Communication and Prayer
DAY 5 – Communication and 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.”
Prayer is spiritual communication between man and God, a two-way conversation in which man should not only talk to God but also listen to Him. There are three things we need to consider.
#1: Communicate with the Commander of the angel armies
In a battle there must be a system of communication in place in order to mobilize military support. Without communication, the ground and air war is lost. When a Christian prays, he is calling in for support. He can call for more troops on the ground or even an airstrike. God is eager to support his soldiers. He will send more believers into your life as you pray and ask him for help in your ground war. He will as well send in airstrikes through the teaching and preaching of God’s word to come rain down on your battle as if God is dropping bombs through the preaching and teaching of God’s word. Through prayer, we are able to access God’s arsenal of military power to win our wars.
When we don’t know how to pray, we can be assured that the Spirit of God is there to help us (Romans 8:26-27). The Biblical formula for prayer is praying to the Father, through the Son, by the Spirit’s power. When we pray, we can be sure that there are angels that are listening and ready to assist us. When Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, he “knelt down and prayed, saying, ‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done. And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.” If Jesus needed assistance, so should we. And what about Elijah, the servant of God that burned out in ministry? He was emotionally and spiritually exhausted, depressed, discouraged, and appeared to be suicidal. He felt completely hopeless and cried out to God in his despair. And what does God do? God sends an angel to minister to him, and strengthen him, restoring him to health (I Kings 19:1-8). We can trust what the scripture says: “He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways” (Psalm 91:11).
#2: Keep Alert as a Soldier
Soldiers must keep alert. In war, there is little time to sleep. In the spiritual battle, we need to remember that Satan is like a snake. His eyes never close. He’s always watching. This is why Jesus told his disciples to stay awake in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus said, “Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38).
This is God’s secret for overcoming some of our greatest enemies the world (Mark 13:33), the sinful flesh (Mark 14:38), and the devil himself (Eph. 6:18).
#3: Support the Troops in Prayer
God’s word instructs us that we should help cover our fellow soldiers in prayer as well.
The Apostle Paul enlisted prayer support in his missionary journeys. We should never be too proud to ask for prayer. James, the Lord’s half-brother, said that “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). In the book of Acts 12:1-18, we read that when the Apostle Peter was imprisoned for his faith, the church started to pray. God sent an angel to free him from that prison and guide him safely back home. As Christians, we too need to pray for our friends and family and ask for God’s intervention, remembering that we have allies in the heavenly places that can work on our behalf here on earth as well.
We need prayer warriors, men and women that will aid us by praying on their knees. The Scriptures tell us that we are to pray for one another, and we can be sure that God hears our prayers and answers prayer as well. We may not get the answer we want, but he will answer. So many times, Christians mistake God’s “not yet” as a “no.” It’s important to realize God’s timing is often different from what we want, and all through our scripture, we see the need to wait on God’s divine delays (Luke 18:1-8, Colossians 4:2, 12, Matthew 26:36-46, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Acts 12:1-17).
#4: Persevere in Prayer
As Christians, we must persevere and press on through prayer, in all seasons and in all circumstances. (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
As Martin Luther once said, “I can't afford NOT to pray!" Despite his busy schedule, his increasing number of deadlines and commitments, the ongoing pressures and threats for his well-being, and his family, Luther would wake an extra hour early to start the day in prayer. It’s this kind of prayer that we need to persevere in, to see that breakthrough.
We need to remember that even when we are faithful to prayer, things take time, and sometimes God will wait to answer at the last minute. Soon after Dallas Theological Seminary was founded in 1924, it almost had to close. The creditors were about to foreclose at noon on a certain day. The president of DTS, Lewis S. Chafer, met with his faculty at the office, praying fervently that God would provide. (He had been praying for months, they kept coming up short. His prayers seemed to be getting no answer, they were in dire straits.)
Present with Dr. Chafer and the other professors was the great Dr. Harry Ironside who prayed in his characteristic style: “Lord, we know that the cattle on a thousand hills are Thine. Please sell some of them and send us the money.” (This was taken from Psalm 50:10.)
At the exact same time, a tall Texas businessman stepped into the seminary business office, saying, “I just sold two carloads of cattle in Fort Worth, but could not make the deal go through. I feel compelled to give the money to the seminary. I don’t care if you need it or not, but here’s the check!” The surprised secretary took the check and timidly knocked on the door of the prayer meeting. When Dr. Chafer took the check out of her hand, it was for the exact amount of the debt. Turning to Dr. Ironside, Chafer said, “Harry, God sold the cattle!”
Persevere in prayer. Don’t give up. Trust that God is at work and is there to help. If we are to win our war, we must keep communication lines up through prayer!