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Prayer, Plain and Simple

Today I’m walking uphill against the wind. I’m exhausted physically, my mind is skipping circuits, and I have the motivation of the banana slugs I used to collect as a child in the mountains above Santa Cruz. If I look beyond tomorrow, I can’t see imagine how certain perplexities will get solved. I don’t have a reserve of any natural hope today. It’s a fight, I admit it. In biorhythm terms, I’m in a trough in deep need of real rest. I’m weary. But I must keep fighting.

 

I live in a “do or die” world. A ruthless enemy plots my downfall crouched in ambush, waiting for a weak moment when I led down my guard. Don’t scoff: You live on the same planet and under the same conditions. Living here for any of us is never easy. Where did we ever get the idea that it could be? We must fight for peace, and peace of mind, family, provision, sanity, purity, and our very lives. Fighting is not optional. Sure, I wish the whistle would blow, and the round would end, but this never-ending-wrestling-match-struggle goes on without a pause. Fighting isn’t optional, neither is winning. The question is not “if” we fight, but “how?”

 

As a follower of Jesus Christ I’ve committed to living to honor him. Jesus fought his way through life. That’s comforting. He endured the same struggles I face, and he prevailed. That’s hopeful. So, how did Jesus fight and win? That would be good insight on day I’m walking up hill against the wind.

 

The popular image of Jesus paints him as a meek and mild saint. Yet beneath what appears a passive veneer we find an aggressive, militant, warrior engaging invisible spiritual forces of evil. Jesus never fought against humans, even those who came against him. He understood the nature of his enemy and he understood the weapons he needed to conquer them – words.

 

The primary conflict in the universe is a war of words. Jesus understood this and he engaged and defeated his foes first and last by what he said.  He enlists us to do the same, to borrow his words and join the fray as we pray and persevere when we’re spent and weary and longing for rest.

 

I have fleshed out these ideas in a short ebook called, Fight Like Jesus. It’s available for free download at www.markherringshaw.com

 

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