Food for Thought
How to Prepare for Spiritual Battle
Believer, you are part of a very real spiritual conflict. You may not even be aware of it, which of course means the devil has you right where he wants you. But now you know! And instead of that discouraging you, you should be encouraged. Think of it. A third of the angels followed Satan, but two-thirds of the angels still serve God. So right at the start, Satan is already outnumbered. Further, the Bible says, “He who is in you [God] is greater than he who is in the world [Satan]” (1 John 4:4). So you’re on the winning side, no matter what, or who, comes your way.
ESSENTIAL PREPARATION FOR SPIRITUAL BATTLE
But to survive and effectively engage in this spiritual fight, there are two very important things Daniel wanted us to know.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SCRIPTURE
The first thing we need to be prepared with in spiritual battle is the importance of Scripture. Notice what this angelic being said to Daniel: “But I will tell you what is noted in the Scripture of Truth” (Daniel 10:21). Elsewhere the Bible is called “the sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17) and even a weapon that’s “sharper than any two-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12). It is both a defensive weapon as well as an offensive one. It can deflect an attack as well as inflict an attack.
According to the Bible, the devil is the one “who deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:9). Deception is one of the main arrows Satan fires from his bow. For a Christian, knowing Scripture is essential. It’s like a surgeon knowing how to operate, a football player knowing the playbook, or a musician knowing how to play a song. It’s a nonnegotiable. You simply can’t face life each day without feeding, nourishing, and equip- ping yourself with the Word of God. Cut the Bible out of your life, and you are guaranteed to become a casualty of war.
Carry the Bible into your battles and you’re sure to gain the upper hand.
The Word of God is so potent that it can transform people from the realm of spiritual darkness to light, from falsehood to truth, from being deceived to being enlightened. Every time God’s Word leads you out of temptation or through a trial, it’s a demonstration of Scripture’s power to cut through the spiritual and moral blindness inflicted by satanic forces. Every time that same Word of Truth leads a person to salvation, it demonstrates its power to cut a swath through Satan’s dominion and bring life to a soul previously sentenced to death.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER
The second thing Daniel taught us is the importance of prayer. Like Daniel, when you’re on your knees, you are on the front lines of battle. Prayer is like bringing a gun to a knife fight. No wonder the deceiver wants to keep you from engaging in prayer at all costs. When you’re in prayer, the devil is defeated. We are on the winning side, and we get to use the big guns! What an awesome God! And if He is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31).
As far as the ultimate war is concerned, we can’t lose. Our commanding officer has dealt the defeating blow while on the cross (Colossians 2:14–15). He bound the strong man because he is stronger (Luke 11:22–23). That means that nothing will be able to snatch you away from God’s love, His care, and His plan (John 10:28). But you can lose skirmishes along the way. That’s where prayer comes in—and that’s where Daniel entered the battle.
Daniel understood that this demonic global conspiracy is bigger, stronger, and more organized than he could face on his own. So he didn’t. Daniel tapped into the power of the stronger one; he revealed his dependence on the Lord, whose battle it is. It’s interesting that after Paul listed the armor for spiritual warfare in Ephesians 6—the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit—he then mentioned prayer (v. 18). Why? Because even when we are well equipped for battle, we’re still dependent on God.
WHAT TO PRAY FOR
What things do you pray for in a spiritual battle? Pray for perseverance—the ability to stay steady, keep going, and not quit. Pray for wisdom not to waste this opportunity to display God’s grace as others are watching you face these difficulties. And pray for others, including fellow believers who are also fighting skirmishes on their own fronts. Finally, pray for victory. If you fight the battle the way God wants you to fight it, armed with His truth and depending on Him in prayer, He will give you a victory you have never known before. Your greatest joys will come from the greatest victories enjoyed after your greatest battles.
Our battle is real and our enemy is powerful, so we have to always be ready to rumble. And nothing makes Satan weak in the knees more than when we are on our knees. So pray!
In 1857, slavery, rebellion, and rumors of war were spreading across the United States. Three years later, Americans turned on each other and made bloody history. But in that same year, another kind of history was being made in New York City. It’s the kind of history you don’t read about in textbooks.
On September 23, 1857, a Christian layman named Jeremiah Lanphier held his first ever businessman’s prayer meeting in Lower Manhattan. It was not, by any account, a rousing success. He had passed out fliers for weeks—and only six men attended. Two weeks later the stock market crashed, and thousands of families lost all they had. Ironically, this time also marked the beginning of one of the greatest spiritual awakenings the world has ever seen. Week by week, Jeremiah Lanphier’s tiny lunch hour prayer meeting grew larger and larger. By December, his six men had grown to ten thousand, and they met not every week, but every day.
The New York newspapers took notice, and when word spread to other cities, spontaneous revival broke out across the country. In Cleveland and Saint Louis, thousands packed down- town churches and theaters three times each day just to pray. In Chicago, churches had waiting lists for people wanting to teach Sunday school. And all across America pastors were baptizing twenty thousand new believers every week.
This revival became known as the Third Great Awakening and eventually spread around the world. In England entire towns were converted. Some towns disbanded their police force because of a lack of crime, and so many people came to Christ that churches were forced to hold services outside to accommodate the swelling crowds. The world had seen nothing like it—before or since. It was revival on a global scale. And God started it with one man.
So what do you think? Can history repeat itself? Could it happen again? Daniel was just one person. And so are you. But according to God, one person and prayer can move heaven and earth. Prayer is your supernatural power source. Your ammunition for victory.
Christian, get on your knees and fight . . . . . . and win!
"Do nothing that you would not like God to see.
Say nothing you would not like God to hear.
Write nothing you would not like God to read.
Go no place where you would not like God to find you.
Read no book of which you would not like God to say, 'Show it to Me'."
J C Ryle