There is more to prayer than just asking the Lord for stuff and having fellowship with God as we are created for. Prayer is a powerful weapon of spiritual warfare. It is also our shield, as well as warfare itself. If we have taken inventory of what is hindering God from answering prayers such as R.U.T.S as mention in the beginning of our last study “Praying Effectually,” and have repented from those R.U.T.S and continue to subdue the will of this flesh, such as laziness and sins of all kinds. And continue living for Jesus Christ and not for self or for selfish gain. Then we must get ready for spiritual battles that will soon follow. Because the Holy Bible promises that it will happen and prayer will not subdue it or scare it away.

The Holy Spirit is not just talking about personal warfare between the fleshes will and the will of God. The Holy Spirit also promises that we will be wrestling with powers of darkness, the wiles of the devil all throughout our committed walk in our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ

Ephesians 6:10-13 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

How do we stay strong in the Lord and in the power of His might? By putting on the full armor of God. Now this passage of Scripture is telling us, commanding us to be ready for spiritual battles by putting on the full armor of God and learn how to use the weapons for spiritual warfare, because it will come in many different forms and seasons. And in order to stand and to keep standing during and after, we need to do what this Word is instructing us to do, because this is not a suggestion.

Without this spiritual armor, you will not survive spiritually, because we have no confidence in the flesh. Why? This flesh is not saved, our soul is, but our flesh is not. And it will have its way if we don’t keep it in check and under the subjection of Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit. I personally do not trust my own flesh, for there is nothing good in my flesh, and it’s evil and sinful. Sin can shipwreck faith if we allow it and if that happens, we can and will lose our salvation because without faith, you cannot be saved (Romans 8). That’s why the devil attacks our faith. Also refer back to the studies: Can You Lose Salvation; part 2 and part 3

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. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore

We Are Called To Suffer

True Christianity calls us to suffering for the cause of Christ, while standing in the face of adversity without compromising the call to holiness. It’s His will and not our own, and it is certainly not about being comfortable or finding comfort and pursuing fat and happiness and call that the will of God, because it’s not. And there is a price to pay to be Lord Jesus’ disciples. This is what He said and still saying to those who want to follow Him in:

Matthew 8:18-22 And when Jesus saw great multitudes about Him, He gave a command to depart to the other side. Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” (The 1st price to follow Christ is comfort) Then another of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” (The 2nd price of following The Lord Jesus is devotion and commitment. Not being hindered by the cares of this world which chokes the Word of God from our hearts and minds, Matthew 13:1-23).

The Lord Himself forsook comfort while He was on this earth, and was committed to do the will of the Father and to suffer to the point of death. And the Lord is still calling us today into this same mind, attitude and walk with Jesus Christ our Lord.

Matthew 16:22-27 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.”

This journey in Christ is difficult, and this is what Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior promised His disciples, Matthew 7:13-14 Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult (strait) is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

The Apostle Paul also testifies the realities of this call being difficult: Philippians 3:7-10 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death

Also The Lord Jesus called the Apostle Paul to suffer for the cause of Christ (Acts 9:10-15). So what makes us think we are better than they and are called to a different road? Now since the Lord Jesus called Paul to suffer as well as thousands of other believers and followers in the first century church as it has also been written about in the Book of Acts. How much more has He called us to that same narrow way?

Jesus further ministers the reality of this new life in Jesus Christ, John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

Another words, Jesus is saying here, if you follow and remain in Christ, you will have peace within your soul. Even though trials, difficulty, troubles and perhaps drama will surround you, but be of good cheer Jesus Christ have overcome the world and so will His disciples (Revelation 12:11). In fact, the Holy Spirit has reminded me in the last communion service at my local church what communion is really about. And it still stands to remind us all as often as we partake in communion, what the bread and the new wine symbolizes. It reflects what kind of life we are called to partake in by God through Jesus Christ.

The Bread: symbolizes the body of Christ, the body of death. To remind us constantly to crucify, to mortify the sinful deeds of the carnal flesh daily, as He denied Himself, picked up His cross and followed His Father. So we must do daily also if we have chosen to be fully committed in following our Lord. To pick up our cross and follow Him, even to the point of death (Matthew 16:24-25).

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

The New Wine: symbolizes the precious blood of Jesus Christ. It’s also the seal of the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34). Not only does it serve to remind us today what the Lord Jesus had done to give us (those who believe Jesus Christ is the Messiah and Savior) salvation and remission for sins. Not only does it remind us that His precious blood has the power to heal, deliver, set free and cleans us from all unrighteousness and makes us righteous in God His Father’s sight (Isaiah 53:4-5/Romans 3:21-26). But it also serves to reminds us, that we are partaking in His cup of suffering (Mark 14:32-41) from which we drank from.

