[The Initial Brain Tumor]
[Life Transformation]
[Post Surgery Healing]
[Spiritual Training]
[Trusting for Provision]
[A Life Sacrificed]
[Spiritual Warfare 101]
[Passion for Ministry]
[Advanced Warfare]
[A Physical Healing]
[Leaking Brain Fluid]
[Update - A New Tumor]
[Word of God Speak]

 Spiritual Warfare 101

Within weeks of my offer to sacrifice my life to God in my prayer of dedication, some special things started to happen to me in the area of spiritual warfare training.  In this section I will describe those experiences that God took me through that served to continue my orientation to the reality of the spiritual realm.

After beginning the new year in 2008, I reflected back on the previous year and sent out a broadcast greeting message to all of my family and friends who were in my contact list.  In this message, I recounted to them about all of the great things that God had done and how I had already sensed that my life had changed.  Here is a small excerpt from that message that I sent on January 10, 2008:

On the health front, I am doing really well.  Better, in fact, than I have ever felt before.  I am doing amazingly well in body mind and soul.  God has been actively doing a great work in my life since my experience with Him and the brain surgery and has been preparing me for great works in His kingdom.  I am so excited for the new life that He has given me and the new man in Christ that he has created (re-born).  I now live everyday with pleasing Him with all that I do as the central focus of my thoughts.  I have been getting consistently stronger in my faith and awareness of spiritual matters and deep knowledge of His will (from knowing His word).

However, since this summer, I have been through a series of trials and temptations from the enemy trying to undo what God is doing in and through me.  But the good news is that with God's unfailing strength and faithfulness, I have been able to see through all of the storms that have been thrown at me to date and keep my eye focused on my Lord and Savior.

Additional good news is that through all of those storms where the enemy was trying to break me down, God was using those experiences to make me stronger spiritually, understand the power that He has given me (indeed us all), and prepare me further for what He has planned for me.  Hopefully you can see that I am doing quite well, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

I pray that all is well with you and please let me know if there is anything that I can pray for you (the power of my prayers to God is my most powerful asset these days).

In the days before I wrote that message, God had just directed my eyes, ears, and voracious appetite for His word to a very serious study of the nature of spiritual warfare as presented in 2 Corinthian chapter 10.  With this study, He was opening my mind, equipping me, and preparing me to wield the most powerful weapon that I would ever use – the sword of truth… the Word of God.

A Demonstration of Spiritual Power
One weekday evening in February 2008 while on one of my many business trips to Santa Clara, California, I experienced another demonstration of God’s control over the spiritual realm, much like the one He gave me back in May 2007 in my training at Chuck E Cheese (see Spiritual Training Lab).

I had a 7:30 PM dinner engagement on a Tuesday night around the second or third week of February 2008 at Spencer’s restaurant which was located inside the Doubletree Airport Hotel in San Jose, California.  I was invited to have dinner with Mary Seymour and Earl Moss, two audit consulting professionals from Jefferson Wells.  As an Audit Manager at Applied Materials, I had worked closely with them in the fall of 2007 when our department had outsourced some audit work to their firm.

When I got into my car at 7:00 that evening and departed from my Residence Inn hotel in Sunnyvale, I didn’t know precisely where the Doubletree Airport was located, but I had the address and thought “Now it can’t be that hard to find a major hotel at the airport like Doubletree.”  Well, that evening I ended up driving around San Jose on the northeast side of the airport trying to find the street where the hotel was located.

As I drove up and down the major surface streets on that side of the airport, I came upon a major intersection that was filled with police, flashing lights and emergency rescue personnel.  There had been an automobile accident and traffic on the opposite side of the street from me was virtually stopped as it approached that intersection.  Traffic on my side, however was moving gradually and as I slowly drove through the intersection, I was able to get a very close-up view of the accident.  I looked across to my left in the opposite traffic lanes and saw the very still body of a man lying on the pavement in the middle of the intersection.  He had apparently been struck by a vehicle.

