Monday, January 25, 2010

Go Get Your Armor, Archangels, Prayer Warriors, and Mother Mary

Lately, I’ve seen and read a lot that talks about spiritual warfare. What place do weapons, war, fighting, and armor have in the spiritual realm? Turns out, they are very appropriate and necessary elements for Christian combat.
My favorite song on the passage from Ephesians 6:10-20 is by The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. It’s called “We Are United,” and begins with:
     “We are united in Jesus Christ.
     We are the soldiers of the Light.
     We don’t wrestle flesh and blood
     but principalities of the dark.”
It’s important to be reminded that we are indeed united to our Savior, part of His holy army, which brings Light to dispel the darkness. Since we are human soldiers, we are fighting darkness within us and outside of us at the same time. Our mission isn’t to attack other people. We are called to destroy the darkness in and around us by spreading the Light and Love of Christ. Sometimes this means we will have to go head-to-head against the enemy by directly confronting lies with truth, despair with hope, hate with love, division with peace, and fear with joy.
We aren’t meant to go out and fight alone. We are given the direction and training we need either in advance or on the job, if we’re willing to listen. Our comrades are sent out with us, to lift us up, encourage, and protect us when we get worn down by the fight. They share their skills and we offer our talents, so that the holy army moves as one body to conquer evil. The more we heed and learn to trust the Lord, our commander-in-chief, the better able we will be to win the battles while preserving the souls entrusted to our care.
     "We, too, are marching to one beat,
     crushing the enemy under our feet.
     We are mighty in our stand
     with God’s word in our hand.”
People brought together for a common purpose and goal tend to stand out. Groups attract attention. The larger the group, the more attention. A unified group of people marching together in an organized fashion has a commanding presence. Confidence and strength exude from such a formidable sight and sound as troops marching, prepared for battle, faces sent like flint against the foe.
Though I’m one who likes to have the answers immediately, if not sooner, there is a question from Scripture that has been very beneficial for me to ponder. When facing strong opposition, I have often taken comfort in a question that still gives me pause: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31 

Inevitably when I ask myself this in light of a troubling situation, the people opposed to the words and actions I choose and do to live out a certain ideology come to mind. When the issue is a major one, such as respecting life from conception to natural death, individuals as well as groups pop into my head. That’s when I return to the question and rejoice in the answer. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” No one. No person, no group, no ideology of the dark, no widespread lies…will remain standing. Who can separate us from God, His Love, and His Truth? Nothing and no one!
“The Lord, Our God is our sword and shield
     We fight our battles on our knees.”

The greatest weapon we have is prayer. Jesus knew this and often went off to pray alone. We definitely need to prepare for spiritual warfare by spending time alone in silence to hear the Lord’s still small voice. We are also called to unite our prayer power with other soldiers of the Light. Wherever two or more are gathered in prayer, God is there. No other scenario is more reassuring when facing the enemy than:

1 prayer warrior + 1 prayer warrior -> 2 prayer warriors + Lord God Almighty
Lord, please help us to put on the armor You provide, so that we are ready to bring Light into a world confused and disillusioned by principalities of the dark. Let us always seek and spread Truth, Light, and Love. Source of all that is good, all that is holy, all that is just, guide us Almighty Commander-in-Chief to be faithful soldiers, prayer warriors, and servants. Amen.
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