Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Prayer...Warriors?

Prayer warriors.  This almost seems like an oxymoron to me.  Prayer seems like such a peaceful act.  Sitting silently, talking to God in your heart or in a whisper.  Warriors are generally strong and brave, quick to fight.  The two don't seem to go together.  Furthermore, why are the prayer warriors in our lives little old women named Mildred, Rose, or Ida? (All of those ladies are actually prayer warriors in my life, by the way.) How can they be warriors?  What do they have that makes them prayer warriors?
James Tissot, The Taking of Jericho

As I was thinking about warriors, my mind was drawn to the story of Jericho in the Bible.  The Lord had told Joshua that the city was the Israelites, but the city was surrounded by impenetrable walls.  The Lord had a plan though.  He told Joshua to march around the walls.  He did not tell them to start fighting.  But, the men armed themselves and obeyed God.  They marched once a day for six days.  In Joshua 6:8, they "started marching in the presence of the Lord."  On the seventh day, they marched seven times and then blew their horns and gave a loud shout.  Those of you with any church background know what happened: "and the walls came a-tumbling down!"

No fighting was required to take the city.  What was required? Obedience to God.  God wanted the battle to be about Him and His power.  What else was crucial to this victory?  The warriors marched in the presence of the Lord. 

We all know that prayer is talking with God, but when I looked up "warrior" on dictionary.com, I found a definition beyond that of "soldier."  The second definition reads, " a person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness, as in politics or athletics." I'm going to add prayer to that list!

God hears all prayers. Then why are some people prayer warriors?  This is the key that I think the little old ladies have discovered: Prayer isn't about them, its about God.  They have experience to know that God is faithful and that He does hear and answer prayers. And, they pray with vigor and courage and aggressiveness.  How do we get there? Does it take a lot of life experience and time to be a prayer warrior? 

In Colossians 4:2 it says, "Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart."  Notice it does not say "little old ladies, devote yourselves to prayer..."  This urging is for all of us.  And ladies (and gentlemen, if you are reading!) if we are not devoted to pray for our families and our friends, who will be?  I think we can do it!  The secrets are to be obedient to God and pray, and to be in God's presence. As for it taking time, we are always in God's presence because His spirit lives in us. We can talk to Him anytime.  We don't have to be kneeling with our Bibles open (although that works too!)  I'm learning how to be devoted in this practice. We just have to do it! It is so important!   We have to know that He is more than big enough to make our walls come down!  So, I'm learning.  I want my name to be added to the list of prayer warriors.  Mildred, Rose, Ida, Kristen, _______________(that space is for you!)
 
 

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