What About Deliverance?

by Judith MacNutt
2019 Vol. 03

For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
— 1 Corinthians 12:8–10

I believe that the reference to “gifts of healing” in verse 9 refers to all the various types of healing that the Holy Spirit performs. God saves us from sin and death which is a spiritual healing. He heals our wounded emotions, which we call inner healing, and He heals our bodies (physical healing). He also frees us from evil spirits, and this we call deliverance.

I believe that deliverance should always be included as a healing gift. Some people say they have a “ministry of deliverance,” which means they don’t necessarily understand the interconnectedness of all the types of healing. Humans are incredibly complex beings. Our emotions affect our body and our body affects our spirit. Over–arching all of these can be the need for generational healing. Occasionally a demonic influence may have been introduced in previous generations. For instance, a spirit of depression can come down through the family line. Once a spirit gets a foothold in the generations, it can stay there until it is identified and cast out. Many recurring patterns of behavior are not learned behavior, but are a result of demonic strongholds in the family line.

Anyone can be affected by demons. Demons can be assigned against you to disrupt your ministry, your family, your marriage, your possessions or your job. This battle may likely go largely unseen and unknown. Satan prefers to operate under the radar. He doesn’t want us to detect his presence in our lives. The gifts of the Holy Spirit (especially the gift of discernment) are incredibly important in order to recognize the work of the evil one, to resist him and to learn how to walk in freedom.

I believe that all Christians should receive a basic understanding of deliverance. All of us confront evil on some level in our lives. Because of this understanding, we teach each person to pray a daily “Prayer of Protection” for yourself and those you love. This prayer can be found on our website at www.christianhealingmin.org.

A common misconception is that if an evil spirit is at work in someone’s life, he or she must have done something wrong and therefore be at fault. That is not always true. John Wimber used to say that it is easy for people to get “slimed.” A person may experience the effects of generational strongholds or may have been traumatized in childhood, both of which opens doors to the evil one. These entry points are not sin and no fault of the person affected.

One misunderstood entry point to the evil one in a person’s life is occult involvement, either intentional or unintentional. The word “occult” means something secret or hidden. When you step into Satan’s territory, he then has an opening and you can easily become a target. For example, if you attended a seance (even if you didn’t take it seriously), or if you played with a Ouija board, or you went to a black mass just to observe it, you inadvertently stepped into his territory. I don’t want to say that occult activity always opens the door to demonic oppression, but it is a common way to invite it.

Another classification of evil spirits is what we call “spirits of sin.” One way spirits of sin get a foothold in us is through habitual sin. Jesus was tempted in every way, but without sin. We, on the other hand, can’t say that—we have all sinned. When we are tempted, we have a choice. We can give into that sin or we can reject it. Once we give into sin and we continue in a pattern of sin, it becomes a habit. As that habit continues, it can become a stronghold. Now we have two problems: we have the sin pattern that we can’t escape on our own, and we may have a demon that is influencing us as well. The Bible says we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. However, my experience is that very few people sin intentionally once they’re in the Kingdom of God. Most of us want to be above reproach, we want to obey the Father, we want to walk in holiness, grow and be transformed. What I am referring to is willful, rebellious, habitual sin: I know it’s wrong, but I’m going to do it anyway.

When praying for spirits of sin, repentance is very important. We first renounce the sin, repent and ask for God’s forgiveness. We then pray for inner healing for the wounds of that sin. Afterwards, we pray for physical healing of the brain and body. In the case of alcohol addiction, the liver may be damaged, or the brain can undergo chemical changes after a long–term addiction.

The most common types of spirits are “spirits of trauma.” The trauma a person experiences could be a one–time severe trauma or it could be something that happens over a long period of time. One type of trauma is “developmental trauma” − the absence of love, which can be equally as painful as overt types of trauma (sexual, physical, emotional, or verbal abuse). In these cases, there isn’t a need to renounce or repent, but most likely there is a need to forgive the one who traumatized us, or who didn’t love us, or who abandoned us.

If you pray for someone to cast out an oppressing or harassing evil spirit in their life, pray for the Holy Spirit to fill the person with the opposite blessing. For example, if it is a spirit of fear or terror, pray for the peace of Jesus Christ to come into their life. Let the person know they may face continued temptation or harassment. Tell them to stay away from sin and evil and try to receive as much personal support as possible. Encourage the person to attend church and receive communion as often as possible. Being in fellowship with other believers and having an accountability relationship with a trusted person is helpful. Deliverance is like deep surgery of the soul; you would not want to undergo a surgical operation and then not go back for additional follow–up care.

Satan is a defeated enemy; he was defeated at the cross by our Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us he knows his time is short (Revelation 12:12.) His goal is to pull the sons and daughters of God down with him — defeat them and take them out of fellowship with God and others. It is important to understand our freedom in Christ and our spiritual protection and authority in the Kingdom of God, as it relates to the kingdom of Satan. For more detailed instruction on this topic, please read Deliverance from Evil Spirits by Francis MacNutt.

Prayer of Protection

In the name of Jesus Christ and by the power of His Cross and His Blood, we bind up the power of any evil spirits and command them not to block our prayers. We bind up the powers of earth, air, water, fire, the netherworld and the satanic forces of nature. We break any curses, hexes or spells sent against us and declare them null and void. We break the assignments of any spirits sent against us and send them to Jesus to deal with them as He will. Lord, we ask you to bless our enemies by sending Your Holy Spirit to lead them to repentance and conversion. Furthermore, we bind all interaction and communication in the world of evil spirits as it affects us and our ministry. We ask for the protection of the shed blood of Jesus Christ over _____. Thank you, Lord, for Your protection and send Your angels, especially St. Michael, the Archangel, to help us in the battle. We ask You to guide us in our prayers; share with us Your Spirit’s power and compassion. Amen.

Judith MacNutt Judith MacNutt is a licensed psychotherapist, author, teacher, conference speaker, co–founder and president of CHM. 2019 Vol. 03