“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11
It’s a term we all recognize. I have used it, my pastor has used it, and probably every Christian I’ve been blessed to schmooze with through the years, has used it. We use the expression because it best describes the actions of those of the faith who earnestly lift others in prayer; who consistently and persistently go before the Lord with all requests, supplications, intercessions, and thanksgivings, and often time while possessing prayer lists and maintaining prayer logs. They are classified as our ‘go to’ people within the body of Christ when an appeal, a plea, or petition is desired. That brings me to a twofold question:
“Is the label right (and by ‘right’ I mean Biblical), and is it harmful?”
I’ll explain. First…
Is it Biblical?
The short answer is, I don’t believe so. While there are certainly folks in the church who fit the definition, I’m not convinced God would concur that a special designation is called for. Is being a prayer zealot a gift of the Holy Spirit? If so, I’m not seeing it. The Bible records three main passages regarding spiritual gifts: Romans 12:6-8;1 Corinthians 12:4-11; and 1 Corinthians 12:28. According to the list, we see…
Prophesying, serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leadership, mercy, the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous powers, distinguishing between spirits, speaking in tongues and interpretation of tongues, helps, governments, and diversities of tongues.
But, I don’t see prayer warrior on the list.
I suppose you could make an argument that tenacious prayer falls under one (or more) of these categories, but I sense that’s when we begin to stretch the doctrine a little too thin. Let’s be honest, prayer is a vital component of each of these giftings, but is not the actual gift.
Is it Harmful?
Yes, I believe it is, and I’ll tell you why — our Father in Heaven desires that we all pray in this manner. Could we really believe that the Lord would want us to delegate our conversation to somebody else; someone who we perceive is better at it then we are? Where in the Bible does God suggest to us to go find a prayer warrior, or even to make a separate distinction? Nowhere that I can find, but I do see this…
“In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.” Acts 10:34
Elevating someone to the status of prayer warrior may encourage the believer who happens to fit the mold, but it simultaneously sends an erroneous message that this person is gifted in a way that we are not, and therefore, we have been relieved of this duty. Do we really believe that? Aren’t prayer warriors doing the very thing that we are called to do? Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that prayer warriors are obedient, rather than gifted? Finally, should we be seeking out a prayer mediator when the Father has already provided us one?
“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus”
Haven’t we also been given a Helper in our pursuit of prayer?
“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Romans 8:26
Here’s the truth — God desires all His children pray in this manner! The fact that you don’t now is not the point. God never intended that in your discouragement (in this regard) you turn to another Christian, but rather you turn to Him. Therein lies the point!
Look at these directives from God’s word…
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
There is nothing in there that remotely suggests we find a prayer warrior to do this for us.
Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17-19
Do you see anything in there that implies this is somebody else’s job? Me either. The one thing that does jump out at me [is] that if we’re not praying like this, we’re throwing water on the fire that is the Holy Spirit. That cannot be good.
“Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” Ephesians 6:17-18
The Last Word
Try to look at like this — it’s the church (not God) that has created a prayer warrior status. When we serve to encourage others with the moniker, it is a wonderful, Christian gesture, but what we’re really saying (when we use the term), is that we recognize there is a great void within the body Christ that only very few are filling. It might be better to recognize this Christian’s faithful obedience instead. May I suggest that the next time we sense the need to identify another believer in this manner, that we also ask the Lord to examine our own hearts to determine why the title is not befitting for us. The question should not be, “Lord, why am I not a prayer warrior,” but rather, “Why am I not submitted to Your will in my life?”
Am I suggesting we should not seek out others to pray for us?
We are called to pray for one another. I’m saying that there is not a circumstance to ever shy away from being the type of communicant the Lord wants us to be or to relegate the duty to someone else. God wants to talk with us directly and has fully equipped us to be fervent communicators.
Talk — God is listening.
These articles may or may not be related:
- The Power of Prayer & The Spoken Word (walkingwithawarrior.com)
- Unanswered Prayer ~ (poetrybydeborahann.wordpress.com)
- The Incense of Prayer (shawnethomas.com)
- Types of Prayer – 3 (Thank Him for What He Has Done and Will Continue to Do) (watchandprayblog.wordpress.com)
- Girls With Swords: Chapter 6 – “Becoming A Warrior” – “Saul’s Warrior Son” (Pgs 90-98) (girlfriendscoffeehour.com)
- I Got My Name (kelund.wordpress.com)
- The Pros and Cons of Being a Prayer Warrior (rosemichels.wordpress.com)
- Urgent Prayer Need Calling All Prayer Warriors! (deweymoede.wordpress.com)
- TALKing with God (via Kindling) (thesovereign.wordpress.com)
- I GET to go again. (heatherlconrad.com)
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