I have often been burdened to pray for someone. It is hard to describe in words, most often it is just that they are on my mind, but sometimes it is weighty, like a heavy backpack. Sometimes the burden to pray for others come so fast and with such force though that I feel like I am having stones thrown at me. This week has been like that.
More than a dozen people, all with intense issues were needing prayer. These situations were deep wounds to the soul, life and death issues, devastating and destructive decisions, and entanglements in sin. Just very intense spiritual battles going on in the lives of people. The devil seems to have his nasty grip so tight on each situation that hope seems dead.
Tears broke down my face, as I was told yet another heartbreaking prayer request, I cried out to God, "Lord, You are letting me know about all this awful stuff. And I don't want to know anymore......I don't... It makes me afraid of what could happen to my family. It makes me want to shut up my ears to the cries of the hurting…..because it hurts to see others hurting....”
But then I felt His sweet grace and comfort. I remembered He called me to be a prayer warrior and He equips who He calls. I heard His tender whisper, "Be not afraid, only believe." (Mark 5:36) I could feel God's precious grace wrapped around me like a big hug and I knew the Comforter was with me.
I looked in my promise journal and took solace in His words:
He teacheth my hands to war......thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.......For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle. Ps. 18:34a,35, 39a
I thought of one of my heroes, Anna, widowed after only 7 yrs of marriage, who “departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.” (Luke 2:37) She faithfully served God even though she was of “great age”and had such grief and loneliness herself being widowed all those years. How much sorrow and heartache had she seen and prayed over….Surely I of a younger age could stay faithful to my post, looking for Christ's 2nd coming as she did His first.
Determined, I set my mind and heart, to pray these people through. Then another late night prayer request came. This time I felt the Lord strengthen me for the battle. Once again I fell to me knees to battle for others.
Prayer, warfare prayer can be exhausting, painful, excruciating even....oh, but when I look beyond the battle to the privilege it is, when I look and see Who I am really serving, strength comes, grace is accepted, hope is revived, and victory is sure.
Romans 16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.