Soul-Care Articles: Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Biblically-based, Clinically-sound, Truth-oriented

Posts tagged ‘spiritual forces’

Is It Spiritual Oppression or Just a Bad Day?

SOURCE:  Discipleship Journal/Tom Eisenman

Some days are ugly: Our attitude is in the pits, the boss is all over us, we can’t keep our minds on our work, the customers are rude. At home, the kids are out of control, and we snap at our spouses. In other words, it’s a bad—yet pretty ordinary—day. They happen.

Other times we’re confronted with what may be more than just a bad day. We may be under spiritual attack or oppression. How do we tell the difference? The following clues can help us to discern if spiritual forces may be at work in our circumstances.

Powerlessness. If you are suddenly unable to accomplish things you would normally be able to do easily, either in the natural world or the spiritual realm, this might indicate the presence of spiritual forces of evil.

Inner turmoil. Emotional turmoil or depression can also signal an attack. A key indicator that something might be spiritual oppression is hearing yourself saying, “This is just not like me.” Maybe your normal disposition leans toward optimistic and hopeful. But now you can’t seem to shake this sudden case of depression or these ongoing, nagging fears. Or perhaps you experience unusual jealousy so intense that you go into a rage about it. Sometimes you might start having horrible dreams and wake up every morning unsettled and troubled.

A time to be especially alert to your emotional state is just after intense ministry to others. When you’ve given yourself fully in something for the Lord, you will often be vulnerable to emotional attack or even intense temptation. Remember Elijah’s depression after facing off the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 19). Satan loves to steal or tarnish any victory.

Accusation. Spiritual attack may take the form of lies that others tell about you that have no basis in fact. You are completely innocent, yet a story of your complicity in something has sprung up, seemingly out of nowhere.

Doubt. If you become overwhelmed with doubts in areas where you’ve previously had certainty and assurance, this too could be an attack of the enemy. This is not healthy doubt, but dark stuff that threatens your faith. Don’t hesitate to gather believing friends to pray.

Another ploy of Satan is to attack your spiritual self-concept. You can live a life sold out for Christ, have discerning friends encouraging you because of the godly characteristics they see in you, and still wake up one morning believing that nothing you have ever done has amounted to anything.

Evil. At times you may sense evil in something or somebody. I have sensed the presence of evil in certain men and women and in certain places I’ve visited. In our polite society, we tend to disregard such intuitions. But I believe that we should pay special attention to those times when we sense the powers of darkness. These are times when we need to be very careful and very prayerful.

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Warfare Praying: THE ARMOR OF GOD

SOURCE:  The Adversary by Mark Bubeck , 74-77)

The following is an example of warfare praying given the reality of Satan, his kingdom of darkness, and the fallen angels (i.e., demons) who align with him.  While Jesus has defeated Satan (Col. 2:15; 1 John 3:8) and our primary focus is to be on the Lord Jesus Christ (Heb. 12:2), Satan still is a formidable foe of whom we must be aware and prepared for battle (1 Pet. :8-9).

Heavenly Father:

I desire to be obedient by being strong in the Lord and the power of Your might.  I see that this is Your will and purpose for me.  I recognize that it is essential to put on the armor that You have provided, and I do so now with gratitude and praise that You have provided all I need to stand in victory against Satan and his kingdom.  Grant me wisdom to discern the tactics and sneakiness of Satan’s strategy against me.  Enable me to wrestle in victory against the princes, powers, rulers, and wicked spirits who carry the battle of darkness against me.

I delight to take the armor You have provided and by faith to put it on as effective spiritual protection against the spiritual forces of darkness.

I confidently take the belt of truth that You offer me.  I take Him who is the truth as my strength and protection.  I reject Satan’s lies and deceiving ways to gain advantage against me.  Grant me discernment and wisdom to recognize the subtle deceiving ways in which Satan seeks to cause me to accept his lies as truth.  I desire to believe only the truth, to live the truth, to speak the truth, and to know the truth.  I worship and praise You that You lead me only in the ways of truth.  Thank You that Satan cannot stand against the bold use of truth.

