A few weeks ago while I was preparing to do some work at home, the Holy Spirit came upon me and I had a strong compulsion to pray. So, for the rest of the afternoon, I prayed and worshiped God. I felt as if God’s anointing for prayer came upon me.
As a result of this encounter, I was reminded how important God regards prayer. There is real power, or energy that emanates as a result of praying but I think sometimes we may miss the importance of prayer or perhaps we are unaware of the power prayer produces. It is within this (Holy Spirit) power that prayers are answered. When we don’t pray, we disconnect from the power source that can provide the solution to our daily troubles. But praying is also much more than that. Praying is also used to birth God’s will within our own lives, our families, our communities, our cities and nations.
There is a lot to learn about prayer and a lot to say. But I want to focus on one aspect of prayer that I am currently dealing with and receiving revelation about. That is, prayer for God’s Holy Spirit power to have the ability to dwell within the community that I live.
During Easter weekend of this year, The Holy Spirit prompted me to take a road trip. I took a trip up the coast of California heading north about midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. I thought the purpose of the trip was so I could better follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, but since God is often multi-strategical, the trip produced more than that. A few weeks later, during a conversation with another Christian, the realization came to me that what God was also showing me was the condition of the spiritual atmosphere during my trip compared to the spiritual atmosphere of where I am now living in Southern California.
While on my trip, it was very easy to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. I could hear so clearly, it was almost as if the Holy Spirit was sitting next to me in the car. But once I came back to Southern California, there seemed to be interference with my ability to hear.
I liken it to a car radio. While driving away from the city, the reception of the station became fuzzy and at times, I could hear more than one radio station at a time. Sometimes, it was confusing as to which radio station I was actually listening to. But the actual drive produced an opposite effect within the spiritual atmosphere. The further away I got from the city, the easier it was to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. There was less interference within the spiritual atmosphere away from the city.
Suddenly, my understanding was becoming clearer. But I also understood that my revelation was not so that I would stop trying to hear His voice in the mist of the city, but so that I could begin to do something about it.
Prayer can also be used as a spiritual weapon. Remember the power that I mentioned earlier? In warfare, power to defeat the enemy is needed. Throughout history, there have been wars and battle strategy. The successful wars have been defeated by battle strategies that included successful artillery units. The purpose of artillery units was to produce weakness in the enemy strongholds. If the weakness was great enough, then troops could go forth and break through these barriers defeating the enemy. Sometimes, these tactics can get overlooked when reviewing history. But in almost every case, strong artillery was used successfully as part of the plan to defeat the enemy.
A commentator about the civil war had this to say about the use of artillery :
..the effectiveness of the artillery often has come into question. What is overlooked is that the purpose of the artillery is not to inflict mayhem, but rather to cause confusion and shock. It is designed to break up formations and to give the enemy officers and troops question about their ability to take a position successfully.[i]
Artillery was not always used to completely stop the enemy rather it was often used to cause confusion for the enemy. Where there was confusion, troops could go in and defeat the enemy using other strategies.
Prayer can be used as a spiritual weapon of warfare. It can be used as artillery to cause confusion for the enemy, where the believer can stand ready to take ground back from the clutches of the enemy and put it back in God’s hands. Prayer can also be used to completely defeat the enemy. But the believer has to be careful, for it is God who is actually defeating the enemy, not us. We just pull the trigger, so to speak. The bible has much to say about prayer and warfare, but I chose the scripture below to illustrate how the two are connected:
Finally, receive your power from the Lord and from his mighty strength. Put on all the armor that God supplies. In this way you can take a stand against the devil’s strategies. This is not a wrestling match against a human opponent. We are wrestling with rulers, authorities, the powers who govern this world of darkness, and spiritual forces that control evil in the heavenly world. For this reason, take up all the armor that God supplies. Then you will be able to take a stand during these evil days. Once you have overcome all obstacles, you will be able to stand your ground.
So then, take your stand! Fasten truth around your waist like a belt. Put on God’s approval as your breastplate. Put on your shoes so that you are ready to spread the Good News that gives peace. In addition to all these, take the Christian faith as your shield. With it you can put out all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Also take salvation as your helmet and the word of God as the sword that the Spirit supplies.
Pray in the Spirit in every situation. Use every kind of prayer and request there is. For the same reason be alert. Use every kind of effort and make every kind of request for all of God’s people. (Eph 6: 10-18, GOD’S WORD Translation)
As a result of this revelation, my prayers began to change. I am now praying for God’s glory to reign in this region. I am praying that the stronghold of the enemy become weakened by God’s Holy Spirit power and praying that the spiritual atmosphere be cleared so that all of God’s people will begin to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit more clearly. I now pray for this specifically when I take walks and while driving. I am also praying for more people to begin to pray over this region. I think all of the little personal problems we deal with will begin to disappear if we understand that it’s God’s glory reigning in our lives and our communities that causes the changes necessary for us to receive the blessings God wants to bestow on us. But more importantly, God will reign and the enemy will be defeated.
[i] Source: http://schwartz.eng.auburn.edu/ACW/arty/arty.html