THE PRAYER THAT OPOSES SATANPrint This Page.
Scripture Reading: Luke 18:1-8
THE THREE ASPECTS OF PRAYER
There are three aspects to our prayer: (1) concerning ourselves, (2) concerning God to whom we pray, and (3) concerning our enemy Satan. Every genuine prayer must be related to these three aspects. When we pray concerning ourselves, we are, of course, doing it for our own interest; we pray because we have needs, lacks, and expectations. Prayer is for gaining what we seek, yet genuine prayer should not seek after one's own interest alone, but should seek for God's glory and His governmental authority on earth. Of course, when our prayers are answered, the ones who receive the direct benefit are ourselves. However, the fact in the spiritual realm is that not only do the praying ones receive the benefit, but God receives His glory, and His will is done. An answer to prayer is a great glory to God because it shows God's love, power, sincerity, and greatness in accomplishing what His children ask for. An answer to prayer also shows that God's will is being accomplished because He never answers a prayer that is not according to His will.
We are the supplicating ones, and the One being supplicated is God. In a successful prayer, both the supplicants and the One being supplicated gain something. The supplicants get their intentions fulfilled, and the One being supplicated gets His will accomplished. We do not have to say too much concerning this point, for all God's faithful children who are experienced in prayer know the relationship between these two aspects of prayer. What we must now bring to the attention of God's children is that if our prayers take care only of these two aspects of God and man, though they may be effective at times, they are deficient; there is failure even in the success, and the real meaning of prayer has not yet been fully realized. Of course, the spiritual saints realize that prayer is not only for their own benefit but is intimately related to God's glory and God's will, yet this is not enough. We still have to pay attention to the third aspect. When we pray to God, not only should our prayer be related to God, but if we ask something from God, what we ask for and what God promises must be something that will cause some loss to God's enemy. We know that in the universe God is the sovereign Ruler, yet Satan is the ruler of this world (John 14:30); the whole world lies in his hand (1 John 5:19). Hence, we see two diametrically opposed forces competing against one another in this world. Of course, God has the final victory, but before the end of the millennium, Satan will continue to exercise authority in this world and will continue to oppose God's work, God's will, and God's interest. We the children of God belong to God. If we gain something from the hand of God, this means that God's enemy suffers some loss. The measure of the benefit which we who belong to God receive is equal to the measure of God's will that is fulfilled, and the measure of God's will that is fulfilled is equal to the measure of loss which Satan incurs. Since we belong to God, Satan's goal is to shatter us, persecute us, suppress us, and knock us off our feet. This is Satan's goal, but his goal will not necessarily succeed, because we can come to the throne of grace by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus and ask Him for protection and care. If God hears our prayer, Satan's plan will be defeated. For God to hear our prayer means that Satan's will is thwarted and that he is no longer able to persecute us according to his plan. Hence, the degree to which our prayers are answered is the degree to which Satan incurs loss. Our benefit together with God's glory is inversely proportional to Satan's loss. The increase of one means the loss of the other, and the loss of one means the increase of the other. Hence, in our prayers we should care not only for our benefit and God's glory and will, but should pay attention to the third aspect, which is the enemy, Satan. If a prayer does not take care of or affect all three aspects, this prayer is only superficial; it is worth very little and will accomplish very little.
