My thoughts swam restless laps in my brain, crashing into my emotions and running into rocks of fear and doubt. I was lost and scared– even my vision was blurry. Where are you, God?
Being in the middle of a spiritual attack is not the time to develop a battle ready prayer. It’s so hard to think straight when the Devil is messing with your mind. And one of Satan’s most popular schemes is to make us feel alone or have us doubt that God will actually come to our rescue. So, the best time to prepare for the next spiritual attack is right now. Then you’ll have what you need to face down the enemy when he comes prowling around again.
One word of encouragement to remember: There is no perfect formula for prayer. I’ll share some helpful guidelines, but ultimately God doesn’t require us to use fancy words or express deep theological ideas in our prayers. He loves us and listens to us because we are His beloved children, regardless of how pretty our prayers sound. And God responds to prayer, whether it’s a focused time of prayer or the simple cry, “Help me, Lord.” Our loving Father is always attentive to His children’s needs.
During a spiritual battle, we desperately need God’s protection and power so that we can persevere through the attack. So, as you’re arming yourself for battle, focus on prayer, protection, power, and perseverance:
The Devil often attacks our minds. It can be difficult to pray when he scrambles our thoughts. So, an important part of battle ready prayer includes writing scripture on your heart. Even if you’re not thinking straight, you can make those memorized verses into your prayer.
Memorizing scripture and weaving it into our prayers is a powerful way that God helps us train for battle. David said it better than I ever could: “Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge” (Psalms 144:1-2).
So, lean into scripture and let it be your battle preparation. Know that God loves you and will protect and provide for you in times of need.
In 1 Thessalonians, Paul tells us to “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). This is a great battle ready prayer. Its simplicity makes it easy to memorize and recall in times of need. I also love the reminder that we can rejoice in God’s loving presence even in hard times. And giving thanks shifts our minds to God and away from our challenging circumstances. These three verses are a great place to turn to when the Devil starts attacking you.
You can trust God to protect you. He is bigger and stronger than the Devil, and He is our provider and protector. The Bible tells us that people who take refuge in the Lord will be glad, and God will spread His protection over them (Psalm 5:11).
If you’re having a hard time forming words to pray during a spiritual attack, you can pray in images. There are many images of protection in the Bible. Find one that comforts you, and then bring it to mind when you’re struggling.
Here are some to choose from:
- Hiding in the cleft of a rock (Exodus 33:22)
- Feeling like a chick beneath its mother’s wings (Matthew 23:37)
- Running to a strong tower (Proverbs 18:19)
- Having the Lord like a shield around you (Psalm 3:3)
Pick one of those images and get a very clear picture in your mind of what it would look and feel like to be protected in that way. Use all of your senses to really experience that kind of protection. The next time you feel vulnerable to attack, bring up that image in your mind as a reminder that God is guarding you and keeping you safe.
God also equips us with the tools that we need to protect ourselves. These include the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, feet fitted with the gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:14-17). When we put on the full armor of God, then we can stand our ground when the Devil attacks us.
When we abide with Christ, His power flows in and through us. I love this promise from Romans 6:10: “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.” Wow! Just think about that! When the Devil attacks us, we are not powerless. Instead, we are filled with death-defying power!
Yet, it’s important to remember that “only when our lives are positioned in the Lord, in union with Him, do we possess the appropriate power to overcome the enemy.“ So, stay plugged into God through daily praise, prayer, and worship, and His power will keep flowing through you.
Surviving the Devil’s attacks strengthens our perseverance and brings eternal rewards. There are many Bible verses about standing firm in difficult times (see Ephesians 6:13 and Matthew 24:13, for example). It sounds simple– just stay with your feet rooted to the ground. Don’t move. Just keep on standing. But when the Devil is in attack mode, standing firm can be really tough. It can be tempting to give up or run away instead of reaching out to God for help.
Yet, once we learn to stand firm, we will receive the rewards mentioned in James 1:12: “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
The next time that you feel under attack, I pray that you remember to turn to God with your battle ready prayer, rest in His protection, experience His power, and receive the rewards of perseverance.