Sometimes spiritual warfare prayer seems too complicated. I can get so intimidated by the many experts out there that I’m reluctant to engage. Although I know it shouldn’t be this way, it’s easy to get the idea that unless you’ve passed a 10-week spiritual warfare course, mastered dozens of special techniques, and learned a whole new vocabulary, you’re destined to defeat. Instead of empowering me, all the information on spiritual warfare sometimes paralyzes me.
But I’m wising up to all this. I know that intimidation is one of the enemy’s most subtle but brilliant schemes. If he can convince people like me that I am unprepared for battle, then he can rob us blind because we won’t fight back.
So I’ve been asking the Lord for a simpler strategy, one that I can use in the heat of the moment, even if I draw mental blanks on the difference between vows and pronouncements, or am undecided in the controversy about whether to bind or rebuke the evil one or just ask God to do it.
I realized I needed a streamlined plan of attack. And I knew that God was the one I needed to get it from. After all, He’s the Captain of Heaven’s Armies. He’s the one who “trains my hands for battle” (Psalm 18:34). He knows best how to help me stand firm in this invisible war that is not “against flesh and blood” (Ephesians 6:12).
Last week, when a few things came my way that clearly smacked of the enemy, I brought this up with God again. And here’s what I think He gave me—a simple one-two punch.
First, I am to ask Him to show me the opportunities the enemy has in this situation to rob, steal, or destroy. Is he trying to cause someone I care about to stray somehow? To lose faith? To wander into disobedience? To forget their identity in Him? To embrace deception? Or, if they don’t know Him yet, to remain eternally separated from Him? State those enemy schemes before God and ask Jesus to thwart every one of them.
Then, I am to ask God to do what only He can do. Instead of asking Him to for the specific changes I want for the people I’m concerned about—things they need to do to affect the circumstances they are in*—I ask God to do the heavy lifting. What does she need from God that only He can do? What does he need from the Holy Spirit that he will never be able to pull off in the flesh? It is the Father who opens eyes and ears, the Spirit who convicts and empowers, Jesus who touches hearts. So it is to God that I take my appeal. This takes the pressure off me to rescue and puts it directly on God, where it belongs. Because this is a spiritual battle, after all.
I’m sure there are times when I will need advanced strategies for exposing and defeating the enemy’s schemes. But this simple one-two punch is keeping me from going AWOL in the heat of the fight. It gives me a great place to start, and I’m sure God will show me anything else that I need along the way—as long as I’m not turning tail and running from the battlefront.
I’m curious—do any of the rest of you intercessors out there have simplified battle tactics that have helped you in your spiritual battling?
*It’s easy for me to pray prayers that are more about fixing people than about letting them deeply experience God. For example, I have been known to pray things like “Help her train her children more effectively,” “Cause him to have a better attitude at work,” and “Convince them to get marriage counseling”—but what they really need is an encounter with the living God.