How to Pray/My Prayer/Teen Prayer Bring it to the Light: Combating the Darkness of Spiritual Attack by Timea Zabo It was way past my bedtime. My contacts were way dried out. And all I wanted was Nutella. I was in my best friend’s car, a Volkswagen Jetta she named “Genevieve” (because we girls are relational and befriend even our inanimate objects). We had just finished a campus ministry meeting that went late and I was ready to get dropped off. Truth is that there was a certain heaviness in my heart and I was not talking about it. The past few days I was in a gloomy funk, which made it easy for me to be plagued with negative thoughts. And I was doing a GREAT job hiding all this. As we approached my house, I started to unbuckle my seatbelt. And then there was that inner nudge. OH NO. NOT THE NUDGE. You know…the one that gives you the daunting idea to do something right that you really should do. It said, “Tell her what’s going on.” “Nope. Not happening. I don’t want to burden her or seem like I’m complaining.” But the idea didn’t go away. “Fine. I’ll just vaguely ask for prayers,” I compromised. I obviously wasn’t going to shake this feeling. She was pulling up to the curb of my house; meanwhile this is all going on in my heart. Well, here it goes… “Hey, real quick before I go, I just wanted to ask for some prayers. Yeah, so weird, but today all day and especially at the meeting I was just feeling so inadequate and I couldn’t stop comparing myself to everyone and felt like I was useless and doing so little. So would you just mind praying for me?” Before I could even finish my sentence she nearly jumped out of her seat and screamed, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I’ve been feeling the same thing and I was literally just about to drive home and cry in my bed! This is spiritual attack — we have to pray!” She whipped Genevieve into gear and pulled into the nearest parking lot. Immediately we started praying together, renouncing the lies we were hearing, asking for God’s graces and consolations. She starts, “Heavenly Father, how good it is that you have given us community and each other. You yourself live in the Trinity and show us that it is good to be together especially in times of darkness. We bring to the light what plagues us because we know Satan shudders at the sound of Your name. We renounce the lies that Satan is telling us and ask that You help us to believe how magnificently You have made us. Please give us the peace of heart to go home and rest in You. Jesus, all this in Your most holy and precious name we pray. Amen.” And just like that, I immediately felt lighter. It was incredible what that time together did. I couldn’t help but think of the time in Scripture when Jesus said, “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). And just in case someone is like me and didn’t know what a “yoke” was (I thought it was my breakfast), it is a wooden neckpiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the cart that they are to pull. Imagine being the only one pulling your cart behind you. Pretty miserable right? That’s what I had been doing this whole time. But when I look over to my right I see Jesus running towards me from a distance. He willingly, with zeal, puts the yoke on and starts pulling the wagon next to me. Wow. The difference is like night and day. Then He goes “I brought your friend to help too.” I look over, and He brought my friend to help me carry the load! Now all 3 of us are pulling the wagon together. Suddenly, I can run. The Lord PROVIDES. That is the beauty of asking and bringing things to the light. The Fight The burdens I tend to carry in my cart can be fears, past wounds, and spiritual attack. Spiritual attack is the enemy’s tactic to undermine our relationship with God by using tricks like whispering lies to make us feel discouraged, unworthy, and isolated (John 10:10). My campus minister once told me that spiritual attack can be like sitting in a dark closet with the evil one. Picture this: he has night vision. And you don’t. He can throw some pretty good punches because he knows exactly where you are but you’re just playing defense hoping to protect yourself. But to play offense, you have to flip the switch to turn on the light. With the light being on, Satan is still in the space but now you can FIGHT BACK. You can aim your punches to hit exactly where you know he will have to back down. (A.K.A. you know EXACTLY what to ask for in prayer). “The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” (Luke 10:17). Flip the Switch Bringing our spiritual attack to the light is exactly what the evil one does not want us to do. It brings us closer to God. Here are some ways we can do that: Pick a strong teammate. This person of the same gender can be a spiritual friend, a youth minister, or a trusted person who can lead you and who you can consistently confide in. Vocalize your heart. As hard as it may be to say some things out loud, it creates a space for them to speak truth into that certain part of your life. Be specific when praying together. Jesus says that when two or more are gathered in His name, He is in their midst (Matthew 18:20). Call on Jesus. Satan flees at the sound of His name because it has power beyond measure (Mark 16:17-18). Satan wanted me to stay in the dark about my struggles that day, which would have made me prone to thinking I am alone. He wants me to remain isolated. Imagine if I hadn’t asked my best friend for prayers. She too would have thought she was the only one in darkness that day. That initial ounce of courage does take strength, and may seem daunting but when we turn on the light, we take a leap of faith and pay the Lord a huge compliment. We entrust our struggles and worries to Him. In turn we build our relationship with Him and make room for Him to work. When we trust in Christ and belong to Him, the enemy has no chance at having the final word in our lives. We will have struggles but take courage, because the battle has already been won.