Fighting in prayer.
I know this may seem like a foreign concept to some who read this. But I am utterly convinced that prayer is something powerful. Don’t believe me? Read any post on social media about death, tragedy, difficult times…it could be written by anyone, but I guarantee you that the comments will be full of posts of prayers. What I have found is that we, as a Church, don’t fight hard enough in prayer. We will seek God when it gets tough. We will say a quick prayer for a big exam or job interview. We might say a generic prayer before a meal. But do we really know how to fight in prayer?
I am an advocate for prayer. Not just the quickie prayer. But deep focused prayer. Now before you create your own image of how I pray, I am not a 5am, get up early, kneel for 2 hours a day person. Not me. I am a pace around the room, cry, scream, yell, kneel, weep before God prayer person. I am advocate for prayer because I have seen God move and do amazing things by my prayers. God doesn’t need us to pray. He wants us to pray. He wants us to seek him. But sometimes we need to pray. Actually, more than sometimes. As often as we can muster. What I have learned is sometimes we can’t afford to just say the quickie prayer because we had a bad day. Sometimes, we need to have the uncomfortable, painful, messy, moments in prayer in the solitude of our room, or car, or wherever you can find time in prayer alone. Sometimes we need to make ourselves pray, not so we can check a mark on our to-do list as a Christian, but to realize that sometimes we need to seek out God, humble ourselves, but to also fight.
Ephesians 6:12 states “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
This is where it gets tricky, especially if you are not a person of faith or religion. This is where it gets awkward if you are a Christian but you don’t know this. Crap happens in our world. Bad things happen. Sin exists. Whether things happen by choice and consequence, or just because, we need to pray. Evil exists because the devil exists. I believe in Satan. And I believe he wants nothing more for you than being exactly who God doesn’t want you to be. He wants you to feel defeated by your own wrongdoing. He wants you to feel destroyed by the bad things of this world. He wants you to feel unworthy because of your sin or mistakes. He wants you to think that God could never forgive or love you. That is the spiritual realm I speak of when I talk of prayer. When we pray, we show the devil that he doesn’t get to decide the things in your life. You get to by seeking God and allowing him to lead your life. When we pray, we are saying “God I need you, I am desperate for you, I am angry and need your help…” and so much more. When we pray we are telling God our problems, our needs, our hurts, our fears, but also of our faith and our hope and our belief that he is going to do what he promised. What I have learned, and then been reminded of recently, is that sometimes, we need to make the time to pray. Make the time to pray for your needs and ask God to provide. Pray until God does something. Pray until you can’t pray anymore. I’m not talking like 30 minutes and you’re done. Do it everyday. Seek him and his will. Seek his direction and clarity. He will not let you down.
Make the time to grieve your sin. GRIEVE YOUR SIN. And then fight against your sin. If we can’t or won’t grieve our sin, then we don’t know Jesus truly and that’s even more of a reason to grieve. This is painful, humbling, heartbreaking. I know this all too well. I had to grieve my sin years ago when I finally admitted to having a porn addiction and problem with lust. I had to grieve that what I was doing was far from honoring God and far from being holy. I have had to do that again since then for other things. I have had to grieve the fact that my behaviors were grieving God. If we can’t be broken for our sin and the things that we do that grieves God, than we do not know him at all. Start with knowing him and surrendering your life to him. And then pray and fight even for God to work in and through you.
Take the time to fight for others in prayer. Don’t just hope someone changes. Don’t just be sad that someone is living in a way that doesn’t honor God. Don’t be unmoved by people, especially those that claim Christ, to continue to live in their sin and not be broken. Be broken for them. Pray for them by name. Pray for them to know God more. Pray for them to encounter Jesus and the forgiveness he offers. I have a list that has names on it that I pray for daily. I have people in my life that I specifically and intentionally pray for because I know God has more for them than they could imagine. Be inconvenienced to pray for others.
Whoever you are and whatever you face, you might need to take the time, or make the time, to really seek God in prayer. But be willing to fight, because the devil doesn’t want you to realize he is a liar and deceiver. He doesn’t want you to know that God can redeem you from your sin. He doesn’t want you to know that God is good. God isn’t intimated by any emotion you could possibly express to him. He isn’t intimated by language, words, worries, fears, or circumstances. He is intimated by your humanity. Just seek him. Weep before him. Grieve your sin. Be broken. Be angry. But be open for him to speak and move boldly in your life.