Book Review: Warfare Prayer
Warfare Prayer: How to Seek God’s Power and Protection in the Battle to Build His Kingdom
By C. Peter Wagner (reviewed by Peter DeHaan)
The subtitle of Warfare Prayer is How to Seek God’s Power and Protection in the Battle to Build His Kingdom. The book is the first in Wagner’s trilogy series entitled, The Prayer Warrior. Wagner’s purpose of the book is to address “strategic-level spiritual warfare and the warfare prayer necessary to engage it,” (p 12).
To set the foundation for his teaching, Wagner identifies three levels of spiritual warfare. The first is “ground-level,” which is essentially “deliverance ministries.” The second, “occult-level,” takes things beyond “ordinary demons,” stepping things up a notch. The final level, the most ominous, is “strategic-level,” confronting territorial demons. This is the focus of the book, (p 16-19). It is these territorial demons that control entire areas, keeping them under bondage and thwarting evangelistic efforts. To effectively go into the world for Jesus, often the territorial demons must first be identified, confronted, and overcome. “The real battle for effective evangelism,” Wagner notes, “is a spiritual battle,” (p 37).
Although Wagner’s formal training and education did not prepare him for this, time in the mission field did confront him with the reality that the enemy was at work, effectively opposing outreach efforts in many areas. To elucidate readers, Wagner fills Warfare Prayer with personal experiences regarding the existence and power of territorial spirits, then backing these encounters with scriptural support.
After identifying the reality of territorial demons and providing sound biblical support, the last three chapters of the book offer practical instruction on how to optimally move forward. First, Wagner teaches how to name and map territorial principalities and powers. Then Wagner advances six rules to effectively engage in warfare prayer. He concludes by detailing the pitfalls to avoid. Failure to avoid these common traps can have serious and even deadly consequences to the spiritually weak, naive, or careless.
The practice of warfare prayer is not for everyone, but everyone should be aware of it. Warfare Prayer was written in 1992 and has admirably withstood the test of time, proving to be as valuable now as it was then.
[Warfare Prayer: How to Seek God’s Power and Protection in the Battle to Build His Kingdom, by C. Peter Wagner. Published by Regal Books, 1992, ISDN: 0-8307-1534-7. 204 pages.]
Read more book reviews by Peter DeHaan.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.