The Weekly PowerBreak – “Participating In Holy Combat”

We sometimes balk at the phrase, “prayer warrior,” because we have lost sight of what happens when we pray so when we hear that phrase we think the person thinks they are at war with God in prayer. And if you hear the way some people pray or talk about prayer it seems like they are at war with God as they make demands and seem to tell God what to do. On the other hand, “prayer warrior” seems quite adequate when we consider the part of prayer in spiritual warfare.

Ephesians 6:10–12 (ESV) — 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

It sounds pretty clear that our battles in life involve much more than we can see or touch because it’s a spiritual battle. Once a person is blessed by God to receive a new heart, one that fears God and is submissive to Him, he/she is a new creation, enjoying the blessing of the “saved” and the assurance of victory in the battles of life as the gift of faith is applied with the tools that God has given us to fight the spiritual battle throughout life.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV) — 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

1 John 5:4–5 (ESV) — 4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

With what do we fight the spiritual warfare?

Ephesians 6:14–17 (ESV) — 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,

You will notice the above is all defensive armor, with the exception of the word of God, about which I shall consider in a moment. Look again at the list but first the imperative to “stand” that simply means be ready to hold your ground. The point being if you are not working at holding your ground you will be pushed around in this spiritual battle. But remember you are not standing on your own strength and power, it is the power of God that enables you to stand and keeps you while you put forth the effort to hold your ground. Notice then the call for effort in applying the battle suit of armor. There’s the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of the Gospel, shield of faith, and the helmet of salvation. You’ll notice that the armor does not cover the back since you’re to hold your ground or advance, not turn and run from the enemy. Don’t stop there. There are two pieces of the Christian armor that are offensive which are as affective as the stones in David’s sling as he slew Goliath. The offensive weapons are the word of God and prayer.

Ephesians 6:17–20 (ESV) — 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

Did you realize the more you are in God’s word, the more you are attacking the powers of darkness in the world, the flesh, and the devil? Remember when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by the devil and each time Jesus’ weapon of warfare against temptation was the word of God. No wonder the Psalmist said the word of God will keep you from sin.

Psalm 119:11 (ESV) — 11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

Along with the word of God, the other offensive weapon against the powers of darkness is prayer. Too many times we act like prayer is almost a useless activity because it seems so meek to humbly seek for God’s grace and favor. Did you realize however, that when God’s people pray they are actually “reigning on the earth?”

Revelation 5:9–10 (ESV) — 9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, 10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”

This is the song of the redeemed to the Lamb of God, who is the Lord Jesus Christ, by whom they have been ransomed from eternal damnation and have been made a kingdom of priests that reign on the earth. What do priests do? They represent others before God. How do they reign? God uses the prayers of His people to bring about His sovereign plan and because they can pray anywhere, at any time, under any condition, and no one can stop them, they are reigning upon the earth.

No wonder then we are told the prayers of the saints come as sweet incense to God and are a vital part of worship.

Revelation 5:6–8 (ESV) — 6 And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. 8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

Now that should enliven your prayer life!

Godspeed,

Bob Brubaker