During the American Civil War, an officer reportedly complained to his general that some of the troops in their camp were making too much racket as they prepared for combat. “What are they doing?” asked the general. “They are praying now, but they have been singing,” the officer said. “And is that a crime?” he asked. “Well,” said the complainer, “the articles of war order punishment for such an unusual noise.” And the general famously replied, “God forbid that praying should be an unusual noise in the camp!”
Prayer should never be an unusual noise, especially among those in the camp of the Lord’s army. Most of the time, our prayers resemble a quick voicemail, an occasional drive-thru order, or a brief pleasantry exchanged with an acquaintance. However, prayer ought to be a saint’s steady song. Believers are called to “pray without ceasing,” and to fill heaven’s golden censer with the “incense” of our prayers to the point of overflowing (1 Thessalonians 5:17; Revelation 8:3-4). And, we are commanded to “pray at all times” as we march to war against the powers of darkness (Ephesians 6:18).
The Lord welcomes and blesses such praying. As James assured, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). The “I’m-not-giving-up-no-matter-what” kind of praying is what God rewards. Unfortunately, we frequently miss out on the rain of God’s blessing because we haven’t rattled heaven’s windows open with the reverberation of constant prayer. God stands ready to answer our prayers, but we must stand ready to offer them.
Soldiers of the Lord, we must fill our camps with the constant anthem of desperate and bold prayer, or we shall have no chance of victory in our warfare against the flesh, the world, and the devil. We must say with the psalmist, “I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live” (Psalm 116:2). And may infrequent and irregular prayer be what is truly unusual to us!
Bible Gleanings is a widely-read weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky.
Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).