SharperFocus “The pensive prayers of a faithless people”
By Erin Wikle, Soldier
I just returned from our corps’ weekly prayer meeting. It started at 7:30 p.m., but I left at 9 p.m. to “swap out” with my husband as our children slept peacefully in our still home. Back at the corps, things were getting stirred up.
Tonight, we focused prayer for those within our immediate sphere of influence who either don’t know Jesus, or who know him but aren’t living in fullness (daily obedience/responsiveness to the Holy Spirit). We each called specific people by name, asking God to move in his/her life, to be Lord, to save! Through shouting and proclaiming, weeping and agreeing, by 9 we had prayed for about 30 people. Some call this intercession, some call it “intense and not for me,” but whatever you think it is—it’s war. It’s hard, it’s laborious, it doesn’t make you feel good inside—it’s war.
Despite my fellow soldiers rallying around, I found it hard to focus tonight. As I quickly penned my list of people I regularly pray for, I became frustrated. Discouragement quickly settled in as the Enemy reminded me that so-and-so was still living for himself and didn’t see anything wrong with it, and that what’s her name was still battling deep depression and couldn’t call on the name of Jesus anymore. Oh, and what about that guy who you can’t figure out how to share the Word with?
What’s your problem? Thanks, Devil. Way to be clever.
As others began to press on in prayer, I made attempts to push through the lies that came dripping from the mouth of the loser who had nothing better to do than distract me. I went to war with my fellow soldiers. And together, for a couple of hours we fought for the freedom of our friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, and children of our community. Tough, tiresome, and trying…but worth it. Freedom, victory, redemption, fullness…that’s worth it.
Have you gone to war lately? Does your corps meet to pray as a body for others? Are you constantly fighting battles against flesh and blood or warring in the Spirit against the rulers and principalities of this world? What gets your corps council in an uproar? What gets your soldiers’ blood boiling? Who was the last person who was saved at your corps? What unites your corps as a body? Do you pray on your own, in the quiet of the morning or stillness of the night? Do you take those within your immediate sphere of influence before the King and plead his mercy over them?
We. Must. War.
A few months ago I found myself in the thick of a situation requiring heavy prayer. During an email exchange with a close friend who was praying alongside me, I realized our mutual, poor posture of, “Oh, man. I feel really sorry for him.”
We were wrong. What kind of soldier chooses the bunker over the battleground? I called it out, “We can’t pray like this! It’s powerless! God’s doesn’t want or need our pity for this person, he needs us to believe for redemption and agree with him!” So we took a new posture of prayer—one of power, one of authority, and one of belief that God would do as he promised: even greater.
We cannot be a faithless people who offer pensive prayers to the God of the universe, while slowly inching away in hopes that we don’t wake the sleeping giant. Where’s the power in that? Where’s the authority? Where have we put our faith? Don’t we believe that if we’re standing firm in his Word and praying his sweet promises over the lost, he might actually be in agreement with us? If God is not dead, we must not present to him faith that is dead.
With boldness, refute the idea that there is any power in passive and pensive prayer. There is power in the name of Jesus—stand upright in this truth and join with me, fellow soldiers, as we war for the lost. This Army ain’t for the faint of heart.
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father” (John 14:12 NLT).