Before you exercise, you get warmed up. Before you go on a road trip, you get gassed up. Before you take on a spiritual challenge, make sure you’re “fasted up” and “prayed up” too!
I don’t know who coined the term “love tank,” though I’m pretty sure the term is not Christianese. The idea of the “love tank” is that the amount of love in your life goes up and down depending on when the last time you got a hug was or when you last got to reconnect with a close friend or family member. There are times when our love tank is “topped up” and other times when we feel like we’re running on fumes. You can imagine that your perception of the world and your ability to handle adversity and success varies quite a bit depending on your current emotional circumstances.
Well, apparently it’s not just your emotions that have a gauge from E for empty to F for full. Your spiritual life does as well, and there is even some Biblical support for the notion.
The idea of being “fasted up” or “prayed up” means that one is spiritually prepared and empowered because of recent fasting and praying. The inspiration for the terms fasted up and prayed up is a passage of Scripture in which some of Jesus’s disciples tried and failed to cast out a demon. When they asked Jesus why they couldn’t do it, he told them that this certain kind of demon “goeth not out but by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21 (=Mark 9:29) KJV). Basically Jesus called out his disciples for not having prayed or fasted lately. Busted! If only they had been better prayer warriors.
Perhaps because of this Biblical connection between being prayed up and fasted up and being able to cast out demons, prayed up and fasted up as well as the other “up” terms are somewhat more popular with Christians in the charismatic movement and who do spiritual warfare.
With regard to how old these terms are, prayed up appears to be the first of these “up” compounds to be coined, and it wasn’t coined really all that long ago. The first published citations I can find are in the latter part of the 19th century, which is pretty recent when you think that we’ve had the Biblical reference to “prayer and fasting” in Matthew’s gospel for 2,000 years. We see that after prayed up, an assortment of “up” words on this pattern were invented: blessed up, confessed up, fasted up, praised up, worded up, and worshiped up. These terms all denote that someone has recently partaken of the specified activity (worship, blessings, confession, the “Word” of the Lord meaning the Bible), and so they’re spiritually empowered or prepared to take on a spiritual challenge.
What other “up” terms do you know besides the ones listed below? Share them in the comments!
blessed up adj. [By analogy with *prayed up] Being in a state of spiritual empowerment after having been blessed.
See also *prayed up.
• 1998 Percy Power and the Church 147 : Some believers even talk of getting “all blessed-up” at meetings, in much the same way that some people might describe using “soft” drugs at a rave. 2010 Mason A Woman Preaching in a Man’s World 24 : This woman was a Samaritan who came to the well to draw water. Unbeknown to the woman, she was “set up to be blessed up.”
confessed up adj. [By analogy with *prayed up] Being in a state of spiritual empowerment because all of one’s sins have been confessed to God.
See also *prayed up.
• 1988 Heavilin Mother to Daughter 51 : If we wait until trouble comes to get acquainted with God or brush the dust off our Bibles, we’re not going to have the ammunition we need to defend ourselves against discouragement and depression. If we’re confessed-up and prayed-up, and on intimate terms with God, we’ll have the strength to face our problems. 2010 Dorsett Developing Leadership Teams in the Bivocational Church 62 : Remember that sermon preparation is a supernatural endeavor. You must be prayed up and confessed up, as well as studied up. 2011 Newman The Land Beyond 112 : We learned to always be “confessed up,” that is, having come humbly before the Lord and confessing sin so that we would be as Jesus, “with the devil having no hold on him” (John 14:30).
¶ confessed up to date v. phr. Being in a state of spiritual empowerment because all of one’s sins have been confessed to God.
See also *prayed up to date.
• 1956 Cook Now That I Believe 107 : No day should go by without your being “prayed and confessed up to date.” You may never see the morning light! A little sin leads to more sin, and before you know it, your joy is clouded, your testimony is ruined, and the Holy Spirit is grieved. 1973 Smith How the Spirit Filled My Life 133 : All sin must be confessed up-to-date! No one ever reaches the state where he will not sin anymore. 1978 Taylor The Key to Triumphant Living 190 : Therefore, if we are to be filled with the Holy Spirit, our sins must be confessed up to date. The promise of the Bible is that “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Every sin must be confessed to God. 1994 Leavell Joy in the Journey 146 : If we are confessed up to date, if we are clean vessels, the Lord has promised to hear. That promise is valid only when our beliefs balance our behavior â€” when our conduct matches our convictions. 1999 Drummond The Spiritual Woman 102 : Once they had got all their sins “confessed up to date,” as Bertha Smith, the great missionary of the Shantung Revival used to say, the Holy Spirit again came upon the men and raised them up in choruses of praise to God.
fasted up adj. [By analogy with *prayed up] Being in a state of spiritual empowerment after recently fasting or because one has a regular habit of fasting.
