Weapons of Our Warfare – Pt. 4 – Prayer

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”– Luke 22:31-32

It’s one of my favorites verses on prayer.

He could have prayed against the sifting. He could have prayed all the things we pray when the enemy picks a fight with someone we love.

But He would have been praying “No”, while the Father was saying “Yes”.

{That’s a mouthful to chew on for a bit, eh?}

What Jesus did pray is so very telling. It reveals what the enemy was after in his scheming and sifting and the arrows he aims.

{Our faith has a target on its back.}

As I said in my last post, the devil isn’t trying to get us to not believe in God, he’s going after our trust in God. Our confidence in His goodness and His faithfulness and all that He claims to be.

Jesus knew what satan was after, so Jesus prayed for what satan was after.

Likewise, the Holy Spirit knows what satan is after, knows what the Father has said yes to, and what He has said no to, and knows what needs to be prayed.

Romans 8:28 ~ “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”

Ephesians 6:18 ~ “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

Jude 1:20 ~ “But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit…”

Satan wanted Peter’s faith. Jesus used prayer as a weapon against that scheme. Peter still got sifted, but discerning prayer protected what the enemy was really after, and caused that sifting to work for the good of not only Peter, but his fellow believers.

For some of us, our prayers are primarily requests for God to do what we think He should do, or, if we’re honest, what we want Him to do. And while we may follow it with ‘thy will be done’, our minds and our hearts are convinced, or at least hoping, that His will is the same as our will. I know this because I lived it for far too many years. Prayers that are motivated by the wants of our flesh are no kind of weapon.

Jesus knew that part of Peter’s sifting meant that Peter would deny Him. Deny even knowing Him, after everything they had experienced together. If it were me, I would have prayed that God would prevent the sifting, so that I wouldn’t endure the pain of the denial. Those are the prayers I prayed for years. Change him, so that my life will be easier and I won’t cry all the time. Let me get this job so that I can stop worrying about money. Get me out of this situation Lord, it’s so uncomfortable. Make them move so that I don’t have to deal with bad neighbors. Anyone else? No? Ok, just me then.

Our praying is a danger to the enemy when it is motivated by God’s heart, not our own. When it sounds like ‘Father, show him Your love for him‘ instead of ‘change him.’ When it’s our declaration of God’s provision and goodness instead of our fear of not having enough. His purpose vs our comfort. His love for our neighbor instead of their relocation. The plans and purposes of heaven instead of my politics.

This kind of praying doesn’t go unnoticed by heaven. Or by hell.

But I would rather be in the enemy’s crosshairs because I’m wrecking strategies of darkness, than be left alone because I pose no threat.

Be a threat, beloved. Pray fervently. Pray often. Pray His will, not yours.

P.S.– There is a place for praying for our own needs and even our wants. For casting all of our cares upon Him, in being anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. That is not the kind of prayer I am addressing here. We have a good, good Father who inclines His ear to us when we speak to Him, cry out to Him, or just want to pour out our heart to Him. But when it comes to spiritual warfare, to the battle that rages against us, our families, and the Church – we need weaponized prayer. Prayer that calls down the heart and will of God. Prayers that echo heaven.

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