For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 6:12 (NASB)
It really helps me to remember that my battle is not with people, but with the devil and his evil spirits that are holding people captive but the good news is, Jesus even won that battle for us Believers! It helps me pray for people with a greater level of authority and compassion when I keep this in mind.
When I pray, I don’t come against the person themselves in prayer, but the spirit of fear, jealousy, control, manipulation, violence, anger, pride, intimidation, oppression, etc. – whatever that spirit is that seems to be holding that person in bondage by convincing them to believe lies about God, others and/or themselves.
I pray for myself this way as well. For instance, I might pray, “I bind up this spirit of fear that is trying to hold me captive in this particular area in the name of Jesus. I loose a spirit of peace and calm over my life in this area right now. (see Matthew 16:19) God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (see 2 Timothy 1:7) I receive God’s love afresh right now and I know His perfect love drives out every fear. (see 1 John 4:18)
Again, Jesus gave us Christians authority over all the power of the enemy. This is really good news!
Colossians 2:15 says, “When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities [those supernatural forces of evil operating against us], He made a public example of them [exhibiting them as captives in His triumphal procession], having triumphed over them through the cross.” – AMP
Luke 10:19 says, “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” – NKJ
I told you it was really good news. We have been given authority over the devil and his personal assistants and we need to use it!
I do want to make one clarification here in case anyone would have this question. Am I saying there’s never a time to confront a person directly? Definitely not. In fact, I believe in Spirit-led confrontation, but it must be Spirit-led and it must be done in love for it to do any good. And what I’m referring to is not necessarily the type of confrontation you may be thinking of or may have witnessed in the world’s system. There is a grace-based approach to setting boundaries in relationships! A powerful way to show someone how much you love them is by reminding them of who they truly are in Christ when they forget!
Ultimately though, only God can change a person’s heart by His grace. Remembering this keeps us doing our job and allows God to do His job. Sometimes the person is living in such deception that they either can’t see or purposely won’t admit to the fact that they are not living their lives led by the Holy Spirit, but have succumbed to living under the influence of another kind of spirit. In this case, we can pray that the blinders of deception be removed from their eyes.
Steve prayed for me all those years that I was living under the influence of a spirit of legalism and thank God he did. I am now free from believing the lie that I and everyone else around me had to work their way into God’s good graces and I have been living my life under the leadership of the Holy Spirit for the past 7.5 years. Greatest adventure I’ve ever been on!
If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!