As of the writing of this article, we are told that there are more than forty active conflicts around the world. War — everywhere. Day-by-day lives being destroyed — through conflict, turmoil, hatred, demolition, and bloodshed — resulting in tears, despair, and death. And all this needless suffering results from war. Such represent just a few jarring descriptions of the tragic consequences of physical combat and conflict all over the world.
Yet the Word of God pulls back the curtain that we may view the spiritual, unseen elements working behind the scenes — a far more astounding revelation. The greatest battle ever fought is a war that has been going on since before this world was created — the great conflict between Christ and Satan. Revelation 12:7 tells us that it began in heaven, for “there was a war in heaven: Michael and His angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels.” It is difficult to imagine, “war in heaven.” The Greek word translated as war is polemos, from which we today derive the word, polemic (contentious argumentative rhetoric). Satan lost that war of ideas, and so was banished from heaven along with a third of the other angels (Revelation 12:8-9).
The battle continues here on earth. Every day there is a contentious fight, a physical and psychological war, for our very souls. Satan is constantly trying not just to kill, steal, and destroy, but also to discourage, deceive, and manipulate. Moment-by-moment, day-by-day, year-by-year — continually! How many of you have dear ones that you love, bound by the yoke of sin that is destroying their lives? Look at the turmoil all around us: in our families and our homes, in our neighborhoods and our cities, in our country and in our politics — even in our churches! Lord have mercy! This great war is a spiritual war, and this war is for keeps. The eternal destiny of lives is at stake.
“What we see is much more than what we see”
Thus, it is truly no wonder that Paul speaks to Spirit-filled believers of this warfare in Ephesians 6:10-18. In the big scheme of things, everything that we go through, and everything that we see around us, is a lot less about the people and physical dynamics that we appear to see or experience; and it is more about the unseen elements behind it. We are told that we are not wrestling with flesh and blood, but against principalities — an order in the unseen spiritual realm — powers and the rulership of darkness in high places. In other words, what we “see” is much more than what we see.
In all the chaos around us, there is a high order of demonic presence undergirding the people involved, and the bloodshed and destruction that naturally follows. If only we could ever remember this stark fact. As we seek to deal with “war” all around us, in the lives of others, and in our own spiritual and physical “battles,” we would do well to take heed to 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, which reminds us that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. We have to check our mindset — our imaginations and anything that lifts up itself against the knowledge of God. We have to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. How do we do that? Warfare prayer.
Warfare prayer involves consciously understanding as we pray that we are in a spiritual war — not with people — but against our true enemy, Satan and his evil host. Our only defense is to learn, through our daily walk with God, how to enter into that secret place of the most High, that we might abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
The holy place in the sanctuary shows us the Way. Through daily earnest, heartfelt prayer (golden altar of incense), we must put on the whole armor of God — the only armor that can help us withstand all the fiery darts of the enemy. We need Bible truth; we must spend time every day with God in His Word (table of showbread). And we need to be the light of the world, because we know the Light of the world, through living a faithful witness of right-doing (seven-branched lampstand) — not in our own strength, but in the strength of Christ’s righteousness by faith, which quenches the fiery darts of the enemy.
God gives us the helmet of salvation, and the sword of His spirit, which is the word of God. We need to allow the word of God to settle us in the gospel, the good news of peace through the salvation of God. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians 6:18). Here we find the true biblical description of warfare prayer. Maintaining this attitude in prayer, together with the entire surrender of the will to God, will get us through these end-time events and the extremely difficult times that have come and shall come.
Call to Action: Warfare Prayer Defeats Demons
Some of us are already there. I remember dealing with an element of demonic proportions when my very good friend’s son was literally demon-possessed. I had never experienced anything like it. In the midst of my homeschooling routine, she suddenly called one day, and I could hear the demons screeching through her son in the background, as she begged for prayers for deliverance. The demons identified themselves through her son. We fasted; we prayed. We wrestled with God on that young man’s behalf. Warfare prayers.
Praise God, he was miraculously delivered! Not by the hands of flesh or blood, but through the victorious hand of the Wonderful Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace — King Jesus. A mighty Warrior who has never lost a battle. He won the war for all of humanity on Calvary; we must always remember this most essential Truth. And we must remember to pray in the Spirit always, because this life is really all about a spiritual war.
For further study: Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; John 10:10, Revelation 12:7-12