1 Corinthians 11:24-26 and when He (meaning The Lord Jesus) had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.”

Proclaiming His death not only in the talk but also in our walk. Dead to sin, but alive in Jesus Christ our Lord. Dead to the ways and patterns of this world, but conformed to the  ways and image of our Holy God, Abba Father through Jesus Christ.

This is showing us throughout God’s Holy Word, what has been promised in the New Testament, that sufferings and persecutions is our legacy. It is our heritage. Starting first from the Jews. In fact the New Covenant was brought into fruition through suffering and through the blood of Christ Jesus our Lord. He also taught us, “no one is greater than his master” and we are not greater than the Lord Jesus! So then, what makes us think we are exempt from sufferings and tribulations of all kinds? What makes us rate higher than Jesus Christ? Further more:

Philippians 1:20-21 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Need further proof? Read Daniels personal account with the lions den (Daniel 6). The difference between Daniel then, and the body of Christ in America today? Is that Daniel was ready for spiritual battles to the point of death. He was so sold out to God our Father, committed without compromise, it didn’t matter whether he lived or died. The Apostle Paul understood this kind of devotion, commitment to God. This is what absolute trust in God looks like in action!

Psalm 116:14 Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His saints.

And this is the only thing that keeps us from such trust in God, such a deep relationship with God like that of Daniel. The Holy Spirit is saying in this day and hour, we are not willing to crucify this flesh from all filth, corruption and all unholy things of this world! Nor are we willing to put this body and mind under subjection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and submit unto God, living as we should with this attitude of our hearts, “not my will O Lord, But your will be done!”

Laying down this game of political correctness which is being afraid to offend someone for the sake of getting real and speaking the truth from God’s Holy Word in the love of our Lord. Because you never know whom The Lord Jesus will save or correct because of our obedience. Because of our willingness to be used by God Himself in love and guidance through His Holy Spirit. This is all part of spiritual warfare, advancing the Kingdom of God on earth by living right before God and preaching His truth, preaching the Gospel of salvation, the Gospel of repentance, the Gospel of holiness, godliness and righteousness which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

This Holy walk is ½ of spiritual warfare. To resist the flesh’s desires and to resist the devil. Keeping yourself pure, holy and blameless in the sight of the Lord. And the other ½ of spiritual warfare is done through continual prayer. A direct communication with God Almighty. Communion with Him through our Lord Jesus Christ, lead by His Holy Spirit, keeps us strong while we have on the whole armor of God as we go through the trials, tribulations and persecutions of all type in this life. There are going to be times when the devil will show up physically in Church. And we need to be prepared on what to do. Being ready for that day spiritually, to stand against that day of evil.

There are also devils behind some pulpits in America today. Teaching doctrines from lying demonic spirits and deceiving many on thing contrary to the living word (The Holy Bible). And we need to be biblically prepared, ready and living Holy to recognize it and to subdue these forces of darkness masquerading itself as angels of light in prayer, pulling down those strong holds in the name of Jesus Christ. God Almighty’s final Word (The Holy Bible) tells us we have weapons and armor that are not carnal, but spiritual and is to be used. This spiritual war are part of the promises of trials, tribulations and persecutions our Lord Jesus has warned us about.

The Apostle Paul tells us this found in: 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

How To Be Victorious In Spiritual Warfare

This is How we battle and have victory over all the wiles, schemes and fiery darts of the devil daily?

Ephesians 6:14-20 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, (The Holy Bible) having put on the breastplate of righteousness, And having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 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, 

The breast plate protects the heart against the wiles of the devil. Helps you to keep righteousness in your heart. Not only are we to prepare ourselves to walk Holy and peaceably in the way that demonstrates the Lord Jesus Christ accurately at all times, but it also protects our walk from stumbling in the ways of sin

The Helmet of salvation protects the mind from the devils schemes. All sins start at the mind and eventually will enter the heart, if we continue to ponder and take thought. And from the heart gives birth to action (sin) and sin brings forth spiritual death. Even righteousness works the same way. The helmet of salvation also helps us in keeping salvation, always being on the look out, both in the physical and spiritual realms. To recognize and discern sin always in every deceptive form according to God’s Word. Recognize and discern the difference between the desires of the flesh and the workings of the devil and then resist both. And do not forsake praying for ministers and for one another in the body of Christ

being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”

In the midst of spiritual battles we will continually face, the Holy Bible does not tell us to run away, retreat or to give up. Instead, verse 14 tells us to stand. To stop and stand in place, facing opposition of all kinds including false ministries, doubt and worry. The Greek word “stand” used here is: Antihistame where we get the English word “antihistamine” for allergy medicine. Which means: ‘to withstand, stand against, to stand in opposition.’ It suggests to be ready, sure-footed and alert. To stand or to guard against oppositions of all types (James 4:6-10).

