“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” (Ephesians 6:18, NLT) Prayer … it is the one discipline of a Christian’s life that is so often most neglected. We see that for the First Century Church, prayer was so essential that they actually were known – not by titles / group names but by what they practiced in their faith – as “those who call on the name of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:2) Prayer was and is a powerful weapon (both offensive and defensive) in the church’s arsenal in the spiritual battle/war with Satan in this fallen world. In fact, Satan recognizes the potential power that can be unleashed through a believer’s heart if he /she fully yields themselves to a daily time of communion with our Heavenly Father. Satan’s main strategy with God’s people is to work on severing that divine communication line between the soldier on the field (believer) and his Commander in Chief (God) and then he seeks to move in for the kill/victory (John 10:10a). Just like in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, Satan still whispers his lies and attempts to sow his seeds of doubt, “Don’t call, don’t ask, don’t depend on God to do great things. You’ll get along just fine if you just rely on your own strength and your own cleverness.” Sadly, many Christians seem to fall prey to his tactics as has been demonstrated throughout history. Many believers honestly don't pray enough because they do not fully realize the divine power that God releases through this discipline of our faith. Many seem to not want to experience that divine closeness that can only come through spending much heartfelt time in prayer with the Lord. Pastor Jim Cymbala shares in his book, Fresh Wind Fresh Fire, “If we (believers) don’t want to experience God’s closeness here on earth, why would we want to go to heaven anyway? He is the center of everything there. If we don’t enjoy being in His presence here and now, then heaven would not be heaven for us. Why would He send anyone there who doesn’t long for Him passionately here on earth?” Prayer for each Christian should be second nature, like breathing. We should automatically pray, lifting our needs and requests before the Lord, crying out for God for His divine wisdom for our lives. God spoke to His prophet Jeremiah while in prison, “‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3) Jesus said that no matter our life circumstances, we should always “pray and not lose heart / not give up!” (Luke 18:1). Although vital for the First Century Church, for many in the 21st Century Church, prayer seems to be an “option” only needed in times of emergencies. Pastor Jim Cymbala again shares, “What does it say about our churches today that God birthed the church in a prayer meeting, and yet (true) prayer meetings today are almost extinct? …Am I the only one who gets embarrassed when religious leaders in America talk about having prayer (again) in public schools? We don’t have even that much prayer in our churches! Out of humility, you would think we would keep quiet on that particular subject until we practice what we preach in our own congregations.” No gray there whatsoever … as the common saying goes, “It just IS what it IS!” Listen, we are facing many formidable giants in our land today, and like David with Goliath (1 Samuel 17), we as true soldiers of Christ need to be willing to step onto the battlefield of faith and engage the enemy with the confidence of our faith in God surrounded by a prayer-laden suit of armor (Ephesians 6:10-18). To the watching soldiers on both sides, David’s weaponry seemed ridiculous / foolish: a sling and five smooth stones. Yet God often uses such foolish things to shame the wise/strong (1 Corinthians 1:27) … and the stone left the sling and connected with its target … and the watching world, comprised of both believers and unbelievers, witnessed the power of prayer released through the exercise of faith … and the giant once deemed ‘invincible’ fell to the ground, defeated in death by the power of God! When it comes to spiritual matters, you and I will never know our full potential under God until we step out in faith and take risks on the front line of battle in the REAL WAR on Terror (i.e. against Satan and his evil schemes; Ephesians 6:11). We will never see what power and anointing are truly possible unless we take up the sword of truth (Word of God; Ephesians 6:17-18) and pray! Pastor Jim Cybala shares, “Sitting safely in the shelter of Bible (study) amongst ourselves, or (simply) complaining to one another about the horrible state of today’s society does nothing to unleash the power of God. He meets us in the moment of battle. He energizes us when there is an enemy to be pushed back…where are (those) mighty men and women anointed by God to truly make a difference?” Take a moment right now and allow His Spirit to help you assess where you are standing – upon the spiritual battlefield with prayer-led readiness to fight/engage the many enemies of our day (1 Timothy 6:12), or with the majority who are gathered together in fear upon life’s sidelines? One closing note, David used but one of his five smooth stones to defeat Goliath, what did he do with the other four stones? Goliath had four brothers who would soon meet the same fate as Goliath (2 Samuel 21.19-22 ) … now that’s prayer-infused courage for faith-led battles for the Lord! Are YOU a true ‘prayer warrior’ for Jesus Christ today? …Selah!
Today's Spirit-led video is an instrumental video based upon the scriptures of Psalms 8 and can be viewed by clicking "Prayer & Reflection" - G3 for His gift of ministry thru Christian music!