“As we were on our way to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who was possessed by a spirit of divination [claiming to foretell future events and to discover hidden knowledge], and she brought her owners much gain by her fortunetelling. She kept following Paul and [the rest of] us, shouting loudly, These men are the servants of the Most High God! They announce to you the way of salvation! And she did this for many days. Then Paul, being sorely annoyed and worn out, turned and said to the spirit within her, I charge you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her! And it came out that very moment (Ac 16:16-18; AMP)
Recently I had to pray for some brethren who were attacked by evil spirits. Their lives were good in the natural. They were not sick. They had jobs and came to church. But they all had similar complains: they were anxious and experiences panic attacks; they felt a heavy load of care on their shoulders; they were depressed and tired; they were losing money. There was no good (visible) reason for all these complains.
I told them that a demon may be responsible and that they need deliverance. I told them that it is like a poisoned bag pack they carry daily. I prayed with them. I commanded the demons to manifest so that they see the enemy face to face. Then they said Amen! Nothing happened that moment. But after some days, one by one they came back with similar testimonies. For example, one said that in the night, he felt like something was strangulating him. He felt weak like fainting…but he suddenly jumped up and started praying in the Spirit. He said that it was ‘a battle unto death’. The war lasted about an hour. He called the name of Jesus again and again. Slowly the pressure on his neck went away. He felt the Holy Spirit giving him faith and courage to fight unto victory. Lastly, the ‘rope around his neck’ was cut off and he felt ‘the peace that passes all understanding’. He was free at last! What joy! You have to experience such freedom from occult bondage to understand how he felt!
The passage above teaches us great lessons about spiritual warfare. Paul was attacked by an evil spirit of divination who possessed a girl in the city of Philippi. Divination is the practice to predict the future, or to understand deep secrets by interpreting omens or by the help of evil spirits. Other words similar to it are foretelling or soothsaying. The people who practice all these activities are false prophets. Please note that the attack happened on his way to the place of prayer. The word ‘prayer’ also means going to church to do ministry, to serve or worship God.
This demon closely followed and monitored the believers. The girl was the contact point to the coven of witches in that area. The demon in her is called ‘a spirit of divination’. In Greek it is called ‘the spirit of Puthon’. This was the name of a famous shrine where men worshipped a deity in the form of a mighty snake, a python. The priest of that shrine insisted that he is an inspired prophet. He boasted that he can predict the future and that his deity brings material blessings on the worshippers. This slave girl and her masters were worshippers of that shrine.
What are the lessons for us?
The devil hates prayer. He will attack you if you decide to go to church, to pray or to worship God. The attack comes mostly thru religious spirits or false prophets. Their counsel will weaken your prayer life. These evil spirits promise you revelation knowledge and material blessings. Their source is the devil, the enemy of your soul. They may come thru human beings or they can attack directly. They will try to deceive you pretending that they are holy and friendly. Their intent is to wrap emotionally around you as a python kills its prey. Never give up on prayer! The reason the devil attacks it is because he knows there is power in prayer! So pray always! The Holy Spirit shall strengthen you and give you the victory! Don’t be sorry for the devil! Kill the python! Jesus is Lord!
In Christ I declare:
I am a child of God!
I am healed and delivered!
I reject all evil spirits, all spells and occult bondages in my life and my family!
The evil spirit of Python has lost its grip and power over my life, my marriage, my family, my ministry and my work!
The python is dead!
I plead the Blood of Jesus over my life, body soul and spirit!
Jesus is Lord over my life, marriage, family, ministry and work!
To the glory of God Almighty!
In Jesus name