When ‘Christian’ spiritual warfare looks and sounds like witchcraft By Oscar Amaechina, Op-ed Contributor for Christian Post
In most African churches today, warfare prayers have assumed a dimension that does not indicate that worshipers have come in contact with Jesus Christ and His teachings. Most often, it is difficult to distinguish between the prayers of Christians and incantation of herbalists or witch doctors.
It is disheartening to hear Christians praying for their human enemies to die, for people who have offended them to run mad, and for poverty to visit the household of their perceived enemies. The most worrisome aspect of this trend is that worshipers come out before the congregation to testify how they prayed and somebody died and the entire congregation celebrates.
Many of the proponents of this dangerous prayer argue that if Christians do not pray their enemies to death, definitely the enemies will eliminate them through their witchcraft powers. Pastors usually cite Exodus 22:18: “Thou shall not suffer a witch to live”. They also make reference to some portions of the book of Psalms where David prayed against his enemies.
The Old Testament scriptures that support Christians dealing with their physical enemies without mercy are incongruous with the teaching of Christ and the New Testament’s teaching on spiritual warfare. Jesus is of the opinion that we should love our enemies and show them kindness (Mathew 5:44). Apostle Paul told us that our weapons of warfare are not carnal. He also identifies who our real enemies are: “For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens” (Ephesians 6:12).
The early Christians had many enemies who persecuted them. Did they pray against them? After Peter and John were released by the council with a warning never to speak in the name of Jesus again, they came back and gave the report to the church and they all lifted their voice to God with one accord and prayed. We are going to look at the prayer points and see whether it is in harmony with the prayers in our African churches today.