Prayer Warriors

I continually hear folks refer to someone as being a “Prayer Warrior.” I have even heard some anoint themselves as being such. I know you have heard this thrown around. Yeah, I understand that they ae trying to describe someone who prays for others; who is consistently and persistently spending time in prayer; going before the Lord with their “requests, supplications, intercessions, and thanksgivings.” This is great and should be applauded! They probably have a prayer list and log every prayer. That is cool! These people are the “go to” person whenever you need something from the Lord. Again, that is commendable! However (you knew that was coming, didn’t you?), you won’t find the phrase anywhere in the Scriptures.

Sure, it is probably derived from Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus. You know, where he tells believers to metaphorically clothe themselves in a warrior’s armor: the belt, breastplate, shoes, shield, helmet, and sword — and for them to “Pray in the Spirit in every situation. Use every kind of prayer and request there is.” Hence, the image of a warrior, who prays. I get that, but if that is what we are referring to, those were instructions for all believers.

Okay, I realize that there are a few folks who fit that definition, but I never read that the Spirit of God gave the Church a special office, ministry, or gift called a “Prayer Warrior.” Tell me, is being zealous in our prayers a particular gift of the Holy Spirit? Well, let’s look:

Through the grace of God we have different gifts. If our gift is preaching, let us preach to the limit of our vision. If it is serving others let us concentrate on our service; if it is teaching let us give all we have to our teaching; and if our gift be the stimulating of the faith of others let us set ourselves to it. Let the man who is called to give, give freely; let the man who wields authority think of his responsibility; and let the man who feels sympathy for his fellows act cheerfully (Romans 12:6-8)

Men have different gifts, but it is the same Spirit who gives them. There are different ways of serving God, but it is the same Lord who is served. God works through different men in different ways, but it is the same God who achieves his purposes through them all. Each man is given his gift by the Spirit that he may make the most of it.

One man’s gift by the Spirit is to speak with wisdom, another’s to speak with knowledge. The same Spirit gives to another man faith, to another the ability to heal, to another the power to do great deeds. The same Spirit gives to another man the gift of preaching the word of God, to another the ability to discriminate in spiritual matters, to another speech in different tongues. Behind all these gifts is the operation of the same Spirit, who distributes to each individual man, as he wills (I Corinthians 12:4-11)

God has appointed first some to be his messengers, secondly, some to be preachers of power, thirdly teachers. After them he has appointed workers of spiritual power, men with the gift of healing, helpers, organisers and those with the gift of speaking in “tongues” (I Corinthians 12:28)

Hmm, 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, Interpretation of Tongues, Helps, Administration . . . wait, wait! I don’t see any mention of a “Prayer Warrior!”

Yeah, I suppose you could argue that someone who is tenacious in their praying could fall in some of those gifts, but that isn’t mentioned as an actual gift! Right?

Look, our Father wants all of us to pray like this. Do you really believe our Father wants us to delegate our praying to somebody else? Yes, even James encourgaged us to ask the Elders to pray for us, but where do find that we are to find  the special person called the “Prayer Warrior“? It’s not just that, where in the Scriptures do you find the instructions to prsent such a special distinction? I haven’t found it, but I have read Peter’s admitting, “I understand that God doesn’t play favorites” (Acts 10:34).

When you refer to someone as being a “Prayer Warrior,” you are separating them, elevating them as being “special,” and everyone else is just ordinary. Is that what you believe? Hey, those “Prayer Warriors” are doing what all of us are called to do! It would be more accurate to say that they are simply more obedient than more gifted! Also, why do we need to look for a special mediator? Jesus already holds that title! Don’t the Scriptures say, “There is only one God, and only one intermediary between God and men, Jesus Christ the man!” (I Timothy 2:5)?

Paul also told us,

The Spirit helps us in our weakness, because we don’t know how to pray for what we need. But the Spirit intercedes along with our groans that cannot be expressed in words” (Romans 8:26)

As I have repeatedly said, all of us are called to pray like this! The fact that you may not pray enough, that is not my point. I am just saying that if you are discouraged in your prayer life,  don’t rely only on another brother or sister, turn to your Father! Ask His Spirit to teach you; to draw you into prayer.

This is what the Scriptures teach:

Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks. Then God’s peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7)

Do you see anything in there about finding a “Prayer Warrior“?

Never stop praying. Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you do this. Don’t put out the Spirit’s fire” (I Thessalonians 5:17-19)

Do you see anything in there that suggests (or even implies) this is somebody else’s job? Nope? Me either. But what I do see is that if we don’t pray like this, we are throwing water on the fire of the Holy Spirit!

I am not saying you cannot ask someone to pray for you. In fact, I encourage you to find those who can stand with you in prayer; folks you feel confident will indeed pray for you, but will also fight alongside you during your time of need. That is good and Scriptural. Just don’t think of them being in a warrior status. I suppose all of us are warriors!

All of us need folks who will “strengthen our hand in God” (see I Samuel 23:15-16)  When we refer to particular people as being “Prayer Warriors,” we are actually recognizing there is something missing in our Churches and that only a few who are obeying our Lord’s instructions. It would better for us to simply recognize this believer’s obedience. Maybe we should be asking, “Lord, why aren’t I a Prayer Warrior?” That it is something that will excite the bejeebers out of Him!

Doulos Studies

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