-Our Mighty Weapon-
If you were in a war and your enemy had the best weapon, what would you do? If you knew without any doubt that when your enemy used this weapon, you would be obliterated, what would your strategy be? You could not join their side. You could not disarm the weapon. You could not do anything about the weapon’s power. So, what would you do?
The best strategy would be to convince your enemy that the most powerful weapon they have, the one that would completely annihilate your side, is useless. The best plan would be to come up with a campaign to brainwash the opposing side into thinking that their weapon is pitiful. Their weapon will never amount to anything and in fact, other armies will laugh at them if that’s the weapon that they depend on. You would try to embarrass them and harass them and tell them that, in fact, the weapon that they were told is powerful would actually make them appear weak. Why? That would be your only hope. You would know that you had to convince them at ALL cost not to use that weapon or, you were finished.
Ephesians 6:12, says, “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.” This Scripture tells us clearly that we are in a war and it is a war that we cannot see without spiritual eyes. This chapter in Ephesians also tells us to put on the whole armor of God and while we are putting on this armor verse 18 tells us that we are to do so with ALL PRAYER. It says we are to PRAY at ALL times.
Philippians 4:6 tells us, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything BY PRAYER and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Colossians 4:2 says, “Devote yourselves TO PRAYER, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;”
Another example is found in I Thessalonians 5:17. It says, “Pray without ceasing.”
All of these verses tell us that prayer is vital. It is a MIGHTY WEAPON, but how do we really feel about prayer? In the core of our being do we really know how powerful prayer is? Did we know at one time how powerful prayer is? Can we remember intense times of prayer, but the edge of our weapon has worn down a little? Do we believe prayer works, still works right now? Do we believe it is our strongest weapon?
Jesus is our best example for prayer in Scripture. Matthew 14:23, Mark 1:35, Luke 9:18 are just a few examples of the accounts we are given of Jesus praying. We see in these first two verses that He prayed in the morning and the evening. We see from other passages that He was continually in prayer throughout His ministry. In Matthew 6:6, Jesus says, “…when you pray”, not if. Praying is not a suggestion, it’s a necessity. So, if Jesus taught it and demonstrated to us how to pray, why is prayer so hard at times for us? Why is it so hard to pray without ceasing?
Part of the reason why prayer is so hard is that we ARE in a war. It is a weapon. Battle is hard work. Fatigue is very real. Ask any soldier. When we pick up our weapon of prayer, we have engaged the enemy. Our weapon is by far the most powerful, but we still have to wield it. That takes work.
Another reason that prayer is hard for us is that we have no perseverance without God’s strength. Our humanness has no staying power without the Holy Spirit. We have to ask God for His heart for prayer. What is His heart? We have to ask Him what He wants us to pray and move accordingly. We need to ask Him for an awareness when our prayer lives have grown stale. When our excitement fades, we have to confess that and ask Him for renewed vigor for the battle.
Prayer is also hard because our enemy knows that our prayers will annihilate them. They know that prayer is the key to not just the battle, but the war. Our enemy is a constant gnat buzzing around our ear saying things like, “Prayer doesn’t matter. God’s not hearing you. You are wasting your time. You’ve already prayed about that. Is prayer really all you have?” Our enemy is holding a constant campaign to sow deceit into our thinking. Our enemy knows that their only chance of victory is if we do not use our most powerful weapon…prayer. Unfortunately, the constant barrage works with most of us. We think that prayer is a last resort; or God hears others, but not us. We allow lies that we are told by the enemy to germinate in our lives and those seeds bring forth the fruit of a prayer less life.
In the Old Testament, Hezekiah gives us an amazing illustration of prayer. When he prayed on behalf of God’s people, the Lord sent an angel that destroyed over 185,000 soldiers in one night. That is twice the number of people killed with the atomic bomb in World War II! Let that sink in. One man’s prayer led to twice as many people being killed than the atomic bombs of World War II. Prayer is powerful! We literally have a spiritual atomic bomb in our arsenal that will obliterate our enemy and it sits quietly in the corner gathering dust. We worry and fret about our families’ issues, the unsaved, dissention among believers, finances…the list can go on and on and we have allowed our greatest weapon to seem powerless to us. We have believed the propaganda of our enemy.
So, is praying hard? It is, but we know that it is worth the effort because it is our most powerful weapon.
Why do we feel like prayer is not powerful? It’s because our enemy is continually buzzing around our ear telling us lies, sowing deceit. We allow his lies to cover God’s truth.
I want to encourage you to pray without ceasing. Prayer is a mighty weapon and we need to utilize it. Pray with renewed commitment and vigor. Pray when you feel like it and especially when you don’t. Let’s not be tricked into thinking that prayer is not vital to every person and every ministry. When we get discouraged into thinking that our prayers do not matter, it should be a trigger for us to know that they matter… A LOT! Otherwise, why would our enemy bother with discouraging us? If prayer was a waste of time, why would our enemy be so adamantly against it? So…PRAY! And, if you need to get out the flyswatter to swat those gnats, by all means, please do.