A Strong Prompting of the Holy Spirit
After passing through the intersection, I started to drive past the big major traffic jam going in the opposite direction trying to get through the intersection where the victim was laying.  Suddenly, I felt a check of the Holy Spirit in my spirit and heard that still small voice whisper to me “turn around… go back.”  I thought “What?  Do what?  For what?”  Then there it was, “I want you to go back there.

So I stopped right there and started to try to make a U-turn into that traffic jam going the other way and was somehow easily successful.  I again approached the intersection and pulled my rental car into a gas station that was on the corner of the intersection.  With that voice still echoing in my head, I parked in an open area of the gas station, got out of the car, and went to the edge of the sidewalk on the corner of the intersection looking directly at the activity in the accident scene.  The victim, still lying in the street, was wearing a long overcoat and appeared to possibly be poor or homeless.

As I stood there almost alone on the sidewalk for several minutes, watching, and gently praying, I felt a prompting within me (that was slowly growing) to walk out into that intersection and place my hands on that man who was lying in the street.  You have to understand that this intersection was filled with police officers and emergency medical technicians (EMT).  By now a fire department rescue unit (ambulance) was in the intersection and they started to load the man onto a gurney.  One of the EMTs walked past me and I asked him if the gentleman’s life was in danger.  He stopped and quickly responded that the man was not out of danger and then hurried off.  All of this time, I was thinking to myself “Maybe I should just go about my business and go find this Doubletree hotel.”  But somehow, I just could not leave.

The EMTs were loading the gurney into the back of the fire rescue vehicle and the Holy Spirit prompted me into action to step off into that intersection.  I walked out past police officers who were controlling and securing the scene (they never even acknowledged that I was there… I was wearing typical business casual attire… slacks and a Polo shirt).  At this point the Holy Spirit was telling me to just go up to him and touch him.  

The man was loaded into the fire rescue vehicle head-first with his feet near the back door.  As I approached the back of the rescue vehicle, there was still a lot of activity there and I approached one of the EMTs and asked if I could touch the patient.  He looked at me and said “sure” and parted a way for me to walk up to the back of the vehicle.  The man was on the gurney partly covered by a white sheet in the vehicle with his bare feet protruding from the bottom of the sheet.

At a time when everything appeared to just stop, I walked up to the open door and placed both of my hands on his bare feet.  I bowed my head, stood there quietly for a few long seconds, and just did what the Spirit had been prompting me to do.  I didn’t say any words or say any prayers, just a simple touch.  

After those few long seconds, I dropped my hands from his feet and turned around.  In that instant, a police officer who was standing behind me said “What are you doing here?  You should not be back here, let me escort you back to the perimeter of the scene.”

I went back to the gas station, got back into my car, and drove almost directly to the Doubletree hotel (without having much trouble finding it this time).  I never found out who the accident victim was or what became of him.  I met Mary and Earl for dinner and as you can probably imagine, these events were one of the major topics of conversation during dinner.

This experience was one of the first real examples where God would train me to walk in the Spirit, to trust and be sensitive to His promptings.  He taught me the concept of staying in the center of His will, how He will never lead us to do something without giving us the power and authority to do it, and how through Him nothing is impossible and the spiritual battles that we fight truly are His.

First Real Spiritual Warfare
In weeks that immediately followed the traffic accident in February 2008, the Holy Spirit placed me into a type of spiritual warfare that He would eventually come to use me for a lot – fighting spiritual strongholds and evil forces that attack marriages and families.  As this first battle was being staged, I didn’t even have any idea that I was about to be engaged in it.

Shortly after my experience with the accident scene, I was on a Friday afternoon flight returning home when I felt that familiar prompting to do something that didn’t make logical sense or that I normally would not do.  I was still working on the special company project in Santa Clara, CA. 

