No more general, routine, and unfocused praying. This book lays the foundation for engaging in spiritual warfare by effective, pointed, biblically based prayer. Part I presents in the first chapter a solid theological foundation, treating worldview, the reality of the spirit world, and our resources. The next chapters show the place of prayer in warfare and delineate some strategies, tactics, and cautions. Part II suggests some pattern warfare prayers for personal, church, and world needs. Believers have used some of these very effectively to see the Lord intervene and remove oppression and obstacles.
"Winning the War through Prayer is like a bucket of cold water thrown onto a largely lukewarm Church. For those who have already experienced the power of demonic forces and the triumph of Christ, this book will give them more practical knowledge of how to confront the enemy. For those who have ignored the biblical teaching about our invisible war, such readers will be jolted in to reality. Their eyes will be open to a new level of spiritual discernment and a new way of praying that is directed against the forces that seek to destroy us" (Dr. Erwin Lutzer).
"In my evaluation, this book is the best presentation of biblical warfare praying that has been written. God has use Fred to write an articulate, doctrinally sound, biblical call to warfare praying that exceeds anything yet written-an academic and biblical study, a very useable and much needed document" (Dr. Mark I. Bubeck).
We have a wise and powerful commander in the Risen Lord Jesus. He has given us His plan in the Great Commission. We are to make disciples by going (reaching), baptizing (winning), and teaching (training) according to His Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20. He has revealed features of His strategy in His Word. As we search and follow His Word we shall be able to win the battle for righteousness in the gospel. He has given us great promises and ordered us to pray that we might bear fruit for Him (John 14:12--15; 15:7--8)..
Why do we need strategy and tactics in spiritual warfare praying? We must because we must take our stand in our position in Christ and exercise our privilege and power in the battle. Prayer is a basic weapon without which we cannot win the battle against evil.
Ephesians 6:10--18 was written against the background of pagan religions, the worship of demons, and the practice of demonically empowered magic. Consider the terms Paul used: "wrestle," "schemes," "principalities," "powers," "the devil." There is powerful and organized opposition to the gospel, to the Savior, and to His servants.
In this unrelenting conflict Satan's forces are always on the offensive against the Church of Christ. They seek to deceive, divide, dominate, and destroy the forces of Christ. Many---if not most---Christians especially in Western society are unaware of the true dimensions of the battle with supernatural forces of evil. They are not aware of how it affects our personal and family lives, the local and international world scene, and our missionary personnel and program. Very few believers in Christ know about wrestling against such forces in warfare praying.
Let me encourage you and challenge you regarding our battle tactics in prayer. If we are to survive and succeed in the battle we must use effective tactics in warfare praying.
In warfare---us as in any good football, basketball, or soccer game---the team must have a good defense and a good offense. We need to pray in both defensive and offensive fashion to combat the demonic forces aligned against us.
Many have asked me about what to do about what seems to be spirits haunting their houses. The tactics are logical and simple if you know that warfare is real and if you understand some of the causes that might be involved. We can ask God to let us know what might have granted the spirits permission to stay in that area. The previous owners may have been involved in occult or demonic activity. There may have been some violence on the premises. There might be a curse on the property and the residents. God may give us some insights and acquaint us with the factual history. We can ask the Lord that if there have been such things---and He knows---that He would cancel the demonic claims and remove the harassing spirits and then dedicate the property to the Lord.
A Christian builder had economic difficulties. He had built a beautiful house on a great corner property. After living in it for a time, he put it up for sale at a reasonable price. It didn't sell. He lowered the price twice, and it still didn't sell. Even other realtors were surprised. He called me, since the Lord had answered prayer to relieve another property problem. We prayed that the Lord would let us know what might be causing the problem this time. The Lord led him to find out that the woman across the street was a witch and was praying against the sale of his house. We prayed against her curses asking the Lord to break the power of the enemy working through her. His house sold shortly thereafter at a good price. We don't need to know the exact cause of the problem. We can always use the "if' question and commit the matter to the Lord.
Not all ailments are caused by demons. Many are natural. However, with a biblical world view of the spirit world and their activities we would do well to commit the difficulties to the Lord for His solution. I and my wife, Jean (who is now with the Lord), counseled with tall blond college student who loved to play basket ball but couldn't for five years due to her Fibromyalgia symptoms. She told us of some dark family problems. She gave us permission to check for the presence of demonic activity in her life. We found a spirit named "Infirmity" (as in Luke 13:11). We asked if he were causing or just aggravating the disease. She told us later that when we asked that question, she heard a discussion in her head, "Let's tell him we are just aggravating it." Her husband, who didn't believe this could happen to a Christian---as he was told by a missionary---had the privilege of asking the Lord to remove the Spirit of Infirmity and commanded him and any others out. The girl was back playing basketball within one week.
Demonization is often diagnosed by psychiatrists as either paranoid schizophrenia or bi-polar disorder, because some of the symptoms are similar---such as voices in the head, trouble with thought connections, or control by fears. We understand that there are natural diseases, but Satan is a great deceiver and a counterfeiter (2 Cor. 4:3--4; 11:14). Psychiatrists may be well trained from the natural standpoint and are of great help, but many are not aware of the intrusion of the spirit world into physical and mental areas. They are not trained by the secular and humanistic approach to test for demonic intervention. So many ignore this area, and many are fearful to investigate this reality. Christians informed and properly trained may be used by God to diagnose properly such cases. It is good to seek godly, experienced counsel.
C. Fred Dickason (BS, ThM, ThD) is professor emeritus of theology (Moody Bible Institute) and is author of "Angels, Elect and Evil," "Demon Possession and the Christian," "Names of Angels." He lectures on theological and biblical topics. He counsels the spiritually oppressed and seeks to train others in spiritual warfare counseling.