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Pattern Breaking Prayer

  1. This prayer is inspired by John and Paul Sandford's (now deceased) writings on this subject. Their contention is that we invite certain treatment upon ourselves because of our expectations of how we will be treated. Now, I understand that this may be considered a controversial contention and I want to say upfront that no one is justified in their treatment of another because the other person was "asking for it." I also am not necessarily saying that one is "asking for" negative treatment but rather more that one has a fearful expectation that they will always be treated a certain way usually by a certain group of people or type of person, which I believe can invite such treatment. We see biblical support for this in Deuteronomy when the people continually disbelieve God and believe they will die in the desert he finally is fed up and says they will not enter the Promised Land because of their continual negative expectations, which are disbelief in God and in particular his goodness and love (Deuteronomy 1:26-46).

    This phenomenon can play out in a lot of different ways and may not necessarily be easy to detect. It might be helpful to do an audit of your life and see if there is a repetitive pattern of treatment that you have been subjected to throughout your life that does not appear to be connected to a certain individual (for example being cheated of money, being cheated on, being bullied, being harassed).

    Conversely, there may be a certain pattern of sinful behavior that you are repetitively involved in that shows up in differing circumstances and times (any addictions for example). I believe the Lord revealed to me recently that I am continuously judging others and on an unconscious level seeking to judge others instead of being merciful to them. Because I have this unconscious desire and expectation I continuously find myself in situations where someone does something and I judge them for it and try to correct the situation to my detriment instead of letting it go. Obviously this is sinful so I had to repent of it. Hopefully the prayers below will be of help to you so that we can all be free of our ungodly expectations.

    Breaking the Ungodly Patterns - Prayer in Regards to Others
    Lord, I first pray that you reveal to me, if you have not already, a particular ungodly expectation that I have that has been hurting me in my life and manifesting itself because of my ungodly expectations. [Please wait to see if the Holy Spirit reveals something.] Lord, I repent of this ungodly expectation [please name it] and all fear related to it. Lord, you did not give us a spirit of fear but of power, love and self-control. I repent of this and ask your forgiveness Lord for not having addressed this earlier and for projecting my fears and ungodly expectations unto other people and thereby defiling them with my fearful judgments and expectations. I thank you Lord for your forgiveness, your mercy and your graciousness. I pray that this ungodly expectation and any related fear be broken on the Rock that is Christ Jesus and that any ungodly roots that it has in any part of my being be pulled out and replaced with your love, which casts out all fear. I thank you Lord and I praise you Lord for delivering me from this.

    Breaking the Ungodly Patterns - Prayer for Oneself
    Lord, I first pray that you reveal to me, if you have not already, a particular habitual sin that I continue to practice or seek to continue to practice and thereby invite into my life, for those who seek evil Lord shall find it. Lord please forgive me for seeking out this evil if not at a conscious level, at least at an unconscious level. Lord you are good and just to forgive us our sins and so Lord I thank you for this forgiveness and pray this sin be broken on the Rock that is Christ Jesus and all ungodly roots be pulled out of me and healed by the Love of God, who is our Great Physician. Thank you Lord and Glory to the Lamb!

    One may need to repeat these prayers multiple times over a period of time depending on how ingrained the habit is.

    Other references: 2 Timothy 1:7 (No spirit of fear), Matthew 21:44 (Broken on the Rock of Christ), 1 John 4:18 (Love casts our fear), Psalm 135 (Importance of Praise), 1 John 3:9 (Habitual Sin), Proverbs 11:27 (Seeking out evil), 1 John 1:9 (Lord's forgiveness if we confess), Exodus 15:26 (Lord as healer).


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