Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Fighting Prayer

               My company is almost 1 ½ years old. March 13th, 2015 I officially became an LLC. I have to admit that is has been a pretty amazing journey so far. The Lord has taken me down some paths that were rocky and some that were smooth and some that had green grass growing on both sides. When I look back at the road I have travelled I have to take a moment and just stand in awe. I am in awe with the work that God has done in making this business a success. I have grown so much. Not only have I seen growth in the company, but God has grown me spiritually through it all. Because let’s be real for a minute. Nothing drives you to your knees quicker than a trial, a battle or a struggle coming at you 100 miles an hour! Nothing gets you thinking about God and focusing on God more than an attack from the enemy! War can make anyone grow up!

               When the Lord started me on this path, He also opened my eyes to the book of Nehemiah. I went through the book with Him about a year ago, as He was building this company for me. But recently I have had the opportunity to open this book up again. The women’s study I lead on Tuesday evenings requested to go through the book. At first I was a little skeptical because it seemed like I just finished it. But, I prayed about it and decided that is where the Lord wanted us to go. What I didn’t realize is that it would be exactly what I needed once again. Nehemiah is quickly becoming one of my favorite books!
               One thing I have always noticed about Nehemiah was that he was a man of prayer. But until I started to go through it again this time, I never realized how often he prayed. As I read through his prayers, his pleas and his supplications I was reminded how important and how imperative prayer is in the life of a believer; yet it’s the last thing we find time to do.
               If you go through the first few chapters of Nehemiah again you will see him spending most of his time in prayer. Even though the scriptures don’t give us an exact amount of time, you can tell that he spent a lot of his time doing it. For someone who lives a life a prayer, prayer will come naturally and be the first thing out of their lips. Nehemiah for instance, in chapter 1, he prayed to God for help and forgiveness for the broken state of his nation right after his brothers came from Jerusalem. Then in chapter 2 he prayed a quick prayer to God for words to speak to the king about why he was sad. In chapter 4 when the enemy started to attack Nehemiah not only prayed, but he called the people to do the same. In chapter 5 Nehemiah prays to God to remember his kindness and his generosity before the people. Nehemiah always prayed, and as people of God so should we.
               If you have been following my posts lately you will have read that the enemy has attacked my business. I was faced with a legal issue and have had to consult an attorney. Not long after this happened some areas of my personal life came under attack. I took a stand for what I believed was the right thing to do and it created a not so nice rebuttal from the enemy. All these attacks drove me to my knees Monday morning and I fell to the ground before my God in complete defeat. I cried and I lifted my voice to my God in utter despair.
               “Be not silent, O God of my praise! For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me, speaking against me with lying tongues. They encircle me with words of hate, and attack me without cause. In return for my love they accuse me, but I will give myself to prayer.”
Psalm 109:1-4 ESV
               The Psalmist must have heard my cries to the Lord even before I spoke them, because his words are exactly what my heart was pouring out! Here I was standing upon what God had asked me to do and the attacks were coming at full speed- one right after the other. I didn’t want silence from God, I wanted action! But did you notice that after the Psalmist pours out his heart for God to take action, he says that he will give himself to prayer? I truly believe that prayer is the most powerful weapon we as Christians have been given.
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               Prayer is the weapon that raises the shield of faith to ward off the fiery darts of the enemy. Prayer strengthens the breastplate of righteousness upon our shoulders and secures the helmet of salvation upon our heads so that in the end, there is no doubt that God is on our side. Prayer is the most powerful tool in the shed, but the last one we pick up in the heat of the battle. Prayer turns our eyes from our circumstances and turns our focus back to God. Prayer reminds us that we are in the hands of a mighty God who promises not only to fight for us, but He promises to never leave us nor ever forsake us. Prayer is the mortar that holds the bricks of faith together.
               We must, in every season of life give ourselves to prayer. Nehemiah was praying about something, for something or against something at just about every turn. Even Paul tells us to pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17) Every great hero of the faith was a man or woman of prayer. Jesus was a man of prayer as well. In Luke 6:11-12 the Jewish leaders were threatening Jesus and trying to find a way to kill Him. Did Jesus stand up and try to defend Himself and His actions? No, it says that He “went out to the mountain to pray, and all night He continued in prayer to God.” (Luke 2:12 ESV)
               Prayer moves the hand of God in your life. Prayer calls upon the Giver of life to take control of your circumstances, your heart, and your very breath. Prayer relinquishes your hold upon the situation and gives it all to the One who holds eternity in the palm of His hands.
               “Help me O Lord, my God. Save me according to Your steadfast love! Let them know that this is Your hand; You O Lord, have done it.” Psalm 109:26-27
               Prayer, continual prayer before God becomes a testimony of His grace to everyone who is on the outside looking in. Our world today doubts the existence of God because they no longer see the power of God working among His people. Why is this? Because we are no longer a people of prayer. We have made prayer our last resort instead of our first response.
               Nehemiah was a man of prayer and God did a mighty work through him. David was a man of prayer and God defeated a giant through him. Paul, Peter, John and the Apostles were men of prayer and God changed the world through them. Jesus was a man of prayer and God brought salvation through Him. Prayer is not the only thing we can do now that we have exhausted all our other options. Prayer is the first thing we should do the moment our feet hit the floor. The moment our eyes open and we breathe in the grace of another day- we should be a people who pray.
               Pray today. Pray at every opportunity you have today. Make prayer your habit and not your last resort. Take two minutes right where you are, right now at this very moment and pray for God to make His hand known to you. The world needs to see the power of God working through His people, and that won’t happen unless we become a people who pray.

               I am calling on all my brothers and sisters to help me fight this spiritual attack today. Would you please take a moment and call upon the God of heaven to fight this battle before me? I ask for your continued prayer for this situation with my client, and for the attack against my personal life as well. I pray that we today would band together and take up the weapon that makes the enemy quake in his boots! The weapon that make the world tremble- I plead with you now to take up your weapon of prayer. May His Word alone be true! Amen and Amen