“Fighting the Good Fight”
The Conflict is a Spiritual One – (Ephesians Chapter 6 Verse 18)
We are thus instructed, “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (v18). That is with the help of the third Person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit. “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26). Now this has nothing to do with speaking in tongues as some would have us to believe. It is praying with a reliance upon the Holy Spirit to supply the necessary help, energy to pray. There are times are there not when we just don’t know what to pray, it may be just simply a sigh. But the Holy Spirit knows how to present that sigh at the throne of grace in terms that God fully understands our state and our need. We are told here we must persevere in prayer, not because God is slow to answer or because he doesn’t hear us. We just do not know the extent to which our prayers can set activity in motion in high places. It is in high and heavenly places where the real work of God is done and progresses. Think of the far-reaching effects of the prayers of former saints. “And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God; yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation” (Daniel 9:20-21). “Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words” (Daniel 10:12). We are assured our prayers are heard. The value and significance of our prayers are seldom realised. Think of a small insignificant group of Christians gathered, “just to pray.” The prayers of the saints are the decrees of God beginning to work. It is nothing short of unbelief that caused the church prayer meetings in the West to diminish. It is the Holy Spirit’s indwelling the Christian, without whom a person is not a Christian, who prompts and encourages us to pray. Without this divine Enabler, we would not know what to pray for, he is our inspiration (Romans 8:26).
We see in the book of Revelation just how much the prayers of the saints on earth is so effective. There we see them being worked out on earth. We see the heavenly Lamb seated in the midst of his throne surrounded by his angelic helpers. The one who makes the throne a throne of grace, “seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession…Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14, 16). It is there we see our poor, feeble, stammering, limited prayers mingle with heaven’s incense. And reaching the throne of God in perfection, a sweet aroma in his nostrils. Beloved, if this is prayer in biblical terms then how important is our praying? Its nature and its significance. We must see this aspect of our Christian warfare as the deepest secret and strongest power, and engage. If praying is something that Christ ever lives to do (Hebrews 7:25), it must be important, it must be worth doing. Daily, hourly pleading our case before the presence of God. If God be for us, will he leave us alone to pray (Romans 8:31), never. If he has given us his Son will he not give us all else we need for this so great conflict that we’ve called up and into (Romans 8:32)? And since we pray in his name, not our own, will he not give us those things which ask for? He will indeed.