We all have our battles. Maybe you’ve been battling with your kids to wake up in the mornings, or battling with your boss or coworkers. Your battle could be with your child’s teacher, the morning commute, or something more weighty like a serious illness. The world around us is plagued with battles and struggles, but it should come as no surprise; Jesus told us this would be the case (John 16:33).
But there is another reality pulsing behind the gossamer-thin veil of the things we can see and touch. I think at one time or another we all fall prey to the deception that the world around us and our comfortable (or not-so-comfortable) niche in time and space is all there is; that the battles we face here can and should be resolved in a physical, practical way. Argument for argument. Blow for blow. Court order for court order.
While there is a time and a place for practical or physical action, I think there is a dangerous veil of deception woven into the fabric of our earthy existence that keeps us from a very important truth: A spiritual reality exists, and it’s more real and more lasting than anything we see around us. And it won’t go away just because we close our spiritual eyes and ears to it. The Bible instructs us not only to be aware of it, but to be part of the spiritual battle raging within it (Ephesians 6:12). Engaging in this kind of battle in the spiritual realm is where we can find victory in areas where action in the physical realm has yielded consistent defeat.
Spiritual Warfare Calls for Spiritual Warriors
We are called to be warriors, and God has even told us that we have already achieved victory (1 John 5:4)! Not with guns or spears or bombs, but with “the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). And it’s our prayers that give our swords movement and direction.
We are not in a “Holy War” against those who think or believe differently from us, or even those who harm us or those we love; we are told to love our enemies and pray for our persecutors (Matthew 5:44). Because God knows that our enemies aren’t other humans; even the worst people on the planet are the victims of deep-rooted deception from the real enemies: the “cosmic powers over this present darkness…the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12 ESV).
Fighting on Our Knees
So I’ve recently asked myself, “Why do I spend so much time fighting the wrong battles, and so little time praying?” I really think the root of this problem boils down to whether I believe in the core of my being that this spiritual reality exists. It boils down to faith.
If I am honest with you, this is my deepest struggle: faith. Not the easy “it’s normal to be a Christian” kind. That kind I can handle, but I think that’s religion – not faith. I mean the kind you stake your life on. The kind people get beheaded for, or are disowned by families for. The kind of belief in the spiritual that puts its money where its mouth is and engages as a warrior.
I want this kind of faith, and just as the lepers who were healed as they walked to present themselves to the priests, I really think the key to stronger faith is just starting to walk it out in obedience, putting one foot in front of the other; not simply waiting for it. Muscles are built by being used, and I think the same is true of faith. We need to start walking and be strengthened as we go; we don’t have to wait until we’ve attained what we would consider “spiritual greatness” to be warriors for God’s kingdom!
So recently, my friend and fellow “Candid Gal,” Alana Terry and I discovered that we had a common desire to deepen our own prayer lives, and to connect with others and offer some practical encouragement as we walked our own journeys. And that’s how the Prevailing Prayer Podcast was born. Not because we have it all together, or feel like we have something to teach, but because we can all use some encouragement and accountability in our prayer lives! We want to be beside you in the trenches of the battle, sharing our struggles, celebrating our victories and sharpening each other as we go (Proverbs 27:17).
If you have a desire to deepen your prayer life, and can spare thirty minutes in the car or while you’re washing dishes or having your morning coffee, we would love for you to join us at the Prevailing Prayer Podcast. It is a weekly 30 minute podcast that includes a discussion about a different prayer topic each week, as well as regular segments dedicated to praying along with you for issues facing our world, such as the persecuted church, world missions and the unsaved people in your life.
To kick off our launch, we are offering The Prevailing Prayer Scripture Journal, a free PDF that includes a daily scripture, devotion, prayer, and other questions and scriptures for further meditation. Click here, we’d love to give you a copy!
How’s Your Prayer Life?
What is your biggest prayer struggle? Biggest victory? Share your stories in the comments; we’d love to hear them, and they may just be a huge encouragement to someone else!