If you knew about my work (the “secular” hat that I wear) and my fascination with computers, you’d think I would be talking about protecting your PC or network but that’s for another time and place 😄.
Most of this comes from the notes of a talk I gave to the James Cooper Men’s Prayer Group in Dahlonega, GA on Dec 6, 2005 (it was written up on an earlier version of this blog).
I have been given a burden for taking prayer “to the next level”. I still haven’t totally figured out what that really means yet. But consistent, on-going intercessory prayer with accountability is part of the answer.
Isaiah 62:6-7 says “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence, and give Him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” I believe this speaks to us today (replace Jerusalem with Dahlonega, Atlanta, Orlando, Toronto, London, etc.) I believe it calls us to more than just the casual, passing prayer that we too often give when presented with someone or something to pray for (I’m guilty as charged – I don’t pray hard or long enough for the concerns that cross my desk almost daily). I believe a lack of accountability is part of the problem – also a lack of understanding how to really pray and that we are ALL called to pray for others.
There’s a bumper sticker I’ve seen recently: “Jesus is coming…. Look Busy”. We may laugh but too often we do just that – look busy for the sake of looking like we are doing something. And we don’t accomplish much of anything in the process. I’m not suggesting that we add more to our schedules just to look busy for our Lord. He doesn’t want that and it doesn’t help anyone – we’ll just get burned out and what little good we could be doing will be lost.
Zechariah 2: 5 says “For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.” I call this the “Tabernacle Turned Inside Out”. Instead of God being “contained” in the Holy of Holies, He will surround the New Jerusalem and be the walls and light of the city. Our praise and worship – and our times of corporate prayer – are working to give us a glimpse of this future here today.
Ephesians 6:10-20, Paul talks about “putting on the whole armor of God”. Here we see that the battle is not an earthly battle but a spiritual battle. My pastor, Jeff Ross, often refers to the church as an “outpost”. Seen within the context of the spiritual war, that terminology makes perfect sense. Without the proper protection, we – who are out in the wilderness of the world, manning one of God’s outposts – will not be able to stand, much less withstand.
I used to say in regards to Ephesians 6:12 that prayer was the cloak that finished out the armor. I still feel that is true but prayer is also the battlefield where we hone our skills in the battle, where we deliver field reports to our Commander, and where we receive our marching orders.
Ephesians 6:19-20 is a personal prayer of mine: “And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” I trust that it may be a personal prayer of yours also.