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Prayer is war. Life is conflict. This world is full of malevolent forces, embodied through people, who actively seek to defraud, betray, and destroy your life. The demonic forces arrayed against your heart are real and potent. Learning the art of overcoming begins and concludes with a lifestyle of warring in prayer.

The Real Battle

In his magisterial letter to the Ephesians, there is a reason why Paul opens this letter with the Christian position of being seated in the heavenly realms with Christ (chapter 1) and concludes his epistle with the power of prayer in the heavenlies against satanic principalities and powers (chapter 6). Paul is teaching us that the real battle of real life is fought and won in the spiritual heavenlies through prayer. Watch the trajectory of Paul’s argument.

Strength

Paul sees the life of the believer as being a pitched battle against Satan and the traps he sets to take us out. He explains that every Christian must learn to “be strong with the Lord’s strength.”

This is the last thing I want to say: Be strong with the Lord’s strength. Put on the things God gives you to fight with. Then you will not fall into the traps of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:10-11 NLV)

Overcoming

Prayer is about overcoming adversaries. Prayer is about fighting not against people but demonic powers working through people. The war of prayer is learning to battle in the Spirit against evil in the heavenly realm. Paul continues,

“Our fight is not with people. It is against the leaders and the powers and the spirits of darkness in this world. It is against the demon world that works in the heavens. Because of this, put on all the things God gives you to fight with. Then you will be able to stand in that sinful day. When it is all over, you will still be standing.” (Verses 12-13)

Warfare

Paul now moves to an association of prayer and the armor of a Roman soldier. The armor of God is illustrative of the warfare of the Christian. Just as the Roman soldier is dressed for battle physically, so must the Christian be dressed for battle spiritually.

“So stand up and do not be moved. Wear a belt of truth around your body. Wear a piece of iron over your chest which is being right with God. Wear shoes on your feet which are the Good News of peace. Most important of all, you need a covering of faith in front of you. This is to put out the fire-arrows of the devil. The covering for your head is that you have been saved from the punishment of sin. Take the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.” (Verses 14-17)

Overcoming Prayer

The conclusion of the letter is the theme of the Christian life—overcoming prayer is the way to victory. Prayer is war. Prayer is the battle of the victorious Christian against demonic forces arrayed to destroy your life. Learning to fight in prayer is the art of overcoming. Paul concludes,

“You must pray at all times as the Holy Spirit leads you to pray. Pray for the things that are needed. You must watch and keep on praying. Remember to pray for all Christians. Pray for me also. Pray that I might open my mouth without fear. Pray that I will use the right words to preach that which is hard to understand in the Good News.” (Verses 18-19)

Daily, Liz and I awake to spiritual battles all around us. We cannot begin our day without warring in prayer. We call out to God for His power, direction, and vision. We implore God to move on our behalf against demonic forces set up to take out our joy, power, and witness for Him. This is the key purpose of prayer. in the coming weeks, I will present through this blog what I believe to be key strategies for warring in prayer.

 

Warring,

Pastor Steve