We are taught that there is a great spiritual battle ongoing (Ephesians 6:12). A prayer warrior is one who takes part in that battle through prayer—interceding for others and praying for God's will to be done in all things.
What is a prayer warrior? How can I become one?
Biblically, we know that all Christians are called to prayer. Passages like Ephesians 6:18, 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18, 1 Timothy 2:1–4, Hebrews 4:14–16, and James 5:16 are intended for all believers, not just a select few. Even so, there seem to be some Christians who have a special capacity to pray with fervor, persistence, and effectiveness. How do we strengthen our own prayer lives and become prayer warriors?
First, we must understand what prayer is. It is communicating with God—both speaking to Him and hearing from Him. When we pray, we are addressing and hearing from the creator of the universe, the one true God who has all knowledge, power, and might, and loves us more deeply than we realize (Ephesians 3:14–19). He is "able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us" (Ephesians 3:20). He grants us the privilege of prayer through the work of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:15–16; 10:19–23). Prayer is powerful because of the one to whom we pray.
When we understand the privilege and power of prayer, we become more eager to engage in it. As we pray, we grow in relationship with God. Just as with any relationship, the more time we spend with God, the more we know Him. The more often we communicate with Him in prayer, the more we want to communicate with Him in prayer. We become comfortable praying and grow in our understanding and practice of prayer the more we do it.
Understanding and desiring the will of God is vitally important to our prayers. . In part, our hearts aligning with His will happen as we pray. But we must also read the Bible, God's Word by which He has chosen to reveal Himself to us, to know who God is and the things He desires. First John 5:14–15 says, "And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him." Our prayers are effective when we request things that are in God's will. Reading His Word helps attune our hearts and minds to His will.
When we pray, we are to address God (Matthew 6:9), rely on the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26–27; Jude 1:20), and pray in the name of Jesus (John 14:13). Prayer is part of the armor of God, so it makes sense to also ensure that we are equipped with the other pieces of armor (Ephesians 6:10–18). Wearing the full armor of God is appropriate always.
To be a prayer warrior, we must also understand our standing before God in Christ: forgiven (1 John 2:12), loved (Ephesians 2:4–7), reliant upon Him for everything (Isaiah 42:5), blessed "with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 1:3–14), sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13–14), fully equipped for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3–4), and planned for throughout eternity (1 Peter 1:3–5). We have confidence to pray because of Jesus' work (Hebrews 4:14–16) and can boldly approach our heavenly Father, trusting Him to do good things (John 1:12; Luke 11:13; James 1:16–18).
Prayer warriors understand they must be humble (2 Chronicles 7:13–15); eliminate hindrances to prayer such as unforgiveness, sin, or selfish motives (Mark 11:25; 1 Peter 3:7; 1 John 3:21–22; James 4:2–3); and avoid grieving the Spirit (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19), but instead obey His promptings and directives.
To be a prayer warrior you need to first be a child of God through Jesus (John 1:12; 3:16–18). Then you simply need to want to press in closer to God, to know Him better, to understand His ways deeper, and to follow Him closer. Read the Bible and start praying. Keep praying. None of us ever "arrives." But we can continue to build our "prayer muscle" by following God's directive to pray and rejoicing that He hears us and delights to relate with us and accomplish His kingdom purposes through prayer.
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