Prayer involves more than beseeching the Father. Prayer is a double-edge sword. One edge of the sword is asking the Father. The other edge of the sword is rebuking the powers of darkness. This is the warfare side. When believers speak about spiritual warfare, this is the edge to which they are referring. In Ephesians we read that it is the plan and desire of God that “the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 3:10). It is our calling as believers – His church – to enforce the victory that Christ won on the cross. The cross disarmed principalities and powers (Colossians 2:15). “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” we read in 1 John 3:8. “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” (Ephesians 6:12). How do we enforce the victory won by Christ? We cut with the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God! Teaching about the armour of God, Paul wrote, “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:17-18). The sword of the Spirit – identified here as the word of God – and prayer, are placed side-by-side. This is the warfare side of prayer. We cut with the word of God by declaring the word of God, thereby enforcing the victory won by our Lord on the cross.
Practically, how do we do this? Let us revert to the verses I prayed over Hadassah (Psalm 103:1-5) in Part I of this series. To refresh your memory, Psalm 103:1-5 declares: “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Now, I take these verses and turn them into warfare declarations, speaking the name of Jesus and addressing those foul spiritual hosts of wickedness by proclaiming the word of God. I do this by identifying in my selected passage whatever refers to the kingdom of darkness. In the case of the text in question: disease and destruction. My declaration would therefore be something like this:
In the name of Jesus, you foul disease, take your filthy fingers off Hadassah. Leave her, now! Destruction, I address you. In the name of Jesus, you will no longer wreak havoc in her life. Leave her, now!
Do you see how I am enforcing what Jesus won on the cross? If He died to destroy the works of the devil, then His name being declared over Hadassah is all the reminder the devil needs to skedaddle and take disease and destruction with him! Jesus taught, “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” We are forceful in our enforcing of the victory won by our Saviour King!
And so, dear reader, ensure that when you pray, you are cutting with both sides of the sword. We discussed beseeching the Father in Part I – please read it if you have not already – and now, we have discussed the other side of the sword, the warfare side. Prayer involves both. We are to beseech and declare, beseech and declare, beseech and declare, until the job is done. Go for it, in the matchless name of our Jesus!
Please watch out for the next part in the TEACH US TO PRAY series, coming soon.