Reflections based on Pentecostal and Charismatic Pastoral and ministerial experience
Prayer and Deliverance ministry has been an area that has gained much attention in the contemporary ministry of the church in Africa. Two great powers are engaged in life-and-death struggle over human lives and their successes. Peter points out that your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). John, however, points out that the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil (I John 3:8).
Deliverance has to do with the aspect of salvation that involves freedom from the bondage of the enemy: devil, demonic spirits, covenants, curses and diseases and infirmities (Luke 10: 1, 8, 9, 17-20). Here, it is worth pointing out that every believer can have authority over the devil and demons. In the context of the Church, it can be said that although not all prayer warriors are part of the deliverance team of the church, yet every prayer warrior must be prepared to cast out demons, and thus be part of the deliverance ministry.
In view of the above understanding, this article looks at (a.) some general matters of concern about the deliverance ministry which include: who our enemies are – Satan and his demons, (b.) Qualities of deliverance team member and (c.) the processes of carrying out the deliverance ministry which may be discussed under three main areas as pre-prayer and deliverance meeting with the client, the actual prayer and deliverance session and the post-deliverance session.
A. General matters of concern about the prayer and deliverance ministry
1. Describing Satan and demons
Satan is said to be the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4). He was the prince of nations (Matthew 4:8, 9). He is the author of all our miseries and sorrows, of our diseases and pains, of death itself. He is the king and ruler of all demon spirits. His chief desire and design is to destroy human life and, therefore, to bring sorrow to the heart of God and God’s children. We can better understand who Satan is by the names given to him in the Bible. In the Bible, Satan is known as the Devil, the Accuser, the Adversary, the Dragon, the father of lies, the Tempter, the Prince of the Devils, the prince of the power of the air, the prince of this world and the corrupter of minds. Satan is not present everywhere.
Demons belong to Satan who is the ruler of the demons. Jesus speaks of them as “…the devil and his angels” (Matt 25:41). Thus demons are fallen angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode (Jude 6). Whereas some are imprisoned, some are free. Although demons do not have physical bodies, they have the following characteristics: demons talk (Mark 3:10); demons know their future (Matt. 8:29); demons resist surrender, they may call for reinforcements (Matt. 12); they recognize and obey those who have power over them.
2. Qualities of deliverance team member or a person exercising authority
i. Must be above reproach
ii. Must be full of faith and recognize his authority in Christ (Hebrews 11:6)
iii. Put on the whole armour of God (Ephesians 6:13-18)
iv. Use the word of command (Luke 4:32)
v. Have the anointing of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 10:27)
vi. Be flexible in Method
vii. Know when to use prayer and fasting
viii. Seek the Lord’s guidance
B. The Prayer and Deliverance Session
3. Preparing those needing deliverance: pre-prayer and deliverance meeting with the
Those seeking deliverance should be invited to attend teaching/counseling sessions to prepare them to receive their deliverance.
i. Study the background history of his problem as well as his family history
ii. Help clients to break off contacts with mediums (Lev. 19:31; Zach. 10:2)
iii. Help clients to remove and destroy charms/ talismans
iv. Have the person ask God for forgiveness
v. Have the person to renounce everything of sin and Satan
vi. Help the person receive the gift of salvation where necessary
4. Conducting the deliverance session: The actual prayer and deliverance session
In conducting the deliverance session the room or the location should be free from crowd especially if they are not Christians. Also, the place should be physically safe.
ii. Start with praise and worship
iii. Help the demonized to make declaration of faith
iv. Use the name of Jesus
v. Speak with authority
vi. Rebuke and command the demonic spirits to leave (Mark 9:25)
vii. Note some manifestations
– the person under the influence of the Holy spirit may fall in a trance state
– May have a an extreme strength
– May make some vocal strength
– May show some active or passive resistance; some of these may be used as an attempt by the devil to discourage you
– May put up some violent actions
– May put up some bad odours
– May put up some characters that look like the character of animals that represents the kind of spirit controlling them. For instance, signs of snake, lion, and scorpion may be put up.
5. Follow up after deliverance: the post deliverance meeting
i. Help the client to understand the believers’ authority
ii. Help the client to affirm his/her deliverance
iii. Encourage the client to live holy life
iv. Additional contact sessions may be needed.
It can be said that as you engage in spiritual warfare, you are continuing in the good works of Jesus Christ. The Bible says that, Jesus came to destroy the works of the Devil. It is therefore necessary to seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit in order to daily fulfill this sacred task. It is worth emphasizing that as a spiritual exercise, prayer and deliverance require continuous practices for the skills to be developed.
By Rev. John Kwasi Fosu