Prayer in the Battle
Throughout Scripture we are told that life is war. Jesus says that the Christian life is one of endurance and striving (Mark 13:13; Luke 13:24). Paul tells us that it is a battle (1 Tim 6:12; 2 Tim 4:7). The preacher in Hebrews says that we are to strive to enter into the rest promised us (Heb 4:11). We could go on with more passages that showing life is striving, boxing, running, struggling, fighting, and war. However, the most famous passage that we come to is Ephesians 6:12-18. In this passage we are told to put on the whole armor of God. Life is war. The Bible reminds us of this in a variety of ways and in many places.
It is this truth that needs to sink deep into us as we consider prayer. John Piper has said, “We cannot know what prayer is for until we know that life is war.” You see all too often we consider prayer to be more of a phone that we use to call in orders for things we want. What Scripture points us to is the truth that prayer is more about calling in support in the midst of war. We are soldiers on the frontline fighting and striving, and when we pray, we are calling in the air support knowing that we cannot survive unless we are constantly supplied by, the Lord, who is the true power in the fight.
When Paul is laying out the armor of God, he tells us that we are to “take… the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance making supplications for all the saints.” Did you note the close connection between prayer and the Word? We are to take up the Word of God in prayer. You see, we fight in the battle with the sword of the Spirit when we pray. Praying connects us to the true power that sustains us in battle.
Life is war and prayer is for the battle.