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The great 19th century preacher, Charles Spurgeon, once said, “Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the kingdom. If you may have everything by asking in His name, and nothing without asking, I beg you to see how absolutely vital prayer is” (emphasis mine).
When we look throughout Scripture and church history, whenever God was working mightily, His people were behind the scenes praying.
One of my favorite names to describe one who has an effective prayer life is ‘prayer warrior.’ This phrase aptly describes the power God bestows on those who are surrendered to His Holy Spirit.
I want to be a warrior woman – a woman who fights for her family, friends, and the culture around her in prayer.
The more I study prayer, the more the Lord is showing me what it takes to be an effective prayer warrior (“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16) Here are the things He’s been teaching me:
1) Practice the Posture of Prayer
When we think of a posture of prayer, we typically think of someone on their knees, bowed down with hands folded. This shows a posture of humility and brokenness.
While we certainly aren’t required to physically have this posture every time we pray, this should be the posture of our hearts.
We should humble ourselves before the Lord and repent daily of all known sins.
- “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” Psalm 51:17
- “If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” Psalm 66:18
- “For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.” Psalm 32:3
- “I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.” Psalm 32:5
We cannot be effective prayer warriors if we are harboring known sin and pride in our hearts. We must maintain a spirit of brokenness.
Jennifer Kennedy Dean does a wonderful job describing what brokenness is in her devotional, He Restores My Soul. She says:
The term ‘broken heart’ does not mean sadness. It means a soul whose self-life has been exposed and its hold broken by the Spirit’s power…Brokenness is an ongoing process. Daily the Spirit of God is revealing elements of the old nature still in operation. He is bringing out into the open fleshly ways of thinking and acting so He can break their hold over you, leaving you free to experience the victorious life of Christ in you. (emphasis mine)
Part of that victorious life is victory in prayer! If we want to be warrior women who wield effective prayers for God’s glory, we must practice the posture of prayer with a humble and broken heart.
2) Prove God’s Faithfulness by Praying His Promises
Warrior women can pray effectively when we pray the promises of God. This means that when we pray His very Word back to Him, we can be confident that He will keep His Word.
Here are a few examples of how to turn God’s promises into God-honoring prayer:
- “Father, you say in Jeremiah 33:3, ‘Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.’ So, I’m calling on You now and expecting that you will show me great and hidden things I have not known.”
- “O Lord, you promised in Matt. 11:28, ‘Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ I am burdened and heavy laden. I am bringing these burdens to You, expecting your promised rest.”
- “Gracious Lord, You tell me in Isaiah 41:10’…fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.’ I am looking to You to take away my fear, because You promised me that You will be with me and help me.”
Try doing this with every promise you find in God’s Word. Personalize it. Trust it. And know that God will bring it to fruition.
When we know God (His character and the truth of His Word), we can rest assured that God. Always. Keeps. His. Promises.
What freedom and power we have to come before His Holy throne and call on Him to do what He said He would do!
A warrior woman prays with this very confidence.
3) Prepare a Prayer List
With so many people, problems, and needs in our lives, it is easy to become overwhelmed with how to pray for them all. How many times have you told someone you would pray for them only to forget the moment you walked away?
Or how many times have you seen God answer prayer only to forget to record that answer as well as thank Him for it?
That’s why keeping some kind of organized prayer list is very helpful. To learn more about setting up a prayer notebook and using lists to pray, check out this post.
It doesn’t have to be anything complicated. Even a sheet of paper with the days of the week written across the top and the people you want to pray for under each day can be an effective tool for consistently praying for those you love. You can keep it in the front of your Bible for easy access.
Keeping a prayer list and recording God’s answers is a powerful way to see God’s faithfulness in your life, and it will help you trust Him for future needs as well.
- “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands.” Psalm 143:5
Organization can be a key component in becoming a prayer warrior!
4) Persevere in Prayer
A warrior woman keeps on praying. She does not give up.
The great church father, Augustine, had a mother who prayed tirelessly for the conversion of her son. She prayed, she wept, and she prayed some more. She longed to see him flee his licentious lifestyle and become a man of God. A bishop once encouraged Monica to keep praying. He told her, “It is impossible that the son of so many tears should perish.”
He was right. Not only did God change Augustine’s heart, he became one of the greatest theologians in church history.
Because he had a mother who was a persevering prayer warrior, fighting for her son on her knees.
We must fight for our families on our knees. If we aren’t persevering in prayer for those closest to us, then who is? If you’re married, who better to pray for God’s transforming power in the life of your husband than you? If you have children, who better to pray that God would raise them up to bring the Gospel to the next generation than you? Who better to pray for your coworkers, extended family, neighbors, and community than you?
We are encouraged again and again in the Scriptures to keep on praying.
- “And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” Luke 18:1
- “…praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,” Eph. 6:18
- “pray without ceasing;” 1 Thes. 5:17
The Devil wants us to give up. He knows the power of persistent prayer, and he will do what he can to discourage us and get us to quit praying.
A warrior woman perseveres in praying at all times for all things. In good times and bad. She takes everything to the Lord in prayer.
5) Procure a Prayer Partner or Prayer Group
What is even better than a praying woman? Two praying women. Or an entire group of praying women!
There is something powerful about the coming together of God’s people for the purpose of praying together. He promises to be in our midst:
- “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matt. 18:20
There is nothing that can bind our hearts together, draw us into deeper friendship, or cause us to effectively minister to the world together than praying with and for one another.
Just ask another woman or group of women to start getting together to pray. Don’t know who to ask? Pray about it! The Lord will lead you to just the right friend.
And if your church has a weekly prayer meeting, I encourage you to make that a priority each week. Spurgeon referred to the on-going prayer meetings held in the basement of his church as the “powerhouse of the church.” Are you part of that powerhouse? If not, you are missing out on great blessings in your own life and in the life of your church.
Together, we can become a powerful team of prayer warriors who accomplish great things for the kingdom of God.
I hope you’ve been encouraged to become a warrior woman…a prayer warrior who asks great things and expects great things from her great God.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” Eph. 3:20