A Warrior’s Story

God is our refuge and strength,                                                                                                       an ever-present help in trouble.                                                                      He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;                                                                                  he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,                                                                          he burns the shields with fire.                                                                      “Be still, and know that I am God;                                                                                                   I will be exalted among the nations,                                                                                   I will be exalted in the earth.”                                 Psalm 46:1,9,10

 

I came across this journal entry from three years ago and just had to share it with my readers. This was probably the most exciting New Year’s I have ever had. Enjoy!                  

It’s New Year’s Day in Louisville. And in New York. And in L. A. And in Paris and Munich and the Middle East. And as far as I know, there have been no successful terrorist attacks.

There were threats, and as usual I prayed. I’ve been praying against terrorism daily since July of 2005. I had become frustrated with praying for the families of the victims after the fact and asked God how – with no idea where the enemy was or what their targets were – I could narrow down my prayer to be the kind of specific prayer He answers in my life – Before these things happen. He had said (in His “still, small voice”), “Narrow it down to what they have planned today.”

Have these prayers been answered? I have a file folder full of articles – just the ones I’ve seen and saved – about thwarted terrorist attacks, some foiled by the authorities and some stopped by ordinary citizens who “saw/heard something suspicious;” some failed because the explosives didn’t detonate, and some failed because the perpetrator had a change of heart. Those are my favorite stories – where a former would-be terrorist is now a child of God – an evangelist, a church planter, an igniter of revival. (Glory!)

Do I think I personally have stopped terrorists? No … well, not exactly. I do believe in the power of prayer, otherwise I would not have prayed the same prayer over 4,000 times and would not be planning to continue. I do believe there’s power in consistent prayer and prayer by many people, and if an act of terror occurred because only 99 people prayed against it and 100 prayer warriors could have stopped it, I don’t want to be the weak link. Of course, GOD is the One who answers those prayers, but for whatever reason, I believe He honors consistency and unity.

I usually pray [these prayers] at night, because if/when I resolved to pray in the morning, there was always something to distract me or make me forget, so I just have a rule that I don’t lie down until I’ve covered our nation, leaders, military, intelligence, security, law enforcement, targets, and the terrorists themselves in prayer. If I am especially tired, it’s hard and might take an hour to pray what I should have been able to pray in eight minutes. (Some will call me obsessive, but I take this stuff seriously.)

Yesterday I prayed earlier in the day than usual and prayed specifically for New York City, Washington D. C., and Los Angeles. I had read that these cities were on high alert because of some threats. I had also heard that over a million people were expected to be in Times Square that night.

Marty and I didn’t go out for any New Year’s Eve festivities. We’re new in town,  and we haven’t made enough friends yet to be invited to any parties. So after babysitting the grandchildren … we turned to Netflix and spent the next 5-10 minutes browsing. After reading a few plot synopses, we settled on “Survivor” (or “The Survivor”) – a movie evidently about stopping a terrorist attack. I thought, “Good, it’ll remind me to keep praying for New York City.” So I said another prayer for those million+ people.

I prayed on and off even as we were watching the movie, and when I realized the terror plot in the show involved a an attack on Times Square on New Year’s Eve, I thought, What a coincidence! and kept praying.

At one point I was heating my shoulder pad in the microwave for an achy neck and noticed it was 11:53. I thought, Only 7 more minutes. I sat back down, and the film showed a sign in Times Square saying  “Only 7 minutes to go!”

I realized this “random” movie, that we “randomly” picked – off Netflix – and started at a “random” time was synchronized – to the minute – with our New Year’s Eve. (We couldn’t have planned that if we’d wanted to, even if we had known in advance what the plot was.)

It didn’t occur to me until this morning that God was encouraging me about the power of my prayers, as I remembered the end of the movie, where one of the characters said to the woman who had stopped the terrorists, “There were a million people here tonight. And you saved all of them.”

Do I think I saved everybody in Times Square last night? Of course not. I do believe in the power of prayer, and who knows how many other people who believe in it were praying last night? And God is the One who answers the prayers, but for whatever reason, I believe He honors consistency and unity. And I don’t want to be the weak link.

– journal,  January 1, 2016

Prayer: Lord, we understand so little about the power of prayer, just that You want us to do it. Thank You for all the times You have proven true to Your promises and answered us when we cried out to you. Help us to be faithful, too, in whatever You have called us to do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

18 thoughts on “A Warrior’s Story

  1. Ann, thank you for sharing one of your experiences in prayer. And thank you for being a prayer warrior. We may not be the one who stops the evil, but I believe our Lord uses us to share with Him His will upon this earth. An Amen is a means of agreement with His blessings toward us. One of our books is Prayers That Bring the House Down, highlighting prayers from God’s Word. They are still effective today. We will continue to pray, believing in His mercy ~ Yes? 🙂

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  2. It has been just 9 months since the Lord spoke to my heart that I should pray for my brother every night. I believe the Lord was giving me an “assignment”. You see, Jay calls himself an atheist. So I have obeyed. But after all this time, I am getting weak. The story you shared has “strengthened my arms”, just as in Exodus 17:12 Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ arms so they could win the battle. Through your post, God is showing me that I am in a battle and it isn’t over yet. Thank you for this blessed encouragement, dear sister in Christ. Blessings, Annie!

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    1. Bless you, Cindy! I’m so glad this post encouragd you. I have been praying for one near and dear to me for about 45 years now, and frankly, I’m getting a little tired! But Mitch Teemley’s post about a man he knew who finally believed on his death bed encouraged me. Mitch was saying that God had pursued this man throughout his life and had never given up on him. I was encouraged because another prayer of mine has been that I could be more like Jesus, and praying for this loved one for decades is accomplishing that. So keep praying for your brother. Not only will he come to the Lord someday, but you will have been confirmed to the image of Christ in the process.
      Love you, sister!

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  3. Bless you, Cindy! I’m so glad this post encouragd you. I have been praying for one near and dear to me for about 45 years now, and frankly, I’m getting a little tired! But Mitch Teemley’s post about a man he knew who finally believed on his death bed encouraged me. Mitch was saying that God had pursued this man throughout his life and had never given up on him. I was encouraged because another prayer of mine has been that I could be more like Jesus, and praying for this loved one for decades is accomplishing that. So keep praying for your brother. Not only will he come to the Lord someday, but you will have been confirmed to the image of Christ in the process.
    Love you, sister!

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  4. My goodness! I so needed this encouragement today. Because just this morning I felt like I wanted to give up on praying for a situation that I know I am to be an Esther in. Praise God this was my answer to continue in obedience to Him. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing post ❤️

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    1. Sharon, I am SO glad I was able to encourage another Esther! Bless you for following God’s lead, “for such a time as this.” Someday when we meet in eternity, you can tell me about your prayers and what came from them. I’m looking forward to it. 🙂 ❤

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  5. (Visiting here from Mitch Teemley’s blog) Our pastor preached on prayer just last Sunday and said through prayer, God gives us the privilege to put our hands on the controls of circumstances and events WITH him. It is indeed a mystery, but as you pointed out, it is clearly something God wants us to do! God bless you for your perseverance in prayer against terrorism! P.S. You might be interested in a post over at my blog, “In the Face of Terrorism” If I have created a proper link (!), you can access it here: https://nancyaruegg.com/2018/11/01/in-the-face-of-terrorism/

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  6. I can’t wait until we are all together in glory and can finally see how all our prayers were worked out for the purposes and glory of God. Thank you for this encouragement to persevere in prayer.

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