And this calls for the virtues of patience, persistence and endurance. To continue to live according to God’s holy word. To be permanent. “Praying through,” knowing we are praying the will of God until we see results from God’s promises we’re standing on. For persistence is key in spiritual warfare:

Luke 18:1-8 Then He (meaning the Lord Jesus) spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’

Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

Also the Word of God gives us this seriously important instruction to daily living on guarding against temptations successfully, applies especially in spiritual warfare since the devil always attacks the mind first:

Colossians 3:1-11 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

Therefore put to death your members (the will of the flesh’s desire to sin and rebel against God) which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.

But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.  

These weapons and armor are mighty! And they are mighty in God! Meaning they are only powerful when we use them, if we are walking in accordance to His Holy, righteous standards of living from the Holy Bible, while abiding in Jesus Christ. Otherwise, how can you divide the house of satan and his power in your own life, if you are living in his house, drinking from his cup, and eating his delicacies? And if you are, you are therefore powerless against that devil because of sins, transgressions and iniquities. The Lord Jesus Christ reminds us of this fact,

John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

And if you are dwelling in the house of satan, then you are obviously not abiding in Lord! You can’t have it both ways! It’s either one or the other! You cannot have the blessings, the power nor the authority from Jesus Christ and living it up in the sinful pleasures of satan. As the Lord has said, John 14:30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.

Jesus Christ is the true King and is above all kings and LORD above all lords and He does not co-exist with the world nor with satan and his demons. He has no fellowship with darkness at all. For He is light, the Light of the world, and darkness hides from the light. They flee from the light lest the truth be exposed. Also we resist the flesh’s desire to sin as well as the temptations from the devil to sin because sin separates us from God, and hinders God to hear our prayers and petitions. This is why we must live in continual repentance in order for our prayers to be effective against strong holds and principalities of darkness in high places. Against the wiles and schemes of the devil.

An example of this is found in the Old Testament. Obedience was taught and commanded by the Lord Himself to the Jew’s (Deuteronomy 4-9). When the Jews sinned, the Lord departed from them. Fear came upon the Jews, and then they realized that the Lord was not with them (Joshua 7; Numbers 13-14; Deuteronomy 1:26-46). The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob operates the same way today as He did then (Malachi 3:6). The Old Testament is our physical examples of yesterday, how He operates today spiritually.

Prayer Is Not Only Our Weapon, But Also Our Shield

Psalm 91 gives us an another example that prayer is not only our weapon. Nor is it the means to engage into spiritual warfare only, but is also our shield. In order to have these blessings, we first have to abide and dwell as we covered in the study “The Importance of Gods Holy Word part 1 and part 2. To abide in the LORD is to live in Jesus Christ. To walk according to His Holy, Righteous standards which is from His word. To dwell is to have communion/fellowship with God not only from His Word but also in prayer faithfully,

Psalm 91:1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.

The following blessing’s are promised. The promises of divine protection of God if we dwell in the fellowships with God and abide, then

Psalm 91:2-11 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, (trust) Even the Most High, your dwelling place, No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.

This particular Scripture brings us to this next point. Prayer activates holy angles on our behalf, because it is God Most High who sends them.

Psalm 34:4-10 I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.

The Lord Jesus also mentioned that He can ask the Father and the Father can provide holy angels, Matthew 26:52-54 But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?”

What the Lord Jesus had said is very interesting here. He said, He could pray and ask the Father for, ’12 legions of angels.’ 1 Legion= 6000. 12 Legions=72,000. There were 12 disciples who were present at that moment. He could pray to the Father and the Father can dispatch 12 legions of angels, which means that God our Father can assign 1 legion of Holy angels for every disciple to accomplish His will. Again this life is not about us nor is about how special we are to God. But the point here is that we can pray to the Father as long as there is nothing hindering God from hearing our prayers. And He can send His angels on our behalf for protection. For ministering to the saints of Jesus Christ: (Hebrews 1:13-14) and for warring (Daniel 10).

