|THE WEAPON OF PRAYER
HIS GLORY REIGNS
Oct 31 2008 08:00AM
In order that we may assail and cast down Satan's strongholds, God has provided us with appropriate spiritual
weapons. Second Corinthians 10:4 reads as follows:
bombs, bullets, tanks, or war planes], but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)"
Of course, that refers to Satan's fortresses. In other words, God has provided us with spiritual weapons. On the basis
of much study and personal experience, I(Derek Prince) believe Scripture reveals four main spiritual weapons of attack.
These are the following: prayer, praise, preaching, and testimony. We will consider the first weapon of prayer.
Prayer is much more than a weapon. There are many different aspects to prayer, one being that prayer is a weapon of
spiritual warfare. I(Derek Prince) believe it is the most powerful of all the weapons that God has committed to us.
In Ephesians 6:18, after Paul listed the six items of defensive armor, he said, "Praying always with all prayer and
supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;" At that point, he
moved from the defensive to the offensive. It is no accident that this command comes immediately after the list of
defensive armor. He mentioned there the greatest of all weapons of attack, which is prayer.
Think of prayer as an intercontinental ballistic missile. This is a missile that is launched from one continent and directed
by an advanced guidance system to a target in a completely different continent to destroy an assigned target. There is
no limitation of time or distance in prayer. Prayer is like that intercontinental ballistic missile. With it, we can assail
Satan's strongholds anywhere, even in the heavenlies.
An example of a prayer of attack is related in Acts 12:1-6. The church had come under persecution by King Herod.
James, one of the leaders, had already been executed by Herod. Now Peter was also arrested and was scheduled for
execution shortly. This was the situation:
2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the
days of unleavened bread.)
4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of
solders to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.
5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for
6 And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two
soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison."
Peter was in the maximum security jail. Herod was so determined that no one rescue Peter that he actually had four
squads of four soldiers each watching him night and day, four hours at a time. It is implied that one soldier was chained
either to Peter's hands or feet. In the natural realm, any kind of rescue was totally impossible. The church, however,
was earnestly praying.
A crisis adjusts our priorities. I do not know how earnestly the church had been in prayer, but suddenly James had
been snatched from them. Now they saw the danger of Peter, their natural leader, being taken. That was motivation for
earnest prayer. They were not only praying in the daytime, but the record indicates they were praying at night, as well.
It is important to notice that there are times when merely praying in the day will not be enough. Jesus said in Luke 18:7
that God would avenge His own elect who cried unto Him "day and night." There is an intensity in prayer that is
sometimes needed to release God's intervention.
Jesus had given a promise to Peter in John 21:18-19:
thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, another shall gird thee,
and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.
19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he
saith unto him, Follow me."
I wonder whether Peter was meditating on that promise in the prison. Jesus said, "When you are old." At that time,
Peter was not yet an old man. I suppose he must have reasoned something was going to happen to cause the word of
Jesus to stand, and stand it did, but it took the prayer of the church to make it effective.
God answered the prayer of the church by sending an angel to deliver Peter. Acts 12:8-11 states,
unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.
9 And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but
thought he saw a vision.
10 When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto
the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one
street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.
11 And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his
angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of
only the first part of the result of their prayer. We must also see the second part, which was a judgment by an angel on
the persecutor, King Herod. In Acts 12:19-23, we read,
commanded that they should be put to death. And he went down from Judaea to Caesarea, and there
20 And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to
him, and having made Blastus the king's chamberlain their friend, desired peace; because their
country was nourished by the king's country.
21 And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration
22 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a God, and not of a man.
23 And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was
eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost."
released the intervention of angels. We can compare it to the time in Daniel 10, when Daniel prayed and the angel
came from heaven with the answer.
The final comment of Scripture is in Acts 12:24: "But the word of God grew and multiplied [continued to increase and
spread)." This pictures the irresistible progress of God's Word, especially the promise that Jesus had given to Peter
that he was to be an old man before he died. But it took prayer to enforce the promises of God's Word. This is what we
must understand. The promises of God's Word are not a substitute for our prayers; they provoke our prayers, and it
takes our prayers to make the promises of God's Word effective in our spirits. It also takes our prayers to release the
intervention of angels on our behalf.
The Scripture says that angels are "ministering spirits," sent forth for our benefit (Hebrews 1:14), but they do not come,
as a rule, until we pray through. By our prayer, we release that intervention of angels that is God's answer. Bear in
mind that prayer breaks through Satan's kingdom in the heavenlies and releases divine angelic intervention.
Spiritual Warfare, by Derek Prince, Copyright 1987, Whitaker House.
|LIFE IN JESUS-MINISTRIES