Well it is time once again for the Minnesota Lutheran Education Conference. This is for Lutheran Church professionals a little like a high school reunion. you get a chance to catch up with all your old friends and partners in ministry and swap stories. It is also a place to be inspired and challenged in the why and the how of ministry.
As I sat in one of my workshops yesterday the presenter, as he was talking about the importance of prayer in handling the tough topics of life and ministry, made the statement, “I know that you are all prayer warriors.” He then did a great job of making his point, or at least I think he did. It was at that point that I began to wonder, “Am I a prayer warrior?”
As I pondered the statement, I began to come to a rather startling conclusion that I am not a prayer “warrior.” Don’t get me wrong I am a persons of prayer, I believe and trust in the amazing gift I have been given to have conversation with the creator of the universe. But a “warrior?”
I contend that I am a prayer “soldier.” It might seem like I am splitting hairs but I think the distinction is important. A warrior by definition is ” a person engeged or experienced in warfare, one who aggressively engages in battle.” this does not describe my prayer life. Now there are people I know who clearly could be called a prayer warrior. A soldier by definition is “a person who is enlisted or commissioned to serve in an army.” That is me, I have been called to pray, I know how to pray, and I do pray.
So why is this distinction important? As a prayer soldier I need to seek out prayer warriors to battle along side me. I need to recognize that while I have spiritual gifts, and I feel so very blessed for ministry, prayer is not one of my spiritual gifts. Once I admit that and know that it helps me recognize my need for others in the body of Christ. To surround myself with those who gifts differ from mine that together we might serve the kingdom, way more effectively that I can serve the kingdom on my own.
If I continue to add my name among those who are prayer warriors, I miss the privilege of calling into serve around me those who are warriors. But let me be clear on this one, this does not excuse me or give me a pass on the need to pray. I have been commissioned, enlisted, and armed by the Lord of Lord’s and King of King’s to fight for, defend, and increase the kingdom.
Thanks Michael for being an agent of the Spirit that I might ponder this question. So what about you? are you a prayer “warrior” or a “soldier”?