By Stephen Phinney

Before we appeal to the Lord for more money, there are a few things we must keep in mind about prayer. Satan has successfully used the world, and all of its influences, to bring a lighthearted attitude and mindset regarding the kingdom of darkness.  Just take a look at the enormous volume of books, movies, video games, T-shirts, music, toys, television, advertisements, the internet, fashions, jewelry, and of course, silly jesting we are bombarded with wherever we turn!

The desensitization about Satan and his role in man’s sin is a subtle, but strategic attack on God’s divine creation – His blessed children.  The enemy of this world sees to it that the world (his domain) laughs him off with indifference.  Always remember that this callousness is the most powerful tool the enemy has in defusing God’s serious plan of redemption.  Christians ought never to entertain crude joke making, purchase degrading media products, or lightheartedly support Satan in any way.  Believers need to exercise care in not assigning all of their wrongdoing as Satan’s responsibility. We must, with biblical insight, understand the limited power of Satan and his kingdom.  Oppression and bondage is not a joking matter.

The key in the believer’s emphasis on biblical prayer must be based on a biblical approach to the subject.  Subjective feelings, emotional desires, and fervent sincerity are not sufficient weaponry against an enemy who laughs in the face of our intents.  He yields no ground to emotion or sincerity.  He retreats only from the authority and power that has been given to the Christian through his/her union with the Lord Jesus Christ and the absolute Truth of the Word of God.  An illustration worth remembering is this:  If I were to give you a sharp two-edged sword and a butter knife, which would you use to fight an assailant?   Dumb question?  I don’t think so!  Your logical mind would choose the sharp two-edged sword.  However, in reality, when we do not use the Word of God to fight off the enemy, we are essentially using a butter knife to war against an enemy who slings a ball and chain. 

“Take . . . the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17b, NASB).
We have two basic offensive weapons to use against Satan.  They are the Word of God and the power of prayer.  When we put the two of these together, we have the most intimidating weapon known to the enemy.  He knows he has “been had” when a man of God masters the art of using the Word of God in the power of prayer.
I pray that you are beginning to see our critical need for the Word of God and prayer.  The sword of the Spirit, God’s Word, is living and active.  These are not just words on a page.  They are life-giving Words from the mouth of a living God!  Use our words and we die.  Use God’s Words, we live. It’s as simple as that!
“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart”  (Hebrews 4:12, NASB).
The Word is eternal, just as God Himself is eternal.  Just as God is omnipotent (all-powerful), so does His Word have all the needed power to defeat the enemy and to accomplish God’s will.  Just as God is immutable, so the Word of God will never change.  Just as our Lord is omnipresent, so His Word is always there and ready to be used in every situation.  Just as God is Holy, so His Word is Holy.  The bottom line is this: His Word is living, active, and sharper than any two-edged sword.  The enemy hates hearing it.  Jesus used it to fight off temptation.  We can’t survive without it.
As a sword, the Word has the power to penetrate the life of every being who hears it, including the enemy.  It is meant to do corrective surgery within the soul, spirit, thoughts, attitudes, and body of all who hear it.  This is the secret of its power against the enemy.  The Word can penetrate, cleanse, and change the life of those who embrace it as Truth.  This is why it cuts away at the grip of the enemy.  There is nothing more powerful (and certainly no substitute) for persistent, steady, consistent application of coming against the enemy.  Even Jesus, the Son of God, used the written Word in the wilderness to fight off Satan.  What worked for the Son of the living God will certainly do no less for us!
“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry.  And the devil said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread’ "  (Luke 4:1-3, NASB).
The importance of doctrinal Truth and doctrinal praying is given to us by God to use daily.  Doctrine, God’s unchanging Truth, is mighty in defeating our enemies.  As Christians, this Truth must go deep into our hearts.  This can only come about as we gain understanding of the Holy Word of God and then use that Word aggressively in our lives. 
Normally speaking, I am not one who advocates following “steps” to embrace freedom.  However, when it comes to deliverance from strongholds in our lives, I see a definite need for a plan to faithfully follow these suggestions word for word; they will equip us and build a foundation for our soul.  The Holy Spirit will aggressively act to guard our heart against our enemies.
Whenever we go to the front lines, where the enemy lives and breathes, he is bound to try chasing us away.  We must not submit to his deceptive ideas and lies that tell us: there is no time, this level of combat isn’t necessary; these are “only” words; we can put this off because we already have too many things to do; we’re too tired, or too sick; or we are already struggling with worries, doubts, and fears which will prevent us from completing our pathway to deliverance.  We need to push through it all and respond like warriors!
In rare cases, some people experience terrifying feelings of guilt, worthlessness, physical symptoms (choking, pains moving around their body, tightness above the eyes, dizziness, blackouts, or even fainting) and terrifying spells of panic and/or depression. Remember, fear is the fire of the dragon’s mouth – it is his primary tool of intimidation.  Don’t worry – it’s only hot air!
Another warning: avoid becoming preoccupied with Satan and his domain.  Have you ever wondered why people are intrigued with movies, video games, and music based on the dark side?  One of the games the enemy plays is to create an unhealthy fascination with his work.  Many people are caught up in giving more attention and credit to the enemy than they do God.  I call this a “demon behind every bush” mentality.  It is common for those who are struggling with satanic affliction to be preoccupied with the enemy due to their level of temptation, obsession, and negative thoughts.  However, we must take special caution to keep our eyes upon Jesus.  Well-trained Christians in the Word and Spirit will not fear Satan or his schemes.
The Christian is engaged in a spiritual battle, even if he does not believe that he is.  Satan and his spiritual forces are on the battle line waiting for us each day.  Man does not have a choice as to his engagement in this battle.  It awaits him each day and there is no way of getting around it.  If you are saved and have received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are in!  Be alert and sober, for your enemy (Satan) roams around on the earth to seek whom he can devour (1 Peter 5:8).  Are you battle ready? SEE YOU ON THE FRONT LINES!
Biblical doctrines and money have much in common.  To avoid the root of all evil (the love of money), or should I say, the root of Satan, we must have an honest, biblical view of money and prayer. 
Next article: The Power of Money and Prayer