The Wrong Aim: Second Heaven Warfare

1 Timothy 2:1-3 says, “1I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.”

Are our prayers aimed at the wrong thing? It is not that we are praying with the wrong intentions. However, sometimes our prayers can actually limit God in what He will do if it demonstrates a boxed vision, a limiting of our faith. If it is only on church leaders, then we have no vision, and we perish! Of course, we are suppose to pray for those in leadership. We are to intercede and pray for those in local, state and federal government, businesses, church leadership and family, but we cannot put all of the responsibility on leaders to change the culture and atmosphere of a region. The church has the most important role to play in all of this, and, in most cases, it has contributed to the negative! Let me explain. 

Some churches will compromise the truths of scripture to try to grow their buildings with more people, in particular rich people who give, and in the spirit contribute to the spiritual demise of a city or region. Others have developed a spiritual poverty mindset where they are constantly needy and place the blame on the government and everyone and everything else for the spiritual climate in which they have the authority and set. Few ministries recognize the principalities over the region, and so they will wear themselves out warring against those principalities until they fall. Somewhere we find ourselves in between 2 and 3. We want to place the blame everywhere except for our own need of repentance, which is warring against a realm that we ourselves have no business messing with, which is the Second Heaven.

We know the first heaven is the atmosphere we operate in that we can see, and the third heaven is the kingdom of God where He reigns, sitting on his throne. It is the place our spirits longs to be! It is where Paul was caught up in the spirit (2 Corinthians 12:2), but we do not read much about the second heaven, the domain where principalities reign. Satan, who is the prince and power of the air (Ephesians 2:2), goes into war in this realm. It is why Daniel’s answers prayers were hindered for three weeks until angel was able to deliver the revelation he needed as a result of Michael fight the Prince, or better yet principality, of Persia (Daniel 10:12-13). It is a realm we cannot see in the spirit, but it is the atmosphere of spiritual warfare. I know what you may be thinking. Why does Ephesians talk about that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities” and then the Apostle Paul discusses to put on the whole armor of God? (Ephesians 6:10-18). This does not mean we pick a fight with a defeated devil. Why should we have to war in ourselves when we are seated in heavenly places? Why should we wear ourselves out when Jesus Christ “spoiled principalities and powers, making a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:15). Through His death and resurrection, He conquered them! So, we are wasting time in prayer meetings calling down principalities when they are already defeated and He has given us the strategies of the kingdom to execute His authority on earth over them. This does not mean we have to always say, “Devil, I have authority over you in the name of the Jesus.” It is like the sheriff walking in town reminding everyone that he is the sheriff so that he feels more confident in his position. Entitlement does not give you authority over the enemy. That is exactly what the sons of Sceva tried to do, and look where it got them:  beaten and embarrassed! It does not matter who you is over you naturally or spiritually. What matters is do you know Jesus because your nearness to Him will always be your greatest defense!

Most of the armor of God is your defense:  belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, sandals of evangelism, shield of faith and helmet of salvation. Truth, righteousness, evangelism, faith and salvation are your weapons of defense, but the offensive weapons you possess are the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and prayer, which is signified as a spear, going the distance to places we cannot reach. Activating the Word of God in obedience and prayer are the tools needed to advance the kingdom in this day and hour. Jessica had a dream years ago of positive and negative charges in the atmosphere, and we did not understand that dream until we went to Bethel Church in April. We do not have to pray for more authority, but we need to utilize the authority we have by conflicting the negatives with the positives. You do not overcome evil with evil, but you overcome evil with GOOD! (Romans 12:21) That is combatting the negative with positive. We prayed against religion, but religion itself creeped in, forming various arguments and opinions that are contrary to God’s Word. We declared against addiction, but we are fighting now in ourselves the roots of addiction, which is panic, fear and depression from an orphan spirit. We decreed against poverty, but instead of Christian businesses coming in and jobs being created, the opposite has happened. We combat the fake holiness movement with the real holiness movement! Therefore we must repent and fight with the strategies of the kingdom of God. This does not mean we stop warring altogether, but we are seated in heavenly places, and we need to fight God’s way! Let me give you some examples in scripture as well as some of today’s ministries:

