By Pastor Aaron Adame
We all understand the importance of posture when performing certain activities. Maybe you learned the hard way when you went to pick something up with your back and not your legs and you tweaked something—again, posture is important. In sports, set up is everything. A golfer, batter in baseball, linebacker on the line of scrimmage, tennis player receiving a volley, all need to pay attention to the set up. In the military, formation is key. Units train for hours and hours on the right formation so that their mission can be accomplished and as safe as possible. In the Lord’s Prayer, the last line of the prayer requests that our heavenly Father would deliver us from evil. Every day, we are engaged in a spiritual battle. All around us, there is a war being waged for the souls of people—even for the saints to stumble. So, the question is: what posture, stance, and formation are God’s people to take when facing such a battle and opposition? The answer is prayer! Which, when you think about it, is quite contrary to our initial assumption. After all, the typical posture of prayer is a rather vulnerable-looking stance—on our knees, hands folded, eyes closed and head bowed. Who fights a battle like that? But this is what is so amazing about prayer: prayer is a call for reinforcements in the spiritual battle for our souls. In prayer, we boldly go where no man can possibly go and do what only God can do. In Ephesians 6, Paul lists the spiritual armor that we as believers are to take up every day in order to guard ourselves against attack. But at the end of that list, in verse 18, Paul gives us the strategy by which we are to use this armor: “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.” Prayer is the way that we engage in the spiritual battle. In Deuteronomy 1:30, Moses reassures the children of Israel, as they were making their way to the promised land to fight their enemies in the land of Canaan, that the Lord their God would go before them and fight for them. When we pray, this is what we are doing. We are essentially stepping aside and letting God step in and do what He can do and promises to do—fight the battles waged against us. A few years ago, when I felt as though my prayer life was beginning to grow stale, I started reading a book of old Puritan prayers called The Valley of Vision. One of the prayers in this book was on the topic of spiritual conflict, which I will end with a stanza of that prayer as we all continue to fight the enemy on our knees. O Lord God, Thou art my protecting arm, Fortress, refuge, shield, buckler. Fight for me and my foes must flee; Uphold me and I cannot fall; Strengthen me and I stand unmoved, unmovable; Equip me and I shall receive no wound; Stand by me and Satan will depart; Anoint my lips with a song of salvation And I shall shout thy victory!