"The Weapons of Our Warfare"
Among the many reasons God gave to us the gift of prayer, one involves the spiritual nature of reality and the conflict in which we presently exist (whether knowingly or not).
"We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12).
We cannot see, hear, and touch Satan and his host of demonic influences. Moreover, the devil is a cunning foe, possessed of knowledge and ability beyond our means of directly confronting. Even the archangel Michael would not contend with Satan regarding the body of Moses. "The Lord rebuke thee" declared Michael (Jude 1:9). Thus, our Heavenly Father calls us to Himself for the purpose of prayerfully seeking the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ in dealing with devilish attempts to discourage, deceive, and distract.
"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds" (II Corinthians 10:4).
Try pulling down a spiritual stronghold using earthly and fleshly devices. Try even finding one! That won't happen. Thus, we look to the One unto whose eyes "all things are naked and opened" (Hebrews 4:13). This includes the the devil and demonic influences God sees with perfect clarity. We ask Him to work in the spiritual realm to expose, confront, defeat, and overcome "the wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:11). But what if we don't ask? What if we don't consistently pray? We must conclude that Satan gains unnecessary footholds in our lives and the lives of those for whom we have spiritual responsibility. Little wonder that Samuel sought God's protection against prayerlessness regarding his calling to intercede for Israel: "God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you" (I Samuel 12:23).
Scripture calls us to "resist the devil" by obeying the command to "submit yourselves therefore to God" (James 4:7). We do not directly confront the devil and his minions. We are not equipped for such conflict. The Captain of our salvation, however, has already defeated the devil by the weapons of the cross, the resurrection, and the ascension. Thus, we look our risen Overcomer, seeking His engagement. "The Lord shall fight for you" (Deuteronomy 3:22). Indeed, by definition, we "fight the good fight of faith" by trusting our Lord to bludgeon unseen enemies that are perfectly visible to Him, and subject to Him (I Timothy 6:12). Thereby we prayerfully keep our gaze and focus where it belongs, on Christ, and thereby God applies the triumph of the Savior to our lives, callings, and responsibilities.
"Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."
Weekly Memory Verse
"We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal" (II Corinthians 4:18)