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Onward Christian Soldiers
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Pastor Jim Jackson, Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church.

Prayer Warriors?

I suppose all of us have our quirks. I hope so, since I have never liked being alone. But honestly, I suspect I may not have a lot of company in this personal preference—perhaps it’s really a prejudice. But I’m just not comfortable with the term “prayer warrior.”

Perhaps it’s a matter of putting two words together that shouldn’t be in the same vocabulary pew—prayer & warrior.

You know, like broccoli and yummy. I don’t like talking to God being associated with war. If being a prayer warrior means assaulting the portals of heaven with a battering ram of requests, count me out. Jesus taught us in the model prayer he gave to his disciples to begin that prayer with the words: “Our Father.” Oh, I know how we as children made our parents weary repeatedly begging for the same thing over and over.

We did that thinking we might overcome their resistance and, grudgingly, give in to our wishes.

Many of us are well acquainted with that story Jesus told about the importunate widow. Jesus used it to encourage us to pray to our loving Heavenly Father who is anxious to hear our pleas. He argued from the lesser to the greater, essentially saying that if an unjust judge will grant a repetitious request of a poor woman, surely he will hear our prayer requests.

As I understand it, Jesus is encouraging us to pray sincerely and often, but it’s not to gain something from God which he only yields reluctantly.

No, He is our loving Father who knows our needs before we ask and is ready to supply every need in harmony with His purpose and our well being. Persistence in prayer is welcomed in heaven, yet we need not approach as warriors, thinking words are something like ammo.

Jesus himself said: “But when you pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”

Prayer Warriors? I just don’t get it. Unless, of course, the target is the devil. In that case—“Onward Christian Soldiers.”

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