Recently, I went to see the new movie called “War Room”. This movie really challenged me to examine my own prayer strategy for victory in our family. Since the movie, I have set out to not only pray, but to purposely pray. I have written out prayers for each member of my family and each day focus on a couple of them. Like anything new, there has been resistance. There has been constant disruptions taking away from my prayer time. The other day, there was a lot of strife in our house. In the midst of dealing with children fighting and bad attitudes, I cried out to the Lord and said what is going on! The Holy Spirit, so gently brought to my memory that I had not been praying the last couple of mornings! Yikes!!! Me not praying was allowing holes in our walls of protection over our family!!
I knew I need to make prayer more of a priority and set things in place to prioritize my prayer time. So, last night I made sure that I went to bed by 10 so I had no excuse to sleep in and not get up and pray! During my quite time, as I read the book of Nehemiah the Holy Spirit gave me more insight into prayer strategy in the different seasons of my life! This new insight, really encouraged and equipped me in my prayer time. I believe it will change the way I approach my prayer for each situation! Check out what the Holy Spirit gave me!
Let me set the stage a bit: Nehemiah is called by God to go and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. He gets there, rallies all the people, and they gets to work. Well, not everyone is happy they are rebuilding the walls and they start to threaten the builders. When the builders are about half way done, the threats get so bad they had to set up a new strategy for building the wall:
16 From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah 17 who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, 18 and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.
As I read that, God showed me three different stages of prayer for different seasons of our life! Verse 16 says, half the men were equipped with spears, shields, bows, and armor. These men stood in the back guarding the workers as they work. There will be season in our life when we are called to guard and protect. They will be intense seasons of prayer for someone or something. We will stand our ground and say, “Satan, NO MORE!” Literally, half of the battle will be won on our knees!
The other season represented in this passage is the season of hard work. This passage states that half the men were doing the work. You are literally in the trenches, rolling up your sleeves and working! Many people view missionaries, or those in full-time ministry as those in this category. However, there is so much more trench work than we give credit too. Look at the mom, that is the greatest job of her life called to raise her children in the Lord. Or the person who is fighting personal spiritual warfare. Or the husband who is working hard to provide and lead his family. All of these rolls are in the trenches work. However, one thing I find interesting in this passage, is that even the workers were not exempt from being equipped. Verse, 18 says that even the builders wore his sword. Even in the midst of battle we are still called to be armed with prayer! It will look different than the person who is called to guard in prayer, and that’s ok!! I know satan likes to get us in the comparison game, however, that will not build us up or encourage us! God has called each of us to a certain season of prayer for each situation!
The last season I see in the passage, is the carrying season. Verse 17 talks about those who carried material, that they worked with one hand and fought with another hand. These carrying season can be disguised as busy seasons. We are literally equipping others to do the work. During this season, we have a lot of responsibilities and people are counting on us!! However, we cannot forget our weapons! If we are caught without our weapons we could be taken out and those who are counting on us are hurting too! I think this can be one of the easiest seasons to get distracted. We get so caught up in the work, that we forget to carry our protection!! Just as the workers for Nehemiah had to do, we must learn how to balance our life with both work in one hand and prayer in the other! It is key that we stay in tune with the Holy Spirit and be open to Him guiding and correcting us! The Holy Spirit is so quick to say, don’t forget your weapon, when we tend to get lost in work.
This passage has really opened my eyes to a new prayer strategy in my life. First, identify where God has positioned me in each situation I am dealing with. Yes, you can be in different positions in different situations at different times of the same day!! Second, is to forgive myself for anywhere that I have seen myself not fulfilling my duty. Third, is to get to work!!