Warfare prayer is prayer that recognizes there is spiritual warfare. People take "warfare prayer" to mean many different things. An Internet search made this abundantly clear to me. I hope that you will prayerfully consider what I say here if you are interested or involved in this topic.
As I say elsewhere on this site, it is essential to define what we mean. I believe occasional warfare prayer is essential for every Christian but what is warfare prayer? To some of you, warfare prayer is shouting at the Devil. Some of you are even offended I capitalized "Devil." To others, warfare prayer is praying to evil principalities and powers over nations and governments. First of all, I believe the most important thing is that your prayer is supported by Scripture and is led by the Holy Spirit. Let me explain what this type of prayer is going to look like, and not look like.
I have studied warfare prayer for 15 years or so and became interested in this shortly after I got saved. I have learned that several things are very clear in Scripture and one of those is that we should not pray to the Devil or even try to talk to him. The Bible never gives Christians the authority to "rebuke" the Devil, only to resist him. Zechariah 3:2 tells us that it is the Lord who rebukes Satan. Even Michael, one of the most powerful of the angels, did not dare to accuse Satan, but rather said, "The Lord rebuke you" (Jude 1:9). In response to Satan's attacks, Christians should focus our efforts on clothing ourselves in the spiritual armor, wield the Word of God, and rely on His power through prayer. Instead of focusing on "rebuking" the devil, we should focus on resisting him with the full armor of God and divine judgment by God.
"Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice" (Psalm 141:2).
In spiritual warfare, our spirit should be dominant over our body and soul, we need to be focussed on Jesus Christ, and there are many things we need to recognize in faith. Some of these include the following:
- We need to recognize our relationship to God - This means several things. We have relationship with God through the blood of Jesus. We are seated in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 1:3; 2:6), we are royal priests (1 Peter 2:9) and holy priests who offer spiritual sacrifices (1 Peter 2:5) including as we saw above, incense (prayer) and evening sacrifices (lifting our hands), and can enter the Holy of Holies past the torn veil which is a type of Christ, through the blood of Jesus (the ultimate sacrifice), into God's presence. The Holy Spirit lives in our spirit which enables us to experience God and He can pray through us according to the will of God. Our relationship to God also includes recognizing that we are kings and friends with Him, the King and Lord over all.
- We also need to recognize the authority that God has given us. We have the Holy Spirit and mind of Christ. In our spirit, we can pray according to God's will "in His Name" (according to His nature) and we need to pray that what is done in the heaven will be done on earth. Sometimes this is hindered by the enemy (e.g. Daniel 10:13-14) and we need to persevere in prayer through to completion.
- We need to see with our spiritual eyes. I am more and more convinced that the Church needs to have their spiritual eyes opened to see into the spirit realm which includes gifts like the discernment of spirits, seership, words of wisdom and words of knowledge. This is a very effective means of ministry where we can clearly see what is going on in the spirit and confront everything that stands against to Kingdom of God and God's will. This often requires seeking His face in holiness and relentless pursuit for more of God. I pray that you get to the beautiful place where your spirit reigns your body/flesh and soul, and can begin to live in the spiritual anointing God desires for His Bride, the Church. We need to have a close relationship with teh Holy Spirit who will guide and teach us and everything needs to come out of relationship with God.
Another thing we shouldn't do is pray or try to talk to high-level principalities and powers. Unfortunately some people, mostly in the Charismatic movement, have abused their authority. Our authority in this needs to come from the judgments of God and one way to get a judgment is in the courts of heaven. Jesus sent us into the world to preach the Gospel, cast out demons, heal the sick, and even raise the dead. We never see anyone praying strategic-level prayers or trying to talk to high-level principalities or powers, including Jesus and His disciples. It's not even hinted at. On the other hand, many people have had spiritual attacks and backlash as a result of engaging in this kind of warfare prayer, as evidenced in numerous books like Needless Casualties of War by John Paul Jackson.
I hope if you are engaging in either of these types or prayer that you will stop immediately and repent. I have heard several testimonies of people who have repented and spiritual attacks and backlash stopped because they let the Lord take care of it. I have heard from many people who can see in the spirit (seers) and they have sometimes seen powers and principalities but this was while accompanied by an angel of God who directed them.
© Todd Tyszka
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