Redeemer University - Christian university changes everything. Starting with you.          
Skip Navigation Links
Seeking God?

Visit this room to be spiritually fed

The Power of Prophetic Decrees—Part Three: Learning to Speak God's Word for Results
Breakthrough in our lives comes as we learn to speak the promises that God has revealed to us through His word.

Let's look at a story in 2 Kings—this is the best part of the message:

The arrows of the Lord are words. The bow is your mouth.

Elisha had become sick with the illness of which he would die. Then Joash the king of Israel came down to him, and wept over his face, and said, "O my father, my father, the chariots of Israel and their horsemen!" And Elisha said to him, "Take a bow and some arrows." So he took himself a bow and some arrows. Then he said to the king of Israel, "Put your hand on the bow." So he put his hand on it, and Elisha put his hands on the king's hands. And he said, "Open the east window"; and he opened it. Then Elisha said, "Shoot"; and he shot. And he said, "The arrow of the Lord's deliverance and the arrow of deliverance from Syria; for you must strike the Syrians at Aphek till you have destroyed them" (2 Kings 13:14-17).

Notice that the king of Israel needed a natural breakthrough. Have you ever been in the place where you needed a word from God right now? It's great to have God's word concerning your destiny and who you will be in ten years, but sometimes we need a word for the present. In the Old Testament, when men went to the prophet, it was as if they were going to God. In this passage, the king of Israel came to Elisha for a now word. He needed to know what to do for the battle to come. After he heard the prophet's word, he must have thought, "It's great to hang out with the prophet and shoot arrows out the bedroom window, but I need more than this. We're in a war and people are dying!"

Why did Elisha tell him to say, "The arrow of the Lord's deliverance," and "the arrow of the Lord's deliverance from Syria"? I believe those words reveal that the deliverance was twofold—spiritual and natural.

Striking until you destroy the enemy

Notice the significant words God spoke to the King in verse 17: "You must strike the Syrians at Aphek till you have destroyed them." I believe the Lord was saying: "I am with you. I want you to strike them until you destroy them. I am saying this because you are going to destroy them. That's my will, that's your destiny. So now you go and do what I want you to do, until you become what I want you to be."

After the prophetic word, the king must have believed that he was going to get victory: "God said I must strike them until I destroy them, so that must mean that I am going to destroy them. So I've got God on my side working with me."

However, to really understand what God said to the king, we must understand what the arrow represents. It represents more than prophetic intercession. Look at Psalm 18:14: "He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe, lightnings in abundance, and He vanquished them."

In this verse, we clearly see the arrow represents warfare. The Bible says that we don't wrestle against flesh and blood, but against demonic powers, principalities and spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places. The weapons of our warfare are mighty through God for the pulling down of strongholds. They are not natural weapons.

We are talking about a spiritual battle. The arrows of God deliver you from your foes—they vanquish and scatter your enemies. Do you know who your enemy is? It's the devil and his cohorts. They're the ones against whom we are to release arrows.

What is the arrow of the Lord and how do we release it? King David gives us some insight:

Hear my voice, O God, in my meditation; preserve my life from fear of the enemy. Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked, from the rebellion of the workers of iniquity, who sharpen their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows—bitter words, that they may shoot in secret at the blameless … (Psalm 64:1-4)

Wielding the power of life and death

We see here that our mouth is the bow and our words the arrows. In this specific passage, bitter words are the arrows and the blameless are the victims. These deadly words are shot in secret when their targets are not present. They are arrows of gossip, slander, criticism, lies, evil speaking and malice. These words are spoken about people, behind their backs, and people's mouths are the bows.

Scripture says: "Death and life are in the power of the tongue." Bitter words become arrows released into the heavens. They are enforced by demonic powers. Let me tell you this—you can slaughter people with what you say with your mouth. Ungodly words from your mouth are enforced by the kingdom of darkness in order to bring destruction to lives. This destruction happens even when you're not aware of it. The victims are also unaware—they're the righteous and innocent ones assailed by arrows of death.

In the same way that we unknowingly release arrows of death at the innocent, I believe, we can also release the arrow of the Lord to scatter His demonic enemies. We can release arrows of life that bring healing, prosperity and blessing into people's lives when we say good things about others, or when we say what God says.

… we can speak things into existence as long as God has already promised those things in Scripture or through a prophetic word.

So, prophetic decrees can be used for the sake of the kingdom—to destroy works of the enemy or to release life to God's people. God wants you to speak out what He has said about you in His Word or through prophetic promises to you.

