My cousin’s life-long passion was to join the Indian army and he worked very hard to clear his entrance tests with good grades. The family celebrated his selection into the army. What followed was a very intense training in the Indian Military Academy as Lieutenant colonel. The stringent rules such as waking up early in the morning, being punctual to the second, physical exercise for hours was not really a bed of roses. Many quit during training. The goal of these trainings is to develop well-disciplined young men and women who are capable of serving their nation. We often face lot of struggles and battles in our spiritual life too. In fact, the word of God says in Ephesians 6:11,12,
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
The army officers discipline themselves with lot of physical exercise and training so that they would be prepared at any time for battle against the enemy. If they are not well prepared, then chances are that they will fail. Likewise, even we have to discipline our spiritual life. We should discipline our prayer life. Of all the spiritual disciplines, prayer is perhaps the most important because it ushers us into communion with God. I find it very hard to wake up early morning and especially during the winter, to pray. It’s a huge battle between the flesh and the spirit. The spirit is willing but the flesh is too strong. In 1Corinthians 9:27 Apostle Paul says,
“I discipline my body and bring it into subjection,…”
This verse taught me that no matter what, if I’ve to stay spiritually fit then I need to discipline my body and bring it to subjection to what my spirit is willing to do.1 Timothy 4:8 says,
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
The discipline of prayer has been described as the “opening of the heart to God as to a friend.” We need to strive to be consistent in prayer and meditation of God’s word. If not, when the enemy attacks, we may not be able to withstand him. Let us put on the whole armor of God and strive for more godliness in our lives.