OCCUPYING IN PRAYER AND WARFARE

Introduction

In Luke 19:13, the King of Glory gave us a guideline to follow until Christ returns. This verse tells us what to engage in or spend our time on until we meet with the Lord. We are told to occupy till Jesus comes, to put what God has given us to work, to make profitable divine investments, to do Kingdom business. Occupying till He comes simply means give full attention to God’s will and work until Christ returns or stay busy doing God’s business.

One thing that is part of God’s will for our lives and forms part of the work God wants us to engage in until Christ returns is PRAYER and WARFARE.

Several Bible passages tell us to be committed to and give our attention to prayer.

Romans 12:12 tells us to be “faithful in prayer.”

1 Thessalonians 5:17 encourages us to “pray continually” or without ceasing.”

Colossians 4:2 tells us “devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”

Ephesians 6:18 says “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and request. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”

Anything God emphasises should be taken very seriously. God’s word lays special emphasis on the need to be devoted to prayer. It therefore follows that prayer should be taken very seriously. Prayer should be a major thing we are occupying our time with.

Prayer is not a mere routine or ritual. Prayer is actually a spiritual confrontation with the kingdom of darkness.

When we pray, we are wrestling; we are engaging in a fight, a battle or warfare with forces and powers of darkness. Paul spoke about this in Colossians 4:12. In this verse, we are told of a man called Epaphras who was always wrestling in prayer. Epaphras wrestled in prayers to ensure the believers stood firm in the will of God and became fully mature in the Lord. Ephesians 6:12 makes it clear to us that we are engaged in a spiritual battle, a battle that can be won by employing God’s weapons of warfare one of which is prayer.

Keys to Effective Warfare

As we fight the good fight of faith and become instruments in the hands of God to uproot, tear down destroy and overthrow every planting and plan of the devil, there are certain things we must apply to our daily living to be fruitful, fervent and effective in prayer and warfare.

  1. SEEK DIVINE INSTRUCTION

This is so important in spiritual warfare where we are not fighting flesh and blood; we have unseen enemies (Ephesians 6:12), the battle is round the clock; every moment of the day, every season of life the devil is on the move (1 Peters 5:8, Job 1:7, Psalm 91:5-6). Furthermore, you are not meant to fight the way the world fights (2 Corinthians 10:3-5), and you can’t rely on your own human understanding of the situation (Proverbs 3:5-6). This is because what you consider to be the way to victory may actually be what can give your enemies an upper hand.

Whenever there is a battle, there are many options before you. You can face the enemy headlong, you can run away from the enemy, ignore the enemy, or rely on someone else to help you fight the enemy. How do you know which option will give you victory? This is why you certainly need clear and specific instructions from God on how to handle any battle that comes your way.

Prayer and seeking direction from God is a pathway to victory. In 2 Samuel 5:17, when David was anointed King of Israel, the Philistines came in full force against him. When David heard his enemies were coming at him, he inquired of the Lord about what to do; how to handle the situation and God told David what to do (2 Samuel 5:18-21). Concerning those enemies that have come in full force against God’s plan and purpose for your life, God will tell you what to do. But you have to inquire of the Lord, you need a divine instruction.

PRAY THIS PRAYER: O LORD PLEASE DIRECT ME AND SHOW ME WHAT TO DO. SHOW ME WHAT TO DO ABOUT THAT BATTLE IN MY FAMILY; THAT BATTLE AGAINST MY MARRIAGE AND MY CHILDREN. SHOW ME WHAT TO DO ABOUT EVERY ENEMY THAT HAS RISEN UP AGAINST YOUR PLAN AND PURPOSE FOR MY LIFE, EVERY ENEMY AGAINST MY PROGRESS, EVERY ENEMY FIGHTING AND RESISTING YOUR PLAN FOR MY MINISTRY, FINANCES, BUSINESS AND CAREER.

PRAY THIS SAME PRAYER FOR YOUR CHURCH AND NATION. O LORD SHOW US WHAT TO DO ABOUT EVERY ENEMY THAT IS DETERMINED TO BRING DOWN OUR CHURCH AND NATION.

We continually need to go to the presence of God to seek and receive divine direction because the devil will never give up (Luke 4:13). After David defeated the Philistines in 2 Samuel 5: 17-21, the Philistines came up against him a second time. The devil is a very determined and resilient enemy. This is why we too must be persistent, determined and tenacious soldiers of Christ.

