Written by Mark Farnsley
“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. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” Ephesians 6:18-20
Ephesians chapter 6 addresses our reality; as a community we exist in a war zone. The apostle spells out the essential equipment provided for our success as fully equipped, trained soldiers and then directs the soldiers to do what? Pray.
Do you remember the first time you were with an adult around a piece of equipment like a lawnmower, a tractor, or a vehicle, and that person turned to you and said, “Here, you try it”? In that moment, you were struck with the moment of entrusting. You got to put your own hands on the wheel and see the results. The directive to pray is a non–stop reliving of that exciting moment from long-ago when He decided we were destined to rule. Not from our own wisdom, but from His— daily experiencing His over–the–top goodness that could literally turn a lost world upside down through the work of a community called the Church.
Pray. Take the wheel. Don’t be scared. You are part of a community where imperfect is ok. Starting for the first time is ok.
In his book Victory in Spiritual Warfare, Pastor Tony Evans writes,
“Simply defined, prayer is earthly permission for heavenly interference.”
Does that surprise you? Good. Let go of what you thought prayer was. It isn’t the spare tire in your trunk for “just in case.” It is the essential steering wheel and you should grab onto it and hang on!
It’s true. God is waiting on us to choose, to set aside ourselves as the focus and serve with the excitement of children with their hands on the wheel for the first time. And since it’s God we’re talking about, think BIG! Heaven is waiting for your directive, celebrating your coming joy and amazement as you decide you want one thing: His glory. With that mindset, prayer is the connection to the bewildering vastness of unthinkably great possibilities. We stay close to the Church, the body, and persevere, persistent in anticipation like anxious children knowing something great is about to happen for the lost around us. Pray. God trusts you to live out the love of His Son, Jesus. “Here, you try it!”
Prayer: “Lord, help me get past dressing up for battle and not showing up for it. I need the pure joy of a child climbing down from your lap anxious to try out the life of prayer. I need you to set aside ____________ in me. Rule over my distractions! Whatever they are, they aren’t lasting and can’t bring me joy. Take my heart past all that to the real, compelling adventure of praying for the community around me. Help me grip the wheel and not let go! Amen.”