by Mark Peterson
“The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” – James 5:16 ESV
I was reading in Daniel the other day, and was struck by how important and vital prayer is. In Daniel 6, we see that Daniel’s practice was to spend time in prayer three times a day. Then in Daniel 10, he witnesses an awe-inspiring vision that leaves him speechless and trembling. He is then visited by a super-natural messenger who tells him that God sent him to speak to Daniel the first day he prayed for understanding. However, ‘the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me…”
I find this to be an amazing window into the world of spiritual warfare. Think of it: a messenger is sent from the throne of God to Daniel, but the forces of the evil one keep him engaged in warfare for 3 weeks! Meanwhile, Daniel persists in prayer, and help is dispatched to the messenger, so he can be freed up to come to Daniel.
This illustrates to me how potent and essential prayer is as a tool in our arsenal as Christ-followers. We struggle as Christians to find the time to pray. But if we look at examples in scripture of the amazing results of righteous people praying, we should be motivated to re-assess our priorities.
In Ephesians 6:12, we are told, “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” We are further encouraged to put on the armor of God and to “pray at all times in the spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”
This is why I am glad that I have a prayer-partner, and happy to be a prayer partner for another. It is a vital and integral part of a mentoring relationship.