3 Ways To Handle Spiritual Attacks

Text: Psalm 129

As I write this post, most news outlets are giving moment-by-moment updates on a terrorist attack in Brussels, Belgium. So far over 30 people have been killed and over 100 have been seriously injured. Like other terrorist attacks, the free nations of the world are on high alert, wondering what responses should be taken to prevent further enemy assaults. As you can imagine, massive damage and death often make citizens bitter. They not only want protection; they want REVENGE!

Most people who read this blog have not been the victims of terrorism. But that does not mean we are exempt from danger, especially SPIRITUAL DANGER. The Bible is clear that Christians will be subject to various kinds of assaults while living on this side of eternity. For instance…

  • Godly people will be subject to persecution. (2 Timothy 3:12)
  • Unbelievers are enemies of the cross, and ultimately our enemies as well. (Philippians 3:18)
  • And of course, the devil is constantly hurling spiritual attacks against the people of God. (Ephesians 6:11-12)

The ultimate question is, “What do we do when we are the victims of spiritual assault?” 

Here is where Psalm 129 can be helpful. Keep in mind that this psalm, like the others we have been meditating on in recent weeks, is a psalm of ascent. That is, it was most likely sung by pilgrims who made their way to one of Israel’s annual feasts in Jerusalem. In any gathering of people, especially those who might be traveling together over a number of days, conversations can become very personal. People might even open up about the pains and sorrows they have faced individually and corporately. If that happened, it was most likely that an astute leader might recite Psalm 129 as a psalm of comfort and instruction.

So back to our question: What do we do when we are victims of spiritual assault of any kind? The answer is embedded in the words of Psalm 129.

When spiritual attacks occur, God wants us to maintain a prayerful perspective.

Look carefully at this pilgrim song and you will see three ways we can maintain a prayerful perspective during time of spiritual attack.


In verses 1 through 3 the psalmist repeats the refrain “greatly have they afflicted me from my youth.” In fact, the psalmist goes into great detail as to the kinds of painful affliction the nation had endured from many different enemies. Notice that Israel’s past was not buried or suppressed. Hebrew citizens were to acknowledge that their enemies had inflicted great harm. Christians would be wise to do the same, remembering that on this side of eternity trouble will never be absent from our lives.


The first line of verse 4 declares what is always true about God. He is never the cause of evil in this world, and his responses are always right in every way. The second line of the verse indicates what God has done, “he has cut the cords of the wicked.” It may not feel that way at times, but in Christ Jesus the power of Satan and his agents have no permanent control in our lives.


This is a crucial step, especially when our pain often fosters an attitude of bitterness. In verses 5 through 8 the psalmist pens what is often referred to as an imprecatory psalm. Imprecation is the action of people who have been unjustly treated, who turn their perceived right to revenge over to God to act. They express in highly emotive language what they would like to see happen to their enemies. However, they never take the expressed action into their own hands. The psalmist was asking God to act against his enemies. And that is what we must do as well.

But what good is it to simply pray when we have been unjustly treated?

First, it is an acknowledgement that God has all power and all knowledge regarding how people should be treated. We do not! Second, asking God to intervene instead of getting justice on our own keeps us from a lifetime of regret. We can conjure up ways we might get even with someone, but in the end we can become just as evil as the people who harmed us.

I do not want you to read this psalm as if we have no recourse when wicked people do evil things to us. We do! God has called us to live life with a prayerful perspective. You don’t have to keep harboring ways to get even.

Let God alone deal with unjust people who have harmed you. His ways will always be just and right!

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