My Freedom Prayer
By Heidi Baumgartner, Washington Conference communication director
My Facebook feed was full of patriotic celebration photos and posts for the Fourth of July. I always enjoy seeing people’s life experiences and the moments in time that they want to remember.
Yet there was one post with a lady’s essay on freedom that caused me to stop and ponder.
She wrote in part: “Freedom…it is a sacred, noble concept. God’s government is based on it. The Son of God left His home to live among us, to show us through His own life the high value God places on our freedom (freedom to choose Him, or not.)” She then quoted John 8:36 - “If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”
I started thinking about freedom in my own life, this Bible passage from John 8, and the freedom I’ve found in Christ. As a life-long believer, I always knew about freedom in Christ. But I’ve experienced this freedom most as an adult as I’ve learned about praying with purpose in the name of Jesus and the power of His blood.
This process started about 10 years ago when one of my prayer partners issued me a challenge. “You need to purpose and choose to accept freedom in Christ in your own life,” I remember her telling me. “This isn’t your parents’ decision. This is your decision.”
Week by week, we prayed through different life experiences that had burdened me throughout the years, confessed faults, broke memory triggers, claimed the power of Jesus’ blood and found freedom in the attributes of God’s kingdom.
The prayer structure went something like this:
I come to you with this [specific matter] that I purpose and choose to [forgive or repent]. I purpose and choose to forgive [a person or situation] and release their debt to me. Lord, I ask your forgiveness for [a specific sin] and purpose and choose forgive myself. I choose to accept the freedom that You offer.
In the name of Jesus and by the power of His blood, I cancel Satan’s authority over me.
In Jesus’ name and power, I ask for freedom from [fear, guilt, control, bitterness, anger, rejection, shame, or whatever attribute that withholds me from God’s perfect freedom].
Lord, please renew my mind and relationships. Bring healing to my heart and body down to the cellular level. Holy Spirit, come and show me your truth about [this specific situation].
God never ignores these prayers in my life, whether I pray them with a prayer partner or on my own.
When I first learned about forgiveness in my own life, I learned more about God’s freedom for me…and for others. I found new levels of grace…for me and for others. I found new levels of peace…for me and in my interactions with others. I discovered that I don’t need to have all the answers, I just need the tools for connecting with God to navigate whatever experiences life brings.
Back in John 8, Jesus told believers: “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (v. 31 and 32).
Accepting God’s gift of freedom opens our hearts to all forms of freedom. As you continue to reflect on freedom this post-holiday weekend, I pray that you will claim the foundational freedom of a relationship with Jesus Christ who gave us the gift of ultimate freedom to believe and choose a better life with Him.