site or Inside?
you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray
your Father who is unseen; then He will reward you openly" (Mt
the renewal of interest in the subject of intercession and spiritual
warfare has come the practice of organized walks across the streets of
cities and towns called Prayer Walks. Is this right?
and foremost, it must be pointed out that, according to Jesus, prayer must
be essentially offered in secret (Mt 6:5,6). He condemned the intentional
habit of certain religionists of His day who loved to pray "on the
corners of the streets." According to Jesus, the secret of prayer was
praying in secret. Rarely do we read Him praying in public. Even for the
sick He never prayed in public. He simply healed them.
Paul saw the city of Athens full of idols, he did not organize a Prayer
March. Instead he reasoned with people daily in the marketplaces (Acts
17:16,17). When Peter was imprisoned, the believers did not march around
the prison walls. Instead they prayed in houses behind closed doors, and
God miraculously delivered him (Acts 12:5,12,17).
march of Israelites around the walls of Jericho is the oft-quoted Biblical
example to support and promote prayer walks (Joshua 6). But this incident
is not meant to directly teach us about spiritual warfare prayer in the
New Testament era. The sphere of evil powers is "in the heavenly
places." We as believers in Christ are seated with him "in the
heavenly places" (Eph 6:12). As such the warfare is not at the
horizontal plane. We fight the enemy from above him. The triumphal entry
of Jesus into Jerusalem also does not suggest prayer marches.
"Hosanna" simply means, "Save us, O Lord!" It was just
a cry of anguish by the Jews to be delivered from the brutal rule of
promise that one will inherit whichever place he treads was a national
promise given to the Old Testament Hebrews. It was geographical (Dt 11:24;
Gen 13:14,15). In the Gospel dispensation it is not places but people. If
the time and energy spent to organize prayer marches are invested in
aggressive Gospel preaching, the Great Commission will be fulfilled much
sooner. Prayer marches are not wrong but they are unnecessary. It makes no
difference whether prayer is offered in site or from inside the closet.
on your way rejoicing, and to the world proclaim:
Messiah bringeth redemption thro' His Name!
(Fanny J. Crosby, 1823-1915)