We pray because we’re Christians and that’s what we’re supposed to do. We take our issues to God and hope that He will give us the wisdom or open some door so we can get the victory over our issues. So why do some prayers get answered and not others? It could be the difference in our prayers: those of a wimp or of a warrior.
What is prayer?
Prayer is our communication with our Heavenly Father. And contrary to what many people think, it’s far more than just asking Him for things—repeatedly. When we get together with our earthly father, we don’t just give him a list of things that we want every time we visit him. We talk with him, laugh and cry with him, and share news with him. We tell him that we love him and we thank him for the things that he does for us because we know that he loves us. We may tell him about things we need, but we don’t make that our focal point for each visit. In other words, we have a personal relationship with our father that is based on love and trust.
And so is our visit with the Lord. Prayer is our time with Him when we confess things to Him and ask for His forgiveness. It’s when we praise Him for His grace and for His love. It’s a time when we thank Him for meeting our needs and for answering our requests. It’s a time to just be with Him.
- Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.—Philippians 4:6
A weak [or wimpy] prayer is one that lacks confidence. When many Christians come to God in prayer, they ask Him for the same things that they asked Him for the day before. Their prayer wasn’t answered so they assume they have to keep on asking. But there is one important thing to know about God—He has a perfect memory! You don’t need to ask Him twice because He also has perfect hearing and He heard you the first time.
People get confused with the scriptures that tell us to bring our requests before Him and they think that it means to ask Him for the same things over and over. But we don’t need to constantly “ask” Him for things. We ask in prayer once and then bring that issue up to Him as often as we want, BUT not as a request! We bring it to Him and thank Him for hearing us and for answering us. We praise Him that He is Almighty God who CAN and who WILL answer our prayer. We ask Him once and praise Him often!
What separates a weak prayer person from a prayer warrior? Relationship! Prayer warriors know their Heavenly Father. They know the Bible and they know what God said about things. Through their studying of the scriptures and their time spent in prayer and worship, they have grown to know God. Not just “about” God, but they actually “know” Him and have developed a relationship “with” Him.
Prayer warriors can pray in confidence because they know what their Father has said and has promised. They know what things are the will of God and so they can pray confidently, knowing that they are praying in sync with what God has said in the Bible.
Prayer warriors have knowledge and confidence in what they are praying about. They are humble before God, not arrogant or demanding. They come to God with thanksgiving, knowing fully that the Lord is in control of everything and that no one is greater or wiser, or is fairer or more knowledgeable, or more forgiving or more loving than He is. They know that they are His vessels, not His equal.
Before Jesus did any of the miracles that He did on earth, He always prayed to His Heavenly Father first. He didn’t need to because He had the power to do it all. But He set an example for us and that is that we should pray and thank God for taking care of us, and that we should give Him all the glory, knowing that He can and will answer our requests.
- He commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, He blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to His disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.—John 9:16-17
And when Jesus came to the cave where Lazarus was buried, He didn’t just rush in and raise him from the dead. Jesus first prayed and thanked His Heavenly Father and then went in. His example tells us that we have to know God, and know what He will do, and then we will have to confidence in Him to thank Him for doing it.
- Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.—John 11:41
Prayer warriors know who their enemy is! And they know that Jesus has already defeated him on the cross! They walk by faith [in Christ] and not by sight [the situation at hand]. They stay focused on the fact that God is in charge and that He alone is working on the answer.
Weak Christians don’t know God, but they hope that He will answer them. They don’t know His will, but they hope that what they are asking for is okay. They keep their eyes on the issues and walk by sight because they don’t have the faith or the trust or the confidence in God to be able to know that God is working on the problem. Weak Christians see God as a god, and not as the Almighty God and their Heavenly Father.
Prayer warriors know that they are not fighting on their own turf. They know that their enemy is one who can trick them and deceive them into thinking that he has the power to defeat them. They know that God has the power over the devil and that when we resist him long enough, he will feel the defeat and leave.
- For 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
Prayer warriors know that light and dark cannot be in the same place at the same time, and when prayer warriors pray, they bring the presence of God into the situation and things happen! Why? Because when they pray and praise God for the answer, the devil leaves because he cannot stand to be in the presence of worship.
- Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.—James 4:7
And when prayer warriors praise God, they are in the light; they are in the presence of our Lord. And they know that when God comes on the scene, there is nothing but victory! If you want to have your prayers answered, then get in the light and stay there!
- For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.—Matthew 18:20
And prayer warriors know that they need to put on the full armour of God to be able to stand against the devil and his tricks and his attacks. No one goes into a battle field without any weapons—even King David had a sling shot! And so we must prepare ourselves and be ready to stand against the enemy!
- Put on the whole armour of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For 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. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.—Ephesians 6:11-18
The perfect song for the prayer warrior: Warrior by Steven Curtis Chapman!
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