Jesus’ promise that Satan and his forces cannot destroy the church are what I base my church ministry on (Matthew 16:18). Churches have demonic forces assigned to defeat and destroy them. As in other cases, there is a ruling spirit (strong man) with other demons under him whose sole purpose it is to undermine a church’s ministry (unless that church is already going the way Satan wants it to go). Each church as a whole should be aware of Satan’s work against it so they can pray specifically against that. Pray for your church and its community, binding up the powers of any demons assigned to work against it.
Pray especially for your leaders, for Satan attacks the leaders first and most since they are so influential in a church (Luke 22:31-32; I Peter 5:1,8). Pray for your church to be protected from false teachers and teachings which are so, so prevalent and subtle today.
Churches are to discipline sinning members so they will see the need to repent and also so they will not mislead others. Churches, too, can have openings to demonizing and often it is through those in the Body who are willingly allowing themselves to be demonized and/or are allowing known sin in their lives. This must be put under the blood of Jesus. Discipline means removing them from fellowship in the local church and putting them instead in Satan’s kingdom, the world. There they are under his influence (Matthew 18:15-18). In effect it is putting the person in a place to follow their sin without restrictions. This way they will clearly see the consequences of their choice and repent (I Corinthians 5:5 talks about this).
The local Body can be very helpful in deliverance from demonizing, too. God puts Christians in a local body to help each other in many ways, and spiritual warfare is certainly one such way. He gives spiritual gifts to some that are quite helpful in spiritual warfare. The purpose of all spiritual gifts is to serve others. God gives a person gifts to use for others in the Body, not for him or herself. Some gifts which are particularly useful in spiritual warfare are:
WISDOM: the special ability to know the mind of God in such a way as to receive insight into how certain knowledge may be best applied to specific needs arising in the Body of Christ. I Corinthians 12:8
DISCERNING OF SPIRITS: the special ability God gives which enables some to know with certainty and assurance whether certain behavior supposed to be of God is in reality divine, human, or Satanic. Acts 5:1-10; 8:23
INTERCESSION: the special ability to pray for extended of time on a regular basis and see frequent and specific answers to prayers to a degree much greater than that which is expected of the average Christian. I Timothy 2:1-2; Colossians 1:9-12; 4:12-13; Acts 12:12; James 5:14-16; Luke 22:41-44
EXORCISM: the special ability to command demons to leave people and have them respond and by Gone. Acts 16:16-19
BEWARE: Satan can counterfeit these gifts and even do miracles today. Make sure you know the source (II Thessalonians 2:8; Matthew 24:24 ; Revelation 13:13-14; 19:20; Acts 13:8). Demons can speak through people, a kind of demonic ‘gift of tongues’ (Isaiah 8:19; 29:4; Isaiah 24:8) and they can perform miracles (Matthew 7:22-23). Don’t be impressed by something supernatural unless you know the source of the power, for Satan is a GREAT counterfeiter!
Is your church involved in spiritual warfare? Ask God what He wants you to do to help in that ministry. If you aren’t aware of a ministry pray God would open one. Speak to a few like-minded people and start a prayer time with them for these needs in your church and the people who attend. Let God lead you and use you for His glory.
(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/. My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available there for free.)