Bible Study Notes:
Prayer Warfare &
The Christian Soldier
These notes are from a transcript of the
postings during Bible Study on Thursday Nights at 8 PM at Bible Study Chat at
Praise the Lord! God's blessings on you all!
Father God we exalt your Name tonight and praise you for your blessings to mankind. We are especially grateful for your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who has bought us with His own life's blood. We have been delivered from the kingdom of darkness and translated into the kingdom of your dear Son, and we rejoice!
OlePappy - Thank you Father for this medium that we have available to extend the knowledge of the Word. In Jesus name. AMEN
Now satan, you foul-mouthed liar, we come against you in the mighty Name above all Names, JESUS, and bind you and rebuke you and cast you out of this room, before during and after the lesson, you are rendered powerless by the blood of Jesus Christ!
Holy Spirit we invite you to be our teacher. Lead us into the truth of Jesus. Cleanse our hearts so we can understand. Open our eyes and ears so that we may see and hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches. Anoint your leaders God to speak your Word in love, in faith and in truth. In Jesus Name, AMEN
We've been studying spiritual warfare, especially in Ephesians 6:10-18. Last time we discussed our armor. For review, what piece of armor protects our heart?
Right and what is righteousness?
Right, righteousness is being in "right standing" with God, free of sin, forgiven, cleansed by Jesus blood, and in fellowship with God. What do we buckle about our waist?
And what is truth?
Right Jesus is truth, and this truth is what not only holds on our breastplate of righteousness, but holds the up our sword. So what goes on our feet?
Right, we walk in peace! And what is our helmet?
What is salvation?
Salvation is deliverance from evil, redemption (buying us back) from the devil, atoning (covering) our sins, forgiveness, and health and healing, body mind and spirit. And who won our Salvation?
AMEN - Jesus is our salvation! Now what is our shield?
What is faith?
Faith is the evidence of things hoped for, the substance of things not seen - Our dependence upon and obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ and His redeeming sacrifice for our sins.
Now what does our shield of faith do?
AMEN!I Peter 1:5 "who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. " What is our sword?
How do we use the Word of God for defensive measures?
Right, if the devil is trying to make us fear, for example, use this sword: For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of love, power and a strong mind!
How do we use the Word of God, the Sword of the Spirit, OFFENSIVELY? For example, we use the Word in OFFENSE against the devil by doing intercession for others. And commanding satan to flee, as we did before this study. And in re-claiming what the devil has stolen for us!
Good point, BBHG & PFJ, love conquers! OK, sounds like you guys are learning. Now lets learn a little more about OFFENSE against our enemy.
Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Now we've got our armor on, the Bible commands us to STAND and PRAY! Now to some this doesn't sound much like warfare, but that is what we are called to do!
BB, well once you put it on, just don't ever take it off! But if it helps you to speak it out each day, do so! It is especially important, though, when you engage in a specific conflict, be sure your heart is cleansed and be sure that armor is in place!
Jessee Penn-Lewis, author of "Spiritual Warfare" talks about our prayer warfare in Ephesians 6 as "against spiritual hosts of evil in the atmosphere where, "Christ-encased", the prayer warriors wrestle and overthrow the principalities and powers attacking the Church of Christ. . . Let prayer warriors claim the "It is finished" of Calvary upon the unseen hosts of satan opposing the proclamation of the gospel, or holding souls in bondage and darkness. Christ's last words of triumph will prevail, as we pray through the union with him on the throne. "
Miss Lewis continues: "You need to pray over everything, for protection from the foes watching to break in upon your life. . . Before this there needs to be a "Discernment of spirits" (1 John 4:1). It is only as we advance in spiritual growth that we apprehend that our foes are actually spirit beings, distinct personal entities."
I John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
When we do spiritual warfare on behalf of another, we need to seek the Spirit for discernment of the spiritual forces that may be binding them. How do we test spirits to see whether they are from God? By the WORD. So let's look at prayer for a few minutes. What is prayer?
Prayer is simply talking to God, whether out loud or inwardly. It doesn't matter HOW you pray, God hears. But sometimes we kneel in reverence, sometimes we leap for joy, sometimes we dance for gladness, and sometimes we stand and lift holy hands as a wave offering of praise. Sometimes we pray out loud, sometimes inwardly, sometimes in the spirit. The important thing is to PRAY. Right Glory, a prayerful attitude is a reverent and expectant heart towards God.
