By Rev. Dr. Jerry Schmoyer
These are principles to help you with your spiritual warfare praying. Is it OK for someone to tell you how to pray? The disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray and He did (Luke 11:1-2). He never taught His disciples to preach but did teach them to pray!Prayer is the key to all spiritual warfare work. Prayer is not preliminary to the battle, it IS the battle. As Ab Lincoln said, “If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree I’d spend the first 6 sharpening the ax.”
Prayer is the key to all spiritual warfare work. Prayer is not preliminary to the battle, it IS the battle. As Ab Lincoln said, “If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree I’d spend the first 6 sharpening the axe.”
Make sure there is no unconfessed sin in your life (I John 1:9), especially bitterness or any form of unforgiveness (Ephesians 4:26). Be sensitive to any sin God shows you as you pray. If anything needs to be made right, so as soon as you can. Fill yourself instead with God’s Word and meditate on it.
We are at war (Ephesians 6:12). Spiritual warfare is hard for it is war, a battle to the end. Victory doesn’t come from defending ourselves, only when we take the sword of the Spirit and go on the offensive (Ephesians 6:17). Be aggressive and bold in your prayer. Attack where Satan’s forces are working. We have God’s power (Acts 1:8; John 14:12; Luke 9:1; 10:9) and authority (Matthew 8:18-20; Luke 9:1, 10; 10:17-19). In Jesus’ name, we have nothing too far (Luke 10:17). But everything must be done in His name/power/authority. “In Jesus’ name” is not a phrase we use lightly; it has all the power in the universe behind it.
Sometimes spiritual warfare prayer is not about fighting a battle, but about keeping ready so the enemy knows you are praying and will focus on anything he does as soon as you are aware of it. Spiritual warfare prayer isn’t just for times of battle, but for every day. Stand your watch, be ready.
Educate yourself about spiritual warfare so you know how to better fight the enemy.
If you see sin or problem areas in the life of the person for whom you are praying, you can pray against the demonic force behind it by calling the demon by the name of the sin/problem: anger, lust, greed, fear, pride, self-centeredness, depression, etc. Pray directly against the demon doing it, for the symptom will be his name (Matthew 12;29; 16:18-19).
Do not be surprised if you are attacked with the same things with which the person you are praying for is struggling: depression, confusion, impatience, anxiety, etc. Rebuke it as it tries to work against you. Rebuke it in the other person as well. One reason God allows this is to help you know what the person is experiencing and how to pray against it. You may also be hit with headaches, distraction, etc., or even chills or coldness. This is all from the enemy. Rebuke it and persevere in prayer.
Praying for someone’s deliverance is solemn, serious business. Unless they fill the void with God’s Holy Spirit many stronger demons will come fill that space (Matthew 12:45; Luke 11:26).
You can’t force deliverance on anyone. God respects a person’s free will. So pray they will clearly see the issues involved and the freedom God offers. Pray for God’s mercy for a temporary restraining of all demonic activity against the person so their free will is truly free to see the situation as it is and decide what they want. And don’t assume they won’t choose to go back to their sin!
We pray from our secure position of being one in Christ (Ephesians 1). He is our Father (Romans 8:15) and friend (John 15:15-16). He lives within us (John 14:7). We have nothing to fear!
Do your best, even if you are unsure or inexperienced. Like any parent, God just wants us to do our best. He’ll do the rest. The Holy Spirit takes our poor prayer efforts and turns them into what they should be (Romans 8:26-27). And remember, whatever you do, no matter how poorly you think it is done, is better than doing nothing!
Quote or read Scripture as much as possible. Jesus quoted the Word to defeat Satan when tempted (Matthew 4:1-10) and Paul says the Word is our sword, our only offensive weapon (Ephesians 2:17). God’s Word is what demons must listen to, not our human words. Victory comes through His Word (Psalm 119:9-11). Quote or read 1 John 4:4; 1:6-7; Hebrews 2:14-15; Colossians 2:15; Revelation 2:11; 12:7-9; 20:1-7.
Make praise an important part of spiritual warfare praying. There is power in praise (Nehemiah 8:10, 2 Chronicles 20:22; Psalm 22:3; Acts 16:25-26). This comes through reading the Bible, especially the Psalms, and also through singing hymns and Christian songs. They hate hearing “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” and songs like it.
Pray for a hedge of protection (wall, garrison, fortress, stockade – however, you want to picture it) around yourself, your family and loved ones and your property and possessions when you start. Pray for this for the person you are praying for as well – while you are praying and afterward. Forbid any forces to seek revenge or retribution against you or the person you are interceding for (John 1:10-11; 3:23; Psalm 34:7-8; 106:23; 1 Samuel 5:5; 2 Kings 6:8-18).
Because Satan is limited to being in one place at a time, it is very unlikely you will ever deal with him. Commands made to him are understood by God and demons to apply to the demons are currently battling. It is more accurate to address them to demons or evil spirits, instead of Satan.
Like with all prayer, it is not always God’s will to grant your request right away or even in the future. Jesus said some demons are more difficult to defeat and take more faith and power to dislodge (Matthew 9:14-29) so long-term perseverance is needed (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). David prayed and fasted for 3 weeks before God’s messenger angel broke through (Daniel 10:13). Somehow God uses the prayers of the saints to strengthen angels in their battles for us.
If God does not bring deliverance, even when the person you are praying for seeks it and follows God to the best of their ability, God will use the oppression to bring forth spiritual growth in the person to have Himself glorified. He will provide grace to endure the attacks, as with Paul (2 Corinthian 12:7-10).
Spiritual warfare praying is, like all prayer, talking to God – but with the added dimension of being aware demons are listening as well. Our prayer is always addressed to God, in the power of the Holy Spirit, because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. But while praying to Him we can use our God-given authority to rebuke, take back access, silence or cast our demons. We don’t have to ask God to do that, He has given us the authority to do it, o within our prayer to Him can be commands to the demons as well.
Prayer can be out loud or silent, depending on the circumstances and how you feel God is leading you. Demons can out thoughts into our minds so they can probably also know our thoughts, at least to some extent. Sinful thoughts give them access so they are aware of those thoughts. Righteous thoughts, commitments to God, praise and commands against them are also things they are aware of. God seems to allow them direct access to these, and He personally conveys them to the demons in such a way as to make sure they obey. Angels are greatly involved in this process as well.
Always pray in faith, never fear (James 1:5-8; Mark 11:23-24; Proverbs 18:21; Ephesians 6:16; Revelation 12:11). Keep your thoughts always and only on Jesus, never the enemy. Praying out loud can be a good way to focus your thoughts and proclaim your faith to God, angels and demons listening in.
You can pray to put the sins of the one in bondage under the blood of Jesus so they are better able to their own need to confess these sins themselves. This is temporary, any only by God’s mercy when He chooses to do so for as long as He chooses to do so. It noes not remove their accountability for those sins in this life or the next, but wakens the demons’ control over them so they can better see the sin for what it is. Most issues you pray against will be from generational sin in the family line, and you an pray to have that broken. But when the individual participates in those sins by their own free will, then that also becomes another opening to be dealt with s well. Putting the sin under the blood of Jesus for them can temporarily weaken its hold so they can repent and turn from it. (Matthew 16:19; 12:29). Be sensitive to God’s leading in praying for this.