It’s a dangerous thing to forget that we’re in a battle. You know, sometimes it’s easy to drift into the idea that my day is all about what’s on my “to do list” or to get so caught up in what’s happening in this material realm that I become oblivious to what is actually going on. I set myself up for failure when I’m not intentional to engage in the spiritual battle that has implications far greater than my “to do list.”
Forgetting the battle is a dangerous mindset for a soldier.
The battle was raging for me last week. I woke up on Thursday a bit physically incapacitated, but I also experienced an emotional and spiritual onslaught. I couldn’t write, I couldn’t stay on task with housework, I couldn’t think very well. Finally, I called my husband at noon and let him know how much I was struggling and he went to battle for me in prayer.
Prayer is where the real battle is waged.
I don’t understand much about spiritual warfare, but when I read one of the premier passages on this topic, prayer stands out big time:
[box]Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints . . . (Ephesians 6:10–18)[/box]
I’m so thankful that Paul comes right out and says it: “Hey, if you haven’t noticed, we’re in a spiritual battle!” So, if you believe the Bible, you have to believe and know that daily, DAILY, we’re in battle. Knowing that, we must stay on the alert and be wise in how we approach the war.
If I was in a physical conflict, if I was fighting in Afghanistan right now, I wouldn’t try to function without having close communication with my superiors. That would be insane. In the same way, if I try to muddle my way through the day without recognizing the need to stop, to take long moments to get instruction from my spiritual “Superior” I’m in a dangerous position.
And notice that Paul is talking about battling “for others” through prayer. So many times I’m caught up in crying out for myself, asking God to protect me, or provide me with power . . . but as a soldier, I shouldn’t be looking out primarily for myself, but I need to be interceding for my fellow soldiers!
As spiritual warriors, we must stand united in our faithful intercession for others:
[box]To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thess. 1:11–12)[/box]
I need instructions, and I also need to be connected with the Spirit, to be prepared to battle for others with specific, targeted intercession:
[box]In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26–27)[/box]
I’m so glad to know that many of you want to grow in your prayer life—that means there will be more warriors on the front lines of the spiritual battle! And that thought gets me really excited!
More on prayer tomorrow . . .
What specific prayers are you lifting to God today?
Are you engaged in the battle?
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