I’ve heard football coaches say that defenses win, but that doesn’t negate that fact that the best defense is a good offense. A team can have a good defense and keep other teams from scoring, but it they don’t have an offense that can put points on the board, they are not going to win.
Prayer is the offensive strategy for the Christian. Jessie Penn-Lewis, the great Scottish prayer warrior who played an integral role in birthing the Welsh Revival of 1904-05 wrote: “In the war upon the powers of darkness, prayer is the mightiest weapon.” God responds to the prayers of His people.
In Acts 16, the Apostle Paul and his missionary team made it 10 miles inland down the famous Roman highway, called the Ignatian Way, to the town of Philippi. When they find no synagogue, they were told of a group of Christians who had gathered by the river and found “a place of prayer” (Acts 16:13). Before there was a church in that town, there was a place of prayer. This city that had become a haven for retired Roman soldiers, had became the 1st city in Europe to be evangelized!
Lydia and the others met weekly at the same place to pray. Consistent praying keeps the devil at bay and allows the Spirit to work. I know a couple who prayed daily and fasted a certain day each week for the salvation of their children. The consistency of your prayer life says a lot about the power of God in your life.
There are lost people everywhere. But God has planted me and my family in a church that’s in the hub of East Texas. Every life in the 903 area code needs Jesus! Since God hears and honors consistent praying, I’ve made it a habit and challenged others to do the same: set your watch or phone to alert you at 9:03 a.m. or 9:03 p.m. to pray specifically for the lost in the 903 area code to be saved. At least once, if not twice, a day pray for the people whose hearts need to turn to Jesus.
As you read Acts 16 you discover that Lydia was a woman who had a heart for the Lord but she didn’t have the Lord’s heart. A person can be God-fearing without placing their faith in God. We must pray that as He did with Lydia, “the Lord opened her heart” (Acts 16:14). Salvation is a work for the Spirit not a work of man.
After hearing the Gospel, Lydia and her entire household believe the gospel and are immediately baptized. Most scholars believe that Lydia was a widow, but her household included any number of children still living at home as well as her domestic servants. What do you believe is possible for your family? What are you praying for God to do?
I’ve seen God do it in my own family. He draws and calls every person but in unique ways and diverse timings. We must not quit praying! If you want to see God move in big ways, pray big prayers! Prayer is not preparation for the battle, prayer is the battle.
What do you believe is possible for your whole family? Pastor Steve Gaines has said, “Show me the size of your prayers and I’ll show you the size of your God.“