"Strengthen your position and see what must be done,
because next spring the king of Aram shall attack you again!" - 1 Kings 20:22
Over the last few years I have discovered the writings of several amazing church leaders that helped usher in the charismatic movement of the 1970s, including Agnes Sanford, Francis MacNutt, and Catherine Marshall. In reading Catherine Marshall's book, Adventures in Prayer, originally published in 1975, I noticed an advertisement in the back of the book for an intercessory prayer team founded by Ms. Marshall called "Breakthrough."
Even though Catherine Marshall died in 1983, I looked up the organization on the Internet and was surprised to see that this ministry still exists today. Processing over 100,000 prayer requests annually, a team of nearly 4,000 intercessors prays individually for the anonymous prayer requests of six people at a time for 21 consecutive days, then rotates to another group of prayer requests.
Regardless of whether you are on a prayer team or just spend time in prayer yourself, prayer is an essential part of the Christian walk and in strengthening the church body. When you take time to pray, you are engaging in battle with the enemy in the spiritual realms, and you need to be prepared for battle. The most recent letter I received from Breakthrough's Chairman, Brian Wells, was one I want to share with you here as you enter into battle through prayer:
"The stories of battles in the Old Testament aren't only historical accounts. They also point to greater truths, showing how God works in everyday life and providing analogies for spiritual warfare. I recently read the following admonition in 1 Kings 20:22:
Strengthen your position and see what must be done, because next spring the king of Aram shall attack you again!
I noticed God gave His people three instructions that apply to praying believers today:
1. Strengthen Your Position: Jesus defeated the devil by knowing the Word of God. We must do the same. We must sow God's truth into our hearts by memorizing it, and confessing it with our mouths during times of peace. Then, when trials and temptations come, we will be equipped to speak truth against the enemy's "fiery darts" (Ephesians 6:16).
2. See What Must Be Done: The Holy Spirit grants us wisdom in every area of our lives. As we seek Him and cultivate a relationship through prayer, worship, and the Word, the Holy Spirit will reveal His will in every situation, showing us His strategies for defeating the devil's attacks.
3. Be Ready For the Next Attack: Why should we spend time seeking God? So we won't be caught sleeping! We must be not only ready for the enemy's attacks - and they will come - but we must proactively prepare for them. Don't wait for the test or trial to come. "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak," Jesus tells us, His disciples (Matthew 26:41). Get on the offensive, and take back what the devil wants to steal from you! Decree the spirit of slumber and stupor is leaving now!"
I hope this will encourage each of you in your prayer life, or help you begin to seek God in prayer if you aren't doing so today. And if you are looking to make an even bigger impact on others through prayer, I would encourage you to join your church's prayer team, or visit intercessors.org to join the Breakthrough team!
"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." - James 5:16
- Adam Gellert