Burning Bush

Spiritual Warfare

© 1997 - This approach to the concept of Spiritual Warfare was developed by Robin Ross rross@telus.net

Being a Christian and a Presbyterian in Canada Today

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Topic 1. Presbyterian Distinctives

Topic 2. The Authority Of Scripture

Topic 3. Our Living God

Topic 4. The Church

Topic 5. Worship

Topic 6. The Christian Life

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The Concept of Spiritual Warfare
  • "The story of your life is the story of a long and brutal assault on your heart by the one who knows what you could be and fears it." - John Eldridge
  • "There is no neutral ground in the universe. Every square inch, every split second is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan." - C.S. Lewis
  • "You are a poor solidier of Christ if you think you can overcome without fighting and have the crown without conflict." - John Chrysostom
  • "We are locked in a battle. It is a life-and-death conflict between the spiritual hosts of wickedness and those who claim the name of Christ." - Francis Schaffer
  • "Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up." - 1 Peter 5:8, The Message
  • "The Church in the west today presents too easy a target for Satan. We do not believe we are at war. We are better fitted for a parade than for an amphibious landing." - Ed Silvaro
  • "The reason why many fail in battle is because they wait until the hour of battle. The reason why others succeeed is because they have gained the victory on their knees long before the battle came." R.A. Torrey

Are you feeling powerless against an onslaught of injustice, health problems, or persecution? Is someone you love snared in rebellion or immorality? The evidence of Christian hymnody indicates that Christians through the centuries have recognized that we are in a state of spiritual warfare. Memorable lines like,

    Onward! Christian soldiers,
    Marching as to war...
    At the sign of triumph
    Satan's host doth flee;
indicate that we are locked in conflict with Satan and his principalities and powers. With this in mind, a reading of Scripture turns up not only many references to warfare, but also wonderful instructions and promises in regard to carrying out this warfare. In Hebrews 4:12, it says: For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword... At the end of His forty day fast in the wilderness, Jesus used Scripture to defeat the temptations of Satan, and we, too, can quote scripture to defeat Satan. What follows is a compendium of Scripture references to spiritual warfare, and then a Spiritual Warfare Prayer, made up of quotations from these passages, strung together and personalized into a prayer.

Spiritual Warfare Scripture References

All Scripture selections are taken from the New International Version.

  • EXOD 12:21-23 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning. When the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.
  • 2KGS 6:16 "Don't be afraid," [Elijah] answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them."
  • 2CHR 20:12, 15, 17 [King Jehoshaphat prayed,] "O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you." [Jehaziel] said: "Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.'"
  • JOB 1:10 [Satan accused God,] "Have you not put a hedge around [Job] 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."
  • ISA 54:17 "No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me," declares the Lord.
  • ISA 55:11 So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
  • ISA 58:8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
  • JER 15:21 I will save you from the hands of the wicked and redeem you from the grasp of the cruel.
  • ZECH 3:2 The Lord said to Satan, "The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?"
  • ZECH 4:6 So he said to me, "This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty."
  • MATT 12:29 [Jesus said,] "Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man's house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house."
  • MATT 18:18 [Jesus said,] "I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
  • MATT 26:53 [Jesus said,] "Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?"
  • MARK 9:25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. "You deaf and mute spirit," he said, "I command you, come out of him and never enter him again."
  • JOHN 10:10 [Jesus said,] "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
  • JOHN 14:14 [Jesus said,] "You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."
  • ACTS 2:43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.
  • ACTS 12:24 But the word of God continued to increase and spread.
  • ROM 5:5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
  • 1COR 15:57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • 2COR 10:3-5 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 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.
  • EPH 2:6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.
  • EPH 3:16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.
  • EPH 6:10-17 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
  • COL 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
  • JAS 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
  • 1JN 4:4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
  • REV 1:6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father -- to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.
  • The Spiritual Warfare Prayer

