Saturday, January 6, 2018

Praying Pre-emptively

The question is not whether he's coming out to engage you in battle.
It's whether you're going to prepare in prayer first or wait until the Devil has you in a headlock before you call on the One who has already defeated him” Kendrick

In thinking about praying pre-emptively lately, I've been looking
further into prayer strategies to use to fight the Devil.

I don't know about you, but I don't use that word
'pre-emptive' very much, so I wanted to get as clear
a definition of it as possible.

The dictionary defines pre-emptive as :
to forestall something,
especially to prevent attack by disabling the enemy:
marked by the seizing of the initiative

Hmm. 'To prevent an attack by disabling the enemy'
'Seizing the initiative'
Food for thought.

When a country is about to attacked by an
invading army, they do all they can to prepare for war.
They evaluate their resources. They develop strategies.

This is just what we need to be doing in prayer
before going to battle with the Devil.
We know and read in Scripture, that the Devil is a real
enemy who has set his mind on destroying us
and making us useless to God's work.

1 Peter 5:8
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil,
as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Satan is not just some fairy tale symbol of evil.
He is real. And he will do everything in his power to
distract us from the work of the Lord.

It is so important for us to pray pre-emptively.
We need to be on guard against him and his deceitful ways.
We shouldn't live ignorant of his devices.

2 Corinthians 2:11
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us:
for we are not ignorant of his devices.

He uses so many different methods to attack us that we need to be prepared,
praying for guidance, for protection, for power,
BEFORE we step into battle with him.

As Christians, we know all about the armour of God
in Ephesians 6. But just in case you haven't
read over it lately, here it is.

Ephesians 6:11-18

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

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.

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.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth,
and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to
quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God:

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,
and watching thereunto
with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

There are so many tricks the Devil uses to get our
focus off what God wants us to do. He even uses 'good' things.
I think of Mary and Martha (one of my favourite studies
in the Bible, as I see myself in their story).
Martha was doing a good thing. Serving her Lord.
But she was not doing the BEST thing.

The Devil likes to lull us into a dangerously comfortable
place by using good things to distract our focus.
He reminds us of the 'good' things we're doing,
so we won't remember the BEST things, the more
important things we should be doing.

The Devil is also a liar and the father of lies.

John 8:44
.......and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.
When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

We are not strong enough to stand against the Devil's deceptions
unless we're praying and being instructed in what is actually true.
If we are in the Word of God and studying and learning
from His Word, we will know the truth, and we will also
be more likely to detect a lie when we hear one.

Another thing the Devil uses
is division. He loves to set Christians against each other.

Mark 3:25
And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

He knows all too well, that a group of believers
that are at odds with one another and have no unity,
will lose their effectiveness, destroy their testimony and
let the world see a bunch of hypocrites that call themselves Christians.
(makes you wonder about those tense and heated business
meetings we have in our churches and who it is that's stirring
the pot with a wicked grin on his face)

Their are so many examples in Scripture where
prayer was the catalyst in overcoming evil.
Nehemiah faced many difficulties when rebuilding
the wall of Jerusalem, but he was diligent in prayer
and seeking God's will, and he became an overcomer.

All too often, we neglect to pray until the enemy
is well and truly upon us. He has us in his grip,
and then, and only then do we cry out to God.

How much better would it be to have
pre-emptively prayed and done a whole lot more
winning than losing. To have been watching and praying
and been on the alert so that God could get the victory and be glorified!

We know the Devil has already been defeated,
but I think sometimes we forget, and live
defeated lives, when we could be humbly kneeling
before God in prayer and asking for His power to
become overcomers, then rising up victorious,
to give God all the glory. Letting the Devil know
he's defeated. Reminding him of his future.
Living an empowered, victorious, Christian life.

Praise God for the instruction and promises in His Word,
that armours us for the battle,
so we need not go out against our foe unarmed
and unprepared. We can stand courageously,
strong and resolute in the face of attack,
knowing that we have God on our side!