In his commentary on the book of Revelation, More Than Conquerors, William Hendriksen, makes a bold claim. He states that “Christian believers rule the world through their prayers.”
What a concept! The “brushed aside” saints of God, the ones who seldom have a voice in this world, are the true power-brokers. Though ignored by society, the King of the Universe gives believers an immediate audience. While everyone else grovels at Caesar’s feet to gain his favor, Christian believers go straight to the top, to the Most High. And He alone has power to bring down evil empires and overthrow the schemes of the wicked. Thus it is not what happens in the limelight which has greatest significance. It is what happens between the lowly believer and the Almighty through prayer that determines the course of history.
Oswald Chambers wrote, “Prayer does not fit us for the greater works; prayer is the greater work.” Think about Jesus when He walked the earth. The Gospel of Luke repeatedly mentions that He spent time in prayer with His Father, often rising before sunrise to do so, even spending entire evenings praying (Luke 3:21–22; 4:42; 5:16; 6:12; 9:18, 28-29; 11:1; 22:32, 41–46; 23:33–34). Thus, all of Jesus’ battles were fought and won while He cried out to His Father. The events which followed that day were merely a “mopping up” operation.
Yet this is so counterintuitive for us. When a challenge confronts us our first impulse is to act, not to pray. Yet it is prayer which arms us with heavenly wisdom and divine power to overcome every challenge. Interceding with God for our nation, for our community, and for our loved ones is where the heavy lifting is done. It’s the artillery barrage and the carpet bombing that brings the enemy to the brink of collapse—before any human efforts begin.
And God is honored most when we pray. When we pray to God we are acknowledging that the battle is not ours but God’s (Exod. 14:13–14; Deut. 20:3–4; 1 Sam. 17:47; 2 Chron. 20:15). When we pray to our heavenly Father we are honoring Him as the ultimate power while acknowledging our own limitations. And it is this dependency upon that Almighty that makes the believer invincible. It’s what makes us strong with the power of God’s might (Eph. 6:10–12).
Prayer is the artillery barrage and the carpet bombing that brings the enemy to the brink of collapse.
Prayer to God is not only counterintuitive, it’s private. It’s undercover. It’s between the believer and God (Matt. 6:5–8). Therefore it brings no recognition in this life. A pastor may boast in the size of his church. An evangelist may boast in the number of his converts. But the prayer warrior’s labors go unsung and unknown—except to God.
But doesn’t it make sense—from a strategic perspective—that the greatest and most effective warriors in God’s army are the ones who work undercover? Their labors go undetected by demonic and satanic forces. They wreak havoc on Satan’s kingdom, yet their secrecy makes it difficult for him to track and attack them. They are winning the fight, and Satan has no effective counter weapon.
The Main Effort
And far from being in support of the main effort, the prayers of God’s people are the main effort. Through their prayers God’s angelic hosts are dispatched to overthrow satanic and demonic strongholds. In response to the prayers of God’s people the Holy Spirit descends and moves in the hearts of sinners, opening their blind eyes and softening their hardened hearts. This is why the great churchman, Samuel Chadwick wrote, “The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray.”
In contrast, I suspect that much of the “high profile” ministry—with all its glitz and glamor—is mostly diversionary. It draws attention away from the real “tip of the spear”—the people of God who cry out to God for the salvation of their nation, communities, and families.
Sure. Some may scoff at the suggestion that a God who is so busy running this vast universe could hardly take notice of a believer’s prayers. Certainly, our prayers will be lost in all the noise. But let me assure you that God’s infinite mind is quite capable of giving focused attention to every subatomic particle in the universe—simultaneously. He upholds the existence of every atom. He nurtures and cares for every virus, every bacterium, and every microscopic organism. It is simply impossible for anything, no matter how small or how many, to escape God’s notice. And if God gives focused attention on things so small, it’s not likely that He’ll overlook the prayers of His beloved children. Yes, “the eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous and His ears are open to their cry” (Ps. 34:15).
- Does it grieve you that you have no voice in society? Then talk to the God who will always give you an audience.
- Do you feel powerless to affect your world for good? Then go straight to the top, to the Almighty. He has the final say in the affairs of humanity.
- Do you want to hit the devil where it really counts? Then pray to God, for the battle is not ours but His.
- Do you really want healing, peace, and salvation to come to America? Then pray to God.
With man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible (Matt. 19:26). God has the power to soften hardened hearts, open blind eyes, and raise humanity out of death in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1–10).
Dear Father in heaven, I’ve been working hard, but not very smart. I’ve been trying to fight a spiritual battle with frail human efforts. Please, dear Father, fill me with Your Holy Spirit and energize me to pray and seek Your face. Teach me and train me to pray. Let prayer be my first impulse and not my last resort. Amen.