Editors’ note: 

Excellent Reformed and Evangelical conferences are held across Africa every year. The TGC Africa Podcast showcases select conferences to encourage and build up the local church across our continent.


This sermon is the third of 3 delivered at the 2023 Academy of Theology Conference hosted at Christ Church Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa earlier this year.

“When we pray God listens. When we pray hope gets rekindled.” These stirring words are spoken by John Ndhlovu in this sermon. He continues, “When we pray strength is renewed.” While few Christians would question the importance of prayer for the life of faith, John’s exhortation is directed at those engaged with the spirit world, in spiritual warfare. Over the course of this series we’ve seen that not every bad occurrence in our lives is the result of spirits; yet, at the same time, this isn’t to deny that reality, but a reminder that there is one, great king over it, the Lord Jesus. In this, the final talk, John points us again to the ascended Lord Jesus and the access we have to his power through prayer.

The Spirit World and Spiritual Warfare

In Ephesians 6, Paul describes the armour of God, which Christians are to put on in order to fight against evil spiritual forces. We are only able to fight and stand firm against the devil, and the forces of the spirit world, in the strength that comes from the victory that Christ himself has already won for us by his death and resurrection. But how does this work? What does that mean? In his sermon, John unpacks how Christians can engage in spiritual battles, in light of Ephesians 6.

Paul calls us to be sure we are on the right foundation, wearing the proper spiritual garments and fighting the right enemies.

As John says, “Paul challenges us to open our eyes to the spiritual warfare in which we are engaged. He calls us to be sure we are on the right foundation, wearing the proper spiritual garments and fighting the right enemies. Being strong in the Lord has nothing to do about the number of years you have been in the Church. It has nothing to do with that. People who have been in the Church for a very long time, they are the problem. They hinder the new ones to come, they will take you through a memory lane history of the church. I have seen people fighting – physical in the church, in Africa. We do not get this power, where do we get this power? It comes from simply being in Jesus.”

The final piece in the armour of God is prayer. So John calls all believers to invest in their relationship with God as their father and cultivate a humble attitude of dependence if they are to engage with the spirit world. In his own words, “Friends, the question that I might ask you today is that, how is your prayer life? How is your prayer life? Never underestimate the power of prayer.” Indeed, prayer rekindles hope and renews strength. For when we pray we do so confidently that God hears us.

Related Content

If you can’t listen or watch this sermon, you can always read the transcript below. You also might want to check out a few related articles:

Can the Ancestors Take Away My Pain and Suffering?
3 Step Casualty Care for Wounded Christian Soldiers
God’s Holy Stewards Of Truth // Faithfulness in Prayer
Spiritual Powers, Witchcraft & Christianity // Africa Study Bible


Date: 19 August 2023

Location: 2023 Academy of Theology Making the Invisible Visible Conference, Christ Church Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa