Tired, Stressed and Under Attack? It Could Be Spiritual Warfare

Feeling drained, exhausted, and overwhelmed lately? Many of us chalk it up to too much stress or not enough sleep. But what if something more sinister is at play – a spiritual attack designed to bring you down?

Spiritual attacks are real even if we can’t always see the perpetrators. Learning to recognize these attacks and defend against them is key to maintaining our spiritual health and wellbeing.

What is a Spiritual Attack?

A spiritual attack is any disturbance or oppression that threatens our relationship with God and steals our peace. The attacks may come from demonic forces, but can also originate from negative people, toxic environments, or even our own sinful choices.

Spiritual attacks aim to wear us down emotionally and physically, foster negativity, cripple our faith, and distance us from God’s grace. The attacks can manifest inwardly as addictions, depression, fear, dread or suicidal thoughts. Or outwardly as relationship conflicts, financial problems, illnesses or accidents.

Common Forms of Spiritual Attack

Spiritual attacks can take many forms, including:

  • Demonic oppression – feeling smothered or crushed by an evil presence
  • Demonic possession – a demon inhabiting and controlling a person
  • Demonic temptation – enticements to sin
  • False accusations – condemning inner voices
  • Mental attacks – tormenting thoughts, confusion, forgetfulness
  • Verbal attacks – hateful or demeaning words
  • Attacks through others – manipulation, betrayal, abuse
  • Physical attacks – unexplained illnesses, injuries or pain

Who is Vulnerable to Spiritual Attacks?

Anyone desiring an intimate relationship with God can be targeted by spiritual attacks. Those especially at risk include:

  • New believers in the process of being sanctified
  • Individuals repenting of sin or overcoming addictions
  • People serving in ministry or evangelism
  • Those growing rapidly in spiritual maturity
  • Anyone under stress or affliction
  • Those engaged in spiritual warfare against evil

Signs You May be Under Spiritual Attack

Many spiritual attacks are subtle, making them hard to detect. But there are several potential red flags:

1. Sudden Negative Emotions

A wave of fear, anxiety, depression, anger or sadness may indicate spiritual warfare. Our Enemy uses negative emotions to derail our faith and joy in Christ.

2. Confusion and Inability to Focus

Mental fuzziness, forgetfulness, disorientation, racing thoughts, and distraction confuse our thinking so we can’t hear God. It becomes hard to pray, read Scripture, or make decisions.

3. Sleep Disturbances

Insomnia, nightmares and night terrors can point to spiritual oppression at night when we are most vulnerable.

4. Withdrawal from Community

Withdrawing from friendships, church, small groups, or accountability relationships isolates us from support and fellowship.

5. Self-Destructive Impulses

Sudden temptations to sin, make destructive choices, harm oneself or commit suicide may indicate demonic influence.

6. Persistent Physical Maladies

Headaches, nausea, chronic pain or disease with no medical cause could stem from spiritual attack, especially if it results after faith milestones or spiritual breakthroughs.

7. Relationship Tensions and Strife

Chronic conflict with family, friends, coworkers or fellow church members that seems unresolvable may have a spiritual root.

8. Financial Difficulties

Sudden unexplainable money problems, loss of income or wealth or inability to prosper could point to an attack from the Enemy.

What Causes Spiritual Attacks?

There are several possible causes of spiritual attacks to be aware of:

Vulnerabilities in Our Spiritual Armor

Cracks in our spiritual armor like bitterness, pride, unforgiveness, or ignorance of Scripture leave us unprotected.

Violation of Spiritual Principles

Sinful choices give the Enemy legal rights to oppress us. Occult involvement is particularly dangerous.

Setbacks in Personal Holiness

When making progress in prayer, Bible study or purifying our hearts, counterattacks often come trying to discourage us or pull us back.

Engagement in Spiritual Warfare

Directly confronting evil through deliverance, evangelism, or social reform provokes retaliation.

Transitions to a Higher Calling

New levels of service to God like entering ministry or going through baptism or confirmation open us to testing.

Circumstantial Vulnerabilities

Situational weaknesses like grief, illness, fatigue, depression, or loneliness invite attacks when our defenses are down.

The Effects of Spiritual Attacks

If not dealt with through prayer and spiritual warfare, attacks can have devastating effects:

Loss of Spiritual Passion and Zeal

A once-vibrant prayer life, worship and thirst for God dries up when the Enemy gains ground.

Strained or Fractured Relationships

As conflict and strife increase, important connections crumble adding pain and isolation.

Physical Illness and Injury

Demonic oppression can manifest as sickness, pain and physical hardship.

Emotional Turmoil

Heavy spiritual attack plunges people into clinical anxiety, depression, anger, fear and even suicidal despair.

Financial Ruin

Savings and assets seem to disappear as money flows out but doesn’t return resulting in poverty.

Bondage to Sinful Behaviors

Addictions thrive when someone is beaten down spiritually and lacks power to resist temptation.

Rejection of Spiritual Truth

Under ongoing attack, the very existence of God, the Bible and the spiritual realm may be called into question.

How to Stop a Spiritual Attack

Don’t allow yourself to become victim to satanic attacks. Use these strategies to shut them down quickly:

1. Repent of Any Sin

Sin gives the Enemy an opening, so eliminate legal ground through confession and repentance.

2. Put on the Armor of God

Daily spiritual armor protects us. Belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of gospel, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, Sword of Spirit.

3. Rebuke Evil Spirits Out Loud

Verbally command attacking spirits to leave you alone in Jesus’ mighty name.

4. Claim Christ’s Power and Authority

Remind yourself and the Enemy that you have victory through Christ.

5. Fill Your Mind With Scripture

Combat lies and accusations by immersing your mind in Bible verses.

6. Create Barriers to Demonization

Avoid anything spiritually unhealthy like secular media, occult books, psychics, Ouija boards, etc.

7. Ask Other Believers to Pray for You

Recruit prayer warriors to stand with you so you don’t have to fight alone.

8. Fast and Pray to Break Strongholds

Fasting helps demolish spiritual fortresses erected against you while heightening spiritual strength through prayer.

9. Take Authority Over Your Home

Dedicate your home to God, restricting demonic activity within your household.

10. Keep Your Eyes on Eternity

Remember this life is fleeting. The Enemy wants to distract you from your eternal destiny. Stay focused on Jesus.

Preventing Future Spiritual Attacks

The best defense is a good offense. Be proactive protecting yourself from future attacks using these tried and true tactics:

Daily Spiritual Disciplines

Maintain intimate fellowship with God through consistent prayer, Bible study, fasting, worship, meditation and stewardship.

Live Holy

Following the Ten Commandments and teachings of Christ closes demonic doorways.

Guard Your Heart and Mind

Carefully monitor your beliefs, attitudes, media influences, relationships and conversations.

Wear the Armor of God Daily

Put on your spiritual armor including the helmet of salvation, shield of faith, belt of truth, etc. as described in Ephesians 6.

Healthy Body, Soul and Spirit

Care for your physical, emotional and spiritual well-being through healthy habits and behaviors.

Christian Fellowship and Accountability

Stay plugged into a Bible-believing church with friendships that encourage spiritual growth and purity.

Continual Confession and Repentance

Examine yourself regularly for sins to avoid giving the Devil openings.

Humility and Teachability

Pride makes us vulnerable. Cultivate humility, submission to God and willingness to receive instruction.

Unforgiveness Check

Quickly forgive others to prevent footholds for the Enemy.

The word of God is a double-edged sword. Wield scriptural truths aloud as part of your offensive strategy.