When I answered God’s calling to be a prayer warrior, I had only a slight idea of what I was getting myself into.
Oh, I surely knew the basics, like the importance of putting on the full armor of God, as described in Ephesians 6:10-18.
I remember learning this passage in Sunday school class and reading it over and over during my yearly Bible reading as a born-again believer. The problem: it just wasn’t alive to me. It was like reading a theory of what should happen without fully experiencing the theory in action.
But this passage became very personal and dear to me only after I came face to face with battling the enemy and after nearly giving up.
You see, for most of my Christian life I believed that the supernatural (the miracle) gifts of the Holy Spirit have stopped with the apostolic church.
That was simply how I was raised to believe and how I was taught when I asked any questions regarding the Continuationist theology.
But as I began to read the Bible after taking the “Cessationist filter” off, I couldn’t agree with this teaching anymore.
So, when I started to pray for people to be healed, I felt like I was thrown into a battle I was totally not prepared for.
I was this little foot soldier, finding myself in the middle of a first real battle, engaged in fierce fighting against enemy front lines, believing that the victory is on our side, yet getting seriously wounded, no longer being able to fight, and believing that I have lost the battle.
For instance, doubt crept in after not seeing immediate results. I allowed this doubt to grow and it became a giant I was fighting against. The giant kept growing bigger and, in a short amount of time, it became so huge that the sheer size of it made me want to give up.
The enemy used this to his advantage, spewing lie after lie: “Did you really believe you could pray for someone and they would get healed? Who do you think you are? Were you really so naïve to believe all this supernatural healing happens today? It’s all fake. It’s all a placebo effect.” And on, and on, and on…
This was, as I wrote in the previous post, one of the darkest periods of my walk with the Lord.
Praise God He didn’t leave me in this state!
He temporarily pulled me out of that battle, nursed all the doubts away, renewed my strength through His Word and His promises, and put me back into the same battle we were all called to fight.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
As I began to read God’s Word, my faith grew. I yearned to spend more time in fellowship with my Father, praying and worshipping in the Spirit every chance I had.
I was learning to completely trust the Holy Spirit to lead me and to do what He wants me to do, not what I want to do. I was learning how to trust His leading even while being completely out of my comfort zone.
One day, I was spending a day in fellowship with one of my dear sisters in Christ. It was of no coincidence that we talked about prayer and how it plays such a vital role in spiritual battle.
Our discussion touched on the film “War Room.” The sister asked if I had watched the special feature on Molly Bruno, the real life Ms. Clara. I had not. And since I own the War Room DVD, I popped it into our player and watched the feature:
The Holy Spirit was convicting me throughout this entire video.
How could I expect any victories if I wasn’t serious about preparing for the battles at hand?
I was realizing just how little time I was spending in preparing for big battles and just how much time I was spending on small things that were distracting me from praying, worshipping, and reading God’s Word.
We all have those little things that distract us.
Mine were the Angry Birds 2 and the Candy Crush games on my phone. (Yes, pretty lame. I agree.) Let me just say that there is nothing wrong with playing innocent phone games, as long as these things don’t take away your time from fellowshipping with your Creator and spending time with your family.
I made sure I gave attention to my children and my husband during the day. However, when does a busy momma have any free time? My free time was after everyone was asleep or before everyone woke up. And I was spending all of it trying to get the three stars on every Candy Crush level and winning the “Arena” competitions on Angry Birds 2. The time left over for prayer and worship was just scraps.
Watching Moly Bruno talk with passion about her sacred time of worship and prayer with Jesus was encouraging and at the same time convicting.
The phone games just had to go.
Another lesson and another conviction came after we had talked about Moly Bruno’s life as described by her daughter who authored her mother’s autobiography. Moly lived out the Gospel, using every opportunity to witness to the lost. She didn’t believe in coincidences. She believed in divine appointments, which she used to advance the Kingdom of God. She was a prayer warrior who fought well, finished the race, and kept the faith – 2 Timothy 4:7
After our conversation, we prayed for the Holy Spirit to continue working in our hearts. We asked to be sensitive to His leading in our lives. We asked Him to give us the ability to recognize divine appointments.
We were both encouraged by what the Lord was doing in our hearts and were ready to put our faith into action.
Just as our meeting was about to end, there was a knock on the front door. Two Mormon missionaries were outside, apologetic for having the wrong house. It turned out they were looking for the previous owner of our home.
Was this an opportunity created by God to put our faith into action? I was sure that it was! We immediately told these young women that this “mistake” is not a coincidence and that we would love to talk to them. They were more than eager, and we agreed to meet with them at a later date.
