Prayer Warriors, Part 2
By Francis Frangipane (En Español)
Jesus told a parable to show that “at all times [men] ought to pray and not to lose heart” (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 envision 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 are co-creators with God! They look at astrological predictions and rebuke them. They never wonder about the future because they are too busy creating it. Prayer warriors are positioned by God to stand in faith for their families and churches and cities. Prayer is stronger than kings and mightier than armies. Prayer is the most powerful force on earth.
I remember when my Dad surrendered his life to the Lord. For ten years prior to that, during our visits, we clashed intellectually about God. Then one day he arrived at our home “armed” with an argument many use 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 that Dad felt he won this round. I love my dad very, very much, so this is what 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 we’ll see what happens.”
I can’t remember ever seeing my dad turn so pale. He looked over at 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.” 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! As we look at the miracle of our own conversions, we gain confidence in God’s help and ability 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.” When Jesus says this, He is not talking about the Rapture. 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 (1 Kings 17:1; Luke 1:19). One who stands before God is an attendant to the Almighty. When that one decrees God’s Word, it comes to pass.
Nothing is Impossible Jesus said, “With God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26). God has called you to be a prayer warrior, starting with prayer for those you hold dear. Christ is in you, and He ever lives to make intercession. All you need to do is open your heart to Him, and prayer is going to come forth. Look around you at the landscape of life. God wants you to release, through prayer, His future for every need you see. He shows you what is wrong so you can pray for things to be made right. Why waste your energy criticizing people or situations that are wrong, when your prayer can change them!
The Lord our God in the midst of us is powerful. Our weapons are mighty to pulling down strongholds. Stop thinking of yourself as unable to pray. That is a lie out of hell. You are a prayer warrior!
There was a time when that great-aunt or grandmother was younger. She was 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 did not start off strong, but she became strong. Now it is your turn to make that decision to be a prayer warrior.
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!
June 24, 2013
Love WisdomProverbs 4:5–8
Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it costs all you have, get understanding. Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. NIV
There are some people whom we may love and admire and seek to do good to, and yet in the end they will turn against us and fail us and betray us. It’s one of life’s tragedies to invest your love and to give yourself to someone who ultimately betrays you. But the advice of Scripture is: love wisdom. Devote yourself to wisdom, she will not betray you, she will honor you, she will uplift you, she will protect you. And wisdom comes from the Word of God.
Wisdom is more important and more precious than all the things that men seek after. Wisdom is like that pearl of great price that Jesus spoke about: when the merchantman found it, he went and sold all that he had and bought that one pearl. He was a merchantman and knew the value of things. That’s how wisdom is. It’s a pearl of great price.
Even if it costs you all you have, the Scripture advises you buy it. Give yourself to wisdom, devote your life to her, she’ll never betray you. She’ll exalt you, she’ll bring you to honor. Your latter end will be better than your beginning.
By Don Finto
Numbers 8:24-25 has been a defining scripture for me. God told Moses to put the Levites into the Tent of Meeting to do the work from their 25th to their 50th years. At the age of fifty, they were no longer to do the actual work, but to assist and serve others doing it. The highest calling of my life is now to raise up and empower next generations. I find more joy in seeing my sons and daughters in the faith succeeding and prospering than in anything I had ever done myself. I feel like a father sitting in the bleachers whose children are all high point players in the ballgame.
When we as older men and women hold on to positions of power and authority without releasing both the responsibility and the authority to the next generation, we are thwarting the full work of God. On the other hand, older men and women who do not stay engaged with these sons and daughters to continue encouraging, challenging and loving them are missing out on the grandest blessing of life.