Prayer is an acknowledgment that our need of God’s help is not partial but total… Yet many of our church prayer meetings have dwindled in size and influence. Ultimately, the explanation can be traced to spiritual warfare. If, as the hymn writer says, Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees,” then we may be sure that he and his minions will be working hard to discredit the value of united prayer. The Evil One has scored a great victory in getting sincere believers to waver in their conviction that prayer is necessary and powerful.
The Prince of the power of the air seems to bend all the force of his attack against the spirit of prayer.
Depend upon it, if you are bent on prayer, the devil will not leave you alone. He will molest you, tantalize you, block you, and will surely find some hindrances, big or little or both. And we sometimes fail because we are ignorant of his devices… I do not think he minds our praying about things if we leave it at that. What he minds, and opposes steadily, is the prayer that prays on until it is prayed through, assured of the answer.
The prayer of the feeblest saint who lives in the Spirit and keeps right with God is a terror to Satan. The very powers of darkness are paralyzed by prayer; no spiritualistic séance can succeed in the presence of a humble praying saint. No wonder Satan tries to keep our minds fussy in active work till we cannot think in prayer.
And Satan trembles when he sees, the weakest saint upon his knees.
The devil is not terribly frightened of our human efforts and credentials. But he knows his kingdom will be damaged when we begin to lift up our hearts to God.
I learned as never before that persistent calling upon the Lord breaks through every stronghold of the devil, for nothing is impossible with God. For Christians in these troubled times, there is simply no other way.
Prayer is the master strategy that God gives for the defeat and rout of Satan.
Satan cannot deny but that great wonders have been wrought by prayer. As the spirit of prayer goes up, so his kingdom goes down. Satan’s strategies against prayer are three. First, if he can, he will keep thee from prayer. If that be not feasible, secondly, he will strive to interrupt thee in prayer. And, thirdly, if that plot takes not, he will labor to hinder the success of thy prayer.
The enemy uses all his power to lead the Christian, and above all the minister, to neglect prayer. He knows that however admirable the sermon may be, however attractive the service, however faithful the pastoral visitation, none of these things can damage him or his kingdom if prayer is neglected.
The primary way to overcome Satan is on our knees (Derek Prime and Alistair Begg).
But have we Holy Ghost power – power that restricts the devil’s power, pulls down strongholds and obtains promises? Daring delinquents will be damned if they are not delivered from the devil’s dominion. What has hell to fear other than a God-anointed, prayer-powered church?
The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.
When a Christian shuns fellowship with other Christians, the devil smiles. When he stops studying the Bible, the devil laughs. When he stops praying, the devil shouts for joy.
Satan so hates the genuine praise of Christ that his fiery darts of discouragement are not effective against us when we respond in praise.
When the devil sees a man or woman who really believes in prayer, who knows how to pray, and who really does pray, and, above all, when he sees a whole church on its face before God in prayer, he trembles as much as he ever did, for he knows that his day in that church or community is at an end.
Do we realize that there is nothing the devil dreads so much as prayer? His great concern is to keep us from praying. He loves to see us “up to our eyes” in work – provided we do not pray. He does not fear because we are eager and earnest Bible students – provided we are little in prayer.
There is no doubt whatever that the devil opposes our approach to God in prayer, and does all he can to prevent the prayer of faith. His chief way of hindering us is to try to fill our minds with the thought of our needs, so that they shall not be occupied with thoughts of God, our loving Father, to Whom we pray. He wants us to think more of the gift than of the Giver.