Spiritual warfare—it’s a great term, something that often brings up images of angels and demons fighting it out in the skies.

Spiritual Warfare for Every Believer

by Adam Wittenberg
9/15/15 Christian Living

Spiritual warfare—it’s a great term, something that often brings up images of angels and demons fighting it out in the skies.

There is a reality to this picture, and as believers, we want to enter the fight. However, there are biblical and non-biblical ways to do so.

Some believers focus almost exclusively on the demonic realm, binding evil spirits, casting out devils, and pulling down strongholds.

But this focus can actually weigh us down, draw us into battles we weren’t meant to fight, and keep us from the Bible’s models and means for gaining spiritual breakthrough.

In his new book, Growing in Prayer, Mike Bickle, director of the International House of Prayer, explains what Scripture says about confronting demonic strongholds over cities and nations.

The chapter “Praying Down Powers and Principalities” highlights passages in the New Testament and the book of Daniel as examples of how to war in the spirit.

Jesus and the apostles “spoke directly to the demons that dwelt in a demonized person—in other words, to ‘embodied’ demonic spirits—but what they did is not the same as speaking to ‘disembodied’ demonic principalities that dwell in heavenly places,” Mike Bickle writes. In other words, there is a clear distinction between demons dwelling within a person and the dark forces that oppress entire regions.

We do wrestle with these regional principalities, powers, and spiritual hosts of wickedness (Ephesians 6:12), but not by speaking to them directly. There are exceptions to this when the Holy Spirit prompts us to address the enemy, but this is not the norm we see in Scripture.

The biblical model is to pray to the Father to achieve spiritual breakthrough over a city or nation. The Lord wants to partner with His people, and our prayers shift things in the spirit. If we want to see these grand shifts, we have to do it the Lord’s way.

“The prophet Daniel dislodged the powerful demonic principality of Persia (Daniel 10:12–13) as he fasted and prayed, focusing on the God of Israel (Daniel 9:4–23), not on the demonic being itself,” Mike Bickle writes.

It appears that Daniel didn’t even know about the battle in the heavenly realm until a mighty angel broke through to tell him about it—and about the future of Israel, including the end times. Daniel focused on the Lord in prayer and fasting, and God moved—and it can be the same for us.

This example gives us wisdom about where to direct our prayers as we contend for breakthrough over a city or region.

As saints, we can worship God by declaring His power, promises, and the supremacy of Jesus; confess our sins and break agreement with the enemy; and do the works of the kingdom, bringing justice to the oppressed, in confidence that our Father will pour out His blessing and push back darkness.

For more information on spiritual warfare, read Mike Bickle’s article in Charisma magazine »

Learn more about growing in prayer »

Purchase a copy of Growing in Prayer »

Adam Wittenberg


    A Detroit native who was raised in Vermont and Connecticut, Adam worked as a newspaper journalist until 2012, when he moved to Kansas City to complete the Intro to IHOPKC internship. Afterwards, he earned a four-year certificate in House of Prayer Leadership from IHOPU and is now on full-time staff in the Marketing department at IHOPKC. He also serves in the NightWatch (overnight prayer hours) and is active in evangelism. He, and his wife Stephany, have a vision to reach people everywhere with the good news of Jesus Christ.

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