Two hundred forty-five times in two hundred thirty-five verses of Scripture God is described as the “Lord of Hosts,” which means the “Lord of heaven’s army.”
John described Jesus as a warrior when he wrote, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8).
Jesus sends us as warriors into the work of His kingdom when He said, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21).
We might say that Jesus is in the “building and wrecking business.” He is wrecking the devil’s kingdom, and He is building His own. Since we are His bride (His help meet), we are sent as He was sent, with an assignment to demolish the gates of hell (Matt. 16:18).
Warfare prayer is praying against the work of Satan. In that prayer mode, we are serving as prosecuting attorneys, pleading heaven’s case against Satan, the defendant. Our role is to explain in prayer the laws that Satan has broken and to plead our case against him.
Read Ephesians 2:4–6. From what position do we war spiritually?
Read 1 John 5:4. What is one thing that gives us the victory in spiritual warfare?
Read Luke 10:19. What authority has Jesus given us over Satan’s demonic realm?
Describe an issue for which you entered into warfare prayer.
Several years ago, when our daughter Ashlee was only twelve years old, she accompanied me (Alice) to California where I was to teach. One particular day when I had finished teaching, Ashlee was at the altar praying for people, along with me and several others.
Suddenly, I could hear her tiny voice above the other altar workers. Looking over her way I saw a woman in her mid thirties who was bent over in obvious demonic distress. Ashlee was militantly announcing to the demons in the woman, “I command you in Jesus’ name to get out of her and never come back.” Without intimidation and with very little help from the others, Ashlee saw the woman freed from the demonic oppression. Yes, Satan must submit to the authority of the name of Jesus, even when that authority is exercised by a child!
We are to present our charges in heaven’s court before Judge Jehovah, the eternal Judge of the universe, just as Ashlee did! Intercession can be a spiritually violent activity! “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matt.11:12, KJV). We are not referring to physical violence, but spiritual fortitude that will engage the enemy in battle for the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
Praying people are selfless
Praying people tend to put the needs of others before their own needs. Perhaps this is demonstrated no more clearly than by Job. For forty chapters, Satan accused Job in heaven’s court. Three of Job’s friends did nothing at all to encourage him during his trial. But they discouraged him in many ways. At the end of the Book of Job, God tells Job’s friends to ask Job to pray for them, telling them that He (God) would give Job whatever he asked.
Can you imagine how discomfiting that was for Job’s “friends”? For a moment, put yourself in their places. You’ve spent forty chapters mistreating Job, and now God tells you that whatever Job asks for concerning you, He will give to him. At that point, you hope he doesn’t have “getting even” in mind! Not Job. Remember, he was a righteous man.
There was no earthly reason why Job should have prayed for them. They had done absolutely nothing to deserve it. But Job’s friends were given a court-appointed attorney and a guaranteed victory before going to trial. Job put their needs
ahead of his own. When he prayed for them, something amazing happened. Job’s own problems were solved when he prayed for his friends (Job 42:10).
If you are suffering a trial today, learn a lesson from Job. Find someone who is suffering more than you are suffering, and pray for that person. Put his or her need before your own. You will likely find that your need will be met as you prefer that person before yourself.
Intercessors are sympathetic, empathetic people. They have almost a sixth sense with which they see or sense pain, loneliness, guilt, conviction and the like in others. They can often feel the need for prayer. It is a type of spiritual discernment. Jesus is familiar with our human condition. He too was tempted as we are. Christ, our example, became flesh and lived among us, and He can and does empathize with us (Heb. 2:14; 4:15).
Praying people are generous
Some of the most generous people who can be found are people of prayer. They often support the work of Christ around the world with their finances as well as their prayers. They are delighted to know that they may be called upon at any time to be the answer to their own prayers!
The great flood that devastated our hometown of Houston, Texas, in June 2001 killed twenty people and caused billions of dollars in property damage. We immediately experienced a wave of prayer requests related to the losses. But when the water subsided and the damages were assessed, we saw God’s praying people pump the water out of other people’s homes, collect and deliver food and clothing and even share their homes with those who had lost everything. This is the way Christians should live.
One Monday morning I (Eddie) was conducting our monthly citywide pastors’ prayer meeting. When I asked for requests, one precious pastor of a small inner-city church reluctantly asked for prayer concerning several thousands of dollars his church needed the next week. Of course there was an immediate consensus that we should pray. Then the Lord spoke to my heart.
“Gentlemen,” I said, “we don’t need to pray about this need.”
The pastors were a bit puzzled at my suggestion that we needn’t pray. After all, we were there to pray. And if there was a need, then that was all the more reason we should pray.
“God has already provided for this need,” I continued. “My church will contribute (I specified an amount). How much will you and your churches give?”
In a matter of seconds the need was met. It’s difficult to say who was the more blessed that day—the pastor whose need was met, or the pastors whom God used to meet the need! The bottom line is . . . God was blessed!
That day we were reminded that sometimes when we meet a person in need, rather than take their hand and pray for them, we should grab our checkbook and pay for them! John gave us this advice:
But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
—1 JOHN 3:17–19, KJV
Question: Describe a time when God allowed you to be the answer to your own prayer.
Is there someone in need today that you feel impressed of the Lord to help!
Some of us are willing to pray for the salvation of a loved one, but aren’t willing to witness to them! Let’s never pray for things we can and should fix.
Eddie and Alice
“America’s prayer coaches”
Countless Christians have emotional and spiritual blocks that keep them in bondage.