“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” —Luke 22:31-32
There are two powerful forces at work in the world today—the power of God and the power of Satan. The power of God is infinitely greater, but we are affected by both. Satan, bent on our destruction, goes about “like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). God, intent on our salvation, supplies “everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).
Since Satan’s power is greater than ours, we are constantly at risk. Paul reminds us that we struggle “against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil” (Ephesians 6:12). But since God’s power is greater than Satan’s, we are safe in God’s hands. God is our constant source of protection.
Prayer is the God-given means by which God’s power is brought to our defense so that we can stand up against the devil’s schemes. When Peter was being severely tested by Satan, Jesus came to his defense with prayer. He said, “I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.”
We are engaged in a war that we must fight on our knees. Prayer is the power by which we are equipped to overcome the devil. To face him in our own strength is folly and a sure pathway to defeat. The devil dreads our prayers more than anything else. A mighty prayer warrior once said, “Do you realize that there is nothing the devil dreads so much as prayer? His great concern is to keep us from praying. He loves to see us ‘up to our eyes’ in work—provided we do not pray. He does not fear if we are eager Bible students—provided we are little in prayer. Someone has wisely said, ‘Satan laughs at our toiling, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray’” (The Kneeling Christian, p. 17).
It’s no wonder that Satan trembles. By means of prayer the power of the omnipotent God of heaven and earth is brought against him. He doesn’t stand a chance. By prayer the kingdom of God is built, and by prayer the kingdom of Satan is destroyed. Where there is no prayer, there are no great works and there is no building of the kingdom. Pray much so that God may be glorified and his kingdom may come in all its fullness.
Father, I long to do great things for You, but must confess my prayerlessness has stood in the way of the fullness of what it means to be Your child. Set my feet firmly upon the Rock that is Christ Jesus and be my sure defense against the enemy of my soul. I want the devil to tremble when I lift my voice in prayer and to flee from me as I call upon the Name above all names. You are my strength and my shield…my ever-present help! May my life be continually useful in building Your kingdom and bringing You glory.
–Adapted from Be Jesus in Your Neighborhood (Developing a Prayer, Care, Share Lifestyle in 30 Days) by Alvin VanderGriend. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise God for the depth of his wisdom and knowledge, and for his unsearchable judgments. Thank God for guiding and directing your ways. Confess any resistance on your part to do his will. Commit yourself to acknowledging him in all your ways (Prov. 3:5-6). Ask God for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better and have the eyes of your heart enlightened, to know the hope to which you are called, the riches of his glorious inheritance (Eph. 1:17-18).
Pray for the Spirit of love in your church that believers may be one, even as the Father and Son are one, so that the world may believe that God sent Jesus Christ (Jn. 17:21).
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Connection (Devotions for Everyday Life) © 2014 is published daily by Harvest Prayer Ministries.