I took Brie and Hannah to prayer time this afternoon, a regularly scheduled weekly thing that I usually go to while the girls are at work, but today they were free and wanted to join me. Most of the usual family was there, and we prayed about most of the usual things. When we finished, I looked up and Brie looked a little stunned, sitting quietly on the sofa and staring straight ahead. I said her name a couple times and she blinked and followed me outside to the car.
"Well, that was... intense," she finally said. And Hannah agreed with an, "Um, yeah."
"What, you mean the prayer meeting?" I asked. I tried to think back and identify anything particularly strange about the time, but we're not really a charismatic group, and while our times are powerful and precious, nothing crazy stuck out to me.
"I wouldn't call that a prayer meeting," Hannah said, sounding a little overwhelmed. "It's more like... a battle."
"Yeah," Brie agreed, and I could see a dozen adjectives racing through her mind behind her eyes... I know that look - she was trying to find words for her emotion. Crazy? Powerful? Incredible? Ridiculous? Inconceivable? "I don't know if I'm out of shape or what, but that almost made me catatonic... I could feel the heaviness, the weight of the importance of the prayers... I can't speak. I can't even handle this right now."
I smiled. I knew what they meant. Our group looks simple enough - small people, older people, weak people, people with glasses, people who lose their cell phones, people with Midwest accents (yes, Indiana, you do have an accent here!). "Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were influential, not many were of noble birth..." But we have more in common than our unassuming facades; inside we are warriors, and we wield powerful weapons against the enemy of souls.
We love our friends so much that we are willing to fight for them - for their freedom from sin, death, fear, and shame, and freedom to live with peace, hope, joy, and love. We know there is an evil villain who wants nothing more than to steal, kill and destroy anyone he can. We also know we serve the great, victorious King and we know we can boldly approach his throne of grace with confidence on behalf of our friends. Today Eldon pointed out that we may be the only people on earth who are lifting up these friends of ours by name to our Father - what a weight of honor and responsibility that adds! What a privilege to be the warriors on the front lines fighting for them!
That is why we pray - not because we feel weak and incapable of doing anything else, but because we are strong and know that prayer is our very best plan of attack against the lies and wickedness of Satan. So if you ever see a small group of common people bowing their heads in solemn and earnest prayer on a Wednesday afternoon together, just know that, even if you cannot see it, there is a fierce battle going on... and we know that God will win.