I am preparing this week to attend the Declare Conference in Dallas again this year. In the summer, the leaders offered an opportunity for us to submit a devotion on what it means to be a warrior.
There was a word limit (oh mercy…help me!) and a time limit that hedged me in because the whole thing was happening as we were getting ready to leave for Cuba.
With work and packing and watching the grands one day, I did a lot of pondering and praying and then tapped it out and many thanks to my dear friend Cindie who edited for me on her phone so I could submit before we left.
I know the suspense is just too much, so it was accepted. I am honored. And here it is for you all to read today. Hope it blesses you in your battles:
A Prayer Warrior like Nehemiah <3
I remember the moment the hope was birthed in my mind that one such as I could be called, one day, a Warrior.
who avoid conflict at all costs…
who in my younger walk was more prone to compromise in order to maintain a semblance of peace…
could don battle gear and wage war for what mattered most to me.
On a shelf in a Christian book store, I found a poem depicting someone who, on an eternal “here’s your life” screen, watched the events of his earthly days and noticed that at the greatest points of decision there had been a faceless and fierce warrior who had fended off evil on his behalf.
Asking who this brave one had been, he was told it was his own mother and her prayers.
The idea that a mother could wage war in the heavenly realms on behalf of her family was a new concept to me and I began to gather books on the subject of prayer and spiritual warfare.
But in the pages of the Old Testament I found the model for everyday, ordinary, show-up-and-do-the-thing warfare.
In Nehemiah I found the model for my daily strategy for prayer warfare.
Nehemiah was serving the pagan King of Persia when he received word of the broken down walls of Jerusalem. With a heavy heart he sought the Lord.
Prayer by prayer, he received blessing and provision as he was sent back to God’s Holy City on a mission of restoration.
Nehemiah faced many challenges from those working against God’s best plan for His people.
It is this same enemy who would keep me feeling weak and ineffective as I war in prayer for our family.
He uses the same tactics on me as he did Nehemiah.
Sanballat was very angry when he learned that we were rebuilding the wall. He flew into a rage and moved the Jews, saying in front of his friends and the Samaritan officers, “What does this bund of poor, feeble Jews think they are doing? Do they think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap – and charred ones at that? Tobiah the Ammonite, who was standing beside him said, “That stone wall would collapse even if a fox walked along the top of it.” Nehemiah 4:2-3 NLT
I hear my enemy hiss…
What are you trying to do? The tide of culture is greater than your efforts to raise your children to follow Jesus. The damage is too great. Your efforts are too small. You are trying to build out of wishful thinking and it will not stand.
Four times they sent the same message, and each time I gave the same reply. The fifth time, Sanballat’s servant came with an open letter in his hand, and this is what it said, “There is a rumor among the surrounding nations, and Geshem tells me it is true, that you and the Jews are planning to revel and that is why you are building the wall. According to his reports, you plan to be their king. He also reports that you have appointed prophets to problem about you, ‘Look! There is a king in Judah!’ You can be very sure that this report will get back to the king, so I suggest you come and talk it over with me.” Nehemiah 6:4-7 NLT
The enemy delights to throw more on me than I can handle and then remind me of a history of past failures.
Later I went to visit Shemaiah son of Delaiah and grandson of Mehetabel, who was confined to his home. He said, “Let us meet together inside the Temple of God and bolt the doors shut. Your enemies are coming to kill you tonight.:
But I replied, “Should someone in my position run from danger? Should someone in my position enter the Temple to save my life? No, I won’t do it!”
I realized that God had not spoken to him, but that he had uttered this prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. The were hoping to intimidate me and make me sin. Then they would be able to accuse and discredit me. Nehemiah 6:10-13 NLT
I can be thrown into confusion when the ones who should be supporting me attempt to convince me that God has abandoned the effort.
Just as I was able to recognize the elements of the enemy’s attacks on my prayers for our children, I could look to the same passages in Nehemiah to see God’s battle plan to press on.
I see a posture humility as he fasted and prayed.
I see courage to stand against forces working against God’s plan for the people He loved.
I find the seeds of a warrior’s prayer in Nehemiah 4:14.
I base my prayer on the words of Nehemiah and I battle on my knees.
Oh God, I will not be afraid. I will remember Your great and awesome power. I will press on. Equip me to fight for my family each day, knowing you are for us. Strengthen me when I feel weak and lead me daily into battle. All for Your Name and glory.