In the journey of faith, we encounter various challenges that can hinder our spiritual growth and intimacy with God. One such challenge is the presence of spiritual strongholds. The good news is that we don’t need to be intimidated by any stronghold of the enemy. Not at all! God gave us the power to overcome. One of our weapons is breaking strongholds prayer.

Before delving into how to break these strongholds and keep them shattered, it’s essential to understand what they are. In this blog, we’ll find the answer to what is a spiritual stronghold. We do that by looking at the various types of strongholds and by diving into breaking strongholds scriptures.

We will learn how to overcome spiritual strongholds. And we will pay particular attention to one of our mighty weapons of spiritual warfare: breaking strongholds prayers. You’ll find several pulling down strongholds prayer points and sample prayers to get you started and going!

What are strongholds Biblically?

Before we can look into how to break strongholds and keep them broken, we first need to find out what those strongholds are.

In the Bible, there are several mentions of strongholds, both in the Old and the New Testament. These strongholds can refer to physical fortresses or metaphorical concepts representing places of refuge, defense, or power. In this article, we will discuss spiritual strongholds, not geographical ones.

We can distinguish three categories of spiritual strongholds:

  • God as a stronghold: God himself is often described as a stronghold or fortress for believers. For example, Psalm 91:2 says, “I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust’.” This is the type of spiritual stronghold we ought to rather hold on to instead of breaking it. It is our place of safety. Only when we are here, in the safety of God’s presence and protection, we can start breaking the other type of spiritual strongholds.
  • Demonic strongholds: This refers to the strongholds of the enemy and relates to spiritual warfare. In 2 Corinthians 10:4, the apostle Paul speaks of “the weapons of our warfare” being “mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.” This confirms that strongholds can also refer to spiritual barriers or strongholds of thought and belief that need to be overcome.
  • Mental strongholds: What is a mental stronghold in the Bible? The Bible uses the phrase to describe harmful thought patterns and arrogant attitudes. Over time, these false beliefs can become strongholds in the spiritual realm. Satan, the enemy of our souls, knows the importance of our souls (mind, will, and emotion); that’s why he keeps trying to grip us with negative strongholds.

Various parts of God’s Word refer to these three types of strongholds.

What Psalm is about the stronghold?

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The first type of stronghold, God as our strong hold, can be found in several places in the Old Testament. For me, a key verse is in Nahum 1:7 (NKJV):

“The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.”

The Psalms often refer to God as our place of refuge, our stronghold. Here are several quotes of Psalms about the stronghold. I’ll start with my favorite Psalm about God as stronghold:

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2 (NKJV)

There are several other Psalms that talk about God as our safe stronghold:

“The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” Psalm 9:9 (ESV)

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1 (ESV)

“But the Lord has become my stronghold, and my God the rock of my refuge.” Psalm 94:22 (ESV)

We can also find awesome references in other books of the Bible. Even if the word stronghold isn’t used literally, those Scriptures still describe God as our stronghold.

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” Proverbs 18:10 (NKJV)

“Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.” Psalm 90:1 (NIV)

 “If you say, ‘The Lord is my refuge,’ and you make the Most High your dwelling.” Psalm 91:9 (NIV)

What Scripture is the pulling down of strongholds?

When we hide in God’s dwelling place, our godly stronghold, we can safely pull down demonic and mental strongholds. We have seen several Bible passages that describe God as our stronghold. Let’s now have a look at the pulling down strongholds Scripture.

The pulling down strongholds verse is in the New Testament. It is also the only verse in the New Testament that refers to strongholds. It is 2 Corinthians 10 verse 4. When studying the Bible for yourself, it’s good to read various translations of the same verse. Each Bible translation may shed new light on the truth of God’s Word.

Breaking strongholds Bible verse in the NKJV, in its context:

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh. (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NKJV)

And the pulling down strongholds Scripture KJV:

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.”

The pulling down strongholds KJV is often used as basis for the other (more modern) translations.

In the NLT translation, we see the clear reference to mental strongholds.

“We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.

The ESV translation of the verse to break strongholds shows us it is the power of God that pulls down the spiritual strongholds, not our power.

“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.”

Use these powerful Scriptures for your prayer to tear down strongholds.

