It’s no secret that following Jesus is a battle. In this world, we’re at war against the devil and his forces and even against our own selves. If we are going to win the battle we need to know how to effectively fight and live life as a prayer warrior.
Some days we see the battle clearly, but sometimes it’s hard to remember what we’re fighting against and what we’re fighting for.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12, NKJV).
What are our weapons against all these unseen forces?
We’re told that faith is our shield and Scripture is our sword (Eph. 6:16-17). We’ve been given the weapons and the protection we need for the battle, but that doesn’t change the fact that we often feel lonely and afraid.
What we often forget is that we’re not alone in the fight: we have a Captain Who goes before us, fights beside us, and stands behind us.
One of the most important things we can do is stay connected to Him.
Soldiers need to stay in constant contact with their leader so they can receive orders and encouragement. They need to know that their captain is with them on the battlefield.
What does this look like for those of us who know Jesus as our Captain?
- Prayer should be our first response to everything.
When we receive our marching orders from Jesus, we should respond with an immediate “Yes, Lord!” But just like soldiers ask their captain how he wants them to move ahead, we should be asking Jesus how to do what He wants us to do.
Ever since we received the call to plant Vessel United Church, we’ve been praying fervently for God’s direction. We know that we need His guidance in every step!
As Christians, we often think that prayer is an emergency signal–like a flare we can send up to let God know we’re in trouble and ask for His help. But if soldiers wait until the last minute to tell their captain they’re in trouble…it might be too late.
Rather than waiting to pray until something goes wrong, we need to pray over every single step. We should be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (Eph. 6:18, NKJV), whether it seems like things are going well or badly.
In our ministry and at Vessel United Church, prayer isn’t a last resort. It’s the foundation for our lifestyle.
- Prayer is our lifeline to Jesus.
Soldiers don’t just talk to their captain when they need his help: they stay in constant contact because they realize that it’s an enduring and important relationship.
Likewise, Christians need to remember that prayer is about having a relationship with God. Think about it–isn’t it an amazing privilege that we can talk to the Creator of the universe?
As we go out to battle every day, God offers us a direct connection to Him. We can get to know our Captain by having daily, intimate conversations with Him!
Just as soldiers get to know their leader’s tactics the more they talk to him and know him, we can learn more about God’s plans and His heart for the world as we deepen our relationship with Him.
Being a prayer warrior means that we’re always talking to Jesus, about everything that’s happening in our lives. The devil will tempt us to give up on prayer, but we have to “[be] watchful” (Eph. 6:18, NKJV) and check in with our Leader.
- Prayer brings us into closer community with others.
Standing together through battles makes soldiers grow closer to each other. Few relationships in this life are as close as those formed between soldiers in the same squadron.
Christians have the opportunity to deepen their relationships with each other through prayer! When we pray “with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Eph. 6:18, NKJV), we’re backing up our brothers and sisters in the battle.
Jesus promised, “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:20, NKJV). Take a minute to imagine that: when we gather together to pray, Jesus is there with us, too! He strengthens our bonds and guides us toward His will.
By bringing us into community, praying together helps us stand together as followers of Jesus.
As you pray this week, remember that you’re part of an army! Prayer is a powerful weapon. If you are new to prayer or looking for direction or guidance on how to pray, read this other post about what happened when I attended my first prayer meeting.
Need a reminder to pray? Check out our prayer warrior T-shirts and join us in praying for our city, our country, and our world! If you’re interested in praying for the launch of Vessel United Church, contact us at [email protected]. We need prayer and support from our fellow warriors!