2 Corinthians 10:4 “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”
The Christian warrior does not fight with traditional battle implements; guns, bombs, or even swords. To outsiders these weapons are strange and possibly even stupid, especially in the face of adversity. Outsiders don’t know our enemy. He doesn’t fight in traditional ways, and he surely doesn’t observe the rules of war. He is a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour and he fights the heart and the mind using heartbreak, disappointment, unmet expectations, anger, and every little disagreement he can between people. The enemy of the Christian is not other people, it’s demonic powers, the King James Version calls them “principalities of the air”, these foes are not going to fall by traditional fights, thus the Christian warrior must have different weaponry.
These powerful weapons are Praise and Prayer.
Praise wins the battle of the mind. What you think.
Prayer wins the battle of the mouth. What you say.
Christians are different, this is not news, but we forget that fact sometimes on our effort to fit in, assimilate, but mostly to not feel left out, forgotten, lonely, or alone– all battles of the mind. We do strange things like keep the peace– blessed are the peacemakers– glorify the meek– they shall inherit the earth– turn the other cheek, and give food and shelter to our enemy, we love our neighbors as ourselves.
Why should our warfare style be any different?
It takes a strong mind to praise in a storm, to give glory when you have nothing, to lift the name of Jesus while suffering, to speak life over a seemingly dead situation. It takes a strong mind to pray, as Jesus instructed, in faith when all seems lost, when the wait is never ending, when everyone around you has given up their hope
It takes a willing mouth to proclaim God’s promises and truth when all you see is disappointment, lack, neglect, pain, struggle. It takes one who doesn’t base their belief on what they see but rather what they know and they praise regardless of the situation.
How does a Christian wield these weapons?
1- Learn what they are and what they look like.
Praise is worship, alone and together with other believers. It’s reading words of praise from the Bible and claiming them as your own. It’s writing your own praises and repeating them to yourself. It’s saying, aloud, “Thank you, God” for every little thing so that you begin to build a habit of gratitude and praise.
Prayer is speaking to God, person to person, no flowery words or proper speech required. Read the Bible, find prayers in it to pray over yourself and your situation. It’s learning to pray in POWER, not fear or weakness or giving up hope- the powerful prayers in faith strengthen you while the situation doesn’t change. It’s learning to pray blessing over yourself and your situation by watching what you say- say only what you want to happen, never what you don’t want.
2. Practice- you will mess up, just do it again.
You will forget to pray some days, pray again tomorrow.
You will forget to watch what you say, catch yourself next time.
You will stop praising in the middle of a storm- call a friend to help you.
Mistakes happen, you’re human and you’re learning to use these powerful weapons- the enemy knows how powerful they are and he will do all he can to keep you from using them. Guilt over a mistake will not help you. Don’t let that sneak in.
3. Learn- More and More.
Read the Bible, read books written about the bible, talk to God, ask him what it looks like when you use these weapons, ask him to give you strength to use them in the next fight. The more time you spend with God the more practice you will get in using these weapons.
4. Prepare- the battle will come
It’s inevitable- everyone, Christian or otherwise, will experience battles, it’s part of life. Know that, prepare for that. Have yourself ready when it is time to stand. Don’t wait til tragedy hits to learn how to Praise and Pray- it will be too late to learn and you will make more and bigger mistakes that way. Begin now.
Prepare Part 2- The battle might get worse for a little while.
You’re new at this and the enemy knows that. He knows you’re a little shaky, maybe a little worried, a little concerned at how well you will perform, and he knows you’re vulnerable. If it feels like all of hell is fighting you- it just might be because you ARE powerful and when you use Praise and Prayer to fight your battles the enemy is not a fan, he will come hard at you.