1 Peter 5:8 NIV Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  

Another translation presents Satan “as a crouching lion ready to pounce.” 

2 Corinthians 11:14 NIV And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. Masquerade means … pretending to be someone else. 

If we could identify the Devil every time he was at work, we would never become captives of his devices. Sadly, we have all been his victims at times, and tragically most believers, off and on, live there. Countless believers are prisoners of Satan daily, serving out a life sentence without even knowing it.  

Satan goes to great lengths to avoid recognition and disguise his identity. He is the opposite of an attention-getter. This predator disguises himself right in front of his prey. Most people think they are too busy to make time for God and prayer. They feel bad about it but justify it because of circumstances. 

Busy! Burdened Under Satan’s Yoke. 

Satan is mentioned over 250 times in the New Testament. That’s almost one time for every chapter. Jesus spent most of His time and ministry engaging himself against the works of Satan. If the Son of God had to do it, why would we expect to be different?  

1 John 3:8 NIV The reason the Son of God was manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil (has done). 

That verse does not mean Satan is no longer working on the earth. That verse means we have been authorized to enforce what Jesus and only Jesus could have accomplished. That verse means that, as believers, we have been given the upper hand regarding Satan’s devices. Satan’s been hit! Jesus destroyed the works of the devil so that we could live and do the will of God without being intimidated by the devil. Satan is God’s defeated adversary. If I am in Christ and Christ is in me, that MUST mean Satan is also my defeated adversary. 

Ephesians 2:2 refers to him as “the prince of the power of the air.” That means that he is everywhere. He doesn’t sleep. He doesn’t stop attacking until his agenda is achieved. He is methodical and consistent. He doesn’t change because he can’t change. He’s focused. He’s deliberate. 

You can’t train the devil to improve. You can’t negotiate with or outsmart him in the game that originated with him. Deception is his domain, and he rules it well. If you don’t believe that, look around you. 

When on the attack, every lion is painstaking about being unnoticed until he has succeeded in getting what he wants. By the time his prey becomes aware of his presence, with rare exceptions, it’s already too late for an escape. 

Satan is the master of creating distractions that appear as the expected normal. Satan is the reigning expert at presenting obstacles we incorrectly interpret as God’s will, making us turn back from a desire or a vision God placed in our hearts. Satan is the one who makes every suggestion in your mind that creates fear and doubt. 

I am a certified advanced rescue diver. I am certified in shipwreck recovery. By the end of the year, the Lord willing, I will have my classification as a Master diver. I have only been diving for less than five years, but my experience is extensive. I’ve been inside the Vandenberg wreck with ropes and flashlights, at nearly 150 feet underwater seven miles off the coast of Key West, Florida. It’s a world that most people never experience. It has been my privilege to see things underwater that are as spectacular as they are intimidating. You can only know what I’m talking about if you’ve been there. 

Fishing is by far my favorite sport.  I love being both on the water and in the water. Whether it’s The Atlantic, The Pacific, or the Gulf of Mexico. I love the thrill and the challenges of fishing, not to mention my love of the rewards…eating what I’ve caught. 

High seas or calm waters don’t matter; I love the freedom and the constant discoveries of seeing firsthand and sometimes touching for myself what God has provided us with in His creation.  Fishing from a pier, fishing from a boat, or spearfishing underwater, I’m down for all of it. 

Boating and fishing have become favorite activities of our entire family. I have had prayer meetings in the middle of the ocean that changed my life in ways that most people wouldn’t even believe. I have used fishing trips as the bait for mentoring men early in sobriety and infants in their walk with God. 

My friends and family especially love the benefits of my fishing skills because of what I put on the table for them to enjoy. Last week we caught enough queen snapper fish at a depth of 1225 feet to feed friends, my family, my Pastor’s family, and several of our Men’s Mentorship Housing residents one of the best meals a human could ask for. 

I NEVER announce myself to the fish. I don’t disclose my intentions to the fish. I am not traveling ninety miles offshore to talk to some tuna, some groupers, or a school of snapper fish. I don’t want their picture. I am attempting to catch them. 

Using the right bait and fishing at the right time of the day matters big time. It matters more than the size of your boat or the cost of your fishing gear.  

Patience is always the critical factor. I am not seeking recognition from my prey; I am seeking their captivity. Being successful requires staying unnoticed. 

I beg you, in the name of Jesus, to hear this. 

No one better masks their identity or their intentions than Satan himself. 

It’s not your family, job, friends, or busy schedule that keeps you from making time for prayer. It’s Satan masquerading as circumstances that fight against you daily to prevent you from spending time with God in prayer. I know what I’m talking about. We all do! 

I have a business with nearly fifty employees, a wife, and four children. Our two youngest children are two and four. Our two older boys are twelve and thirteen. I understand a hundred reasons and the excuses that become distractions. On top of that, I am sponsoring eight to ten different men through the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. I attend an AA meeting daily and services at my home church twice weekly. 

If I ignored spending time in prayer, even for a day or two, I would end up on a collision course with defeat because of “self” and the undetectable tactics of the devil that are waged against us every day. 

When I am in prayer, God changes me into becoming a better father, a better husband, a better employer, and a better man. In prayer, I experience God, become more familiar with His voice, and acquire His direction for decisions where I am not qualified enough to act on “my” instincts. As a boy, I was labeled SLD. That stands for a Slow Learning Disability. Honestly, I am too deep over my head in life and work and ministry to trust in myself. Without daily prayer, I would become confused and too unstable to handle everything God has miraculously put on my plate to enjoy. 

Satan cannot establish a stronghold if I refuse to grant him a foothold. Satan wants your prayer life! 

I MUST pray!  

The presence of God creates my peace. I get solutions for every challenge, and most of all, I become transformed more into the image of Christ when I spend time in prayer. 

Who do you think is behind all your distractions, interruptions, and daily demands?  

2 Corinthians 2:11 … for we are not ignorant of his (Satan’s) devices. 

If He can keep you from prayer, he will sit back and laugh when you self-destruct or never reach your potential in the work of God’s kingdom.