The last in our series on the seven elements of The Armor of God, this month we will highlight our most powerful weapon of all:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
The Priority of Prayer
Referred to over 500 times in the Scriptures, everyone can exercise this fantastic resource. It's a ministry all of us are called to. In fact, it is the most important activity a Christian can engage in.
It is absolutely incredible that we each have a priority connection directly into the Throne Room of the Universe! It is amazing to realize that this astonishing resource is so available and so rarely used. It is unquestionably the most powerful weapon we could possibly have. And it is the deciding factor in spiritual warfare.
The Elements of Prayer
One of the key elements of prayer is worship. This part is the most fun. How glorious it is to simply celebrate the greatness, the beauty, the majesty, of God. And His love. And the precision of His caring.
This leads us to the petition(s). It may surprise us to realize that it is very appropriate to discuss with Him our own needs, and in detail. The "Lord's Prayer" includes, "Give us this day our daily bread." Indeed.
Your needs come first, or you can't help others. "The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits."1 When you take a flight on an airline, the flight attendant will point out to you that if the oxygen masks should be released, and you are flying with a child, you first put on your own mask, and then assist the child. You can't give to others what you haven't got yourself.
But the real labor of prayer is intercession for others; "...supplication for all saints."
Artillery in Warfare
You are, in effect, in the position of the "forward controller" in the battlefield, with a direct line to Command Headquarters, and you are commissioned to call in the fire you need.
There are many types of fire. Enfilade: direct, offensive fire. Supporting outreaches. Pulling down of strongholds.2 Freeing captives. Removing trammels and shackles. Also, defilade fire: indirect, attacking the enemy's hidden assets; anticipating where the enemy may be lurking and hiding.
And there is flanking fire. Are you about to be outflanked? An indirect assault from your most vulnerable side? What is your most vulnerable side? Self-_____? (Fill in the blank yourself.) Our "strongest suit" is usually our weakest suit. Remember Peter.3
Be very specific. "Win the war" isn't a very operative petition. "Hit the enemy" isn't very useful to a squadron commander. Be very specific. Direct the resources with precision. Pick your targets carefully. Use a rifle rather than a shotgun. Satan will yield only what he has to.
Always go for the leverage. Recruit the radical. Interdict the most critical logistics. Go after the foundations. Know your mission and focus.
Be strategic. Even pray for what is prophesied (thus, ostensibly inevitable). Prayer is God's way of enlisting us in what He is doing. Lord's Prayer: "Thy Kingdom Come." Knowing that the 70 years of captivity were almost over, Daniel prayed for his people.4 And Gabriel interrupted this prayer by giving Daniel the most fantastic prophecy in the Bible.5
Don't impute any limitations on your HQ. Don't assume any restrictions on the assets available.6 Don't ask for small arms fire when a blockbuster may be called for. Only prayer can really change things. The prayer closet is far more effective than the ballot box.
The value of concentration is basic in military strategy. Coordinated fire is always more effective. "Where two or three agree...."7
But don't assume a solution with inadequate G-2.8 Maybe an accurate assessment is our first priority. Remember, in accordance with His Will. Discover it through His Word. It is to be a dialogue, not a monologue. Always to the Father, through the Son.9 "
With all perseverence." Hit and run tactics rarely yield any lasting results. Persistence is always a key to victory in any calling. Don't ever give up.
A Few Hints
Be serious and organized. Use a notepad or notebook. Keep a battlefield record and also keep your Headquarters abreast of your awareness of victories!
Don't be discouraged; that is a victory for the enemy. Realize that God finds many ways-each day-to ask you, "Do you trust me?"
Recognize that God often will veto our requests for our own good. (Moses' denied entry into the Promised land, Paul's "thorn in the flesh," et al. Even Christ in Gethsemane subjected His petitions to the Father's will.)
It's obvious that much more can be said on this crucial topic. However, we don't need more articles, books, videos, or conferences, on prayer. We need more prayer.
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Smith, Chuck, Effective Prayer Life, The Word for Today, Costa Mesa CA, 1980.
See also our briefing package, Armor for the Age of Deceit, and our Expositional Commentary on Ephesians.