It seems to me that both as persons and as a nation, we tend have a very inadequate viewpoint of the reality, power, and threat of Satan.
To the rational minds of our Western secular civilization, to think of Satan as a reality seems to be an endorsement of a kind of obsolete superstition. Unfortunately, there is a philosophic carry over of such ideas in the church today in that all too many tend to suppress any idea of Satan’s reality; portraying him more as the broad influence of evil rather than an actuality.
We have been given a very powerful weapon to use against the powers of darkness that will drive them to flight when it is raised up against them–prayer!
Such an idea is the ultimate consequence of rationalistic thinking regarding the truthfulness and relevance of the Bible. There was a rather broad system of thought during the “enlightenment” in which rationalism won out over spirituality. The “thinkers” of the time decided that there was no such thing as a divinely inspired Bible. They thought the idea of actual supernatural beings such as angels and demons was mere superstition; and that there were no such things as miracles and supernatural manifestations. Governed by such a mentality, they dismissed the idea of Jesus being the Son of God since He believed in both angels and demons, as well as performed miracles. Therefore, from their point of view, He was either a deceiver or deceived since such things couldn’t happen. Either way, they decided, He was not qualified to be God. In keeping with their ideas, they dismissed the very thought of there being a literal devil.
There are very few in the Christian community, today, who would endorse such thinking about Christ. For some, however, there is as area of basic agreement with the old liberals regarding the reality of Satan–having made judgments based on reason rather than revelation. Contrary to what they might believe, as Hal Lindsay once said, “Satan is alive and well on the planet Earth.” To believe that he is not would require that we endorse their secular mindset and to be in danger of being snared by the same illogical presumptions.
According to the Bible, Satan has been the architect of evil from the very beginning. Starting with Adam and Eve, his reign of evil has extended to the very present. He and his demons have assiduously assaulted every political entity and structure of the world–infiltrating the social orders of every age and have dominated every geographic location, integrating their malicious depravity into their very fabric. They permeate cultures and ethnic groups and insinuate their ideals into such environments as schools, media, religious organizations, homes, and communities in every corner of the world. They have only one objective in mind, to steal, to kill, and to destroy. For us to doubt this is to put all that we stand for at risk.
One would be inclined to think that against such a foe, we would have little strength and would be like lambs driven to the slaughter.
Not true! We have been given a very powerful weapon to use against the powers of darkness that will drive them to flight when it is raised up against them–prayer!
It is imperative that we realize how powerful we can be in prayer. The prayers of one can divide calm seas and calm stormy seas. They can shape nations and shake Satan’s kingdom. As James said, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). What a glorious promise we have of the power of a faithful prayer warrior in Psalms 91, “A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee” (Psalms 91:7).
It is quite interesting to note that God believed very much in the power of one faithful prayer warrior. Listen to both the passion and the sorrow when He said: “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none” (Ezekiel 22:30). He believed very much in the power of a faithful man who dared to pray–one who would stand in the gap before Him for the people to stand down His wrath but he found none.
Unfortunately, we, today, understand little about the power of prayer–especially in spiritual warfare. Jesus challenged Peter to be a great spiritual warrior. He said, “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19). He went on later to say, “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 18: 18).
The scripture, in Ecclesiastes, emphasizes the power of multiplicity: “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).
Jesus emphasized the power of two in agreement in prayer when He said, “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 18:19).
If then, as God promised, “A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand” what will happen if we band together in groups of two or three in mighty righteous prayer for the land; praying against the powers of darkness. Our Father has promised that He would hear our prayers and heal our land if we would meet His conditions (See 2 Chronicles 7:14).
Let’s start then, as a committee of one–or two, finding what our Father will do when righteous people pray.