Early this year I received a daily devotional in my inbox HERE from Freedom in Christ Ministries. Neil Anderson, the founder of this incredible ministry, shared that one of the most dramatic deliverances he has observed happened in a man who was a high priest in the upper echelons of Satanism. Neil writes, Six months after he was set free he gave his testimony in our church. At the close of his testimony I asked him, “Based on your experience on ‘the other side,’ what is the Christian’s greatest strategy against demonic influence?”
“Prayer,” he answered forcefully. “And when you pray, mean it. Fervent prayer thwarts Satan’s activity like nothing else.”
A leader in the enemy world identifies the BEST STRATEGY to defeat Satan’s plans; PRAYER. And not just any kind of prayer, FERVENT prayer. And the answer wasn’t delivered pensively, but forcefully.
Why can’t I get it out of my mind?
For one, the source of this answers lends credibility to the importance of prayer. We all know it’s important, but hearing this answer from a man who once held a high position in the demonic world adds such credibility to the idea.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)
Second, this answer means prayer will always be accompanied by temptation. I know the difference between casual, tired, rote prayers and focused, intent, passionate, fervent prayers.
And I know which option is easier.
The enemy will spend his greatest amount of energy tempting us to do anything but engage in the greatest strategy of our battle against enemy forces in this life. Doing almost anything else is easier than fervent prayer. It is easier to clean house, do laundry, grade papers or write this blog than to pray fervently. It is easier to work on a talk; easier to read my Bible; easier to scroll on my phone, answer e-mails and send encouraging texts to friends. If the enemy can’t stop me from talking about Jesus, he may be able to get me to talk about Jesus without engaging in fervent prayer first.
He has succeeded all too many times.
A third reason I can’t get this story off my mind is because in the face of constant temptation, fervent prayer will always require intention. My dear friend who pastors a church and runs a school in Thailand spearheads a week of prayer each January. People sign up to pray in 30 minute slots, 24 hours a day. Those who pray are provided with a daily plan in which every person on church or school staff is prayed for by name, every goal and event for the year is named, and every branch of the church is prayed for as well. He leaves no stone unturned.
Smartest strategy of any ministry I know.
I have asked to speak on prayer numerous times but other topics are selected instead. Prayer just seems to be something “we already know” but I rarely see anyone do with fervency.
And, sadly, that often includes me.
I recently read a post on Facebook by Judy Douglass. I have been unable to find it again, so if anyone wants to send it to me, feel free. I said something like, “Our most important work is to pray, then we get up to see what happens.”
I like the famous quote by Joanne Clancy: Be the kind of woman who, when your feet hit the floor each morning, the devil says, “Oh, no! She’s up. I would like to propose an edit: Be the kind of woman, who, when your feet hit the floor each morning, the devil says, “Oh, no! She’s on her knees.
If we get nothing else done this week, let’s pray with intention and focus, then get up from our knees to see what our prayers made way for God to do.
Picture Explanation: Some members of the family got to enjoy snow last week and go to the beach this week.
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