Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Prayer—The Warrior's Resource

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13).

I am increasingly aware and appreciative of the prayers that others lift up on my account. I do not consider the time they give in prayer a light matter, but one of great importance. I am both humbled and made grateful for those who battle on my behalf—those who call or write to tell me so…and those who war even without my knowledge.

It is through prayer that I am empowered, encouraged, and exhorted by the Spirit. And it is through prayer that I am motivated to continue keeping on even when I would rather give up! Prayer works—not only in the visible realm, often delivering me from discouragement, depression, negative attitudes, a bad perspective, or a bad circumstance—but in the invisible realm as well, defeating principalities and powers of this wicked world, intent upon bringing the work of the Lord to naught.

Paul taught Timothy (his own son in the faith) to “pray for all men”
period. And I think we can pretty much assume he wasn’t referring to “God bless so and so” petitions either. Paul’s recorded prayers are not only powerful, they are wonderful patterns for us to emulate (Ephesians 1:15-23, Philippians 1:1-11, Colossians 1:3-14)not only for our family, those we worship with, the American church and its leaders, and our national authorities on every level—but even beyond our borders as well! How often do our prayers cross cultural and geographical boundaries? How often do we pray for local pastors serving the church in Nigeria, Nauru, or the Netherlands—and what about the believers who gather under their teaching (sometimes in secret)? Do we pray for their national authorities—and the influence society plays upon the Christians who must live under their rule?

Reality is, we are easily overwhelmed! T
o consider adding anything else to our already busy schedule can put us into a sweat—without taking the time to process the request we have already decided we really don't have time for it. We barely find a half hour to pray as it is...and now I'm suppose to add another couple countries to the list—with all their problems regarding leadership and religious persecution? Where in the world is Djibouti anyway? Honestly, I didn’t know until today! I had to look it up.

The truth is
—we don’t pray because we are not familiar with names, locations, or the religious bents of other countries! Because of this lack of information we often don't think past the end of our own block
! I personally have enough difficulty deciphering “politics” here at home…let alone remembering the guy who won the last presidential election in some far off African nation!

The fact is
—we can! About 5 minutes worth of research provides you with ample ammunition! We have so many handy ways of quickly (and I mean really quickly) pulling up just about any information we would ever need to know about any country here on earth. If you are blessed with some sort of Internet connection you pretty much have the world at your fingertips. In a matter of seconds your prayer page could look something like this:

Djibouti—Eastern Africa
President Ismail Omar Guelleh
Prime Minister Mohamed Dileita Dileita
US Ambassador and Representative (to the UN) Roble Olhaye Oudine

And viola, you are praying for a country and the people that make up that country in a way you have never prayed before!

And through wonderful organizations like The Joshua Project, Strategic World Impact, and The Voice of the Martyrs you can
add the names of pastors and their flocks—along with their struggles and stories—to that list in time to share them with your family around the dinner table this very evening. It’s that simple. It doesn’t so much take time as it takes priority!

We need knowledge in order to be accurate in our aim. God wants us in full armor—and our “faces set like flint”—always ready to engage the enemy on many front lines. He wants us praying through someone else’s fight!

Going to our knees on behalf of the ministry of another is essential if they are to continue putting feet to that ministry.

I strive to continue in those things that I have learned of the Lord, being ready in season and out of season, to give an answer for the hope that lies therein! I know that your prayers work to help bring that desire to pass. Please pray that I will be faithful to practice what I preach. And to practice it even before I preach it. I pray the same thing for those of you who read this blog and seek to please the Lord above all else. I would like to know how I could pray for you specifically!

We are exhorted to “shod [our] feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15)…the time we spend doing just that will make us ready to walk into any situation the Lord desires that we walk into, for His glory alone.

What we wear on our feet is very important. The Lord knows the “terrain” (the details within each situation) better than we do. We must always choose the shoes He has ordained for that purpose. Let us be very attentive to the Spirit’s preparation.

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13).

2 comments:

  1. "Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow..." (II Samuel 1:18a).

    In II Samuel 1, David was lamenting the death of Saul and Jonathan. The men of Benjamin were known as expert archers. He wanted the men of Judah to learn this skill as well.

    The weaponS of our warfare are not carnal. There is more than one weapon. The Word of God is a mighty Sword, like none other (Ps. 119:92). It is a hand to hand, face to face, word to word weapon. We have also been issued another weapon...

    Prayer is a long distance weapon. It can hit a target far away. Remember, Saul was hit and wounded of the archers who stood afar off.

    Often when people pray, we BOW the head, or BOW the knee. I bend the BOW and shoot out "Prayerrows" and can hit my target, across the globe, or across the room.

    3 things to check as you pray:
    1. Pray with faith - Jam. 1:6
    2. Pray with forgiveness - Mt. 6:15, Ps. 66:18
    3. Pray with fervency - Jam. 5:16

    Like as an archer becomes more proficient in his aim, and strengthens his arms by much practice, so the more we use this weapon, the more effectual prayer warriors we can be.

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