My husband and I were speaking with a friend of ours recently about some of the new legislation being voted on that will directly impact our churches, asking her opinion. Her reply was “well, [this current administration] is in office now, what can you do?” The casualness and sense of helplessness of her attitude was alarming, especially because it is reflective of the “roll over” attitude in general of what our country has been seeing and experiencing recently.
Make no mistake, Satan is at war with Christ and everything that belongs to Him. Satan seeks to change times and seasons, and he is all about “hastening the day” of the antichrist just as much as Christians are about “hastening the day” of our coming Lord Jesus. He is proactively seeking to kill, steal, and destroy us, our families, our futures, and everything else we hold dear this side of heaven.
Thankfully, my story doesn’t end there. Over the last few years I have been teaching online classes to ladies from across our great country on a trilogy I have written titled Cultivating a Heart of Worship. Regarding the darkness closing in around us, one common question I often get from these precious ladies is, “what can I do”? What a difference in attitude from my previously mentioned conversation! We can do all things through Christ, who give us strength!
What can I do?
You can start with Prayer. Prayer is by far the most powerful tool we have in this war! Being connected to our Lord in a deeply intimate way allows us to tap into His heart, hear His voice, see where He is moving, and understand our purpose in and through it all.
I am not here to say that prayer is the only thing we should be doing, but I am here to combat the idea that prayer is a last resort, and help give a better understanding of the power of prayer – partnership and communication with our Commander – to directly effect circumstances, individually, locally, and even globally.
This present darkness is most definitely a spiritual battle. It is manifesting itself in the physical in ways many of us have not seen before now, leaving us feeling helpless. There is no doubt we need to have the full armor of God to fight it. When we think of the armor of God in Ephesians chapter six, however, many of us tend to stop reading at the end of verse 17, and therefore fail to realize that prayer is a vital part of God’s armor.
Several scripture translations even end verse 17 with a period (or hard stop), but when you look at that verse in the Greek, you see that there is not a hard stop at the end. As a result, some translations make it a comma, a semi-colon, or even a full colon – anything to indicate that the sentence rightly continues into verse 18. Together, these two verses say: “‘And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints”.
Prayer is also the seventh piece, which completes the ensemble. Altogether, you find these verses mention:
- The Gird. Today this may be recognized as the pistol belt or LBE (load bearing equipment). The gird is often thought of as defensive.
- The breast plate (think of a Kevlar vest, which is front and back) – also defensive
- The right pair of shoes – which could arguably be both defensive and offensive
- The shield – also both defensive and offensive
- The helmet – defensive
- The Sword – designed for offense but can be defensive as well
- Prayer – Your conversation with your Commander! Most people think of prayer as defensive, not realizing that along with the sword, prayer is the most offensive weapon in this list
Continuing with the military theme you might also consider prayer is “3C” – command, control, and communication. Prayer gives us the opportunity to focus, draw from the mercy well that is fresh and new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23), and allows us to gain insight into tactics and strategies that enable us to better know and combat the enemy. This is important after a battle as well, as here we are given a much needed invitation to reset, and be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2), like a spiritual R&R.
Prayer walking is one way you can use prayer as a weapon of offense. The Lord told Joshua (see Joshua 1:3) that He would give him every place the sole of his foot tread. This is a spiritual truth that we can lay hold of as well through prayer walking, claiming that ground or territory for His purposes and for His glory. In a book by the same title, authors Steven Hawthorne and Graham Kendrick note that prayer-walking is “Praying on site with insight”. Here are 5 areas where your individual prayer walk can have an impact, along with a few suggested prayer strategies for each:
Satan is constantly pulsating out – bombarding – us, our spouses, our children with cultural and social strategic warfare messages designed to infiltrate, scatter, confuse, destroy, oppress and depress, and keep us from knowing God and living in the freedom of His truth. You can prayer walk around and through your home, declaring your home as a sanctuary of truth and peace, breaking the web of lies that are continuously being streamed out in every means possible. You can pray against demonic forces and make them so incredibly uncomfortable to be in your home that they cannot stand to stay.
You can be praying that those in leadership within the church are constantly walking in the presence of God, hearing God speak, seeing where God is moving, asking God to pour fresh revelations into fresh wineskins so that your church leaders are not open for the cunning, smooth deception that Satan in all his craftiness is so good at selling. You can pray that the weapons of darkness do not stand but are instead scattered, broken, confused, and turned against the evil forces trying to come against all who enter in. You can pray that the leaders in your church fully understand the importance of the great commission to disciple the nations, so that they work to equip the saints for their calling into every major sphere of society. You can pray that all the children of your church be kept from the evil one, and that from the earliest of ages they would fall in love with Jesus and see Him as the most brilliant, dazzling, remarkable person they have ever known (above all super heroes and anything else designed to detract and distract). You can pray every person in the congregation be anointed with the power of the Holy Spirit, open and yielded to His work in their lives. For the congregation, you can pray Ephesians 1:15-23 and Ephesians 3:14-19.
You can be the face of God to those you work with. You can pray for the executives in your workplace or business to hear the truth of God and desire to align the business to it, opening the doors of greater religions freedoms within it. You can pray for the favor of God, which as Lance Wallnau puts it, is the attraction of God to you that releases the influence of God through you, in order that others cooperate with you in the assignment that God has given you. Favor is when God puts His affection for you into the heart of someone else – not for self-centered purposes but for God’s purposes. You can pray for God to supernaturally connect you with others in your mountain/sphere who are of like minds and hearts – because together and with Jesus you become the three stranded chord that is much stronger than when you are alone. Natural affection is tribal, but spiritual affection is driven by anointing. God can bring you into proximity of those who recognize your anointing.
Prayer walk your neighborhood when you’re out walking the dog or walking for exercise or pleasure! Pray over your neighbors, that you would each begin to bond with one another. Pray that you would have each other’s backs, that your neighborhood would be a safe haven where evil is held at bay and your children can play with one another without fear. Pray that your neighbors would hunger for God, come to know Him and walk with Him in deeper ways. Pray that your house would be a magnet for those who desire this, so that you can create a micro-church (or home church) right there in your own neighborhood.
Pray for those you interact with in the marketplace. Pray for the business where you spend your money. Many people are not aware of the controversy behind Starbucks (search “Starbucks and Satan” to see just a few), and that’s just one example of the power of darkness that has invaded the marketplace! Through prayer we could bring revival and reformation into every place of business we walk into on a regular basis. The love of God is so transformational! You are being observed by just about everyone you come into contact with. They are watching, and they are noticing your behavior, your smile, your words and choice of conversation with them. You have a much bigger impact on people than you may realize.
There is also significant times where collectively we should call the assembly – bring others together with us for a season of prayer and fasting in order to join forces in combat.
Bottom line, the powers of darkness and the occult are hard at work within all the major spheres of society – government, business, education, arts and entertainment, media, family, and even religion. As Christians, Christ lives within us! Christ, who is LIGHT! The Kingdom of our God is not like any other nation because it does not have physical borders – it is literally without borders. Why? Because IT IS wherever WE ARE. You, me, us – WE ARE the ones that push back the powers of darkness, and the best way we can do that is to have a vital, connected, intimate relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ, our Father in Heaven, and our precious Holy Spirit – who is our teacher, guide, comforter, and will show us all things to come (I John 2:27, John 14:26, John 16:13)
Whether or not you are physically able-bodied and can walk, praying in the Spirit with collaboration and partnership, and joining together to pray with others, is a powerful, powerful tool that can change you, change the lives of those around you, change situations and circumstances, and impact future generations.