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Prayer That Casts Demons Out of a Nation

As I gather today in Washington, D.C. for the National Prayer Breakfast, I am glad that this event happens and that I can be part of it, but I long for more strategic prayer to emerge. In Mark 16, after instructing the church to preach to all creatures and “make disciples of all nations,” the first criteria that Jesus describes for evaluating the effectiveness in this mission is that signs like “casting out of demons” would be evident. Christians can measure success of the Great Commission by effectively dealing with the spiritual forces of darkness that are oppressing not just individuals, but people groups and cultures. Paul told the Corinthians to tear down strongholds with the weapons that are mighty through God (2 Cor 10). The Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 6 that we do not wrestle merely with flesh and blood in a nation” but against “principalities and powers in the heavenly places.” They are the “spiritual forces of darkness.”

When Jesus sent out his disciples to preach His word and heal the sick, they returned rejoicing that the demons were subject to them. Jesus responded by explaining to them that as they proclaimed the truth, Satan fell like lightning. Through this, Jesus was showing the disciples how fasting, praying and declaring a biblical message impacts more than just the individuals they encountered. It changes things in the heavens and in ...