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Devotion: Jesus – Our Banner of Freedom

July is a month that we, as a nation, think frequently about freedom. We celebrate our freedom in the United States on July 4, Independence Day. We typically have picnics, ball games, and parades where our banner of freedom, the flag, is front and center in our activities.

As Christians, our allegiance isn’t to a king, a country, or even an ideal. It’s to Jesus. He is our banner of freedom. Jesus proclaimed this at the beginning of his ministry when as is recounted in Luke 4 he went to the synagogue in his hometown, opened the scroll during the Scripture time and read:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
    that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.” 

– Luke 4:18-19 (NIV)

The word pictures expressed in this Scripture give us vivid images of the mission of Jesus. Jesus came to bring good news to the poor, release the captive and those blind to sin, and to set the oppressed free.

He went on to describe the poor a few chapters later in the Sermon on the Mount when he said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for yours is the kingdom of God.” He showed that this Scripture went far beyond financial poverty or what we often think of as poor. The poor went to the heart, the spirit, those downcast and brokenhearted.

He was also sent to proclaim that captives will be set free. His listeners didn’t need to wait long to see examples of the release of those held prisoner to sin. The very day he read this Scripture he went to another community and delivered many from evil spirits and sickness. He hung out with those that fit these descriptions and delivered them one by one as they came to Him.

Jesus, the friend of sinners, confounded the religious leaders of the day. They oppressed the people with their laws and procedures. There were rituals for everything, and judgments handed down for even the tiniest infractions. Shame and guilt were piled high by those in authority.

Jesus brought freedom. You might even say he carried a banner of freedom wherever he went. This banner of freedom included within it deliverance and forgiveness.

All of us fit one or more of the descriptions in the Scripture above. Jesus has and continues to wave his banner of freedom, deliverance, and forgiveness over you. He wants to wave it over those who are still poor, imprisoned, blind, and oppressed. Wave His banner high in your life so others can see the banner and run to it and find Jesus. They too can take up the banner of freedom because this is the time of the Lord’s favor.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Share together which description in this Scripture best describes your experience with Jesus?
  2. Sketch out a picture of the banner you see Jesus waving.
  3. Who do you know that needs to receive the banner of freedom that Jesus offers?

Additional scriptures on freedom: John 8: 31-36, Colossians 1:13, Romans 8:1-2

Prepare for Prayer

During this season of social distancing due to the coronavirus, seek out others that you can connect with in prayer from a distance. Consider using a conference call line like FreeConferenceCall.com or video conference like Zoom. Need help? Please contact: [email protected]

Let’s prepare ourselves by first being still in His presence. Close your eyes if you like, and picture what freedom looks like in your mind. Share with others what you see.

Begin prayer time by reading:  Psalm 34: 1-8

Our focus for this month is:  Our Banner of Freedom

Read: Luke 4:18-19 (NIV)

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
    that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come. “

Pray: Gracious God, we rejoice in You as are our banner of freedom. We are free, because you have made us free by Your love and forgiveness.  That forgiveness was costly for You as You gave up your one and only Son, and because of that precious gift we can carry our banner of freedom with us wherever we go!

Thank God:

  • That our freedom did not cost us, because it was Your son that was given up for us to pay the debt for our sins.
  • As we raise the Lord as our banner of freedom, we can be assured of supernatural release from all that entangles us and weighs us down.
  • That when we raise the banner in His name, we reset our priorities, and remember that He is our Sovereign Lord, worthy of all our praise, glory and honor.

Pray for New Outreach Opportunities

Read: Galatians 5:13

“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.”

Pray: Heavenly Father, when we think about freedom, we remember all that it cost You in sacrificing Your Son. Help us to not take this freedom for granted.


  • That we remember God’s passionate heart for women who do not know Jesus yet.
  • Through Jesus Christ we can remember the image of a freedom banner for “lost” women to find their release from all that ensnares them.
  • Asking the Lord to show us how to love women from a distance that they might understand freedom that the Good News offers.

Sharing Your Faith

Read: John 8: 36

“So, if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.”

Pray: Freedom giving God, even though we know we are set free because of Jesus Christ, we live out our lives to other obligations, even those in ministry.  Help us to be set free from our own expectations and from those that others may have of us, and to remember to be obedient to You alone.

Pray for:

  • Our faithful obedience to reach out to women in our communities who are not set free.
  • Our faith to increase as we live out free lives in Christ.
  • Endurance, unity, and teamwork to pull off our summer digital outreaches that you have given us to use as the means to love women to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Pray for our Nation and Leaders

Read: Psalm 119:45-47

“I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments. I will speak to kings about your laws, and I will not be ashamed. How I delight in your commands! How I love them!”

Pray: Sovereign Father, please help our nation and its leaders as they continue to make difficult decisions while they reopen properly and responsibly during COVID-19. Please help them to call on You for guidance and to look to Your commands that are perfect, true and free to those that receive.

Pray for:

  • Our nation to have a safe re-opening this summer so that many lives would be saved.
  • Christian leaders to draw on God’s Word to speak to them so that they might encourage others towards freedom and Revival in our Land.
  • Leaders that do not know God personally, that they might seek Him and find Jesus as the only One that can set them free!

Pray for the Stonecroft Family

Read: Colossians 1:13-14

“For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.”

Pray: Holy God, we raise our banner of freedom in Jesus’ name, for he rescued us from the darkness and brought us into Your Kingdom of Light.

Pray for:

  • All Stonecroft volunteer leaders and planning team members to live in the freedom of Christ.
  • Stonecroft staff & volunteers to continue to share the love & freedom that comes from Jesus.
  • With thanksgiving, we praise God because we know that are so many things we cannot control, yet we are freed up by knowing… Jesus is with us and is our ultimate Savior!

Prayer for some of our Stonecroft Board:

Diane Sparks:

  • That Diane along with Stonecroft women may seize the opportunities to share Jesus with those whom they reach out to even while social distancing, so that they may be Salt & Light in a world that desperately needs answers.
  • For the Board of Directors as they seek God’s wisdom for our upcoming Board meeting in September.
  • For Diane’s health, as she is experiencing some new issues and her doctor appointments are being delayed.

Teresa Bourgeois:

  • Pray Teresa will always give Christ first place in her life.
  • Pray that she will courageously, respectfully, and lovingly share Christ with anyone who asks about her Hope and confident faith.

Char Kellogg:

  • Pray that Char will continually hear the Spirit’s still small voice and respond in obedience to God’s call.

Lorraine Myrholm:

  • Praise that Lorraine has had many opportunities to participate in the Stonecroft ministry in both Canada & the USA over the years and has been so blessed to be part of what God has done and is doing.
  • Please pray for Lorraine’s influence in her community. Several of her neighbors are elderly and some have no faith connection at all. Education, self-sufficiency and material things do nothing to prepare one for eternity. Pray that Lorraine can be a witness to her neighbors.

Pray for Stonecroft leaders such as Stonecroft Regional Administrators, District Consulting Coordinators, Regional Speaker Trainers, Regional Reps, Area Reps, Chairs, Prayer Consultants, and all outreach leaders that they will be reminded of the freedom they have in Christ Jesus.

Pray for our international partners that they would also entrust all that they have to the Lord as He is their freedom Giver.

Share Personal Requests

Pray for one another’s needs and remember to raise the Lord as your freedom banner.

Closing Prayer

Father, we thank you for this Prayer Connection time. As we celebrate summer and our Nation’s birthday, we are grateful for all those that have paid the price so that we can have the freedoms that we have in this country. May God bless America as well as bring revival to the USA. Amen.