A Peek Beyond Spiritual Warfare
Offensive and Defensive Prayer – Part 1
There are a few concepts about prayer that have frightened and even scared people away from it. You know this and may have experienced it as well. In conversing with the most experienced “prayer warriors” I know, I’ve found that they too have confronted such a fear of prayer. How in the world can communicating with God bring you fear like this? That thought alone makes this a confusing topic.
I used the words, “prayer warriors” on purpose. While I love those who consider themselves “prayer warriors,” I hate this terminology because of what it does to people who don’t consider themselves a “prayer warrior.” Allow me to elaborate using a true story about one such prayer warrior. Her name is Lindsay (not really, her real name has been substituted for privacy sake). Lindsay knew deep within that she was gifted at prayer, yet she was frightened to join her local church’s prayer team or team of prayer warriors. She attends church every Sunday and sits on the front row. She would avoid invitations to join the group of pray-ers (people who pray) for nearly a year or more. If Lindsay loved praying and felt a passion for prayer, why was she afraid of joining a team of pray-ers? Well, I will tell you because I wanted to know myself and decided to ask. Lindsay didn’t consider herself a “prayer warrior.” What she was saying to me was this. She didn’t feel as if she could pray like that. Like what? Like that person. She didn’t think her style of prayer was good enough in the presence of that person who she considered to be a “prayer warrior.”
You see, that terminology has created a divide and promotes classism. Pamela and I are on a mission to remove such classism as it relates to prayer, because the people we see praying in the Bible wouldn’t fall into this classification of “prayer warriors” as we know it. Let’s put it to the test. Name a person in the Bible, you consider to be a “prayer warrior.” Would Jabez be a “prayer warrior” with his three sentence prayer? Would David be considered a “prayer warrior?” If so, then why is it that most “prayer warriors” don’t resemble David when they pray?
I hate the fact that Lindsay was afraid to join in prayer, but it makes me wonder how many others are out there who feel the same. When I say scared, I simply mean frightened and ashamed to, as well, for whatever reason. Some even feel scared because they see themselves as not qualified and this is where classism begins. Then comes the person who is apprehensive because of what the phrase “prayer warrior” means. Prayer warrior: a person who will war in prayer or war in the spirit. If I were new or not knowledgeable in all of this, this subject would probably scare me a little. That brings me to another phrase, “spiritual warfare.” We’re going to fight in the spirit, with prayer, or there are spirits fighting around me. In either case it doesn’t sound good and that’s where we will begin to poke a few holes.
Allow me to add this in here. Next Level Prayer is not intended to discredit nor devalue what we know about prayer, but rather to help you take prayer as you know it to the next level. This set of lessons in particular is designed to take your knowledge on the subject of “prayer warriors” and “spiritual warfare” to the next level. To do so, we will be covering three main ideas following this introduction over the next several installments.
- Abandoning the concept of spiritual warfare as we know it.
In this first section, we will help you abandon the concept of spiritual warfare as we know for a next level concept. This concept will have the ability to transform how we all battle in prayer and remove the idea of only a few who are qualified for such a battle. What you might not have considered is the fact that you are a three part being: spirit, soul, and body. You are spirit with a soul that lives in a body. You are spirit. This means you are and always have been connected to spiritual things. But did you know that most spiritual things are good not evil?
- This is not spiritual warfare.
I know you’ve heard the term “spiritual warfare.” But what if that term doesn’t exist in scripture? It’s a term I’ve learned to stay away from. In fact, I don’t really like that term because it implies a type of prayer that we might not want to engage in. Many times when we do “spiritual warfare,” our prayers turn from God and towards the devil or demonic. Our words tend to begin to be directed away from speaking with God. Have you ever considered what God thinks when you are speaking to Him and all of a sudden put the devil on the same level?
- If not spiritual warfare then what?
What if there is a better way to battle spiritually? What if there’s a better way of looking at doing “spiritual warfare?” This brings me to a concept you more than likely have never heard of. That’s “offensive and defensive prayer.” Offensive prayer is prayer that helps move things forward or down the field of play. Defensive prayer on the other hand is prayer prayed to defend, keep the opponent from advancing, or against what’s holding you back from reaching the goal.
In these three components, it is our goal to make prayer more inclusive, change the perception of what it means to fight spiritually, and take what we already know to the next level. If our level of understanding is at one level, what would happen if we took it to a higher level? The only thing that’s able to destroy what’s godly in a human being is a lack of knowing.  Therefore the more we know, the more we keep destruction from overtaking us. If the results you have now are based on your current level of understanding, how much you know, how will your results improve after having your understanding improve? This is next level prayer?
Question: what concept of prayer has brought you any feelings of fear in the past?