Sunday, December 2, 2007

When the Enemy Attacks Your Prayers!

By Soli Deo Gloria
And pray in the Spirit on all  occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people. Ephesians 6:18 (TNIV)

Often times when we are on our knees Satan seek to take control of our very thoughts. A mind that was perfectly clear of outside thoughts is now while we are in prayer being interrupted with thoughts of Monday's meeting at work, or the phone bill, or even weather we've forgotten to turn off the lights in the basement before you came up to pray. This is just another way the Devil seeks to prevent you from spending time with God. This is how he, Satan, intercepts your supplications for the healing of Sister Jones at church, or the request of the salvation of a family member or friend on drugs. You see a prayer heard by God is a victory for you and a testimony of God faithfulness, so when your drop down on you knees to pray you become enemy an of the devil, and he will do all he can to make you fail at prayer.

There was a time when I would get deep into my prayer or would become passionate in meditation when the phone would ring, or the dog would bark and my mind would instantly be lost to all that I had accomplished up to that point. There was a time when I would fall asleep while in prayer? At the most intimate time with God my mind wanders from my relationship with God to next month’s gas bill. I began to think to myself “Why am I not more focused in the things of God? Do I really Love Christ the way I said I do?” what I did not realize is that this is what the Devil wanted.

Paul suggests that there is or may be something that can happen to us while we are in a state of prayer. Paul warns us be alert , but what is it that we should be alert to? Let me give you a spiritual backdrop for a second. Prayer is a service, which we do to achieve many things;
1. We speak the will of God in prayer 
2. We get to know God though prayer 
3. We confess our sins to God though prayer 
4. We even thank God for his blessing and tender mercies, loving kindness, salvation, forgiveness of sin, and his son Jesus Christ through prayer. 
5. But most importantly we develop or strengthen the relationship we have with God through Prayer.

However, the Devil does not want us to do these things; Satan especially does not want us to develop our relationship with God. So he interjects the thoughts of the world into our prayers. Into our mind while we seeking intimacy with God.
So what do we do? We can entertain these thoughts and loose our relationship with God, or we can try to just not think about these worldly thoughts and go on with our prayers. If we entertain these thoughts then we give the devil power. His only goal was to come between you and God, to break that relationship. Now if the devil can break that relationship while you are in prayer, he most surely can come between you and God when you are having trying times.
The other option is to just not think about these things and go on praying. This may sound like the best move but its not. You see if I said right now when you read the word “happy” in this article you must never think about a purple frog. Than every time you read the word “happy” you most surely will think about a purple frog. There is no way to stop it. This is our dilemma but there is an answer.
"who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men"Philippians 2:6-7(NASB)
If we read Philippians 2:6-7 we read what Christ did in the obedience to God even as he was God. Verse 7 says “he emptied himself taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” From this we get instruction on how to deal with these attacks on our prayers. We must empty our minds of this unwanted thought, but there is more then we must put in our minds the thing we desire.

It is impossible to empty our mind and leave it that way, so we put into our mind the things which are of virtue. And let them occupy that space where the devil sought to attack our prayers. In Philippians 4:8 Paul instructs us if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.The simplicity of this is that we can not think on two thinks at a time. So if our mind is fixed on the things of God we have already built a wall of protection against the wiles of the devil.
Now once you have developed a strong wall against the devil attacks on your prayers. Once you have stopped letting your mind wander in prayer, once you have stopped looking up to see who just called your cell phone, once you have stopped responding to the house phone, the door bell, the dog bark, the TV, and even your grand daughter nudging you trying to wake you up. Once you have lifted up your prayer to such a level that the only thing more important than completing your prayer is the house burning down (and that depends on what side of the hose the fire started) then Satan starts to use the hardcore attack on you.

At this point the devil seeks to maneuver other things in our life in front of prayer, and place prayer on the back burner. Even things that may appear to be for the edification of God's kingdom the devil will use to interrupt the time we have for prayer.
Ministry and fellowship becomes more important that obedience and prayer. We find it easy to be enthusiastic when it comes to making it to Christian concerts, and ministry meetings, bible study, Sunday school, and even Church, but something always comes up when it time to pray.

Faced with all the tribulations of life we say things likeThis is the type of thing that only prayer can solve" yet we talk more about it, we worry more about it, we contemplate more about it, we scheme more about it, we seek after our own solutions more about it, we do all these thing more than we pray about it. Basically we put everything in front of prayer. Prayer is always last on our list of things to do. And even though we have matured in the things of Christ, through bible study, and church, Sunday school and retreat we still don’t have a clue what it means to have a move of the spirit, to consecrate ourselves, before God. We are still doing all things that we did before we confessed Christ as our Lord and Savior.

Because our relationship with God, still in it’s infancy, is being slowly torn apart by Satan because we have yet to put prayer first in our lives. Sadly, not one of us can say we have gone to God enough in prayer. We all have committed the sin of neglecting prayer, and sought our own devices to answer our problems. We all have placed prayer on the back burner for something else more important.
We have to realize that it is God's will that we pray, and we say we love the God, and we place Christ as Lord over our lives. We can’t put anything before that time to commune with God.

Even, Billy Graham spiritual advisor to many presidents, whom have arguably preached the word of God to more people than anyone else on this planet. As of 1993, more than 2.5 million people had stepped forward at his crusades to "accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior at his revivals. Even this great man of God has admitted to being so motivated with doing the Work of God that he has forgotten to do the Will of God! Now don't go around telling people I said Billy Graham don't pray, the point I'm trying to get across is that we can put things, even the things of God ahead of the Will of God. The South African Minister Andrew Murray wrote "If we do not set a given time to pray, we will not pray" I would add also that we pray that out prayer time is never snatched away by the manipulation of the Devil
Set a Time to Pray
Set a time to pray two or three times per day, and let nothing come between your prayer times not even the works of God. But even though you have a set prayer time you should still pray whenever you have a few minutes to yourself. For instance while waiting for a bus, you can pray, or sitting in the doctors office waiting
for your name to be called are both excellent times to pray.

Stay Single-Minded
Before you pray, pray! Pray that God will keep you single-minded, that your prayer will not be obscured by any of the Devil's devices. And when or if your prayers are interrupted by disturbing thoughts, weakness, or just human junk, speak them out or your life. In Matthew 16:23 when Simon Peter tried to convince Jesus not to take up the cross, Jesus answered "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns." (TNIV) This allowed Christ to remain single-minded toward the things of God.
Remember that the mind is the Devils play-ground; he attacks us in the mind causing us to question our faith, and even intercepting or interrupting our prayer with God. So before you pray put on the Helmet of Salvation so that the mind is protected against the evil devices of the enemy! And Get before God as much and as often as you can because you can be sure the devil will be before God to accuser you of your sins!
…for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.Revelation 12:10b (KJV)

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Soli Deo Gloria