Deliverance and maintaining lasting freedom from satanic oppression includes these essential ingredients.
Certain modern Bible interpreters believe that all this talk about demons and Satan and deliverance is nonsense. So they explain them away as mental illness, which means Jesus was just a man of his times and thought people were harassed by demons, but they actually just had a brain malfunction. While brain malfunctions happen, sometimes things go deeper than that. Use discernment.
Renewalists (Pentecostals, Charismatics, and Neo-Charismatics) believe that Satan and his horde of demons are real and can attack people. They believe in deliverance from Satan, even for believers. Many of them have seen it with their own eyes.
Yes, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that I had a satanic assignment against me. This happens when a demon or demons are specifically commissioned to harass a believer in a particular area. I got prophetic dreams that this was going on. I took steps to resist and overcome. I have been set free, and the main way is through growth in Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. I became Word-centered.
No, a demon cannot possess a Spirit-filled believer, but a demon may harass or attack him, particularly in his mind. A stronghold may grow (2 Cor. 10:3-6). Call it “demonize” (from the Greek daimonizomai). It can mean “to be possessed,” but also “to be harassed” or “to be attacked” without possession. If so, here is some counsel, below.
Further, an unbeliever can indeed be possessed. The following things definitely apply to him also.
This post is divided into four parts, and the smaller points are numbered for clarity and conciseness:
Preparing the one praying
After the deliverance
Note: These points within each section are not necessarily sequential; you may rearrange them as you need.
Preparing the one praying:
To introduce this section, you are about to pray for someone who is oppressed of the devil. Here is some biblical advice and a Scriptural foundation for you. Study these Scriptures. They can renew your own mind and encourage you as to who God is and whose you are (Christ’s).
1.. You speak from a position of victory. You stand by the cross that has defeated Satan (Col. 2:14-15), and you are seated in the heavenly places with Christ (Eph. 2:6; Col. 3:1).
2.. Live a life of purity, for purity brings power (Ps. 24:4; Matt. 5:8; Phil. 4:8; 1 Tim. 5:22; Titus 1:15).
3.. You are justified through faith in the blood of Christ (Rom. 3:25), so do not fear Satan’s strategies to mock and accuse you (Rev. 12:10-11). Satan has already been defeated. Now walk and talk like it.
4.. Pray in the Spirit (your prayer language) regularly for ministry of any kind (Eph. 5:18; Jude 20). This wonderful, God-given gift clears the way in the spiritual realm (1 Cor. 14:2, 16) and builds you up in your spirit (1 Cor. 14:4). If you got it, use it. Don’t let it fall into disuse by neglect. If you do not have it, seek God for it.
5.. Ask God to manifest discernings of spirits through you or someone else (1 Cor. 12:10).
Now deliverance begins
By way of introduction of this section, be Word-based in all you do. Jesus resisted Satan in his season of temptation by quoting Scripture (Matt. 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13). Also,
6.. In a church setting, do deliverance in private or in a small group setting. Satan likes attention and may manifest in a dramatic way. Don’t give attention to the evil spirit being. And there is no need to embarrass the oppressed person. A few TV preachers like to film themselves during these sacred moments, just to get the attention and bigger offerings. Bad.
7.. Lead him to be born again, if he is not already (John 3:3; Titus 3:5-6; 1 Peter 3:9). Often he can be delivered before he is born again because God takes pity on him. After he is delivered, teach him how to be born again.
8.. Command the evil spirit to go in Jesus’s name, like the dog that it is (Luke 4:36). Jesus’s name is powerful. It describes who he is and his character and exalted status—above every principality and power (Matt. 28:18; Eph. 1:20-23; Heb. 2:14; 1 John 3:8). You now speak in this name, as his ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:20).
9.. Command with Jesus’s authority (Matt. 8:16, 32; 17:18). “I command you to go, in Jesus’s name!” (Acts 16:18). Don’t beg the Father. “O thou God, if it be thy will, set him free, maybe.” No. You don’t beg a stray dog to go or ask the Father perhaps to make the dog leave. He has already given you the authority and power in his Son’s name (Luke 10:12). Command it, in his name.
