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Fighting Fire with . . . Prayer?

Greg Laurie

Think about the daunting challenge the church of the first century faced. They had no political base, no voting block in the Roman Senate, and no emperor of Rome who was sympathetic toward them. The first Christians did not outargue the pagans; they outlived them. Christianity made no attempts to conquer paganism and dead Judaism blow by blow. Instead, the Christians of the first century outfought, outlived, and outprayed the nonbelievers.

That is because they recognized that their weapons were not physical, they were spiritual. We don’t read that the Christians armed themselves and led a revolt against Rome. Rome had the most powerful military on the face of the earth at that time. The first-century believers essentially said, “Let’s fight fire with fire. Let’s recognize this is a spiritual battle, and let’s use spiritual weaponry.”

In Acts 12, we find the early church facing an incredible difficulty. Herod had James, who was one of Jesus’ disciples and the brother of John, executed. Then he decided to throw Peter in prison. So what did the church do? Did they undertake a campaign to have Herod overthrown? No. We read that “constant prayer was offered to God for [Peter] by the church” (verse 5).

What is the spiritual weaponry that God has given us to fight the battle today? It is primarily prayer and the preaching of the gospel.

The problem is that we don’t use this weaponry. We use political means or other avenues to try to solve the problems, and we end up like a person trying to put a forest fire out with a squirt gun. Let’s use the spiritual weapons that God has given us.

Taken from “Use Your Spiritual Weapons” by Harvest Ministries (used by permission).

Pastor Greg Laurie serves as the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, which has campuses in Southern California and Hawaii. He is the author of more than 70 books, hosts the nationally syndicated radio broadcast A New Beginning, and is the founder of Harvest Crusades, large-scale evangelistic events attended by millions of individuals worldwide. Learn more at Harvest.org.

Originally published November 16, 2011.