We need to be available for spiritual warfare not only in our personal lives, but also in the lives others because they are going to need strong Christians of the Lord to help pray through their spiritual needs. Or to be used by God to deliver (as the Lord wills) fellow brothers and sisters in Christ from depression, obsession and spiritual oppression that was caused by demonic activity in the spiritual realm and not caused by poor choices of sins. Not only in the prayer closet or corporate praying, but also in times when the Lord leads us to lay hands on people for the Lord to do His work in some cases.

And how are we supposed to be effective in this realm of prayer if there are hindrances in our personal walk, to cause God to not want to listen to our plead for another? We need to be available for the Lord’s usage (Acts 9).

The Conclusion

We have seen throughout these studies that prayer strengthens our walk in Jesus Christ, as it empowers us with His presence. You want to know why satan is pure evil and sin. Proud, arrogant and perverse? First of all, it’s because he’s chose that way, and secondly, he’s been out of the presence and glory of God Most High his Creator for a long time now.

This is why various people on earth are so ugly and miserable from within, working out into the external realm, because they lack the presence of the Lord. They understand enough to sense in their heart of hearts, there is so much more to life than what they see, touch smell, taste, hear and know thus far. But don’t know how to get there to God. They don’t know how to obtain salvation, relationship and favor with God

And in there misery, they bring others down with them. As the saying goes, ‘misery loves company.’ And I’m not talking about physical ugly either. Although in some cases, ugly within, corrupts beauty without. But the Holy Spirit is not only talking about sinful, and unholy ugliness. But also a certain distinguishable ugliness due to the lack of the presence of the Lord, lack of prayer time with God as well, such arrogance and pride which then spews forth perverse speech and subtle evil behaviors. And I know you’ve seen examples in your life time of this. Even unfortunately in some Christians.

God Most High’s presence changes people righteously. It brings overwhelming joy to a believer and follower of the Lord (Nehemiah 8:10). It sets us aright because, once we’ve tasted the presence of God, and when we sin or even backslide which separates us from His presence. It is there when we realize that we need to get right with Him so we can bask in His presence once again. To be strengthen, motivated and empowered to live this life in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Conviction draws us close to Him (that’s what corrections and discipline are intended to do). Sincere, full hearted prayer, not lip-service, calls down His presence and places us back into the merciful, loving arm of Abba Father God. Because we pray to The One and only living, loving and caring God who cares for all Humanity. And prayer as Jesus had taught us, consists of: praise, worship, repentance, petitions, and thanks giving to God through His only begotten Son, lead by His Holy Spirit.

Further more, prayer ultimately strengthens us. It raises and strengthens our faith in Jesus Christ, which causes us to put our full and total trust in Him. How does this happen? We ask God our Father for our personal needs as well as the needs of others. Needs that are out of our ability to provide. Or situations that are out of our control either seen or unseen. We stand upon His promises. He then answers prayers, which then gives us opportunity to testify what He has done to raise and strengthen others faith in God our Father as well. And that’s all part of fellowship with one another.

That’s why fellowship is so important in the body of Christ. It is to strengthen each other with encouragement, revelation knowledge of Gods Word. Equipping the saints with understanding from each others experiences and so on and so forth. That’s why God’s Word tells us how important it is to fellowship with one another in:

Revelation 12:11 And they (The believers and followers of Jesus Christ) overcame him (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”

The saints of God overcame the devil not only by their talk, but also by their walk in holiness. Because the walk also speaks volumes of your faith in Jesus Christ and how real He is in your life. It is known as, “the silent testimony.” And this is where we get our sayings from, “talk is cheap!” and “Actions speaks louder than words!”

And with this stronger bond with God and with one another, it makes us all the more stronger to resist the devil’s work of all kinds. In the end, sin shipwrecks our faith if, we allow sin to continue in our born-again lives. And when that happens, we are vulnerable to lose salvation, because it takes faith to be saved. Without faith in Lord you cannot be saved from the wrath of God, which is eternal damnation of Hell and the Lake of Fire, in which no one can be delivered from after one enters there. It is a real eternal point of no return.

Sin is the devils weapon to sever our communication line with God, and makes us ineffective in our witness as well as prayer. That’s why we read and study God’s Holy Bible and pray. Because these are the most important facets God uses to strengthen us. Another important facet to our spiritual strengthening and growth as children of The Most High God, is Church. join us in out next study, “The Importance of Church.” Until next time. God bless you, your family and your friends.