In the great struggle between good and evil, the primary Allowed Weapon for God’s human soldiers is prayer because, alone, we don’t stand a chance against the dark powers. Remember, the battle is spiritual and must be fought in God’s strength, depending on the Word of God and on God through prayer. The verbal Word of God is called the sword of the spirit. That sword is one of two offensive weapons in the full armor of God (Eph 6:10-18). The other offensive weapon is prayer. Only by prayer are we able to firmly grasp the hilt of the sword in our human hands, remove it from its scabbard and wield it against the invisible forces of evil. Prayer is the spiritual strength driving the sword of the spirit in our hands as we strive side by side with Jesus Christ to: (1) restore and repossess His corrupted creation which He has set free from the bondage of evil (healing); (2) help the unsaved cross the finish line of salvation and become disciples of Christ as they are being nudged by the Prevenient Grace of God which calls and convicts every soul to be set free from the bondage of sin (evangelism) and (3) by training and right living, prevent the influence of sin from undermining the Christian walk of the saved (discipleship). I may not have charismatic gifts. My relationship with Jesus may not always be as personal as I might wish. But I can stand up as an infantryman in the army of our commander in chief.
R. A. Torrey summarizes the place of prayer as a Biblical process:
"Prayer is God's appointed way for obtaining things and the great secret of all lack in our experience, in our life and in our work is neglect of prayer…Those men whom God set forth as a pattern of what He expected Christians to be – the apostles – regarded prayer as the most important business of their lives…The words pray and prayer are used at least 25 times in connection with Jesus in the brief record of his life set forth in the four Gospels and His praying is also mentioned in places where the words are not used." (Torrey, p 9-11)
Church prayer has become a tired ritual which is performed with no real expectation even though Scripture teaches the unlimited power of united corporate prayer. Where there is real agreement, where the Holy Spirit brings believers into perfect harmony concerning that which they ask of God, where the Holy Spirit lays the same burden on all hearts, in such prayer there is great power. What if all the church ritual prayer, musical entertainment and baby food lessons were replaced by congregational united corporate prayer from men and women yearning to be led by the Holy Spirit down a path of confession, remorse, repentance, faith, obedience, humility, forgiveness, sincerity, purity, persistence, restoration, truth and worship? Could such prayer have an impact on Kingdom work? In the words of Jesus Christ:
“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” (Mat 18:19-20)
United Corporate Prayer is the most powerful and least utilized of all prayer.
Private personal prayer is also powerful. In the words of Jesus Christ:
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Mat 6:6)
Finally, a devotional attitude of mind and heart can maintain a constant spirit of prayer. It includes all those impromptu expressions of prayer flowing from a heart prepared to:
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thes 5:16-18)
This type of prayer is called spontaneous or ejaculatory.
Remember, prayer is that spiritual strength driving the sword of the spirit in our hands as we strive side by side with Jesus Christ. (See also Sections 5.1, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6 and 5.7 of Theology Corner)