I’ve gotten several stories regarding political leaders in third world countries inviting entrepreneurs to their nation to help develop the economy. Amazing doors are being opened and the magnitude of the opportunity for Kingly ministry is unprecedented. At the same time resistance is being encountered by others and spiritual warfare is an important focus. We shouldn’t be surprised by an enemy that would try to thwart the Father’s plan to give us the Kingdom.
But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever — yes, for ever and ever.’ Dan 7:18 NIV
Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. Dan 7:26-27 NIV
In this newsletter we’re going to get a lesson from Daniel on spiritual warfare. He ran into some serious obstacles and was able to defeat them.
1. Your Personal Status with God – Before we jump into prayer, it’s important to hear what God had to say about Daniel. Most of us encounter problems and we turn the bright lights on and start interrogating ourselves for personal sin. If it’s there, get rid of it! But, quite often, we need to understand that: 1) God has never had any flawless people to work with, and 2) warfare is not about you – It’s about the kingdom. We’re players on God’s team with the status of friends. Joint heirs with Jesus contending for the same things God has on his heart. Daniel was highly esteemed by God and carried great authority in prayer.
As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Dan 9:23 NIV
He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed… Dan 10:11 NIV
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you….. the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. John 15:15-16 NIV
If we get caught up in self-condemnation when we are under attack the warfare will be over before it starts. We’re more than conquerors seated at the right hand of the father. We’re destined to be the head and not the tail. We invite God to move on our behalf for the sake of His plan, His name, and His people. As friends, God has invited us into a realm of releasing His power through a conversation with Him we call intercession.
“Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, O Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. 19 O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.” Dan 9:17-19 NIV
2. Prayer and petition in fasting – Prayer and fasting with the goal of gaining wisdom and understanding is the next key. Contemporary intercession generally stops with the sense of God moving. However, when Kings intercede and get the wisdom on what to do they are often the ones with the assignment to do it!
So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes. Dan 9:3 NIV
While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the LORD my God for his holy hill— 21 while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. Dan 9:20-22 NIV
Now that we’re in the New Testament we need to add one more aspect of prayer the Lord has given us. Praying in the Holy Spirit is a key ingredient of our warfare.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Eph 6:18 NIV
20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Jude 20 NIV
3. Wisdom and understanding – The key to effectiveness in any kind of warfare is to have enough intelligence about the front lines to know what action to take. It’s true in the natural and true in prayer. We must understand the enemy tactic and God’s counter measure to participate in prayer that makes a difference. Servants obey without knowledge of the Father’s plan. Friends know and share the heart of the Father and the details of His strategy.
“Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. Dan 9:22
Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. Dan 10:12 NIV
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 NIV
The prayer of faith changes the course of history. Angels are empowered and victories are won through the prayer of the saints. It makes a difference. We not only defeat the circumstances and the people that hinder us. We defeat the spirit behind them through prayer. Intercession is a key weapon for every King to have in his arsenal. It’s the privilege of those who know and are known by the Father.
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. Eph 6:12 NIV
Life is an adventure. People are a blessing. God is amazing. We’re winning.