2000-03-25 - Prayer, The Arsenal
What Hinders Your Prayers, Part 2
Our last devotional spoke about hindrances to prayer. Let's review them:
James 5:16-20 Confess therefore your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The supplication of a righteous man availeth much in its working. 17 Elijah was a man of like passions with us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain; and it rained not on the earth for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again; and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. 19 My brethren, if any among you err from the truth, and one convert him; 20 let him know, that he who converteth a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins.
We are told to confess our sins to each other, to pray for each other and to live a live that is righteous so that our prayers may be powerful.
Ephesians 6:10-13 Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Wherefore take up the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand.
We have to remember that our battle is a spiritual one.
Our weapons are the Word of God and prayer.
I Peter 5:8 Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
Get serious about prayer and the test will come. It happened here recently. We decided as a couple to pray together at least twice a day and to read the Word together once a day. That is no easy task in this house. We began to study about prayer and to pray especially for our children that they would be brought closer to God. Well, the test came with one of our kids. A BIG test. I would like to say that we passed with flying colors... but we didn't. It was, and in some ways still is a struggle. But Romans 8 :28 is clear, "And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose."
There is a very real Enemy out there who wants to destroy us. He wants to destroy our relationship with God and with each other. It is easy when emotions run high and the situation heats up to forget who we are fighting against and let our flesh take over. Yet we have to remember that Satan wants to keep us from being effective in the kingdom of God. He wants our focus to be unclear and our mind to be filled with everything but with the mind of Christ. That is why it is so important to know the Word of God. Then when a test or a trial comes our way we can fall back on what we know to be true rather than what we feel. Then truth and not circumstance will dictate our thoughts and actions.
Matthew 16:13-18 Now when Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Who do men say that the Son of man is? 14 And they said, Some say John the Baptist; some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But who say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
We can pray that God would bind the demonic forces within the spiritual realm. We can pray that prayer specifically for a person or for a situation. That is where the real battle begins. God has shown us through His Word, how to prepare ourselves, how to fight the battle and He has even provided the weapons.
He has also shown us the strategy the Enemy uses. That is where we will begin next week.
Lord, help us to fight the battle first on our knees. Help us not to forsake time in your Word. Keep our minds clear God and focused on You. Protect us Lord and keep us within the shelter of Your holy presence. Amen.
In His Service,