Sunday, May 15, 2011

After church, I received a phone call. A friend was asking for a favor – of course I could not refuse. He asked if I would come pray with his younger sister who was 7 months pregnant and experiencing some spiritual warfare. Little did I know how serious this warfare had been. I headed to his home immediately and was met by the scene of his sister sitting in the yard crying. My heart squeezed with sympathy as I listened to her story and watched her tears fall.

Her name is Oliva. She is 20 years old. Her boyfriend got her pregnant last November and has since not provided any support. It is a pretty bad situation. She has been living with her mother in the village for the past few months and has been experiencing what she believes to be demonic attacks. Last night she couldn’t sleep at all. She drifted off to sleep early in the evening and then shortly thereafter she awoke to the sound and sight of “ghosts” in her room over her bed. She tried to scream, but couldn’t. Oliva thought she heard her boyfriend’s voice through the “ghosts” and she became terrified. She woke her mother up and they prayed and read the Scriptures until Oliva felt better. She then went back to sleep only to be woken again by the “ghosts” who seemed to be trying to grab her arms and hands and pick her up. She stayed awake the rest of the night terrified, and then came to see her brother as soon as she could the next morning.

As I listened to her share the events of the past hours, weeks, and months I could feel the fear. Fear so strong and possessive it was consuming her every thought. Fear. Cold-blooded fear. Fear for so many things, but there in the midst of it all was such fear for her life. And when we fear for our lives, serious spiritual warfare is at stake. The enemy wants us to live in a constant state of fear…and I saw this fear written all over her face.
I just wanted to pray. The sense of urgency to pray over this precious girl nearly overwhelmed me and I just moved to my knees. I had been seated next to her listening and holding her hand, but I knew I had to kneel directly in front of her and lift her up to Jesus. I placed one hand on her head and one on the swollen abdomen carrying her God-given child and began to speak words of peace and victory over her: peace over her mind, soul, body, and heart. Peace over her emotions and thoughts. Peace over the situation surrounding this pregnancy and birth. Victory over sin and over the past…victory over fear and bondage. Her tears began to subside and her breathing became easier as the Holy Spirit filled our midst.

After praying, I knew I needed to do more. This precious sister in Christ needed help…and perhaps God meant for that help to come through me.
I turned to her and asked, “Would you like to come stay at my house for a while?” I could tell that she immediately wanted to say yes, but something was holding her back.
She timidly asked, “Do you have two Bibles at your house? I have to have two Bibles to sleep with – one at my head and one at my feet. Because of all these spirits and attacks, I do that at night. I can’t come if you don’t have them.”
I smiled as I said, “Yes, of course we do. And you may sleep with them as long as you like.”
Later on that night, we would discuss the need of reading the Word out loud and speaking Truth over the situation, as well as the Holy Spirit’s power, God’s protection, and angels watching over God’s children, but for now she needed the reassurance of those two Bibles next to her while she slept.

As we readied for bed that night, we had placed Oliva’s mattress by the window.
Huge mistake. Oliva saw it and became so frightened. Almost panicked, she said that she was afraid of sleeping next to the window because of the spirits – they like windows and they torture her more there.
I sighed as I felt such sympathy for this young terrified sister in Christ. I said a silent prayer as we quickly changed her sleeping arrangements. I knew we had a long road of teaching, learning, healing, praying, and recovery in front of us. God reminded me of His faithfulness and complete capability in this situation – He had brought Oliva to me…and He would equip me for the task.
The light would also remain on that night. The fear was just so strong in her. I prayed for wisdom for every word I spoke to her. I left her alone in the room for about 30 minutes, then came back to check on her.
She was awake…and reading my Bible. I asked if she was feeling any better. She said that she was still very scared. She was thumbing through Psalms reading the “headings” for each Psalm in search for ones that talked of victory, life, and protection. I knelt down, crawled under her mosquito net to sit beside her on the bed, and asked if I could read to her. She laid her head down on the bed, sighed, and said, “Yes, if you would.”
She handed me the Bible. It was open to Psalms 91.
I began reading.

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”

Olivia closed her eyes as the words washed over her.

“You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow the flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.”

Chills ran down my spine.

“I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him My salvation.”

As we finished the chapter, Olivia opened her eyes, smiled, and said, “As soon as you started reading, the baby began kicking and moving. Then when you stopped, he went still.”

No nightmares that night.
No ghosts.
No demons.

Peace.
Sleep.
Rest.

PRAISE be to the Lord Almighty.

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