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imprecatory commands revisited QUESTION from Betsy W August 7, 2000 Hello, and thank you for your invaluable help. I stumbled across your answer referring to imprecatory commands quite by accident. From the time I was a child (born in the 50's) I was told if I felt an evilness near me that I could say get away or words to that effect. As an adult the words I have used are closer to In the name of Jesus Christ I order any evil spirit away from me, my house, my family. Other times simply In the name of Jesus Christ, all evil spirits get away... I always felt safer and immediately more secure. I am not in anyway referring to using this regarding possession of people or things, but rather a sense of uncomfortableness. Since reading your answer two days ago, however, I have stopped saying that for fear of disobedience re imprecatory commands, but am feeling rather uncomfortable now that I lack that protection. I used to use this interjection very very rarely, but have found myself saying it more often the last few months. (A note about myself, I am a revert Catholic, returning after years of lukewarm indifference. In my reading of Catholic sites on the web, I occasionally read of evil spirits, Saints visions etc, which sometimes spark this feeling. I have always avoided things to do with the occult, especially in modern media. Unfortunately these days there is so much evil abounding it's not always easy to avoid.)
I have three questions for you please:
1. Is this an imprecatory command?
2. If it is, is there a short non-imprecatory prayer you could suggest for me?
3. Is this sense of the willies/fear I feel a sign of lack of faith or a normal response to evil?
I found your spiritual warfare prayers and have saved them.
Thank you for your time and assistance.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on October 18, 2000 Dear Mrs. W:
Thanks for your question, and please excuse the long delay in answering.
You don't have to worry about using imprecatory commands when you didn't know any better. God understands.
Now that you have become aware of this issue, editing your prayers can be simple. For example:
Your prayer: In the name of Jesus Christ I order any evil spirit away from me, my house, my family.
Just change that to: In the name of Jesus Christ, Father in heaven I ask you to order any evil spirit away from me, my house, my family.
Your prayer: In the name of Jesus Christ, all evil spirits get away...
Just change to: In the name of Jesus Christ, Father I ask you to cast away all evil spirits...
As you can see, instead if saying I, say, Father will you
Instead of I rebuke... say Father please rebuke...
Instead of I cast you demons away from me say Father please cast these demons away from me.
In other words, don't talk to the demons directly. Ask the Father to do whatever it is you need to have done.
As far as this sense of willies we have to remember that often times we psych ourselves out. But it can also be a response to the presence of evil in the room. I'd have to know a lot more information to be able to offer an opinion about a specific incident.
But, if we feel sufficiently convinced that it is possible that it is the presence of evil, even if we do not know for sure, it doesn't hurt to pray to be on the safe side. Just remember to pray asking God to take care of it rather then you doing it directly.
And by the way, there is nothing wrong with a prayer like this. This is what I call the IF PRAYER (to be on the safe side):
Father in heaven, I am not sure whether there is something evil here or not. Maybe I am scaring myself. But IF THERE IS SOMETHING EVIL HERE, please cast it away from me. God Bless
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