All the previous weapons have local impact, requiring you to be close to the enemy. What if you want to assist in battles on the other side of the globe? Fortunately Paul lists one more element — and many times it’s the last one we reach for, when we have nothing but a prayer’s chance left.
praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.
Prayer is the deciding factor and our opportunity to affect outcomes in other countries. Satan will do anything to keep us from prayer. How often do you begin to pray and immediately become distracted?
If you engage in war and your enemy possesses a weapon you knew would turn the tide against you, wouldn’t you do whatever you could to keep him from using it? Satan is no different.
Yet it’s important to understand what prayer is not. It’s not getting your way. It’s not to get a Lexus. It’s not to get a pony.
God is not a genie granting wishes, and we should not treat Him that way.
If my son asks for $100 to buy illegal pharmaceutical products — because, after all, all the cool kids do it — should I say, sure, you’re asking, so here it is?
Of course not.
Why then, do we treat God that way? We know when a child’s request should not be answered. From the child’s view, it’s a valid request. From someone who knows better, it’s not.
We share a similar relationship with God. Some things we ask for would actually hurt if granted. Thus God says, no, that’s not good for you, so no cookie — you’ve already had three.
Yes, you should make your requests known to God. Realize, however, no is an answer.
Paul requested three times for his thorn in the flesh to be removed. The answer came back, negative. For His reasons, Paul wasn’t healed of his malady.
Just like a child to his parents, we pout and complain when God says no, because we fail to understand the purpose of prayer.
Prayer isn’t about getting your way, it’s reporting for duty. It’s aligning your thoughts and goals with His. And ultimately, it allows you to engage in battle on the other side of the planet.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6–7)