Imagine a warrior who never leaves home. He just stays; keeps the house tidy. Maybe he trims the hedges with the sword. While his house may be safe at night; well protected with the army of one. Something is not right here.
Are you a prayer warrior that never leaves home? I’ve come to the realization that I am. Maybe you are too? Are our prayers too selfish? Too focussed on our own walk and our own needs? David Wilkerson in Helpers in Prayer writes:
Our ministry recently heard from a precious elderly man in San Diego. This dear saint said God had prompted him to pray for me daily, and he asked if he could put me on his prayer list. Apparently, the recipients of this man’s intercession include a long list of widows, poor people, ministers and unsaved people. And he has prayed for them for years now.
The man is a retired postal worker, and he leads a very simple life, living on just one meal a day. He spends his time doing good deeds for others and communing with the Lord all day long. He drives around the city picking up old furniture and other items cast aside as junk, and he repairs them and gives them to widows and the poor. He also shops and runs errands for shut-ins, fixes their plumbing, and helps meet their other needs. The whole time this man does these good works, he prays without ceasing, faithfully interceding for everyone on his list. In fact, he crosses off their names only when they die.
Prayer is worthy of far greater honour than we give it. Being a prayer warrior is such an important calling. We have such great examples of prayer warriors in the Bible.
Church tradition holds that James the brother of Jesus had a nickname, “Camel Knees” . He was so frequently, so earnestly interceeding for others in prayer that it is said his knees had the consistency of a camel’s. Whether you give church traditions any weight or not consider what he has to say in his epistle in James 5: 13-18
Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
Consider also James 1: 5-6
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
Paul writes Romans 15: 30-31
Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may prove acceptable to the saints;
While I am usually an NIV man I think the NASB has got something here. Striving in prayer. What an image!
In Greek, the word for “strive” here means to “struggle with me as a partner in prayer; wrestle for me in prayer.” A military term, it’s root means to gather or bring together in combat. Paul wasn’t asking for a quick mention to the throne. He was pleading, “Fight for me in prayer. Do spiritual battle, both for my sake and the sake of the gospel.”
Prayer is a weapon to be wielded by warriors together. Consider a military campaign. Do army generals dispatch crowds of individual soldiers on the battlefield? NO! They train and plan and they hit the battlefield as a coordinated united fighting force. they send single warriors out on a massive campaign or is there orchestrated effort?
Resolve today to join with some prayer warriors in a prayer campaign. Strive in prayer together. Agonize over it! Let’s turn prayer from a comfortable tool used one person at a time around the house to a powerful weapon for good! Be an Epaphras for somebody.
Paul concludes his letter to the church in Collosae with these words,
Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.
Wrestle in prayer for someone today!