WHY do we pray?
So one reason we pray is to petition God for our needs. And to show our dependence on God. What are some other reasons we pray?
Jesus is our example that we should follow in His steps. And He gives us a sample prayer to learn from.
Matthew 6:9 "This, then, is how you should pray: "`Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,"
First of all, we pray to our FATHER in heaven. We have a personal relationship with Him - through the shed blood of Jesus Christ we are adopted in His family. So we talk to Him because we are related to Him and want to interact with Him. We also pray to hallow, or make holy, His Name, to exalt and magnify God, praising Him for who He is.
Matthew 6:10 "your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
"Thy will be done"- the second reason to pray is to seek God's will, seek enablement to do it, and to do His will. Prayer isn't inducing God to manipulate events in our behalf, it is cooperating with Him in HIS plan.
Amen Glory, God inhabits the praises of His people!
Matthew 6:11 "Give us today our daily bread" - since God is our Father, we pray to Him for things we need. He is our Source, and will supply ALL our needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus. He often supplies our "wants" as well if we delight ourselves in Him and do His will.
Matthew 6:12 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Forgive us our trespasses" - we go to God for forgiveness and cleansing of sins. Our forgiveness from God depends on us forgiving those who offend us - "as we forgive those who trespass against us". There is an excellent book on handling offenses and forgiveness called "The Bait of Satan" by John Bevere. I highly recommend it!
If you have sinned and know it, if you don't confess it, then anything else you have to say will be "blocked" because the sin is in the way.
Psalm 66:18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;
Glory! - We manifest things in the earth by praying God's will, take it from the spiritual realm and bring his Kingdom to pass
Right glory, when we pray the Word, we are promised that God's Word shall not return unto him void, but shall accomplish His purposes!
BB, ask the Spirit to reveal it to You. He reveals unconfessed sin to us and then we can repent. Also as we read the word and fellowship with his saints, God will reveal to us sins committed in ignorance and we can be cleansed of those as well.
Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Another purpose of prayer is to encourage, enable and strengthen us against spiritual assaults. In ourselves, we are powerless against the devil, but in Jesus Christ, clothed in God's armor, we are ALWAYS victorious!
So in Christ's sample prayer, we covered almost every type of pray that you all had mentioned.
Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Notice that part of our spiritual warfare in praying with ALL KINDS of prayers. And we are to pray IN THE SPIRIT.
"In the Spirit" means several things. First when we pray in the Spirit, we are praying God's will according to the Word. We are in the Spirit in the sense of "thy will be done". We are also "in the Spirit" in the sense that we are not in the flesh, we are in God's presence and mindful of His presence. We are also "in the Spirit" in that we allow Him to intercede for us.
Romans 8:26-27 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.
And when we are "in the Spirit" we ARE praying in God's will, as this verse says. And God's will WILL be done! AMEN
Notice that it says to "pray in the Spirit on ALL occasions". We are to pray when we're happy, pray when we're sad, pray when we're sick, pray when we're well, pray everywhere and for everything. Perhaps the most important type of prayer in spiritual warfare is intercession.
1 Timothy 2:1 -2 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
What is intercession?
Right. Intercession means to plead on someone else's behalf for a favor or deliverance. This is what Jesus did for us:
Isaiah 53:12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
And He continues to intercede for us to the Father:
Hebrews 7:25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
How do you do spiritual warfare or intercession on behalf of another?
I can recommend "A Woman's Guide to Spiritual Warfare" by Quin Sherrer & Ruthanne Garlock, because not only does it have great warfare info, but scriptural prayers to help you pray about all kinds of situations.
A rule of thumb in doing spiritual warfare or intercession is to identify WHAT you are asking for, and find scriptures that deal with that problem and PRAY THE WORD over them! Generally, anyone in the kingdom of darkness is spiritually blind and satan has erected strongholds in his life that need to be torn down. Spiritual discernment is the key to effective praying! Pray according to:
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 - The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Here is a sample prayer based on that scripture:"In the Name of Jesus: I come against the strongholds that satan has erected in the mind of (name the person) and I cast down those strongholds and every high thing in (name the person) 's mind that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. And I release (name the person) 's mind to the obedience of Christ. I loose (him or her) to be reconciled to God. Father: I pray that you will send people across (name the person) 's path that will minister to (him or her) and lead (him or her) to Jesus. Amen."
In intercession, you can also pray a hedge of thorns around them: what will this cause to happen? When satan petitioned God to trouble Job, he said this:
Job 1:10 "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land."
When Hosea was praying for his unfaithful wife Gomer, who was a symbol of the unfaithfulness of God's people at the time, God told him to pray a hedge about her. This is what God told Hosea to pray:
Hosea 2:6-7 Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, `I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.'
So if you're praying for someone who's unfaithful, you can pray a hedge of thorns about them, that they will not be able to find their lovers, etc.
According to Jesse Penn-Lewis : "an Armored Christian is always armored with the truth, righteous in his life, makes and keeps peace, has salvation/self-control, uses faith as a shield, has Scriptures in his hand and prays without ceasing. By contrast, the Non-armored Christian is open to lies through ignorance, is unrighteous through ignorance, is divisive and quarrelsome, is recklessly unwatchful, is doubtful and unbelieving, relies on reason instead of God's Word and relies on work without prayer". Do you have your armor on today?
OK, so we've talked in this study about preparing our hearts for war by asking God to remove anything in our hearts displeasing to Him. Then we talked about our spiritual armor and putting it on. Then we talked about prayer, especially intercessory prayer. Now let's look at some more scriptures that tell us about being soldiers in God's army.
What do you think it means to be a soldier in God's army?
AMEN all good answers! These are some things the Lord has been speaking to OP and me about it
1. Unquestioning obedience to those in authority.
When God's Word commands us, we should, as good soldiers, obey without question or grumbling. If you are interested in what disobedience and grumbling will do for you, read the book of Exodus.
Well, submission to authority is hard for Americans! LOL and it's a lesson that's taken me about 45 years to learn myself. So ask the Lord to lead you. But when you think about an army, would a general tolerate a foot soldier questioning his orders?
We are very independent, self-sufficient, hardheaded, etc in the USA. This is very hard for us to understand and follow. But as soldiers, we need to find our places in the army of God, and obey those above us. And remember if God places us in leadership, that we are to regard ourselves as servants.
BBHG & PFJ - We ALL submit to one another.
2. Loyalty and support of other soldiers is also part of the picture.
Paul was commending the Corinthians for helping the needy Christians in Jerusalem, and their support and eagerness to help stirred the believers in Macedonia and Achaia to help also. Think again about an army where each soldier supports his fellow soldiers, and they work together in loyalty and harmony.
Another characteristic of a soldier is:
Proverbs 25:28 Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.
Soldiers, to be effective in war, must be self-disciplined. Again in America, we are not used to self-discipline, we want self-gratification. Our whole culture is based on that. But without self-discipline, our walls of protection are broken down and we are open to the enemy.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
BBHG & PFJ - Lord, help us to be self-disciplined.
Part of being a good soldier is throwing off hindrances and entanglements. Everyone has an entangling or besetting sin, something we have to deal with severely to rid ourselves of it. It could be a problem with lust, or self-pity, depression, hatred, and bitterness - any number of things. But as good soldiers we need to discipline ourselves to crucify that thing than hinders us from whole-hearted service. And we need perseverance - to keep at it until it leaves in Jesus Name!
2 Peter 1:5-9 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
Now this is a long list of things that we need to "add" to our faith, and notice that self-control comes after knowledge. God's Word reveals to us what we need, and then we do it.
2 Peter 1:8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Notice in this verse that IF we possess these qualities in "increasing measure" - that is it is a progressive thing - then we WILL be effective and productive soldiers!
OK, we'll stop here for tonight. Next time we'll start with point #4! God bless all who came and contributed tonight!
Father God we bless your holy Name and thank you that you allow us to be soldiers in your army. Holy Spirit, train our hands and hearts for WAR and let us be productive and effective in the Spirit. AMEN
Remember we walk by faith and not by sight. We are what the Word says that we are not what we feel!
Remember, whenever God
gives us a revelation, the devil tries to steal it from us. Guard your hearts and meditate
on what you've learned!
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