Pete hasn’t had a break all week. First it was just the distraction of moving back into our house. Then the email router at the ICTA office stopped working. That used up five days and it still isn’t really fixed. On Thursday a construction crew on the street outside the office accidentally hit a gas line, and the entire building had to be evacuated. So much for getting any work done.
That evening our router at home starting having fits and we lost our internet service. Then, while on the phone to the phone company (which also provides our internet service), the home land line died. (You know it’s bad when you can’t call the phone company!) Oh, and did I mention that our poor cell reception is augmented by a “personal cell phone tower” which runs, you guessed it, over the internet. Pete had to leave the house to call the phone company on his cell phone.
Meanwhile, a growing pile of miscommunications and the resulting squabbles have everyone on edge. Coming right on the heels of the fire, we could really use a break, not more stress.
I’m not one to accuse demons for everything that goes wrong. (I prefer to keep my focus on God.) We live in a fallen world, and most of the time I just attribute life’s hassles to the perversity of the universe. However…
This is looking pretty suspicious. Satan loves to kick us when we’re down. This moment is certainly ripe for attack, and this sure looks like an attack. It’s time to fight back. Prayer meeting, anyone?
It’s often hard to discern between the normal tendency of things to go wrong and a focused attack from the enemy. How can we tell? We don’t want to see demons behind every bush, and we certainly can’t blame them for our shortcomings. On the other hand, some problems are not “natural,” and the only way to deal with them is spiritually.
We’re definitely not experts at this, but we have learned a few things over the years. For one, the Holy Spirit lives inside us. He will prompt us to stop and pray, guiding us with insights specific to our circumstances. Often an attack is accompanied by a diffuse feeling of heaviness, sort of a gloomy pall that weighs heavily on our emotions and spirit. It pays to be sensitive to things we cannot see.
Sometimes the annoyances begin accumulate; and at some point you look up and realize that you’ve been slogging through mud that just keeps getting deeper. It dawns on you that something, or someone, just might be behind the aggravations.
As I mentioned earlier, Satan attacks us when we’re most vulnerable—when we’re sleep deprived, distracted, overwhelmed, or in emotional or physical pain. Think of the devil tempting Jesus in the wilderness, immediately after he’s just completed a 40 day fast. At such times we need to be particularly vigilant.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt to pray even if you’re not sure what’s going on. If fact, we’re finally learning not to wait until we’re desperate. Years ago Pete’s laptop died on him in the middle of an urgent consulting job. It was still under warranty, so he called for service. Over the course of several days, the company replaced every single part of that computer—and it still wouldn’t work! That’s when it finally occurred to Pete that he just might want to pray over the machine—and when he did, it booted perfectly.
Scripture tells us that we can clobber Satan, not in our own strength, but through the power and authority of God. We don’t need to put up with this garbage! I’m still a novice at “warfare prayer” and there are many divergent views on what that term entails, but just because I don’t understand it all yet, I can still pray. God knows my heart.
Since you’re reading this post online, you know that our internet is working again. As I write, I still don’t have access to my email—10 days’ worth and counting. If you are wondering why I’m not answering, well, now you know. Prayer support is appreciated!