Recently my Sister and I were reading letters our father had written while in New Guinea during the war. We came across a church bulletin dated May 29, 1945, with an insert written by Arthur Mercer. Arthur told of a soldier who was caught going into the woods at night and then creeping back to his barracks. He was taken before the commander accused of holding communications with the enemy. The soldier's only defense was that he went into the woods to pray by himself. "Have you been in the habit of spending hours in private prayer?" growled the officer! "Yes, Sir." "Then down on your knees and pray now!" he roared! "You never needed to so much!"
Expecting possible death (or severe punishment), the soldier knelt and poured his heart out in powerful prayer obviously inspired by the Holy Spirit.
"You may go," said the officer when he finished. "I believe your story. If you had not drilled often, you could not have done so well at review."
We are in times of extreme pressure and unrest as a nation! As we hear about it in the news we know it is not just on our home front, but around the world! If we ever needed to pray it is now!
In the military, their drills could be at any time of the day or night and in all types of circumstances! They did this, so they would be prepared for the unexpected! They continually drilled to stay in shape and to be fit. Their uniforms were starched, their shoes polished, and rifles cleaned and ready. I remember my Dad's starched fatigue uniforms could stand on their own! His shoes were so highly polished you could see your reflection! Inspection times and reviews kept the soldiers disciplined and prepared in case of attack.
We also have an enemy with tactics of which we need to be aware. In our recent National Day of Prayer, Priscilla Shirer (star in the movie "The War Room") challenged us. As she read the scriptures from Ephesians 6:10-18 about our armor and how to be prepared she gave special insights! Priscilla spoke of the flaming arrows the enemy sends to take our attention off what really matters. When this verse was written the enemy would send flaming arrows not to hurt someone but to start fires that would demand their opponent's attention! In doing so the enemy could take ground. Many of the arrows that are sent to us are meant to stir up hatred or offense between races, political positions or groups. It's to get us mad at each other instead of realizing it is the enemy trying to gain territory. What really matters is to focus on how great God is and align with trusting Him. It's also a call to pray! It's our faith (or ability to trust Him in prayer) that quenches all the fiery arrows. "Above all, lift up the [protective] shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one." And... "With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] always [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all God's people. (Eph 6:16 and18 amp) Widows, we are called to establish territory with our prayers! (Pro 15:25) We are to guard our hearts so that we can! We cannot take offense!
If we don't drill often, we won't do well in the review! We are called to walk in love and unity. Find places of agreement and trust the rest to God! (That's why He's God and we are not!) Guard your heart against offense and being judgmental! (Put those fires out quickly, keep your focus on the bigger picture and chose to love!) Then our prayers will be effective, and we won't lose ground! At our "review" He will say "well done!" That's what I'm after!