(Every year I spend 3 to 5 weeks in India leading pastors’ conferences and ministering to people and churches. I teach about spiritual warfare, which is very real in India, as this blog shows. Prayers for my ministry there would be greatly appreciated. For more information see India.ChristianTrainingOnline.org) Spiritual Warfare in India 3
With coming to such a dark place as India, especially northern India, I wondered if I would get involved in spiritual warfare in any way. Personally there are many battles for my own protection and much spiritual warfare praying in that way, but would I minister to anyone else in that way? Last night I got my answer – in a very dramatic way.
After 3 intense days of meeting together in a very confined area I have felt extremely bonded to these people. Only one knows English but their love and devotion is very real. They respond enthusiastically to my teaching and magic (7 messages, 9 hours of teaching in 3 days). Tears flow when they praise the Lord. They have loved me and I love them greatly. We have become one large and strange family in Jesus.
One of the ways this is best expressed, and one of my favorite parts of ministering in India, is their practice of coming to the pastor after the service and asking to have hands laid on them and to be prayed for. Sometimes there are specific ailments they want to be healed from and other times it is for a blessing in general. They especially seek the white-skinned American pastor who has come so far to speak to them, so I do a lot of that after church and love every minute. I feel God leading me in what to pray for each one. I know He blesses those I bless in His name. And I pray for healing in a more powerful way than at home for there is no medical help available for them. If God doesn’t heal them they suffer and die. I’ve prayed for many eye and ear ailments, pregnancies, kidney stones, cancer, AIDS, a broken back (I prayed for him on the phone) and many suffer from great head pains.
I noticed one young lady that would ask for a blessing. When I touched her she started shaking and could hardly stand. I figured it was a Pentecostal thing, for there was a young lady who sometimes fell down during the services, writhed on the floor and screamed at the top of her lungs. Everyone moved out of her way and ignored her. The pastor, who uses my camera and takes more pictures with it than I do, took several pictures of her. I thought it was someone being ‘slain in the spirit’ or something. I have been rebuking anything that wasn’t from Jesus that was working there, but more than that left all the other stuff for God to sort through.
Last night everyone there wanted a blessing (250 of them) so I went very quickly through them one by one. When I got to the girl the same thing happened. So this time, despite all the other people crowded around me waiting, I asked the girl to look me in the eye by pointing her head toward me an opening her eyelid. Immediately I saw evil and hate deeply entrenched in her. Immediately she screamed a very shrill, very high and extremely loud scream. She tried to pull away from me but I wouldn’t let her. The battle was on!
If there is one things God has given me in spiritual warfare it’s a great dislike for demons and their intimidation. A strong righteous indignation rises up inside me to see something like this. So for about an hour we battled. (Actually the pastor took some pictures so I can show you some when I get home!). Everyone backed away but I didn’t let go of her. She kept trying to choke herself so I grabbed her hands. By the time I was done my arms and shoulders ached more than after a workout at the gym. She was really strong. She kept pulling away and soon was writhing on the flood. I grabbed her head as she was banging it on the concrete.
Her mother and another pastor grabbed one had each. Evidently they are gifted in spiritual warfare and it was great to work as a team, something I haven’t done in that way before. I have no idea what they were praying but they were both there supporting me in the battle and that was greatly appreciated.
Every time she would get free I would touch her again to regain contact with the demon. She would let out a terrible scream as if my touch brought great pain. And when I forced a look in her eyes it was even worse. No matter what I said or did the demon would not stop tormenting her. She was obviously in terrible pain and kept writhing all over. I sat by her head and held it to protect her. I just could make no progress, though. I did everything I could think of. I could gather no information since my interpreter pastor was gone.
The experience reminded me of the woman last year that barks in church who I prayed for. I asked about her last Sunday for I was at the same church and they said she still barks, but doesn’t come to church as regularly any more. That can be annoying, but this is totally destructive. I guess if local pastors aren’t able to minister deliverance I shouldn’t be surprised if I face the same opposition.
She kept trying to hold her ears as I spoke so she wouldn’t hear me. She closed her eyes and turned her head. I knew the demon was aware what we were doing because of the way he fought back and resisted. I wondered if he tried to claim to not understand English so I prayed about that. He certainly heard the others there praying, too. The people just stood around watching, so I finally got them to understand they should sing and they did.
Evidently the hold this demon or demons have is great. As I prayed I really sensed the battle going on. I kept thinking, though, that it must be difficult for angels to come carry out the commands. India is covered with darkness. You can feel it everywhere. Idolatry is rampant. There are 4 Muslims and 32 Hindus for each Christian. The rulers over India have a strong, solid hold. I could understand god’s angels having a real battle trying to get here and battle what was in her. Daniel talks about this when he prayed and I thought of that.
The battle would fade and I’d make her look me in the eye and we’d start again. Finally the others wanted to leave and they wanted me to finish blessing the others so I quickly did that and then got back to the girl again.
Finally my interpreter returned and I was able to piece some information together. As it turned out she was the same girl who fell and screamed during the service. When it was over, or mostly over, I was able to find my interpreter who was gone for all of this and piece things together. Her name is Rani (pronounced ‘Rrr-Annie’). She was to be married this year but 8 months ago someone put a curse on her through witchcraft and she has been this way since. It used to be when she came to church the demon would not enter but would leave her and wait outside to reenter her when she left, but now he never leaves. Her marriage has been put off. Her mother is one of the leading women in the church, as fine and godly a woman as I have met. Her husband is so sick he can’t do anything so the family is in her care. Her older son no longer wants anything to do with the church. Yet this woman is one of the leaders in the church and worships the Lord with all her heart. Many pastors have prayed for her, have prayed and fasted, but she gets worse.
We prayed some more but the whole thing just came to a stop. I was able to break the curse and quote scripture, but I have no idea how much got through. She was totally exhausted, as were we. God just said, ‘that’s enough’ and we were all done. Her eyes became normal and she was very grateful (she remembers it all) and humble before me. I don’t know if we achieved some measure of victory (hopefully total victory) or if it was ended out of mercy to Rani. It could have gone on all night but we can’t quit. It was very late when I finally left, though, and I leave early this morning for Pune and the train.
What a farewell experience that was to a group of very special believers that I have nothing in common with but really have everything in common with. Pray for Rani and pray for her mother. Demons cannot make a mockery of God’s authority and power right in a church. This poor girl must be set free. (Friday, July 13, 2007)
Matthew 17:14-16 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water.
What times come to mind when your prayers weren’t answered? How do you handle it when it doesn’t seem God answers? What might be some reasons? How has that affected your present prayers?
(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/. My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available for free.)