By Clifton Angel
A child once asked me: "How does the devil get inside of you?" I was certain to point out that the devil does not have magical powers to literally take control of you or get inside of you, like we may see on TV or in video games. However, he is methodical and tricky (Ephesians 6:11), he is a lying, murdering enemy (John 8:44; 1 Peter 5:8), and he is trying to destroy us (1 Peter 5:8). I pointed out that he primarily gets inside of us through our eyes (the things we see, watch, or read) and our ears (the things we listen to and hear). James said, "Resist the devil, and he will ﬂee from you" (James 4:7). One very powerful method of resisting him is that of prayer.
We sometimes sing a song during Vacation Bible School that goes like this: "Oh, be careful little eyes what you see. Oh, be careful little eyes what you see. For, the Father up above is looking down in love. So, be careful little eyes what you see." The song repeats the same teaching concerning what our ears hear, what our mouths say, what our hands touch, and where our feet go. If only adults and children alike would adhere to the song's teachings! What does this have to do with prayer? Everything. You see, when we take a posture of prayer similar to that so often taught to children, it will help us obey the song's teachings and resist the devil.
We are not commanded a particular posture in prayer to our Father; however, a traditional posture taught to children is quite interesting. Children are taught to kneel on their knees, clasp their hands together, bow their heads, close their eyes, and talk to God. Think about this posture in relation to the song above. If I am kneeling on my knees, I cannot run swiftly to a place where evil abides. If am clasping my hands, I cannot be quick to touch that which incites the lusts of the ﬂesh. If my eyes are closed, I force myself to refuse all sights of wickedness. If I'm talking to God, my mouth is being used for pure purposes, and my ears only hear spotless sounds.
Prayer is one of the most powerful weapons we have against Satan. So often, we look at the armor of God of Ephesians 6:10–17 and we leave off verse 18. According to verse 18, Paul said "Praying always with all prayer and supplication." Our ability in this spiritual warfare will wane if we do not beseech our Father in prayer. However, in the "Sweet Hour of Prayer," we can "resist the devil” so that he will “ﬂee from” us.
- Clifton Angel preaches for the Coldwater Church of Christ in Coldwater, MS. He may be contacted through that congregation's website: http://www.coldwatercofc.com/