ARE YOU PRAYING FOR GOD'S PROTECTION DAILY?
IF NOT, WHY?
(By: Norm Rasmussen, Director, Precious Testimonies)
The longer I am a Christian, the more I'm amazed at how many other Christian believers I keep meeting who are not asking God for protection from evil on a daily basis. This is tragic! Somewhere we are greatly lacking in our teaching in the Body of Christ.
If you fall in this category, please hear me out.
More than likely, you are familiar with what is called 'The Lord's Prayer.' It is found in Matthew 6 and Luke 11. The disciples asked Jesus a reasonable and important question: 'Please tell us to pray more effectively.'
Jesus then gave them guidelines in praying that God felt were necessary to pass along to you and I as well, otherwise it would not have been recorded in the Bible, we must wisely assume.
I don't feel God wants this particular writing to be an in-depth teaching/admonition on all the different categories of 'The Lord's Prayer.'
I do believe that the Holy Spirit wants just these two categories addressed for this writing:
'And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.' (Matt. 6:13-14)
Are you asking God on a daily basis to keep the devil from tempting you to sin? If not, why?
Are you asking God on a daily basis to keep demonic attacks away from you? If not, why?
(This is not a put-down, okay? I'm aware that if no one ever pointed out the importance of your doing so, how could you know the importance of doing it?)
Do your realize that just because you are a born again believer that God is not necessarily obligated to keep you from all temptation to sin, and from all demonic attacks?
In fact, I can assure you that if you are not asking God to keep you from temptation and keep you from evil on a daily basis ' your walk with the Lord is not all it can be ... especially if you are desiring in your heart to be used of the Lord to somehow help reach lost souls. Satan is stealing your peace and joy and probably a few other things that he would not get away with otherwise if you were asking God for daily protection from evil.
Observe that Jesus didn't tell the disciples how few times they were to 'pray in this manner.' Will 'praying in this manner' be good enough to keep you from evil for 365 days if you pray it only once a year, say on January 1? Do you only have to pray it once a month? Once a week? How often is sufficient?
Matthew 6:11 reads: "Give us this day our daily bread." Notice it doesn't say: "Give us this week, our daily bread" or "Give us this month or year, our daily bread." The clear assumption is that Jesus is telling us in the Lord's prayer that praying "in this manner" daily is wisdom - wisdom - wisdom.
I can tell you this much - the Holy Spirit has told me personally to do it first thing each morning, before I go about doing much of anything else. Sooner the better, because it is so easy to get caught up in other responsibilities that it is easy to let hours slip by without praying and asking for His protection.
When the Holy Spirit moved me to do this some years back, I tried to tell Him that I thought daily was a bit too much - a bit too extreme (if you can believe it!).
I'll never forget how quickly He said, 'Are you the authority on how often you would be wise to cover yourself and family with a prayer of asking God to protect you from evil, your ministry, your possessions - everything God has given you stewardship over? Don't you think too much prayer is a lot safer and a lot wiser than too little prayer - especially when it comes to asking for God's protection?'
Gulp. That's what I call being taken to 'God's woodshed' and getting a mild paddling.
God tells us:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8 NKJV)
Do you think being 'vigilant' might mean to pray and ask God to protect you from evil on a daily basis? Is doing so once a day being overly vigilant?
Even after you've prayed first thing in the morning to ask God to keep you from evil that day, do you suppose asking Him to do so a second or third time when the Holy Spirit prompts you do so is also being overly vigilant, as conditions warrant it?
Believers who are active in ministry or in an evil work environment, on the front line for Jesus, cover themselves in prayer with the blood of Jesus many times a day, depending on how frequent Satan's attacks are against them. 'Vigilance' is relative to your situation on any given day or not.
If you are asking God to protect you from evil too often, if you are invoking the blood of Jesus over yourself and your loved ones too often, I assure you the Holy Spirit will let you know about it. You'll grow to discern in your relationship with Him 'how often' is enough.
If you are having a difficult time sleeping, or one or more of your family members are, are you praying out loud over yourself or them for God to keep them from evil that night? I do so every night, because I've had to. Satan so much wants to disturb us from having a restful night's sleep. Here's a tip also: It may take several days or weeks before you start seeing some positive results. Be persistent and don't quit. Quitting is not an option.
Praying first thing in the morning and just before bedtime that God will protect me and my household from evil is not optional, I found, the hard way! Along with asking God for protection - invoking the blood of Jesus over yourself and your household twice a day is not fanaticism, nor is being 'overly' vigilant. Doing so during the day when the Holy Spirit prompts you to is not being 'overly' vigilant. It is wise!
God tells believers in Ephesians 6 to use the weapons of our warfare He gives us. He doesn't give us those weapons to sit in a gun cabinet or cedar chest to collect dust and show off to our friends when they drop by. 'Praying always' (See: Ephesians 6:18) happens to be one of those weapons. How often is too much when it comes to praying for God's protection? Is asking God to keep you and your loved ones from evil daily too often? Is that being 'overly' vigilant?
Again, I believe discipline is required to pray for protection on a daily basis, but sensitivity to the Holy Spirit at any other given time during the day or night is also very wise to seek after. It will come. It will save you and your loved ones a lot of unnecessary pain, I can assure you.
I pray the Holy Spirit will quicken to your heart what He has to mine on this subject. May the Lord also bless you and keep you as you obediently learn to hear His voice and follow up on what He shows you to do according to His word (the Bible).
In closing, I would strongly urge you to read the following writing about waging effective spiritual warfare against demonic powers: How to Plead the Blood of Jesus for Deliverance and Protection. One statement, however, regarding what the author of this linked writing states that he makes mention once a month should be adequate in most cases in applying the blood of Jesus to our situations. I see more wisdom in making it a daily discipline. Even more than that, as the situation calls for it. How can one possibly go wrong?
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Remember: All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity. (Matthew 6:19-20 is our assurance)