Throughout the Bible, there are many examples of battle cries or war cries used by God’s people as they went to war. A war cry is a loud shout or chant meant to intimidate the enemy, rally the troops, and call upon God for strength and victory. For believers today, these war cries can inspire and instruct us as we wage spiritual warfare against the forces of darkness in our lives.
Old Testament War Cries
In the Old Testament, Israel relied on God to deliver them in times of war. Their war cries reflected their trust in Yahweh to fight for them. Here are some key examples:
The Shout of Victory at Jericho
- The first battle cry in the Bible happens at the Battle of Jericho in Joshua 6.
- God instructs Joshua and the Israelites to march around Jericho once a day for six days.
- On the seventh day, they were to march around 7 times while the priests blew trumpets.
- Then Joshua commanded the people to “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city!” (Joshua 6:16 NKJV).
- The people shout and the walls fall down, delivering Jericho into their hands.
Deborah and Barak’s Cry at Mount Tabor
- In Judges 4, Deborah the judge and Barak the army commander plan to face the Canaanites in battle.
- Deborah declares that when Barak advances, “the Lord will go out before you” against the army (Judges 4:14 NKJV).
- She rallies Barak with the cry, “Up! For this is the day in which the Lord has delivered Sisera into your hand” (Judges 4:14 NKJV).
- The Lord confuses the Canaanite army and enables Israel to win.
Key Takeaway: We can advance boldly when our war cry declares that the Lord goes before us against the enemy.
Jehoshaphat’s Battle Cry of Praise
- In 2 Chronicles 20, a vast army comes against King Jehoshaphat and Judah.
- Jehoshaphat calls the nation to fast and pray for God’s help.
- He rallies the army with these words: “Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper” (2 Chronicles 20:20 NKJV).
- When they march into battle, Jehoshaphat appointed singers to praise God as their war cry.
- God causes the enemy armies to turn on each other, and Judah wins easily.
Key Takeaway: Our war cry can praise God’s faithfulness before we even see the victory.
Gideon’s Cry of “For the Lord and for Gideon”
- In Judges 7, Gideon has only 300 men to fight against a vast Midianite army.
- But God devises a strategy to frighten the enemy using trumpets and torchers surrounding the camp.
- Gideon gives each man a trumpet, torch and clay jar and instructs them to cry out, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!” (Judges 7:20 NKJV) as they surround the camp.
- The sudden noise and fire throws the Midianites into a panic, and they flee before Gideon’s small army.
Key Takeaway: Though the odds seem against us, our war cry can align our plans with the Lord’s purposes.
New Testament War Cries
While spiritual warfare takes prominence in the New Testament, there are still audacious war cries that inspire God’s people to advance His kingdom in the face of opposition.
Early Church Prayer for Boldness
- In Acts 4, Peter and John are arrested after preaching and healing in Jesus’ name.
- After their release, they gather with believers to pray for continued boldness.
- They cry out to the Lord, “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word” (Acts 4:29 NKJV).
- The building shakes and they are all filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking God’s word boldly.
Key Takeaway: We can war cry for boldness from the Spirit to be God’s witnesses.
Paul’s Exhortation to Spiritual Armor
- In Ephesians 6, Paul urges believers to put on the full armor of God to stand firm in spiritual warfare.
- Like a commanding officer, he rallies us with cries such as “Stand therefore!” (Ephesians 6:14 NKJV) and “Take up the shield of faith!” (Ephesians 6:16 NKJV).
- Paul’s tone is confident, assuring us we can persevere and advance when fully equipped by God.
Key Takeaway: Standing our ground starts with raising a war cry to put on God’s armor.
John’s Hearing of Multitude’s War Cry
- In Revelation 19, the apostle John has an apocalyptic vision of heaven opened and Christ on a white horse.
- John hears the multitudes around the throne crying out, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!” (Revelation 19:6 NKJV).
- This thunderous war cry declares God’s power and inevitable victory over all evil.
Key Takeaway: Our war cries can join with heavenly multitudes to declare Christ has triumphed and will reign forever.
Purposes of the Biblical War Cry
After surveying these key war cries throughout Scripture, we can identify core purposes that war cries served:
- Rally the troops -BATTLE CRIES ENERGIZED AND UNIFIED GOD’S ARMY.
- Invoke divine help – LOUD CRIES CALLED UPON GOD’S PRESENCE AND POWER.
- Intimidate foes – SHOUTS AND NOISE THREW ENEMIES INTO FEAR AND CONFUSION.
- Communicate strategy – CONCISE CRIES RELAYED GOD’S PLANS TO HIS PEOPLE.
- Voice faith – DECLARING GOD’S TRUTH OUT LOUD STIRRED BELIEF IN PEOPLE’S HEARTS.
- Proclaim victory – TRIUMPHANT SHOUTS THANKED GOD AND DECLARED FREEDOM.
Modern Applications: Our War Cries Today
While we may not be marching around fortified cities, sounding trumpets, and facing vast armies, these war cries can powerfully instruct us today. In our spiritual warfare against sin, injustice, oppression and the demonic, we need to raise our own battle cries!
Here are key ways we can apply biblical war cries to our lives as modern believers at war with the enemy:
Cry Out Scripture Truths and God’s Promises
- We can shout out powerful verses that proclaim God’s sovereignty, goodness, deliverance, and steadfast love.
- Key texts like Psalm 23, the armor of God in Ephesians 6, and David’s battle Psalms stir up faith.
- Hymns and worship songs are also battle cries, declaring spiritual truths.
Make Decrees in Jesus’ Name
- Like the prophets, we can decree and declare God’s purposes in situations saying “Let there be light!”
- Confidently command sickness to flee, captives to be set free, and blessings to manifest in faith.
Intercede with Spirit-Inspired Prayers
- Let the Holy Spirit prompt urgent intercession and travailing prayers for breakthrough.
- Groanings and Spirit-led cries call heaven to back us up in our earthly campaigns.
Praise Before and After Victories
- Lifting loud hallelujahs before we see results demonstrates radical trust in God’s faithfulness.
- Celebratory praise after victories expresses gratitude and keeps our warfare wins in proper perspective.
Battle in Unity with Other Believers
- Join together with Christian community to storm the gates of hell through corporate prayer and declaration.
- Combining loud amens, raised hands, and united decrees multiplies spiritual power and impact.
Call Cities and Nations to Repentance
- Like prophets and revivalists, boldly sound the alarm from the rooftop and city gates to your region.
- Lead corporate cries for societal repentance, cleansing and awakening in your sphere of influence.
Keep Sounding Your War Cry!
Raising our warfare shouts stir up faith, advance God’s Kingdom, and remind the enemy that we are on the offensive as victorious children of the Most High God. We can forge ahead courageously knowing that our Commander-in-Chief has already won the war!
What unique battle cry is the Holy Spirit leading you to release today in your personal spiritual warfare? Hear heaven’s rallying cry and let your faith-filled, praise-infused war shout resound through the spiritual realm. The gates of hell will not prevail as we decree the Lord’s victory and purpose!
Now is the time to SHOUT as you share the good news of the Kingdom and take back enemy territory in Jesus’ mighty name!