Peter writes, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pt. 5:8). John describes Satan as a great red dragon with a huge tail and a voracious appetite to destroy God and the things that are important to Him (Rev. 12:3-4). These are not happy verses from the holy writ. Satan has a special disdain for God, His initiatives, and His people—that would be you and me. This should not be worrisome, however.
A few years ago, I got crossways with a hostile waiter in New York City. It’s a long story, but he got aggressive, even threatening me. I was having dinner with my brothers, and when the waiter stepped over the line, all three brothers stood up together. The message was clear: Mess with him, and you will have to contend with all three of us.
The waiter probably lost his job, and we got free meals from a horrified manager. The point is: Family stands together when the circumstances are demanding.
Prayer is familial affirmation of this spiritual reality: We are family. You have heard it said, the family that prays together stays together.
When I say, “Pray for me,” I’m reaching through a dark place to feel if you are there, with me, beside me, en force with me, standing with me. To be clear: I’m not asking you to stand with me before God. Jesus already did that once—and that was enough. I’m asking you as family to stand with me as reassurance when I’m feeling less than confident.
Let’s be clear: When we pray together, we are not ganging up on God.
Sometimes, especially when our prayers are not answered [correctly], we think of the verse that states, where two or three are gathered together in My name, I’m there. When prayer isn’t working like we want, it is tempting to reference this verse as the rationale to hustle away and find a friend or two to pray with us [against God]. Ostensibly, we get two or three together in order to assault the ramparts of heaven until God [relents and] answers our prayers [correctly]. Please. Everyone loses when we think of prayer this way.
The verse is simply God making the point: When the family is together, I’m present and accounted for—just like I am when you are by yourself. I’m with you because I’m in you and I won’t leave you because we are bonded together. If God is present in you and me, how could He not be present when we are together?
The enemy employs circumstantial strategies indicative of Earth’s fallen domain. There are extraordinary stressors, technical anomalies, last-minute cancellations, suffering spouses, disease, family trauma, distractions, and seemingly hopeless hardships. There are car wrecks, health problems, financial challenges, disappointments, losses, fallen friends and colleagues, tumult, floods, trials, and more.
In many ways, these things are normal aspects of life. But when I consider the volume, timing, and implications and consult with Father, He indicates, “Tell the family and ask them to pray.” The implication is: “After all, our family is filled with My Spirit, we have all authority in Jesus’ name, and we are standing together. If Satan messes with one of us, he messes with all of us.”