We now know where to find the breaking strongholds Bible verse. Let’s have a look at the pulling down strongholds meaning of the Bible passage.

What does 2 Corinthians 10 4 mean?

To understand the meaning of 2 Corinthians 10 4, we need to see the verse in its context.

“We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (NLT)

How do you overcome spiritual strongholds?

According to 2 Corinthians 10:4, the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly weapons, but spiritual weapons, mighty in God to break strongholds and the powers of evil. These weapons include prayer, fasting, worship, the word of God, and the power of the Holy Spirit.

You can also combine fasting and prayer to break strongholds—it’s a powerful way of spiritual warfare. If you want to get started with the combination, read books about fasting and prayer. Want to dive deeper? Read Derik Prince’s book, Pulling down strongholds.

In this blog, we will focus on breaking strongholds prayers. Prayer is a powerful tool. The most powerful shattering strongholds prayer are the prayers based on God’s Word. Why? Because “The word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” (Hebrews 4:12 NLT).

Prepare before breaking spiritual strongholds

Before you start with prayers for destroying strongholds, examine your heart, mind, and surroundings. Empty your heart from anything that doesn’t belong to God. Repent from wicked and sinful ways. Invite the power of the Holy Spirit in your mind. Remove and destroy anything in your surroundings that gives way to evil power.

It is a good thing to remind yourself that you are a child of the King and that it is God’s mighty power through you that will strengthen your prayers for breaking yokes. Even though satan goes around like a roaring lion, you don’t have to be afraid of satanic forces or the plans of the enemy.  

Doing this prepares you against the strategies of satan—the father of lies. 

Next, read Bible verses about spiritual warfare and destroying strongholds. This is spiritual preparation, as a good soldier does. No soldier goes to war without preparation.

Here are several how to break strongholds Scriptures. Each forms an important part of your preparation for breaking strongholds prayers.

Prepare yourself by first wearing the full armor of God. This way, you protect yourself.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:10-18 (NKJV)

Remind yourself that you are a child of God and that the presence of the Lord is with you.

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8 (NKJV)

Stand on the Word of the Lord that says He has already given you the authority over the spiritual wickedness.

“Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.” Luke 10:19 (ESV)

It is this power of God in and through you, that makes you more powerful than the enemy.

“For when a strong man is fully armed and guards his palace, his possessions are safe—until someone even stronger attacks and overpowers him, strips him of his weapons, and carries off his belongings.” Luke 11:21-22 (NLT)

And remember that spiritual warfare isn’t all about force and grand action. We also do spiritual warfare with our innermost attitude. When our hearts are right for God, He will fight for us and nothing can harm us.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 (NLT)  

Pulling down strongholds prayer points with prayers

Ready for breaking spiritual barriers? Grab your Bible, retreat into your Christian prayer room, and start with pulling down strongholds prayer.

Infuse your prayer life with these prayer points for spiritual battle—to tear down the strongholds of the enemy. Remember, no stronghold of the enemy is more powerful than God—the One that lives inside of you!

Don’t be afraid. Go ahead and start with breaking strongholds prayers.

Here are examples of powerful prayers to break spiritual strongholds:

