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Spiritual warfare is real, and I’m sorry if saying that makes you uncomfortable. Well, actually I’m not. That’s a big part of what these blogs are supposed to do. They’re meant to challenge you, and, at the same time, they’re meant to encourage you and invite you into life with my squad. So while spiritual warfare may not be the most comfortable topic of conversation for some, I’m gonna talk about it a little, especially since my squad and I have been experiencing a lot of spiritual warfare lately. 

We’ve noticed it in different ways. Whether that’s through terrible nights of sleep with bad dreams, apathy, insecurity, or exhaustion — it’s weighed heavy on our spirits. Last week, I felt it especially. There was this heaviness I couldn’t place, a total lack of desire to do anything productive, physical exhaustion, and a lot of insecurity coming up. 

I remember thinking, wow I hope this passes soon, I don’t like this.

I prayed for strength and energy, but that was about it.

At the end of last week, Gretchen, my sweet squad mate, proposed a prayer burn. 

What’s a prayer burn? Good question, friend. I’m here to answer that.

A prayer burn can look lots of different ways, but essentially, it’s an extended period of time set aside to intentionally press into prayer over specific issues, usually overnight. 

Some prayer burns that we’ve done have had requests written out that we pray individually over, but this time, each hour was a different topic/issue to pray over. There can be worship, there can be time with the Lord and in the Word, there can be fellowship: SO many things. So that you have a better idea of what this looked like, I’ll lay out the schedule below. Keep in mind that we didn’t always follow this strictly, but this is the general outline of what we did. There were definitely unscheduled times that we worshipped, had more quiet time with the Lord, and hung out together.



7:30-8:30pm – Worship + prayer

8:30-9:30pm – Read through Revelation together

9:30-10:30pm – Prayers for Gap D + Mission of Hope families

10:30-11:30pm – Prayers over ministry, pastors, salvations, etc. 

11:30pm-12:30am – Prayers over persecuted church

12:30-1:30am – Prayers over spiritual atmosphere, dreams, sleep

– At this time we also prayed and did what’s called a “Jericho march” around the building where we sleep.

1:30-2:30am – Prayers over sickness and injury in the squad

2:30-3:30am – Quiet time + worship

3:30-4:30am – Personal time with the Lord

– We washed some of our leaders feet during this time as well!

4:30-5:30am – Prayers over future plans

5:30-6:30am – Prayer over each person on the squad specifically 

6:30-7:30am – Time to share testimonies, pray and worship together as a group

I’ll be honest, when I heard we were doing this, I did not want to. The day before the proposed prayer burn was especially heavy for me. It was our rest day, and I stayed at the base all day in order to recover from the exhausting week I’d just had. Despite how restful my day should’ve been, at the end of it, I felt just as exhausted, if not more than before. I didn’t think I could stay up all night. I didn’t want to. But I decided to go to worship, which was the first hour. 

Worship was a BATTLE. As I entered into that time with the Lord, I knew that my spirit had been under attack that week. I realized that I had been passive in praying against these attacks. As I began to pray in worship against this dark heaviness, I took back my authority. I declared my authority as a daughter of the King, I declared the authority that I have in Jesus’ name. 

I began to feel light. Freedom came rushing in, a sweet wave of liberty.

After worship, I decided to stay a little longer. Then longer. Then a little more. Suddenly, the night had passed. This prayer burn quickly became one of my favorite moments from my Race so far. The Lord moved so evidently. Chains were broken. Authority reclaimed. Darkness was exposed with light. But also, there was a whole lot of joy that surfaced. There was sweet fellowship with my sweet friends. There was laughter and music, mixed with a little bit of crazy.

In the morning, right as we ended the 12th hour of our prayer burn, we had poolside worship in the light of the early morning sun. We were a little delirious from a night of no sleep, so we laughed a LOT, but we also talked about what we learned through the prayer burn. As I reflected, these are two things I realized: 

  • When I am under attack, the feelings, the weight, and heaviness that come with that are not something I have to resign myself to. I was not created to be passive, just hoping  that the feeling “goes away”. I HAVE AUTHORITY OVER THE ATTACKS OF THE DEVIL RIGHT HERE AND RIGHT NOW. I can own that authority through the name of Jesus as a daughter!
  • And prayer burns don’t have to be heavy. They don’t have to be a night-long drag of prayer, hands folded, eyes closed. We worshipped, we laughed, we even washed some people’s feet. We drank coffee, ate cereal, we danced around  and acted like crazy people. This prayer burn gave me and my squad mates a much needed lightness and joy that only comes from the Father. It was a sweet time of intimacy with Him, but also of fellowship with my squad mates! This just reminds me of what prayer truly is, and it’s so beautiful when done in community. It’s a time to fight, absolutely, but it’s just as equally a time to enter into joy. I talked about how we worshipped by the pool, but after this, a few of us jumped in the pool with our clothes on. Just because. We were free and full of joy. 


So, that’s that. I’ll leave you with a question: 

What do you need to claim authority over right here and right now?


Thanks for reading along and being apart of this journey with me! You are loved, you are seen, and you have authority!



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8 responses to “I Stayed Up All Night Praying & Here’s What I Learned”

  1. fave quote: “sweet wave of liberty”
    I’ll take that over insecurity, exhaustion and heaviness any day!
    I’m a prayer burn fan
    I’m an Emma fan

  2. Brought me right to the feet of Jesus. We all need a date with our Lord. So happy for you

  3. Brought me right to the feet of Jesus. We all need a date with our Lord. So happy for you

  4. This sweet friend, is SO good! WOW. What a joy it is to walk in your authority and to boldly proclaim truth over yourself & friends. Praying for Gap D. Love you guys!

  5. The name of Jesus has all authority and defeats the enemy. You said it, Emma. That fact will
    shut the devil up real fast and render him helpless. PTL!

  6. This was one of those defining moments of Squad D, a real threat and you figured out how to use the power of prayer to combat the forces rising up against you. It remember hearing about it for the first time and thought “Wow God”. A random photo to anyone else, but the pool picture will be forever soldiers from a war standing together in victory.

  7. Love this, emma! I’m so late in reading these blog posts but catching up a little at a time. Thankful for your boldness and encouragement through this post. The Spirit is at work in you and moving others to claim victory over darkness. love you emma!

  8. WOW Em this is so good!! I love your perseverance and your steadfastness. What a testimony to the power of prayer!