Thank You for the breastplate of righteousness, which you offer me. I eagerly accept it and put it on as my protection.

Thank You for reminding me again that all of my righteousness comes from You. I embrace that righteousness which is mine by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is His righteousness that is mine through justification.   I reject and repudiate all trust in my own righteousness, which is as filthy rags.  I ask You to cleanse me of all the times I counted my own goodness as being acceptable before You. I bring the righteousness of my Lord directly against all of Satan’s workings against me.  I express my desire to walk in righteousness before God today.  By faith I appropriate the righteousness of Christ and invite Him to walk in His holiness in my life today that I might experience His righteousness in total context of ordinary living.  I count upon the righteousness of my Lord to be my protection.  I know that Satan must retreat from before the righteousness of God.

Thank You, Lord, for the sandals of peace You have provided.  I desire that my feet should stand on the solid rock of the peace that You have provided.  I claim the peace with God, which is mine through justification.  I desire the peace of God, which touches my emotions and feelings through prayer and sanctification (Phil 4:6).  Thank You that as I walk in obedience to You that the God of peace promises to walk with me (Phil 4:9), that as the God of peace You are putting Satan under my feet (Rom 16:20).  I will share this good news of peace with all others today that Your Spirit will bring into my life and witness. Thank You that You have not given me the spirit of fear but of love and power and a sound mind (2Ti 1:7).  Thank You that Satan cannot stand against Your peace.

Eagerly, Lord, I lift up the shield of faith against all the blazing missiles that Satan and his hosts fire at me. I recognize that You are my shield and that in Your incarnation and crucifixion You took the arrows of Satan, which I deserved.  By faith I count upon You to shield me from above and beneath; on my right and my left; in front of me and behind me, that I might be protected, walled in, encapsulated by You that Satan may gain no way to hurt or destroy me from fulfilling Your will today.  I am willing that any fiery darts of Satan You wish to touch me should do so, but I shall look upon them as refining fires permitted in Your providence for my refining and glory (1Pe 1).

Thank You, Lord, that You are a complete and perfect shield and that Satan cannot touch me apart from Your sovereign purpose.

I recognize that my mind is a particular target of Satan’s deceiving ways.  I take from You the helmet of salvation.  I cover my mind, my thoughts, with Your salvation.  I recognize that the Lord Jesus Christ is my salvation.  I helmet my head with Him.  I invite His mind to be in me.  Let me think His thoughts, feel His love and compassion, and discern His will and leading in all things.  Let my mind be occupied with the continuing, daily, saving work of my Lord in and through my life.  May the salvation of my Lord meet and defeat all Satanic thoughts that come to my mind.

With joy I take hold upon the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.  I affirm that Your Word is the trustworthy, infallible Word of God.  I choose to believe it and to live in its truth and power.  Grant me the love for Your Word, which comes from the Holy Spirit.  Forgive and cleanse me from the sin of neglecting Your Word.  Enable me to memorize it and to meditate upon its truth.  Grant me proficient recall and skill in using Your Word against all of Satan’s subtle attacks against me, even as my Lord Jesus Christ used the Word against Satan.  Enable me to use Your Word not only to defend me from Satan, but also to claim its promises and to wield the sword strong against Satan to defeat him, to push him back, to take away from him ground he claims, and to win great victories for my God through Your Word.  Thank You that Satan must retreat from Your Word applied against him.

Thank You, dear Lord, for prayer.  Help me to keep this armor well oiled with prayer.  I desire to pray at all times with depth and intensity as the Holy Spirit leads me.  I reject all fleshly praying as sin.  I trust the Holy Spirit to enable me, to intercede for me and through me.  Grant me great supplication and burden for others in God’s family of blood-washed saints.  Enable me to see their needs and to assist them through prayer as the enemy attacks them.  All of these petitions, intercessions, and words of praise I offer up before the true and living God in the name and worthy merit of my Lord Jesus Christ.   Amen.


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