See also *prayed up; *prayed up and fasted up.
• 2001 Long Called to Conquer 6 : Do not argue, and do not sit around and talk about what you think He is saying. Please, do not say you have to “fast on it” for a while. You should be already “fasted up.”
paid up adj. [By analogy with *prayed up] See various senses.
1. Being current on one’s tithes to the church. Typically found in various rhyming phrases (see citations).
• 1972 McKenzie 1,800 Quotes, Quips, and Squibs 35 : Spiritual growth soars when we have prayed up, made up, and paid up. 1996 Buckingham Look Out, World: I’m Me! 64 : I love it when I meet with a group of people who are “prayed up,” “paid up” and “praised up.” Folks like this are going to overflow. 1999 African Am. Rev. XXXIII. 694 : One highlight of these is a wonderful comic anecdote about a funeral eulogy for a famed church lady marred by the preacher’s mention of her delinquent church dues…. The moral of the story is that it’s one thing to be “Prayed Up” and quite another to be “Paid Up.” 2012 Gough Life Isn’t Fair, but God Is 257 : Revival is when … our prayers are prayed up … all difference is made up … [and] our tithes are paid up.
2. Being free of financial debt and therefore able to more easily make significant changes in one’s life.
• 2005 Smith Divine Confinement 113 : True comfort is built on a foundation of readiness. Darlene always says that she is “paid up, prayed up and gassed up” so she is ready for God’s work.
praised up adj. [By analogy with *prayed up] Being in a state of spiritual empowerment after recently praising and worshiping God or because one has a regular habit of praising and worshiping God.
See also *prayed up.
• 1974 Hill, Harrell How to Live Like a King’s Kid 4 : All He needed was one intercessor who was already prayed up and praised up. 2002 Jones Praise Goeth Before Thee 25 : That is why we must always be “Prayed Up” and “Praised Up.” Attacks will come, but we are to repel them with the sword of the spirit and the high praises of God in our mouths. 2009 Crane Silly Flies 120 : Stay in the Word, in the Spirit, keep prayed up and also praised up.
prayed up adj. [Probably by analogy with paid up ‘having made all necessary payments’] See various senses.
There are several similar expressions: *blessed up; *confessed up; *confessed up to date; *fasted up; *paid up; *prayed up to date; *prayed up and fasted up; *praised up; *worded up; *worshiped up.
1. Of things: being prayed about regularly; accomplished through the power of prayer.
• 1890 Oregon Congregational Churches Minutes of the Annual Meeting 62 : It needs then to be talked up and worked up and prayed up and to be kept up constantly before the mind if lasting impressions are to be made. 1900 The Institute Tie I. 90 : Keep a list of those who promise to pray, and write them occasionally, especially when any special need arises. You will be surprised at their readiness to help you. Above all, pray yourself. Pray about every detail. Keep things prayed up. 1900 The Am. Monthly Rev. XXI. 171 : Not even George Müller has lived a life of more perfect trust in God than Mr. Moody lived. He was wont to say that he had “prayed up” every building at Northfield and Mt. Hermon. 1913 National Civic Federal Bulletin 80 : A larger building was, as Mrs. Bethune gaily and humorously puts it, “prayed up, sung up, and talked up,” and now in 1916 there are over one hundred and fifty pupils and urgent need of more buildings to house them.
2. Of people: Being in a state of spiritual empowerment after recently praying or because one has a regular habit of praying.
