Prayer is essential to winning the war against Satan’s assault on our life. It has been said that prayer prepares you for spiritual battle, but I disagree. The truth is prayer is the battle. In some way, our prayers interact with spiritual warfare in the heavenlies between the angels of God and the angels of Satan as they wage war over the affairs of men.
Daniel 10 is perhaps the best place in the entire Bible to illustrate this. Daniel was born in Jerusalem, and in 606 B.C he was led into captivity by the Babylonians along with other Hebrew children. Daniel spent virtually all of his life in Babylonian captivity. By the time he was in his nineties, the Babylonian empire had risen and fallen, the Persians were in power, and the king of Persia had issued a decree allowing the Jews to return to Jerusalem. For decades Daniel dreamed about the Jews returning to their land, but now that the time had finally come, nobody cared and they didn’t want to leave Babylon. In their spiritual apathy, the Jews had gotten used to living in and around Babylon. Daniel was so grieved and burdened for his nation, he began to pray and fast…for three full weeks.
Many times as Christians, we ask God to send spiritual revival to our nation. Do we really mean it? Are we willing to spend three weeks on our face before God if that’s what it takes? Most Christians in America can’t spend three minutes on their face before God much less three weeks. God hasn’t sent real revival to America for well over a century, and our nation is slowly dying in its spiritual apathy and complacency, falling deeper into moral anarchy and depravity. What cost are we willing to pay? What are we willing to sacrifice? We are so easily distracted and influenced by our society. We often want just enough of Jesus to get us into heaven, but we don’t want Jesus to disturb our sleep or our lifestyle. Does it ever bother you that so many Christians are satisfied with that kind of spiritual superficiality?
Daniel was so grieved for his nation that he cried out to God through prayer and fasting. In Scripture, prayer and fasting practiced together become a threat to the enemy. Prayer and fasting release God’s power in the spiritual realm. Twice in the gospels (Matthew 17, Mark 9), the disciples had tried to cast out a demon from a little boy and failed. Jesus told them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” Prayer and fasting have the ability to break demonic strongholds and attacks and release God’s power over sin and Satan.
Jesus Christ occasionally appears at strategic points in the Old Testament, and Daniel found himself in the Lord’s presence. If you compare Daniel 10 with Revelation 1:14, as John is ushered into the presence of Jesus Christ, you find almost exactly the same description as we find here in Daniel. The men with Daniel at the time of this vision didn’t see it. They heard a great quaking and they tried to hide which was very similar to what happened to Saul on the road to Damascus when the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him. What Saul heard was the voice of God, but what the men heard sounded like thunder. They saw a great light, but they didn’t know what it was.
Don’t miss this great principle: You can be very close to divine revelation but yet never see it. You can be very close to the Word of God but yet never hear it. You can attend church and hear the Word of God preached every single week and still not hear the voice of God. There are two types of people that fill a church every Sunday – those who are in touch with God and hear from Him and those who don’t. They hear the very same message, and some get it and some don’t. Some are transformed by the Word of God while others go untouched. The only difference is the heart of the individual. You see, you don’t hear the Word of God with your ears, you hear it with your heart. Your prayer life is a measuring stick for your spiritual life. You cannot be near to God apart from spending time with God.
It’s important to learn the principles of powerful prayer…
1) When praying against the adversary, always appeal to the highest authority – the name of Jesus. Our authority is in Christ alone, and because you are “in Christ,” Satan no longer has authority over you. You have authority over him and you win by exercising Christ’s authority over Satan and submitting to Christ’s authority over you.
2) Remember, there is value in the volume of prayer. For 21 days straight Daniel prayed and fasted. God immediately started answering his prayer from the moment he opened his mouth, but Daniel didn’t know it. He had no idea of the warfare taking place in the heavenlies.
We must have a combat mentality and tenacity in our prayer life. Never give up! What if Daniel had stopped praying on day three? Somehow our prayers interact with and influence the warfare between demonic and angelic beings. The more we pray, the more the strength of the enemy weakens. In response to Daniel’s continued prayer, God sent Michael the archangel to assist a lower ranking angel so he could continue unhindered on his mission to minister to Daniel. Sometimes God sends angels as an answer to our prayers. Chances are you’ll never know it when He does. I’m convinced that when you and I are with the Lord, we’ll look back on our lives on earth and only then recognize the brushes we had with the supernatural world and the times in our lives when God dispatched an angel to intervene for us, minister to us, or perhaps even save our lives.
3) Learn the power of proclaiming God’s Word and God’s promises when you pray. God’s Word has power, it’s the sword of the Spirit. When you pray God’s Word and proclaim God’s Word, Satan has no counter. His only option is to retreat. Daniel knew how to pray because he knew the Word of God. He had been reading the book of Jeremiah. When you pray according to the Word of God, you pray according to the will of God.
The way you win against Satan in any situation is by praising God through any trial or tribulation. Satan hates the praise of God, and he will retreat from the presence of your praise.