If you’re accustomed to praying in the power of Holy Spirit, you’ve probably experienced seasons of spiritual warfare. Sometimes it may seem as if all hell is breaking loose—literally.
People may seem to get mad at you for no reason. Others may begin gossip campaigns. Your car breaks down and the kids act up. Your husband says you are spending too much time in prayer. Your friends tell you to back off—that you’re just no fun anymore. In these seasons, problems can feel as though they are pouring into your life from every angle, and you can end up feeling misunderstood, confused, rejected and alone.
But you’re not alone! Seasoned intercessors all experience such problems. In fact, they say they expect them—and rejoice because they believe they are making progress in prayer.
In addition to stirring up problems to steal your joy, distractions will seem to battle you for your precious prayer times. It may seem there is always some type of disturbance. Your mother becomes ill. Your child has a run-in at school. A close friend suddenly develops a serious problem and needs your help. The possibilities for interference are endless.
And it doesn’t seem to matter what time you set aside for prayer. If you pray in the morning, you will be overwhelmed by others’ needs then. If you pray at noon, you’ll be surprised at how many problems will compete for your time at just that hour.
Why does the enemy want to create a disturbance? To stop you, of course—often right before a breakthrough! Your answer is just around the corner, and Satan knows it. He tries to distract you so you’ll quit right before the victory, in the same way he tried to distract Nehemiah when he was rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem.
Nehemiah had gathered together some workers and was making progress on the wall. Satan sought to discourage them by sending a few naysayers to mock the Jews in their efforts. “What are these feeble Jews doing?” one of them taunted. “Will they revive the stones from the heaps of rubbish?” (See Neh. 4:2, NKJV). Another chides, “Whatever they build, if even a fox goes up on it, he will break down the stone wall” (v. 3).
Nehemiah and his co-workers ignored these initial attacks and just kept on building. But when they had joined the entire wall together and restored it to half its height—in other words, when they were close to accomplishing their goal—the enemies of God’s people became very angry and conspired together to “fight against Jerusalem and cause a disturbance in it” (v.8, NASB, emphasis mine).
And what was Nehemiah’s response to the distraction? He said, “We prayed to our God, and because of them we set up a guard against them day and night” (v.9).
Like Nehemiah, we must set up a guard against our enemies—the enemies of prayer. This involves, first of all, acknowledging that distractions WILL come. We must look beyond the problems that arise and understand that prayer in the Spirit is a battle, but one that is worth fighting. We must remain confident in the fact that we are cooperating with the Holy Spirit in an unseen realm for reasons that sometimes are beyond our comprehension.
Second, it requires disciplining ourselves to stay focused. Proverbs 4:25 advises us: “Let your eyes look directly ahead, and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.” We don’t always need to rise up to solve a problem at the exact hour we’ve set aside for prayer. We can trust the Lord with the problem and decide to focus on our first commitment—prayer and intercession.
The main point is not to give up—and not to lose your momentum. When you face opposition in prayer, rejoice! You’re making headway. Simply set up a guard against your enemies—distractions—and continue to press in. When you do, you will be rewarded with seasons of breakthrough, joy, and answered prayer.
PRAYER POWER FOR THE WEEK OF 8/15/2011
This week become more fervent in prayer and stay focused on God and His leading when you intercede. Make it a priority to pray that God would stir up more intercessors to fast and pray for worldwide revival and unity among believers. Continue to pray for the nation and its leaders during this challenging season. Pray that God would give President Obama and those working with him the wisdom they need to make righteous decisions affecting the nation and its allies. Pray for Israel’s protection so that it would fulfill God’s declared purpose. Remember our military and their families, those struggling though great losses, and the protection of our children as they return to schools around the country. Proverbs 4:25, Nehemiah 4:9
To enrich your prayer life and learn how to strategically pray with power by using appropriate scriptures, we recommend the following sources by Apostle John Eckhardt: Prayers that Rout Demons, Prayers that Bring Healing, Prayers that Release Heaven on Earth and Prayers that Break Curses. To order any or all of these click here.