Prayer as a Weapon

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, November 11, 2016 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

[This blog post is part of a series. The previous post is here, and the next post is here.]

Spiritual warfare is a topic I have written on and spoken about for a number of years. However, my problem has been very similar to what I have realized throughout this series: knowing the theory but not knowing how to actually use it. In my whole prayer series, I feel like God is taking apart my whole understanding of Christianity and rebuilding it from scratch. In dealing with the topic of spiritual warfare and seeing prayer as the primary weapon, this is another example.

As Christians, we no longer fight our battles with swords and spears as David and his Mighty Men did. We are to fight spiritual battles. However, our battles we fight in the spiritual are not limited to having mere spiritual effects. In The Art of War, Sun-Tzu makes a key point: war is a means to an end and it is usually political. Likewise, all our spiritual battles are a means to an end and that end is either for God’s Kingdom or against it.

The spiritual battles we fight are about ownership of territory, not just physical territory but spiritual territory. God is not just interested in having ownership of a home or a church or a city, he also wants ownership of areas of our lives: our thought life, our social life, our finances, our education, our career, and more. Prayer is the weapon we use to fight for God’s Kingdom in each of these areas. Jesus said, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Part of the Lord’s Prayer is calling down what God initiates and seeks to establish it here in our reality. Eric Ludy describes prayer as a grappling hook. We throw it up to heaven and we pull and pull and pull. When we feel tension, that is when the hook is caught and there is resistance in pulling it down. The concept of “Praying Through” is praying until what is asked for it achieved. What does this look like?

Elijah was a man of prayer. He prayed that it would not rain and it did not rain for 3 ½ years. Then it took seven times to pray until the rain came back. He fought his battles on his knees. Jesus fought the greatest spiritual battle ever fought in the Garden of Gethsemane. The prayer was so intense that Jesus sweated blood (which by the way is a sign that your heart is ready to burst). John “Praying Hyde” Hyde is reported to have prayed for weeks on end with such intensity that his heart literally shifted from one side of his rib cage to the other (which led to his death). Some may say that he wasted his life, but in reality, he could not have fulfilled it better.

As I read the testimony of Rees Howells, he spent many years of his life learning about the art of intercession. That topic is important enough to warrant a separate post next week. However, near the end of his life as he ran a Bible college, World War II was in action. He set to pray for the events of the war in prayer, and prayed as though he was one of the soldiers on the field, willing to die for the cause. He would pray over specific battles and the miracle rescue of Dunkirk and “somehow,” against impossible odds, the battles were won. Howells even prayed in some cases for Hitler to get distracted by other fronts including invading Russia or to make unusually foolish military decisions. And he did. Prayer proved to be a powerful weapon. Now, Howells NEVER boasted about how his prayers affected World War II, but God used mighty men like him to turn the outcomes of the war.

Friends, we do not have the kind of vision of prayer that we need. Eric Ludy in Wrestling Prayer (pages 17-18) says this in regards to how we normally tend to think of prayer: “‘That's not prayer,’ God seemed to say, ‘That's spiritual sounding chitter chatter.’ … Spiritual-sounding chitter chatter tends to be self-centric in its banter, begging for comforts to be protected, deadlines to be met, surgeon's hands to be guided, tests to be passed, and food to be blessed. It's always about us.”

We are not praying as we should, and then we wonder why our prayers seem so powerless. God wants us to pray powerful prayers and to see victory in our lives. To get that, we need to pray God’s way. That is what I have been seeking in this series: to learn what praying God’s way is, to pray God’s prayers and in his style and manner. Ludy, also in Wrestling Prayer, suggests God wants to raise a great generation of heroes, prayer warriors that have not been seen since the days of the Apostles. Numerous pastors here in the southwest are calling for a final revival that will precede the events of the end times.

In all our talk about political banter, we tend to call for political reform, movie reform, books reform, every kind of reform except spiritual reform. We want to see an end to the bars, the gangs, the drugs, the porn, the sexualization of our youth, and so on. Do you want to know what it will take to shut them all down? It’s not any city ordinance or executive order. It is revival, brought and sustained through prayer. How do I know? Look at Acts 19. Paul spent a couple years in Ephesus preaching the Gospel and revival fell, to the point where people stopped doing business with all the merchants that sold idols and sacrificial meat to idols. They got so mad they cause a riot. If you want to do real prayer business, you will encounter an enemy that is going to fight back. He is not going to let you conquer his territory without a fight. If the enemy is not fighting against you, it is most likely because you aren’t a threat to him, because you are not taking your faith as serious as you should. I’m talking to myself on this too.

I’ll close this post with this thought. Are you known in hell? Leonard Ravenhill made this proclamation: “I want to be on Satan’s Most Wanted List.” And he was. So was Paul. Go back to Acts 19. The Seven Sons of Sceva tried to ride on Paul’s coattails. “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I cast you out.” The demon replied: “Jesus we know, and Paul we know, but who are you?” Are you known in hell where the demons tremble when you walk into the scene? If you are known in hell, that means you also know that it is not YOU that they tremble before but the Lord Jesus Christ in you who is able to act in and through you. Satan and his minions dread any man yielded to the will of God.

Are you a prayer warrior, praying God’s prayers God’s way, and obedient to the call? You cannot be such a person without experiencing war. That is why God arms us and equips us with his weapons, with prayer being our primary one. I have experienced battles and I know I have been on Satan’s Most Wanted List because he tried to kill me as a child. He realized God has a calling on my life, but am I living to see that through? Am I the threat to him now that God knew I could be? Am I praying God’s Kingdom into my life? Am I in position to not merely talk about the battles and train others about the battles, but to engage in the battles? I received a lesson in humility by reading the stories of a local youth pastor here in El Paso and I realized I am not the “expert” on spiritual warfare that I have been used to being due to being one of the few to actually engage in it. He showed me how little I actually knew. I am grateful to see other warriors on the field, but we are few. We need you. We need you praying and we need you fighting. If you are not willing to do this, stop complaining about the status of our world.

Next week, I’ll dig even deeper into this as I address Intercession.

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