Monday, June 15, 2020

The Battle Between Light and Darkness

I wanted to share another email from artist Jason Kotecki. In a recent sermon, Pastor Dave compared God's Word to a weapon, our Glock for protection. Here Jason talks about prayer being another weapon at our disposal. I think that prayer can be a defensive or offensive weapon, but perhaps it could best be considered as "air support"... Air support to help us when we are at war, under attack, and threatened to be overrun. Prayer can turn the tide of the battle. Here are Jason's thoughts:

If you watch the news, you may have heard that we are at war. It’s true, but the war is not between races, or political parties, or people who say “pop” versus “soda.”

We are in a battle of light versus darkness.

Only when you understand that can you figure out how to achieve victory. I am saddened that when I see people talk on the news about what actions need to be taken, they always seem to leave out the most important one.

It’s the one thing you can do when you feel hopeless and helpless to make a difference. It works well when you’re afraid, and even when you’re angry. In fact, it works every time it’s tried (even if it turns out differently than we’d hoped.)

What am I referring to, you might be wondering?


In this war, prayer is the most powerful weapon at our disposal. Now, if you’re not the praying type, and your life is going along just dandy without it, that’s cool. If you wanna grab a soda, this won’t take long. But for the rest of us, I implore us to double down. Pray harder, pray more often, pray first. (Too often, we reserve it as a last resort.)

I don’t know how it works, but all I know is that when we pray, good things happen. Impossible things become possible.

The cool thing about prayer is that it’s so versatile, like a spiritual Swiss Army knife.

You can pray for our leaders and politicians. 
You can pray for good ideas.
You can pray for peace, for patience, for justice, for wisdom, for grace, for understanding, for self-control.

Another cool thing about prayer, which is often misunderstood, is that you don’t have to know some secret words to do it right. All you have to do is turn to God and say the perfect one-word prayer: HELP!

Help me to know what to do. 
Help me to know what to say. 
Help me to love my enemies. 

That last one, that’s the hard one, isn’t it? It’s easy to limit our exposure to the people who agree with us and lash out at those who disagree. After all, they are obviously misinformed, ignorant, or possibly evil incarnate. 

What would happen if you hopped on Facebook, to the timeline of your archrival? The one who always posts things that make your blood boil: the snide comments, the holier-than-thou proclamations, and the stupid memes. What would happen if you simply left a post that said, “You know what, we don’t often agree on issues, but I just want to say that I appreciate your passion for [insert issue here.] Thank you for trying to make the world better.” 

And what would happen, if you work with that person or you actually knew where he or she lived, if you included that message in a card with a simple gift certificate to someplace they’d enjoy.

Please know, I’m not asking you to agree with them. I’m not asking you to sneak in a little Vulcan mind trick to try and subtly convince them they’re wrong. That’ll ruin everything. Just find one redeeming quality and let them know you appreciate it. It could be something like, “I can’t imagine how hard it must be to be a single parent, but I can tell you really love your kids and I think you’re doing a great job.”

What you will have done is tap into the universal Law of Reciprocity, the power of giving something without regard for getting anything back. Whether you call it karma or reaping what you sow, when you give something good, good comes back to you.

That’s the prescription this week: Do something insanely generous for someone you disagree with or don’t particularly like.

And that’s another unique kind of prayer. We can offer up actions, chores we hate, or tasks that are difficult, as a form of prayer. It might be the best kind.

I know a priest who is organizing a prayer walk through the downtown of his city. He was clear to say that it was neither a protest nor a protest of the protesters. It was simply an effort to push out the darkness.

My friend, we are at war with the dark side, which has convinced us that we are at war with each other.

But I have good news. Like the Wicked Witch of the West who dissolves upon contact with water, the dark side has a fatal weakness as well. 


When we allow light to shine through us, it is a beautiful thing. We are unstoppable. And you know what? When we shine our light with others – especially with people we disagree or don’t even like – our happiness grows. Goodness comes back to us, the universe rewards us, and God smiles upon us. 

The opportunity we have is to use this weapon called prayer to make a real difference. The reality is that It’s not us doing the fixing, it’s what happens when we are humble enough to say we don’t know all the answers or what to do and we simply ask for help.

Help me to know what to do.
Help me to know what to say.
Help me to love my enemies.

We may be at war, but we have the most powerful weapon at our disposal. Through prayer, God can take evil and use it for good. 

In the battle between light and darkness, the darkness doesn’t stand a chance.

Shine on.

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