Thursday, July 24, 2008

Strategic Prayer

In the 1980s, the Christian Rock band Petra released an album (this was before CDs !) entitled “This Means War!” which was also the title track. The album also had a song entitled “Get On Your Knees and Fight Like Man.” Basically, the album as a whole embodied “spiritual warfare.”
Over the past few days I have found myself singing what I remember of the lyrics to both of these Petra songs until I finally googled them! So, me in my best “rocker” voice could be heard from time to time singing these, according to my girls.. “ancient” lyrics. “Get on your knees, and fight like a ma-a-an! You’ll pull down strongholds if you just believe you can! The enemy will tuck his tail and flee! Get on your kne-e-e—es!” Ancient or not, Petra had it going on with that album!

Spiritual Warfare is something that every believer will engage in at one time or another. We are after all in the Army of God! The great thing about being in His army is He provides us with the tools for winning and succeeding! One of those weapons is prayer. Prayer is like dynamite. It will take out anything that is in the way but it has to be lit first! It is a powerful weapon all on its own but it must be initiated by a believer with a warrior-like spirit.

David was a skilled warrior in many areas. In addition, he was also a man who knew how to engage the ear of God and the enemy. His skillful training through being placed in the midst of battles which included encountering wild animals, slaying Goliath and ultimately battling his son, Absalom set David up for becoming a strategic prayer warrior. From David’s own example we learn that the only way we can become skillful warriors in the area of prayer is by training and being placed in the midst of a battle.

In a practical sense, an attempt to be a “hero” in war when there is a lack of training and lack of experience will more than likely result in untimely death. There is a reason why the US military “boot camp” is known for being brutal. Someone whose training and experience runs no deeper than a Play Station video “war game” is not prepared for real battle on the frontlines. Proverbs tells us that knowledge without experience is folly. We will never get the level of training we need to become effective in prayer by engaging in “war games.” When this occurs our prayers can become random and ineffective.

Prayer, especially in times of warfare should be deliberate and intentional with confidence and authority. The enemy would love to create “shipwrecks” in our lives through our relationships, finances, churches, etc. However, we as believers who are grounded in the Word of God are not shaken by this! II Corinthians 2:11 tells us to be aware of the enemy’s devices. He is a deceiver, a liar and he does not fight fair!

“I'm passing this work on to you, my son Timothy. The prophetic word that was directed to you prepared us for this. All those prayers are coming together now so you will do this well, fearless in your struggle, keeping a firm grip on your faith and on yourself. After all, this is a fight we're in.” I Timothy 1:18-19

Every battle, test and opportunity that occurs in our lives can condition us into skillful warriors of strategic prayer and spiritual warfare. In times of battle and testing, using the authority of the Word of God will stop the enemy dead in his tracks! The power of the spoken Word of God in strategic prayer releases power and blessings! (Ephesians 6:18) Using the authority given to us through the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10:19-23) and through speaking the name of Jesus Philippians 2:9-11) and the names of God are power packed tools as well!

Prayer is necessary for every believer. It is a powerfully effective weapon! As we begin to pray strategically our circumstances will begin to change right before our eyes. Instead of giving up or falling prey to the strategy of the enemy, consider times of struggle, testing, and temptation as divine opportunities to be trained in strategic prayer and spiritual warfare.

Side note: It seems there is an increased call to strategic prayer right now. On August 3, 2008 at 7 pm CST, a worldwide prayer event will be taking place. This time of prayer will be a powerful for opportunity for engaging in the art of strategic prayer! Go to www.driventopray.com to sign up or for more information.




2 comments:

Leanne said...

Petra ROCKED!!!! I was called into the ministry while listening to their song "Armed and Dangerous." In my opinion, Bob Hartman is one of THE most anointed songwriters of all time.

[Digging out all my old Petra CD's now - I bought a bunch of their "best of" stuff when they finally released in on CD]

Oh, and your post is dead on! Convicting, because I know I don't pray nearly enough...but dead on!!

Kay Martin said...

Beautiful post on the "battle" that we sometimes casually dance around.

Your blog title grabbed my attention: Driven to Pray. Yes, prayer has not come naturally to me. I most definitely have been driven to pray. But oh what a great truth to now have and operate in. God is present. When I dwell in His presence everything has to change!!!

I will return. I registered for the prayer event. What a wonderful way to use technology for the Kingdom purposes.