Naked, Alone, and Without a Sword
I hadn't known that a single conversation could drop me right into a war zone.
Sometimes we don't even realize that our prayers are actually an engagement in battle for our marriage, our children, missionaries, or loved ones in prayer! And when the anger-fear-worry wells up in our throats, here's where we can easily go wrong:
When we essentially yell, "Charge!" and rush in willy-nilly at the unseen enemy. Sometimes even yelling, hollering, maybe even throwing insults?
We look around and find ourselves alone on the battle field.
We realize we are naked, alone and without a sword.
We never put on our armor.
We didn't wait for the command of the Commander in Chief.
We ran the field, rogue-style as if the battle is ours and as if bitterness might be a mighty sword.
In military terms, this is what we call "insubordination."
It's a pretty rough visual, eh? I sure don't want to be facing my enemy naked ever again!!
So, dear ones, here are some lessons I've been learning (and constantly forgetting and then learning again) the hard way. Writing them down seems like its helping me. I hope and pray they help you too:
·Encourage yourself in the Lord— Remember Whose battle this is. Remember how great is our God. Praise Him. Remember how He has fought for you in the past and thank Him for that.
·Inquire of the Lord His strategy on prayer. Ask the Lord what to pray, how to pray. “Offer your prayers with thanksgiving.”
·Also ask His strategies on what to do and when to do them. He has a plan and it’s going to win. WAIT until you hear clearly. The strong temptation is to run in rogue-style, remember? So wait on the Commander and don't get out of rank. Obey what you hear (and ask for the guts you need to obey if you feel nervous.)
·Suit up. Put on the full armor of God by reading and praying. Pray Ephesians 6.
·Here are some ideas on how you can pray through the armor of God…
·Ask The Lord for scripture (offense). Pray scripture. And pray it out loud. It is your Sword of the Spirit, after all.
·Ask God to increase your faith (defense). It is the shield that extinguishes all the fiery darts of the evil one, after all.
·Look it up and pray the whole armor of God, as it says. I kept praying for the armor and forgetting one thing... "the shield of faith". No wonder I kept feeling hit even in the rest of my armor.
·Ask the Lord to protect you and your family. Cover yourselves in the blood of the Lamb. Cancel any backlash and any assignments of the enemy against you and your family. Click here for "the backlash prayer."
·Ask for back-up. Ask for a discharge of angels to surround you and the ones you are praying for. Psalm 91.
·Keep thanking and praising God. Worship the King of Angel Armies! Keep remembering the battle belongs to Him. And the victory is His. Trust Him.
·Let it rest there. There's a difference between praying tenaciously and allowing worry to keep dragging you down. Keep yourself in rank, in submission, under the authority of His protection and leadership. Remember that running around without God's direction, armor and plan, might be more like fighting in your own strength, naked and without a sword. Maybe that's why we are so tired?
So after learning these lessons the hard way, and then forgetting them again, today I have a new picture of what battle can look like. All I could do in the prayer room was pray in my Spirit and read Psalm 103. "Bless the Lord, O my soul and all that is within me." Sometimes, that's all the battle we can do. I may be in the trenches still, but from this vantage point, it's a broad, spacious peaceful place of battle. It's a place of trust and rest and a place surrounded by angels. Its a place of gratitude because I know that even when I can't figure how to pray, the Holy Spirit Himself prays for me. It's a peaceful scene because I know Who is doing the heavy lifting. And when I praise Him, it lightens my load even more. How? Because "the things of earth grow strangely dim in the light of His mercy and grace."
I feel like I need more wisdom in this subject, so I thought I'd point you to the books I'm ordering today. These come highly recommended by a woman of prayer of whom I have great love and respect:
A Woman's Guide to Spiritual Warfare by Quin Sherrer
The Armor of God by Pricilla Shirer
Peace be with you. Because the battle belongs to the Lord.