We need not mention the senseless prayers, for they will have no effect on any of these three aspects. Yet even a sensible prayer by a fleshly Christian is one which addresses only his own interest. Its goal is to secure his own interest through prayer. All he has in mind are his own needs and lacks. If God answers his prayer and fulfills his desires, he is satisfied. He does not consider God's will or God's glory, much less think of Satan's loss. But not all of God's children are fleshly. We thank and praise the Lord that there are many among His children who are spiritual. When they pray, they do not care only for their own interest and then content themselves only with God's answer to their prayer while ignoring everything else. They pay much attention to God's glory and God's will. They ask God to answer their prayer, not for their own gain, but so that God may gain glory in the matter through the answering of their prayer. They do not insist on what they pray, but rather, take care of God's will. This care for God's will does not refer to a concern for God's being willing or unwilling to grant them what they ask for. It refers to their concern that, if God were to answer their prayer, would it run contrary to His work, His government, and the will that is according to His plan. This is not merely a consideration of the thing itself but of its relationship to the principle work of God. Such prayers take care of two aspects: God and man. However, very few Christians take care of the third aspect, which is Satan. The goal of a genuine prayer is not just for one's own interest; sometimes such prayer will even be ignored. One must pay attention to God's glory and Satan's loss, not considering his own gain or loss to be consequential. Such ones consider their prayer most successful if it causes loss to Satan and glory to God. Their concern is to inflict loss upon Satan through their prayer. Their eyes are looking not merely at the present environment but at God's work and will on the whole earth. Of course, this does not mean that they are merely concerned with God and Satan and forget themselves. What it means is that, practically speaking, when God's will is fulfilled and Satan has incurred loss, they will surely reap a benefit. The spiritual condition of a saint can be seen from the aspect of prayer that he emphasizes.
THE PARABLE IN LUKE 18
In the parable in Luke 18, our Lord Jesus points out these three aspects of prayer and their relationship to prayer. In this parable there are three parties: (1) the judge, (2) the widow, and (3) the opponent. The judge represents God, though in a negative sense. The widow represents the present church or individual faithful Christians. The opponent represents our enemy, the devil. In expounding this parable, we often pay attention only to the relationship between the judge and the widow. We see how the judge did not fear God and did not respect man, yet due to the widow's persistent cry, he eventually avenged her. Our God, not being heartless like this judge, will surely avenge us because of our crying! This is all that we say and all that we pay attention to, yet there is one most important figure whom we miss and neglect. Without the opponent, there would be no need for the widow to cry to the judge. It is because of the persecution of the opponent that the widow cries to the judge. If we consider the words which the widow speaks to the judge, we cannot help but consider the opponent. For the sake of brevity the Bible only records, "Avenge me of my opponent." How much is contained in this word! Does it not include a sorrowful tale? Those who cry out for avenging must have grievances, but where do the grievances come from? Surely they come from the oppression of the opponent, the one being accused. The Bible calls this one the opponent, which shows us the intensity of his hatred toward the widow. The Bible says that the widow asked to be avenged of her opponent. This shows the severity of the persecution suffered by the widow at the hand of the opponent. Hence, the widow was relating to the judge the history and the present threat of the opponent toward her. She asked the judge to punish the opponent and to avenge her for her grievances. Hence, strictly speaking, the opponent is the most crucial figure in this parable. Without him, no damage would have occurred under the judge's rule, and the widow could have lived and worked happily without being disturbed. Without him, there would not have been such a parable; nothing like this would have happened. The one who stirs up the wind and the waves is this opponent. He is the creator of all confusion and persecution. Hence, he deserves the most attention.
This judge was the unique ruler in a certain city. He ruled over the entire city. This speaks of God's power and authority. Although the world is ruled temporarily by Satan, yet this position is a rebellious usurpation. When the Lord Jesus was crucified on the cross, He cast out the prince of this world. In His death He stripped off "the rulers and the authorities" and "made a display of them openly, triumphing over them in it" (Col. 2:15). Although the world is now under the hand of the evil one, this is not a legitimate arrangement. God has set the time when He will take back the kingdom and put His Son on the throne for a thousand years, even for eternity. Before this time comes, God is merely allowing Satan's activities; the world still remains under the rule of God. Satan can rule over everything that belongs to him and can also persecute everyone who belongs to God, but this is only temporary. During this temporary period, even Satan is strictly limited by God. He can persecute the saints, but this can be done only within certain limits. Beyond the limit allowed by God, Satan has no authority. We can see this clearly from the story of Job. The judge ruled over the whole city; God rules over the whole world. It was not normal for a person under the judge's rule to be someone's opponent. In the same way, it is abnormal for Satan, under God's rule, to persecute the saints.
