Are You Ignorant of Satan's Designs? Learn to Pray Against Evil
Do you take the fact of Evil and that there are entities that live in the air or dimensions around us and contributes to your suffering and the suffering of the world seriously?
If not you are like many Christians that have become secularized and influenced by naturalism to the point they ignore God's Word.
Looking at our daily news should be all you need to understand that humans are depraved and sinful and that there are forces at work in this world that are evil.
But at the same time do not forget that God is at work also in us and the world to mitigate this evil.
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
We start submitting ourselves to God through prayer.
The reality of prayer is we pray to God the Father, in the name of God the Son, and through the sustaining power of God the Holy Spirit.
16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Scripture promises us that we can approach the Throne of Grace with confidence.
13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
And that Jesus himself delights in answering our prayers.
So your daily spiritual disciplines of constant mental awareness of Christ and the person of the Holy Spirit leads you into many things including prayer.
How We Resist the Devil
As a practical matter God does not give us specifics on how to resist Satan. But he does not give us specifics about many things in life and in our world.
First of all scripture is clear that we are not to pray to Satan or on his behalf.
Yet in Ephesians 6 we are guided in how to prepare for spiritual warfare.
Ephesians 6 remains our clearest scripture on spiritual warfare. Paul states “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints”
Paul also instructs us that prayer is to characterize each spiritual weapon as described. It is through prayer and the power of Christ and the Holy Spirit that allows us to push back against “the schemes of the devil”. We are unable and incapable of doing it in our own strength.
Satan and his Demons are highly intelligent and have been observing and fooling mankind since the beginning.
Satan manipulates worldly value systems, institutions, organizations, philosophical movements, political, social, and economic systems to his ends. Satan has goals through which he utilizes and exploits the most effective means, using us in the process to cause harm and evil outcomes.
Praying then in active daily opposition to Satan we must beseech God to shine in the hearts of all Christians “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).
God has permitted Satan to have certain powers.
What exactly we do not know but we have a partial list.
Satan and his Demons can harm and kill humans, that we know.
We can look first at the Book of Job to catch a glimpse of some of the things Satan is allowed to do.
Satan is sometimes permitted to be the source of sickness (Acts 10:38; Matthew 8:16; Mark 9:17–18; Luke 13:10–17) and he exploits our fear of death to hold us in bondage (Hebrews 2:14). Satan and his Demons can also insert sinful plans or purposes into our hearts in an effort to thwart God’s designs (Acts 5:3; John 13:2; Matthew 16:21–23).
I like to call this the "Rules of Engagement" which is a military term.
Rules of Engagement refer to the orders issued by a military authority that define when, where, how, and against whom military force may be used, and instructions as to what actions soldiers may take on their own authority and what directives may be issued by a commanding officer.
We can approach this aspect of life by understanding when we worship and trust God in suffering and adversity, we declare to Satan and the world that God is more valuable than anything he gives us.
As God permits the "Accuser' to do many things to Job, Job is faithful.
21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
As Job teaches us God himself is the reward.
If we turn away from God in our suffering and question his love and care, we are in effect agreeing with Satan.
We are in effect saying God’s value is linked to the material blessings he gives us.
As we can see Satan may be the cause of physical afflictions in our lives. Therefore we must continually ask God for “gifts of healing” to bring about restoration.
1 Corinthians 12:9
9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
Suffering reveals what we value most and what we cling to in life.
Awareness and Prayer
For us effectively and daily to put on the armor of God we must be in prayer and submission to God, repenting of our sins as soon as we are able.
We must be aware of all the ways Satan will insert evil into our lives or influence us to sin against God.
As we pray we must have confidence in the goodness and power of God to supply us with every spiritual resource necessary to grow in conformity to Christ Jesus. We can thank the Lord with gratitude for his unending love and presence, even when the worst happens to us.