The longer I serve God the more I’m convinced that the three most powerful “weapons of OUR (ie., believers’) warfare” (2 Cor. 10:4) are: the Name of Jesus, which is above every other “name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come” (Eph. 1:21); “the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Eph. 6:17); and, prayer, particularly the effectual and fervent prayer of the righteous, which avails much (1 Jas. 5:16)! Unfortunately though, prayer is, without any doubt, severely under-employed as a weapon of spiritual warfare.
The following are a few quotes from others and snippets of my own on the matter of prayer I recently posted to my Facebook Timeline that I felt led to share in a post. First, are quotes from others, followed by a few of my own. I pray you’ll spend some time in prayer meditating on them all to allow the Holy Spirit to illuminate your spirit and soul with the concepts they convey. Much more extensive lists of prayer quotes are available on the Internet, but the ones cited below I was particularly struck by their poignancy.
Quotes of others:
“You can do more than pray after you have prayed; but you can never do more than pray until you have prayed.” A.J. Gordon
“Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons, but they are helpless against our prayers.” Sidlow Baxter
“God does nothing except in response to believing prayer.”
“Prayer is where the action is.” John Wesley
“Satan trembles when he sees the weakest Christian on his knees.” William Cowper
“I would rather teach one man to pray than ten men to preach.” Charles Spurgeon
“Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness.” Martin Luther.
(My commentary) When you believe prayer is your fleshly (and futile) warring to try to overcome God’s reluctance in a matter, prayer becomes a laborious and loathsome thing you force yourself to do with reluctance, as opposed to understanding prayer is two-way communication in communion with God to determine what HIS will is in the matter, and then praying in accordance with His will. Those are the prayers that He always answers.
My own commentary snippets:
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb 4:16)
The world is FILLED with needs, but God never responds to needs; He responds to the petitions of believing saints!
God is not an interloper and never intervenes uninvited and unsolicited in the affairs of men; He only responds and acts when believers ask Him in audacious and believing prayer!
Today, too many professing believers petition God to fill them up with everything He’s got before they’ve agonized in prayer to empty themselves out of all they’ve got!
“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” (Php 2:5-7)
Before the Son of God was manifest in the form of a human, wonder of all wonders, He EMPTIED HIMSELF (a mystery) of His deity for the duration of His existence in the form of a “Man.” But, after being baptized in water by John the Baptist in the Jordan River and then Baptized in the Holy Spirit, the Word of God says,
“And Jesus being FULL OF THE HOLY GHOST returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness” (Luk 4:1).
Everyone is full of something…usually themselves! The burden of every believer must be to EMPTY THEMSELVES and implore God to FILL them with the Holy Ghost so that they will be “FULL OF THE HOLY GHOST!”
Many people’s problem is they are too full of themselves to be full of the Holy Spirit!
Regular sessions in the “prayer closet” until you “pray through” sincerely petitioning the Lord to show you some of the junk inside that you need to be emptied of will result in much purging over time.
“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil” (1 Pet. 3:12 ).
The righteous have available to them more power–through faith-based prayer–than all the evil-intentioned politicians in the world combined! For this cause, “LET US PRAY!”
The genuinely anointed and appointed Man of God receives the fire-fraught messages that burn the ears of the nominally-believing and the hearts of the unrepentent out of hours spent agonizing prostrate at the altar long before he stands behind any form of pulpit. To paraphrase Leonard Ravenhill, the ecclesiastical realm today is filled with a myriad of organizers but few agonizers.
If more of God’s people–“those who are called by (His) name”–fervently pursued a degree in “Knee-ology” fewer of any other kind would be needed, and the Church would be more empowered and in every way more powerful on the Earth!
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (Jas 5:16)
Sometimes the most effectual and fervent prayer (which is prayer God hears and answers) is the prayer someone else prays for you when you’ve humbled yourself and confessed your faults (weaknesses, failures) to him/her.