When I’ve spent a good part of my day in prayer, the very next morning, I wake up feeling a bit depressed and insecure. This is something I now recognize as a spiritual attack. For nearly five years now, I’ve started my mornings with prayer by thanking God, then going into scripture before anything else. Don’t give Satan or his demons an opportunity to get at you before you’ve put up your spiritual defenses and armed yourself with God’s word—especially when you’ve been engaging the heavenly realms.
Preacher and theologian Guy H. King said “no one is a firmer believer in the power of prayer than the devil; not that he practices it, but he suffers from it.” My mother, a theologian in her own right recently quipped “you know the devil is very interested in what we are praying.” In the book of Job when God asks Satan what he’s been up to, Satan replies by telling God that he’s back ”from roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”
As Satan is roaming around looking for Christians to trip up, I believe he is lurking about trying to listen for prayers of saints and to send his demons to thwart those prayers. In my community, his most effective tactic seems to busyness. Many of my friends and myself included, will become so engrossed in work and daily activities that we won’t have time for prayer. This is why we need to make prayer a priority.
For the next 120 days, I have committed to gathering for prayer every Sunday evening with friends. I encourage you to recruit friends and commit to gathering once a week for 40 days just to pray. I can’t imagine anyone believing that they don’t need prayer. If you need help with where to begin, I suggest you pray in the way Paul encourages Timothy in 1 Timothy 2:1-2 (NIV) “first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority.” Then as Paul writes in Ephesians 6:18 (NIV) “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.”