The young man was already in tears by the time the pastor’s prayer was over. Since he was going through alot of things, the pastor asked the congregation to step up and pray for him, and so they did – some three quarters of the congregation. He took some annoting oil and began to pray loudly and quickly. It sounded like wailing really. I heard the phrases “pleading the blood of Jesus” and “he who is saved by the Lord is free indeed” both interspersed with hallelujahs and amens, yeses and Lords. Each of the dozen or so people praying for the young man were praying differently. I could hear some grunting, presumably from the young man, but a microphone can only pick up so much. After several minutes the noise subsided as the pastor directed the young men to saying “hallelujah” and “Jesus loves me”. They called it a spiritual battle. One thing was for sure, I had never seen anything like it. I hope the kid’s okay, it turns out that he’s related to me.
The sort of churches that I’d attended all my life were the places that never said but always implied that religion was between a man and God and the sort of thing you keep quiet in public. Nobody ever told me what a spiritual battle was supposed to look like or if the ‘spiritual battle’ I had just seen was the sort we were supposed to fight. I couldn’t ever really imagine what the accounts in the Bible of Jesus casting out demons or healing people. Were they always so dramatic?
Awhile ago, on a special on television for Halloween, there was an account of a nun who was possessed. She believed that a minister had invited the trouble upon her and the rest of the convent who were also possessed. Then that pastor was caught and tortured – ran through the usual tests to prove whether or not he was a witch or agent of the devil. When they weren’t satisfied, they tricked up and got the “evidence” they were hoping for. Then they executed him. As for the sisters, it took years for them to be freed of their possessions. I was concerned until I realized something. Jesus said that anybody who was freed from possession ran the risk of getting repossessed if there was nothing there to stop them. The possessed nuns must not have been true believers, after all, they were responsible for the death of an apparently innocent man. Now the whole story took place in the thirteen hundreds, a time when people were more apt to believe in that sort of thing. So now I wonder, does today’s general unbelief of such phenomenon leave us in the free in clear or leave us open to danger?
All I really know is that if you resist the Devil he will flee. Jesus did that by reciting scripture and sticking to it. What do you know of spiritual battles?