In Satan Is Alive and Well on Planet Earth, I wrote, “The sword of the Spirit and prayer are the Christian’s offensive weapons.”
Today, many followers of Jesus feel banged up and beaten down. American Christians see an unprecedented assault on their religious liberty. And it’s worse in other parts of the world. Authorities in some European countries arrest people for publicly reading certain parts of the Bible. China regularly jails Christian pastors for preaching the Gospel. In some African and Middle Eastern nations, Christians are subjected to unspeakable evil and cruelty.
But in all this, we are not without hope or power.
We serve the Living God. 1 Timothy 6:15 calls Him “the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords.” 1 Chronicles 29:11 makes clear that His sovereignty extends over the whole cosmos. “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, And You are exalted as head over all.”
In Christ, He grants us access to His authority. In Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus taught His disciples what we often call “the Lord’s prayer.” But that’s not all He had to say about prayer. Just before His crucifixion, He gave them prayer’s key ingredient. In John 16:24, Jesus said, “Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
In the Lord’s farewell discourse in John 14 through 17, He spoke repeatedly of asking in His name. That means prayer in His authority. In John 14:13, He said, “Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
Notice the purpose — “that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” Prayer in the name of Jesus is not a magic formula for driving a Rolls-Royce or living in the biggest house in town. 1 John 5:14 says, “And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”
The person with the power of attorney must use that power “according to the will” of the person he represents. God grants us His power so that we will project His will. That is not limiting. It is freeing. By limiting His power to His will, He keeps us safe from the lust of the flesh and the pride of life that might easily take hold if He based such power on our will. But know this. Because of God’s great love for us, His will is in our favor. He wants what’s best for us. That will rarely be the biggest house in town, but it will be more than enough.
Prayer in His name is something like driving an Abrams tank into a battle with warriors armed with spears and arrows. Just remember that people are not our enemies. Ephesians 6:12 explains: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Satan and the powers of darkness are our enemies. The sin that so easily besets us is our enemy. Don’t see people as your enemy. See them as God sees them — with love.
But we can and must be on offense. Prayer, along with the sword of the Spirit, are the Christian’s offensive weapons. Pray in the name of Jesus… and see your world change.