“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,”
II Corinthians 10:4
The battle was not at the physical level, it was in the heavenlies
“But the prince of the kingdom of Persia (spiritual principality) withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.”
“And Elisha prayed, and said, “ LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
II Kings 6:17
Balak fought right in the heavenlies, it was common to summon your god in or before warfare, that’s how Israel fled from before a defeated foe with a prophetic word from God, promising their victory but because Israel was compromised and had worshipped another god, that god had legal rights against Israel when summoned.
“Then he took his eldest son who would have reigned in his place, and offered him as a burnt offering upon the wall(Chemosh sacrifice); and there was great indignation (from Chemosh came) against Israel (because they too sacrificed to Chemosh). So they departed from him and returned to their own land.”
II Kings 3:27
That’s why prayer is such a powerful means of winning, because spiritually the battle is fought and won decisively in heaven before anything transpires on earth.