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.
Rekindling Your Passion
Now you can understand why Satan would want to masterfully engineer the spiritual rut you may experience from time to time—for a week, months, maybe even years. Your get-up-and-go has simply gotten-up-and-gone.
Maybe you’ve prayed and prayed for the same thing, over and over. Maybe you’ve wanted God’s will so badly and wanted life to look different for so long that you’re ready to give up. Maybe you’re feeling utterly discouraged or disappointed right now and not sure why you keep being surprised every time the same difficulties pop up again and again. Maybe other demands and distractions have leaked into your heart over time, crowding out space where older, nobler priorities once ruled. I understand all of that, and I have felt a lot of it too.
But nothing—nothing—in your life is too far gone that God’s power cannot resurrect it—not even your passion for prayer. So go to him to get it back. Don’t try to regain your passion for prayer yourself. Don’t set your hopes on other people or circumstances to fuse it back into the fiber of your being. Trust this desire into God’s care. Only his miraculous work can make your belief in the power of prayer bubble back up to the surface where it belongs. And he is more than willing to do it!
Praying for Passion
Since filming War Room last year, I’ve devoted space in my closet to this specific request. It’s a tiny space, but I’ve made whatever room I can to plaster my prayers to God on the wall. And along with the requests for my husband, children, friends, and our ministry’s impact, I also pray fervently and regularly for God to stir a passion in my own soul that cannot easily be snuffed out. The unique, pressing demands of the last couple years have taken their toll, sometimes showing up in hints of spiritual apathy that I know the Enemy relishes. So I’ve had no shame in praying for myself, that God will stir passion in me.
God’s plan for me and you is to move us into a position of impact by infusing us with his truth and employing us in powerful and effective prayer. You don’t need to be a genius to do this. You don’t need to learn ten-dollar words or be able to spout theological terms with ease. You just need to bring your honest, transparent, available—and let’s just say it—fed-up, over-it, stepped-on-your-last-nerve self to the throne of God. Get ready to become fervent and relentless, all in his name.
Priscilla Shirer stars in the family drama War Room and is the author of Fervent: A Woman’s Guide to Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer. She is a New York Times best-selling author and speaker. You can learn more about Priscilla’s ministry at GoingBeyond.com.
Copyright © 2016 by the author and Today’s Christian Woman