Pray, Listen, Fight!

written by Chris and Linsley Hartenstein and J. A. Hart
"Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts." - Mother Teresa

Before the new year, we talked about the battles we fight and the weapons we use. We explored the importance of community and scripture as we fight said battles. This week we are going to finish off the series talking about using prayer as a weapon.

Prayer is a crucial weapon in the fight; It is, first and foremost, our path of communication with our heavenly Father.

But, how can a conversation help you fight your battles? Your Father in heaven wants to help you have victory. He desires to walk alongside you as your battles unfold. He is always speaking and offering help if you are listening to Him.

During Joshua's time as the leader of Israel, he faced many battles and challenges. In Joshua chapter 6, the Israelites face Jericho, one of the most fortified cities in the promised land at that time. The siege seemed impossible, but Joshua asked God; he listened to his voice and did as he commanded. God's plan seemed crazy. It included trumpets, the ark of the covenant, miles of walking, walls magically falling, and grape slushies- wait, no, that's VeggieTales. But in the end, God gave Jericho to the Israelites, and no one lost their life. Through prayer, Joshua found victory.

Often, many of us will say a quick prayer and plead with God for help in times of crisis, but do we listen for His response? Or do we just wait for Him to fix things? Unfortunately, in times of crisis, it can be challenging to choose to listen. There is so much noise around us, and when chaos swells, it doesn't get any better. Despite the chaos, if you don't choose to listen and follow, you risk missing out on the fullness of your relationship with God.

After the battle of Jericho (in Joshua 7),  Joshua sends spies to observe the city of Ai and return with a recommended plan of attack. Instead of listening and following God's plan, which Joshua had done until this point, he only heeds the spies' voices. When the Israelites attack, everything goes wrong, and Ai defeats them. It's the only place in Joshua where there are recorded Israelite deaths as a result of defeat. Listening and following in times of battle is vital.

Prayer is an incredible way to fight amidst the battle, but we must quiet our hearts and be expectant of His goodness as we listen for a response. Your heavenly Dad wants to fight alongside you. He wants to hear where your heart is throughout the battle. He isn't just a counselor but your comforter and a peace-maker. He speaks promises of His character and provision over you to give your heart peace and hope. You need only to ask and be present with Him.

Join us next week for some more ways in which we can use prayer as a weapon.
Calibration Questions:

When you pray, do you wait for God to reply?
What keeps you from slowing down to listen?
What keeps you from believing your heavenly Dad wants to hear from you and speak to you while you battle?
What can you do to be a better listener and therefore a better warrior?

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