Through prophetic decrees we can speak things into existence as long as God has already promised those things in Scripture or through a prophetic word. When we get a word from God, we have the authority to lay hold of it by faith. We can release arrows of life by talking about healing. By speaking words of healing over our body, and by speaking over others what the Bible says about miracles, we activate the power of God's promises—we enforce things in heaven, hallelujah!

The arrows of the Lord are words. The bow is your mouth. The arrows are for deliverance and God uses them to deliver you from your foes.

Examine 2 Kings 13:15 again. The king released words along with the arrow: "The arrow of the Lord's deliverance." As he shot the arrow out of the east window he also spoke to the demonic powers and principalities in heaven—those demonic powers that controlled the king of Syria and the king of Syria's troops.

The king's enemy wasn't flesh and blood. It was a demonic principality motivating and mobilizing the king of Syria to come against the king of Israel. In the prophetic act of shooting the arrow and speaking the words, the king of Israel repeated what God had already spoken through Elisha the prophet. The king spoke out the Lord's promise to himself. He decreed "deliverance" and "the arrow of deliverance from Syria"—first deliverance in heaven and then deliverance from Syria. The king's decree released arrows to scatter the demonic cohorts working and mobilizing the king of Syria.

Shooting prophetic arrows into the heavens

You need to proclaim what God has said about you into the heavens. The devil needs to know because he is trying to keep you from your blessings. You also need to take authority over whatever is opposing your calling. You need to say, "The arrow of the Lord's deliverance."

Verse 18 further illustrates our responsibility with prophetic words. When the king of Israel got his word from God he could have just said, "Praise God—I can leave now. I've got a word from God—He said it, I believe it, that settles it. It must happen." However, read what happens after he shoots the arrow:

Then he (Elisha) said, "Take some arrows." So he took them. And he said to the King of Israel, "Strike the ground," so he struck three times, and stopped. And the man of God was angry with him, and said, "You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have struck Syria till you destroyed it!"

Imagine what the king must have thought: "Wait a minute! Where did that little condition come from? I thought you said to strike the Syrians until I destroyed them. Next thing you're telling me to bang the arrow on the ground. You didn't tell me how many times to do it." But the prophet was angry because the king did not meet the unspoken conditions of the word—he should have struck the ground five or six times. The king was responsible for seeing the word fulfilled just like we are responsible for the words over our lives. What we do or don't do makes or breaks our prophetic word. In this case, I believe, the prophet was looking for fervency from the king. Perhaps Elisha's message to the king was this:

You should have been overcome with the revelation that God was with you! The fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much! You are making war! Haven't you got a revelation yet of what we just did? Haven't you got a revelation yet of why we released those arrows out of the window into the heavens? We were making spiritual proclamations. We are engaged in war in the heavenlies, my friend! The kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force! What's this, 1-2-3 business? It should have been 1-2-3-4-5-6! You're warring, you're contending! You're not acting like you're really passionate about the word of the Lord or about your destiny.

Taking the kingdom of heaven

We loose it first in heaven because otherwise we are not going to get it on earth.

Our victory is also in heaven. We loose it in heaven first, because otherwise we are not going to get it on earth. Nothing comes into the natural unless it first was in the heavens. We need to take it in the heavens and bring it to earth. It's important to believe this truth so deeply that it inspires passion and excitement in us. None of this 1-2-3 stuff. Let's press in with 1-2-3-4-5-6!! We need to realize that " … the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force" (Matthew 11:12).

Let me give you one last example of a decree. This time we'll see the power of a natural decree.

In the book of Ezra, king Artaxerxes issued a decree that the house of God would be rebuilt. He planned to release the money from his treasury so the Jews, those returning from captivity, could rebuild the house of God. The king's message was something like this: "I am king. I made a decree. There is weight to what I say. If anyone wants to alter this decree, let them be hung on the rafters of their house. Let them be like a refuse heap and like a dung hill. Let that happen to anybody who tries to come against what I am saying."

Just after Jesus was born a decree went out, commanding that every male child under the age of two be killed. Imagine someone saying to the king, "No, I'm not going to do that! You can forget about it. I'm not going to kill all those children. I'm not going to listen to the king's order."

Or, how about this contemporary parallel: "Forget about what George Bush said. Forget about the law they passed. I don't care. Bush can be President if he wants to, but I voted for Al Gore."

Here's another scenario—imagine walking up to the White House and saying, "I no longer don't like what you guys are saying here. I'm not following the constitution anymore—I'm coming to change it. I know that you guys ordered it; I know you decreed it. But who do you think you are anyway?"

