Expert Answer Forum
Prayer and fasting QUESTION from Linda October 14, 1998 I need good spiritual advice. I have a family member who is estranged from us. I fear he is being used by the devil in a plot to break up our family. I was at a charismatic prayer meeting and felt God called me to this mission, as it were, to somehow deliver this person. I love him very much. I have searched Scripture for answers. I keep thinking about how Jesus said some demons are only bound by prayer and fasting. Help me to know what to do! I have been praying for months now, and when I see a ray of light, it seems there is a sudden closure of the door that could heal us all again. Please give me direction. Any books that could help? Thank you for the time you give me. Also, God bless your ministry. I fear my parish priest thinks me crazy! I think God led me to your forum. My heart is truly burdened with this. ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius on October 17, 1998
Please know that we are praying for you and praying for this family member.
Your question, however, is outside the realm of what can be handled in a public Q & A Forum. If you email me privately, I might be able to help a little more than I can here (firstname.lastname@example.org).
But generally, trying to deliver another person from demonic bondage is not something we can do in a direct way. As it is with other matters of personal behavior and choice, if the person does not want helped, then there is little we can do to help directly. Any help must be indirect through prayer.
I had a person once call me wanting help. She said that evil spirits were hurting her. I asked her to tell her story. She said that she was contacting spirits of the dead and had friends on the other side. But when she was contacting her friends these unfriendly spirits would come through the gateway and attack her.
I asked her two questions:
1) Are you a Christian?
2) Are you willing to give up contacting these dead spirits and give up ALL occultic activity.
The answer to both questions was no.
I explained to her that she could be rid of these evil spirits but that only Jesus Christ could do that for her. If she was not willing to give her life over to Jesus, there was little I could do.
I also explained that the dead spirits, even the friendly ones, if real and not a product of her imagination, were demonic and NOT her friends, and that she MUST give up all such activity.
She was unwilling to do either. So, I said, Well, I will pray for you, but their is little else I can do if you are not willing to do what is necessary to be delivered from this affliction.
When the person with the problem is a family member, this fact I just illustrated, is a HARD thing to accept. Because we love the person we want to reach out and FIX them; but we can't.
The person must be willing to accept responsibility for their actions and behavior and be willing to receive some help.
BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN WE CAN DO NOTHING.
We can do what Hosea in the Bible did.
God told Hosea to go marry a prostitute (this was an image of how Isreal was prostituting herself). So Hosea married Gomer, a prostitute.
But although Gomer had children by Hosea, she did not stop her prostitution.
In Chapter 2, verses 5-7 we have a clue of how to handle a person who insists on being away from the Lord in the depths of their sin. Remember that we each have free will and we can freely choose sin. When someone is in such a state, like that of Gomer, we can pray a hedge prayer asking God to place a hedge around the person that they may not find satisfaction until they repent.
Here are the Bible verses (Hosea 2:5-7):
For their mother has played the harlot; she that conceived them has acted shamefully. For she said, I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.
Therefore I (this is God talking) will hedge up her way with thorns; and I will build a wall against her, so that she cannot find her paths. She shall pursue her lovers, but not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them. Then she shall say, I will go and return to my first husband, for it was better with me then than now.
In other words, God shut all doors on Gomer whenever she tried to go through the doors of her lovers. The only door left open for her was the door back to her husband.
We can pray and ask God to do this with our loved ones -- to place a hedge around them, a wall, closed doors, that no matter how much they pursue sinfulness, they will not find satisfaction until they return home to the loving arms of Christ.
I would suggest that you pray such prayers for your loved one.
I do not have the pre-prepared prayers online yet, but we do plan on publishing on our WebSite come generic prayers than may be useful for people in these sorts of situations.
A word of warning. DO NOT, under ANY circumstances attempt to deal with ANY demonic entities directly. This is DANGEROUS and the Church has specifically forbidden this -- even to a priests outside of a solemn exorcism. ONLY in a Bishop approved solemn exorcism can a priest directly confront demonic forces.
But we do not need to make any such direct confrontations. We can ask God to do that, by asking him to do things like placing a hedge around the person, praying the short St. Michael prayer, praying the Rosary for the intention of your loved one's deliverance. And there are other generic prayers for specific situations that we can use (we will post those online soon).
I hoped this has helped you somewhat. If you need more specific information tailored to the specific situation you are in, please email me privately.
God Bless you.
St Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the other evil spirits who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
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