pre-dawn attack

Someone who attends our church shared with me some advice that he recently received. He was told that the enemy (Satan) often attacks us first thing in the morning, the moment we awake. He also shared that he has experienced this personally. So have I. Often. I typically awake around 4:30 a.m. which is in the dark regardless of the time of year. Many mornings the attacks are so severe I get a knot in my stomach. There are several lines of attack the enemy uses over and over:

  • He tries to get me to worry about finances, both personal and ministry.
  • He tries to make me feel shame for mistakes I’ve made since I’ve been saved.
  • He tries to make me feel shame for things I did before I was saved.
  • He tries to make me feel alone because God hasn’t given me the answers I want to prayers that I have been praying for a long time.
  • He tries to convince me that my salvation isn’t real; that I haven’t changed at all.

I have found two successful lines of counterattack: prayer and getting into God’s Word. My problem is I often wait too long before launching the counter-offensive. I let the lies bounce around in my head before I respond. I found this prayer at and I’m going to make it a goal to memorize it:

“Gracious and Merciful Father, I magnify Your Most Holy and Precious Name! Even as I try to praise You, dear Father, I am tormented by thoughts of some past situations. These thoughts have left me completely broken and have stolen my inner peace. I feel totally defeated. Today, I bow before You in desperation because, even when I try to think positive thoughts, I am facing continuous ATTACKS by the enemy.” (What follows is added by me.) Remind me that your grace is sufficient, I need only to turn to you immediately and the enemy will flee. Let me do this before my feet hit the floor. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

Consider this prayer as the air attack. You can then follow it up with the ground invasion of God’s Word. I spend about an hour to an hour and a half in the morning with God each day. He may lead you to specific verses to fight back, but let me suggest a few that I have found to be particularly effective:

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Psalm 143:8 (NIV) This short verse packs quite a punch. Remind Satan each morning that you are trusting God. And ask God to show you the way, because of that trust.

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? Psalm 8:3-4 (NIV). Remind yourself that the God powerful enough to create all you can know or imagine cares about you.

…Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor. 12:7-10 (NIV) Remember that God allows Satan to do this to you. Glory is then brought to Him when you delight in the weakness and rely on God’s strength. When you are weak you are then strong because He is strong.

I will never be a fan of getting up in the dark, especially when it’s cold. But I can start each day in the blinding light of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. When I do, I can face anything the enemy throws at me. And so can you. I encourage you to be battle ready for every pre-dawn attack with the arsenal of prayer and God’s Word.

— Pastor Jerry Bader

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