The mutual agreement with my sister in Christ was that we would pray about the meeting. We would also pray for the Holy Spirit to prepare the hearts of those two young ladies and that He would help us prepare for the meeting. Above all, our desire was to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with boldness. At the same time we hoped that we would do this with gentleness and respect, as written in 1 Peter 3:15.
One of the young women left her phone number with me before leaving, and we agreed that I would call her to set up a date for our meeting.
With each passing day I kept putting the phone call off until “tomorrow.” Many such “tomorrows” came and went. I was simply getting anxious about the conversation.
One busy Saturday, I heard another knock on our front door. The two young ladies were standing outside my house once again! “Lord, you really want us to talk to these women,” I thought.
The day of our meeting was set.
As I prepared for the meeting, I thought about all the previous times I dismissed those who came to my front door. How many of you get visits from Jehovah’s Witnesses or the Mormon missionaries? How many of you easily dismiss them as I often did?
“Oh, I’m a Christian. I already believe in Jesus.” The message we really convey with those words is “we believe in the same Jesus and the same Gospel so, please, don’t waste your time here. Go on to the next house.”
These people come to our door! Are we missing out on golden opportunities – divine appointments – to share the real and the authentic Gospel of Jesus Christ?
All those times I dismissed those who came to our front door I did so because I felt unequipped and unprepared to have a conversation with someone who spends a lot of time equipping and preparing on how to debate with other Christians. I realized this was an excuse I used to get out of an “inconvenient” and an “uncomfortable” situation. This time, I wanted to be obedient to what the Lord unmistakably wanted me to do.
And so, after much praying and preparing, we met with the two young Mormon missionaries a few days later. The Holy Spirit led the conversation in a way He could only lead. We were able to present the truth with gentleness and respect. Well, my partner in Christ was being more gentle, while I was more straightforward, I think. God even took care of this little nuance! He knew exactly who needed to be partnered together to provide a perfect balance!
This particular battle is not over, however. I continue to pray over those two young women. I may never know of the ultimate outcome of our sharing the truth with them. It is possible that they may never come to see the truth. But I leave all of that in God’s hands…
The next day after our conversation with the young Mormon women, my own family was affected by the spiritual war raging all around us. Two of my children had sudden unexplained high fevers the morning after our meeting. I gave them fever reducers but their fevers decreased only slightly, rebounding back in a short amount of time.
Then I thought, What if this is the enemy attacking, trying to harm me through my children? It all made sense, as we were supposed to meet that evening for a time of prayer with my extended family and I had to cancel the meeting.
Uncomfortable as I was with the following action, that evening I went up to my room and commanded the enemy to stop the attack in the name of Jesus. I pleaded with God to put a hedge of protection around my children and my family. I submitted myself and surrendered my family to God’s will in our lives yet again – James 4:7.
The next morning the fever was gone from both of our children. How awesome is our God! All praise and glory be to Him forever and ever, amen!!!
As to my pleading for the Lord to give me much needed clarity on the miracle gifts of the Holy Spirit, He answered this in a miraculous way as well.
The same week, a monthly prayer meeting was scheduled by my prayer team leaders. Although I was planning on waiting until my baby daughter gets a little bigger before fully participating in the prayer team, the Lord had a different idea.
I had a strong urgency to go and attend the meeting. “I don’t know for what reason I feel like I need to be there. I just really feel like God wants me to go,” I said to my husband.
With the full support of my husband, I went to a first meeting I was able to attend in months. God was talking to me throughout the entire time I was there. It was an answer, after answer, after answer to all of my questions, especially ones pertaining to delayed healing or absence of healing.
A new prayer member shared a testimony of her life and growth in Christ. She also grew up in a Baptist family and in a church pastored by the late Jack McArthur, the father of John McArthur. Despite the cessationist teaching, she had witnessed miracles while praying with a group of other mothers from her church, including other miracle gifts like speaking in tongues while praying. The Holy Spirit was moving mightily in their midst and she went on to drop her cessationist views and became a continuationist.
I was so touched by her testimony! I was also refreshed and strengthened by the Holy Spirit through others in the meeting as well, particularly by another sister I became friends with. I am so thankful for this season of learning and growing…
Well, I literally want to put everything into words but can’t, for this post would turn out to be as long as a Ph.D. thesis dissertation.
At this point, however, I feel that the Lord wants me to write more about the arguments against the continuationist view and how these arguments are not supported by Scripture…
But this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: ‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS; EVEN ON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT And they shall prophesy. (Acts 2:16-18)
If you want to start learning about what Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons believe in and how you can witness to them, this video is a good start:
You can also check out this website for more resources on other religions and faiths: https://carm.org/
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