• 1878 Taylor Our South American Cousins 121 : Wesley replied, with a smile, “You get so far behind with your prayers, it takes an hour every night to make up lost time, but I keep prayed up.” I find it a good thing to “keep prayed up,” or as St. Paul puts it, to “pray without ceasing.” 1910 McClung The Second Change 157 : Pearl leaned over the fence and said earnestly: “Bud, when I get discouraged I take it as a sign that I haven’t been keepin’ prayed up, and I go right at it and pray till I get feelin’ fine.” 1967 The Saturday Rev. L. 161 : I love the story about Dwight Moody during a crisis; he wouldn’t pray while others did, and when they upbraided him he said, “Brethren, I’m all prayed up.” 1976 Buckingham Daughter of Destiny: Kathryn Kuhlman, Her Story 146 : She told those few who dared ask her about it that she stayed “prayed up” all the time. “I have learned Paul’s secret of praying without ceasing,” she told a newspaper reporter who had the nerve to ask why she never withdrew in prayer. 1980 Quaker Life XXI. 3 : How is your prayer life? Do you have a regular daily time for prayer and conversation with God? … Are you “all prayed up?” Or are there some problems you’ve been intending to talk over with God—sometime. 1999 Boyd You Are My Sister 23 : The old folks used to call it being “prayed up.” When you’re prayed up the Spirit hears your prayers, so that while you’re sitting at that red light and a car runs it, your prayer for protection tells you to sit there a little longer and you do it without knowing why. 2009 Hybels Courageous Leadership 167 : Thousands of Willow Creekers need you to show up tonight, fresh, prayed up, and ready to give your best energy and creativity to the challenges that affect the future of the church.
¶ prayed up to date v. phr. Being in a state of spiritual empowerment after recently praying or because one has a regular habit of praying.
See also *confessed up to date.
• 1903 Sage Autobiography of Rev. Charles H. Sage 138 : At the dinner table one day he said, “I am saved and prayed up to date and ready for heaven.” 1906 Methodist Episcopal Church Thirty-Eighth Session of the Central Pennsylvania Annual Conference 66 : The time required for the full order of service is thirty minutes, unless the pastor is not prayed up-to-date and consumes too much time in “vain repetitions.” 1912 Christian Advocate (9 May) 10 : Pray, pray, pray! Keep prayed up to date. No Christian should be back in his prayer accounts. 1975 Johnston Anchor Post 251 : the doubtful or faltering were prayed up-to-date, and once a quarter the general rules were read. 1986 Cook Now That I Believe 40 : Never let a day go by but that you are, as the old-timers used to say, “confessed and prayed up to date.” That is what the Word of God calls “walking in the light.”
¶ prayed up and fasted up adj. Also prayed and fasted up; fasted up and prayed up. [Allusion to Matthew 17:21 (=Mark 9:29), in which Jesus says prayer and fasting may be required before casting out certain demons] Being spiritually empowered and ready to resist Satan after recently praying and fasting or because one has a regular habit of praying and fasting.
• 1983 Brooks The Return of the Puritans 171 : Thus he was “fasted-up” and “prayed-up” when Nebuchadnezzar forgot his own dream and demanded that his counselors “remember” and interpret it. Self-discipline, fasting and prayer get us ready for crisis times. 2004 Griffiths Takedown 265 : “We’re all prayed up and fasted up. We’re ready to go.” Gavin looked around at the intent faces of the ministers. All appeared confident. 2005 Hodge-Sneed Fleshback 104 : I was prepared for him [=the devil] because I was prayed and fasted up. I was in God’s Word and I knew the devil couldn’t touch me. 2006 Kabomo Foundation for a Better Life 26 : According to the word that he had spoken, someone had to be prayed-up and fasted-up in order to cast that demon. Evidently, Jesus was at that time prayed-up and fasted-up because He did cast out the demon that only “comes out through prayer and fasting.”
worded up adj. [< Word ‘the Bible’; by analogy with *prayed up] Being in a state of spiritual empowerment after recently reading or studying the Bible or because one has a regular habit of reading and studying the Bible.
See also *prayed up.
• 2002 Wilson Meditations from the Mountain 113 : I was in the 16th day of my sabbatical; I was prayed up, worded up and fasted up, but instantly Freddy the Flesh kicked in. 2005 Meade Pressing Toward the Mark 73 : We are pastor-taught, worded-up, prayed-up and speaking positive confessions. We have informed satan that he has enrolled in the School of Believers, And we are prepared to teach him his lesson. 2012 King Triumphant in Spiritual Warfare 142 : The spirit of warfare must be in your spirit very strong, with well-thought-out strategies. Be prayed up, fasted up, and worded up. Satan is trying to tire you out, and make you quit and give up the fight. He is throwing every dart that he can think of.
worshiped up adj. [By analogy with *prayed up] Syn *praised up.
See also *prayed up.
• 2009 Cosio Adam’s Rib Disorder 22 : For the first time in my life, I was equipped to fight the way God wanted me to battle because I was prayed up, praised up, worshiped up, counseled up, and read up, and I had my spiritual armor head to toe and then some.