Today’s Bible reading* gives us a peek into the issue of Spiritual Warfare. Daniel prayed and waited for an answer, trusting that God was hearing his prayers and would answer.
He said to me, “Daniel, you are a man treasured by God. Understand the words that I’m saying to you. Stand on your feet, for I have now been sent to you.” After he said this to me, I stood trembling. “Don’t be afraid, Daniel,” he said to me, “for from the first day that you purposed to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your prayers were heard. I have come because of your prayers. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me after I had been left there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to help you understand what will happen to your people in the last days, for the vision refers to those days.”
Daniel 10:11–14 (CSB)
From the time Daniel prayed, His prayers were beginning to be answered. God sent this angel to deliver news to him. (“angel” means “messenger”) However, this angel was opposed for three weeks by a demonic being occupying authority over the Persian Kingdom. This angel was unable to complete his task alone; he required assistance from the Archangel Michael.
Spiritual Warfare occurs in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12) As Paul was often held captive by Roman soldiers, he was very aware of their impressive armor and he uses this armor as an illustration for Believers. Oftentimes when we think of Spiritual Warfare, we think of Paul’s urging God’s people to put on the full armor of God.
We think of the Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Shoes of the Gospel of Peace, the Shield of Faith, the Helmet of Salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit (the Word of God). All of these are short-range, close-quarters weapons. We don’t realize that there’s another long-range weapon at the Roman soldier’s disposal. It is also available at our disposal. Paul alludes to the Javelin of Prayer.
John Piper says that we should see prayer as a wartime walkie-talkie rather than a domestic intercom. One would use a domestic intercom to ask the butler to change the thermostat. However, one would use a wartime walkie-talkie to report on current conditions on the field of battle. To call one’s commander to request reinforcements. To request assistance. To receive updates on the mission.
Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints. Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel. For this I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I might be bold enough to speak about it as I should.
Ephesians 6:18–20 (CSB)
Paul enlisted the help of his fellow Christian soldiers to use their wartime walkies-talkies to call in reinforcements on Paul’s behalf. He knew that he needed help to be clear and bold in communicating the truths of the Gospel message.
As we engage in Spiritual Warfare, it’s important to remember that there’s never any question as to who will win the battles. God has already secured our victory in Jesus Christ. We don’t have to worry. But we do have to engage. We do have to fight. As my good friend, Duncan says in his forthcoming book, The Soldier Code: Ancient Warrior Wisdom for Modern-Day Christian Soldiers,
“Spiritual Warfare isn’t an event. It is a way of life”
Who do you need to enlist to intercede for you? Who can you call on to provide prayer cover for you as you engage in Spiritual Warfare?
Who needs your intercession? Who needs your prayer cover?
* Chapters covered in today’s reading: