Jesus told a parable to show that men ought to pray at all times and not lose heart (see Luke 18:1-8). In other words, if you are not praying, you will lose heart. Most of the things I pray for I have to persevere and pray through to get the answer. God desires to see something deeper come out of my prayer time than just answered prayers. He wants me to become like Jesus, so he arranges battles that are character-forming. Not only will they ultimately change the world around me, but they'll change me first. This is what all true prayer warriors have discovered.
When we picture a prayer warrior, we usually see a great-aunt or grandmother. I think that every family has one. You never find them looking into a crystal ball to know the future for little Johnny---they are at the throne of God creating Johnny's future in prayer. They are not wondering if Mary is going to make it; they are praying her through to victory. They do not have time to lament Harry's drinking problem; they are storming heaven to see him delivered.
Prayer warriors are the most frightening, powerful, demon-chasing, world-moving beings on earth. In truth, they act like children of God! If they were to gaze at a crystal ball, it would explode! They look at astrological predictions and rebuke them. They never wonder about the future because they are too busy creating it through their faith in God.
Prayer warriors are positioned by God to pray for their families. I remember when my Dad came to the Lord. For ten years we would intellectually clash about God during our visits. Finally, on one trip he arrived at our home "armed" with an argument against God. He said, "If there really is a God, why doesn't He always answer prayer?" He was secure in his position, and I was tired of the argument. I went into another room for a few minutes and prayed, "Lord, you've got to give me an answer."
When I returned I could see my Dad felt he won this round. I love my dad very, very much, but I said, "Dad, forget all the people that you think didn't get answers to prayer---you yourself are an answer to prayer! You are alive today because our entire family daily prays for you." (He was very overweight and smoked a pack of cigarettes daily). Then I continued, "But let's experiment. You say God doesn't answer prayer; we say He does. So, for one week we won't pray for you, and well see what happens."
I can't remember ever seeing my dad turn so pale. He looked over at my Mom and said, "Hon, tell the boy not to do that." Then, with beads of sweat forming on his forehead, he said to me, "Okay. What do I have to do to keep you praying for me?"
In three minutes, he went from not believing in prayer to begging us to keep praying for him. I said, "Dad, the only way I'll keep praying for you is if you pray right now and give your life to Christ," and my dad at that moment received Christ. The Lord answered my prayer.
Prayer anchors us in God's strength for our battles. Each of us knows prayer works: we are saved because someone else prayed for us! Thus, looking at the miracle of our own conversion, we gain confidence in God's help to transform others.
Luke 21:36 tells us to be "praying in order that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man." Every time the Bible talks about standing before God, it is speaking of a position of anointed authority and commissioning. Elijah stood before God as did Gabriel. It speaks of one who stands before God as an attendant to the Almighty. When they decree God's Word, it comes to pass.
Jesus said, "With God all things are possible" (Matt. 19:26). Under that banner, we pray and believe God. The Holy Spirit ever lives to make intercession. All we need to do is open our hearts to Him and prayer is going to come forth.
Look at the terrible issues of our world right now. Every need we see is where God wants us to release, through prayer, His future for that situation. God shows us what is wrong so we can pray for things to be made right. Why waste energy criticizing what's wrong when our prayers can change it!
The Lord our God in the midst of us is mighty. Our weapons are mighty to pulling down strongholds. Stop thinking of yourself as unable to pray. That's a lie out of hell. You are a prayer warrior!
There was a time when that great aunt or grandmother was a younger woman. She might have been just like you, and God showed her the needs around her. His grace came and she made a decision not to judge, but to pray. She didn't start off strong, but she became strong. Now it's your turn to make that decision to be the prayer warrior for your family, church or city!"
Let's pray: Lord Jesus, You said that the armies in Heaven follow You, and Your name is called "the Word of God." Help me to not only believe Your Word, but pray it in the power of the Holy Spirit! I accept that You have called me to be a prayer warrior. By Your grace, I receive a new anointing in intercession. Amen!
This article is adapted from In Christ's Image Training. - Used by permission Francis Frangipane
Discover intimate worship music in The Secret Place with a selection of free mp3 downloads:
Go on a journey
designed to lead
you into worship and a deeper encounter with God
To listen to music, order CDs or download albums, visit our Online Store