Ephesians 6:12; 18 (NLT)
12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. --18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
The Apostle Paul gives a warning to the church of Ephesians. The warning � our fight is not with the flesh-and-blood enemies of this world. Our fight as fearful as it might sound is against dark, evil, high powers which we cannot see. The Apostle then goes on to say in verses 13-17 what we must do to be prepared for this battle, �Therefore, put on every piece of God�s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God�s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.� Prepared with righteousness, truth, peace, faith, and God�s promises we must persist in praying on every occasion for those who stand firm in the faith of Jesus Christ.
In a 1960 Twilight Zone episode, �The Howling Man�, an American seeks shelter from a storm in a home belonging to a society of monks. Reluctantly the monks take the American in, but their reluctance is not without cause. In the home David discovers the monks are holding a prisoner locked behind a wooden door. The prisoner claims Brother Jerome is insane and is holding him captive. The prisoner pleads with the American for his release. The kind face and gentle voice of the prisoner eventually wins the confidence of the American. The American confronts Brother Jerome, who declares the prisoner is Satan, �the father of lies,� held captive by the Staff of Truth. The allegation convinces the American that Brother Jerome must be mad. Seeking an opportunity the American releases the prisoner who immediately is transformed into a hideous, horned demon and vanishes in a puff of smoke! The stunned American is horrified at the realization of what he has done. Brother Jerome responds sympathetically, �I am sorry for you, my son. All your life you will remember this night and whom you have turned loose upon the world.� �I did not believe you,� the American replied, �I saw him and did not recognize him,� to which Brother Jerome solemnly says, �That is humankind�s weakness and Satan�s strength.�
We cannot recognize the powers at work against us for they exist in a dark place, hidden from our eyes. There is a battle taking place in this world. It is a battle against that which is good. It is a battle against God trying to keep the world from knowing the truth about Jesus Christ. Unlike the Twilight Zone episode it is Satan who wants to hold us bondage to sin, but it is Christ who died on the cross and rose to life to release us from that bondage. Listen to the Apostle Paul�s words and take a firm stand in your faith.