Saturday, June 2, 2007

Spiritual Warfare and Praying for Your Kids

By Jennifer Leigh Ryan

A few years ago a gorilla escaped his cage and bounded out of nowhere to snatch a toddler from his mother's arms. So much for a breezy day at the zoo! As the mother struggled to free her child, the beast flung her across the walkway. She watched in horror as the monster bit her baby's body. The police shot the gorilla just in time. The child was released relatively unharmed.

Can you imagine how that woman wrestled to free her son from the grip of that animal?Well Well friend, put up your dukes! Spiritual warfare is waging on the home front. Like that rabid gorilla, or a roaring lion, our enemy is seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). He is eyeballing our kids. Our only hope is God. But God is counting on us to stand-up, fight and pray. As one evangelist said, "God does nothing on earth, but by prayer." We've got to pray or be prey.

What is Spiritual Warfare? Spiritual warfare is not about looking for a demon under every bush or casting out devils. It's about power. It's praying without doubting that we are shaping our world (James 5:16). It's an offensive stance against sin and wickedness. Saying, "No devil, you're not getting my child!" We're wielding the power of the Cross and Christ's blood, saying, "In the Name of Jesus, every demon must flee!" (Luke 10:17) It is winning souls, living righteously and setting a good example. It means understanding who we are in Christ, and praying proactively rather than when we've reached dire straights.

The Battle Don't underestimate this war. True, we wrestle against "principalities, powers and rulers of the darkness of this age" (Eph. 6:11). But our most formidable foe is ourselves. Our flesh is at war with our soul (1 Peter 2:11). Only by walking in the Spirit can we overcome our flesh (Galatians 5:16). As far as the dark forces, we don't have to worry. The devil was defeated on Calvary. Our job now is to pray in accordance with that defeat and serve as co-laborers with God in effecting our kids' lives. If we aren't praying, we're falling behind.

It's time to advance the Kingdom of God; to stand and fight. Paul tells us to "take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, having done all to stand" (Ephesians 6:13). This armor is our Christian virtues of truth, peace, holiness and faith. Our sword is the Word of God. Our prayers link us to God who does our bidding and abolishes our strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:3).

Why Pray for our Kids? Mama began praying for Ray before he was born. Though he grew up in church, as a teen he rebelled and grew into a wicked thug when he reached adulthood. Still Mama prayed earnestly for him without wavering.

"Ray," Mama said. "Me and my household will be saved" (Acts 16:31).
"Right, Mama!" Ray laughed.
"Face it. I'm happy doing drugs and stealing. Give up!"
"Somebody's lying." Mama said. "Is it God?"
"No, Mama," Ray said, shaking his head, amazed at his mother's dogged persistence.
"Well, somebody's lying," Mama said.

Many years passed, but she never stopped praying. She stood on God's promises about her son. One day, she got a call from the hospital. Ray had been shot. He was dying on a gurney. Mama said, "No sir! My son is not dying. God made me a promise!" The doctor thought she was crazy. She didn't care. She marched to her prayer closet and wrestled with the enemy. Mama won. Ray came back to life after dying from multiple life-threatening gunshot wounds to the head and chest. Five years later, when Ray was in his late-thirties, Mama's prayers were answered. He gave his life to the Lord and was gloriously saved. Now this ex-convict travels the world preaching the gospel and testifying of the power of a praying Mama. Hopefully your children will never be like Ray was, but if they are God will be faithful to you like He was to Mama.

Pray the scriptures over your children daily. Once you start, you'll be hooked for life. Repeating scriptures on behalf of your kids is powerful and moving. You'll become a better mom. Here are just a few of the many scriptures you can pray over your children, the list is endless:
I pray that ________ (child's name) will have faith in God. (Romans 10:17).
I pray that ________ (child's name) will walk in humility (Titus 3:2).
I pray that ________ (child's name) will have a good self-esteem (Ephesians 2:10).

How to Pray for Your Children:
1. Praise God first. (Psalm 100:4)
2. Make sure there is no unconfessed sin in your life that would hinder your prayers. (Psalm 66:18)
3. Acknowledge that you don't know what to pray without the Holy Spirit directing you (Romans 8:26)
4. Deal aggressively with the enemy in Jesus' name with the "sword of the Spirit" which is the Word of God. (James 4:7)
5. Die to your own self and the urge to pray what you feel you should pray. (Romans 8:26)
6. Wait upon the Lord and listen for His direction. (Psalm 62:5)
7. Believe that you are hearing God when you pray (John 10:27) and that he is guiding you. (Psalm 32:8)
8. Ask the Lord to give you confirmation in the Bible. (Psalm 119:105)

Jennifer Leigh Ryan is a Freelance Writer, Youth Pastor and Women's Speaker from Dallas, Texas. She graduated with her Diploma in Practical Theology from Christ for the Nations in Fall 2004.