There have been a couple of instances in the last two weeks where I have felt under spiritual oppression and in a heavy spiritual battle. These instances have been just before the times when I stepped into a new area of ministry or when I have been in deep intercession. Both times prayer and praise were the keys that broke through the oppression. The second time this happened, I prayed and asked the Lord why I was experiencing this warfare. The Lord told me that I was experiencing what many in the body of Christ are experiencing at this time and He was giving me the revelation on the keys to use in the battle. There are many in the body of Christ who are on the verge of stepping into the new plans and assignments the Lord has for them and there is a strong spiritual battle taking place as the enemy is wanting to stop or delay these plans. This is because much territory is about to be taken for the Kingdom of God.
As I was praying into this the Lord gave me a vision of people standing in front of a window. Through the window they could clearly see their God given new assignments, situations and plans. I saw the people pressing and pushing on the window trying to break the window and touch the assignments on the other side. There was a strong resistance to their efforts as there was a spiritual battle taking place. They were trying to attain spiritual breakthrough. The window was not breaking but then as the people began to pray and praise, cracks began to appear. As the prayer and praise continued, the window broke and the people stepped into all they had seen through the window pane. The people had risen up against the spiritual battle with praise and prayer. I also saw that some people joined together in prayer and praise and this unity was powerful in bringing breakthrough in the battle.
God lives among the shouts of praises of His princely people (Psalm 22:3) and praise brings us into the presence of God. Praise is a powerful spiritual weapon. Praise lifts our eyes from the battle to the victory, for Christ has already won the victory. In John 16:33 Jesus says “Take heart I have overcome the world”. In the scriptures we read how the ancient walls of Jericho came crashing down, giving victory to God’s people, due to the Israelites releasing shouts of praise (Joshua 6:20). In Acts 16:25-26 we read that the prison doors shook open when Paul and Silas prayed and praised God. In 2 Chronicles 20:1-30 we read an amazing testimony of the power of prayer and praise. King Jehoshaphat heard that the armies of Moan, Ammon and Mount Seir (a great multitude) were coming to fight against him and Judah. People from all over Judah came together to pray and seek the Lord. The Spirit of the Lord came upon one of the men there and he gave the people a word from the Lord saying they would not even need to fight. They were to take their positions, stand still then watch the Lord’s victory. The King appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, praising the Lord as he believed the word of the Lord and believed the Lord would bring them victory. At the very moment they began to sing and praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves and they were defeated. This testimony also tells of the power of united prayer and praise. Scripture tells us that we praise God because He is worthy of our praise (1 Chronicles 16:25).
Prayer is also a powerful key. The bible tells us that our battle is a spiritual one and the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. Ephesians 6:12 – ‘For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places’. We are to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and to be vigilant in prayer with thanksgiving (Colossians 4:2). Praying in the Spirit is a powerful tool in spiritual warfare. When we pray in the Spirit we are praying in agreement with His perfect will. Romans 8:26-27 tells us that ‘at times we don’t even know how to pray, or know the best things to ask for. But the Holy Spirit rises up within us to super-intercede on our behalf, pleading to God with emotional signs too deep for words. God, the searcher of the heart, knows fully our longings, yet he also understands the desires of the Spirit, because the Holy spirit passionately pleads before God for us, his holy ones, in perfect harmony with God’s plan and our destiny’ (the Passion Translation). 1 Corinthians 14:15 – ‘I will pray in the Spirit, but I will also pray with my mind engaged. I will sing rapturous praises in the Spirit, but I will also sing with my mind engaged’ (The Passion Translation). Praying in the Spirit empowers you to see and agree with the truth of scripture that victory has been purchased and it is yours through Jesus Christ.
At this time where many are about to step into the new assignments and plans the Lord has for you, the Lord wants to encourage you to keep pressing in to Him. The spiritual opposition you are facing is because you are close to stepping into all the Lord has for you. The intense battle is due to the enemy trying to stop you taking strategic ground but remember that he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). Add praise and prayer to your arsenal as they are the power keys to unlock the path prepared before you.