The first time the Philistines came up against David, God told him to go immediately and face them. This time around, God told him not to go straight up against the Philistines but to circle around behind them (2 Samuel 5:22-25). What this tells us is that people who lose battles are people who lean on their own understanding, people who work in the flesh not according to the leading of God. One big mistake people make in the place of prayer is to pray about only some certain issues. Someone that leans on one’s own understanding or works in the flesh is someone who compartmentalizes what to bring before God. He or she feels some situations should be discussed with God some shouldn’t be brought before God. David brought each situation, each battle to God. Do you pray about ‘serious’ issues like cancer and don’t even bother to pray about ‘minor’ matters like a headache. You need to take everything, every situation to God in prayer for Him to speak to you and lead you on what to do about that situation so you can walk in victory (Philippians 4:6).

Someone that leans on his own understanding or works in the flesh is also someone that assumes that I can depend on how I did it yesterday. Someone whose attitude to challenges and issues of life is it worked yesterday, it will work today. But when it comes to spiritual warfare, God has a different approach and strategy for each battle. You can’t afford to rely on your own understanding; to rely on what worked yesterday. You need fresh instructions for each battle. The Philistines would have made mince meat of David if he had relied on what he did in the previous battle with the Philistines.

PRAY THIS PRAYER: O LORD, PLEASE HELP ME TO DIE TO FLESH. FROM TODAY I STOP LEANING AND RELYING ON MY OWN UNDERSTANDING. 

How many battles have we lost because we relied on how our human mind perceived and understood the situation? When you are on the battlefield of life, it must be God not your flesh telling you what to do.

  1. DON’T BE A SOLDIER WHO IS UNAWARE, UNMINDFUL & OBLIVIOUS TO WHAT YOUR ENEMY IS PLANNING

We see from 2 Corinthians 2:11 that those Satan outwits; those the enemy can have an advantage over are those who are ignorant, unaware or oblivious to what Satan is planning or doing.

In Judges 18:9-10, 27-28 we are told of an interesting story of an unsuspecting people. A people who lost a good land, a people that were attacked, massacred and conquered because they were taken things casually and easy, with no idea whatsoever of what was being planned for them.

As we sit, right now in the kingdom of darkness so many evil plans and agendas are being discussed and presented for individuals, families, organisations, churches and nations. As soldiers for Christ who are to be occupying in prayer and warfare until our Lord returns, we shouldn’t be people who discover these satanic plans after they have been implemented. While the enemy is planning, we are to be aware of what he is doing and quickly move into action in the place of prayer to frustrate and terminate that plan.

So the question is how can we scatter and cancel satanic plans we are not even aware of? How can we know what an unseen enemy is planning and doing? The answer is by having discernment, by God opening our spiritual eyes.

In 2 Kings 6:8-10 the enemies of Israel were not able to defeat them because God kept revealing to Elisha what the enemy was planning. God opened Elisha’s eyes to what their enemies were planning to do to them and this put them steps ahead of their enemies. May you always be steps ahead of your enemies.

PLEASE PRAY THIS PRAYER: O LORD, OPEN MY SPIRITUAL EYES SO I DON’T FALL INTO THE PIT THE ENEMY HAS DUG FOR ME.

2 Kings 6:11 tells us that the king of Aram was enraged because the Israelites didn’t go to the places he had planned to ambush them. God aborted the plans of their enemies, God disappointed their enemies. May all your enemies meet with disappointment this year.   

PRAY THIS PRAYER: O LORD, KEEP MY SPIRITUAL EYES OPEN SO THAT EVERY ENEMY OF MY LIFE WILL BE FRUSTRATED AND DISAPPOINTED. FATHER, PLEASE KEEP ME SPIRITUALLY ALERT SO MY ENEMIES DON’T REJOICE AND TRIUMPH OVER ME.

  1. YOU CAN’T GO TO BATTLE ON YOUR OWN

In Judges 18:28, we see that not only were the people of Laish unsuspecting, they isolated themselves from other people and had no relationship with other people. This is a red flag in spiritual warfare. The people of Laish were conquered because they had no one to join them and help them fight their battle.

James 5:13-18 is a very instructive passage about prayer. One thing this passage makes clear to us is that there are some situations that you can pray on your own. It says “Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray (James 5:13). There are some troubles that will come your way that you can take to God in prayer and you will receive victory. But there are some situations you need to engage the help of other believes to activate your victory. James 5:14 says “Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord”. In this situation, in this type of battle, we are advised not to just enter our prayer closet and talk to God about the situation; we should involve others in praying about the situation. James 5:16 goes on to say “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” There is a healing, deliverance and victory that comes when others are backing you up in prayer, when others join you to pray about a situation.