  • Prayer to break strongholds of the mind (breaking strongholds of the mind). Father God, you didn’t give me a spirit of fear. Your Word says You gave me a sound mind. Lord God, have Your way in my mind. Show me the beliefs I harbor in my mind that don’t belong to You. Help me see the false beliefs and replace them with Your eternal truth. Father, bring an end to all these bombarding thoughts in my mind. Your Word says that he who has been set free by the Spirit is free indeed. I claim that over my life. I break the strongholds of my mind. I bring every thought to the obedience of Christ. I close my mind against the enemy. I won’t allow any bad thoughts or negative beliefs to enter my mind again. And I won’t believe the lies of the enemy anymore. Enough is enough! I am free!!!! In the mighty Name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.
  • Intercessory prayers for strongholds in the church. Mighty God, we are Your church, build on the solid foundation of Christ Jesus. Holy Father, raise a standard against the attacks of the enemy. The plans of the devil will not hold! Protect Your church, Lord. Make it one and strong. We destroy all spiritual strongholds that are operating against Your church worldwide. They have already been defeated by the blood of the Lamb. No power set up against the church shall prosper. We pronounce health, unity, and blessing over Your church, Lord. Build Your church. Unless You build it, we will work in vain. Make Your church strong, Lord. Expand to the East, West, South, and North. Take over the nations and possess what is rightfully Yours. The church will live! In Jesus Name. Amen.
  • Prayers against spiritual blindness. Father Lord, You reign. Father, forgive my fleshliness and help me see how You see. Show me the way, by the leading of Your Holy Spirit. Open my eyes, Lord, so I may see. Open my heart, Lord, so I may understand. Help me discern good from bad and lift the veil from my eyes. I pray for spiritual understanding. Lead me into Your full truth, Lord. Guide me with Your Word. I am nothing without You. Holy Spirit, open my eyes and let me see the glory of the Lord around me. I want to see You, Lord. In the Name of the Lord Jesus, I pray. Amen.  
  • Prayer to break family strongholds. Lord God Jehovah, I bring my family to Your throne of grace and power. We need You. You created us to serve You, and to worship You. But there are strongholds holding us back. In the Name of Jesus we are breaking family strongholds. Your Word says Jesus has become cursed on our behalf so that we will be free. We claim that freedom through the sacrifice of Christ Jesus, who died for us. He bought us free. We are rightfully free and do no longer accept any bondage, in Jesus’ Name, we pray. We declare our family free. No more suffering. No more pain. No more bondage. We are covered with the blood of Jesus. The enemy’s plans have been made undone by Jesus’ sacrifice. Thank You, Lord. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
  • Breaking strongholds in your city. Heavenly Father, hallowed be Your Name. You said we should ask You for the nations and You would give them to us. Today, we ask for our cities. Pave Your way. Destroy the rulers of darkness that are hovering above our city. Dismantle the present darkness and bring Your light instead. The strongholds around this city will come down like Jericho wall, in Your mighty Name! This city belongs to You, Jesus, master of heaven and earth. Clear this city of its darkness. Break through with Your power and might. As the battle has already been won!!!! We give You all the glory. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
  • Breaking the stronghold of alcohol. Dear God, I need You. I have tried to stop drinking alcohol own foolish fleshly strength, but I failed. Over and over I felt in the trap of the enemy. I come to You for deliverance. I am sorry, Lord, for my behavior. I pull down the stronghold of alcohol in my life and the lives of others. I don’t want to live in bondage anymore. It’s enough! I am going to live the righteous life as a child of the King. The life that is rightfully mine—free of slavery. Help me, oh Lord, to stay on the right track. Holy Spirit, prompt me when I am going the wrong way and deliver me. Speak to me and guide me. I don’t want to fall into the trap anymore. My body belongs to You, Lord. I am going to treat it well. Thank You for my deliverance. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
  • Prayers to break financial strongholds. Father God, the heavens and the earth belong to You. You are my solid Rock and my loving Father, and I am Your child. I come against the works of darkness in my life and I release the spirit of abundance over my life. I am in need. No matter what I do, there always seems to be a lack. I therefore come against the forces of evil and break every financial stronghold in my life. In the mighty Name of Jesus. I release myself and all my endeavors. I will flourish in the house of the Lord. Supply my needs, Lord, according to Your riches in glory. I am ready to receive abundance in my life. IN Jesus’ Name. Thank You. Amen.
  • Prayer to break every chain. I put on the whole armor of God and come against every stumbling block in my life. In the Name of Jesus, I break every chain operating in my life. It is written that he who has been made free by You is free indeed. I declare I am set free! I break every generational curse in my family. I destroy every stronghold. I pull down the forces of the enemy. Not in my strength, but in the power of the Name of Jesus. I fight with the sword of God, not with the physical weapons of the world. I cut off the head of the enemy and destroy every chain. I walk in victory, as an overcomer. God is on my side, who can be against me? No one! Thank You, Father God, for Your protection and guidance. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.  
  • Prayer to destroy spiritual strongholds in marriage. Dear Lord, I come against any strongholds operating in my marriage. I love my husband and he loves me. But things are not going as they ought to be. Please release our marriage and make our marriage how You intended it to be. Free of strive. Free of misunderstanding. Make us one, Lord, in Your mighty name. It is written a threefold cord is not easily broken. You are the third string in our marriage, Lord. Show Yourself strong and heal our marriage. Break all chains and strongholds in our marriage and set us free, Lord. Thank You for Your deliverance. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

What are the types of strongholds?

