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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Pastor (11/30/06)

TITLE: The Battle
By SHANEIL HARADA
12/02/06


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Darkness hovered close as David drove to work. He didn’t see it, but he could sense its cold presence. It whispered in his ear, teasing him with covetous thoughts. “How would it be to have a fancy sports car like that one? This job doesn’t pay enough, people in this line of work never get to drive sports cars.” He shook his head at the suggestions, finally sending up a prayer for deliverance from these sinful thoughts.

David didn’t see the Light that appeared at his side, any more than he saw the Darkness that it had driven off, but he did feel relief from the thoughts that had plagued him. He whispered a prayer of thanks and continued on his way.

His step was lighter as he entered the church, and many people greeted him with a smile or a wave. He entered his office and joined a meeting about church finances. As stress and worry over the different problems facing the church plagued him, David felt the Darkness return.

His heart grew heavier and heavier as the meeting continued, finally David called the discussion to a halt. “We need to pray about these things and ask God to help us make our decisions.” They gathered around one end of the table and each sent up a prayer for guidance.

Invisible Lights materialized around the room, a new one with each prayer. Soon the Darkness fled, and the atmosphere in the room became one of peace instead of tension, faith instead of worry. David smiled and said, “God is with us, and he will see us through.”

Once the others had left, David’s teenage son entered his office to continue an argument they had started that morning. As his back talk grew more disrespectful and tempers rose, the Darkness returned. It hovered near David and his son, delighting in their anger and feeding it with new comments and accusations that it whispered maliciously in their ears.

The argument had escalated into a shouting match, when suddenly David realized how out of hand it had gotten. He calmed himself and apologized for losing his temper. Then he asked his son to join him in prayer to work through their disagreement. As the two knelt side by side, the Darkness retreated. The Light settled over them, calming their spirits with a sense of understanding. They continued their discussion calmly and respectfully came to a compromise that satisfied them both.

World weary already, David went to begin his real work. He sang along with the congregation, enjoying a time of pure worship, and then he stepped up to the pulpit. “For those of you who are new here, my name is Pastor David. Today we are going to talk about the invisible battle that is going on all around us.

“Ephesians 6:12 says, ‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the Darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.’”

“There is a battle going on all around us. Demons and Angels, forces of Light and Darkness fight for our very souls. Not only are we the prize of the battle, we are the tools that are used by the Darkness to harm others or by the Light to help.”

“The Darkness does everything in its power to lead us into temptation, and away from Jesus. But we have a weapon in this battle. When we pray for guidance or protection from evil, God sends his angels to guard us. We have only to ask and that protection is ours. I have a favor to ask of you. I would like you each to take a moment to pray for me, for this church, and for those around you.”

The Darkness in the room beat a hasty retreat, as the prayers of two hundred parishioners were sent heavenward. The unseen Light filled every corner, and there beside Pastor David, one of God’s Heavenly Angels stood guard. David delivered the rest of the message with a sense of peace and purpose. There was no doubt that the battle would rage on tomorrow, but he knew that he had the resources to defeat the Darkness. He had a mediator in the Lord Jesus, and he knew that his prayers were heard and answered by a loving God who would send his angels to keep the Darkness at bay.


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Member Comments
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Jan Ackerson 12/08/06
This has a rhythm to it, unusual for a piece of prose. The dance of Light and Darkness--nice writing.
william price12/10/06
Super job with a poets touch. I enjoyed the read. My only comment would be I would have a liked to have visual or some characteristic of "David" to carry me thru the story with. But then, a faceless pastor representing what you wanted David to represent was a symbolic way to go to. Anyway, I won't argue with myself any further. A very good entry. God Bless.
Rose Spagnola12/11/06
I love your story. A great reminder of the battle we all face each day. I saw a shortened version of "This Present Darkness" here. Thank you!
terri tiffany12/12/06
I liked the concept of the light chasing away the darkness - it was very visual. It read almost like a poem in the way you presented it. :)
Virginia Gorg12/13/06
This is really well done and time-relevant. I am teaching this week on the Light of Christ - I hope you don't mind if I use your idea just a tiny bit. Thank you and God bless. This flows well and speaks so much truth.