Without realizing it, many Christians have allowed Satan to establish strongholds in their lives. One of the greatest hindrances to living a godly life is carnality, which can prevent us from praying and knowing the mind of God. Carnality is essentially the dominance of the old sinful nature over the new godly nature that Christ has given you. If left unattended, carnality can build power bases of self-centeredness deep within our hearts and minds.

When we study God's Word, we quickly discover that prayer is instrumental in dissolving carnality and the desires that go with it. In fact, prayer is the primary key to uncovering and pulling down every stronghold Satan seeks to establish in the life of a believer.

In the Greek translation, the word stronghold literally means "fortress." In other words, the enemy of our souls seeks to set up a fortress within our lives to prevent us from discovering God's will and living for Jesus Christ. For example, worry and fear are emotions each of us has experienced. When these become obsessions, you can be sure that a stronghold has been established. Uncontrollable lust, hate, anger, and bitterness are strongholds that can lead us further from God's will for our lives.

However, we are not without a strong defense. There is hope because we have been given a powerful weapon. Prayer equips us for spiritual victory. Therefore, we do not have to battle against an enemy greater than we are. As Paul said,

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:3-4)

Our weapons are not carnal; they are not of the flesh. They are supernatural and powerful, able to tear down the dark fortresses of the enemy. Don't hesitate to call out to your heavenly Father, who loves you with an unconditional love. In Him you will find all the power you need to overcome.

Prayer: Father, thank You that nothing can snatch me out of Your hands. I am Yours forever. Armed with this assurance, help me to break down Satan’s strongholds in my life as I surrender to Your Holy Spirit. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“They triumphed over [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:11).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon The Secrets of Positive Living, Part 12: LISTEN NOW

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.


Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.


The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.


He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.



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