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Prayer, Evangelization and Spritual Warfare:
A Pentecostal Perspective
By Cheryl Bridges Johns
Church of God Theological Seminary

"How Pentecostals approach prayer, evangelization and spiritual warfare is intrinsically related to their world-view and vision of God. ... The Pentecostal worldview is one in which 'all things relate to God and God relates to all things. ..." Reality is defined in the context of an overwhelming experience with God who is actively at work in the world. In this context the classic distinctions between immanent and transcendent, sacred and profane break down. God is active in history and can be known and experienced in the most mundane of life.

     Pentecostals are inclined to think systemically (vs. systematically) which causes them to hold to a holistic view of the world in which a transcendent God is at work, in, with, through, above and beyond all events. 

     One of the distinctives of a Pentecostal worldview is the focus on God as mystery. ... So Pentecostals can sing, 'We will understand it better by and by.' It is important to note that a Pentecostal worldview is trans-rational. Truth is not limited to reason. ...

     While many believe that a Pentecostal worldview contains a fundamentalist understanding of Scripture, there are major differences. First, for Pentecostals the Bible is first and foremost a living book. It is the Word of God in which there is a co-joining of God's presence with God's Word. Thus to encounter the Scriptures is to encounter God. The Holy Spirit is the critical agent of this encounter. Second, the Scriptures serve as a template for reaching the world. Third, the Scriptures function as a link to God's people and God's presence in the world throughout history. 

     Finally, it should be noted that a Pentecostal worldview is one in which evil is a reality. There are epiphanies of darkness that surround all knowing. The world is in a fallen state in which the powers of evil inhabit the created order. The devil, who is the 'prince of this world,' is a personal spirit-being who controls the powers of darkness. When a person becomes a believer, he or she renounces the kingdom of darkness and enlists in the kingdom of God. A believer becomes part of God's mission on the earth restore all things to himself. Therefore, for many Pentecostals, the Christian life is living in the tension between the already and the not yet. ...

     It is normal within a Pentecostal world-view to see the world as an arena in which God is actively at work bringing healing and restoration. The world is also an arena in which Satan is actively seeking to destroy human lives. To become a believer means joining the kingdom of light and living in daily conflict with the powers of darkness. The way of salvation is thus one marked with conflict and disappointment, but ultimately it is the way of victory over evil. Spiritual warfare is therefore not something outside of the ordinary walk of the Christian."

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