It used to be that two armies would line up, then they would plunge into combat, and the best army would win. It was simpler then. Today it isn't necessarily the fellas with the best army who win, it's the one with the best air-force. It happened in World War II, it happened in certain Vietnam engagements, and it happened dramatically in the Persian Gulf War, remember? I mean, the air-force went in, they immobilized Iraq's capacity to respond, and then they kind of softened up the opposing forces, and there was an air war before anybody moved on the ground. And then once the troops started to move, the planes provided that vital air cover for their operations. Saddam Hussein had a big army, but he lost because his air cover just didn't function.
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "You're Nothing Without Your 'Air Cover.'"
Now, our word for today from the Word of God comes from Colossians 4:2. The great missionary Paul, says, "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ...Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should." Now here's the greatest missionary of all time and he is virtually begging for people to pray for him. "Please pray for us!" - and he gives some specific requests; pray for open doors; pray for clarity as we present it. In another passage, Romans 15:30, writing to another group of believers he makes a similar appeal, "I urge you, brothers, by the Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Pray that I may be rescued by the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in all Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there." He gives specific requests. There's a message coming through loud and clear. In the writings of the Apostle Paul, he says to the people who care about his ministry, "I'm counting on you, do you know that? And I feel really close to the people I'm counting on. Pray for me guys."
Somewhere today there is a pastor, a missionary, a Christian leader whose counting on you. On your prayer support. Faithful prayer support, fervent prayer support, specific prayer support. It's like that air cover in battle, prayer is a Christian leader's "air cover," it's a missionary's "air cover." It's what God uses to immobilize the enemy. As you pray you are tying the hands of the enemy and fighting his efforts to bring discouragement, to stop the resources from getting through, from attacking their family. And you can bet, if that person's making a difference for the Lord, they're under attack. Your prayers make a difference! And like that air cover, you're softening up the opposition and tearing down strongholds so it's easier for the Gospel to win. You're helping the advance of the ground troops with your "air cover."
You remember when Joshua was leading the troops of Israel in the Old Testament and Moses was on the hill praying with his arms uplifted. When he was praying they won, when he stopped praying they lost. The prayer person makes all the difference.
Paul once said only Luke is with me. Maybe you're "Luke" for someone. Somewhere there is a Christian worker who says, "Well, I know that he or she is standing by me. When they get into a painful moment they know you're praying that day, because you do every day.
Are you bonded to someone in God's work like that? Their safety, their opportunities, their results, their morale, are directly linked to your "air cover." Your prayer cover. Let God bond you to one of His special servants. Be their "air cover" that goes ahead of them into their ministry and accomplishes things for them as they move forward for Christ. Remember the "air cover" of prayer cover determines the outcome of the battle.