This is an interesting body of information that I encountered years ago from Derek Prince, the Oxford scholar and celebrated deliverance minister.
Derek talked about the difference between works of the flesh and works of the spirit. It is a mistake to think that the soulish realm does not exert a form of psychic energy that has power to influence people. Note that Paul lists “witchcraft” as a work of the flesh. “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, WITCHCRAFT…” (Galatians 5:19-21).
Why is “witchcraft” listed as a work of the flesh? The root of witchcraft is the carnal desire to dominate, manipulate, intimidate, and control. It shouldn’t be a surprise that those who operate in a spirit of control are completely convinced of what they believe God wants to do. They do not walk with an awareness of how to judge their own flesh. When they pray, preach, or prophesy, there is an element of manipulation that flows out of them. People are praying, but they’re praying in a manipulative way rather than praying in the Holy Ghost. These works are “soulish” and under the right circumstances they converge with a counterfeit spirit that makes people think it is the Spirit of God! This becomes a very strange influence indeed, called “religious witchcraft.”
- How does this spirit operate? Do you ever wonder what the connection is between Muslim fasting and prayer and the works of Jihad that manifest so intensely during those cycles of time? Or to bring matters closer to home, what happens when you have a number of people that are praying together, joining hands in agreement about what they are convinced God wants to do—but their intention doesn’t at all reflect God’s heart or vision? You can expect that those prayers, thoughts, and agreements go somewhere. I think that these prayers empower demonic attacks that show up in the form of psychic prayers, or you could say, mental bindings. Something comes over you that stifles your freedom and hijacks your joy. Suddenly you have lost all sense of spiritual connection and a whole host of alien thoughts and desires try to take root. When that happens, it might be necessary for you to stop and ask “Where is this coming from?” Realize that everyone has plans for your life—but not everyone truly knows what God wants to do in your life in this season.
- How does this relate to the season we are in? We are living in a time when we must activate Psalm 91 over our lives, families, and businesses. The blessing of God covers ALL of life, not just the parts we view as spiritual. The political division in the nation is evidence that fragmentation is increasing in nations and in culture, but as this occurs, God's people are called to walk in another realm. This is the focus of our 7m Summit in Dallas, September 9-11.
- How can I stay protected? This is one reason why we pray without ceasing. The Bible tells us to “Keep yourself in the love of God” (Jude 1:21). This is possible because of the power of the blood of Jesus. You simply have to declare, “Father, I apply the blood of Jesus now to my mind and to my heart. Show me if there’s anything You need me to deal with, or any forgiveness issues that are in my life. I repent for partnering with a spirit of control, whether consciously or unconsciously. I ask You for Your peace and I ask You for Your empowerment. In Jesus’ name.” Pray and pause. The stronghold you wrestle with could be rooted in the soulish, manipulative prayers of others—but this prayer will break it!
Question: What are some areas of your life that need set free from this manipulation? Conversely, have you allowed this controlling spirit to operate through you? Comment below to join the discussion—and check out 7mSummit.com!
P.S. Pray for “discerning of spirits” more than ever before!