We are not encouraged to fight battles on our own or to isolate ourselves from people. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 tells us “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up.” The worst thing that can happen to someone when facing a battle is to have no one praying for him and with him.

We often think of destiny helpers as only those who can help us financially or connect us to a big job, contract or business. But we all need those who can help us in prayer.  Those that together with us in prayer, we will wreck great havoc on the kingdom of darkness (Leviticus 26:8), and be delivered from every satanic agenda for our lives, families, church and nation.

Perhaps the reason why you are falling, so weak, facing one calamity after the other, or giving in to the enemy’s taunts is because there’s no one to help you up, there’s no one surrounding and soaking your life in prayer.

THIS IS WHY WE HAVE TO PRAY THIS PRAYER: O LORD, PLEASE SURROUND ME WITH DESTINY HELPERS IN THE FORM OF SINCERE INTERCESSORS FOR CHRIST.

Just as we can’t go to battle on our own, we can’t go to battle with the wrong people. In spiritual warfare, the people you align yourself with, the people you make your allies can either make you or mar you. In 2 Chronicles 20:35-37, Jehoshaphat formed an unhealthy alliance with king Ahaziah which made him experience a major financial blow. The fleet of trading ships he spent money constructing were destroyed and so could not be used for trading; could not bring in the money he expected to get from this venture. Some people are going through financial struggles and battles God never intended for them because of wrong alliances. I pray the blood of Jesus will separate us today from every ‘Ahaziah’ that can ruin us financially.

Psalm 1:1 tells us “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.” The people you associate with can determine whether or not you will be blessed. Are there people you are walking with, standing with, sitting with; people you are close to that are keeping you from being blessed?

PRAY ALONG THESE LINES: O LORD, LET THE BLOOD OF JESUS SEPARATE ME FROM ANYONE PREVENTING THE BLESSINGS OF GOD FROM FLOWING INTO MY LIFE.

  1. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE NO PROPERTY OF THE ENEMY IN YOUR POSSESSION

In Joshua 7:1-12, the Israelites were not able to stand up to their enemies because they had with them things they were not meant to have in their possession. They had with them things set apart for destruction. These accursed things weakened them when they went out to battle. It made it easy for their enemies to overpower them.

For soldiers of Christ who are engaging in Kingdom warfare, there’s one thing we shouldn’t have in our possession, there’s one thing that can weaken us when we go out to battle. It is SIN! Sin is Satan’s property. Sin is not from God and sin does not belong to us. Sin is a characteristic and feature of the devil. Sin is Satan’s most priced and treasured goods.

Jesus declared in John 14:30 that the prince of this world, the devil had nothing of his with Jesus, nothing of his in Jesus. This should be the declaration of Christian soldiers as we march on to war to tear down the devil’s kingdom. We should be able to confidently say to the devil he can’t find his pride, lies, hypocrisy, jealousy, envy, or immorality in us.

LET’S PRAY THIS PRAYER TO BE VICTORIOUS ON THE BATTLEFRONT: FATHER, PLEASE SEND YOUR REFINING FIRE ON ME AND LET IT CONSUME EVERY TRACE AND FORM OF SIN IN MY LIFE. 

When we overcome, God bestows spiritual authority on us (Revelation 2:26). We need to overcome the temptations the enemy throws at us so we can be filled with spiritual authority to put the devil where he belongs which is under our feet! When we are walking in obedience, our enemies are terrified and they flee from us in several different directions (Deuteronomy 28:7). So let’s not allow any sin no matter how alluring and fascinating it looks, weaken and compromise our authority in Christ Jesus. Instead, let us receive grace to turn away from sin so we can be carriers of the power, presence and fire of God. The presence of God is what we need to bring down and destroy any enemy; to destroy everything that represents a ‘Dagon’ in our lives (1 Samuel 5:1-4).

PRAYER: O LORD, MAKE ME A CARRIER OF YOUR POWER AND GLORY, AND ENVELOPE MY LIFE IN YOUR PRESENCE SO I MOVE FROM GLORY TO GLORY, FROM VICTORY TO GREATER VICTORY

May the Lord release great grace on us to say no to the trappings of worldly pleasures so that even when we are faced with tough and stressful battles, or enemies stronger and much more numerous than we are come up against us, we can raise high our banner of victory.

 

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Samuel Martins on Unsplash

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *