So many bad circumstances take place in this fallen world – such as illness, crime, accidents, and conflicts – that it’s easy to get so discouraged that you simply let it all happen without fighting it. But you actually have more control over bad situations than you may realize. Evil is behind much of the bad that happens in the world, and God has given you the ability to fight evil and overcome it with good through the most powerful weapon possible: prayer.
God calls all believers to fight in the spiritual battles that are constantly taking place, where evil causes suffering but God works to redeem it for good purposes. Those who say “yes” to God’s call – prayer warriors – participate in the world’s most important work.
Here’s how you can be a prayer warrior:
Understand that there is a war and you are in it. Like it or not, all of us are caught up in the spiritual war that’s taking place between good and evil. If you don’t engage in the war, you’ll still be affected by it – and you’ll be much more vulnerable to evil than you would if you decided to fight as God calls you to do. So be active; not passive. Engage in spiritual warfare with the confidence that God’s power working through you is greater than any evil working against you. Your prayers can help prevent bad things from happening to people and usher good things into people’s lives. Listen to the Holy Spirit’s promptings for guidance about how best to pray for what’s most needed – and then pray to advance God’s kingdom on Earth and stop the spread of evil.
Know your commander and stand on His side. Your commander in spiritual warfare is Jesus Christ, who leads two armies: the army of holy angels in heaven and the army of prayer warriors on Earth. Jesus chose you, saves you, gives you an eternal inheritance of blessings, and lives in your soul as the Holy Spirit. Jesus wants you to choose His side in the spiritual war, and to remember that the power He gives you is more powerful than evil. Your commander Jesus is the greatest example of a prayer warrior; by studying his life on Earth you can learn how to serve God without fear.
Recognize who your true enemy is. Your enemy is Satan, the highest ranked of the fallen angels who rebelled against God. Satan is your adversary, accuser, tempter, and deceiver. He works by trying to convince you to doubt God’s truth and believe his lies instead. You open doors for your enemy to attack you whenever you deliberately disobey God and choose to sin. It’s vital to run away from temptations to sin and pray against Satan’s plans to hurt you and other people.
Be certain of your authority in prayer. Jesus has given you authority to pray in His name and to know that He will answer your prayers according to God’s will and at the right time. Be confident that you can pray to usher God’s power into any situation.
Condition yourself to be all you can be. Do the best you can to stay in good condition spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Prayer warriors, like soldiers should in order to be optimally effective when fighting.
Put on your protective armor each morning. Put on the spiritual armor that the Bible mentions can help you engage in spiritual warfare: Gird your waist with the truth by reading your Bible often so that its truths sink deeply into your soul, and keeping those truths in mind whenever you make decisions to help guard yourself from deception. Put on the breastplate of righteousness by relying on the Holy Spirit’s guidance to choose what’s right; your right attitudes and actions will act like a bulletproof vest protecting you against Satan’s attacks. Shoe your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of peace by accepting the peace that only Jesus can give you and using that peace as an unshakeable foundation of confidence to defend yourself against evil. Take the shield of faith by placing your faith in God and His Word, the Bible, to deliver you from evil and trusting that anything is indeed possible with God. Put on the helmet of salvation by reminding yourself of what Jesus did on the Cross to save you from sin’s deception and destruction, and choosing to believe what Jesus says about you rather than lies the enemy wants you to believe. Take the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God by combatting lies with biblical truth, both defensively and offensively. Keep praying and relying on the Holy Spirit working through you until you see breakthroughs happen and God’s will is accomplished in the situations about which the Spirit led you to pray.
Become skilled with your spiritual weapons. Read the Bible and incorporate its truth into your life. Invite God’s presence into your life in greater power through praise and worship. Believe that anything is possible with God. Fast when you pray about especially challenging situations. Commit everything you pray about fully to God.
Engage in the war knowing time in short. Keep in mind that the time until Jesus returns at the end of the world is limited, and so is that time you have to live and serve on Earth. So make the most of the time you have to fight evil.
Identify the immediate battlefield. When you’re attacked by evil, be as specific as possible in your prayers about where the enemy has taken the battle.
Follow his orders to resist the enemy. Resist Satan and the evil spirits who work with him by submitting your life completely to God, rejecting pride, refusing fear, praying for miracles, being content, remembering what’s true and what’s not, and never giving up when you’re praying.
See what’s happening from God’s perspective. Ask God to show you the full truth about what’s going on in the situations about which you’re praying, as well as how you can pray about each of those situations to be most effective against evil.
Original publication date: November 25, 2013