In his book Growing Your Soul, Neil Wiseman writes, “Prayer must be more than a kind of restatement of fretting worries or a milling over of problems. Our petitions must move beyond gloomy desperation, which deals mostly with calamity and despair.”
In commenting on this, Joanie Yoder added, “During an anxious time in my life, I became a “Prayer Worrier.” I would beg, “Lord, please keep my neighbor from causing me problems tomorrow.” Or, “Father, don’t let that ornery person spread gossip about me.
“But then the Lord taught me to pray for people, rather than against them. I began to say, “Lord, bless and encourage my neighbor, and help him to sense your love.” Then I watched to see what God would do. The Lord’s amazing answers not only helped others but also helped to cure my own anxiety!
Paul said, “God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).
Tags: prayer, spiritual warfare, worry
Not many history buffs know about Slapton Sands. It is a memorial on the southern shores of England to a tragic memory from the past.
On April 28, 1944, the Allies were preparing for the Normandy invasion known as D-Day. They were engaged in Operation Tiger, a training exercise in amphibious beach landings. The military knew that practice made all the difference when the real thing began.
Suddenly, enemy gunboats appeared and killed over 700 American servicemen in a surprise attack. Today, a monument stands on Slapton Sands to commemorate the sacrifice of those young men who died while training for battle but were never able to enter the conflict.
Like those soldiers, we face an enemy who hides himself and seeks our undoing. That’s why Paul told us to keep on the whole armor of God. Peter also said, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking who he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Stay on your toes and prayed up.
Tags: spiritual warfare, World War II
When World War I broke out, the war ministry in London dispatched a coded message to one of its outposts located in one of the most inaccessible areas of Africa. The message read, “War declared. Arrest all enemy aliens in your district.”
The war ministry received this message in reply: “Have arrested ten Germans, six Belgians, four Frenchmen, two Italians as well as several Austrians and Americans. Please advise immediately as to whom we are at war with.”
If you’re not sure who you are at war with, you tend to expect an attack from anyone. We Christians need to understand that we are not at war with other Christians, but with Satan. Our enemy is spiritual in nature and we must stop warring with our own side. It exhausts all our spiritual energy and leaves no strength to stand up to Satan when he tempts us.
Make peace with your brothers (and sisters) because you may need them defending you one day.
Tags: enemy, spiritual warfare, World War I
Five days before Christmas, the newspaper headline proclaimed: GOOD WILL? PEACE? NOT IN THIS CHURCH.
A 133-year old congregation was being torn apart. The pastor was being heckled during his sermons. Competing factions were passing around their own collection plates. The police even had to be called in when the arguing got out of hand during a service.
I remember speaking at a Michigan church as a guest of the pastor. When we arived, an older gentleman was passing out papers to people arriving at the front door. When I sat down and read the paper, it was 15 reasons why we need to get rid of the pastor. Why do Christians not see the damage they are doing to the Lord’s church with such actions? Who is interested in the god of a church like that?
In Jesus’ longest recorded prayer, He prayed: “I pray that they all may be one…that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:21). Let’s join Jesus in this prayer of unity.
Tags: church, spiritual warfare, unity
In 1939 Germany began World War 2 by invading Poland. Hitler sent 14 armored divisions across the Polish border. The Polish army was committed to the traditions of the Cavalry and sent 12 Cavalry brigades against the German tanks. In the tradition of the great Cavalry divisions of the Prussian army, the Polish Cavalry was molded for warfare as it had been fought in the 18th and 19th century. When the divisions of German armor came streaming across the border, therefore, the Polish generals sent wave after wave of Cavalry, men mounted on horses, against the tanks. The battle lasted about three weeks. The fields of Poland were choked with the bodies of horses and brave men who had gone into battle with a strategy formed for warfare in a previous period. The rest is history.
Sometimes I think the church is using the same antiquated strategy: keep doing spiritual battle the same way with the same outdated weapons. Is it any wonder Satan seems the be winning here in America? It reminds me of the director of the US Patent office back in the 1830s who suggested the patent office be closed because everything that could be invented had already been invented. And its not the church’s fault because the church is people! Its time we all awoke to the challenge that we are the ones who need to change.
Tags: Change, spiritual warfare