“The kingdom of heaven suffereth much violence and the violent take it by force…”
There are times we sense a struggle in prayer as we submit our deepest needs and the needs of others to God. It is as if a wall has been erected and our prayers are bouncing from every corner right back at us. What do we do at these times? Do we give up to the voice of doubt? Do we question God’s listening abilities and give up in despair?Indeed our faith falters, yet we know deep within our souls that this should not be so. What then can we do to keep from falling into this pit of despair or if we do fall, how do we get out? To answer this question I will take you through Ephesians 6:10-18 and Daniel 10 (New Living Translation). They will help expound on the subject of spiritual warfare and the importance of persevering in faith.
- SPIRITUAL WARFARE
We see the reality of this warfare in the book of Daniel 10. He was a man of faith, a man who had stood in the face of death and come out alive (the lions’ den). With a desire to understand a vision God had given him he gave himself to prayer and fasting for 21 days and no answer came till the 24th day. 21 days is a long time if you think of it. We have the privilege of reading the story and knowing the background of what was happening and what the result would be, but Daniel did not. He prayed and fasted for the 21 days without an answer or an explanation of some sort. Nevertheless, thank God for His faithfulness because on the 24th day the angel appeared to Daniel and gave him an explanation and his answer for his prayer. The angel described how the “spirit prince” of Persia had “resisted” him for the 21 days.
Through the portion of Ephesians and Daniel we see how our times of despair when in prayer are actually a depiction of the spiritual battle. Our prayers are declarations of God’s power and might on earth, and therefore a threat to the devil’s kingdom. He therefore continually shoots fiery darts at us to discourage us and tries different tactics to deceive us. We therefore must remain alert and persevere in prayer. This next part will show us how we are instructed to do that.
- PERSEVEREING IN PRAYER
The full armor of God is to continually be upon us at all times. The struggles we face in prayer are not in vain. Rather, they are reminders that we are in a battle; a battle that has already been won.(Revelation 19:20-21). We can therefore prevail in prayer not only because we are protected by the armor and we know the end of the story; largely we also prevail because of He who has fought for us. Therefore dear brother and sister wear your armor and walk in faith that your prayers have not only reached the throne of Grace, but have also been answered.
In conclusion, I encourage you to start preparing in faith for what God is sending your way. If it’s for that friend or family to get salvation, start thinking of ways to invite them to church or spend more time with them. If it’s for a job, start making applications in any and every open position. If it is for a more loving heart, start thinking of specific people and different ways God wants you to show them His love in particular. If it is for a spouse, start being detailed about what you want in a mate, so that when they come you do not miss it. Brothers and sisters, pray persistently, be alert, put on the armor and act in faith.
Posted on January 20, 2014