Understanding Angels and Spiritual Warfare

If you’ve ever studied the book of Daniel, chapter 10 may have you asking, “How do angels and spiritual warfare fit together?” In chapter 10, Daniel had a vision that left him with “no strength.” Daniel “heard the sound of his words” while asleep with his face in the ground. He heard words from a warring angel who appeared to him to give him a message. 

Daniel 10 tells us about Daniel’s 21 days of prayer and fasting, angels being sent and informing Daniel of the spiritual battle that is taking place in the heavens, and what would happen in the days to come. The book of Daniel reveals the heavens as a great angelic battlefield. Chapter 10 helps us position our hearts as we enter a battle, better understand angels and spiritual warfare, and know the power of prayer. 

Our Hearts as We Enter Spiritual Warfare

Daniel had a humble heart as he entered the spiritual battle through prayer. He also studied God’s Word and, as a result, had an effective prayer life. Daniel 9:2 states, “I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.” 

  • He knew God’s Word
  • He prayed God’s Word
  • He believed God’s Word   

Daniel prayed and fasted for 3 full weeks, entering into a major spiritual battle for his people. His heart of humility prepared him for a revival and to stand in the presence of God. 

Understanding Angels and Spiritual Warfare

Daniel 10 helps us better understand angels and spiritual warfare. It challenges ideas, thoughts, and popular depictions many of us have been taught. As we explore God’s Word, you might be surprised about what you discover.  

  1. Angels are always described in the Bible as males. 

The popular depiction of angels in the arts and entertainment departs from the truth described in Scripture.

They can take on human form and appear as human beings with a fully functional human body. Hebrews 13:2 says, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.”

Genesis 19 also describes angels entering Sodom in the evening, and Lot did not seem to know they were angels but saw them as men. “When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. And he said, ‘Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.’”—Genesis 19:1-2

  1. God dispatches His angels to assist us while Satan dispatches his angels to afflict us. 

Hebrews 1:14 says, “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” God’s angels serve us. As Daniel 10 describes, they are sent when we pray and fight on the heavenly battlefield. 

Second Corinthians 12:7 says, “And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.” Satan’s angels, or demons, torment, harass and afflict. But, because of God’s sovereignty, He can use this attack for a greater purpose.

  1. There is a “chain of command” of varying rank, power, and authority levels among the angels. 

Colossians 1:16 says, “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.” 

Jude 9 reminds us, “Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’”

Clearly, there are communications, battles, and varying levels of rank, power, and authority in the spiritual realm. 

  1. An organized army of angels, both good and evil, is assigned to specific nations, regions, places, and people.

Daniel 10:20-21 tells us that angel armies are fighting in the spiritual realm, “Then he said, ‘Do you know why I have come to you? And now I must return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I have gone forth, indeed the prince of Greece will come. But I will tell you what is noted in the Scripture of Truth. (No one upholds me against these, except Michael your prince.”

Daniel 12:1 reveals how angels are assigned to specific people and places, “At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book.”

Group of people in a prayer circle holding hands.

The Power of Prayer

Prayer does more than prepare you for the battle. Prayer is the battle. Daniel understood the battle and how to wage war. He entered spiritual warfare through prayer and fasting, fully equipped. 

Ephesians 6 echoes what Daniel 10 reveals about angels and spiritual warfare…

  • “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”—Ephesians 6:12

Daniel’s Approach to Prayer (Daniel 9)

  • He set his face toward God. Daniel was determined. He knew the promises and authority of God. He prayed in alignment with who God is and His will, not being motivated by selfish desires but moved with compassion for his people. 
  • He humbly requested. Daniel made requests by prayer and supplication, “with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes,” which depicted humility and mourning. 
  • He confessed. Daniel confessed the sins of his people and recognized the great awesomeness of God. He did not doubt that God could do above and beyond what he could think or ask. He described God as one “who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him…”
  • He asked for forgiveness and restoration. Daniel asked for everything according to God’s righteousness to advance His righteous glory. 

Can we learn from Daniel’s example of prayer as we enter into spiritual warfare? Yes!

How to Enter Spiritual Warfare Prayer?

  • Invoke the highest name and authority in the universe—Jesus Christ

The same covenant-keeping God Daniel described still sits on His throne, and you can approach Him in your time of need (see Hebrews 4:16).

“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.”

Colossians 1:16-17
  • Remember, there is value in the volume of prayer. 

Daniel didn’t give up. He prayed and fasted for 21 days. Too often, we struggle to sit quietly and pray for even 2 minutes. There is value in persistent prayer. Many don’t know where to start in prayer, so they hold back. Yet they want to know God’s will. God’s Word provides the answer. 

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
  • The practice of fasting adds fuel to the power of prayer

Fasting is denying the physical to gain the spiritual. It strengthens prayer by narrowing your focus on God, humbly surrendering yourself to God, drawing closer to Him, and meditating on His Word. 

“So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.”

Ezra 8:23

In Conclusion

There is a spiritual battle happening on the heavenly battlefield. Your prayers–when aligned with God’s Word and will–can dispatch warring angels. While these angels are fighting, keep praying. Trust what God is doing in the circumstances of life. Do you want to discover more about the book of Daniel, spiritual warfare, and the power of prayer? Check out our sermon series on the book of Daniel here!