The disposition of this judge was that he "did not fear God and did not regard man." What sort of person does not care for either man or God? However, because of the persistent coming of the widow and her cry to be avenged, and because he was bothered and feared her persistence, he avenged her. The Lord Jesus used this judge as a negative representation of God. God is not virtueless like this judge. He is our loving Father, the One who protects us. He desires to give us the best. Also, He is not unrelated to us like the judge was to the widow. If such a judge would avenge the widow because of her unceasing accusing, will not God, who is more virtuous and loving and is intimately related to His children, avenge them because of their constant prayer? If an unvirtuous judge will avenge a person because of her incessant asking, at the least our God will work for His children because of their prayers. The widow secured her avenging by the judge simply by her unceasing crying. She could not have had any hope in the judge himself, for this judge did not have any virtues. However, our answer to prayer comes not merely because of our unceasing asking, though it is sufficient in itself to gain what we want; our prayer is also based on the goodness of God. This is why the Lord Jesus uses the words "will not God." The words "will not God" imply a comparison. If the widow who trusted only in unceasing asking received what she wanted, will not we, who trust in our unceasing prayer and who pray on the basis of God's goodness, receive what we ask for?
This widow was helpless. The word widow shows her isolated situation. The husband on whom she depended for her living was gone, and she had become a widow. This is a good representation of a Christian on earth. Our Lord Jesus has ascended to the heavens. As far as the flesh goes, Christians are helpless and are like widows. The teaching of Matthew 5 tells us of the sufferings that Christians face on earth. They are the weak and have no power to resist anyone; everywhere they go they are taken advantage of and ridiculed by others. Neither the Lord Jesus nor the apostles taught the believers to have great power or high position in the world. Instead, they should be humble, despised, and persecuted everywhere by others. They cannot base their reasoning with others on justice or the law. This is the portion of the Christians; it is the way that the Lord has prepared for them. If the Son of God was crucified without opposing or murmuring, why should His disciples expect to receive better treatment? Hence, this widow is a true representation of the Christians in this age.
The widow had an opponent. We Christians also have our opponent. This opponent is Satan. The meaning of the word Satan is adversary. An adversary is an opponent. First Peter 5:8 says, "Your adversary, the devil." The devil is our adversary. We must clearly identify who our adversary is before we can know how to come to our Judge, God, to accuse him. How the devil became our adversary is a long story. Simply put, this hatred began from the garden of Eden. God said, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" (Gen. 3:15). It is because of the devil's deceiving of the world that God put a hatred in his heart and also a hatred in our heart. We know that the seed of the woman in Genesis refers to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is forever at enmity with the devil. This is what God has ordained. We who have believed in the Lord Jesus belong to His side. As such, we cannot help but take His adversary as our adversary. At the same time, the enemy of the Lord Jesus, Satan, will not let us go easily, with no opposition. He took the Lord Jesus as his enemy; hence, he has to take the disciples of the Lord Jesus as his enemies as well. Those who have not yet believed in the Lord Jesus are children of the devil (John 8:44), and naturally, he loves those who belong to him. But we have believed in the Lord Jesus and are joined to Him. Because he hates the Lord Jesus, he hates us also.
This hatred grows deeper as the days go by. Satan is strong and forceful, while we are isolated and helpless like the widow. He oppresses us with his power, suppressing us and bringing great havoc upon us. In the end, we are even wrongly accused by him. The word avenge speaks of much suffering which we must endure under him. We have to pay close attention to this point. Even now, Christians are being wrongly accused by the devil. Unless this wrong is avenged, we will continually suffer loss. What a pity that many children of God are not even aware of their being wronged by Satan!
