“If Satan’s basic game plan is pride, seeking to draw us into his life of arrogance, then God’s basic game plan is humility, drawing us into the life of His Son.” -Paul Miller
Why is praying so hard, even harder than studying the Scriptures or sharing the gospel with others? Prayer plays a huge role in the spiritual conflict of good and evil. The scope of the conflict “in the heavenlies” is of such great proportion that only by looking at the Scripture can we get an insight into what is happening. Let’s look briefly at the book of Daniel.
Daniel 10:12-14 gives us some insight into the heavenly struggle Daniel faces as he prays and seeks God’s wisdom and understanding:
“Then he continued, ‘Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.’”
Daniel is praying and asking for something that God wants to give him, and God actually sends His messenger (an angel) to give Daniel the insight for which he had asked. The problem is that the angel was engaged with a Prince of Darkness called the prince of the Persian kingdom. The angel struggled to get past this demon of darkness that had great power and finally called for reinforcements after three weeks of struggle. Michael was superior to this being of darkness and removed him so that God’s answer could get to Daniel.
Can we experience the same things when we pray in Jesus’ name?
Ephesians 6:12 tells us that our struggle is not with “flesh and blood,” meaning people who have positions over us, people who are against us. This is not our struggle. It is against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, against the spiritual forms of evil in the heavenly realm.
Back to our question—why is it so hard to pray? When we study, Satan trembles; when we pray, Satan goes into “emergency session.”
If we allow the fear of evil forces to keep us from praying boldly, we may miss out on the great things God can do in and through us.
I have a great fear. It’s a picture of Heaven. Jesus is showing me around Heaven, and we pass by a big building.
I ask Him, “What is that, Lord?”
“Let’s not go there, John.”
“No, Lord, I really want to know what that building has in it.”
Jesus, in His great tenderness, asks me, “Are you sure, John?”
“Yes, Lord, please tell me.”
“OK, John. In that building there are huge boxes full of things—visions, goals, blessings, works—that I wanted to do in and through you. But John, you never asked Me for what I promised I would do if you called out to Me. Yes, John, these are the great and mighty things I was not able to do because you did not ask Me.”
So, my brothers and sisters, let’s commit to pray huge prayers for the glory of Jesus and the gospel. And after we ask our God for whatever is on our hearts, let’s tell Him to cancel our prayer request if He intends or desires to do something bigger. He has promised that He will show us “great and mighty things” that we don’t even know about.
Spend 60 seconds asking your heavenly Father to open your eyes to the power of prayer.
“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things… .” -Jeremiah 33:3
Never forget, even with plagues and visions, God is present with all the power and authority in Heaven and Earth. It’s time our light begins to shine for His name’s sake.
John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.