When I was a young SWAT cop, our five-man team was scheduled to train with sniper instructors at the Army base in Fort Ord, California. Our day began with some bleacher time. We sat before a team of instructors learning the skills required to deliver a round downrange at long distances. I discovered that to call and deliver it accurately to an intended target involved a lot more than just lining up a scope with the target and pressing the trigger.
When we finally took our places on the firing line, we were coached on how to align our skills, knowledge, and equipment with a target barely visible to the naked eye and score a hit. I left that training day more informed, and more confident that I could call a shot and deliver the round accurately if called upon to do so.
My years in law enforcement have proved to be a seedbed of metaphors transferable to our spiritual life. One transferrable aspect is prayer.
This morning a friend in Europe sent me a message regarding the great intercessor, Rees Howells who lived in Wales during World War II. Howells wrote a book titled “God Confronts the Dictators” about confronting the dictators in Europe and predicting their defeat. He condensed one chapter of the book that became a booklet he sent to 20,000 ministers in Europe. He was inviting them to the firing line of prayer to create a united front of prayer with the goal to bring down the evil that was marching across Europe. Howells was bold in his faith. He called the shot of this prayer effort and prophesied Hitler’s defeat when it seemed to most that Hitler would prevail and eventually trample all the nations of Europe.
We are living in a similar time in history. Our front line of offense against evil is prayer, just as it was for Rees Howells during World War II. Intercessors are lining up on the firing line of prayer. The Lord wants those intercessors to add something to their prayers. He wants them to call the shot by prophesying into the atmosphere the outcome of their prayers. Those words will create the sound of impending victory like the distant report from a sniper’s rifle taking out a hostage-taker.
Prayer accompanied by the prophetic calling of a shot that proclaims victory over evil before the answer is delivered will fill the environment of our lives with increasing levels of confidence. It will create increasing confidence in the Lord that He will be faithful to deliver our prayers into the heart of the evil as it attempts to wage war against the will of God and bring untold suffering to people.
In the face of overwhelming evil, prayer is the most powerful weapon in our spiritual arsenal. Our prayers coupled with the proclamation of God’s intervention will call the shot. It will make the strongest of demons tremble knowing our prayers are moving downrange to bring an end their reign of terror.