Taking On Hell With a Water Gun…

Do you ever feel like you are taking on hell with a water gun

What I mean is, do you ever feel ill equipped to accomplish that which is set before you due to the many obstacles and distractions that tempt you, push and shove you away from your goals and purposes?

I have felt like this recently.  And what I have discovered about myself is that my prayer life is shallow.  Not in a trivial sense, but simply in terms of depth. 

How do I expect to carry out the tasks set before me when I am spending so little time in prayer?  Why am I so reluctant to stop and ask the Creator and King of the Universe for guidance, wisdom and help?  Why do I wake up, say a quick prayer for safety and care for my friends, loved ones, missionaries, and colleagues, and then charge the gates of hell with my plastic water pistol when what I need is the force of Niagara Falls?

I have been tremendously encouraged over the years by the writing and teaching of Beth Moore, particularly her Bible studies “Breaking Free” and “Praying God’s Word.”

On page 64 of “Breaking Free” Beth says this about prayerlessness:

“What victory the enemy has in winning us over to prayerlessness! He would rather we do anything than pray. He’d rather see us serve ourselves into the ground, because he knows we’ll eventually grow resentful without prayer. He’d rather see us study the Bible into the wee hours of the morning, because he knows we’ll never have deep understanding and power to live what we’ve learned without prayer. He knows prayerlessness lives are powerless lives, while prayerful lives are powerful lives!”

~Beth Moore

This is good truth.  So why, then, do I cower from prayer when I need it most?  It’s probably my own pride and tendency toward a “performance=acceptance” attitude about my relationship with God.  Which is so absurd because “performance=acceptance” is completely contrary to what the Bible says about mercy, grace, and faith.  The truth is, I will never earn righteousness in the site of God, so what good does it do me to wait until I “feel good” about praying to intercede?

C.S. Lewis is another one of my “faith heroes.”  If he were here today, I bet this is what he would say to me about prayer:

“What seem our worst prayers may really be, in God’s eyes, our best. Those, I mean, which are least supported by devotional feeling. For these may come from a deeper level than feeling. God sometimes seems to speak to us most intimately when He catches us, as it were, off our guard.”   

~C.S. Lewis

May our merciful Lord find me today, “off my guard,” and hear my prayers for grace, wisdom and discernment.  And may I stop believing the enemy’s lies of “performance=acceptance” and arm myself in prayer with the holy ammunition of God’s word:

Ephesians 6:18
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Romans 12:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. alece says:

    thanks for the reminder. i needed this today.

  2. johntalks says:

    p350 of The Irresistible Revolution, Shane Claiborne tells a Steve Chalke illustration about….

    “A kid stumbles across a raging house fire. As he looks around, he notices a water hose, which he quickly grabs, but then, as he frantically goes to put out the fire, he notices something else, something peculiar.

    All around him are fire engines with firefighters on them, but all of the firefighters are sound asleep. Now the little boy is left with a decision He can attempt the hopeless task of trying to put out the fire by himself, or he can take that water hose and begin spraying down all of the firefighters, waking them up so everyone can put the fire out together.”

    I am doing review of this entire book later today…

  3. jader says:

    These are very true and necessary words, AL. I think many of us struggle with this. …God intended for me to read this blog today —

    Last night I went home and just opened my Bible and prayed. I was/am discouraged from facing this daunting world, discouraged from “taking on hell with a water gun.” Sometimes God seems so distant and unreachable. Last night I felt like my prayer was one of those “worst prayers.” C.S. Lewis might be on to something here – our worst is really the best we can offer. To sit before God entirely vulnerable and just cry out “I want to run into your embrace, God,” I desire a physical embrace, but what I get is an emotional embrace. It’s hard for me to know that those “emotional embraces” are spiritual empowerment. I feel no more impactful in the fight with hell today.

    But that “worst prayer” was just reinforcement that I will NEVER conquer hell with my wimpy water pistol. This is just the God of the universe spraying me (his firefighter) with a hose to wake me up.

    Tough to understand and act upon in a backwards world.

  4. Shannon D. Stewart says:

    PREACH IT SISTER!!!! I have been telling Jon for the last few weeks that I have been having this problem. The only words that I could use to describe it to him were that I just felt inadequate to accomplish what God wants me to. You nailed it!!! I constantly live in what I call tension. I am living in this world, but I know that God has called me to live for Him in this world and I feel inadequate. You have encouraged me to get on my knees and to pray. I mean pray like I have not prayed in forever. On my face in my living room floor prayer. So, I am doing that right now, since Carlee Hayse is napping, I can do that. Thanks for your words. They always encourage me in ways that you will never understand.

  5. thelies says:

    Your prayers are working!

  6. Amy says:

    Just found your blog and needed this post today… thanks for sharing…

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