“…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray….”
2 Chronicles 7:14a
Someone has said that if you don’t brush your teeth for one day, someone might have a sneaking feeling that you have bad breath. If you don’t brush your teeth for a week, then friends will start putting some distance between you and them. However, if you go for a month without brushing your teeth, then it’s plain and simple, no one will want to be around you. You will have no friends. The same can be said for a Christian who does not pray.
Without prayer, Satan (yes, he’s real, not always at fault, but real) gains a foothold in our lives and begins to wreak havoc. The lack of prayer begins to affect our thoughts, our speech, our desires, our actions and even our judgments as we are left exposed to the machinations of the enemy. Good begins to look bad, exclusive and old fashioned; while bad begins to look good, inclusive and politically correct. Jesus not only teaches us how to pray in Matthew 6:5-15, but on many occasions in the New Testament, he took time to pray to model to believers that we always ought to pray. And in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Paul reminds the Thessalonians to “pray without ceasing,” giving thanks in all circumstances. Writing to the Ephesians in the letter to the Ephesians, chapter 6:12, Paul again reminds the Ephesian Church that their struggle is not against, flesh and blood but against the rulers, authorities and powers of this dark world. In other words, pray. We cannot win spiritual battles with earthly weapons, we can only do so with spiritual weapons.
Dear believer, what do you see when you look around you. Do you smell the sweet aroma of prayer that changes our world or do you smell something else, something akin to poor spiritual hygiene? The drumbeat of hate, divisiveness and otherness seems to be increasing all around the world, even in our churches. The culture of incivility is becoming the norm. Even Christians seem to be falling prey to the divisive tactics of the enemy. It’s us versus them. It’s time to brush our tee…, ooops! I mean, it’s time to pray.
In 2 Timothy 3:1-5a we have this warning: “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power.” Sounds familiar?
Yet here is hope, God also reminds us in 2 Chronicles 7:14, that “…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. “Beloved, do not underestimate the power of prayer. It is your most powerful spiritual weapon. God has put it at your disposal 24/7. Use it. It is time to pray for our families, communities, nation and our world. There’s only one posture that frightens the devil and his agents, a Christian kneeling in prayer. We have seen how destructive he can be, now let’s make him quake. Pray!
Father in Heaven, I need you, we need you, the world needs you. Come in your mercy and intervene on our behalf. Without you, we are destroyed. Do not forsake us, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Instill in us a desire to obey your command to pray without ceasing. Thank you for the help of your Spirit who intercedes for us before your Holy throne. As we pray, destroy every stronghold of the enemy wherever it may be found, so that the world might know you are God and you reign. Amen!