SATAN AND THE SAINTS
As the opponent persecuted the widow, so the devil now persecutes the believers. We do not know how much we have suffered under him. Of course, Satan does not appear personally when he persecutes us; rather, he does all his works through men or things; he will never expose himself. He pushes the world to the foreground, while behind the scenes he is secretly directing everything. As he worked the first time in the form of a serpent, in the same way, in all of his subsequent work he comes in a disguised form. It is because he hides himself in this way that God's children misjudge the enemy, not realizing that he is their real opponent. He causes the believers to be physically weak or to suffer pain and sickness (Acts 10:38). The believers may think that they have violated some law of hygiene or that they are exhausted, without realizing that it has been the devil's manipulation all the while! Alas, countless numbers of believers have suffered at the hand of the devil in this way. Sometimes he will persecute the believers through the world (Rev. 2:10), attacking them through their immediate family, relatives, or the society. The believers may think that it is man who is hating the Lord, without realizing that it is the devil who is stirring up everything behind the scenes. Sometimes he works through the environment, causing the believers to encounter dangers. Sometimes he spreads misunderstandings among believers, separating the dearest of friends from one another and bringing them to tears. Sometimes he cuts off the supply to the believers, bringing upon them all kinds of deprivation, even starvation. Sometimes he will cause the believers to be depressed, restless, and aimless. Sometimes he causes the believers to become lost and indecisive, losing control of themselves. Sometimes he puts an inexplicable fear within the heart of the believers. Sometimes he exhausts the believers through their affairs and work. Sometimes he takes away the believers' sleep, causing them to be tired physically and mentally. Sometimes he puts unclean thoughts in the believers' minds or injects confused thoughts into their brains, stripping them of any defense. Sometimes he disguises himself in the form of an angel of light, deceiving the believers and leading them into the wrong way. To exhaust his workings is beyond the scope of what we can do here. In conclusion, everything that causes the believers to suffer, whether physically or spiritually, and everything that causes the believers to sin or suffer loss is a wile of the devil. But although many children of God are taken advantage of by Satan, most do not realize that it is the working of Satan. Sometimes they think that what happens is natural and accidental or that it is something done by man. Little do they know that behind many natural phenomena, there exist many supernatural things. Behind many so-called accidents, there is much scheming. Within many dealings from men, we can see the plots of Satan.
IDENTIFYING THE ENEMY
Hence, the most important thing to do now is to clearly identify our enemy. We have to know definitely who our enemy is, who it is that causes us to suffer. Many times, we think that we have been taken advantage of by men. But the Bible tells us that "our wrestling is not against blood and flesh but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenlies" (Eph. 6:12). Hence, every time we suffer at the hands of men, we have to remember that behind the men of flesh Satan and his dark powers are there directing. We should have the spiritual sight to discern between God's work and Satan's hidden schemes. We should differentiate between the natural and the supernatural. We should be mature and acquire spiritual knowledge so that nothing of Satan's work in the dark will escape our observation.
If this is so, should we not see that every natural or accidental occurrence which we encounter in our daily life is the work of the enemy? Then we will see that Satan is hounding us and persecuting us in everything. The pitiful thing is that in the past we were taken advantage of by Satan so much, yet without any realization that it was he who was taking advantage of us. The most important thing now is for every one of us to have a hatred of Satan for his harassment of us. Our hatred against Satan can never go too deep. Before there can be the possibility of victory, we must maintain an opposing attitude in our heart and refuse to come under his oppression. We must realize that our sufferings which come from Satan are unjust and that these injustices must be avenged. This malice must be avenged. He has no right to afflict us, yet he inflicts such pain upon us. What an enmity! What an injustice! We must seek for vengeance.
THE CRY FOR VINDICATION
After the widow suffered, she came to the judge for vindication. We should learn from this. We should not come before earthly judges for anything. We should cry out to our Judge who is our Father God. The weapons of our warfare are not fleshly (2 Cor. 10:4); hence, we should not deal with the fleshly men, who are utilized by Satan, by any fleshly means. Instead, we should pity them because they have become Satan's tools. In spiritual warfare, fleshly weapons are completely useless. Not only are they useless, but all those who use them will be overcome by Satan! We should use spiritual weapons to fight spiritual warfare. There are, of course, many spiritual weapons, which are all recorded in Ephesians 6. The most important of these is the prayer of verse 18. We are powerless in ourselves and cannot seek to avenge ourselves, but we can pray to God and ask Him to avenge us. Prayer is the best offensive weapon against the enemy. In prayer we maintain our ground, and through prayer we can attack the enemy and damage his plan, his work, and his power. The widow knew that for her to fight or argue with the opponent was futile, for a weak widow can never prevail against an evil rogue. In the same way, if God's children will not trust in God's power, if they will not have prayer as their shield, if they will not accuse the enemy in the midst of his accusations, crying for God's avenging, but rather, go to war alone against Satan, they will surely be hurt by his flaming darts. In this parable, the Lord Jesus tells us the best way to overcome our opponent—by crying to God day and night, calling for His vindication of us and His judgment and punishment on Satan.
