“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4).
On the corner at a busy intersection near our church there was located a sexually-oriented business and liquor store. Persons driving to our church from one direction were forced to pass by this disgraceful display. At first I remember being disgusted and wishing that it would just go away. Then it occurred to me that perhaps I should pray that it would be removed. What a novel thought! Believe it or not, the first instinct of a pastor is not always to pray … but I’m learning. I soon learned that my wife had come to the same conclusion; we should specifically pray that this unwholesome spectacle would be closed.
Several weeks ago we noticed that the business had indeed been closed. But as far as we knew, it could open again at any time. Even the empty building was a lurid reminder of evil business that took place there.
One morning last week as I drove to the church I saw something that utterly amazed me … the building in which the business had been located was being demolished! There looming over the rubble was a huge demolition tractor pounding the last bricks and beams to the ground. I gave thanks to the Lord for removing the tempting business at such a busy intersection. I rejoiced again in the power of God unleashed through prayer.
So often when we face difficult challenges like this we immediately resort to human answers. We either fret and fuss about it, or devise schemes by which we can tackle it in our own strength. What if we saw things through a different lens? What if we realized that a spiritual enemy lurks behind many of the challenges we face?
Now I’m not saying that the devil is the cause of every traffic jam or flat tire. I am saying that many of our real battles in life are “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). These forces are at the heart of the evil that we face in this world. So our praying utilizes the weapons, not of this world, but of heaven. These weapons are divinely powerful for the pulling down of strongholds.
Through prayer we are able to accomplish things that cannot be attributed to human ability. Through prayer we have power to overcome the evil one whose desire it is to destroy the lives of those we love.
In some of these battles we will see the victory in time. It may take weeks, months, even years, but we’ll see the evil against which we have prayed destroyed. However, there are some vestiges of evil that will not be vanquished in our day. But we can pray in victory knowing that one day the power of God will ultimately demolish every last residue of Satan’s power to where all that remains is gloriously of God.