“We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there’s nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all.” – Oswald Chambers –

Is prayer your last resort when all else fails? Is God there for you for emergencies only?

Our God lavishly extends His mercy and grace to His children. His desire is that we seek His help anytime, anyplace and in any situation. Yet too often we wait until our circumstances are desperate before we cry out to Him in prayer.

“We regard God as an airman regards his parachute. It’s there for emergencies, but he hopes he’ll never have to use it.” – C.S. Lewis

Perhaps trials are besetting us that we have attempted to remedy ourselves to no avail. Troubles may be surrounding and nearly overcoming us. Or our burdens may have become so great that we are sinking beneath their weight. We become disheartened and our fears rise within us. Our hope begins to ebb away.

Times such as these require combative prayer… an important defensive strategy for our spiritual walk against whatever may be coming against us. When we are drowning in our present adversities, our need for help is in the here and now.

Combative prayer is entered into while we are anxious and distressed. The battle is already underway. We take up arms and fight with our prayers… petitioning our Lord for help in our troubling times. Yet this type of prayer can tire us and sap our strength.

“‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” – Zechariah 4:6

Great biblical heroes like David, Daniel, Hezekiah and Nehemiah were men of prayer. When faced with mountains, they prayed to their mountain moving God. When heading off to battle against their enemies, they prayed to their warrior God.

They understood their desperate need for the Almighty in their lives. For it would not be their own power or that of their armies that would prevail. It would be the mighty power and Spirit of God.

At times, biblical heroes faced dire situations where combative prayer was their only answer. Yet often we read of them praying preventively. They sought the omnipotence of God before desperation came upon them. They paved their way ahead into the future with prayer.

“Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?” – Corrie Ten Boom

A key offensive strategy in our Christian walk is preventive prayer… a strategy we should not neglect. Just as we practice preventive care for our physical health, so we need to practice preventive prayer for our spiritual health. The future becomes not just the best we can do… but the best God can do.

“If anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, God listens to him.” – John 9:31

When we plant seeds in our garden, we do not expect immediate results. So it is with our prayers. We plant seeds of prayer today for our tomorrows. They are seeds that will grow and blossom in time. Whether for ourselves or for those we love, we pave the way to the future with our preventive prayers.

Our seeds of prayer are powerful for bringing about God’s mighty works on our behalf. He uses our prayers to move mountains that try to hinder our spiritual walk. He guides us away from tempting circumstances. He opens doors of opportunity that would otherwise be closed. He prepares us for victory in our battles. He makes a way through the storms in our lives.

“Some people think God does not like to be troubled with our constant coming and asking. The way to trouble God is not to come at all.” – D.L. Moody

God loves to take our seeds of expectant prayers and nurture them to bring about His perfect will. We plant our prayers in faith, believing in His mighty power to bring to pass His answers. These seeds may lie buried in the ground for a season. Yet we wait patiently for God to act. In His omniscience and timing, He will awaken our prayers to life and cause them to bloom and grow.

What seeds of prayer will you plant for the future in your life and in the lives of those you care about? Seeds of love, joy, blessings? Seeds of wisdom, direction, perseverance? Seeds of healing, restoration, deliverance? Seeds of protection, trust, faith? Seeds of opportunity, victory, hope?

God will act mightily for His treasured children…. we need only ask. We plant our seeds of preventive prayer for the future as we abide in Him… patiently anticipating Him to work in His infinite wisdom and timeline. We abide with resolute faith… believing He will answer.