THE PRAYER THAT OPPOSES SATAN
The Bible gives us much help with respect to the prayer that accuses Satan. Now we want to briefly consider a few passages in the Scriptures that show us the prayer that opposes Satan.
We recall that in Genesis 3 the devil worked for the first time. Later, God judged him and cursed him. From this we know that Satan is cursed by God. In this curse, God clearly foretold that the head of the devil would be crushed by the Lord Jesus on the cross. Hence, when we suffer in his hands, we can apply this judgment. We can pray, "God, curse Satan once more so that he cannot work at will. You cursed him in the garden of Eden already; I pray that You will curse him afresh. Put him under the power of the cross again so that he cannot move." The thing that the devil is the most afraid of is God's curse. Once God curses him, he will not dare to harm us anymore.
Mark 1 records that when the Lord Jesus was casting out the demons, He forbade them to speak. Hence, when Satan utilizes men to speak many words of confusion or violence, we can pray to the Lord to stop the mouth of the devil and to shut him up. Sometimes while we are preaching the gospel or teaching others the truth, we can pray to the Lord to stop the devil from opening his mouth to our listeners or saying anything that would cause the listeners to doubt or oppose the Lord's word. We recall the story of Daniel in the lion's den. One prayer which is always very effective is, "Lord, shut the mouths of the lions so that they will not harm Your people."
There is another wonderful prayer revealed in Matthew 12. The Lord tells us that in order to enter into the house of the strong man and plunder his goods, one must first bind the strong man. We know that the strong man the Lord speaks of here is Satan. Before we can overcome Satan, we have to bind him and stop him from his work. Of course, we ourselves cannot bind him and strip him of his freedom to oppose our work, but we can pray. In our prayer, we can ask God to bind Satan and strip him of the strength to fight against us. Whenever we are to work, if we first truly bind Satan with our prayer, our victory will be sure. Hence, we should always pray, "Lord, bind the strong man."
First John 3:8 says, "The Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil." Hence, whenever we see the works of the devil, we can pray, "O God, Your Son was manifested to destroy the works of the devil. I thank You because on the cross He has annulled the works of the devil. But the devil is still working. Annul his work in me, and annul his intention of working through my work. Annul his work in my environment; annul all of his works." When we pray, we can pray according to the condition at the time. If we see Satan working in us, our family, our office, our school, or our nation, we can ask God to annul his work in that place.
Jude 9 mentions one sentence which Michael the archangel spoke to Satan, "The Lord rebuke you." After this word, Satan was not able to oppose him anymore. Hence, this sentence can also be used in our prayer to the Lord as our opposition against Satan. We can ask the Lord to rebuke Satan. We should know that the Lord hears our prayer. If we ask Him to rebuke, He will surely rebuke. We should also believe that when the Lord rebukes Satan, he will not be able to withstand it. Satan is afraid of the Lord's rebuke. We see that when the Lord rebuked the winds and the waves on the sea, they immediately obeyed Him and became calm. Hence, when the Lord rebukes Satan, it must be equally effective. If we read the Psalms we will see the effectiveness of the Lord's rebuke. Psalm 18:15 says, "The river beds were seen,/And the foundations of the habitable land were laid bare,/At Your rebuke, O Jehovah." Psalm 76:6 says, "At Your rebuke, O God of Jacob,/Both chariot and horse fall into deep sleep." Psalm 80:16 says, "They perish at the rebuke of Your countenance." Psalm 104:7 says, "At thy rebuke they [the waters] fled." Psalm 106:9 says, "He rebuked the Red sea also,/and it was dried up." These verses show us the power of the Lord's rebuke. Hence, if the Lord rebukes Satan, surely Satan will not be able to withstand it. Whenever Satan harasses us, we can ask the Lord to rebuke him.
