“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…” (Matt 6:9-10)
Last week I introduced the topic of prayer for regions and nations, and discussed intercessory prayer strategies based upon 4 important truths that the Holy Spirit is emphasizing in the Church at this time.
Our primary focus in prayer should always be on what Father’s intention is, and what Heaven is doing, rather than what the demonic realm is doing.
There will be times, however, when the Holy Spirit reveals a major stronghold or principality over the area, region or nation that we are praying for—or when spiritual warfare is clearly evident.
5 Spiritual Warfare Strategies when Praying and Interceding for Regions
Of all the spiritual warfare principles that I have learned along the way, these five are the most enduring:
1.Seek God for His Instruction
Throughout the Bible, warfare and breakthrough took place in many different ways. There was no set ‘formula’ to win a battle. The most important thing a leader could do was to seek God and listen for God’s instruction unique to that battle. And it is the same today.
For those of us in prayer leadership, this is the hook that all spiritual warfare strategy hangs from. The Holy Spirit may lead you in one or all of the following ways - or He may give you a different strategy altogether. Overcoming in spiritual warfare begins with intimacy with God.
2. Identify the Enemy
'and Father’s Intended Destiny
When God intends for us to engage in spiritual warfare, He will reveal specific insights as to what is happening in the spiritual realm. Often a principality or stronghold will be evident by how it manifests.
This information is useful, because where there is a battle there is bounty. The enemy is after the souls of people, but also wants to destroy some specific attribute that Father intends to release and redeem in the region.
A spirit of division is robbing people of unity—and with it, the ability to achieve something great that can only be achieved when united.
Lust is robbing a people of purity—and by extension is seeking to destroy families, as well as enslave the souls of individuals through addiction and abuse.
When we see from the perspective of the cross, we can see past the demonic stronghold, to the Father’s intention and destiny for a region.
3. Release the Power of Praise
The power of praise cannot be overestimated. Praise puts our focus on our Almighty God, where it should be—and it is also a powerful spiritual weapon.(Ps 149:6-9) In 2 Chron 20, we read of how a powerful enemy army was supernaturally routed when King Jehoshaphat sent out praisers ahead of his army. We also see the power of praise in the NT:
- When the early church was confronted with opposition and threats from the leaders of the Sanhedrin, their immediate and first response was to praise and magnify God. From that prayer meeting, God’s power was released to further the Gospel. (Acts 4)
- When spiritual conflict in Phillipi resulted in the arrest of Paul and Silas, their response was one of praise and singing. The power of God shook the dungeon, opened doors, loosed chains, procured their release, brought salvation and enabled the continued advance of the Gospel. (Acts16)
4. Move in the Opposite Spirit
‘For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.’ (Eph 8:12-13)
A principality over a region fortifies its position by obtaining agreement—and therefore power—over the hearts, minds, actions and words of people.
For example: a spirit of poverty in a region is reinforced by a mindset of poverty, by words and media that confess lack, along with actions and political decisions that cater to poverty.
These things then become a stronghold.
By moving in the opposite spirit, we are used of the Holy Spirit to create a zone where God’s Kingdom is manifested and the stronghold begins to be dismantled. Light breaks into the darkness.
This is not only an act of warfare; it also helps us shake off any influence an ungodly regional mindset may have had over our own lives.
Moving in the opposite spirit is not something we do in our own strength; it is initiated and empowered by the Holy Spirit. For example, having identified a spirit of poverty, the Holy Spirit may lead us to renounce poverty and its way of thinking. We can ask Father to release His generosity through us, and He may give us a specific strategy to do so.
5. Declare Father’s Intentions
“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matt 18:18)
Jesus spoke of binding and loosing. One word picture used by Jesus is one of tying up the enemy so that he cannot hold onto his possessions or carry out his plans. (Matt 12:29)
This is not about speaking indiscriminate prayers of binding and loosing, but an invitation to see what Heaven is doing and to participate in God’s government. To loose means to allow, unlock and release what Heaven is permitting. To bind means to disallow and command to cease, what Heaven is disallowing.
Power to overcome the enemy and break down strongholds is released when we speak, pray and prophesy in agreement with Father’s intention for a region or nation.
In Eph 6:17
, the Apostle Paul tells us to ‘take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the word (rhema) of God.’ In our context of spiritual warfare, this sword could be seen as God’s ‘now’ word and intention for a nation.
Finally, we can also remember that in the NT God’s primary strategy for overcoming the Kingdom of darkness in nations, is the vigorous preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ—always accompanied with prayer.
- Notes Read this article in conjunction with
- ‘Fresh Ways To Pray For Your Nation Or Region.’
- These principles also relate to other arenas of spiritual warfare, such as in our personal, family and church life
- I personally wish to thank our personal friend, Charlie Forrest, for continually bringing this principle to our attention.
- Regarding intercession, the Apostle Paul’s prayer requests are particularly insightful.
- See 2 Cor 1:8-11, Eph 6:18-20, Col 4:2-5, Phil 1:19-20, Philem 1:22, Rom 15:31, 2 Thess 3:1.
Note also that Spirit-led fasting can be an important aspect of prayer and preparation for spiritual warfare. (Daniel’s experience in Daniel 10, Matt 4:2, Matt 9:29)
Apostle Robert Nyalungu