A reminder that on Mondays we commit to praying and fasting for God to bring marriage to those of us who desire it; to strengthen men and women in our personal, relational, and spiritual lives; and to change our hearts where they need to be changed.
A week or so after my last post in September, a few of us from the fast.pray. community got together to chat and give life updates.
I confessed to the group that I had been struggling with a negative attitude and a complaining spirit.
One of the ladies instantly responded, “Well, of course that’s what you’re struggling with, Emily – you just posted about being thankful!”
As I’ve struggled for hours to come up with my post for October, a little voice has been whispering in my ear, saying I have no insight to offer, that my writing isn’t good enough, that whatever I say is going to disappoint the readers because I am not as eloquent or spiritual as the other writers.
Spiritual warfare isn’t something I like thinking about. It makes me uncomfortable that there are powers out there that I can’t see and who wish to do me harm. I don’t like the idea that I’m a soldier in the midst of a battle.
But from my daily struggles with self-pity, shame, and complaining about my circumstances (to name a few), I know it exists, and I can’t ignore it.
The devil doesn’t like that there are hundreds of women and men fasting and praying on Mondays. He doesn’t like that we are taking God up on His offer that if we “will humble [our]selves, and pray…then [He] will hear from heaven, and will forgive [our] sin and heal [our] land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
He doesn’t like that we are learning to be thankful in the midst of our singleness, recognizing the intense love God has for us, or finding freedom from lies we’ve believed about having to follow certain “rules” to be married. He doesn’t like the spread of hope.
These are areas where we should anticipate attack because they are places of deepest vulnerability.
By praying and fasting, we are wrestling “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age” (Ephesians 6:12). We are praying protection over marriages that exist (that satan longs to destroy), for men to have victory over low cultural expectations so they may become leaders in the church and in the home, for the freedom to change where we have been held captive by sin and shame.
Fighting words. Truly serious stuff.
And here is where I feel overwhelmed and even fearful. Do I want to engage in this battle?
Yes. Because Christ in His human form conquered sin and death once and for all (Philippians 2:5-11). Because I John 4 says that God’s children are Overcomers since the Power of His Love within us is greater than the power that’s in the world, driving away the fear. Because I do not want to – or need to – be a prisoner of my sin (Romans 6).
And when I grow weary from the battle, I know I have a Shield, a Comforter, a Protector, and a Healer Who hides, sustains, and shelters me. I have members of the body of Christ beside me, armed with prayer and the truth of God’s Word. I’m covered. The victory is sure.
Praying prayers of protection over you and with you this week, rejoicing in our Victor, Jesus Christ!
All for His glory,