For me, this has been a normal morning. I woke up early to go to the Prayer Room at my church. I love my time in the Prayer Room. It’s early. It’s quiet and in these moments I get to visit with God about things that wouldn’t normally cross my mind. I pray through our church’s Prayer & Care Guide, about upcoming Mission Trips and other church related ministries and challenges. I also pray for friends and family. The conversations God and I have had from this room have shaped my thoughts on a significant number of things.
More than that, I’ve seen God change people and circumstances as a result of the conversations we’ve had in this room. It’s my favorite quote on prayer. “With faith you can move mountains, but with prayer you can move God.” And that’s been my experience from this small room hidden away in the early of the morning in a quiet corner of our church building.
This morning my experience was a little different. Take a close look at the picture. That’s the coded lock on the door to the Prayer Room. Do you see what’s seems to have made it’s new home inside the door? Yes. It’s exactly what you think it is. A SNAKE! It’s not a very big one, mind you. But there it is, sticking it’s tongue out at me, watching me cautiously, defending it’s space and daring me to go through that door.
Being the fearless city-folk that I am, I paused. My first reaction – “I gotta get a picture of this!” Followed shortly by, “How am I supposed to get in there now!? Maybe I should just go back to bed.”
So cautiously I took out my phone and snapped a couple of pictures. “Blasted iPhone – where’s my zoom!?” I had to get much too close for comfort to get that little picture you’re looking at above. It was through the screen of my iPhone that I realized a couple of things.
THIS SNAKE IS SCARED OF ME.
The closer I inched to the door with my phone the more the snake recoiled, trying to get away.
THIS SNAKE IS REALLY SMALL.
It may have been small…but it had HUGE TEETH! At least that’s what my imagination told me. I always tell my kids that true courage is, “being afraid but choosing to do the right thing anyway.” So in the face of this tiny snake with the HUGE imaginary TEETH I pressed forward. Far from the snake I banged the door with my fist. At the first rattle the snake disappeared inside the door. I waited a few seconds and tapped the door again, then slowly, deliberately I pressed the numbers on the coded lock, opened the door and went inside. Later this morning we’ll fish the snake out, never to bother another person again.
The spiritual picture that comes to mind in this situation is pretty blunt and plain to see. The devil is often symbolized as a snake. How often does he try to take up residence in the door between our daily life and our prayer life? How often do we let this little snake with HUGE imaginary TEETH stop us from pouring out our souls to our Heavenly Father? How often do we see this little obstacle and turn away from speaking, turn away from hearing, turn away from experiencing the power of God in our lives?
As a Believer the Devil is as scared of you as that tiny snake was of me. He has no power or authority over us. His mouth is too small to do any real damage and those fangs I keep seeing as huge are really no larger than a small pencil lead.
Today – don’t let Satan stop you from praying. Don’t let him take up residence in the door of your prayer life. Resist him and, like the snake in my door, he will flee from you.
Satan works diligently to keep us from praying. I believe he’s attacking churches all over the world right now. He does that by attacking believers. He is most effective when he can keep God’s children from praying. Don’t let him in. Don’t let him win.