Imagine, if you will, that you are a soldier in a battle and you can hear a sound coming from an approaching missile, which as you very well know, is about to explode with deadly consequences. You can hear the sound clearly, its fearsome payload is well known to you but you cannot see from which direction it is approaching. Much worse is that it seems to be coming at you from all angles as well as from below you and above you. You can't defend against it because that means facing it or retreating to some safe haven but since you cannot tell where it is coming from you might be heading towards the danger rather than away from it, and so you are, let's face it, utterly bamboozled.
This is exactly what prayer does to the Devil and his demons. When the believer prays, it moves God to action, and because God is everywhere, usually referred to as Omni-present, the Devil and his demons know what is coming but are clueless as to when and from which direction.
God never loses his temper, because nothing can surprise God, but he is frightfully passionate in asserting his Sovereign will and in responding to the cries (prayers) of believers. Here are some powerful examples:
"For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake. And it came to pass that night that the angel of the Lord went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses." (2 Kings 19: 34-35)
"For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you." (Deuteronomy 20:4)
"If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me. I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy. " (Deuteronomy 32: 41-42)
"The Lord is righteous in all his ways and holy in all his works. The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them." (Psalm 145:17-19)
"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14)
"This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles" (Psalm 34:6)
"And for this cause Hezekiah the king, and the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz, prayed and cried to heaven. And the Lord sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth of his own bowels slew him there with the sword. Thus the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all other, and guided them on every side." (2 Chronicles 32:20-21)
As mentioned earlier, prayer bamboozles the enemy, and so the Devil, and his demons, hates it when you pray. In a later section prayer is dealt with and the way you would use it to stand up to the Devil and his demons and repel them, and in particular how you can use prayer to exorcise demons. Here be assured that pray bamboozles the enemy so terribly that in the utter confusion they may end up destroying themselves. For good reason the Bible says, "Evil shall slay the wicked" (Psalm 34:21a) In these next few verses you will see a good example of what happens when the enemy is bamboozled as in this case when the mighty Syrian Army besieged the city of Samaria and famine is everywhere having terrible consequences.
"And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate: and they said one to another, Why sit we here until we die? If we say, We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die. And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp of the Syrians: and when they were come to the uttermost part of the camp of Syria, behold, there was no man there. For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us. Wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life. And when these lepers came to the uttermost part of the camp, they went into one tent, and did eat and drink, and carried thence silver, and gold, and raiment, and went and hid it; and came again, and entered into another tent, and carried thence also, and went and hid it. Then they said one to another, We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace: if we tarry till the morning light, some mischief will come upon us: now therefore come, that we may go and tell the king's household. So they came and called unto the porter of the city: and they told them, saying, We came to the camp of the Syrians, and, behold, there was no man there, neither voice of man, but horses tied, and asses tied, and the tents as they were." (2 Kings 7:3-10)
In case you think that this is the only recorded incident like this where a whole army was bamboozled then here is another example. Here a combined mighty army of Midianites and Amalekites and peoples from the east come up against Israel in the valley of Jezreel and is confident of victory. God reduced the Israeli army from 32,000 men, many of who were afraid and unsuitable, to 300 only (so that the victory when it comes is seen as belonging to God and not to the Israeli army) and divided them into three companies of one hundred each. Here are the relevant verses recorded in the book of Judges:
"So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands. And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon. And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled. And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the Lord set every mans sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath." (Judges 7: 19-2
Prayer bamboozles the Devil and his demons and all those individuals who align with them every day and this will continue until Jesus comes again.
So now that the Devil is bamboozled how do we keep him on the run, prevent him from loitering and causing us problems? Here in summary only (the full version can be found in my book STAND UP TO THE DEVIL) are things you can do.
CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT HOSTILE TO THE DEVIL. Other people may impact your immediate environment and depending on your circumstances you may not at all times have total control, but by and large you control your environment. The Devil and his demons will always gravitate, like rats to garbage, to environments that are congenial to them and their kind of satanic activities. You will know from your own experience that if your house is kept clean, all foodstuff properly stored away, all garbage put in suitable bins and properly covered, all dishes, cutlery and utensils washed and stored and there is absolutely nothing to attract rodents then they will stay away and if by chance they happen to stray across your property then they will soon be on their way. This will happen in part because they will feel threatened, out of place and taking a big risk for no return, and so they will look elsewhere for their pickings. The same is true of demons sent out by the Devil to do his dirty work and you have the power to stymie their efforts.
DEVELOP SPIRITUAL VIGILANCE. This is particularly important because in today's world a vast number of people are not what they seem and are extremely skillful in hypocrisy, subterfuge, camouflage, falsehoods and deception. You need therefore to develop spiritual vigilance and be alert so that you are not fooled by anything that the Devil does, and make no mistake; the enemy is always trying to do things to cause your downfall. The Collins English Dictionary describes being vigilant as being keenly alert to or heedful of trouble or danger, as while others are sleeping or unsuspicious. This is so as it equally applies to the spiritual realm.
