The Essence of Prayer VII – Rules of Engagement

Ephesians 6:18  Rules of engagement are needed to fight the battles the apostle declares are before us.  In ancient warfare, battle lines were often clearly visible.  In modern warfare, this is not always the case yet there are times when the enemy is visible and strategy is based on what is seen of their strength.  If we recognize that prayer is an engaging in spiritual warfare, that the church is engaged in this warfare, that we ourselves are engaged in this warfare, and there is no discharge from this warfare but we don’t see the battlelines clearly drawn, then we need to know what are the rules of engagement.

Paul makes clear what these rules of engagement are:  prayer without ceasing, all prayer, and supplication.  Philippians 1:3, 4 Whenever Paul thought of the saints in Philippi he prayed for them.  Romans 1:9  Without ceasing he prayed for the Romans during his times of appointed prayer.  Ephesians 1:16, Colossians Paul prayed constantly for the believers he knew.

The battle-hardened general is aware of the fight his soldiers face.  The believer must remember what his fellow-believers are facing and pray for them in every remembrance, without ceasing, as the apostle Paul did.  Ephesians 1:16, 17 Prayer of this sort is big.  It is wide-reaching but it is not without content.  Paul didn’t just pray for “blessing” like a little child might.  He prayed for something specific for the Ephesian believers.  There needs to be real specifics to prayer even on a large scale.  Satan sends out his hosts against believers and we need to pray specifically for one another.  We need to ask the Lord for spiritual sight for one another’s needs.  We need to know each other’s needs and be asking the Lord for knowledge of how to pray for one another.  We need to be seeing the unsaved around us and how the Lord might be dealing with them specifically.  We ought not to just pray “please save them” but be praying for the Lord to use specific circumstances we know are in their lives as goads to drive them to Himself as He did with the apostle Paul, Acts 9:5.