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The Priority Of Prayer In The Battle

By Armin Gesswein

    Prayer is number one in the battle against Satan.  Actually, it is the only way we can stand against the devil or any demonic power, whether in a meeting or anywhere else.  It is in prayer that the Word becomes a sword of the Spirit against the spiritual forces and wickedness and opposition of Satan.  This is where the real warfare takes place. 

    Ephesians 6:10 and following verses make three things clear:

    (a) The real warfare is spiritual, against Satan and his hosts;

    (b) The Word of God is pointed as a sword not first in preaching, but in prayer;

   (c) Where Satanic power or opposition is concerned, nothing will touch or overthrow it but Holy Ghost wielding of the Word in intercession.

    Preaching will not do it unless praying has first done it.  We can only preach through to the point where we have prayed through first.  We must prevail with God in prayer and then we prevail in preaching.

    Many a preacher has hit a wall in preaching and the devil has all but thrown his words back into his mouth.  How can the wall be removed?  Not by more preaching.  Either the preacher must stop and pray or have his people pray.  Either or both are often embarrassing because the average audience is not trained in the Spirit to know what is going on.  Yet, if our people are not sensitized and trained in the Spirit, we do not even move against Satan and do not take ground for God.

    So far we see from every angle how the prayer ministry is the chief ministry in the Spirit.  Only that which is done in the Spirit will last.  Much of our activity today will never even last a generation, let alone through the fires of judgment.  (See First Corinthians 3:10-15.)  The “works” that are wrought in the Spirit are always works that stand as miraculous answers to prayer.  Like Joshua of old we are in an enemy’s territory which, though given us of God, we must nevertheless take in battle. 

    “The victories won by prayer,
    By prayer must still be held;
    The foe retreats, but only when
    By prayer he is compelled.” 

     – Excerpted from the message “Prayer Must Have Priority” by Armin Gesswein.  Used by permission.  Armin Gesswein (1908-2001) was founder and director of Revival Prayer Fellowship, Inc. and Ministers’ Prayer Fellowship.