Some basic principles of spiritual warfare and prayer
Mar 08, 2012
The Divine Deliverance Prayer Campaign began just before 11 p.m. CST (our time in Minneapolis). It was just before midnight in Washington D.C.
Years ago, spiritual warfare used to be a lot of work. In 1993 we discovered that our warfare was not about fighting hard to obtain victory. It was really about declaring the victory that God intended to give us at that particular time. Each victory, of course, is based upon the overall victory that Christ obtained at the cross.
The hard part for us is to discern the proper time to declare victory. For this reason, the work that we do in spiritual warfare is done mostly prior to the dates of the battle itself. It is the preparation for the battle that takes time and work as we labor to enter into His rest.
In the present warfare, we did not know anything until about a week ago. I did not know anything about it until March 1st, when I wrote the weblog on James 1:19, 20, "Be slow to anger." This brought me to the book of Jonah with its important question, "Do you have good reason to be angry" over My love and compassion for the ungodly Ninevites? In other words, do you have reason to be angry if I love all Creation enough to include them in My plan for the Restoration of All Things?
This led to the connection between Jonah and Purim on March 2nd, which in turn showed me that the patterns of March 1983 prophesied of 2012. The Lord then spoke directly that we were to hold this prayer campaign.
Over the last week end, we had a local meeting, where I was able to discuss this with Ron Oja, who brought in further discernments and prophetic connections. This completed the picture, so I was able to give you the details of the prayer campaign on March 5 and 6.
When all preparation had been made, and the Father said that we now had sufficient understanding, I then wrote the model prayer on March 7 for usage on March 8-9.
You can see that our preparation work took a full week from March 1-7. The prayer campaign then began formally in the Divine Court, where we appealed to God according to His Will that had already been revealed earlier. John 15:7 and 8 says,
(7) If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. (8) By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
Here, the preparation for the petition is: "If My words abide in you." It requires some revelation of His words to know His will. We are not to petition according to our own carnal will. We are to find out what is His will. The biggest hindrance to prayer is not discerning His will.
Another big problem, of course, is that we often ask with wrong motives. James 4:2, 3 says,
(2) ... You do not have because you do not ask. (3) You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
Many have been taught that they can pray and claim anything they want. They are told that the only reason they are not rich is because they do not "name it and claim it." But faith is not a matter of the carnal mind deciding to lay claim to something and then being persistent about it. True Faith comes by hearing the Word of God, not by hearing the desire of one's carnal mind. It is only when we can discern the difference that our declarations will carry weight in the Divine Court.
Once we know His will, then we move from petitions to declarations (or decrees). Take note that our model prayer was primarily made up of Declarations. This means we have heard the Divine Declaration and know His will, so we, in turn, bear witness of what He has already declared. What God declares in heaven, we declare on earth, because we are an AMEN people who bear witness to Him. Our Declarations were based not only on present personal revelation, but also upon the Word given to the prophets in the past.
The angels of God then conduct the work of spiritual warfare, in conjunction with our own spirit, carrying out the word that has been decreed. Together, the angels and our spirits make up the "hosts" of God.
I should also add that as our minds are renewed (Rom. 12:2), and as we put on the mind of Christ, we gradually come to the place where His will becomes our will. As this takes place, a gradual transformation takes place, where we may ask what WE will, and it will be done. This is because our will has been merged with His will, and so He gives us greater latitude in determining what should be done (or changed) on the earth.
The problem with this is that many people think they are more qualified than they really are.
Perhaps a greater problem is that many people think they are LESS qualified than they really are.
We need to understand the reality of our position in Christ, as well as to discern our ability/inability to know the will of God.
This takes me back to the most important question that I and my friends faced back in Bible College. "How does one know the will of God?" It is one of the most basic questions that we face as believers. The answer lies primarily in two things: prayer and the study of the Word. Prayer is to enhance our personal relationship with Christ and to receive the Word directly from Him concerning our own lives. The study of Scripture tells us the revelation from the body of Christ throughout the past ages, which provides us with a broader context of revelation that provides a check-and-balance for our personal revelation.
Because God is unchanging in His character, yet He never does precisely the same thing with any two people, Scripture gives us a wide scope of revelation. This allows us to find our place within the greater context of Kingdom history. Those who shun the study of the Word lack this balance and context. Those who shun prayer lack personal revelation and cannot be expected to know how to be led by the Spirit in their own special way.
There is a third way to know the will of God. It is by our fellowship with the brethren today. This goes beyond personal revelation, and it is also different from the Word written by people thousands of years ago. I do not think that any of us are fully independent. If we are cut off from all others for too long, we will suffer for it. There are times, of course, when God draws us apart into the wilderness for a "crash course" in a particular Word. However, the purpose of those times is to learn something that should later be shared with the rest of the body, so they can also benefit from this revelation or understanding.
Most of us do need the revelation that God has given others in the body. For this reason Paul tells us not to stop gathering together with other believers (Heb. 10:25). We even need false revelation in order to test our discernment. We need temptation in order to test our hearts--but there is enough of that around us so that we do not need to seek it out.
I hope that these thoughts on prayer are helpful to you.
Dr. Stephen Jones