You may be asking yourself why do Christians need training? The answer, of course, is we are not born-again knowing everything. JESUS' disciples knew this, for they said to Him: "Teach us to pray..." ~Luke 11:1
Again we go to our Manual of Arms, the Bible, for in it is presented everything that we need to know: How to properly use the Sword. How to conquer any obstacle satan and his cohorts throw our way. How to develop unlimited confidence in our Commander-in-Chief. How to get into shape and stay that way. How to respond instantly to orders, and so forth.
The Manual also reveals that our Commander wants all Prayer Warriors to be a unified force. Meeting the enemy as one solid unit of intercession. There are, at this time, nine items on the training agenda:
The 1st is how to put on our heavenly armor. We cannot take it for granted that it is on, we must positively make sure it is. Because putting it on is not just a recommended procedure...it is heavenly commanded!
In his book Prayer Warriors, Pastor Ron Halvorsen, Sr. says: "I find it helpful as a Prayer Warrior when I get dressed each morning to visualize putting on the armor of God. I put it on by means of prayer..."
Daily we face the battles that come our way through intercession for family members, church, acquaintances, etc. so we must be properly equipped and prepared. When the devil and his cohorts look at us, they must see us as ARMED...& DANGEROUS!
Though the armor cannot be seen or felt while we are wearing it, it is on us if we remembered to put it on. And once on we need to daily recommit our lives, allegiance, and loyalty to our heavenly Family to keep it on.
Second on the agenda, is Motive. That's right, what is the motive for our intercessions?
If it's because we want someone to be converted or healed or... These are all good reasons to pray, but the wrong motive. Our only motive must be to bring praise, honor and glory, to our heavenly Family, whether our intercessions are answered the way we want them to be or not.
3rd) Praise. What is praise? Is it something more than just saying "Praise the LORD?"
Praise is defined as "to endorse, elevate, pay tribute to, bestow honor upon, appreciate...etc." Praise comes naturally when we know our heavenly Family. Then it becomes a way of life solidly backed by the Scriptures.
To know our Commander, is to love Him and His Family!
4th) The Bible speaks clearly, and with a warning, that if we want the Father to even hear our prayers, we must get rid of the sin that so easily besets us (Psalm 66:18). But what is sin? I imagine most of you reading this, will respond, "Sin is the transgression (breaking) of the law.", and you are right, the Bible clearly states that. But there is another equally clear, and I believe more important definition of what defines sin. JESUS, our precious Savior and Redeemer, said it in John 16:9 "...because they believe not on Me."
The truth is, we don't have to break the Law to be sinners, we are born with sinful natures (Psalm 51:5). REAL sin is breaking our connection with the One who gave the law. The commandments are meaningless unless we have a relationship with Him.
Godly repentance is sorrow for hurting our Best Friend.
5th) Sincerity, or desire. Christians need heartful concern for what or who we pray for. Our intercessions must be specific and personal. No meaningless generalities such as "Bless Mrs..."or "Help Mr...", or easily-mouthed common cliches; but precisely and distinctly the real issues at stake.
We are to be filled with a hunger and desire for the salvation of the lost, and give the glory to GOD's name.
6th) Faith. Genuine faith comes only one way, and that is the result of knowing our heavenly Family on a one-to-one, person-to-person basis. And there are only two methods of establishing that kind of faith: reading the Bible, and prayer.
7th) Persistance. Some people will tell you it isn't necessary to tell the Father more than once what you're praying for and then leave the matter with Him.
Yet JESUS taught that our Father does hear persistent prayers--the kind that are in dead earnest. Witness the Syrophoenician mother pleading for her daughter (Mark 7:25); or the friend persistently pleading for food at midnight (Luke 11:5-10).
When the Father's will, name, and glory are at stake, nothing should stop us from pressing our petitions, our intercessions, more persistenly.
8th) According to the Father's will. How can we know for sure what we're asking is okay? Do all our prayers need the words "if it be You will" tacked onto them?
No, all prayers do not need to include "if it be Your will." The Bible is very specific when it says: "JESUS...came to seek and to save the lost." ~Luke 19:10; or "GOD is...not willing that any should perish..." ~2 Peter 3:9.
On the other hand, if there is no specific promise you can claim, then it is that you say, "According to Your will, Father."
Again, the more we saturate our minds with Scripture, the closer our relationship with GOD. When we put Him first in our lives, He reveals His will to us.
The 9th item on the agenda is Obedience. There are those who will tell you obedience dosen't matter, just love. But look at this from a secular military perspective. The soldiers are trained; drilled daily and consistently in the necessity of instantly obeying orders--punishable by prison if they refuse. Likewise, obedience to our Commander-in-Chief is imperative, both our spiritual and physical lives are at stake.
JESUS says in John 14:15 "If you love Me, keep My commandments." In more modern language "If you love Me, obey Me