Sunday, January 22, 2012
What does it mean to be a prayer warrior?
I have felt compelled to write about this since last weekend, yet I am just now writing it today. There is great purpose for this. Last weekend I did not know I would get to step into Baylor’s Army ROTC battle training this week. The definition of a prayer warrior gained greater depth because of the experience.
God assured me I heard right to write about being a prayer warrior when I received a message from a former youth ministry student last Sunday night asking, “What does it mean to be a prayer warrior?” Though the message encouraged me to hurry up and get this post written, I heard a soft whisper in my soul: “Wait.”
So here I am a week later, freely sharing what I have freely received from the Lord:
Churches have called on their prayer warriors. Friends have made late-night phone calls to those in their circle of influence they would deem prayer warriors. But who are these prayer warriors? What do they look like? How do they live? What sets them apart from those who have not yet been referred to as such?
Through the years I always imagined a prayer warrior to be like Anna the prophet from Luke 2:36-37:
“Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. Then she never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer.”
Anna lived most of her life inside the Temple, praying to God. Translating that to 2012, I imagine the modern-day Anna would be nestled inside the walls of a local 24-7 prayer room, surviving by the Word of God and constantly interceding for His people around the world.
I have the utmost respect for Anna and each time I read this passage I am in awe of her devotion to the Lord. However, I believe there are prayer warriors today who are not hidden in prayer rooms 24-7, but are living and breathing amongst us outside the Temple.
From another perspective, how did the word “warrior” ever get paired with prayer?
Whenever I thought of warriors I always imagined the male lead in a box office hit stepping forth on a hill, the sun shining behind him, armed and ready for war. He throws up his right arm and runs onward toward battle.
But after this week, my idea of a warrior has been forever transformed.
During Baylor’s Army ROTC battle training I realized a warrior is not alone, nor is he self-centered. Rather, a true warrior sticks to the mission as he looks death in the eye, fighting off the enemy to protect his people.
In the midst of battle, a warrior is a picture of selfless love in its truest form.
“This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” –John 15:12-13
After taking all this and more into consideration, I believe a prayer warrior has many shapes and forms. I think a prayer warrior can look like you or me, man or woman, adult or child, American or African.
I believe once you have turned to the Lord and embraced His pursuit of salvation for your soul, you are able to enlist as a prayer warrior.
One does not become a prayer warrior overnight, but through the days and nights.
As we journey forth in faithful surrender to the Lord and His purposes, we lose sight of our former selfish perspective. With every confession, every moment of silence, every repentance, and every prayer of thanksgiving – we open our hearts to the light of God.
When Christ floods us with His Holy Spirit, we become prayer warriors.
For prayer warriors are those who are daily on the frontlines of this spiritual battle we live in.
Prayer warriors share their life with those around them so they might know the needs of this world.
Prayer warriors are those who see the hurt in the eyes of the unfamiliar.
Prayer warriors can make lists of prayer needs, but they do not need them, for they cannot help but cry out for the sake of the broken souls they encounter.
Prayer warriors look not to themselves, but into the face of Christ, and in doing so – into the heart of His creation.
Prayer warriors stick to God’s mission as they look death in the eye, fighting off the enemy to protect God’s people.
Prayer warriors are necessary for change to take place.
Prayer warriors are the soldiers God chooses to use in His battle because they are no longer fighting their own.
Prayer warriors breathe hope and peace, for their lives are hidden with Christ in God.
Prayer warriors are imperfect, but they yield to the redeeming work of the Holy Spirit.
Are you training to become a prayer warrior in God’s army? Prayers are our most powerful tactic in this battle and they require the utmost sacrifice.