It has been said that Satan’s best scheme was to convince people that he doesn’t exist. And, sure, many people think that there is no devil—that “Satan” is merely an excuse, to avoid ownership of there own bad choices. And, of course, that ideology doesn’t seem to accept that bad choices could have an outside influence. But refuting a “devil-less” theology isn’t my purpose in this article.
Perhaps it’s better to say that Satan’s best scheme was to convince people that he is Jesus. That’s a two-fer-one. On the one hand, evil people who worship Satan—whether wittingly or unwittingly—can convince themselves that they worship Jesus, after all. Many leaders in high positions are prime examples—of both the witting and unwitting servants of Satan… but so are many hypocrite Christians. We’ll avoid naming names because, again, that’s not our purpose here.
On the other hand, there is another advantage for Satan if he can convince people that he is Jesus: People who love the truth, but who have only been introduced to hypocrite Christians, often hate the so-called “Jesus” that they’ve heard about. They think they hate “Jesus”, but it’s actually Satan whom they hate, and they don’t know it. Much evil is done in Jesus’ name. And it’s not done by a Satan who has convinced people that he doesn’t exist. It’s done by a Satan who has convinced people of the lie that he is Jesus.
But Satan is not Jesus. And both Jesus and Satan do exist. Of the two, Jesus is clearly more powerful. If Satan were Jesus’ equal, then he wouldn’t need to crawl in the corners, pretending to offer the light of knowledge from the shadows. After all, no one lights a lamp to put it under a basket. But, again, arguing Satan’s inferiority is not our purpose in this article.
Of the two schemes, either that Satan convinces people that he doesn’t exist, or that Satan convinces people that he is Jesus, I think the second is more likely. And, it would inadvertently convince some people that he doesn’t exist, because he’s nowhere to be found—because he’s hiding behind that “Jesus” puppet he dangles in front of so many unwitting people.
Even with this, I think Satan’s greatest scheme is different. Many people seem to be convinced that angels don’t exist. And this has done far more damage than either of the first two Satanic schemes. I suspect, in many cases, if we don’t believe angels exist, we also won’t pray. Maybe we don’t intentionally make this connection between angels and prayer.
But, there does seem to be a connection between prayer and angels.
Prayer is the weapon against Satan that’s necessary for the Church to overcome the darkness (Eph 6). Angels use prayer for their work on the earth (Rev 8). Prayer affects the Heavenly realm and, if you don’t think the Heavenly realm exists, then you probably won’t spend much time offering up the prayers that affect it.
For some reason, in the Body of Christ, there seem to be teachers who believe that no such angelic realm exists. Or with some, if the teacher believes that an angelic dimension exists, he believes that more things happen in our human, visible dimension, and that fewer things happen in the Heavenly realms. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
How can a Christian teacher believe that the angelic realm doesn’t exist—or, if it does exist, that more isn’t happening among angels than happens among humans? Who are these teachers really? Who is the “Jesus” they believe in really? Do they have “Jesus” confused for someone else?
More importantly, what is the fruit of ministries led by such teachers? Many Christians suffer from depression. Hypocrisy and divorce are rampant through the Church. Consider Christians in these unfortunate statistics… What do their leaders believe about the spiritual realm? Jesus said, after all, that we know them by their fruit.
But, enough about them. Let’s talk about you and what you believe.
Is there a spiritual dimension, with angels and demons, we can’t see? If so, do more things happen in that dimension than happen in our own? Do things in that dimension affect things in our own dimension? Do our prayers affect things in the spiritual dimension?
If you answered “yes” to all four questions, then how can you not spend hours each day in prayer—even praying while working or walking or driving?
The Church doesn’t need a false doctrine about prayer. We don’t need to, “look for angels and demons under every rock,” merely because we believe a spiritual realm exists. Nor do we need people acting like prayer is a gimmick to dangle God on a string. Prayer doesn’t change God’s mind about anything. In fact, the Lord taught us to pray for His will to be done in the earth. For Jesus, prayer involved a lifestyle. It’s the same for many men and women of God in the Bible.
If our understanding of prayer is incorrect, we’ll spend long amounts of time “praying”, but our so-called “prayers” may not be answered. Maybe, Satan’s scheme was to convince us to believe the lie that prayer doesn’t exist.
Maybe we believe that “prayer” is actually claiming something. Maybe we believe that “prayer” is reading something. Maybe we think that “prayer” is repeating something with a large group of people. Prayer can include those things. But, assuming that you believe angels exist, what would the angels say “prayer” is?
Angels see prayer. It’s a substance. It has a color and a physical appearance in the spiritual dimension. I don’t particularly care what that color is. But, maybe angels do. So, while “prayer” may mean many different things to you and I, to angels, prayer is prayer.
As for me… I pray because I believe that God sees my prayers. I pray because I believe that there are real angels who need prayer to bring God’s Kingdom and His Justice and Mercy to the earth.
We must ask ourselves: What does our theology do to our desire to pray? How do our ideas about angels affect our belief in the power of prayer? How powerful have we known our own prayers to be?
What do the answers to those questions say about the Christian teachers we listen to? What’s your fruit? If your beliefs are Biblical, do you see that prayer has power in your life on a Biblical scale?