The Warfare Of Prayer
You are carrying a concealed weapon.
If you are a born-again child of God, it’s with you at all times. And you have a “concealed-carry” permit! More than a permit—you have a command. Our secret weapon is prayer.
Before you say, “I know, I know—I’ve heard this before…” I wonder if you’ve thought of prayer in this way…
Prayer is like an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Our world desperately needs born-again believers who are “armed and dangerous”—armed with prayer and dangerous prayer warriors. We are in a war against the forces of evil.
1. Turn to John 17 and read this chapter. This is the great high priestly prayer Jesus prayed for you and for me—and for all those who would believe on Him through the words of the apostles. And His prayer is still being answered today. That missile continues to explode in hearts across the world 2,000 years after it was prayed.
2. Turn next to 1st Samuel 12:23: "God forbid that I should _________ against the Lord in ceasing to ___________ for you."
When we fail to pray for others when we know we should, God calls that “_______.”
3. Turn to Luke 10:17. If you are a child of God, you have authority in the warfare of
“And the seventy [disciples] returned again with joy saying, “Lord, even the devils [demons] are _______________ unto us through _____ name.” And He said unto them, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you _____________ to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the _____________ of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
THE WARRIOR MUST BE INFORMED
When you were born again, you were born to win, and you have become a spiritual freedom fighter. You are a commando in God’s invasion army. Just as a soldier would not step onto the battlefield with no advance “intel” on the enemy, there is intel you need if you’re going to exercise authority in warfare.
We’re in a grim conflict—a war. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ is not a cruise ship or a showboat—it’s a battleship. It is a fight to the finish with no holds barred. We cannot be neutral, and we cannot call a truce.
4. 2,000 years ago, the Holy Spirit, speaking through the Apostle Paul, told us we are in a war.
Turn to 2 Corinthians 10:3-6. Paul uses a number of military or battle-related terms. As you read, write them in the spaces below and underline them in your Bible as a reminder.
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not _______ according to the flesh. 4 For the ____________ of our ____________are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down _________________ [some translations use “fortresses”] 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into ______________ to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
By now, we should be in agreement with the Holy Spirit that we are in a spiritual war.
HOW TO COME AGAINST SATAN USING THE AUTHORITY JESUS CHRIST GIVES YOU
5. Before we enter into battle, we should get one thing straight.
Turn to 2 Chronicles 20:15:
15 And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is _______ _________, but _________.
Whose battle is it really? _______________________
What is our role? _________________________________________________________
6. God extends this invitation:
"Call upon Me and I will answer you and _________ you great and mighty things that you _________ ______." (Jeremiah 33:3)
7. James, the brother of our Lord, cautions us: (Turn to James 4:2)
“Yet you do not have because you do not _________.” So there is the problem of unoffered prayer. We are combatants in a spiritual battle, but we must remember that battle is not ours, but the Lord’s. Our responsibility is to be faithful, to show up for the battle, and to use our one offensive weapon: PRAYER!
8. Return to Luke 10:17:
17 Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are ______________ to us in Your name.”
18 And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I give you the _______________ to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Authority is (1) the power or right to command, act, enforce obedience, or make final decisions; (2) jurisdiction to rule, and (3) power delegated to another, as in authorization (“He has my authority to do it.”)
Authority has been given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ. All authority has its roots in the sovereign God. Kingdom authority has been sovereignly established. God is the Creator, the Ruler, the King supreme in this kingdom; He rules the universe.
A CLOSER LOOK AT AUTHORITY
We must go back as far as the Garden of Eden to trace this. Remember that when God created Adam and Eve, He told them to have dominion. He gave them authority. But you will remember that the serpent came into the garden, deceived Adam and Eve, they sinned, yielded their dominion to Satan, lost their crown, and Satan became “the god of this world.”
WHY JESUS CHRIST CAME TO EARTH
9. Why did Christ leave the splendors of heaven, come down to earth, suffer, bleed, and die? Turn to Luke 4:18. He tells you Himself. He enters the synagogue on the Sabbath, takes the sacred scroll, and reads a prophecy from the book of Isaiah—a prophecy concerning Himself:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the ________ He hath sent me to heal the ___________________, to preach deliverance to the _______________, and the recovering of the sight to the ______________, and to set at liberty them that are _______________.”
He came because we were slaves of Satan, in bondage to his dark kingdom, and He came to set us free. Jesus came to preach the gospel to the bankrupt and the brokenhearted.
WHAT THE “LAST ADAM”—JESUS—DID FOR US
10. Turn from Luke over to Colossians 2:13-15. See how the last Adam, Jesus, regained this dominion.
13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
When you parade your enemy publicly down the street, so to speak, that is complete and total victory, is it not? You have authority over the enemy.
What does Jesus’ triumph over the grave do for our confidence to pray with authority?_________________________________________________________________
Knowing that Christ is the Victor, how should your prayers over situations change—how can you reflect that reality?___________________________________________________________________
God has given to us kingdom authority. We don’t pray for victory; we pray from victory. We stand in victory. Jesus has won that victory.
But even though Satan has been stripped, shamed, and subdued, he will not give up anything or anybody without a fight. Satan is not going to roll over and play dead!
You’re going to have to come against him in the power of the Holy Spirit. You see, our battle today is not with Washington, not with the White House, not with Hollywood.
11. Turn to Ephesians 6:12
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
What do we wrestle against? __________________________________________
When we see some person that we think is doing wrong, we want to get in a war with him, and the devil just laughs. He loves to see us fighting flesh and blood, (other individuals), because he knows as long as we’re fighting flesh and blood we’re not really fighting the battle that needs to be fought.
Satan knows there’s a war going on. The Bible says “he knoweth he hath but a little while,” and he’s fighting like a caged animal with his back in the corner, letting loose with all of the artillery of hell. Many Christians who ought to be warring are sleeping.
Do you know why we’re not winning? We’re not even showing up for the war! We’re fighting the wrong places, the wrong things. Jesus knew who the real enemy was, and that’s what you and I have to understand today—that we’re in spiritual warfare.
Some who are taking this Digging Deeper study are losing the war. You don’t even know a war is on. You don’t understand why you are defeated in so many ways…why you don’t understand the Bible…why your prayers are not getting answered…why your children are lost…why you don’t have power in soul winning. Rather than winning the battle, you don’t have the “intel,” and you’re not even showing up for the war! May this study be the “briefing” you need to join the battle!
Remember that Satan’s defeat is absolute, and that you are “seated with Christ in heavenly places”—but you must appropriate it. You must say, “I’m going to take my authority in the Lord Jesus. I appropriate it. I stand on it, and I come against Satan’s dark kingdom.” Oh, if only we could understand that the battle is prayer!
More about this battle in our next “Digging Deeper” study.