THE NEED FOR PRAYER WARRIORS
By Rev. John Kwasi Fosu
This message was initially prepared as I was called upon to Train a Group of Prayer Warriors of Grace Baptist Church, Kumasi – Ghana, West Afrrica in February 2011. It is my prayer that it will be beneficial to you the as a Reader who desires to engage in the spiritual discipline of prayer.
The importance of Prayer and for that matter the role of prayer warriors in the growth of the local church cannot be overemphasized. The Hebrew word “pray” means to “intercede, to entreat, to make supplication.” Prayer is therefore the secret of every great spiritual life.
Prayer also is the secret to great church. The early church was a church at prayer. They prayed for boldness and for wholeness, and they prayed for revival and for survival. They prayed for freedom and forgiveness. The church will not get on its feet until it first gets on its knees. Charles Spurgeon describes the prayer of the church as the heating apparatus of the church. The prayer level is also the power level of the church
Brief Biblical, historical and contemporary bases of the Call to be Prayer Warriors
The fact remains that God is said to be a Warrior God. All who have walked with God have viewed prayer as the main business of their lives. Abraham knew when to intercede for Sodom and Gomorrah (Genes 18); Moses knew how to win their war against the Amalekites spiritually on the Mountain (Exodus 17:8 – 16). David declares that God trains his arms for battle. In the N. T, watching Jesus, the disciples concluded that prayer was the secret of his great life. The apostles (Acts 6:4) and the early church (Acts 12) saw prayer as their utmost priority and means of deliverance respectfully.
Church history too has it that the giants of faith all made prayer the essential part of their life. Martin Luther declares, ‘I have so much business I cannot get on without spending at least three hours daily in prayer.’ John Wesley says, ‘God does nothing but in answer to prayer’ and backed up his conviction by devoting two hours daily to that sacred exercise.
In contemporary times, some churches that are doing well all are reputed for engaging full time intercessors. For example: T. D. Jakes and Ashimolowo and many others. And no wonders they are excelling in ministries
The need for Prayer Warriors in the Local Church and in God’s Kingdom in general
Prayer warriors in some sense can be said to be tautology. However, its usage is to be allowed for the sake of emphasis. The reason has been that the words used for prayer, has the sense of entering into war. For example, we are told that Jacob wrestled with God in prayer; Jesus travailed in sweat in Prayer; Paul teaches that we wrestle not against fresh and blood. Thus the use of the words wrestle and travail suggest that prayer is a work and for that matter a spiritual work that involve the use of physical energy.
The following points underscore the necessity of prayer warriors:
- Prayer is the exchange of strength between Man and the Creator God (Isaiah 40:28-31).
- Prayer gives us the Church the right to receive from God Luke 11:1-3; Matthew 7:7).
- Prayer warriors overcome the devil. That is they engage in warfare that sets God’s Children free from the bondage of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-18).
- Prayer warriors prevent us from getting into temptation (Matthew 26:42).
- Prayer warriors serve as a catalyst for other ministries of the church such as evangelism, good leadership roles and general giving of the church to go on (I Tim 2:4)
- They Pray to release divine favour (Nehemiah 1:4; 11).
Qualities of a Prayer Warrior
NB: These qualities also go for those who are into deliverance ministry. However, it is important to point out that not all who are prayer warriors belong to the deliverance team.
- The prayer warrior must be a born again Christian and abide in Christ through his word (John 15:7).
- The Prayer warrior must be spirit controlled and spirit filled. The natural man cannot fully understand the mysteries of God. How can you pray for somebody that you embittered against. Have a forgiving spirit. Love people. Control your emotions. Control your eye and sexual passions. Don’t be like Gehaze!
- The prayer warrior must have a team spirit or must be a team player. The Bible says that one will chase 1,000 but two will chase 10,000. There is power in unified prayer. It is when collaborative spirit is employed that all the gifts that are to be manifested or used in the context of prayer become fully utilized.
- The Prayer warrior must be disciplined and respect authorities. Be disciplined in the use of time. Respond to prayer request promptly. Note that your prayer line can serve as a live line to somebody’s death line. Control your mouth when somebody comes to you with prayer needs.
- The prayer warrior must have an intercessory spirit. Note that as a prayer warrior, you exist first and foremost as an intercessor. It is said that intercession is the highest form of service. For Jesus still prays for us even after his death and resurrection. Abraham interceded, Elijah did that, the early church interceded for Peter and heaven responded.
- The Prayer warrior must recognize his or her spiritual authority and put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).
- The belt of truth buckled around your waist.
- The breastplate of righteousness.
- Your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
- The shield of faith.
- The helmet of salvation.
- The Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God used in an active sense.
- John Kwasi Fosu