Prayer is lots of things to the Christian. It’s our communication line to God. It’s our way of providing support to other Christians. It’s also what some have called the ‘weapon of last resort’.
Christ has called us to pray for our enemies. He rebuked His disciples for wanting to call down fire on folks who weren’t ‘with them’ but were still proclaiming Jesus as Messiah. We have the example of Paul and Silas in jail where God caused an earthquake to open their bonds while they were singing and praying to Him.
Shifting to the Old Testament, we have the record of Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal with his ardent prayer to God to display Himself as the true God of Israel rather than Baal. Elijah’s prayer that it would not rain in Israel for a long time, and then his prayers that it would rain again showcased God’s judgement and blessing to the evil king of Israel Ahab.
As New Testament believers in Christ, we have been promised the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We have also been promised that whatever we pray for in Christ’s name, and for His glory, will be accomplished. Elisha prayed for his servant to see those who were ready to defend him against the Syrians. When he had done this, God opened his servant’s eyes to see the mountains covered in horses and chariots of fire.
When is the last time you prayed for your eyes to be opened to the spiritual realities around you? I know it’s been too long for me. God has placed us in the world to accomplish evangelism. I think we spend too much time coming up with reasons to not do anything for God that we lose sight of the possibilities set in front of us. What might God do if we all started praying for God to open our eyes to opportunities to witness, do good, and repel the attacks of our ‘Syrians’?