Have you ever heard the term “Prayer Warrior?” How many of you have seen the movie, “War Room?” It came out about three years ago, and became the highest grossing independent Christian film in history when it hit number one at the box office Labor Day weekend of 2015. When we think about a war room, we might think of generals gathering together to make battle plans, right? But unless you’re thinking about the comedy Dr. Strangelove, “War Room” is a movie and it’s all about prayer.
Why is a movie about prayer called, “War Room?” That’s because prayer is like the sword of the Spirit, it’s how we wage spiritual war. And in the movie one of the main characters has a literal ‘prayer closet.’ Only in the movie, she calls it her ‘war room.’ In one scene, she says, “In order to stand up and fight the enemy, you need to get on your knees and pray.”
When I was a teenager, there was a popular Christian rock song that had a little play on words like that called, “Get on your knees and fight like a man.”
A few years later, there was another song by Bob Carlisle with the words, “If you see me on my knees it’s not because I’m weak, I’m getting stronger.”
That’s what we’re going to talk about today. The power of fighting on our knees.
Scripture: 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
God’s word, which on the outset may seem soft and flimsy and sometimes long and boring, is—once we start waging it—a concealed sword. Prayer is like that. How many times do we look at prayer as being weak and flimsy? It’s just words, right? Depending on how you were brought up, maybe you were taught we’re supposed to fold our hands, or like Diana’s family gatherings they’ll hold hands. You’re always supposed to close your eyes, right? Maybe you got in trouble because you didn’t. Maybe you recite certain prayers. None of these things are wrong, but we shouldn’t be so engrossed in how to pray that we miss how to pray. Prayer is not about how well we remember what to do or what to recite, prayer is mighty and powerful and spoken from the Spirit.
James said, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
I find it interesting that Paul lists prayer along with the armor of God, but he never compares prayer to pieces of armor or as another piece of weaponry like the sword. By the time he gets to prayer, the armor is complete. But I don’t think it’s unintentional that he adds it here. It kind of reads like, “oh, and by the way, speaking of warfare, pray.”
Paul knows that prayer, though not listed specifically as armor or weaponry, is a very powerful action that we must do to combat the enemy.