How to Pray in the Midst of Spiritual Warfare

CRI-Blog-Hanegraaff, Hank-Spiritual Warfare Prayer“But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’” (Jude 9).*

I’ve been in situations wherein someone is sick and another decides to pray for that person. Then the one praying starts addressing the Devil, “You foul creature from the pit of hell! You take your hands off this person!” The praying goes on in that manner. Now the Scripture in Jude 9 indicates Michael disputed with the Devil about the body of Moses, and my recollection is that Michael did not bring a railing accusation against the Devil. Is rebuking the Devil an inappropriate way to pray? What is the biblical way to pray when dealing with spiritual warfare? How do I reconcile this contradiction?

You do not. It is an absolutely improper way of praying. In fact, there is no sense to address Satan in prayer. We must address the Lord. It is the Lord who protects us. The power in spiritual warfare comes from the Lord. We need to “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Eph. 6:10-11).

Now in Jude, we are told that that we should never feel that we have the wisdom or the power to engage Satan apart from complete dependence on the Lord. Therefore, rather than making railing accusations against Satan, I think we are much better served to learn how to put on the full armor of God so that we can take our stand in spiritual warfare.

I wrote The Covering: God’s Plan to Protect You from Evil because spiritual warfare is something that we are all engaged in. It is not a matter of whether or not we will engage, we are engaged in spiritual warfare. I have often said that if we have not learned to put on the full armor of God, what I call the covering, we are guaranteed casualties in spiritual warfare. If we do learn how to put on the full armor of God, we are invincible in spiritual warfare.

—Hank Hanegraaff

For further related study, please see the following equip.org resources:

Is the “Binding and Loosing” of Demons Biblical? (Hank Hanegraaff)

The Armor (Hank Hanegraaff)

Q & A: What is Spiritual Warfare? (Hank Hanegraaff)

Territorial Spirits and Spiritual Warfare (Eric Villanueva)

Spiritual Warfare—God’s Way (Elliot Miller)

How to Win the War Within (Elliot Miller)

Deliverance Ministry in Historical Perspective (David Powlison)

The Covering: God’s Plan To Protect You From Evil (Lee Stroble interviews Hank Hanegraaff on The Covering)

* All Scripture cited from The Holy Bible: New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984), unless noted.

Blog adapted from “What is the biblical way to pray when dealing with spiritual warfare?

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