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Prayer is Warfare

J Oswald Sanders

Prayer is Warfare

 

The weapons of our warfare are ... mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.        2 Cor. 10:4

 

 

Prayer is not pious reverie; it is spiritual warfare.

"Ours is not a conflict with mere flesh and blood," says Paul. Then what is it? It is conflict "with the despotisms, the empires, the forces that govern this dark world - the spiritual hosts of evil arrayed against us in the heavenly warfare" (Eph. 6:12 Weymouth).

 

 But what an unequal contest! What a frightening prospect to one conscious of his own weakness! Yet it is to such a conflict we have been committed.

 

What is the divine strategy? The fulcrum on which the battle turns is our ability to pray aright. It is a spiritual as well as a military maxim that the best defense is attack. The plan of our Commander is that His Church be constantly attacking on all fronts. He nowhere envisages a Church on the defensive. It is to press the battle to the very gates of hell, and they "shall not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18). The devil's last line of defense is unable to withstand that victorious assault.

 

What is our weapon? Our Leader has placed in our hands the irresistible sword of the Spirit which defeated the devil in the wilderness - the Word of God. But its aggressive and conquering power is released only through the prayer of faith.

Our instructions are,

"Take the sword of the Spirit... praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit ... with all perseverance" (Eph. 6:17-18).

 

This is no mere passive praying. Only aggressive prayer based on the Word of God dislodges the enemy from his citadel, for "the weapons of our warfare are ... mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds" (2 Cor. 10:4). Such praying releases all the resources of God and brings them into play on the field of battle. Costly? Yes, but also conquering!

 

 

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