I generally took a weekly flight from my home in Austin, TX out to Silicon Valley in California that departed early Monday morning and returned home early Friday evening.  This flight was affectionately called the “Nerd Bird” because it was almost always filled with employees from the high-tech industry who were commuting between Austin and Silicon Valley.  These passengers were almost all frequent fliers with top-tier status which made it very competitive to get the much sought after upgrade to the first class cabin.

For this flight home, I was fortunate to be notified by American Airlines earlier that week that I had made the cut and that my seat had been upgraded to the first class cabin.  Being in first class meant that the flight would come with a fairly decent meal and if I were not upgraded, I usually ate in the terminal before the flight, purchased a meal in the airport and carried it onto the flight, or just prepared myself to not eat until I arrived at the destination.  On this flight, knowing that I had been upgraded, I did not eat any type of lunch before boarding the flight in anticipation of the first class meal.

Prompted by the Holy Spirit to Do the Unplanned
After I was boarded with the other first class passengers, I sat quietly reading my bible as the other coach passengers boarded and I felt another prompting and heard that still small voice say “I need you to start fasting from food until I tell you to stop.”  What?  Now?  But soon after takeoff I would be enjoying the warm assorted nuts in preparation for the nice in-flight meal that I have been preparing for.  I tried to rationalize out why I shouldn’t be able to just enjoy the meal, but the prompting was very clear and I had understood it perfectly.  So, in spite of my small hunger pains and the fact that everyone around me was being served a great meal, I politely declined when the flight attendant asked what I wanted for my dinner selection.  For the duration of the flight I just continued to read my bible.

When I returned home, I remained obedient and continued to fast from food into that weekend (even though I really didn’t know why).  My wife told me of some troubling news she had heard from a friend with whom we used to attend church when we lived in the Dallas metroplex.  This friend was a married mother of several small children and our families had been fairly close when we lived in Dallas.

The troubling news was that they were having serious marital problems and were perilously close to separating and divorce.  She asked for our prayers to help her family.  I began to pray that weekend for that family and during those prayers, God showed me that it was for this reason that the Holy Spirit had called me to start fasting on that previous Friday.  He showed me how in Matthew 17:21, with prayer and fasting my spirit is at its strongest because my flesh is suppressed.

I fasted and prayed for several days following examples that I had read in the bible and also as I was led by the Holy Spirit (taking authority over the evil spirits that were trying to make this couple think that their marriage was hopeless and their family doomed).  Both Lynita and I prayed, interceded and spoke God’s words of truth, love and encouragement into the ears of both of the spouses.  In the end, the Spirit of God fell like a new anointing on this family and restored what the enemy was trying to steal.

This type of intercessory warfare would be repeated several times in the coming months including one with a family that we didn’t even know.  Alfredo Rodriguez is someone who I met briefly at an airport terminal while waiting to board a flight sometime in the spring of 2008.  I had briefly shared my testimony of how the LORD had carried me through the brain tumor and simultaneously changed my life.  Before heading off to board, I gave him one of our family personal business cards that we had made.  The cards identified us as Christians and provided a link to my testimony along with our contact information.

Several months later on June 7, 2008, Alfredo called me from his home in Arkansas and asked me to help him with his marriage which was having serious trouble.  He told me that on that day when he had been praying, God had directed him to pull out that card (my card) that he still had in his wallet.  Once again, for the week that followed, I found myself in prayer and fasting, engaged in spiritual warfare with Alfredo (I encouraged him to pray and fast as well and Lynita also joined us).  There was one unique thing about Alfredo that God would use to also prepare me for the future.  Although he spoke English, Alfredo was much stronger in Spanish and preferred to converse in Spanish.  So I did all of my praying, scripture reading, and counseling with Alfredo in Spanish (remember that I was a Spanish linguist for 20 years in the military and had maintained my proficiency).  Here it was, my Spanish being used for the glory of the LORD.



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© 2007 Gerald L. Prater

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