“Since the days of John the Baptist…the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” (Matthew 11:12) The earth is inherited by the meek, but heaven is inherited by the violent! The Kingdom of God only gains ground on earth through daring, fearless, and passionate disciples.
John the Baptist was no Reuben, unstable as water; he was no politician, switching sides with the next whiff of breezes. John was constant, resolute, and unwavering. So, it is today. Demonic strongholds are only pulled down and destroyed through fixed, robust, wholehearted disciples who contend in prayer and stand fast to their convictions.
Thomas Watson, the highly esteemed, seventeenth-century, Puritan preacher and author wrote on this passage, “It is a metaphor from a town or castle that holds out in war and is not taken but by storm. So, the kingdom of heaven will not be taken without violence … Our life is military. Christ is our Captain, the gospel is the banner, the graces are our spiritual artillery, and heaven is only taken in a forcible way.”
This kind of prayer, what I call “contending prayer” is not for the weak, the easily dissuaded, or the passive. Therefore, most churches today (88%) are plateaued or shrinking — there are no violent prayer warriors. The strongholds of the enemy are forcibly advancing against such churches and they are dying out.
We are called to a holy combat against strongholds. It is a violence in prayer that is mighty in God for pulling down arguments, opinions, and theories that exalt itself against the love of God (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). We contend, we battle, we don’t quit in our prayers until righteousness and the grace of Christ is formed in our land.
Contending in Prayer,