«Do not be wise in your own fear the Lord and depart from evil» (Proverbs 3:7).
War is an extremely dramatic experience for the human conscience. Armies train their troops psychologically to help them overcome the horrific experiences of armed combat. Yet even if someone feels very prepared to face war, uncertainty, fear, and anxiety can loom over any soldier’s mind.
After having conquered the land of Canaan, some Israelite tribes had to fight several nations that still remained in the region. Under God’s guidance, they had seen great signs of His power. Great and famous armies had even fallen before them. But though they had obtained memorable victories and acquired experience in battle, they did not fall into the trap of overconfidence. That’s why when the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh had to fight the Agrites, Jetur, Naphish, and Nodad, and though the Hebrews had an army of forty-four thousand six-hundred sixty-six well equipped soldiers, they decided that their main weapon would be something else: prayer. The Bible says that they cried out to the Lord while in the midst of the battle, and the Lord helped them win (1 Chronicles 5:20).
As Christians, one of our greatest temptations is overconfidence; believing that our experience in church, our knowledge, and personal abilities are all we need to overcome all spiritual battles. That’s how we gradually abandon prayer and Bible study. This ultimately leads to an inevitable defeat. Then frustration, discouragement, and personal complaints come. So, when we wonder why these things happen, it’s important to remember Jesus’s words found in John 15:5, «without Me you can do nothing.»
Are you in the midst of a battle against temptation? It’s time to pray. Do you have fierce arguments with your parents? It’s time to pray. Are you facing serious difficulties in school? It’s time to pray. Are you going through chaotic times with your boyfriend or girlfriend? It’s time to pray. Just as God helped the Hebrew tribes defeat the Canaanites, He will help you overcome your troubles. But remember the secret: prayer in the midst of the battle.