Praying for Covering and Protection
Praying for Covering and Protection
If you’ve ever seen a western, a war movie, or an action film you’ve probably seen a scene or two where one of the characters, usually in the midst of a hail of gunfire, says to someone near, “Cover me!” The whole idea of course is that the person giving the order is seeking the protection of their comrades’ cover fire in order to advance to a more strategic or secure position. The steady barrage of fire is intended to provide an offensive cover for others to advance while being protected.
In a similar sort of way we can provide this kind of protection for those we love and care about by praying for their covering and protection. This concept of covering was not something I was aware of or familiar with until I was well into my adult years. Now it’s something I practice regularly (daily) for my children, wife, staff, and others. It’s not something motivated by fear or worry but rather an act of surrender and faith as I entrust them to God’s care, protection, and provision. I do so in the realization that I have no real control over what happens to them and cannot, in or of myself, ensure their well being.
Could it be that prayer makes a difference in what can or cannot happen?
Jesus prayed for his disciples’ protection in John 17:14-19. He also prayed for Peter that his faith would not fail when Satan came to test (sift) him (Luke 22:31-32). The Apostle Paul regularly asked and relied on believers to pray for him to ensure his ongoing safety and deliverance; and so he could continue to carry out the ministry God called him to (2 Cor. 1:8-11; 2 Thess. 3:1-5). These passages and others suggest that his ongoing safety, deliverance, and victory may in fact be contingent on prayer and the prayers of many. Could it be that prayer makes a difference in what can or cannot happen?
For example, was the disciple James an unfortunate casualty and a wake-up call for the church in regard to the importance of prayer; and was Peter spared in response to the church’s earnest prayers (Acts 12:1-5)? Could it be that corporate and diligent prayer made the difference in the outcome for Peter since Herod had intended to do the same thing to him as he had to James? Paul’s desire and attempt to visit the Thessalonian church was in some way hindered by “Satan”. Was the key to a breakthrough contingent on an ongoing and corporate battle in prayer (1 Thess. 2 –3; cf., 2:18; 3:10; 4:16)? Was there a direct correlation between the positional authority of Moses, Aaron, and Hur interceding in agreement over the armies of Israel and their victory over the Amalekites (Ex. 17:8-13)? Do we as believing husbands or wives, fathers and mothers have a similar delegated spiritual authority over our homes and children (1 Corinthians 7:14; 11:2-16) and does our understanding of prayer and use of that authority affect their wellbeing?
My point here is to encourage us to test everything and pray about everything instead of simply accepting everything that comes our way.
If so, what does this mean for securing the physical and spiritual protection of our families, homes, businesses; or ensuring that God’s purpose and will is not hindered in our lives? Do we just assume God is looking out for us, take what comes our way and hope for the best? Does prayer prevent things from happening that are purposed to harm us or hinder the fulfillment of God’s purpose through us?
Let me assure you that I’m not suggesting that we are immune to trouble, difficulty, pain, or death while we live in this world. Jesus told us plainly that we would face trouble, persecution, and even death if we were to follow Him as disciples. Even so, He told us not to lose heart because He has overcome the world.
My point here is to encourage us to test everything and pray about everything instead of simply accepting everything that comes our way. It would be foolish to think that because we are Christians we can kind of live life on autopilot when there are biblical admonitions to the contrary.
Too often we fail to distinguish between righteous suffering, persecution, or trials that are intended to produce perseverance and greater fruitfulness and what otherwise can be characterized as outright calamity, chaos, or abuse from human and/or demonic influences. We should be especially wary when things come our way that serve to hinder us from fulfilling God’s purpose or fail to yield the righteous fruit God desires and is glorified by.
Practically speaking, if I were to someday face the ultimate form of persecution and was threatened with martyrdom, I hope I would have the preparation and wits about me to utilize God’s Word and His promises of protection in prayer along with the authority Christ has given us to forbid anything that was not of God or in His perfect time. In addition, I would count on the intercession of other saints in the same way the church prayed for Peter when he was imprisoned and facing death at the hands of King Herod. If there was no change in the outcome I would conclude this was an opportunity for God to be glorified. There appears to be a distinction, for example, in how the New Testament portrays the death of Stephen who was martyred and the death of James who was murdered.
Other less extreme examples we may be more likely to encounter from day to day might concern matters having to do with physical, emotional, and spiritual protection, such as:
- safety while traveling
- protection for your home, family, or the well-being of your business or means of income
- covering over your child’s or loved one’s mind, emotions, and their subconscious while they sleep
- preventing influences that would seek to hinder relationships and communication
- effect the outcome of a meeting or business transaction
Others include those intended to take advantage of one’s emotions, behavior, or a particular time of vulnerability in their development. One woman, for example, reported that her disturbing and sleep-disrupting dreams ceased immediately when her husband began to cover her in prayer. In this way he was exercising his God-given spiritual authority over his family and household. The fruit was evident in a practical and observable way. Prayer that utilizes God’s many promises of protection and Christ’s authority to forbid harm and other influences of evil is an effective intervention for securing the well-being of those we love.
Article written by Keith Martens, M.Div,