Take as your motto the advice of the Apostle Paul who wrote to the church in Corinth and instructed, "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong." (1 Corinthians 16:13) Develop spiritual vigilance and you will never be caught unawares, never suffer a surprise attack from any quarter, out of the blue, which leaves you devastated and broken and never at a disadvantage against the Devil and his demons.
CULTIVATE PROPER, WHOLESOME FRIENDSHIPS. Some people are very vigilant and guard against the Devil and his demons in many commendable ways but let their guard down with their friends and the enemy destroys them through their friends. Satan does not care how he brings you down as long as he gets you and many people allow their friends to be the means of their demise when the enemy has tried every other way and failed. Friends can be the suicide-bomber in the Devil's armoury because a friend can get closer to you than most and that very proximity can be your exploitable weakness. Many people, believers included, have cursed the day they ever called someone a friend. We all know of cases where one has lost a spouse to a so-called friend, or where a confidence has been betrayed causing devastation, or where one friend has injured or killed another friend and the list is long and sad of such situations. Humans are social beings and like having friends, and that is fine and normal, but there seem to be a general acceptance that you take friends for who they are and their folly is overlooked, which is both unwise, "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." (Ephesians 5:11) and counterproductive in that instead of the friendship being a positive one and lift you up it become a negative one and pulls you down, "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners." (1 Corinthians 15:33) The wrong friendships can be as deadly to your spiritual welfare as a dose of strychnine to the body and this can be seen most clearly when friends give bad advice and it is acted on. Whether it is advice on clothing to wear, places to go, friendships to adopt, attitudes to take, decisions to be made and such like, the wrong advice from such friends can be devastating.
DEVELOP A FORGIVING SPIRIT. Forgiveness is one of the values we hold dear, since we all do wrong things to each other, but it is often misunderstood and gets lost in translation. It is one thing to talk about forgiveness but quite another to adopt a forgiving lifestyle and one that enables us to keep the Devil on the run and not harbour ill will and hatred for people who have offended us. The ability to forgive and move on is a characteristic of a mature believer and because no resentment is harboured healing takes place. Even though the memory of the deed may long be remembered, your conscience is free, your fellowship with the Lord maintained and the pathways of your prayers remain unblocked and functional.
Paul advised the church at Ephesus, "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." (Ephesians 4:32) In similar vein he wrote to the church at Colosse, "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye." (Colossians 3:12-13) One of the challenges in this respect is that the person who has wronged you may never ask you for forgiveness but that is all right because God requires you only to do your part, make forgiveness available, and move on with your life. As you develop a forgiving spirit which makes you very resilient, the Devil and his demons soon realize that you cannot be weighed down with hatred and resentment and they become more cautious around you and this helps you to better stand up to them and repel them.
MANAGE YOUR TIME WISELY. There is a proverb that says, "Time and tide wait for no man" and all of us at one time or another has experienced how swiftly time passes. Nearly every human being takes time for granted, believing that we have plenty of time, and we are so accustomed to doing so that we see it as a right given to us by Almighty God. We need to disabuse ourselves of this fallacy. Time is precious, because measured on any scales of values it registers that time is life itself, which is but a rapidly diminishing interlude in the vast theatre of eternity and its puzzling brevity has for ages been a source of bewilderment and discomfort drawing acerbic comments from great thinkers as well as the lesser lights. Even David and other Psalmists had some profound concerns and one such is recorded thus, "Remember how short my time is: wherefore hast thou made all men in vain?" (Psalm 89:47) This reflects the writer's sentiment that life is so short that nothing worthwhile can be achieved, because you do not have enough time to complete what you have started, and therefore what is the point other than vanity.
It is therefore important to recognize opportunities, fulfil potential, do important things, achieve real outcomes, witness and evangelize now, do what you can now for the time will soon pass and the door forever closed to further opportunities and the Apostle Paul puts it like this, "Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." (Ephesians 5:16)
All across the world the prayers of believers are working miracles in helping people to overcome impossible situations and taking control of their life back from the forces of darkness. Testimonies abound of ordinary believers doing extraordinary things as they wield the weapon of prayer in defense of themselves and their loved ones and for those seeking their help. God responds to the sincere prayers of believers in ways that are beyond our understanding at times but always with maximum effectiveness so remember to bamboozle the enemy with prayer.
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Dr. Henderson Ward received his Doctor of Divinity in theology, with distinction, from Masters International School of Divinity, USA, where he is currently a post-doctoral fellow. Dr. Ward's career involved pastoring, evangelism, and teaching. Copyright 2013