Pray that the saints would be deeply touched with the importance of their prayer and with the great resistance to their prayer, and that they would make a vow to the Lord concerning their prayer life at the beginning of the new year (Eph. 6:18-19a; Col. 4:2; Dan. 10:12-13).
Eph. 6:18-19a — By means of all prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit and watching unto this in all perseverance and petition concerning all the saints, and for me.
Col. 4:2 — Persevere in prayer, watching in it with thanksgiving.
Dan. 10:12-13 — And he said to me, Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand this matter and to afflict yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me for twenty-one days; but now Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I remained there alone with the kings of Persia.
Although the battle raging in the universe is between God and Satan, another party is involved. This third party consists of God’s chosen and redeemed people, the ones who will actually decide the outcome of the battle…
In order to fight on God’s side against Satan, we need to persevere in prayer. This perseverance is needed because the course of the whole world is away from God. To pray is to go against the current, the trend, in the fallen universe. Persevering in prayer is like rowing a boat upstream. If you do not persevere, you will be carried downstream by the current. No doubt, to persevere in this way, either in rowing or in praying, requires a great deal of energy. The entire universe is under Satan’s influence and is contrary to God’s will. Hence, there is a strong current in the world in opposition to the will of God. As those who take sides with God, we find that the whole universe is against us and, in particular, against our prayer…
In light of the fact that there is great resistance to praying, let us now consider in a very practical way how to persevere in prayer. Before you try to persevere in prayer, you should first make a deal with the Lord concerning your prayer life. Pray to Him in a definite way and say, “Lord, I mean business with You about this matter of prayer. I call heaven and earth to witness that from this time forth I will have a life of prayer. I will not be a prayerless person. Rather, I will be a praying person.” If you do not have such a prayer to the Lord, you will not be able to persevere in prayer. We need to say to Him, “Lord, I am desperate about this. I offer myself to You so that I may have a prayer life. Lord, keep me in the spirit of prayer. If I forget this or neglect this, I know that You will not forget it. Remind me again and again about prayer.” This kind of prayer may be regarded as a vow made to the Lord. We all need to make a vow to Him concerning our prayer life. We should tell the Lord, “Lord, I know that if I forget this vow, You will not forget it. From the very beginning, Lord, I want to clearly hand the responsibility over to You. Lord, don’t let me go. Remind me to pray.” (Life-study of Colossians, msg. 65, pp. 578-580)
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