Here’s practical advice for dealing with evil spirits in your everyday life. One of the things we’re expected to do is overcome the evil one. John lists that as one of the main identifying characteristics of young adults in 1 John 2:14, “I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.” Yes, young women, I know of no reason why this doesn’t apply to you also—especially if you are a single mother. It’s talking to the protector of the family, the church, the workplace, the area, or country.
Notice it says “have overcome”, past tense, a done deal. Once you’re mature enough to stand on your own, you are expected to have the enemy overcome in your life. This would include dealing with temptations; spiritual assaults on your family; attacks through the educational system, the monetary system, the entertainment system, the media, the government, and any other part of satan’s system called “the world” in the New Testament.
As spirit-filled believers, we have absolute authority over the enemy—in Jesus’ name
Contrary to what we see in movies and fiction, our spiritual enemy has very little power—unless we allow it access and authority. “Resist the devil, and he will flee,” says Peter. We are no longer defenseless like we were before we were recreated. In Jesus, we have the authority to stop the enemy actions—in His name. This power and authority is a normal part of the abilities of a true believer in Jesus.
These huge, grotesque, nasty, drooling, stinking, whatever are figments of demented minds in sick writers and designers. You know, those idiots who like to be frightened. The enemy would like you to believe that nonsense. But even if you do see one of them, tell them to be gone, in the name of Jesus, and they’ll go—instantly. You don’t need to scream, shout, dance yourself about, flail, threaten, or anything like that. You can simply say, calmly, in control, with your normal voice, “I take authority over you, in the name of Jesus, break your hold on this person, and tell you to be gone.”
However, practical advice for dealing with evil spirits includes knowing the enemy—how sneaky and nasty he is
So, what are the practical steps for dealing with and overcoming the enemy? You may have absolute power over it, but never underestimate how clever, sneaky, nasty and ruthless they are. They are often not very bright, but they are very evil. They are legalistic, evil lawyer types, looking for loopholes and sneaky methods of causing trouble. “You didn’t tell me I couldn’t do this…”
A step-by-step procedure for dealing with the enemy
- First, get permission. We are not allowed to override the will of the person, or persons, we are praying for. Unlike the enemy, we never force ourselves on anyone. Tell them what you suspect and ask for permission to pray. Ask them if they want to be free of any demonic influence. Surprisingly, some will not. Drop it then. Your initial part of the battle becomes asking the Holy Spirit to help them become willing to be set free. Often, people are damaged enough to consider their bondage as a defining part of their person. They cannot imagine being free, and it might be a scary prospect for them.
Make sure they understand that they need to give Jesus permission to work in their life, and that they will need to be filled with the Holy Spirit to fill the places where the enemy was. Jesus told us about casting out a demon, and having it come back later with seven more to make the situation worse than it was in the beginning. The solution to that is to pray for the filling of the Holy Spirit. His presence will keep anything from coming back. Basically, they need to be saved and filled with the Spirit as soon as they are delivered.
- Second, have backup people praying for protection. You need prayer for wisdom. Prayer for protection of innocents on the edges of the situation. For example, if there’s a pregnant mother present, pray for the protection of her child. If there are pets, pray for their protection. It’s helpful to have someone covering your back. You do not want them praying with you. This might cause the person in distress to feel like you are ganging up on them. You want them praying for you and for the situation. They don’t even need to be in the room. However, if you’re a man praying for a woman, or vice versa, you need witnesses in this day and age for simple protection. You don’t want some nasty demon screaming “rape!” out of the mouth of the person you’re praying for. Remember, this is practical advice for dealing with evil spirits — it’s about covering all the bases.
- Third, identify its presence. Many situations will have you dealing with sin and other stupidity within the person you are praying for. You cannot cast out bad choices. There are many ways to tell what is really going on. But as I mentioned in my post on identifying the enemy, the best place to start is praying in tongues, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal what is going on. He knows.
Praying in tongues enables you to eliminate input from your soul and flesh. You want to hear from Almighty God. When you’re praying in tongues, you are talking directly to the Lord in a language the enemy cannot understand. You keep the enemy out of the loop, as it were. Pray in tongues until you’re confident that the Lord has shown you what the situation is. He can give you an interpretation or explanation in your mind while you’re praying in tongues.
Do not proceed until you have peace that He has shown you what needs to be done. He may tell you to get some physical and/or mental issues repaired first. You may be told to do that and then come back tomorrow, or in a few days, to do the actual deliverance. That’s uncommon, but possible. Keep loose. The Lord is creative and His solutions can seemingly be coming out of strange or unusual places or actions. Remember the prophet telling the Syrian general to bath in the Jordan. Try to be ready for anything He tells you to do.
- Fourth, pray for protection. Ask the Lord to protect children, relatives, friends, people in the building, pets, and whatever He leads you to pray for. You do not want the demon to leave and simply jump over to someone else or an animal in the room. If the Lord leads you to be specific, do that. Just cover the situation until you’re comfortable that you can safely proceed.
- Fifth, tell the demon [or demons] where to go and what to do, in the name of Jesus. Volume and intensity will probably not help you. It just makes everyone tense. A simple command, in the name of Jesus, will get the job done. You can have absolute confidence that the Lord will honor your prayer and do what is needed. This is practical advice for dealing with evil spirits — keep it simple and direct. Fancy words and lengthy prayers won’t increase the power. They’ll probably confuse the person you are praying for.
Do not talk with the enemy. He always lies. If it starts manifesting, tell it to stop, in the name of Jesus. You do not have to put up with screaming, puking, fits, or anything else. Tell it to behave. It will try to distract you and shake your faith. Tell it to shut up and behave—in the name of Jesus.
- Sixth, thank and praise the Lord for doing it. Often the person you’re praying for will feel a real release. Sometimes, they won’t feel a thing. Regardless, it worked. Get them praising the Lord and thanking Him for their deliverance. You did your part. He will do His part. You can count on it.
- Seventh, lead them in a prayer for salvation and pray for the filling of the Holy Spirit. This will seal the deal. It will get their mind off the enemy and what he was doing and onto the Lord and His deliverance. Get the person focused on Jesus and how much He loves this person, and what He has done for him, her, or them.
It’s all about faith in the power of the Lord
He is doing the work. You are the vessel being used to bring it about.
Daily Christian Living & Spiritual Warfare is the book I wrote expanding on this whole process.