My Spiritual Deployment

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. – Ephesians 6:12

Last week I wrote about my memories of 9-11, how my perspective had been broadened from my own little world to things greater than myself. At the time my understanding of spiritual warfare was vague, and my prayer life was sporadic. But four years later that began to change.

It was July, 2005, when the news came that four bombs had been detonated in the London subway. People were killed, more were injured, and for the next few days there was talk again of remembering the fallen and praying for the survivors.

I was probably the only one thinking about these things on the beach that beautiful summer day, as my daughter and her friends played on their boogie boards in the fresh-water surf of Lake Michigan. I found myself getting an “attitude” – I was frustrated. Why were we always praying for the grieving after the fact? Why couldn’t we pray before the planned attacks, so this kind of thing wouldn’t happen in the first place?

I’ve long believed there’s power in praying specifically. One of my former pastors likened praying something vague like “God bless America!” to firing a shotgun into the air and hoping to hit something. – How would I know if/when that prayer is answered? But a specific prayer is more like a well-aimed rifle, it will hit its target more often. And of course, a very specific prayer is like a laser beam, which can cut through steel!

I asked the Lord how I could pray specifically against what our enemies had planned, when I didn’t know where or even who they were or what they had planned. The Still, Small Voice seemed to whisper, “Pray against what they have planned today.”

The kids were still playing in the water, so while I watched them, I prayed for anyone planning to be suicide bombers that day, that God would plant enough doubt in their minds to make them hesitant and enough fear in their hearts to change their minds. I prayed He would show them a way of escape and take them to where they would be safe, and where they could hear the gospel.

I prayed for those terrorists who weren’t going to change in the next 24 hours – that their communications would fail, their computers would crash, their cell phones die, their transportation would break down, their calculations would be wrong, their timing would be off, their weapons would malfunction, and their bombs would fail to detonate. I prayed that their whole camp would be thrown into confusion, that every plan would fail, and that they would realize their failure was due to their serving the wrong God. I prayed they would seek the one true God, find Him, and spend the rest of their lives serving Him even more passionately than they were serving the enemy that day.

I prayed for the removal of terrorists who would never change, before they had a chance to drag anyone else down to hell with them.

I prayed for all those who were the targets of terrorism, that they would be shielded and their lives spared, that they would find Christ if they didn’t already know Him, and that they would serve Him gratefully for the rest of their lives.

I prayed for every branch of our military by name, for our nation’s intelligence, security, and law enforcement. I prayed that any terrorists that might have infiltrated their ranks would be rooted out, rendered harmless, even transformed into allies.

As it turned out, there was a lot I could pray about, even not knowing specifics of our enemies’ plans.

The next day a story on the news grabbed my attention: Four more bombs had been planted in the London subway.

All four bombs were duds; no one was hurt.

I was stunned, even realizing I should not be surprised. God had answered my prayers of the day before, possibly the prayers of others who had been led to pray the same way I had. Had I just joined a spiritual army of sorts? Was it possible that in this “war on terror,” prayer was the answer to defeating the invisible enemy?

It occurred to me that if the failure of that bombing was in answer to my prayers the day before, it was because I prayed against what was planned for that day.

But today was another day …

Thus began my journey of broad yet narrow prayers, focusing on one day at a time. I figure I have prayed along the lines of what I prayed that first day over 5,500 times. At one point, I questioned whether this was an example of the “vain repetitions” Jesus spoke about in the Sermon on the Mount. (Matthew 6:7) But as hard as it may be to believe, I haven’t lost my passion. After all, yesterday I was praying for yesterday, and today I’m praying for today, so it’s a fresh request every day. And I never know when there will be another story on the news about an answer to those prayers, which cause me to believe that whatever “army” I’m a part of is making history. (This is something for me to keep in mind next time the enemy tells me how unimportant I am in the grand scheme of things.)

Has God called you to daily, intensive prayer in a certain area?

Prayer: Lord, the world makes judgments about our importance or lack thereof. Your Word tells us we have all sinned and fallen short of Your glory, so none of us is sufficient in ourselves. And yet, You have numbered the hairs on our head, so none of us is insignificant to You. Help each of us to be faithful in whatever You have called us to do. In Jesus’ name, amen.

32 thoughts on “My Spiritual Deployment

  1. I relate to being called to a certain area of battle, but sometimes I am definitely reassigned. Each day is different but I don’t know how to describe it. Everyone that I know who prays a lot seems to experience another realm at times and they have a lot of eyebrow raising stories. That band of prayer warriors is like a spiritual un-named black ops group (and very dangerous in a good way).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember you sharing this concept a few months back; wow the power of prayer. I have been praying every night for an antifa member on Twitter and I pray for their salvation and God to stop them

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I heard about that too of someone getting saved from that horrible attack of that prayer meeting. It actually encouraged me to continue to pray each night…twitter can be filth for many things and sometimes you get raw information of antifa activity that the news later cover (or won’t cover) but I have since the summer of 2020 saw it as a venue to pray for the salvation of these individuals by name and faces!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ann, you and many of your readers are well aware, the enemy (thief, devil) comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). Terrorists and other miscreants are working the works of the devil at his behest (these things don’t come from above, they have the same markings as mentioned in John 10:10). Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). John 14:12 tells us the same works are expected of us. We therefore have a commission to oppose the enemy in this spiritual warfare. Exactly as you have described in this excellent post. We get guidance by the Holy Spirit. We even get armor. (I really like your avatar.) Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks so much for the profound input, Jon. – Great Scripture references!
    I liked the picture of the warrior woman and somehow got it on my blog page. Being technologically challenged, I didn’t know how to change it, but then it kind of grew on me, so I concluded that it was meant to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What an encouraging story, Annie!! The army of God IS a part of history since God has promised that “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). Thank you for breathing fresh passion into our prayers!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Awesome and passionate message. I’m saving it….

    Even if you were the only one prayer warrior who answered the call to prayer on behalf of those specific people, places, and situations in that given moment, your willingness and hearts intentions are all God needs to hear, and to His glory bring about the answer to your prayer. Thereby you and many others unknown are being blessed. It brought to my mind this scripture:

    “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. Isaiah 6:8

    A willingingness of heart is all He desires.
    Thank you. You’ve inspired me to pray even more specific.
    God bless. ❀
    Susan

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi, Ann.
    The “vain repetition” Jesus referred to is the empty mantras of pagans and spiritualists with incantations, sometimes not even knowing the meaning of the words. Similar to “Hail Marys” or “Our Fathers” that many RCs are told to repeat to get forgiveness for confessed sin. There is no thought in the prayer, just rote litany of words without heart. The same was true of some Hebrew “prayers” said to fulfill their obligation like good Pharisees.
    Father always hears prayers from the heart, as He did when Hannah would pray continually for a child until God granted her Samuel.
    Note, not to diss RCs, because many protestants also mouth empty words in prayer; I recall a man being asked in an evangelical church to offer a benediction, and he proceeded with “Lord, thank you for this food we are about to eat and bless the hands that prepared it, Amen” πŸ˜‚
    Keep praying daily as you Practice His Presence. c.a.

    Liked by 1 person

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