Prayer Is Not Just Defensive

...Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. -Zechariah 4:6 ESV

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Question: When do I pray? 

Answer: Usually when something bad happens. Maybe sickness occurs or a loved one gets injured. A lost job or financial trouble. A move or job change. Difficult relationship. Rebellious kids. 

I pray when I need something from God. When I need protection.

Don’t get me wrong. All of the above list deserves prayer. But lately I’ve been thinking, when prayer requests are shared in a group, it sounds more like a laundry list of bad stuff going on in people’s lives, and less like a battle plan to take it to the enemy.

Here’s my point: Prayer is not just defensive.

Yes, we have the privilege of taking every concern to the Throne. No matter is too small for our Lord, which displays His love and intimate care for us. HOWEVER, that is not the only thing to pray and the only way to go about it.

When attacked by the enemy, we don’t have to just hunker down, cover our heads, and ask Jesus to come help. 

Now hear me as I repeat myself. There’s nothing wrong with climbing in our Abba’s lap and hiding ourselves in Him. HOWEVER, once we’ve been comforted, there’s a battle to engage in.

If all we do is protect ourselves from the enemy’s attacks, we’re giving him free reign to attack at will. We might ward off his fiery darts, but we aren’t impeding his ability to keep sending them our way.

We need to learn to fight. I’m proclaiming this to all Believers, including myself. 

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: We have an enemy, and its not each other. When I talk of taking it to the enemy, it is Satan, NOT other people (no matter how obnoxious or difficult they may be.) This is a SPIRITUAL BATTLE against a spiritual enemy.

The Lord Almighty not only fights for us, He also teaches us to fight. He gives us offensive weapons that He empowers to be mighty for the taking down of the enemy’s strongholds. So, we need to get busy!

I’m not saying it’s easy. Warriors in battle endure great hardship. And the closer they get to the front line the more intense and dangerous the action. But Christians- we are called to the front line. Let’s get up there and stop giving the enemy free reign. 

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. -2 Corinthians 10:3-4 ESV 

I realize this be difficult, and there’s little chance that it will be conventional. Here are just of a few examples of God’s unique battle plans:

  • For Joshua and Jericho: the people marched around the city one time for six days, and seven times on the last day, and then Lord destroyed city at the trumpet blast. (Joshua 6)

  • For Gideon: ordered to send most of the army away, then had the 300 remaining blow trumpets and break jars as the Midianites fled. (Judges 7)

  • For Samuel: after the people repented, prayed, and sacrificed, the Lord thundered so loud the Philistines fled in terror (1Samuel 7)

  • For Hezekiah with the Assyrians: the Lord allowed the Israelites to be taunted and threatened. Then He sent a disease on the enemy before the army ever entered the fight. (2 Chronicles 32)

At least we know we will never be bored! Are you ready to enter the crazy fight against the darkness? Then, "Prepare buckler and shield, and advance for battle!” (Jeremiah 46:3 ESV) 

Offensive Prayers

“…but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by ... the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left.  (2 Corinthians 6:4, 7 ESV)

Let’s pick up our sword of truth and fight the enemy. Here are a few suggestions and thoughts:

  • Pray in the name of Jesus. Authority to attack comes from Jesus. Ability to succeed is only through Him.

    • Luke 10:17-20 ESV - The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!" And he said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."

  • Pray to bind the enemy. Tie him up. Restrict his movement. Make it hard on him.

    • Matthew 16:19 ESV - I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

  • Pray to divide the enemy against himself. Attack from multiple fronts. We can’t do this alone. There are no Lone Rangers in spiritual warfare. WE (as in the church) need to coordinate attacks and come from different directions. (Personal note: think how well Satan has used this tactic against the church, making us ineffective. Let’s turn the tables and use it on him.)

    • Mark 3:26-27 ESV - And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. But no one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.

  • Pray against the enemy in faith. God does the winning, we just follow and obey Him.

    • Hebrews 11:32-33 ESV - And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets-- who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 

He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. ... I pursued my enemies and overtook them, and did not turn back till they were consumed. Psalm 18:34, 37 ESV 

So then, the next time you are in Bible study or church and someone asks for prayer requests, say, “I would like to add praying that Satan would fall like lightening from heaven, in the name of Jesus.” I bet it would wake everybody up!

The LORD sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies! -Psalm 110:2 ESV 

Want to join the offensive prayer team? Leave a comment below and share how you prayed against the enemy. Let’s work together!