When it comes to spiritual warfare, we often forget a powerful tool against the enemy:
Worship and praise.
Praising God and worshipping Jesus stall the devil and even bring down “strongholds.”
What’s a stronghold?
That’s a special power that hovers over: a mindset, philosophy, political-thought system, or even an actual territory — such as a country, state, or city. (Remember the “prince of Persia” in Daniel?)
In a book called The Power of Praise and Worship, an extraordinary evangelical missionary named Terry Law notes that “strongholds exercise a tremendous power in our lives. If we focus our spiritual eyes on strongholds, we easily can be overcome by the power they exert. [But] God gives us weapons that work! In 2 Corinthians 10, Paul says, ‘Our weapons are mighty to pull down strongholds.'”
Those weapons, says Law, involve three key elements:
Using the Bible to weaken demons; invoking the all-powerful Name of Jesus; and frequently praising Him. Together.
We could add: Confession and the other sacraments.
Have you ever noticed how certain cities seem to have perplexing and persistent problems and dark “auras” about them? Have you seen how particular neighborhoods draw darkness like a magnet? Have you ever contemplated why various countries can’t seem to prosper no matter how hard they try (and how the same can be true of individuals and families)?
There is a “dark cloud.” There is an oppression. Mr. Law, who was once personally invited by John Paul II to appear at the Vatican for a concert, and before that had ministered twice to huge crowds (one 100,000) in Czestochowa, Poland, for a festival of the Black Madonna (he had a letter of recommendation from Karol Wojtyla) — even recounts a circumstance in South America whereby a missionary was working in a mountain village where the border between Brazil and Uruguay ran down the middle of the main street.
The problem: those who lived on the Uruguayan side of the street would not accept the Gospel. None would. While on the Brazilian side, everyone took the tracts graciously. The revival ended exactly at the border.
It turns out, says Law, that a group of Christians had specifically taken authority over Brazil — binding the “prince” of that country but not Uruguay!
What is bound is Heaven…
“There is explosive [and specific] power in the Word to cast down strongholds,” writes Law. “The Name of Jesus has innate power in the mouth of the believer. In Revelation 12:11 it says, ‘And they overcame him [the devil] by the Blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.’ They went on the offensive against the devil with the power of the Blood.”
In the Catholic faith, we have the incredible access to His Blood every time the chalice is raised at Mass — which so brilliantly pulls together so many elements of spiritual warfare, when Mass is prayed from the heart.
“Praise is the taking of God’s thoughts and superimposing them over the thoughts from the enemy,” says Law. The mind indeed! Have you ever pondered the strongholds that fanaticize so many people? “It is one of the great learning experiences of the believer’s life to see how quickly Satan flees when God’s Word is fired at him,” said the evangelist (who also worked closely with Oral Roberts). “Every time the enemy attacks, we can bring God’s Word against him. We call out his name and say, ‘Get thee hence, Satan! Get out of here, devil! For it is written…'”
If he has you in bondage, memorize a Scriptural passage that has to do with being set free and recite it during an attack. If the devil is inspiring lust, recite a passage on purity. If he is causing anxiety, the Scripture whereby Jesus tells us never to worry, that He even clothes the birds (Matthew 6:25-34). Often, the evil one uses sin and things in our subconscious — in our pasts — to resurrect against us, causing lust, idolatry, laziness, touchiness, judgmentalism, factiousness, gossip, worry, pessimism, selfishness, distraction, covetousness, fear, procrastination, depression, and so on. Go through Scripture and find relevant passages: passages on joy, passages on humility, passages on forgiveness.
If the devil scares you with disease, quote the passage about how we are healed with His stripes (Isaiah 53:5).
Now you are on the offensive. Now, you will find the power to bring down strongholds in your thought process (for the mind is the great battlefield).
And keep praising Jesus — with words, in song, in whatever way comes most powerfully for you. Praise coupled with the Word and His Name and Blood render strongholds inoperative.
“When we determine to praise the Lord in the midst of satanic attack, we are operating on the basis of scriptural principle,” states Law. “When we praise the Lord in the midst of family problems, financial problems, sickness, fear, and discouragement, and begin to praise the Lord by singing His Word, we are coming against the devil with the power of a great weapon.”
“When a great body of people join together and sing the Word of God with conviction and faith, there is a corporate spiritual energy generated that attacks spiritual strongholds,” he says.
Our enemies are not physical; they are as Paul said in Ephesians; spiritual forces in high places. He also taught that the “weapons” we have been given by Jesus “are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.”
“This is the secret of our praise and sing services,” says this man who has ministered to hundreds of thousands around the globe. “We literally are launching spiritual weapons and resisting the devil. He will flee, cancer will flee, demons will flee, the blinding thoughts of the devil will flee. We are set free through praise and worship. Praise is a sacrifice. David said, ‘I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth.'”
[resources: The Power of Praise and Worship]