Those scenarios seem strange or even humorous because we know there would be consequences for people resisting the laws of the land like that. They would be arrested and would have to pay for their actions in some way. You can't just disobey the laws of the land and get away with it. The authorities, the police and the courts in the land enforce the laws.

Making decrees with authority

If natural decrees are that powerful, how much more powerful are spiritual decrees?

Scripture calls New Testament believers priests and kings of the Most High God! What do you think happens when you [a priest and king] actually say something into the spiritual realm and make known the manifold wisdom of God to demonic powers and principalities?

The enemy knows if you're unsure of your authority. You really need to have a revelation of who you are in Christ and that He, the hope of glory, lives in you. When you know your authority and make decrees, the enemy cannot invade your house. The angelic hosts of heaven and Jesus Himself will back up your decrees which line up with His prophetic or Scriptural words to you. You have been given kingly anointing and authority; you've been made to sit in heavenly places (see Ephesians 2:6). Every devil in hell trembles at your words when you know your position in Christ! The devil knows that behind everything you say is the authority of heaven and Jesus Christ. The angels of God will come and arrest him. I believe that God begins to release angels to carry out His word in our life when we begin to release the word into heaven. We can actually aid in spiritual warfare.

Let's look at one more illustration from the Old Testament:

And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, 'As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word' (1 Kings 17:1).

Notice that it was at the word of Elijah that there would be no dew or rain. But where did the word originate? The story continues: "It came to pass after many days, the word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, 'Go present yourself to Ahab. I will send rain on the earth.'" So Elijah went to Ahab and said something like: "There won't be any dew or rain on the earth for years, except at my word, because God said that He is about to send a drought." Really, Elijah is only saying what God said—that is where His authority came from! Elijah partnered with God to see God's word fulfilled. Later, when God was about to send rain to the earth, He told the prophet to decree what He was about to do. Elijah had a place in fulfilling the word; he needed to release it before anything would happen.

As a result of Elijah's words, the Bible tells us, he heard the sound of abundance of rain in the spirit. Now think about your situation—maybe God said something about you but you didn't say anything to open up heaven so that His word could come to pass. Have you heard the sound of the abundance of rain yet? Is there a sound in your spirit?

Twenty years of prophetic words is not good enough, my friend. A key chain of every kind of prophetic promise is not good enough! There is a time for you to do something with what you have! God is waiting for you. Something about your word releases God's word and opens up the heavens. Then God can release the angels to do what He said He would do.

Birthing God's word

Princes of Persia in heaven are trying to delay and oppose God's words to you. The responsibility of warfare and for fulfillment is yours, my friend—it's not the prophet's, it's not God's. Something is going on in the heavenlies, and you need to be a partner with God.

Unlike many Christians today, Elijah didn't wait for the answer to drop from the sky twenty years later. Elijah realized that he needed to birth the word of God: "So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; (and) bowed down on the ground … " (1 Kings 18:42)—a birthing position. Then he heard the sound.

Elijah realized (my paraphrase): "This thing is not going to come to pass except at my word. But I've got God's word, so I'm going to go and get it." Then he said to his servant, "Go look. Do you see anything?" His servant looked and said, "I don't see anything."

By now you may be thinking, Todd, "You know how many times I've prayed the word of the Lord and haven't seen anything!" I'll tell you what, you gave up!

Elijah said to the servant, "Go look again." He is birthing. The servant came back saying, "I don't see anything." But Elijah kept telling him to go back and look again. Eventually, after the seventh time, the servant saw the answer begin to manifest!

Elijah realized that he needed to pray the word through and take care of any opposition to its fulfillment. He loosed that word in heaven, called it out of the spirit and called those things that were not as though they were … until they came into existence. He persisted even when he didn't see anything. Eventually, after the seventh time, he saw a cloud the size of a man's hand.

Our righteousness comes through faith in Christ and we need to speak from that authority.

It's now time for you to release some arrows into the heavenly realm. If you have seen the movie, Brave Heart, you may remember a scene where the archers gathered, waited and then suddenly released their arrows. Those fiery arrows lit up the whole sky. That's what is going to happen now in the heavens as you make decrees. It's time to decree what God has promised to you and what He has said about you. It's time to declare what the Bible and the prophetic words have said about you. You are going to make powerful prayers of proclamation, of decree. As James says, "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16b). Our righteousness comes through faith in Christ and we need to speak from that authority.

Todd Bentley, a Canadian evangelist, has an international ministry accompanied by miracles, signs and wonders. His web site is:




  • Redeemer University - Christian university changes everything. Starting with you.

Visit our Marketplace

Support the EFC ministry by using our Amazon links