James Houston describes prayer as “rather like joining an underground resistance movement in an enemy-occupied country. We fight back in prayer to overthrow the kingdom of darkness with the light of the gospel.” We sometimes forget the true power that prayer has. Prayer can quickly get absorbed into the everyday part of our lives, the quick prayer before a meal or before climbing into bed at night and that is important for us to do. But it can also lend itself to us taking prayer for granted and to miss the potential power that is present in prayer.
When Paul tells the church in Corinth, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4), one of the weapons he was talking about is prayer! If you have ever watched a building being demolished by a controlled explosion, you know that the explosive charged are strategically placed and only after sufficient warning is given does the person hit the button or press down the plunger causing the explosion and the demolition of the building. We do not hear sirens blasting and a warning announcement saying “clear the area and watch out, we are about to pray!” But perhaps we should!
It can be helpful to think of prayer like a stick of dynamite. It’s not something that should be treated lightly because of the powerful explosion it can produce. We get the word dynamite from the Greek word dunamis, which means “the power to do something.” Prayer is the power to do something. Prayer has the power to change hearts, transform lives, demolish strongholds and push back the kingdom of darkness.
After the believers prayed together in Acts 4 we read that “the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly” (Acts 4:31).
Acts 1:14 shows the believers were constantly in prayer. It was out of that time of continual prayer that the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost.
It was the work of prayer which caused the collapse of the Berlin wall. It was the prayer of the nation during World War II which led to the miracles of Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain.
It is important to remember that our prayers are powerful weapons. It is why after Paul had instructed the believers in Ephesus to put on the full armour he instructs them to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests (Ephesians 6:18).
So let’s join the resistance movement and learn how to use the power of prayer effectively and demolish the strongholds of the enemy