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"The art of spiritual war is of vital importance to the individual, the community, the nation, the church, and the world. It is a matter of life and death, blessing and cursing, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of study that no one can neglect." -The Art of War, 1:1-1, by Sun Tzu (paraphrased)

Prayer is the simplest of practices, and at the same time, the most mysterious of spiritual disciplines. In it lies the master key to everything God wants for you, and yet no other aspect of following God seems more difficult to fathom. While folding your hands, bowing your head, and turning your thoughts or words toward God is as easy as sitting down to coffee with a friend, what transpires in the aftermath is the most multifaceted and mystifying journey in the universe.

At its essence, prayer is a quest surpassing anything that you could or will ever read about in any thriller novel or adventure story. It is in prayer that we probe spiritual realities, communicate with God, access the arsenal of heaven and expand God's kingdom on the earth. It is as simple as pulling aside to a quiet place and opening your heart to God, and as dynamic as tapping into the power and imagination that created the cosmos.

As with God, nothing is impossible, so it is that through prayer, nothing is implausible. Prayer gives heaven permission to invade the earth. Through this discipline, we are able to pray heaven down to keep hell from rising.

You must realize that God will never abandon you, but He is ever present wanting to work His will in your life. As Theresa of Avila said, "All difficulties in prayer can be traced to one cause: praying as if God were absent." God is right here with you, living inside of you, ready to release His kingdom through each of you, because "the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21). Every believer is equipped with an arsenal of incredible life-altering and world-changing power. For those who rightly esteem the privilege of accessing God's armory of possibilities, each word spoken through or by that person holds enormous, innovative, potential creative and re-creative power.

The Father has entreated each of us to come and be involved in a dialogue that marshals angels and sets forth the weaponry of war-weaponry that impacts the spiritual realm and affects how events unfold in the natural world. He is still waiting for those of us who have the courage to step up and take their places in the highest ranks of His army. God has enough privates; what He desires now are generals who will pay the price of dedication and discipline to hear the divine strategies and implement them on the earth.

By going into prayer rather than striving with those around you using worldly tactics hampered and confused by human motives, you signal your dependence on God and your trust in Him as the source of all hope. You acknowledge that the only things that will last are those born in the strategic command center of His throne room. Your communication with God on behalf of others declares your commitment to see His strategies and care for the objects of His affection.

God's communication with you marks the anticipated change of regime as "the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ" (Rev. 11:15). It shows your intention as a believer to annihilate barriers and hindrances-those things that divide an army of God into factions and divisions the devil can manipulate and keep ineffective-refusing to erect your own throne and kingdom where only His is intended to be. Your times of intense prayer will not only affect present circumstances and conditions, but they will also give you a future hope.

Whatever God births through you in prayer, He is also required to sustain. He is always trying to communicate with you. Prayer is the means by which you can engage Him.

According to Jeremiah 7:13, God is always speaking. Are you listening? If you participate in prayer correctly, consistently, faithfully and persistently, God will let you know exactly what it is you need to do to continually advance in your life, fulfill your purpose and maximize your potential. Are you ready to enlist in the ranks of God's generals of prayer? Training begins now.

Adapted from The Art of War for Spiritual Battle by Cindy Trimm, copyright 2010, published by Charisma House. This book is a "must have" for anyone who engages in spiritual warfare. Using quotes and principles from the classic military strategy book The Art of War, the author teaches you the necessary disciplines for victory, including counting the costs before battle, enforcing your authority, maneuvering the field, knowing when to attack and when to retreat. To order a copy click here.



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