Slick Prayer

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Julia sent a quick text message to indicate that she would be arriving shortly. A busy woman with lots of plates spinning, Julia is a master at multitasking. Such a skill, however, has its drawbacks. Instead of texting to say she would “pick me up,” her phone autocorrected before she caught it. When she hit send, the text arrived stating that she would “slick me up.”  

We still chuckle about the value of proofreading.

This incident came to mind recently as I read about ancient Greek athletes. “Wrestlers strive to fasten upon some part of the body which will let them more easily throw their adversary. To prevent this, ancient wrestlers used to anoint their bodies before a match” (William Gurnall). Evidently, getting slicked up isn’t a new idea. 

When we wrestle against the enemies of darkness (see Ephesians 6:12), I wonder if getting “slicked up in spirit” wouldn’t be a helpful exercise. In fact, God’s Word often connects an anointing oil with His Spirit, in both Old and New Testaments. Check out the following examples:

“Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him…and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward.”

1 Samuel 16:13

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me” (Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18).

“You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power…” (Acts 10:38).

Think about it. If we are wrestling with a dark enemy, wouldn’t a good rub down of the Holy Spirit would be just the thing to keep our opponent from getting a good grip? What would it look like to utilize this powerful anointing oil during every temptation? 

  • Like when a surge of offended anger rises within you:

“Father, anoint me with Your oil of forgiveness so the offense can’t take hold.”

  • Like when a burst of rebellion rears up on your child?

“Father, rub him down with Your oil of peace so that defiance can’t pin him down.”

  • Like when a wave of anxiety clamps down on your friend’s demeanor? 

“Father, smear her mind with Your oil of faith so that she will be anxious for nothing.”

Whether we like it or not, we are in a daily wrestling match. Each contest is held to see who will pin his opponent to the mat and who will result as victor. Despite our feelings in the heat of the bout, we can be assured that we have the best Coach which guarantees our ultimate victory. Let’s go into today’s contest well lubricated with our Secret Weapon and be reminded He is always ready to be applied.  

  • Feel as if the evil one has a grip on your throat or a claw on your shoulder?

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck; and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.” (Isaiah 10:27)

(Maybe getting slicked up is no laughing matter at all….)