Author’s Note: Interested readers can find all previous volumes of this series here.
During last week’s study, I wrote that our nightly prayers include reciting the "Magnificat," – also known as “Mary’s Song.” Encouraged by the response in comments and personal emails, I thought readers might be interested in exploring the prayer that my husband and I recite before the Magnificat. It is called the “prayer of protection,” but its formal name is “Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.”
Furthermore, we say this prayer whenever we begin a journey or anytime we need a hedge of protection in this dangerous world. (Which means often.)
Warning: This prayer is powerful, effective, comforting, and addictive – all in a good way. Let’s say it together:
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Now, do you feel protected? Probably not, because first, you must understand the Biblical basis of the prayer and second, learn about St. Michael.
For centuries, in all art mediums, St. Michael is always portrayed as a warrior brandishing his sword. The classic St. Michael statue displayed on our shelf, shows him standing over Satan’s body with his sword aimed down at Satan’s head, upon which Michael’s foot is firmly planted.
Millions of believers pray to St. Michael the Archangel for “protection” because he is heaven’s most celebrated warrior – a combat commander equivalent to an earthly 5-star general – outranked only by God who “employs” him.
The Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) mentions Michael by name three times in the Book of Daniel – dispelling the notion that the archangel is just a Catholic icon. (My Jewish brethren might be surprised to read that.)
In Chapter 10, Daniel has a fascinating vision (well worth the three-minute read) where he hears profound messages. There is some warring among angels and an evil spirit hinders Daniel from escaping, who he refers to as “the prince of the kingdom of Persia.” Michael is the only angel who can rescue Daniel.
But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia (Daniel 10:13).
In verses 10:20-21, there is a conversation between Daniel and the first angel who was unable to release him. The angel speaks of Michael’s power.
Then he said, "Do you know why I have come to you? But now I will return to fight against the prince of Persia; and when I go out, behold, the prince of Greece will come. But I will tell you what is inscribed in the book of truth: there is none who contends by my side against these except Michael, your prince (Daniel 10:20-21).
Here is the Book of Daniel’s third mention of Michael, in what appears to be the “end times.”
At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book (Daniel 12:1).
Michael, who Daniel and another angel references as a “prince” helps explain why the St. Michael prayer addresses him as “O Prince of the Heavenly host..”
Turning to the New Testament, in the Book of Jude, Michael gets into a spat with the devil about the body of Moses (supposedly never found so his body could not be worshipped.) The following passage is the only place where Michael is directly quoted.
But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, "The Lord rebuke you" (Jude 1:9.)
The last two verses where the archangel is specifically mentioned again concerns the end times. Here Michael announces the Lord when he will descend from heaven.
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
Then Michael, in the Bible’s final Book of Revelation, resumes his role as warrior against Satan, who is also called dragon or devil, accompanied by his evil angels.
Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down - that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down (Revelation 12:7-10).
Throughout the Bible, there are numerous mentions of angels. However, for this study, I only reference those passages where “Michael” or “archangel” refers to Michael.
Moreover, today I only scratch the surface about Michael and his many roles as prince, protector, warrior, and guardian angel, sent by God on heavenly missions to do His will. And finally, when Michael is deployed in the end times battle against the devil.
Speaking of the “end times” – given the current state of our nation – perhaps now is the time for you to reach out to St. Michael the Archangel. Learn his prayer and recite it often. He WILL protect you.
Myra Adams is a media producer and conservative political and religious writer with numerous national credits. She is also Executive Director of www.SignFromGod.org, a ministry dedicated to educating people about the Shroud of Turin. Contact: MyraAdams01@gmail.com or on Twitter @MyraKAdams.