Satan is on the move. The fiery darts of his evil workings are capturing an unsuspecting multitude and taking them captive. Our churches are full of good people that are bound and shackled. The unchurched world is equally blind, fettered, and unable to see or hear the saving Gospel. We hear much about praying, but I fear that most praying today is as empty as a desert. Please do not think I am being critical or down on the good saints that are striving hard to see results in spiritual matters. My effort is to answer this desperate need and see the devil defeated. Please read every word of this article.
Stealth is the first design of Satan. He hides his every move. Most of the church world and almost the entire secular world deny that Satan even exists. Satan has basically made himself a non-entity and the only people that believe he is around are his worshippers. He loves his obscurity. The truth is that he is a fallen angel and as powerful as the strongest of angels. He is not supernatural, but he is paranormal and can accomplish some wild things when unhindered by the power of God. Apostle Paul wrote Timothy and warned him of Satan’s design to ensnare the saints. He stated, “And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” (II Timothy 2:26). We live in the ultimate day of his dark deeds.
There are many ways that good people are brought under his control. The Spirit said to the Hebrews or converted Jews, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright” (Hebrews 12:15-16). By the same Holy Spirit Peter said, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (I Peter 5:8). Satan and his army of fallen spirits have every person on this earth in their sight. They are out to buttonhole you and put you in their straitjacket.
It is impossible to name every bondage or stronghold. Certainly, roots of bitterness – something or someone offends you and you hold onto that offence – are a type of bondage. Jealousy, anger, resentment, and unforgiveness are emotions that easily become strongholds. If you disobey a truth in the Bible and do not repent, it will become a stronghold. Many fleshly habits, such as tobacco, drugs, or alcohol quickly become a bondage or stronghold. Worldly entertainment, immorality, and immodest dress will capture your very soul. Many people are bound with the decoration of the body and the passion of looking like the models in the latest Vogue Magazine.
The Spirit warns us about being captured by this world. Peter stated,“While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning” (II Peter 2:19-20). The normal state of an unbeliever or the person that has not been born again is bondage to this world.“Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world” (Galatians 4:3).
Every power or bondage and every spiritual stronghold is empowered by demons or fallen angels. A person bound with tobacco has a spirit of uncleanness. The worldly lifestyle is an unclean bondage. Anything that holds you captive is the work of Satan. Jesus came to give you liberty, to set you free, and to fill you “with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (I Peter 1:8). He wants you to be free like a bird, to soar in Spiritual things, and to be full of His Holy Spirit. He wants to plant you in His Church and make you faithful to the House of God.
Now, it’s time to learn powerful praying so we can see deliverance from strongholds. I have wasted much of my prayer life, but thank God that has changed. The Son of God was the master teacher on prayer. First, He warned us that Satan had to be bound before any victory was possible. Here are His words, “Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house”(Matthew 12:29). It does not matter what you are praying about – someone being saved, healed, or delivered from drugs or immorality – you must first defeat the spirits. Every life that is not free in Jesus Christ is bound by the enemy of Jesus Christ. There is not a “no man’s zone” in the spiritual world. You are either in or you are out.
Unsaved people are blinded by Satan, who the Bible called “the god of this world.” “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (II Corinthians 4:4). If you intend to be a soul-winner, you must first be a prayer warrior. That blindness in the sinner’s mind is their stronghold. Without the work of the Holy Ghost, it is impossible for that sinner to be converted. You may lead them to make a religious decision, but they will be just as lost as before. Praying the sinner’s prayer is powerless without conviction by the Spirit that breaks the stronghold of sin. Our churches are full of unconverted religious church members.
Mighty, anointed prayer is God’s design for victory in His Church. Man did not institute prayer. The Father Himself made prayer and communion with Himself our first line of victory. Forget your preaching, singing, or church worship if you have not learned to pray. Souls are saved in prayer closets before the first song in the House of God. When Zion travails, souls are saved, men are delivered, and the Kingdom of God comes to town. Read what the Spirit says,“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled” (II Corinthians 1:3-6). Jesus has won this victory and we live in it by prayer.
Pentecost came after ten days – ordained and required by Jesus Christ – of soul-surrendered and unified praying. The early church leaders refused to become the Red Cross Brigade, but gave themselves to the Word of God and prayer. As the church shook the world, the saints of God prayed. “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31). By the power of the Spirit it is about to happen again!
Joseph R. Chambers, DD, DSL