Praying Down Powers and Principalities

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Whole geographic regions can be affected by the same lies and assaulted by the same demonic darkness that is manifest. We are to pull down and dismantle spiritual strongholds by agreeing with God and His Word and by "casting down arguments"—renouncing the lies—that are against the knowledge of God, His Word and His will. In this way we break any agreement with Satan.

There are three types of spiritual strongholds:

  1. Personal strongholds of the mind that bind people in sinful mindsets and lifestyles.
  2. Cultural strongholds, or values in our society, that are in agreement with darkness. Cultural strongholds are agreements with Satan's values in our society at large. There are many ways in which people agree with him and keep those evil values entrenched.
  3. Cosmic strongholds, which are demonic powers and principalities in the air, are demonic angels or demonic hosts. Paul describes them in his letter to the Ephesians: "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12).

We dismantle these strongholds by agreeing with God and renouncing Satan's lies through our prayers and actions.

The Principle of Agreeing with God

Engaging in spiritual warfare is essentially agreeing with God and disagreeing with the enemy. It involves reminding God of His character and covenant promises, agreeing with His Word, and declaring the supremacy of Jesus and who we are in Christ—a new creation, the sons of God, the bride of Christ and so on. It also involves renouncing agreement with Satan as we confess sin, reject the works of darkness and act in the opposite spirit by doing the works of the kingdom.

Corporately we agree with God when we engage in worship and intercession. Some prayer ministries emphasize worship, and others highlight intercession. Sometimes I'm asked which is more important in spiritual warfare: worship or intercession. I encourage people not to concern themselves too much with this question. When we agree with who God is, we call it "worship." When we agree with what God promised to do, we call it "intercession." In heaven worship and intercession are woven together in the exercise of God's government. They overlap and are deeply related. Both are necessary, so we must value both activities in our approach to God-centered spiritual warfare.

In addition to agreeing with God through worship and intercession, we can agree with Him through holiness and healing. All four forms of agreement play a role in spiritual warfare.

  • Worship is agreement with who God is. In worship we declare truths about who God is. For example, the saints and angels in heaven declare truths such as "Holy, holy, holy" (Rev. 4:8). They also proclaim, "Holy is the Lord" and "You are worthy." Throughout the Old Testament we find the declaration "The Lord is good, and His mercy endures forever." This is the most emphasized declaration about who God is.
  • Intercession is agreement with what God promises to do. In intercession we declare truths related to what God promises to do. For example, we pray: "Lord, release a greater measure of Your Spirit's activity to revive the church. Release the power of Your Word, confirmed with signs and wonders."
  • Holiness is agreement with God's heart of love. Holiness involves repentance that breaks any agreement with sin and comes into agreement with God's standards of purity.
  • Healing is agreement with God's heart for life. We proclaim the truth of Jesus as Healer, and we break all agreement with sickness.

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