– By John Crotts, Faith Bible Church
Many American men and women have served faithfully in Iraq, Afghanistan and other battlefields in the War on Terror over the past 16 years.
Thousands more are still in the line of fire. We are thankful for their service to our country.
I don’t know if any of our soldiers are able to bring one of their walkie-talkies or other battlefield communication devices home for their times of leave, but if they did, imagine the differences in how they would treat them here in Georgia as opposed to when they are in the Middle East. It might be fun to show some interested boys and girls how they work, and maybe he or she could use it to talk to someone nearby, but on the field of battle walkie-talkies could mean life or death!
John Piper, author and pastor, wrote in his book, “Let the Nations Be Glad!” that prayer to a Christian ought to be regarded as a walkie-talkie in a battle.
The reason that concept may seem too strong to assert is we are so comfortable as Christians in America we sometimes forget that we are at war. Prayer is not putting a quarter in the cosmic candy machine and hoping to get a blessing. Prayer is vital communication with our Father on our field of battle.
A few months ago you may have made some fresh New Year’s resolutions. Maybe one of your resolutions was to do a better job in your private prayers. That is a great goal. The Bible says that prayer is a wonderful privilege and responsibility for a Christian. My challenge to you is to think of prayer resolutions as a critical part of the spiritual battle that you are waging.
The Bible is filled with warfare imagery for the Christian life. Paul told Timothy to “wage the good warfare” (1 Timothy 1:18), and to “fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12). He compared Timothy to a soldier in II Timothy 2:3-4, which says, “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.”
Paul compared his own ministry to a soldier in 1 Corinthians 9:7 when he asked, “Who serves as a soldier at his own expense?” He describes his work as not waging war according to the flesh, but using weapons of preaching and teaching to destroy Satan’s arguments and opinions (2 Corinthians 10:3-6).
The Bible also teaches that Satan is not a passive foe. “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
The world we live in is hostile ground. “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions – is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17).
Ephesians 6:10-18 is all about the believer’s armor. In Christ, with faith in his gospel, and with God’s Word, we are fully equipped to fight the spiritual battles that we will encounter.
The question for you is: are you engaged in the battle? Do you even realize you are at war?
I have heard many stories from World War II about the amazing sacrifices that Americans back home made to help defeat the Axis powers in Europe and the Pacific. Citizens were called on to donate metals for ammunition. Families planted Victory Gardens to conserve food supplies. Other products were rationed. It seems like the war was on most everyone’s mind most every day.
Today, many families are making tremendous personal sacrifices in this war as well. But I think there are plenty of families that are living as if the war wasn’t even going on. One of our past presidents remarked that a great way to help with the war is to go to the mall and spend money so the U.S. economy will continue to prosper.
My point is only to say as Christians, we are also in a war. Although much of it is invisible, it is none the less real. It is a spiritual battle that we cannot afford to ignore.
As you reinforce your resolutions about praying, remember that the stakes are probably higher than you realize. You are in a battle. You desperately need the air support that only God provides.
You need his grace to obey and be the man or woman that he wants you to be. You need him to protect you from Satan and his schemes. You need him to help you shine out in a dark world, as opposed to falling into the darkness of the world.
Your friends and family who are still blinded by their sins need God to intervene. If the Lord doesn’t supernaturally open their eyes to the truth, do you think another clever argument will do the trick? Pray, my friend! Pray like you mean it. Pray like you are in a war, because you are in a war. Prayer is your battlefield walkie-talkie for divine air support!
Let’s strengthen our resolve to pray. Better to pray a little every day, than a lot today and tomorrow and then not again until next January as you make another New Year’s Resolution.
How much will you commit to right now? Where will you do it? When will you do it? Why not get a notebook to write down a few key warfare prayer requests, and then leave room to write down the date that God sent the air support from heaven.