Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
I have recently been made more aware of serious problems in our nation, and of spiritual attack in the lives of people that I love. These things are frustrating. And one of the most frustrating factors in my seeing these things is that I cannot see anything I can do to have any appreciable effect. But while I cannot help in the physical realm, I know I can have great effect in the spiritual realm where the real battle will be fought. Paul wrote about this in 2 Corinthians 10. Verse 3 says as much.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.”
I am not exactly sure how to apply this truth. Paul is warning people who have not repented of sins against the church that he is coming with spiritual authority. But how he applies this seems to fit a much larger set of circumstances, including those that I am dealing with right now. Look at the following verses. Verse 4 reads,
“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.”
Paul says the weapons of spiritual warfare are not fleshly efforts. They do not come by screaming at people, although God can speak thunderously. On a broader scale, they are not political, although they can affect governments. When Paul says they demolish strongholds, he is talking about the strongholds of demonic forces in the world and in the lives of people, sometimes even believers. This certainly describes things I have seen in the lives of people who cannot seem to let go of attitudes that are destroying them and others. It also applies to some who are being attacked by jealousy, intrigue, and infighting among colleagues. And I can see this in the culture of my own country, and around the world.
We see something of how this works in verse 5.
“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
How do we confound ungodly arguments? Let me point out three crucial factors. The first is love. God's love for people will often overcome opposition. When we speak of spirituality, we have to include all the fruit of the the Spirit listed in Galatians 5. But possibly the most powerful of them is agape, the infinite, ultimate love of God in our lives. Next is spiritual knowledge. This must begin with the gospel by which lives are transformed. Sometimes this means simply speaking the truth even when it is opposed. When he was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, Jesus just quoted Scripture. He did not convince Satan, but Jesus was not swayed by the temptation.
Finally, and many ways most important is prayer. In Ephesians 6:10-17 Paul gives us what are mostly defensive weapons. But in verse 18 he concludes with the power of prayer.
“Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.”
We break the power of the enemy by prayer. We extend the Kingdom of God by praying. And we can trust the power of God as we become more and more intimate with Him. You may not see revival as you pray. But you can know God is at work. And you never see revival without extraordinary prayer. You may not avoid evil in this world. Abraham interceded for Sodom. But it was still destroyed. Jesus could have avoided the cross. But I am so thankful that He did not. You will not be able to to keep the Antichrist from rising in the last days. But you will be able to endure all that comes upon the Earth. And you can build a shelter of prayer around those you pray for. And again and again you will turn the hearts of those for whom you pray back to the God of the Bible.