This is part 4 in a series on Kingdom conflict leading up to a conference on the role that Kingdom conflict plays in Christian counseling in the DC area. For more information, please e-mail me.
When we experience Kingdom conflict our greatest weapons are those that bring us into the presence of our LORD. Worship is a great one of these but let’s think about some of the other ones. But what are some other ways to enter His presence and enter His house?
“My house shall be known as a house of prayer.” Now this means that the temple, is literally a place in which prayer occurs, but it also means, and in my opinion this is the more important, that the house of the Lord has it’s walls, foundations, and roof made up of prayer. When we pray in earnest, with all our heart and being, it builds up the house of the LORD, a place where we can then enter and seek refuge. But what does that kind of prayer look like? Because we can pray against things until we’re blue in the face and still fail to overcome our trials. This is because it is more powerful by far to build up than destroy, to fight for something, instead of against it.
In other words, pray in the spirit OPPOSITE to the trial you face. Facing a trial of lust? Pray to Jesus for purity and thank Him for making you pure. Facing a trial of distraction? Thank God for focus and self-control.
The best thing about this tactic is that it isn’t just for the moment. This isn’t a battle strategy to deal with the enemy in your face, but also serves as a long term strategy to overcome these trials in the long run. I don’t know about you, but when I’m faced with serious temptations they don’t just go away when I’ve managed to fight it off the first time. It keeps coming back again, and again and again. I pray for the quality that will enable me to overcome it, and in the long run, it becomes a non-issue….generally. (for an example see 2 Corinthians 12:1-9)
Two important notes on this topic.
It only works in the context of spiritual warfare/conflict. I might be suffering from mild depression because of the loss of a loved one. That is a counseling moment not a “Lord thank you for teaching me joy” kind of prayer moment.
We do not exist in a vacuum. There are days when I can tell you I am just too overwhelmed to even think about praying. But that’s why we are a body – Church Universal. In other words: we are not alone. Doesn’t matter what you suffer. Doesn’t matter what the fight is. Doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter, no excuses, no exceptions. Your brothers and sisters in Christ are there for you. If you can’t pray it over yourself, ask someone to help you out. Other side of the coin means that you are there for others as well. And if you aren’t ok with counseling someone, then don’t do it, just sit there and pray with them. So many times problems and conflict can be taken care of with a good friend, a trusting brother by your side saying a prayer with you. All it takes. God will do the rest.