Praying: The Battle Rages On
Have you ever been praying so fiercely that it’s almost like you’re in an actual battle? Lord knows I sure have! There are lots of situations in life that call for this kind of prayer. If you’ve ever had a spouse or child that is lost or backslidden, then you surely know this kind of prayer.
When we start praying these kinds of prayers, we have a lot of faith, stamina and hope. It actually drives and propels us forward! For quite some time. But when we start to see these prayers go “unanswered”, we can begin to falter in our faith. We get tired. We wonder if our prayers are even doing any good at all.
Why aren’t you answering, God?
What am I doing wrong?
Is there some sin in my life that’s hampering my prayers?
Don’t you want them to be saved as much as I do?
These are just a precious few of the questions I had when my prayers went unanswered. I bet you’ve asked them too, at some point! Don’t worry, that’s normal too.
Things To Keep In Mind While Praying
When you get to that point where questions start to cloud your thoughts, you need to step back. Just take a breather and think about what you’re really doing. In the case of lost or backslidden loved ones, you are interceding on their behalf.
But I found out something so alarming, it shook me to my core when God pointed it out.
While praying for my family, I realized I was actually praying selfishly! I hadn’t seen it until all those questions started running through my mind. But once I got really honest with God, and asked Him to point out anything in ME that wasn’t pleasing HIM, He showed me something I’ll never forget!
I was praying selfishly!
I actually caught myself saying things – in prayer – like, “I don’t know how much more of this I can take, Lord” or “I really need you to change things and give me some peace”.
Finally, I realized that in some situations, I was seeking relief more than anything else. I’m not saying it’s all together a bad thing to pray for relief. Sometimes we certainly need it! But when praying for someone’s salvation or renewal, it goes a long way to get our minds off ourselves.
God Loves The One You’re Praying For More Than You
I think it’s also important to keep this fact in mind. Jesus loves your loved one even more than you do! He died for them! He bore stripes for their healing and purchased their salvation with His own Blood!
Keeping this in mind helps us to keep our perspective and sometimes helps us through the rough patches. We might think He just isn’t answering our prayers. Oh, but that’s not the case at all!
You see, God is not slack concerning His promise, as we might think. The Bible tells us this in 2 Peter 3:9
- The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
He wants everyone to repent and accept the salvation He has already purchased! This is a good Scripture to use when you’re praying. And a good way to keep ourselves focused.
Don’t Stop Praying
Even if it seems like your prayers aren’t doing any good, don’t stop praying! I know there were lots of times when I thought, what’s the use? I don’t see anything happening, so I’m just gonna stop. It’s not going to do any good!
There are so many reasons to keep on praying at this point!
For starters, ask yourself what you have to lose. If you keep praying, is it going to get worse? It might seem like it sometimes. But if this happens, then you can certainly take heart! That only means that the enemy sees that things are changing and doesn’t want to lose his territory. It’s like my Mom always use to say…”If the devil isn’t after you, that just means he’s got you!”
You also have to consider the fact that you never know what’s going on inside a person. But God does! The Bible says, this
- …for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7b)
We might not know exactly what’s going on in the minds of those we’re praying for, but God surely does. So it’s not for us to worry about what’s going on between our loved ones and God. We are to do the praying, leaving the rest to Him.
I won’t say it’s not hard. It is! And you will get tired, weary and at some points, completely worn out. But is it worth it? You better believe it!
One great thing about this faith walk is that we’re not simply tossed into it with nothing to help. We have the Word of God, which is our instruction manual for life. We have our prayer time, which is the way we speak to the One Who can change things. And we have our quiet time, which is the time we let God talk to US!
But there’s something else too. Something that Christians all too often forget about: our armor!
That’s right, we have our very own suit of armor! And we should put it on, every single day, before we ever start to pray for anyone else. It can help us to pray with more fervency and protect us against the wiles of the enemy.
Just look at what we have access to!
- We are to cover our loins with truth. Yes, telling the truth is important, but His Truth is above all! Knowing His Truth about things gives us the ability to pray when it seems like we can’t.
- We are to put on the breastplate of righteousness. Why a breastplate? Because it covers our heart! We have to keep our heart strong at all times. In fact, it’s one of the first places we tire out.
- We should wear the shoes of the gospel of peace. The Gospel is what we are to spread as we go about our daily lives. But where we see a lot of condemnation and judgement in the wrong places, we should instead be peaceful when we do.
- We have to hold the shield of faith. A shield will keep the enemy’s weapons from making contact with you. And what better shield than that of our faith. If you want to read more about faith, read Hebrews chapter 11, or do a Word study.
- We have the helmet of salvation. The helmet covers the head, and as such, protects the things we KNOW. Do you know that you are saved? Then you already have this helmet. Use it when you pray and when you go about your way. Use it when you pray. There are many promises in the Bible about what our salvation gives us, as joint-heirs with Christ!
- And finally, we have the Sword of the Spirit, which is the very Word of God. What a powerful weapon! The Bible tells us that His Word never returns void (Isaiah 55:11), that it is always true (Titus 1:2) and it is what we use to persuade people to trust Him. Yield it whenever you have to!
In closing, let me just say that even though you’re tempted to give in to discouragement, don’t! Keep the faith and know that God hears your prayers. He hears each and every word, sees each and every tear and knows when your heart is breaking.
And He will always show up…right on time!