Demonic strongholds and mental strongholds are 2 of the major categories of spiritual strongholds. We can refine these two to various types of strongholds.

It is good to discover what are examples of strongholds? Because when you have a better idea of the different types of strongholds, you will be better able to understand how to get deliverance from strongholds.

Here is a list of 12 examples of strongholds:

  1. Strongholds of the mind: Spiritual strongholds in the mind refers to patterns of thinking or belief systems that oppose God’s truth and hinder spiritual growth, as discussed earlier.
  2. Emotional strongholds: These involve entrenched patterns of negative emotions, such as fear, anxiety, bitterness, resentment, or unforgiveness, that hinder spiritual growth and intimacy with God. These strongholds can result from past traumas, unresolved conflicts, or unmet emotional needs, and they often require healing, forgiveness, and the renewal of the mind through God’s Word and Spirit.
  3. Intellectual strongholds: These involve intellectual pride, reliance on human wisdom, or skepticism that hinder us from accepting God’s truth and submitting to His authority.
  4. Stronghold of alcohol: This specifically refers to addiction or dependency on alcohol, which can become a spiritual stronghold that enslaves people and damages relationships, health, and spiritual well-being.
  5. Addiction strongholds: Beyond alcohol, this includes addiction to substances like drugs or gambling, as well as behavioral addictions like compulsive eating or shopping. These strongholds exert control over people, leading to destructive behaviors and harming physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
  6. Sexual strongholds: These involve patterns of sexual immorality, addiction to pornography, or other forms of sexual sin that ensnare and hinder our relationships with God and others.
  7. Financial strongholds: These refer to patterns of financial bondage, such as debt, poverty mindset, greed, or materialism, that hinder individuals or families from experiencing financial freedom and stewardship according to biblical principles.
  8. Family strongholds: Spiritual strongholds in families are patterns of dysfunction, sin, or spiritual oppression that persist across generations within a family. They can include issues like abuse, addiction, generational curses, or ungodly beliefs and behaviors passed down through familial lines.
  9. Generational strongholds: Similar to family strongholds, generational strongholds refer to patterns of sin or spiritual oppression that affect multiple generations within a family lineage. Breaking generational strongholds often involves prayer, repentance, and seeking spiritual healing and deliverance.
  10. Spiritual strongholds over cities: Certain cities or regions can be spiritually influenced or dominated by particular strongholds, such as idolatry, immorality, or spiritual apathy. Prayer and spiritual warfare can be used to combat these strongholds.
  11. Geographical spiritual strongholds: Similar to strongholds over cities, geographical areas can be spiritually influenced or dominated by specific strongholds, often based on historical events, cultural practices, or spiritual beliefs associated with the region. Think also of spiritual strongholds in nations.
  12. Strongholds in the church: These can include divisions, doctrinal disputes, spiritual apathy, or any other barriers that hinder the church’s effectiveness in fulfilling its mission and reflecting the unity and love of Christ.

Take-away breaking strongholds prayers

Breaking strongholds prayers are an essential part of spiritual warfare. By preparing ourselves with the armor of God and relying on His power, we can stand against the strategies of Satan. As children of God, we can trust in His presence and authority over spiritual wickedness. It is through the power of God within us that we become more powerful than the enemy.

To break strongholds, we can engage in powerful prayers that address specific areas such as the mind, intercession for the church, spiritual blindness, family strongholds, strongholds in our city, addictions like alcohol, financial strongholds, and breaking every chain.

If you are ready to break spiritual barriers, you can start with these prayers. Remember, no stronghold of the enemy is more powerful than the God who lives within you. Don’t be afraid, step out in faith and begin your journey of breaking strongholds through prayer.

Let us equip ourselves and stand firm against the enemy, knowing that victory is already ours in Christ.

For more guidance and prayer points, you can download the free PDF of breaking strongholds prayers. These prayers are a powerful tool in your spiritual warfare arsenal.