The Warfare of Prayer

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Someone once told me that I was a prayer warrior.  At the time, I laughed.  And up until a couple weeks ago, I still laughed.  You see, in my mind I had a definition of what a prayer warrior was.  A prayer warrior is one of those people who pray out loud really well, whose words always come out right, who always says just the right thing, and who makes prayers sound beautiful, almost like music.  Or so I thought.

My definition of a prayer warrior was partially correct: there are people who use the powerful tool of prayer in that way.  I know a lovely young lady who prays like that; every time I hear her pray, I feel as though I am drawn right into the loving heart of God.  To a degree we all need to pray like that, but she does have a special gift of prayer.  But, as I said, my definition was only partially correct, or rather, only partially complete.

The problem with my definition was that it incapacitated me.  When I pray out loud in front of a group of people, sometimes my mind goes completely blank, which often doesn’t allow the passion and sincerity in my heart a chance to be released fully.  (It is an area I am still working on with God.  Someday every word He puts in my heart is going to make its way into the world.)  I am more of a writer than a speaker; when there is something important to be said, I like to have time to collect my thoughts fully and turn them into concise, poignant statements before I offer them to others.  That is just part of the way God wired me, and it is a great thing; it makes me a wonderful writer.  However, because of that, I couldn’t possibly imagine how I could be a “prayer warrior.”

This is how most of us feel about our weapons – bewildered

Don’t get me wrong – I have always believed that prayer is a powerful and effective tool of faith, and I love to write out prayers during my journaling time.  I just never thought of myself as being a capable prayer warrior, so I excluded myself from that seemingly lofty category by giving it too restricted a definition.  In short, I was allowing a lie to stop me from efficiently wielding the power given to me.  After all, a sword in the hands of someone who can’t use it won’t make much of a difference.

Aragorn holding AndurilYet, if you give a sword to someone who knows how it is used, to a warrior, it becomes a mighty weapon, an extension and increase of strength.  By denying that I was a “prayer warrior,” I was simply denying myself the strength given to me by the King of kings.  A warrior without a weapon is as ineffective as a sword in the hands of he who cannot wield it.  Whether I like it or not, I am a warrior.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  (Ephesians 6:12)

As sons and daughters of the Lord of Hosts, we have warrior status.  We have been rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into the Kingdom of light by the blood of Christ (Colossians 1:13-14), and we need to begin taking our role as warriors and guardians of the faith seriously.

“Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you – guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit that lives in us.”  (2 Timothy 1:14)

Because I am a warrior, I must learn how to use this weapon of prayer.  Having been covered by the righteousness of Jesus Christ, my prayers “are powerful and effective” (James 5:16).  The Lord has been encouraging me to begin setting aside specific time to pray for friends, for family, and for any other thing that He brings to my attention; and then to sit back and watch as it allows chain reactions of His power to be set off in my life and the lives of those around me.  We are engaged in all-out warfare with the powers of evil, and we cannot continue to fight weaponless.

"A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight!"

“A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight!” – Aragorn, Return of the King

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have the divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

So take heart and take up your weapon, prayer warrior.

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