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Warfare Prayer
Posted on October 12, 2014 9:00 PM by Pastor Tom Gue
Categories: Church Life
For the past seven weeks I have been teaching on spiritual warfare.  We covered all the usual subjects: the origin of Satan, his methods and plans, the battleground – our minds, the temptations of Jesus, and spiritual armor. As part of last week's study on the armor, I mentioned that prayer is probably not intended to be a piece of the armor, but an essential part of spiritual warfare.  After listing the armor, Paul added, “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:18).  It was as if Paul was saying the armor must be wrapped in prayer.  That, and some other reading I have been doing, caused me to think more on the subject of “warfare praying.”  By warfare praying I am not trying to invent some new category or style of praying.  Rather, I am just saying the church must be a praying church if we are going to be able to “stand” against the onslaught of the enemy.
This morning in the Sunday service, I spoke on Hannah’s bareness and her prayer for a son. She became desperate, ready to give up. But then something happened.  Hannah went to the tabernacle and prayed.  God is looking for believers who are desperate and will pray, as Jacob, “I will not let  go until You bless me.”
This led me to wonder if prayer should have a greater part in our Sunday morning service.  Corporate prayer is powerful prayer and it would also be an opportunity to pray for individual needs.
I wonder how much time is allotted to prayer in the churches today?  Is prayer still important?  Has prayer time in church become a ritual?  Have prayer requests become a time for asking for things that are not really heavy loads to share with the church (see Galatians 6:2-5).    Asking for prayer means there is something that has become a burden, a heavy and oppressive weight, and you need help in praying. Now, that is not the same for all people.  There are some  that you must bear and  some you cannot share with anyone.  It is something that is heavy on your heart, such as Hannah.
I believe the condition of the church in America should be heavy on everyone's heart and be a prioirty in prayer.  Other examples are a sickness in the person's family, a sudden financial crisis, or other family situations which may have an undesirable outcome.  Often when Jesus prayed, it says He was "moved with compassion."  A church should love one another, but how many prayer requests move you with compassion?
I am careful to add that God is interested in all our prayer requests.  We are to take every care and concern to Him.   I am speaking here about asking for prayer from the church.   Again, Galatians 6:2 says, "share one another's burdens" and then in verse 5, "for each one shall share his own load."  Is there a contradiction?  NO.  There are some "loads" we can carry ourselves, and perhaps share with one or two friends.  There are other "burdens" that are overpowering us, causing grief and we want the family to help us. It may not be in the immediate family, such as the example of the condition of the church, but it is something God has placed on your heart and has become a burden.
When we can discern the difference, prayer will become an act of compassion and not a ritual.  One is alive - the other is "much talking."
I welcome your thoughts.
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