Pastor's Blog

Powerful Praying
5/19/2019 7:00:00 PM by: Randy Clarke

Spiritual forces can delay answers to prayer. (Daniel 10:13)

In this verse, the prince of the kingdom of Persia resisted and delayed the angelic being who was on his way to Daniel. The Archangel Michael had to be summoned to the fight. Now, the prince of Persia is not a reference to a human prince… like Prince Harry or Prince William of England. There’s a lot to like about those guys, but they’re no angels! Instead, the verse is talking about a spiritual force, an evil figure in the spiritual realm. We can’t see what goes on in the spiritual realm, but this verse reveals a lot about what we can’t see, especially when we understand it from a NT verse in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians: For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12) The prince of the kingdom of Persia was a spiritual ruler in the heavenly realms. This evil power had control over, or ruled over, the geographic area of Persia at the time of Daniel. What we learn here is that rulers, authorities, powers and spiritual forces of evil in the spiritual realm rule over regions of the world. Not only that, but they can even create havoc in smaller, local regions like cities or local neighborhoods. We know from the Gospels that people can be possessed by demons. We see many, many times where Jesus commanded a demon to come out of a person. We also know from the Gospel of Matthew chapter 8 that animals – most notably pigs – can be possessed by demons. That happened when Jesus cast demons out of a man and, at their request, sent them into a herd of pigs that then rushed into the lake and drowned. And here in Daniel we learn that even places and regions can be inhabited by demons.

You don’t have to look very hard to see that entire cities or districts or neighborhoods can be strongholds of spiritual forces of evil. Drive through certain areas or neighborhoods of any city – New York, Los Angeles, West Palm Beach, Miami – and you’ll find those depressed areas, decaying neighborhoods, and drug-infested streets. Don’t be fooled by those who say this is just an economic problem, or a homeless problem, or a drug problem, or  a problem of poverty or lack of education for the people living there. This is a spiritual problem. That area or neighborhood or street that’s known as the bad neighborhood where you don’t want to find yourself alone at night? That’s a neighborhood controlled by a spiritual force of evil in the heavenly realms.

We have to see this and understand this with spiritual eyes! Those are the places of the world where the Gospel can shine the brightest, where believers should concentrate their prayers, where the Alliance sends missionaries. These are the missionaries your Great Commission offering supports and sends right into the front lines where there are strongholds of the devil where people groups have been the most resistant. It’s why people stand outside an abortion clinic and pray for it to be shut down. Those are the areas and neighborhoods of the world where the believer’s prayers are going to be resisted and spiritual warfare is going to take place in the heavenly realms.

Have you ever heard of – or participated in – a Neighborhood Prayer Walk? That’s when you walk up and down the streets or sidewalks of your neighborhood using spiritual warfare prayer to re-claim that area or city or neighborhood for Christ. You do a prayer-walk to dispel and renounce the evil forces in those dark places. I have some guidelines if you would like to do one in your neighborhood. You can be the vehicle the Spirit uses to change your neighborhood and bring the light of Jesus into the lives of people where you live, work and play.

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