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 Advanced Warfare

During one week in August 2008, God significantly raised the bar in the development of my faith and abilities to be an effective spiritual warrior.  Up until this point I had gained an increasing understanding of the nature of spiritual warfare and the armor of God.  He had given me several opportunities to put what I knew into practice helping others in the area of marriage.  But during this week, God would significantly elevate my understanding of the spiritual realm that is all around us.  He would show me how demonic possession is very much a reality and how through the power and authority that He gives us we should combat it.

Tuesday
Lynita and I are shepherds for a Tuesday night small group in our church (Hill Country Bible Church Leander) and had just started a new moderated study for our group.  On this particular Tuesday morning when I was preparing to go to work, the Holy Spirit prompted me to not prepare and take a lunch like I usually did.  He asked me to start a fast from food instead.  Being conditioned for this type of prompting by this time, I did as I was led.

That Tuesday night in our small group we were going through a DVD-based study called “The Truth Project” that was presented by “Focus on the Family” and taught by Del Tackett.  In this, one of the initial lessons, Del made a challenge to the students that cut right to the center of my soul and my faith.  He pointed to the bible and asked the participants if they really truly believed everything that was written therein.  He went on to say that if they truly did believe it (that it was all true and was the word of the living God), then this small group of students could go out and literally change the world.  Those words resonated deep within me, gently convicting me.  Before the end of the week, God would bring them back to the forefront of my mind.

During this time, my wife Lynita had learned of another family that was having some moderate behavioral problems with their 7-year old son.   They had sought professional care and advice from a doctor and were told that the boy needed to be placed on medication to control his behavior.  As the week went on, Lynita occasionally told me of more “acting-out” episodes that the boy’s mother had shared with her.

Thursday Afternoon
Thursday was the third day of my fast and during my prayer on this day, God began to reveal to me the purpose of my fast.  He was spiritually preparing me for something that would require me to be very strong in the spirit and weak in the flesh.  He showed me that I was fasting because of that little boy who was having problems.  The problems were not physical or psychological, but were spiritual. 

Thursday Evening
My wife was a new acquaintance of the mother of the boy and I personally had only experienced limited social interactions with the family.  So that evening at around 7:30 PM when God very clearly told me that He wanted me to go over to their house and pray over the boy and take authority over the demon that was tormenting him, my reaction was “You want me to do what??”  I thought “these people barely know me and you want me to call and ask them if I can come to their home and pray over their son to cast out a demon?”  Surely they would think I was some kind of nut case and hang up in my face.

Nevertheless, after much prompting and convicting from the Holy Spirit, I went and asked my wife for the home phone number of the mother of the boy.  I called her at about 8:00 PM and told her who I was and that I was being led by God to visit them and pray over their son.  To my surprise she responded that she thought it would be great and suggested we make an appointment for me to come over sometime that coming Saturday.  I said that would be okay, but in my mind I was thinking “I have been preparing for this since Tuesday morning and this will mean that I will have to continue to fast until we meet on Saturday.”  We agreed on Saturday and hung up the call.

Later that evening at around 9:00 PM, the mother of the boy called me back.  I could hear the sound of the boy yelling and screaming in the background. She told me that she had spoken with her husband and asked me if it were possible for me to come to their house right then on that very evening.  I felt relieved because I had been preparing for three days and was more than ready to go over and have this encounter.

Before leaving, I asked Lynita to help me as I made sure my spiritual weapon (the word of God) was ready.  We searched through the New Testament scriptures looking to refresh my memory with examples of where Jesus or the Apostles had cast out demons from possessed people.  We found several examples and I decided to focus on Acts 16:16 as my example.

The Confrontation
After I arrived at their house, the boy was initially calm and I was able to speak with him, engaging in friendly conversation.  I asked him if he loved Jesus and he said “yes.”  However, soon after this calm beginning when his parents and I started to pray over him, he became highly agitated, insisted that he wanted to run away and ran through the house closing himself off in his room.  This caused immediate concerns because in recent weeks he had threatened and attempted to run away on several occasions.  His episodes of acting out had included such things as attempting to get outside and run forcing someone to chase and physically restrain him.

His mom went into his bedroom to try to calm him down as his dad and I continued to pray outside in the hall.  What ensued that night was several hours of very intensive prayer with often times one or both parents physically restraining the boy.

After a time of this intensive combat and trying to keep this little boy from running through the house and hurting himself, I began to feel compassion for what he was going through.  Being led by the Holy Spirit in the midst of all the turmoil, I found myself starting to pray earnestly to God to release this boy from his torment.  I asked my Father to take what was in this boy and to place it in me so that he could have peace that night.

The boy’s father went and located a cross in their home and brought it and held it over the boy as we prayed.  This little boy, who had just hours ago tenderly told me that he loved Jesus, looked up at the cross and screamed out “Get that away from me, I hate Jesus!!”  As those words came from his mouth, the dad and I looked at each other and at that point knew clearly that the one who was speaking was not his little boy. 

We addressed the evil spirit, saying that it had just blown its cover and commanded it in the name of Jesus to leave this boy and to leave this house.  After a little time, the boy calmed down and returned to the behavior that his parents recognized as their little boy.  By now, it was getting late and I briefly discussed the events with his parents and talked about precautions they should take and some actions to purge from the house some things that might be inciting demonic activity.

Coming Back Home After Battle
I returned home that night at almost midnight and went directly into my closet. Still fully dressed, I got down on the floor on my face and continued to pray fervently throughout that night.  I prayed for God to continue to protect that little boy and to keep His protective hedge around that family’s home.  I also prayed for the protection of my own family and kids that nothing like I had just witnessed would ever afflict my little precious jewels.

At around 3:00 AM (Friday morning) the Holy Spirit prompted me to get up from the floor in my closet and go to take a shower.  After I finished taking my shower and was cleaned up, I went out to our bedroom where my wife was still awake.  Even though I had not stopped to tell her much when I came home, she told me that she had also been in the bed praying all of the time that I was in the closet.  She said that when I was in the shower, God had told her that I was spiritually cleansing myself, washing off that which had been stuck to me in my encounter earlier in the evening.

Of course after this experience, we as a family have never thought lightly again about the reality of the battle that is raging all around us in the spiritual realm.  Personally, it has helped me tremendously to understand the types and intensity of attacks that are levied against me as I have matured in my walk with God.

He who has an ear, let him hear.

 

 

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© 2007 Gerald L. Prater

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