Our Spiritual Soldier Serious continues as we talk about spiritual warfare through battlefield trainings that prepare you for the spiritual battles ahead. We have just finished speaking about the “official” pieces of the armor of God, with the sword of the Spirit.
What I am including in this final battle filled training on the armor of God is the lance, or spear, of prayer. Paul talks about prayer and it is one of the most powerful offensive weapons we have as part of the armor.
I call it an “unofficial” piece of the armor of God because most people don’t include it. But we know from historical records that Roman soldiers also had a spear or lance with them. It may not have been a piece of armor every soldier carried into battle but some of them had it.
But for the Christian Spiritual Soldier prayer is an absolute must on the battlefield. There are many types of prayers but I will discuss spiritual warfare prayer specifically. When you are in the heat of battle you need a way to call upon the Lord. Prayer is that wonderful weapon in such occasions. Let’s dive in!
“praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” (Ephesians 6:18–20, ESV)
- It’s direct communication with the Commander in Chief.
Prayer is your connection to Jesus in the midst of the fight. Most simply put, prayer is communication with God. It can get more detailed than that. But it starts there. In the heat of battle you need to stay connected to Jesus.
Our relationship with Jesus is the source of our authority and power on the spiritual battlefield. Staying connected to Jesus keeps the power and authority flowing against the enemy. You will utilize several prayers when you are in spiritual war against the enemy.
You will be dealing with unsaved love ones who need to become Christians, people who are demon possessed, people who are oppressed by demons and demonic forces, coming against the spiritual powers of this evil world, and that’s just the beginning.
A constant connection to Jesus is vital to your victory. As an overcomer in Christ on the spiritual battlefield you will be praying at all times. This is why Paul says to pray at all times. As Christians we are called by the Bible several times over to be praying at all times without ceasing (Ephesians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:17).
But Paul also says to pray “in the Spirit.” What does that look like? John says he was “in the Spirit” when he received the Revelation of Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:10). Elsewhere Paul talks about our actions “in the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18-21).
“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:18–21, ESV)
Paul contrasts the confusion that comes with getting drunk on wine with the clarity and control of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Everything after that becomes a participle because it further describes what being filled with the Spirit looks like. Paul lists four ways to show you are filled with the Spirit:
- Addressing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs
- Singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart
- Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
- submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ
Two of these ways involve Spirit-filled singing. So when we pray in our prayer language, praying in the Spirit, this can be a way to truly connect with Jesus through the Spirit’s intercession (Romans 8:26-27).
Paul refers to walking and keeping in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 25). In the same vein he talks about the fruit of the Spirit in opposition to the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-23). So praying in the Spirit is another act we do.
It could be possible that Paul is talking about praying in your prayer language, praying in tongues. Paul says he speaks in tongues more than the Corinthian church (1 Corinthians 14:18). And being in the Spirit may refer to speaking in tongues as is demonstrated in the book of Acts (Acts 2:1-13; 10:44-48; 19:6).
Praying in the Spirit, it has been suggested by some, is a secret communication with the Lord that the devil cannot understand or interpret. If this is true then praying in the Spirit with your prayer language is strategic communication with Jesus.
Through praying in tongues in your prayer language your spirit is refreshed and revitalized. This may be just what you need in the heat of battle. Praying in the Spirit is a way to allow the spirit to intercede through you to Jesus (Romans 8:26-27). It is praise to the Lord Most High (1 Corinthians 14:16-17).
Praying in the spirit at all times is one of the ways we have victory over the enemy. When we needed the most we can speak to Jesus at any time.
- It declares God’s power over the enemy.
Martin Luther was especially fond of praying against the devil. But he didn’t pray to God in these instances. He spoke directly to the enemy and declared God’s power over him. In his earlier years Luther had no trouble speaking in nasty ways to the devil.
The devil knows his days are numbered. But it doesn’t hurt for you to remind him and his demons of the facts of their existence. They have already been defeated by Jesus at the Class. And every time they come against you or those you are praying for they have no chance of victory.
Don’t be afraid to use declarative statements in your prayers against the enemy. Declare what God has already spoken about the enemy. Call him for who he is, the father of lies, the deceiver, the accuser of the brethren, and every other identity he has.
Don’t give the enemy an inch in spiritual warfare. He deserves to know the truth about who he is and what Jesus can do in every situation you face. He cannot have your family, your friends, or anyone else you are praying and interceding for. He must bow to Jesus’ power.
- It speaks Scripture to the battle.
When you are in the middle of battle you can pray the Scriptures to your situation. Use the promises of God to remind the devil of his place. God’s promises also remind you of who you are in Christ.
It can work both ways. Spiritual warfare prayer empowers and emboldens you against the enemy. But it also speaks truth directly to the enemy, and he hates to hear the truth. As the father of lies he would rather deceive and cloud the minds of the people you lift up in prayer.
So speak the Scriptures in your warfare prayer. Use prayer to advance God’s Kingdom against the gates of Hell. The Scriptures are God’s Word and they have great power to break down the strongholds of the enemy.
Prayer is one of the most powerful ways to wage war in the heavens and on earth. No evil spiritual force can withstand the truth of God’s Word in your prayers. You march against the enemy with words that have the authority and power of Christ behind them.
- It intercedes for others.
Spiritual warfare can be for us and for others. Sometimes we are praying against evil forces trying to oppress us, tempt us, or bring our old fleshly desires to the surface. But they cannot stand against prayers we pray for ourselves. We are not deceived by any of our enemies. God’s truth and revelation light belong to us.
But prayer in the spiritual realm for the spiritual needs of others is especially effective. When we pray for others we put them before ourselves. We hold them up to the Lord for His intervention of the powers of this dark world.
We go to battle for their souls, their needs, their situations. We lay them at Jesus’ feet in His throne room where the devil cannot tread. We pray for the Holy Spirit to speak to them, intercede on their behalf. And the devil cannot stand against the Spirit.
When you pray for others, whether in their presence or in your prayer closet, make a conscious effort to realize that you are not just praying for their requests. You are rending the heavens, going to battle on their behalf.
Interceding for others is a priestly duty Jesus has given you. It’s a privilege when others ask us to intercede for them. So let us go before Jesus asking for their needs, especially their spiritual needs, and be conscious of the battle behind the scenes.
Prayer is a powerful weapon for the Spiritual Soldier In Christ indeed. We have a precious gift and weapon in the privilege of prayer. As we intercede for others and ourselves, take the fight to the enemy with the words of Christ, and pray in the Spirit at all times we have victory in the spiritual battle.
So pray in the Spirit at all times and lift yourself and others up before the Lord. Declare the power of Christ to deliver and set free any captive oppressed by the enemy. What are some other ways you use prayer in spiritual warfare?
We have talked specifically about spiritual warfare prayer in this battle filled training. But next I want to talk more generally about the power of prayer and fasting that is helpful for the Spiritual Soldier in spiritual warfare.