1 Peter 5:8 - “Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
Understand when you start on the path of praying for others in a consistent and heartfelt way, you are entering the battlefield.
Eternity is at stake for those who walk this earth.
They will either finish the race faithful to the Lord,
and be welcomed into His Kingdom,
or be told at the Day of Judgement “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:41)
God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim. 2:4) Every breath we take is a breath taken by God's mercy. “The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
So here we are. We're in the battle. Many things we could do, and one definite thing we need to do: pray for ourselves and others. Invoke God's mercy and grace to advance His Kingdom in the world and people's lives.
St. Alphonsus Liguori said, “Prayer, without a doubt, is the most powerful weapon the Lord gives us to conquer evil […] The warfare in which we are engaged is ongoing, so our prayer must be ongoing as well.”
The devil already knows God has the final victory. So he will continue to try to lead as many to hell as possible. Demons don't rest. That is all the more reason we look to pray throughout the day.
St. Jean Vianney said, “The way to overcome the devil when he excites feelings of hatred for those who injure us is to pray immediately for their conversion.”
Due to the interconnectedness of the world through media and the internet, we are continually confronted with people who have ill-will towards us and our beliefs. When those temptations to hate a person come along, turn them around and pray for that person to see God's truth and take His grace to follow it. Demons don't like when we act charitably towards someone.
St. John Bosco said, “When tempted, invoke your guardian angel. Ignore the devil and do not be afraid of him. He trembles and flees at the sight of your guardian angel.”
Heed the words from St. Paul (Ephesians 6:10-18):
"Finally, be strong in the Lord
and in the strength of His might.
Put on the whole armor of God,
that you may be able to stand
against the wiles of the devil.
For we are not contending
against flesh and blood,
but against the principalities,
against the powers,
against the world rulers
of this present darkness,
against the spiritual hosts
of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Therefore take the whole armor of God,
that you may be able to
withstand in the evil day,
and having done all, to stand.
having girded your loins with truth,
and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
and having shod your feet
with the equipment of the gospel of peace;
above all taking the shield of faith,
with which you can quench
all the flaming darts of the evil one.
And take the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God.
Pray at all times in the Spirit,
with all prayer and supplication.
To that end keep alert
with all perseverance,
making supplication for all the saints..."
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