When my Bride and I were scheduled to get married, we were at church, and we had gone up to the front for prayer, and we were both feeling a bit excited and anxious as well. The lady who was praying for us, she prayed this prayer from Isaiah 61:3, God, give them the beauty the need for the ashes that have been on their life. Help them to rise up together, as the set out on a new adventure together. For us, it was confirmation for the both of us, at the time, and now, it is very real to us again, but for different reasons, and now, Our Creator is about to do something new and great in our lives together and in our marriage.
Isaiah 61:3 says, “to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
Isn’t it beautiful that God says He can give you beauty for ashes? We love that. I think we concentrate on the beauty, but unless you give Him your ashes, you don’t get the beauty. There is a substitution plan here. There is a plan where you give Him your ashes. Then He, in return, gives you His beauty. We hold onto our ashes and wonder, Why doesn’t my life change? Where is His beauty? Well, where are your ashes? You held on to them and He couldn’t give you His beauty.
What are ashes? Ashes, I believe, are the wounded parts of our lives. Everybody has wounds; everybody has ashes–and all kinds of them. Sometimes they happen with a family member. There can just be every kind of a thing–a mate, your children, your job, your church. Ashes happen every place. Everybody gets wounded.
I think the hardest wounds to turn to the Lord are the ones you wounded yourself with when you have done stupid things.
When something is burnt by fire, what you have left is ashes; a soft, greyish-black powdery substance. Imagine how a person who has ashes rubbed all over his face would look.
In the spiritual realm, the devil rubs spiritual ashes on people. He can rub spiritual ashes on a person’s face, marriage, business, job application, or visa application. A single lady for instance who has spiritual ashes rubbed on her, would appear so unattractive to potential suitors.
Spiritual ashes signify or symbolize 4 things:
- A mark of disfavour
- Spiritual dryness, emptiness, or death
- Mourning, grief, or sorrow
God promises us in Isaiah 61:3 that He will give us a crown of beauty instead of ashes. In the place of prayer, we are going to address everything in our lives that represents spiritual ashes.
- Father, please forgive me for every sin I have been indulging in that has robbed me of your beauty and glory.
Sin is a type of spiritual ashes that covers a person with filth and dirt.
- Father, by the blood of Jesus, remove any ashes in my life that came as a result of besetting sins in my life. Let the cleansing power in the blood of Jesus avail for me today.
- Wind of God, blow off every spiritual dust covering my life.
- Father, remove spiritual ashes from every area of my life and replace it with your divine beauty and glory. As you cover me with your glory, let uncommon favour be my portion (Esther 2, 12 -13, 15-17).
- Lord, restore every good thing I have lost by evil fires the enemy sent into my life. Restore virtues, opportunities, promotions, breakthroughs and blessings I lost through evil spiritual fires.
- Father, in a mighty dimension, release the fire of the Holy Spirit on my life. Set my spiritual life; my prayer life, bible study, faith and ministry on fire that there will be no room for spiritual ashes in my life. Make me a flame of fire for you not someone who is spiritually dry and weak. Let my spiritual life be alive with your fire not dead with ashes (Hebrews 1:7).
- Father, baptize me afresh with the Holy Spirit. Fill me with the fire of the Holy Spirit so I am untouchable to any evil fire, dart or arrow (Daniel 3:26-27, Psalm 105:15).
- I stand against every evil conspiracy and oath that has been taken to cut short my life or the lives of my family members (Acts 23:12).
- I declare that I shall live and not die. My family members will not mourn over me this year, I will not mourn over any family member.
- O Lord, give me beauty for ashes. Turn my mourning to dancing. I refuse to wear garments of mourning, sadness and sorrow (Psalm 30:11).
- Father, this year and beyond, let my life be full of celebrations, thanksgiving and rejoicing (Jeremiah 30:19).