    NOTES -- In the following prayer, the words "this situation" refer to the conflicts in your life where you discern that behind and beyond the difficulties created by human beings, you are experiencing an attack of Satan's hosts. Examples are:

    • (1) persecution solely because of your stand as a Christian;
    • (2) injustice against which you are powerless;
    • (3) opposition in your crusade for certain moral issues.
    • (4) health problems for which there is no medical reason or cure.
    • (5) unexplainable "psychic" phenomena.
    In other cases, the attack may be against someone else, in which case you can substitute that person's name for the asterisked instances of the word "me". Examples are:
    • (1) a wayward or rebellious son, daughter or spouse;
    • (2) an unsaved loved one or friend;
    • (3) a friend or relative in a cult, or in immoral activity.
    When using the prayer be very specific in the description of the situation and use the names of the people that are prominent in that situation.

    Introductory Prayer

    (John 14:14) Father, I come to You in Jesus' Name.
    (Eph.3:16) I ask you to strengthen me with might by Your Spirit in my inner man,
    (Zech.4:6) for it is "not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit," says the Lord of hosts.
    (Ex.12:21-23) I ask You to cover me (and my family) with the blood of Jesus,
    (Job 1:10) and make a hedge about me, for protection from Satan's attacks.
    (Eph.6:11-12) I put on the whole armour of God, that I may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For I wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
    (Eph.6:14-17) I stand therefore, having my loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and my feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And I take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God,
    (Is.58:8) and the glory of the Lord is my rearward.
    (2Cor.10:3-4) I shall not war after the flesh, for the weapons of my warfare are not carnal, but mighty through You.
    (Is 54:17) No weapon that is formed against me* shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against me* in judgement shall be condemned.
    (2Chr.20:12,15,17) I have no might against this great company that comes against me*; neither know I what to do: but my eyes are upon you. I shall not be afraid nor dismayed, for the battle is not mine, but Yours. I set myself, I stand still, and see Your deliverance.
    (Jer.15:20-21) Make me* as a fenced brazen wall, so that though Satan's hosts shall fight against me*, they shall not prevail against me*, for You are with me* to deliver me* out of the hand of the wicked one and redeem me* out of the hand of the terrible.
    (1Cor.15:57) Thanks be to You, O God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

    The Spiritual Warfare (not a prayer)

    (Zech.3:2) The Lord rebuke you, Satan!
    (Jn.14:14) I come against you in the name of Jesus,
    (Eph.6:10) and in the power of His might,
    (Rev.1:6) for He has made us kings and priests to rule with Him in spiritual authority,
    (Eph.2:6) and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
    (Mt.18:18) What I shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven,
    (1Jn.4:4) for greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world.
    (Mt.12:29) Therefore, I bind the strong man,
    (Eph.6:12) and cast down the principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, and spiritual wickedness in high places over this situation.
    (Mark 9:25) I rebuke you foul spirits that are seeking to manipulate, intimidate, frustrate and destroy in this situation.
    (Jn.10:10) I rebuke you foul spirits of __________ that are operating and manifesting yourselves in the lives of __________ (list names), and all those in agreement with them. I command you to desist in your manoeuvres.
    (Jas.4:7) I resist you, devil, and you must flee from me.
    (2Cor.10:4-5) I pull down strongholds; I cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ, and I bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

    Concluding Prayer

    (Mt.26:53) I ask you, Father, to give me more than twelve legions of angels to do spiritual warfare in this situation,
    (2Kng.6:16) for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
    (Mt.18:18) I loose the power of the Holy Spirit to move freely and save souls in this situation.
    (Acts 2:43) Thank you that the fear of the Lord is coming upon every soul watching this situation,
    (Acts 12:24) and that Your Word is growing and multiplying,
    (Is.55:11) for Your Word shall not return void, but it shall accomplish what You please and prosper in the thing whereto You send it.
    (Col.3:15) Thank You that Your peace is ruling in my heart,
    (Rom.5:5) and that Your love is shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Spirit that dwells in me. Amen.