“So the truth is reaffirmed: God has given us prayer because Jesus has given us a mission. We are on this earth to press back the forces of darkness, and we are given access to headquarters by prayer to advance this cause. When we try to turn it into a civilian intercom to increase our conveniences, it stops working, and our faith begins to falter. We have so domesticated prayer that for many of us it is no longer what it was designed to be-a wartime walkie-talkie for the accomplishment of Christ’s mission.
We simply must seek for ourselves and for our people a wartime mentality. Otherwise the biblical teaching about the urgency of prayer and the vigilance of prayer and the watching in prayer and the perseverance of prayer and the danger of abandoning prayer will make no sense and find no resonance in our hearts. Until we feel the desperation of a bombing raid or the thrill of a new strategic offensive for the gospel, we will not pray in the spirit of Jesus.
The crying need of the hour is to put the churches on a wartime footing. Mission leaders are crying out, “Where is the church’s concept of militancy, of a mighty army willing to suffer, moving ahead with exultant determination to take the world by storm? Where is the risk-taking, the launching out on God alone?” The answer is that it has been swallowed up in a peacetime mentality.
We are a “third soil century.” In the parable of the soils, Jesus says that the seed is the Word. He sows his urgent Word of kingdom power. But instead of taking it up as our sword (or bearing fruit), we “are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful” (Mark 4:18-19).
This is why Paul says that all of life is war—-every moment. Before we can even engage in the mission of the church, we have to fight against the “the deceitfulness of riches” and “desires for other things.” We must fight to cherish the kingdom above all “other things”-that is our first and most constant battle. That is the fight of faith. Then, when we have some experience in that basic battle, we join the fight to commend the kingdom to all the nations.”
Let The Nations Be Glad! by John Piper
(The Supremacy of God In Missions through Prayer: page 51)