My friend Mike Betts has written a new book on corporate prayer. I’ve had the privilege of helping out a bit with it. It’s there to give a little bit of weight to our prayer initiative which I encourage you to check out and to consider joining in with. The next prayer night is the 15th November and the book is being launched to coincide with that. So this week I’ll be sharing some brief extracts from the book in the lead up to the launch.
Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.Ephesians 6:11-13 (ESV)
“If we take seriously the Bible’s imagery of spiritual battles then we need to realise that prayer is our heavy weaponry. It needs to be on the front line and not in the refreshment tent. If we feel we are besieged by the surrounding culture then as we pray we begin to realise that it is quite the reverse. We are in fact bringing the strongholds of godlessness under siege. How is your church outworking its prayer strategy? Is the heavy weaponry on the front line?
Our ultimate confidence is not in our praying but in the power and authority of Christ who has and will crush all our enemies under His feet. Prayer engages in partnership with Christ. Christ redeemed man and raised him to rule and reign with him. We are now seated with Christ. We share in his inheritance. Christ is our elder brother. We are in the ‘family’ business. It is from this position we rule and reign with him.
As co-heirs with him have the privilege and right to ask of Him in prayer. Prayer is the means Christ has ordained for the release of his power and authority into any and all situations. Prayer enables a sovereign partnership in combat, but it is not one we have initiated but is rather our response to our commanding officer, the captain of the army, the Lord of hosts. 2 Chronicles 20:15 “Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.’”
The battle really does belong to the Lord. We are not caught in some sort of dualism where the outcome is uncertain. We are not persuading God to aid us and fight for us when he is actually quite reluctant. He is more aware of and engaged in the battle than we shall ever be. He fought on the cross and won. We are now joining in with the relentless advance of his kingdom being worked out through all nations as He is establishing His kingdom and brings all things under His feet. We ask of Christ and He steps in as our deliverer.”