Monday, September 18, 2017

Prayers of Warriors

"Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses."
I Timothy 6:12
(KJV)

As Christians, it is no secret that we are involved in ongoing spiritual warfare.
Sometimes, it feels like we barely catch our breath in between battles.
We think we are in a lull of reprieve, then, all at once, out of nowhere,
the enemy attacks from a new direction using a tactical angle we haven't yet seen,
and, once again, we find ourselves needing to pick up our Sword and fight with all our might.
We can never afford the "luxury" of removing our armor.

As long as we stay armed, we are guaranteed overcomers...more than conquerors through Jesus Christ, our Captain.  Romans 8:37
He leads our collective army onward, marching ever forward, towards the final victory we 
will individually meet at the end of life or His coming, whichever comes first.

Our Captain has never lost a battle.
This gives us assurance and courage that it is possible for us to never lose one either.
The main thing we have to remember is that the battle is HIS, not ours.
We are fighting for HIM and for His truth and cause.
So no matter what we are facing or what strategic slant satan decides to use against us,
we can and will overcome him, if we always approach the warfare with the understanding that each and every battle belongs to the Lord, our Captain.

I've mentioned before that Mom and Dad began early in life to teach me how to wield the weapon of prayer.
They taught me that battles are fought on our knees in earnest petition to our Father in Heaven,
and prayer is a long-range weapon.

I have an utter obsession with the specific prayers that are mentioned in the Bible.
I love to read how those spiritual warriors cried out to God from places of total despair,
and I am enthralled as I read how God rose up in their defense in answer to those prayers 
and fought those battles for His children.
While it would be impossible to include all of the Biblical prayers that have come to mean so much to me in a single blog post, I wanted to share just a few.
Perhaps you may want to print them out and tape them in places you frequent throughout the day.
I would highly recommend memorizing them.
I have found that I often quote from these prayers in my own private praying,
and there is an amazing measure of faith that accompanies them.
If God moved so mightily on behalf of these prayer warriors and fought for them,
He will absolutely do the same thing for us.
We serve the same God they did.
He still reigns.
He still has full control.
We are His children every bit as much as the prayer warriors of old.
He is our Father.
He bids us come to His throne when we need help and mercy.  Hebrews 4:16



Here are some of my favorite Biblical prayers.

The Lord's Prayer
We make it a practice in our home to pray this prayer aloud together on a regular basis.
I don't think its importance could ever be emphasized enough.
To have recorded the exact words Jesus taught His disciples to pray is an invaluable gift.
If He wanted them to pray this way, shouldn't we?
Matthew 6:9-13,
"Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen."

Jesus' Prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane
This prayer is the most anguished prayer ever uttered from human lips.
The soul of Jesus, our Savior, was consumed with a sorrow unknown to man.
He prayed so hard during this prayer that He suffered a rare, but very real physical phenomenon called hematohidrosis, in which the sweat released from His body was as "great drops of blood falling down to the ground."  (Luke 22:44)

Matthew 26:38-39,42,44,
"Then saith He unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with Me.  And He went a little further, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.  
He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.  And He left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words."

Jesus could face Calvary, the ultimate spiritual warfare battle of ALL time,
because He prayed the prayer of surrender first in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The battle was won when He said, "Thy will be done."
It was a cup that could not be passed, and the only way to conquer was through surrender.
Sometimes, you and I will face unpassable cups in our spiritual lives.
Sometimes, the only way around is through.
Sometimes, God chooses not to move the mountain, but to move us instead.
When God closes a door that no man can open, it is futile to stand and continue to pound on that door.
These are places in life, where the only way to conquer...the only way to overcome...the only path to peace...is through total surrender.
It is then that the words of our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane need to be prayed.

The Prayer of Jabez
Perhaps you have read the book by Bruce Wilkinson.
I highly, highly recommend it.
You can buy it here.
My family and I read it together several years ago, and we have been collectively praying this prayer together ever since.
It has been life-transforming for us.
Jabez's prayer is found in 1 Chronicles 4:10,
"And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested."

Pray this prayer on a regular basis, and watch how your life changes for the better!

The Prayer of Jehoshaphat
2 Chronicles 20:5-12
"And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court, And said, O LORD God of our fathers, art not Thou God in heaven? And rulest not Thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in Thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand Thee?  Art not Thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before Thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham Thy friend forever?  And they dwelt therein, and have built Thee a sanctuary therein for Thy name, saying,
If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in Thy presence, (for Thy name is in this house,) and cry unto Thee in our affliction, then
Thou wilt hear and help.  And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir, whom Thou wouldest not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them, and destroyed them not; Behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of Thy possession, which Thou hast given us to inherit.  O our God, wilt Thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee."

If you cannot memorize all seven verses of this prayer, perhaps you can more easily memorize this condensed version,
"O LORD God of our fathers, art not Thou God in heaven?  
And rulest not Thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? 
And in Thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand Thee?
O our God, wilt Thou not judge them?  For we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee."

Pray this prayer when you are feel surrounded by the enemy, when you feel that you are outnumbered and have no hope of overcoming.
Pray these words when your battle is with another person.
Let God fight for you, and you won't need to lift a finger.
God sent ambushments against Jehoshaphat's enemies, and when he awoke the next morning,
he found that God had already fought and killed every one of his enemies!
He prayed, and God did the rest!

The Prayer of Hezekiah
 2 Kings 19:14-19
"And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD.
And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said, O LORD God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, Thou art the God, even Thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; Thou hast made heaven and earth.  LORD, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, LORD, Thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God.
Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands,
And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them.  Now therefore, O LORD our God, I beseech Thee, save Thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that Thou art the LORD God, even Thou only."

Again, here is a condensed version for memorization purposes,
"O LORD God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, Thou art the God, even Thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; Thou hast made heaven and earth.  LORD, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, LORD, Thine eyes, and see: and hear...O LORD our God, I beseech Thee, save Thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that Thou art the LORD God, even Thou only."

The Prayer of Jesus' Apostles
Acts 4:24-31
"And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:  Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?
The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.  For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.  And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.  And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness."

Condensed version for memorization,
"Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:  
And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus."

Five Prayers of David

"LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.
But Thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God..."
Psalm 3:1,3,7

"Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer."
Psalm 4:1

"Unto Thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.
O my God, I trust in Thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.
Shew me Thy ways, O LORD; teach me Thy paths.
Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me: for Thou art the God of my salvation; 
on Thee do I wait all the day.
Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to Thy mercy remember Thou me for Thy goodness' sake, O LORD."
Psalm 25:1,2,4,5,7

"Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.
From the end of the earth will I cry unto Thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For Thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.
I will abide in Thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of Thy wings."
Psalm 61:1-4

"Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul.
I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.
I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.
They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty...but as for me, my prayer is unto Thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of Thy mercy hear me, in the truth of Thy salvation.
Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.
Hear me, O LORD; for Thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies.  And hide not Thy face from Thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily.
Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it: deliver me because of mine enemies."
Psalm 69:1-4a,13-14,16-18

God bless you, dear readers!
I so appreciate you taking time to stop by and read what He places on my heart.
May He meet any needs you have, as you continue to place your trust in Him.

In closing, I want to share a few songs that are really ministering to my family and me right now,
in the midst of some very fiery trials and difficulties.
If you think of us, please keep us in your prayers!
We appreciate it so very much and love each one of you.