Matthew 16 records Peter through his natural affection holding back the Lord Jesus from going to the cross. The Lord rebuked him, saying, "Get behind Me, Satan!" (v. 23). Every time Satan uses our relatives or natural affections to stop us from doing God's will, we can pray to God to put Satan behind us.
In Matthew 6 the Lord Jesus teaches us to pray: "Deliver us from the evil one" (v. 13). We do not know when the evil one will come to oppress us, but we can always apply this expression in our prayer.
Colossians 2:15 says of the Lord Jesus, "Stripping off the rulers and the authorities, He made a display of them openly, triumphing over them in it." When we see the power of Satan on the rampage, we can stand on the foundation of the cross and ask the Lord to once again shame the devil. He was shamed on the cross already. Therefore, based on his first shaming, we can ask the Lord to shame him once more. If he is shamed, he will not be able to lift up his head or harm us anymore. Hence, we should pray to the Lord, "Lord, we are now standing on the foundation of the cross and are asking You to shame the devil once more."
The Duration of Such Prayer
How long should this kind of prayer last? We know that for some prayers we need only pray once. But there can never be too much of the prayer that opposes Satan. The purpose of the Lord's parable in Luke 18 is to teach men "to pray and not lose heart" (v. 1). The judge avenged the widow, not because of justice or any other reason, but because he could not tolerate her wearing him out. He said to himself, "I will avenge her, lest by continually coming she wear me out." Hence, this kind of prayer should be unceasing. We should have this kind of Satan-opposing prayer not only when special circumstances befall us. Rather, in our daily life, even while there is nothing happening, we should maintain in our spirit an attitude of unceasing opposition to Satan and should utter unceasing prayer against him. After the Lord Jesus spoke this parable, He said that if God's people would cry to Him day and night, He would surely avenge them quickly. Hence, this kind of prayer must go on day and night without ceasing. We must accuse our enemy before God day and night unceasingly, because Revelation 12 tells us that Satan accuses us before God day and night unceasingly. Since he accuses us day and night without ceasing, should we not accuse him also day and night without ceasing?
This is vengeance. As he deals with us, so we deal with him. This cry of the widow did not stop until the opponent was judged and punished and she was vindicated. Hence, as long as Satan is still reigning, as long as he is not shut up in the abyss, as long as he is not cast into the lake of fire, and as long as God has not yet avenged us, we must not cease our opposing prayer. It is when Satan falls like lightning out of heaven that our prayer can stop, for by then, God will have begun our avenging. Alas, how God desires that we have a deeper hatred of the devil. We have suffered enough under his hand! He has set himself against us step by step, and at every turn he has persecuted us physically and spiritually. Why then are we still silent and tolerant of his persecution? Why do we not rise up to accuse him before God with our words of prayer? We should seek revenge and require vengeance. Why do we not come often before God to accuse him and thus air our grievances? The Lord Jesus is calling us particularly to oppose Satan with our prayer.
The Effect of Such Prayer
What is the effect of this kind of prayer? The effect occurs in two instances. First, there is the present effect. Every time we accuse the enemy, he is limited by God from harming us. Although he will come to us again later, while we are accusing him, he is afraid and will not exercise his violence recklessly. Every time we invoke the victory of the cross, this victory becomes real to us once again. Every time we pray to oppose Satan, his work is once again annulled, and he is once again rebuked by the Lord. If we pray one more time, Satan suffers loss one more time. When God hears our prayer one more time, Satan's interest is stripped away one more time.