  1. Daniel did not pray against the Prince of Persia, but he spent 21 days in prayer and fasting until he received the answer he needed (Daniel 10)
  2. Jonah’s obedience, which did take some time, finally led to Nineveh’s repentance and overthrow of a principality over a region. It was not the declaring of a fall of a principality and the sins that gave it its strength, but it preaching repentance and obedience to God that brought revival (Jonah 3:7-10). 
  3. 2 Chronicles 20, the Ammonites and Moabites were defeated in battle because Jehoshaphat and all of Judah stood still and saw the salvation of the LORD. They did not engage in hand-to-hand combat, but they went to battle in pure worship and praise to God, and, as a result, God sent ambushments against them and Judah took the spoil from them. Their obedience led to their victory.
  4. When David defeated Goliath, he was not focused on simply overcoming this Philistine principality, but rather on the greatness of his God! 
  5. The ten spies saw the strength of their enemy as the children of Israel “appeared as grasshoppers in their sight”. The other two saw the grapes of the field and the beauty of their inheritance. It is not about recognizing the strength of your enemy, but the value of your inheritance! 
  6. When Jesus cast Legion out of the man, He did not cast it out of the region (Mark 5:1-20). Even though this man was sitting, clothed and in his right mind, the people prayed Him to depart out of their coasts (Mark 5:16-17), which served as ultimate proof that they still had a hold on the region. Christ’s focus was to free people and, in turn, impact the region. He did not pray that principality down, but He ministered to set people free because through Him authority has been restored to us. 
  7. In Luke 10:1, Jesus had appointed 70 disciples, sending them forth two-by-two into the region to minister the gospel. He would later say, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven” (Luke 10:17). He seen in the spirit realm this Satanic principality fall quickly and with power, not because their mission was to be in designated spots and intercede until these things were broken through, but due to their obedience to Christ’s commands. 
  8. Since the Carolina Revival began at Hope Chapel, Batesburg transitioned from being one of the dangerous cities in South Carolina to one of the safest as the crime rate diminished rapidly. Was that what they were aiming in prayer? No, but it is also to be understood that they established a house where they can raise sons and daughters in the faith, and one of the greatest links between crimes and men in prison is fatherless homes. Therefore, through obedience of being an apostolic house of sons and daughters, a shift took place in the culture of Batesburg, insomuch that only God can get the glory!
  9. In Redding, California, Bethel Church recognized that poverty was a major stronghold over the region. During the early stages of their ministry, Redding was one of the poorest cities in all of California, and now, it is one of the wealthiest. Bethel did not intercede in speaking against principalities, but they gave! They combatted against the negatives of poverty with the positives of giving, and in the spirit, a shift took place!  
Intercessory prayer and discernment should focus on God and not on Satan and his kingdom. Ask God to increase acts of righteousness in your cities and to send the spirit of conviction of sin, righteousness and judgment (*p. 130). Here are some other valuable principles and truths concerning intercessory prayer and spiritual warfare: 
  1. Our definition of spiritual warfare in calling out principalities is actually practicing the presence of demons. Pray to God rather than addressing demons (*p. 27). 
  2. Reviling (from Jude 6-9) involves verbal abuse, railing or scolding. Therefore, quarreling noisily and rebuking angrily is actually adopting his methods to fight his kingdom (*pp. 29, 33). 
  3. Jesus did not demean Satan or call him names. He simply quoted scripture in rebuking the enemy (*p. 29). 
  4. Sometimes, the enemy will use our false victories in so-called intercession as decoy victories to cause us to puff up in pride and give him the upper hand (*p. 34). This is the importance of humbling any ounce of pride you have. 
  5. When we recognize principalities over a region, it is to know where to aim our repentance (*p. 35). – 2 Chronicles 7:14
  6. By blaming everyone else, including the devil, we are repeating original sins in the Garden of Eden. We cannot deny our responsibility in what has shaped the culture around us (*p. 36).
  7. Practical guidelines for warfare:  (1) get clear guidance from the Holy Spirit, (2) Spiritual warfare over geographical regions or churches is won by armies, not by individual heroes. Don’t be a lone ranger. Recruit others to join you in repentance, fasting, and prayer. It took masses of people acting unrighteously to create the stronghold now manipulated by the principality. It will take a number of people responding righteously to reverse Satan’s legal jurisdiction. (3) Be diligent to maintain a prayer vigil and persevere in intercession with God. (*pp. 115-116)
  8. Spiritual warfare is to be conducted by armies, not solitary exposed heroes. It takes corporate prayers and repentances to dislodge principalities over areas, such as cities, states, and nations. Lone-ranger intercessors endanger themselves and their groups. An army must repent for the sins of their fathers that allowed the attack to legally come (*pp. 118-119).
*Needless Casualties of War by John Paul Jackson