Them’s Fighting Words

Apr 23, 2024 | Devotionals

“But this kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting.” (Matthew 17:21 NIV)

I didn’t grow up as a Christian. And, as a young ski racer with a “need for speed,” I didn’t find the personalities of Christians particularly attractive: Plodding, quiet, dull, and waaaay too nice! I fashioned myself to be the opposite: A daring, rebellious, loud, feisty, combative warrior! I (misguidedly) equated “nice” with “weak.” I would NEVER give up my “fighting spirit” to become a lame, tame Christian!

Years later…..I got saved.  At the time, I was in such a crisis that it didn’t matter to me that now I was a “lame, tame Christian.” But, in those first months, as I worked with Him on fumbling my way towards grace, God, in His infinite kindness, showed me that He was doing a “new thing,” a new way for me to be the feisty warrior that He had created me to be.

He replaced my old (worldly) way of fighting with His way—Prayer! A favorite Scripture says, “In everything, by prayer…let your requests be made known to God.” (Phil 4:6). I was stoked that, through prayer, the new “Christian me” could continue to be a fighter.

And there was NOTHING “lame” or “tame” about a prayer life!

As God’s warriors, we get to wear “the full armor of God” (Eph 6:11). And we’re given a weapon! (The “Sword of the Word of God”—Scripture and prayer). From our knees, using this weapon (prayer) we get to do so many things: Wage battle “against the powers of darkness (demons)” (Col 1: 12-13), talk to God about our problems and concerns, ask Him to help those we love and thank Him for the ways He’s been good to us. He showed me that some of those same gifts and skill sets that served me well in a downhill race could now be used not for my own personal gain—a place on a podium—but for His glory.

In case you are struggling with seeing how being on your knees in prayer is the strongest of all fighting stances, let me share this story: Recently, two dogs attacked and tried to kill me and my dog. As I struggled with the (losing) desperate battle of trying to fight them off, I heard a “still, small voice.” It said, “Let go.” That seemed crazy.  Every cell of my flesh cried out, “Fight”! But the voice said, “Let go”! I obeyed. I let go. Then, instinctively, I threw myself on the ground and screamed the prayer of Jehoshaphat, “I am powerless against this great horde that is coming against me. I do not know what to do, but my eyes are on you.” (2 Chron 20:12) In a flash, the fight was over, the battle won. The dogs had released us! Injured, but alive, I thanked God for the power of prayer. This is a very dramatic example, but I have hundreds of others when my “on time” God rescued me (and others) in all circumstances. I am so thankful for a God Who “delivers us” with the promise that “Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24)

  • What do you think “prayer” is? What does it mean to you?
  • Do you pray? (Why or why not?)
  • How can you use prayer to help others in your life? For what are you thankful?
  • Can you look back on instances where prayer might have helped a bad situation (or would help a current situation)?
  • If He were standing in front of you, what would you most want to say to Jesus?

By Donna Devlin | Bethlehem, NH

Editor’s Note: This is our final Weekly Winter Word of the season. We’ll see you in November! Interested in submitting to the weekly devo? Email [email protected].


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