Note! Pray in the Spirit while you are working out deliverance!
10.. If the demon does not leave, you may need to know its name, so you can identify it and have authority over it (Mark 5:9; Luke 8:30). The Spirit may reveal it to you. (The Holy Spirit told me a spirit of despair was attacking me; see no. 14, below.) If that doesn’t work, go to the next strategy.
11.. If the demon still won’t go, interview the oppressed person to find out when the oppression started. It probably came from abuse or unforgiveness or vices like drug addiction or the occult. The demon has a stronghold, even permission to hold on (Acts 19:17-20). An unsurrendered or unsubmitted life leaves the door open to Satan (Jas. 4:7). That’s why people outside the kingdom of God are attacked relentlessly.
Note! You may need to interview him at the beginning of the deliverance process. Ask him these questions: When did the attacks begin? Did something unusual happen to you? Did you dabble in the occult? What about drugs? What about abuse? Did someone put a curse on you? Do you have unforgiveness or bitterness?
12.. Ask the oppressed person to relinquish his bitterness or other vices and past actions. Like the occult. It’s called repentance, just like Simon had to repent (Acts 8:22). Often the power of God can instantly deliver him from these things, like drug addiction or the occult.
13.. At some time during his deliverance, the oppressed person must proclaim the Lordship of Jesus (1 Cor. 12:3). He is no longer his own lord, but Jesus is now his Lord. The victim has surrendered and submitted (Jas. 4:7).
14.. If the demon still won’t go, ask Jesus to show up on the scene to effect the deliverance (Rev. 12:10-11). He will. He may be invisible to us, but not to the demon or demons.
15.. Be flexible and expect the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart, as you lead the deliverance process. He often gives words of knowledge and wisdom and discerning of spirits, so the oppressed person’s specific needs can be met (1 Cor. 12:7-11).
To speak personally, the Spirit revealed to me that I was being attacked by a spirit of despair. When I rebuked it, it left, but it came back regularly because I did not follow the steps in the next section, particularly no. 19. No, despair is not always demon-caused, but sometimes it is. Discernment is needed. (The satanic assignment against me was bigger than this one evil spirit, but it was a small part of the big picture.)
In Christ, expect the gifts of 1 Cor. 12:7-11 to flow during this ministry with the oppressed!
This is called discipleship and sanctification or becoming more like Jesus. And this is done in a church. Invite him to yours.
16.. For the delivered person to maintain his freedom, he must be completely surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus and the long process of becoming like him (1 John 3:9: 5:1, 4, 18).
17.. As noted a few times already, a life submitted or surrendered to God is now able daily to resist the devil from coming back (Jas. 4:7; 1 Peter 5:6-9).
18.. Lead him to be filled or baptized in the fullness of the Spirit. It would be best if he received his prayer language, as well (Acts 2:4; Acts 10:45-46; Acts 19:6; 1 Cor. 14:15-16; Eph. 5:18; Jude 20).
19.. In his daily life, he must pray this verse over himself each day: “Taking up the shield of faith by which you shall be able to quench the fiery arrows of the evil one” (Eph. 6:16). I pray this verse over my life every day. It works!
20.. In other words, he should focus on building his faith, not rebuking the devil or bad thoughts every minute of the day. Satan likes attention, so the delivered person must not focus on him, but he should think on things above (Col. 3:1) and pure things (Phil. 4:8). Show him some verses on which to meditate, like the references in this third section. Scripture builds his faith and renews his mind. Then fierce satanic attacks will quickly disappear and will no longer have wide access to him.
You can rearrange these points as you need. Don’t turn them into a ritual. If you have no experience in deliverance, bring the oppressed person to a nearby Spirit-filled, charismatic church with prayer warriors who have the gift of discerning of spirits and who pray in the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:10).
All three main sections apply to Spirit-filled believers, but particularly the first and third sections must be absorbed into their lives. They should study those Scriptures and meditate on them.
They will boost their faith, so they can individually raise the shield of faith that quenches the fiery arrows of the devil. That’s the best strategy of all—faith and Scripture.
While you bring about deliverance, you should pray softly or loudly in the Spirit.