From "Prayer that Hits the Target"
The telephone rang at the home where we were staying. The news was that our home and office had been robbed. The computer, among other things, was missing. Backup disks, containing vital information, had been stolen. Immediately our inner spiritual warfare alarm went off. We had taken a hit and so postured ourselves to strike back. As I hung up the phone, Joy and I held hands. “Lord, bless the thieves and draw them to Yourself. Bring them to salvation and be merciful. Thank You for watching over us! Show us what to do, and turn this around for Your glory.”
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As we had pulled away from our driveway ten days earlier, I had felt, for the first time in my life, we would be robbed. God not only warned me, but others as well. Earlier Else Marie had driven by our house to pray for us and our possessions. Vince was awakened in the night after having a dream of a house being robbed; he prayed until morning. Upon our return, we prepared the children to expect a mess. As we drove toward the house, we prayed again. We confessed our possessions were not our own and gave them back to God. We claimed His peace upon the family and that is exactly what we received. The most interesting matter involved our computer backup disks. For the first time in twelve years the “Intercessors for Canada” mailing list had been sent to a mail distribution center. They had already sent out our bi-monthly newsletter and returned the computer disk to us after the mailing. It was stolen, but a copy remained on their hard drive. Other material had been printed from our computer, and a disk containing the manuscript of a book had been mailed to a friend for editing on the very day we left for our trip. God’s fingerprints were clearer than the thief’s! With prayer, God was watching over us.
Satan does his best to destroy the works of God. His primary target is mankind, made by God in His image, and he attacks men and women as he kills, steals, and destroys. (See John 10:10). What he cannot kill, he destroys; what he cannot destroy, he steals; and what he cannot steal, he hassles. If he cannot stop us from becoming Christians, he attempts to make us ineffective. Paul said, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). We are given armor, weapons, and ultimate victory; nevertheless, we face a real battle against a deadly enemy. (See Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Corinthians 10:4; 1 Peter 5:8; 1 John 5:4). We are attacked, resisted, wounded, and some are killed in the war between the two kingdoms.
The robbery at our home was a minor skirmish compared to the spiritual and physical beating that many have experienced. Paul wrote of some of the battles that he faced in his warfare: “I have...been in prison...been flogged...exposed to death.... Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea.... I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles, in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea, and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst; and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressures of my concern for all the churches.” (2 Corinthians 11:23-28).
No wonder Paul asked for prayer! Yet it was for prayer to fulfill the ministry, not prayer for comfort, protection, and peace—these are conspicuously absent. From Paul: “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains.” (Ephesians 6:19-20). “Devote yourselves to prayer being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.” (Colossians 4:2-4).
Paul understood the battle and was willing to pay the price so the kingdom of God might be extended. He solicited prayer for the Gospel’s sake and went on the attack rather than take a defensive, fortress-like posture.
Satan usually keeps out of sight, and we may not be aware that our present trouble is part of his planned attack. We may be putting up with much more than we should. Sometimes a spirit of heaviness comes on us. Removing this stronghold may require the weapons of repentance or communication to eliminate suspicion and misunderstanding. Everything in us will want to avoid humble confrontation when we feel at odds with others, but the Lord is pleased with this sacrifice of communication. After we make the crooked path straight; prayer, praise, and Godly proclamation will break a heavy spirit, and the blessings of God will flow.
In recent years, it has become increasingly popular for Christians from different churches to pray together for their city. This is a sign that God is releasing more kingdom purpose at the city, national, and global level. The church of Jesus Christ is progressively moving toward unity, and with this God will release His commanded blessing. The benefits are twofold: an anointing on the servants of God for the work of ministry and a blessing of God’s goodness upon the land. The first can be likened to the anointing oil that flowed upon Aaron the priest; the other can be likened to the dew from Mount Hermon that covers the land. “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.” (Psalm 133).
Spiritual mapping—the researching of the history, current events, and demographics of a region—will reveal blessings and sin. Humbly confessing the sins of our forefathers, city, and nation opens the way to undoing Satan’s destructive plans. Francis Frangipane gives an example from Washington DC of deceit being uncovered. Pastors came together, did spiritual mapping, humbly confessed sin, prayed for forgiveness, and broke curses. The Lord revealed they were to pray against the power of deceit over the area. Since it was somewhat operative in the church, their first act was to cleanse the participating congregation of deception. They did so by calling everyone to confess and expose their secret sins. After breaking the power of deceit over the church, they went to prayer. That very evening, the mayor of Washington was arrested for drug use. The media reported that the police had sought his arrest for years, but he had cloaked himself in deceit. (Story taken from Francis Frangipane’s The House Of The Lord: God’s Plan to Liberate Your City From Darkness published by Charisma House, 1996.)
Each of us is called to advance God’s kingdom through prayer. From secret prayer closets to meetings with tens of thousands, our prayers become the launchers of spiritual warfare missiles. The power is not from us but from God, Who uses the obedient and humble. And so...to battle!
Connecting heaven's power with earth's challenges is the reason for "Prayer that Hits the Target." The church is called to prayer. We must learn to stand in the gap, where the purpose of God is released. This book will show you God's conditions for answered prayer, and teach you how to fulfill them. Get ready to be stirred and commissioned, as you take your place on the wall. It is time to shoot the arrow, hit the target, and release the power and blessings of God.