Last month, we encouraged you to begin praying for God to receive greater glory in heaven and on the earth. This month, we want to give you an example of how you can do this: praying for God to be victorious over His enemies.
At first thought, it does not seem necessary to pray for God’s victory. On the one hand, this is a good thought because it shows that we already know that God is (and will be) victorious against his enemies (Rev. 20:7–10). On the other hand, however, this thought denies something else we know about God: that God has chosen to accomplish his purposes through the prayers of his people.
Think about that! God has seen fit to allow the petitions of redeemed people, who were formerly his enemies, to influence the actions He takes in the world! Why does He do this? We don’t believe that there is an obvious answer to this question in Scripture. But here is one way we can think about it. When God chooses to answer the prayer of one of His children, that child, along with those who witness the answered prayer, realize that God is faithful to His children. This realization results in their faiths being strengthened and praise and glory going to God.
Let us give you an example of this from the book of 1 Samuel.
In 1 Samuel 7, Israel, after a long season of idolatry, chose to repent of their sin and return to the Lord (v. 4). Samuel then led all of the people in prayers and sacrifices of repentance at Mizpah (vv. 5–6). Seeing their opportunity, with all of the Israelites unarmed, the Philistines decided to attack Israel at Mizpah (v. 7). As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, however, the text says that “the Lord thundered with a mighty sound that day against the Philistines and threw them into confusion, and they were defeated before Israel” (v. 10 ESV).
This event is spectacular in and of itself. What an amazingly faithful God! He protected His repentant people from a powerful enemy. What is even cooler about this event is that this victory was actually an answered prayer!
Back in 1 Samuel 1, Hannah, who had been barren all her life, had begged God for a son. In answer to her prayer, God opened her womb and gave her Samuel! In thanksgiving, she prayed again; this time in worship of the Lord (1 Sam. 2:1–10). Within this prayer she says, “The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven” (v. 10). Little did Hannah know that God would choose to answer this prayer in order to help her son after she had already died! Could God have routed the Philistines without Hannah’s prayer? Yes He could have; but He chose to do it through her prayer so that Samuel, Israel, and even we could look back in the Scriptures and see her answered prayer and give glory to God.
Our hope is that this will encourage you to pray for God’s victory in your own life and for those around you. Here at Transform, we are in a spiritual battle for students’ lives. The enemy does not want them to be established in God’s Word. So during our events we experience spiritual warfare. We covet your prayers for God’s victory on our behalf so that nothing hinders these students from knowing God. Who knows, God might just use your prayer like Hannah’s!
Here are some requests for this month:
— Pray for the 7 interns as they will be traveling this weekend as the 10-week internship begins Monday, May 23!
— Pray for parents and students as they make preparations to come to EQUIP Boot Camp next month. Ask for peace for parents and comfort for the campers.
— Pray for hearts to be surrendered and ready to receive God’s Word as we dig into Ephesians this summer at camp.
— Pray for the camp staff and campers to walk away with a deeper love for God and greater understanding of the church as the body of Christ.
In His Grace,
The Transform Team