At the very end of my column last week, I concluded with a section devoted to prayer. I want to pick up where I stopped.
However, I will delve deeper into the issue of prayer in today’s column.
As always, when I am considering or discussing the subject of praying, it will be from a Judeo-Christian perspective. Invariably, the discipline of praying is one of my most essential practices.
For nearly fifty years, I have been both a student and practitioner of prayer. During the span of this time, I have learned about the various types of prayers and the profound effects it can have on humanity when properly done.
Right here, I want to present something that two great men and servants of God from the past said in regard to the practice and priority of prayer:
“God does nothing except in response to believing prayer.” — John Wesley
“Prayer is not a preparation for battle, prayer is the battle.” — E.M. Bounds
Why Prayer is Our
Most Effective Weapon Against Evil
There are some essential reasons why prayer is our greatest and most potent weapon that I will briefly consider in this section. Before I illustrate a few of the reasons, I believe it is first important to explain that I am primarily talking to those of you who are true disciples of Jesus Christ, who understand that effective praying can only be done through His name and authority. In our warfare against evil, which is widespread in every aspect and area of our culture, there are forces and foes that are invisible and satanic in nature. These evil beings are present everywhere there are human activities and interactions going on. Unbeknown to most people, even those who confess to be the followers of Christ, they are the instigators and manipulators of the violence, crime, murder, hatred, and all the terrible things that man does in his defiance to God’s standards and ways. Let me make something clear here. I am not saying or implying that everything we think, say, or do that is contrary to the Word or Will of God is the devil’s fault. I dare not do like the character that the comedian, Flip Wilson, popularized on his variety show back in the early 70’s named Geraldine would do. Her famous saying about everything she did wrong was, “The devil made me do it!” We can not blame the devil and his minions for the evil that we do and must assume personal responsibility before God and man. Nevertheless, it is a biblical fact that the devil and evil spirits are either directly or indirectly involved in the evil, cruelty, violence, war, crime, murder, and such like that goes on in the realm of humanity (Ephesians 6:12). Since this is the case, I believe that regardless of the effort that is put forth by the government, the law enforcement, the judicial system, and even the military to deal with evil, violence, aggression, and wickedness on every level, it is still ineffective and falls short of winning the war.
As hard as these agencies try and as efficient as they are, due to the fact that they are natural and can only deal with evil on a natural level, they have not the ability or the authority to encounter the invisible forces and foes that are involved in the evil instigating and manipulating humans as pawns and puppets to do their bidding. There is but one group in all the earth that has been duly authorized and empowered to deal with these evil and invisible instigators. There is but one group who has been given the power and authority, through the name of Jesus Christ and prayer, to act as an army and police force against Satan and his demons. That group is the true church and Body of Jesus Christ. We are the instruments of His government in the earth that He has duly anointed and appointed to represent Him against the rulers of the darkness of this age. It saddens me to say this. For the most part, we (the Church) have failed to do our duty as the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Perhaps our biggest failing, though we have many, has been in the area of prayer. We have so trivialized our call to pray and stand in the gap for the land and the people that it no longer occupies a place of importance or priority in most of our churches and lives. The very thing that Satan fears the most is the very thing that we neglect the most.
I will conclude this column today with a passage that captures and expresses the point I am making here:
“And the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:12-14).