Prayer: Our Weapon Against the Enemy
By Erinn Campbell
Ephesians 6:18 – And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
When Brian asked me to share my thoughts on prayer, I must admit the first thought that came to mind was “he has the wrong person”. However, I told him I would pray over it and allow God to lead me. I didn’t always pray the way I do now. In the past I would mostly go to the Lord in prayer when times were tough. When I was faced with a difficult challenge. I was also less likely to celebrate the victories with God back then.
Over time, in God’s unbelievable patient way, He started to work at my heart. The little windows of opportunity I gave him he took as time to reveal my faults. I now call these faults road blocks or static. My heart was being convicted of how I needed to change. When I want to hear God’s voice clearer, I have to remove the road blocks of my life. I need to tune in and listen closely. This is a constant effort because every day I fall short of God’s glory. When something happens that draws attention to behavior that is not aligned with God’s will for my life, I need to address immediately. Again, it was not always like this. But now, every second, of every minute, of every hour, of every day I am in constant conversation with God. I started this over a year ago. The need started as a personal journey to receive peace. I desperately needed peace. That ultimately grew into a need for understanding. Why do bad things happen that have no explanation? Eventually, the more I prayed, the more I yearned to be closer to Him. I fell in love with serving my God and being with Him.
There are a few things that I discovered on this journey. One of them is worry is having faith in fear. Every time I placed my worry in fear I was giving the enemy the power he was after. Fear focuses on the problem. When you are focused on the problem you become consumed by it. It takes over your mind, your body, and physical well-being. The enemy is winning. However, when I focus my faith on God and leave my concerns for God alone to claim victory over, I am left with nothing but JOY to focus on. And there is so much to be joyful for even in the midst of a personal war.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God.
These passages carry the same underlying message. They are definitive clear instructions.
Be joyful always.
Give thanks in all circumstances.
With thanksgiving present your requests.
Be anxious for nothing.
At some point in my walk, these passages no longer became words, but clear instructions to me on how I needed to approach God in prayer. God never intended for our time with him to be a one-sided therapy session. He does not want us lying on a couch pouring our worries while he takes notes and nods quietly. Prayer is a gift. Prayer is a conversation with our Father. We talk and LISTEN. He has a lot to say too.
You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.
This passage made it very clear to me. I was approaching our Father with the wrong attitude. I was wasting too much time-sharing problems of my heart with him, and very little time praising him and all he has done. So I completely changed the way I approached our Father in prayer. Instead of leading my prayer with needs and wants and spending minimal time thanking him. I flipped it around. I wanted to make sure that if God already knew my problems and the pains of my heart, I was thanking him for it for his wisdom. I thank him for his sovereign ways, for his mercy and his grace. I thank him for hearing my heart and knowing my needs. I thank him for answering my needs according to his will. When I began to pray this way, my entire perspective on life changed. I found it easier to smile in the face of unknown. I found peace in situations when before I would be unsettled. I would find JOY in all areas of life regardless of the what was in front of me. It was then that prayers were being answered in mighty ways I never could have imagined.
Then one day while reading the following passage and the veils of life were lifted. All I could was smile. I was reading with new eyes and heart. I knew God was speaking to me through this passage. It gave me the confirmation I needed to walk with confidence knowing He is with me and will not let me fall.
Matthew 6:25-34 -“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
The verses I read to you are verses I carry with me all day, every day as my shield. My armor.
I believe God wants each of us to know and understand that praying to Him is not something we do in passing. It is an occasion. An occasion to be revered and celebrated. It requires focus. It requires commitment. It requires us to block out the noise around and tune in closely to hear God’s voice. He will not shout. Prayer is a precious time to thank our Father for being so wonderful merciful, good, and loving. He wants us to embrace his love as he embraces us. He wants us to BELIEVE
AND TRUST that he ALWAYS has our best intentions at the forefront and as long as we have walked according to his will, HIS WILL WILL BE DONE. He does not have to say when he will answer, or how he will answer, we simply need to trust and believe that he WILL answer according to his will and while on the difficult journey called life, we need to stay laser focused on him and remain joyful. The battle has already been won.