Summary: Satan’s battle strategy is to keep the believer out of the prayer closet. Satan wants to disrupt these communications.
Satan’s Battle Strategy, Part II
Theme: Strategy #2, Keeping the believer out of the prayer closet.
Text: Philippians 4:6, (NASB), "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God."
Ephesians 6:18, (NASB), "With all prayer and petition, pray at all times in the spirit and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all saints."
Two important things that God has given to his church are:
(1) The written Word of God (the Bible), that instructs us in righteousness and teaches us his ways.
(2) The right and privilege of prayer. The opportunity to lift our needs to the throne of God and receive an
answer from him concerning it.
In part one of Satan’s Battle Strategy we talked about why he wants to keep the believer out of the Word of God. In part two, we’re going to talk about why he wants to keep the believer out of the prayer closet.
The Word and prayer are linked together. Satan does not want you and I to be students of the Word or to practice prayer on a regular basis. Let me give you three reasons why this is so:
(1) In his Word, God is speaking to us. In our prayers, we are speaking to God. Satan wants to disrupt these lines of communication between God and ourselves.
(2) In God’s Word, he has promised the believer provisions for living a successful Christian life. By our prayers, those promised provisions are brought into our life to meet our daily needs. Satan wants to keep those provisions of God from becoming realities in our life by keeping us out of the prayer closet.
(3) Satan fights against our pursuing Word knowledge, our practicing the doing of the Word and our praying the promises of the Word because he knows, better than many believers, how essential the Word is for effective praying. In the Word of God we are told:
What we should pray.
When we should pray.
What we should pray about.
How we should pray.
To whom we should pray.
Satan’s simple strategy concerning our prayer life is this; if he can keep us out of the Word of God then it’s also highly likely that he can keep us out of the prayer closet too. He reasons that the believer who doesn’t use the Word of God as their basis for praying, probably won’t get their prayers answered. The reason why we won’t get our prayers answered is, because if we’re not in the Word to know the will of God concerning what we are praying for, we will pray with uncertainty. The letter of James tells us that "if we pray in doubt" we are not to expect to receive anything from the Lord. James 1:6-7,
(1) We are told to pray about everything.
(2) With thanksgiving
(3) With all kinds of prayers
(4) We are to pray at all times, (anytime the need arises.)
(5) In the spirit (I take this to mean spirit directed praying,)
(6) With all perseverance (or until the answer comes.) A good rule to follow when praying is to pray until you pray (until you really get serious.) Pray till you’re conscious of being heard. Pray till you receive an answer.
(7) We’re told to intercede (petition) on the behalf of others.
Now all seven of these prayer instructions are worthy of being studied by themselves, but I want to briefly call your attention to the "all kinds of prayer" that Paul is referring to in Ephesians 6:18,
Have you ever really thought about the many kinds of prayers that can be prayed? There are a number of different kinds of prayers that Scripture has made available to us. There are differing circumstances of life that require different kinds of prayers to be prayed and it is imperative that every believer become familiar with and skillful in every one of them. Let me name a few of them:
(1) Prayers of repentance.
(2) Prayers of thanksgiving
(3) Prayers of worship.
(4) Prayers of intercession
(5) Prayers of personal petition.
Most of us are familiar with the phrase, "Practice makes perfect." This is applicable in the arena of prayer too. To my knowledge, there is only one way to refine our prayer skills and that is through regular practice in the prayer closet. Prayer closet means, "prayer habit." It’s having a daily practice of getting alone with God. That is what the prayer closet is all about; practice. It’s about disciplining ourselves to come before God when the Spirit’s wooing calls us to prayer. It’s having a heart that says, "I must get alone with God. I must talk to my Father today."