IS THIS ILLNESS DEMONIC?
Too often our prayers are no more than a “to do” list of things we expect God to accomplish for us. Who are we to tell the creator of the universe what to do about various situations? Prayer is a powerful, wonderful tool – but we need to learn how to use it. Telling God what He should do to make our life easier and smoother is not the purpose of prayer. Yet often that is how we pray for ourselves and others.
Take illness for an example. Before praying for a sick person, ourselves or someone else, we should first pray and ask God to show us how to pray. Is there some sin God is trying to point out in the person’s life? Is God using it to mature their faith? Are they being used as a testimony of faith so someone watching them can come to Jesus? Does God want them to learn by experience how to help others who suffer? Just telling God to remove it may be what Satan wants, not what God wants. So, ask how to pray before praying. You should pray for wisdom from God as to how He wants you to pray. Should it be for healing, for deliverance, for grace to endure, for wisdom or for peace and greater trust in Him?
But what if the illness is demonic? If so, we should certainly pray against it. But how do we know if it is or isn’t? First of all, the Bible clearly says Satan can cause illness: crippled limbs (Luke 13:11), Paul’s thorn in the flesh (eye disease? – 2 Corinthians 12:7), muteness (sometimes dumbness, too (Matthew 9:32-33; 12:22; Mark 9:17-18,24-25), blindness (Matthew 12:22), seizures (Mark 1:26; 9:17-18,20,22,25; Matthew 17:15,18; Luke 9:39), deafness (Mark 9:17-18,20,25), sores (skin cancer?) (Job 2:7), boils and other painful afflictions (Psalm 78:49 – the plagues in Egypt were demon-caused), physical torments of all kinds (Revelation 9:5,10), painful illness (Job2:7-8), and even death (Job 1:19).
There are many times healing came when demons were cast out. Jesus did this at the start of His ministry (Matthew 4:23-24; 8:16; Mark 1:34; Luke 4:41), around Tyre and Sidon (Mark 3:10-12; Luke 6:18-19), and in the middle of His ministry (Luke 7:21). Many female followers of Jesus were cured of both (Luke 8:2). See also Mark 6:13; Acts 5:16; 8:7; 19:12.
However, not all illness is demonic. Jesus healed physical ills that weren’t demonic (Matthew 4:23-24; 8:16-17 fulfilled Isaiah 53:4; Mark 1:34; Acts 10:34; etc.). The Bible clearly talks about illnesses that are not demonic: severe pain (Matthew 4:24), seizures (Matthew 4:24), paralysis (Matthew 4:24; Acts 8:7), leprosy (Matthew 10:8), blindness (Luke 7:21), crippled limbs (Acts 8:7) and many other various diseases (Matthew 4:24). The fact that some physical ailments are on both lists (like seizures) shows many ailments may have demonic or natural causes. They could be from one source or the other. They could even be a combination of both.
Thus, it is obvious some, but not all illness is demonic. There are no certain illness’ that are exclusively demonic, nor others that aren’t. Any physical ill can be demonic, but it doesn’t seem any one physical illness is always demonic. In our day and age, we err by seeing too few illnesses as being demonic. Unfortunately, we often miss the cure. How can we tell if an illness or physical problem is demonic or not? Some clues to look for are: medical doctors aren’t able to bring relief or cure; there is a pattern of it running in the family; it seems strange or doesn’t follow the regular pattern of symptoms (comes and goes for no particular reason, etc.); or you feel in your spirit it should be prayed about and looked into as possibly being demonic.
If you feel the illness may be demonic, then the root cause should be exposed and removed. Sin in their life (or yours) should be confessed and removed, curses against them broken, and especially anything in their family line that would be an open door to ancestral openings be closed. Property should be dedicated to God, and any possessions that could give demons an opening prayed about. If God shows you to destroy it, do so quickly.
God allows these things for a purpose – our growth and His glory. Submit it to Him, trust Him, pray against anything demonic as well as pray for Him to heal if that is His will, but also pray for His grace to endure through it if healing isn’t His will. Submit it to Him for His glory.
Psalm 107:19-21 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
Psalm 103:2-4 Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
Are you suffering from an illness? Do you know someone who is? Take some time to ask God how He wants you to pray. Our prayers will never be answered if we pray outside His will.
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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