However, this effect is not limited to the present time. The Lord Jesus mentions a final vindication here. Every time we pray, the Lord rebukes and annuls the devil. But this is not accomplished once for all. He is restricted only for a while and has not yet met his final and complete destruction. The Lord says, "And will not God by all means carry out the avenging of His chosen ones, who cry to Him day and night?" (Luke 18:7). This speaks of the final annihilation of Satan. We know that in the millennium Satan will be shut up in the abyss and that after the millennium the Lord Jesus will cast him into the eternal lake of fire. This is to avenge the believers. For this reason, the believers should pray more prayers that oppose Satan now, so that they can be fully avenged. Now is the time when God is patiently enduring. Although He hears the believers' prayer and limits the devil's work, He has not yet removed him completely nor stopped his menacing permanently. Now is the time for the believers to pray so that that day may come soon. It seems that our prayer can hasten God's work. The widow cried continually, for she did not know when the judge would avenge her. Her crying hastened the day of his avenging. It is the same with us. The Lord says, "I tell you that He will carry out their avenging quickly" (v. 8). The Lord seems to be saying that the speed of God's work depends on our prayer. Our constant Satan-accusing prayers will hasten God's avenging of us. Satan will lose his authority when he is cast out of heaven at the coming of the Lord Jesus. The prayer that accuses Satan will hasten the day of the Lord's coming.
Many times we think that God works according to His will. This is true, but this is only one side of the truth. It is not the complete truth. God works according to His will; this is His principle. However, God cannot actually set out to work until His children have responded to His will. God wants man to work with Him.
CO-LABORING WITH GOD
God has a will. Yet He wants man to pray according to His will. When man does this, He will immediately accomplish the work that His will has ordained. If there is no prayer from His children expressing their oneness with Him in His work, no matter what His will may be, He will not execute it independently. God's goal is to remove the work of the devil, and surely His will is to avenge the believers. But God is waiting for His children to pray. As the judge would not have avenged the widow without her crying out to him, in the same way, without the Satan-accusing prayer of the believers, God will not avenge them. We do not know why, but we do know that God is pleased to see His people working with Him. However, there must be a basis to our accusing. The ones who are persecuted by Satan are the believers. Hence, the believers can accuse him before God based on Satan's treatment of them. In this way, he will receive his deathblow.
THE END TIME
After the Lord finished this parable, He concluded with this word: "Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" (v. 8). It seems as if the Lord was saying that at the time when He is about to come, this kind of prayer will be greatly lacking. Believers do not pray because they do not have faith. They think that it is too great and too difficult a thing to cast Satan out of heaven and into the abyss and, eventually, into the lake of fire. "Now the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly" (Rom. 16:20). Concerning this verse, they may think, "If this promise has passed through twenty centuries and has still not yet been fulfilled, how could we hope to see Satan punished by God merely by our prayer?" The Lord's word implies that when He is about to come, man will not have the faith to pray for this matter. Yet, the end time is exactly the time that we need this kind of prayer. Can we be the faithful minority that offers up prayers to oppose and attack Satan at this unprecedented hour, prayers to hasten his abdication of his position and his authority? We know that the end time is the time when Satan and his evil spirits are particularly active in their work. For this reason, we should all the more oppose him and overturn his government by prayer. Strictly speaking, at the present time, there is no greater work for God's children than this. Who is willing to pray the prayer that opposes Satan, for his own sake and for God's sake?
Strive, O Jehovah, with those who strive with me;Battle against those who battle against me.Take hold of shield and buckler,And rise up as my help.Draw out also the spear, and close up the wayAgainst those who pursue me;Say to my soul,I am your salvation.Let those who seek my lifeBe put to shame and humiliated;Let those who devise evil for meBe turned back and confounded.Let them be like chaff before the wind,With the angel of Jehovah driving them on.Let their way be darkness and slipperiness itself,With the angel of Jehovah pursuing them.For without cause they hid their net for me in a pit;Without cause they dug a hole for me...Awake, and stir Yourself for my cause,For my contention, O my God and my Lord.(Psa. 35:1-7, 23).