I came across this quote today:
You will not know what prayer is for until you know that life is war.
– John Piper
That might sound a little pessimistic, even morbid, perhaps, but there is so much truth in that statement.
The Armor of God (Ephesians 6)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 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.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
We are in battle. I think that’s a fact that we tend to take for granted/forget about. It’s difficult to remember, because if we don’t look for them, we wouldn’t normally see any signs of battle. And then, even if we do, people will think us weird if we go around declaring that we are in the middle of a war – a spiritual, invisible one, no less.
But what do people’s opinions matter, anyway, eh?
Prayer is talking to God, yes. It’s needed to develop a relationship with Him, as you would with any human being. It’s how we communicate with Him. But apart from that, it is a weapon. It keeps us in communion with God, locked into the source of power that conquered death.
That said, we must be careful not to treat prayer is solely a weapon, just as we must not ignore the fact that it is a weapon. I had this in a previous post, but I’ll stick it here again:
Prayer keeps us in constant communion with God, which is the goal of our entire believing lives. Without a doubt, prayerless lives are powerless lives, and prayerful lives are powerful lives; but, believe it or not, the ultimate goal God has for us is not power but personal intimacywith Him. Yes, God wants to bring us healing, but more than anything, He wants us to know our Healer. Yes, He wants to give us resurrection life, but more than that, He wants us to know the Resurrection and the Life. Please let this truth sink in deeply: It is never the will of God for warfare to become our focus. The fastest way to lose our balance in warfare is to rebuke the devil more than we relate to God.
– Beth Moore
Lord, teach us how to pray.