Have you ever found yourself in a spiritual rut? I know I have. Life gets busy, church feels like one more thing on your to-do list, and prayer feels both cumbersome and ineffective.
Beyond the fact that life itself can become overwhelming, even sapping your spiritual vitality, there is a more pressing culprit that threatens to marginalize your prayer life: You have an Enemy waging war on your soul.
Make no mistake, this is a war. You are in the fight of your life. A very real Enemy has been strategizing and scheming against you, assaulting you, coming after your emotions, your mind, your future.
But I say Satan’s reign of terror stops here, now. He might keep coming, but he won’t have victory because his power starts failing when we start praying.
The Mystery of Prayer
I’m willing to admit, right up front, that I don’t fully understand this. There’s an undeniable, unknowable, invisible mystery to the power of prayer. That’s why our first reaction to prayer may be to dismiss it, downplay it, or even devalue its critical importance. Prayer, we think, is a good idea in theory—if only it would actually make a difference.
That thinking is what gets us in trouble. When we underestimate the power of prayer, when we think it doesn’t work, when we choose to believe that God won’t answer our prayers or that he isn’t listening, we wave a white flag and invite Satan into our situation.
Believe me when I say that praying is the last thing Satan wants you to do. He will discourage you from doing it. He will dissuade you from it, and he will disarm you by putting a distaste for prayer in your mouth. He wants to see you passionless, prayerless, and powerless. Perfectly quiet. And because prayer is the divinely ordained mechanism that leads you into the power and victory of Christ, Satan knows you’ll remain defeated and undone without it.
The Power of Prayer
Despite what we may or may not understand about prayer, God has deliberately chosen this particular vehicle as the one that drives his activity in his people’s lives. It is the means by which he allows us to partner with him in the fulfilling of his will. He has created prayer as a primary way of putting us into personal contact with him and with his eternal realities, any hour of the day or night.
Prayer is the portal that brings the power of heaven down to earth. It is kryptonite to the Enemy and to all his ploys against you.
When Paul describes our spiritual armor, he includes the belt of truth, the body armor of God’s righteousness, the shoes of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit—the very Word of God. But he doesn’t stop there. “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere,” Paul says in Ephesians 6:18.
There it is. The fuel that drives everything: prayer.