This post is part of a blog initiative for Leadership Journal’s Conversations. This is a new site and I was invited with some others to contribute to the conversation.
There have been plenty of intense times of spiritual battle. I remember one encounter that was especially powerful. It is not often that specific prayers of spiritual battle are verified after the fact. Most of the time I have prayed against the devil, for protection of people, and when I was scared of the dark. My most intense time of spiritual warfare stands out because it was more than my own experience. Others were sharing it. And, they were thousands of miles away.
I traveled to Chicago with my wife to interview with a church ministry in regards to a worship pastor position they were soon filling. Besides meeting hospitable midwesterners, experiencing fireflies, and eating authentic bratwurst, not much else from this trip was memorable. This season in my life included several interviews like this one.
I tossed and turned in bed. At first I thought it was the bratwurst influencing this deep pressure and emotional turmoil I felt. It soon became clear to me that I was supposed to get up and pray. A friend from my small group Bible study came to mind. It was as if I could almost see him in my mind.
There were no words heard in my mind, but I knew that my friend at that exact moment was in a spiritual battle and God chose to include me in the fight. I took note of that moment on the clock. With my wife sleeping in our hotel room bed near me, I got up and silently prayed. The few moments of prayer passed and I went back to sleep.
There was a moment when I wondered if it all was really the bratwurst. So, talking to my friend about the experience took some nerve. I asked him what happened at the actual time I woke and prayed for him. The timezone difference made it clear he was not in bed. His response amazed me.
My friend frequented a bookstore coffee shop in Northern California. He purposed to talk to people about his faith. He sat at a table and began a conversation with a man. My friend described something odd happening to him. He could not speak. Some force would not allow him to talk to this man. He said he knew it was a spiritual attack. From Chicago, I fought with my buddy in California.
The reality of spiritual warfare became much more real to both of us. In our small group Bible study, a friend experienced ritual sacrifices on a his property. In my circle of friends, marriages were under attack, and families were struggling as well. I received a gift to be included in the heavenly intervention of my friend’s attempt to share his faith. Looking for a fight? Spiritual warfare can find us, sometimes.
What is your most intense spiritual warfare experience?Leadership Journal, from Christianity Today, convenes leading ministry thinkers together and engages them in honest dialogue about issues in the church that concern you. Check out their new site at LeadershipJournal.net and sign up for a free trial issue of their quarterly publication.