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Preemptive Praying

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Have you noticed that most of the prayers that most of us pray regularly tend to be in response to situations that require our immediate attention? When a friend gets struck with a disease, we pray when tragedy comes across the screens that are forever before our eyes or when we need a parking space. When it comes to praying, most of us tend to be responsive and reactionary. While there is nothing wrong with this, as with all wartime strategy, we need to be on the offensive and defensive. Please make no mistake about it, the scriptures (Ephesians 6:12) are correct when they say we are in a spiritual battle.

I was recently reading the book of Deuteronomy, chapters two and three, where we see God’s preemptive strikes in defeating the enemies ahead. In these verses, Moses reflects on God’s faithfulness, thus far, through the wilderness thus far and thinking through, with God, the battles that lie ahead. It’s almost as if God and Moses are strategizing in God’s war room as to how they will move the people and purposes of God forward. Within this dialogue, there are at least three things that God does preemptively as His strategy to love and dwell with His people is revealed.

God says that He will begin today to put fear into the hearts of those who are against us (Deuteronomy 2:25). Many of the responsive prayers that we find ourselves praying are because we are the ones who are fearful about what is happening. Fear is not a trait of the
kingdom (the perfect love inside of us drives it out - 1 John 4:18), but God uses fear to divide, confuse, and defeat our enemies. God preemptively causes our enemies to fear the movement of God. As we study our culture, we see that many of those who have set themselves up as enemies of God are acting out of their fear of Him. Fear never wins. Love always does. So Jesus sets his enemies up to fear his people so that love can prevail.

God preemptively made the enemy King, King Sihon of Heshbon, obstinate, and inflexible of
the heart (Deuteronomy 2:30). God made him hard of nature so that his
plans to foil and obstruct would fail. Experience teaches us that the obstinate, those who stubbornly refuse to change or adapt, never win. By making him stubborn, God is beginning his demise. Preemptively, God makes some people stubborn so that obstinance can lead to its demise.

As Moses was preparing to fight a battle with King Og; God revealed to him that He
had already, preemptively, given the king and his people over to the purposes
of God. Can you imagine what confidence this filled Moses with – the battle he
was about to fight had already been won? All he needed to do was show up and
win it… because God had been acting preemptively.

As Moses is looking back on his journey thus far, he sees time and time
again that God was working, as He works ahead of us preemptively. In addition
to this, God invites us into His war room to pray into what He will
preemptively accomplish for us. God has a great plan ahead for us as we are
focused on His commands, and we are invited to “preemptively pray” into what God

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