For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:16 (KJV)
Over the years I have participated in numerous prayer assignments for nations, cities and regions, businesses, churches, leaders and of course friends and family. One thing I have learned is how important it is to clearly know and understand our spiritual authority and appropriate sphere of influence. It is sad to say that I have often seen and experienced too many of us barging into spiritual territories and battles with naive presumptions and are then surprised by the backlash of demonic attacks against our health, our families, and finances. And then we ask, “What happened” and “Why?”
It is important to note that there is a maturing process in the spiritual as well as the natural. We train our children as they grow up by giving them more and more responsibility the more they prove their dependability. Hopefully, by the time we give them the keys to the car we can trust that they not only know the laws and how to drive, but that they have also learned respect for property along with self discipline and the limits of what they can and can not do safely. In the same way, spiritual authority is a learning process. The more we learn to pray and find freedom from sin and bondages in our own lives, the more we are effective in prayer for others. Our understanding of our sphere of influence broadens as we learn to pray over our families in their relationships, schools, places of business and churches. From there we will begin to understand our influence and authority in prayer in the city, region, state and nations where we live; and then even to the uttermost parts of the earth.
We learn in Ephesians 6:16 (KJV) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. We need to understand that there is a hierarchy of demonic forces as well as territorial assignments of authority. To illustrate, I first clearly experienced this when we were living in Spain, near Madrid many years ago when we were working with Youth With A Mission. We were involved with American military ministry and lived in a small Spanish town in a apartment complex very close to the American Air Force Base. I will never forget the drastic difference in the atmosphere when we crossed the gates and entered into the military base. It was like being back in the good ole USA. It felt like home! It felt American! Then as soon as we stepped off the base we were clearly back in Spanish territory and I could feel a totally different atmosphere. You may have experienced a sudden difference of atmosphere when entering a different house or neighborhood.
When we lived in Spain we were fairly new in our walk with the Lord and very naive in spiritual warfare. The Lord had lead us to Spain through many “divine” circumstances and we were very sure we were there in His will. However, we had to return to the states after a rather short time due to me falling into severe depression. It was only after some years battling to come out of this pit that I learned the importance of knowing our authority in the Word of God, knowing our enemy and learning about spiritual forces and territories. I had to learn my spiritual authority, in the name of Jesus, according to His Word and about how and when to rebuke the devourer (Malachi 3:11), and how to resist the enemy and command him to flee (James 4:7). It was definitely quite a maturing process growing from my childlike simple faith and leaning to overcome the evil one as the Apostle Paul mentions in 1 John 2:12-14.
Below are some of the steps I have learned in my journey and how to define our scriptural spiritual authority over demonic forces and how to pray.
1. Our authority in prayer over powers, principalities, and ruling spirits is in direct proportion to our knowledge and personal understanding of our sphere of influence and authority first in our own lives and homes and in relationships, circumstances and/or territorially where we live. Ephesians 6:12-14 (NKJV) 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. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
2. We have the authority over demonic powers and authorities to resist their assignments when they try to operate against people, situations, institutions, or territories and land within our spheres of authority. James 4:7 (NKJV) Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
3. When taking our authority or addressing the enemy in prayer our words need to be specific in regards to the person, place or circumstances where we are limiting or canceling their activity. Spiritual backlash and attacks may be due to our lack of understanding and ignorance of this issue. Isaiah 54:17 (NKJV) No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn.
4. It is always best to pray scripture and to minister in the opposite spirit releasing the battle to the Lord as stated by the Archangel Michael in Jude verse 9, “The Lord rebuke you.” Isaiah 55:11 (NKJV) So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
5. Demonic spirits are legalistic and operate in a vacuum. Therefore, in accordance with Matthew 16:19, be sure that you not only rebuke or loose the enemy, but then release blessing and the purposes of God into the situation asking the the Holy Spirit to fill any void. Matthew 16:19 (NKJV) And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
6. In prayer be sure to seal and cover the person or situation in the power of the blood of Jesus and His love that protects from all harm setting the Lord as your rear guard to protect from backlash of the enemy; remembering there is no spiritual armor for our backs in Ephesians 6. Psalm 121:7 (NKJV) The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.
7. Since the Lord instructed us how to pray the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13, it seems important in closing prayers to declare, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done” and also to ask Him to keep us from the evil one as we proclaim, “For Thine is the kingdom, the power and glory forever. Amen”.
Our Scriptural Authority
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always,
even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18 (NKJV)
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations. Isaiah 61:1-4 (NKJV)
See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant. Jeremiah 1:10 (KJV)
And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. John 14:13-14 (NKJV)
Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think,
according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:19 (NKJV)
Verses About Our Protection From Evil
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. Psalm 91:1-3
The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. Psalm 121:7-8
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. Psalm 138:7
The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. 2 Timothy 4:18
© JoBeth Kested 2015