#798. HOW TO EVICT DEMONIC POWERS PART 2 (21/4/23)
This week, we are excited to continue our nine-week series, 'Praying Together,' exploring the transformative power and profound significance of communal prayer. Based on the teachings of Mike Betts and his book and course, 'The Prayers of Many,' our series aims to deepen our understanding and practice of praying together as a community.
In this week's devotionals, we will draw upon the powerful analogy of eviction to illustrate how we can actively engage in limiting and ultimately stopping the negative and destructive forces of demonic powers.
‘‘Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralysed; and he healed them. Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.’ (Matthew 4:23-25)
Summary: To evict demonic oppression in people’s lives we must learn to discern whether an issue is demonic in origin and then pray effectively
To watch this devotional please go to:
Today I want to briefly consider how we pray for people who are, or think that they may be, afflicted by demonic powers. In our culture, we tend to think of things in secular terms and may not consider that a person’s troubles can be the result of demonic attack. Donald English write of this tendency:
‘Difficult though it is for modern scientifically orientated cultures, we need to guard against the danger hinted at by Cranfield, that the greatest achievement of the powers of evil would be to persuade us that they do not exist.’
This is a massive subject and today I can only touch upon it. I encourage you to read Dave Devenish’ book, Demolishing Strongholds - effective strategies for spiritual warfare on this subject of evicting dark spiritual powers.
The gospels, as in our reading today, are replete with references to people being affected or being under the influence of a demon. A lot of Jesus’ ministry was focussed on setting people free from demonic powers and so this kind of ministry should surely be a common feature of church life!
Wayne Grudem writes:
‘This authority over demonic powers was not limited to Jesus himself, for he gave similar authority first to the Twelve (Matt. 10:8; Mark 3:15), and then to seventy disciples. After a period of ministry, the seventy "returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!"' (Luke 10:17). Then Jesus responded, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven" (Luke 10:18), indicating again a distinctive triumph over Satan's power (once again, this was probably at the time of Jesus' victory in the temptation in the wilderness, but Scripture does not explicitly specify that time). Authority over unclean spirits later extended beyond the seventy disciples to those in the early church who ministered in Jesus' name (Acts 8:7; 16:18; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9), a fact consistent with the idea that ministry in Jesus' name in the new covenant age is characterised by triumph over the powers of the devil (1 John 3:8).’ (Grudem, Sytematic Theology)
HOW TO PRAY AGAINST THE DEMONIC
This needs to be handled with care, but not so much care that we lose confidence to (lovingly) have a go and learn through experience.
Discern - We need to discern if an issue of sickness, depression, mental torture, temptation… has its origin in the demonic. The reality is that we can never be completely sure, but here are some ways to discern:
Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the gift of discernment when seeking to help someone.
Discern how they feel and how much they understand about spiritual warfare
Ask if they have been involved in the occult.
Ask if they have reason to believe that the issue they are struggling with is demonic.
Gently seek to ascertain if they are, or have been, involved in sin for which they need to confess and repent. Sin can be an entry point for demonic affliction.
Ask them if they want prayer.
Explain that you are going to pray for demonic powers to be removed from them.
Pray - Following discernment we must pray. There is power in Jesus’ name to overcome all the works of the evil one. We don’t need to shout, mumble in tongues and seek to raise the emotional temperature. Simply pray for all demonic power to leave in the name of Jesus. It’s the Biblical model to command the demon to leave in Jesus’ name.
Create safety – If at all possible, try to pray with someone else. If praying for the opposite sex, always involve someone of their gender. Respect personal boundaries: Make sure to be mindful of personal space and always ask for permission before laying hands on or touching someone during prayer. Everyone has different comfort levels, so it's important to respect their boundaries and avoid any actions that may make them uncomfortable.
Debrief - If you have prayed for someone regarding demonic powers, it’s important to ask them how they feel. Ask them if they have questions or concerns. Encourage them to keep defending themselves from counterattack through prayer and the application of truth.
This is a massive subject and today I have briefly touched upon it. I encourage you to read Dave Devenish’ book, Demolishing Strongholds - effective strategies for spiritual warfare on this subject of evicting dark spiritual powers.
If you are wondering if you are under demonic attack, I encourage you to go and speak to a leader in your church about this.
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
What has God been speaking to you about from His Word this week and how has this helped you / affected your life?
3. STUDY AND PRAY TOGETHER
During this series, we will be using the 'Prayers of Many' course by Mike Betts.
I encourage you to buy a copy of the book from: https://prayersofmany.org/book#buybook
If you need assistance in buying a book please send an email to the church office and we will happily purchase you a copy.
Please download the course handbook from: