God wants us to pray without ceasing, but what do we pray about? And how do we pray correctly?
We often pray for what we see, instead of digging deeper and praying for the root of an issue. God wants us to dig deeper.
For instance, I was recently praying for someone to accomplish something that I knew they needed to do, but God showed me that I needed to pray for them to develop discipline because the lack of it was affecting many areas of their life. I would have prayed for the one area I saw, but God saw much more deeply than I did.
Another time I was praying for someone concerning some problem behavior that I saw, but God showed me that the root of their problem was self-rejection and that I needed to pray for them to know how much God loved them.
If you are unsure of the root problem or what to pray for in any particular situation, you may want to say to God:
“I love You, Lord, and I wait on You for direction in my prayers today.”
The Holy Spirit will lead us into amazing adventures in prayer if we will simply ask Him what to pray, wait for Him to answer.
A great article from SimplyHeavenlyFood about the demons and their influence on humans:
The Bible gives some examples of people possessed or influenced by demons. From these examples we can find some symptoms of demonic influence and gain insight as to how a demon possesses someone. Here are some of the biblical passages: Matthew 9:32-33; 12:22; 17:18; Mark 5:1-20; 7:26-30; Luke 4:33-36; Luke 22:3; Acts 16:16-18. In some of these passages, the demon possession causes physical ailments such as inability to speak, epileptic symptoms, blindness, etc. In other cases, it causes the individual to do evil, Judas being the main example. In Acts 16:16-18, the spirit apparently gives a slave girl some ability to know things beyond her own learning. The demon-possessed man of the Gadarenes, who was possessed by a multitude of demons (Legion), had superhuman strength and lived naked among the tombstones. King Saul, after rebelling against the LORD, was troubled by an evil spirit (1 Samuel 16:14-15; 18:10-11; 19:9-10) with the apparent effect of a depressed mood and an increased desire to kill David.
Thus, there is a wide variety of possible symptoms of demon possession, such as a physical impairment that cannot be attributed to an actual physiological problem, a personality change such as depression or aggression, supernatural strength, immodesty, antisocial behavior, and perhaps the ability to share information that one has no natural way of knowing. It is important to note that nearly all, if not all, of these characteristics may have other explanations, so it is important not to label every depressed person or epileptic individual as demon-possessed. On the other hand, western cultures probably do not take satanic involvement in people’s lives seriously enough.
In addition to these physical or emotional distinctions, one can also look at spiritual attributes showing demonic influence. These may include a refusal to forgive (2 Corinthians 2:10-11) and the belief in and spread of false doctrine, especially concerning Jesus Christ and His atoning work (2 Corinthians 11:3-4, 13-15; 1 Timothy 4:1-5; 1 John 4:1-3).
Concerning the involvement of demons in the lives of Christians, the apostle Peter is an illustration of the fact that a believer can be influenced by the devil (Matthew 16:23). Some refer to Christians who are under a strong demonic influence as being “demonized,” but never is there an example in Scripture of a believer in Christ being possessed by a demon. Most theologians believe that a Christian cannot be possessed because he has the Holy Spirit abiding within (2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5;1 Corinthians 6:19), and the Spirit of God would not share residence with a demon.
We are not told exactly how one opens himself up for possession. If Judas’ case is representative, he opened his heart to evil—in his case by his greed (John 12:6). So it may be possible that if one allows his heart to be ruled by some habitual sin, it becomes an invitation for a demon to enter. From missionaries’ experiences, demon possession also seems to be related to the worship of heathen idols and the possession of occult materials. Scripture repeatedly relates idol worship to the actual worship of demons (Leviticus 17:7; Deuteronomy 32:17; Psalm 106:37; 1 Corinthians 10:20), so it should not be surprising that involvement with idolatry could lead to demon possession.
Based on the above scriptural passages and some of the experiences of missionaries, we can conclude that many people open their lives up to demon involvement through the embracing of some sin or through cultic involvement (either knowingly or unknowingly). Examples may include immorality, drug/alcohol abuse that alters one’s state of consciousness, rebellion, bitterness, and transcendental meditation.
There is an additional consideration. Satan and his evil host can do nothing the Lord does not allow them to do (Job 1-2). This being the case, Satan, thinking he is accomplishing his own purposes, is actually accomplishing God’s good purposes, as in the case of Judas’ betrayal. Some people develop an unhealthy fascination with the occult and demonic activity. This is unwise and unbiblical. If we pursue God, if we are clothing ourselves with His armor and relying upon His strength (Ephesians 6:10-18), we have nothing to fear from the evil ones, for God rules over all! God bless you! <3
A great article from SimplyHeavenlyFood about the existence of demons:
Is there such a thing as ghosts? The answer to this question depends on what precisely is meant by the term “ghosts.” If the term means “spirit beings,” the answer is a qualified “yes.” If the term means “spirits of people who have died,” the answer is “no.” The Bible makes it abundantly clear that there are spirit beings, both good and evil. But the Bible negates the idea that the spirits of deceased human beings can remain on earth and “haunt” the living.
Hebrews 9:27 declares, “Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” That is what happens to a person’s soul-spirit after death—judgment. The result of this judgment is heaven for the believer (2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:23) and hell for the unbeliever (Matthew 25:46; Luke 16:22-24). There is no in-between. There is no possibility of remaining on earth in spirit form as a “ghost.” If there are such things as ghosts, according to the Bible, they absolutely cannot be the disembodied spirits of deceased human beings.
The Bible teaches very clearly that there are indeed spirit beings who can connect with and appear in our physical world. The Bible identifies these beings as angels and demons. Angels are spirit beings who are faithful in serving God. Angels are righteous, good, and holy. Demons are fallen angels, angels who rebelled against God. Demons are evil, deceptive, and destructive. According to 2 Corinthians 11:14-15, demons masquerade as “angels of light” and as “servants of righteousness.” Appearing as a “ghost” and impersonating a deceased human being definitely seem to be within the power and abilities that demons possess.
The closest biblical example of a “haunting” is found in Mark 5:1-20. A legion of demons possessed a man and used the man to haunt a graveyard. There were no ghosts involved. It was a case of a normal person being controlled by demons to terrorize the people of that area. Demons only seek to “kill, steal, and destroy” (John 10:10). They will do anything within their power to deceive people, to lead people away from God. This is very likely the explanation of “ghostly” activity today. Whether it is called a ghost, a ghoul, or a poltergeist, if there is genuine evil spiritual activity occurring, it is the work of demons.
What about instances in which “ghosts” act in “positive” ways? What about psychics who claim to summon the deceased and gain true and useful information from them? Again, it is crucial to remember that the goal of demons is to deceive. If the result is that people trust in a psychic instead of God, a demon will be more than willing to reveal true information. Even good and true information, if from a source with evil motives, can be used to mislead, corrupt, and destroy.
Interest in the paranormal is becoming increasingly common. There are individuals and businesses that claim to be “ghost-hunters,” who for a price will rid your home of ghosts. Psychics, séances, tarot cards, and mediums are increasingly considered normal. Human beings are innately aware of the spiritual world. Sadly, instead of seeking the truth about the spirit world by communing with God and studying His Word, many people allow themselves to be led astray by the spirit world. The demons surely laugh at the spiritual mass-deception that exists in the world today. God bless you! <3
“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? -Matthew 7:15-16
Often in our lives, we take action naturally and do little or nothing spiritually.
I struggle with this constantly. I get so focused on my control and what I can do about a difficult situation, that as a result, I don’t give it up to God like He asks us to. When I do this, I find that I end up struggling longer and harder than I would have if I would have just been patient and waited for God to direct me.
In these situations, we have to try and say to God:
“God, I am going to wait on You until You do something about this situation. In the meantime, I am going to be peaceful and enjoy my life while I wait on You.”
When we discipline ourselves to be still and wait on God, our strength builds exponentially. We may need that strength later, when He finally gives us direction. I like to think of this period of waiting as a preparation or “getting ready” period, where God trains us and readies us for what we have to face ahead.
In other words, in order to execute the will that God has for us, He may make us wait, build our strength, and fully prepare us, in order to better fulfill His plan.
Those who wait on the Lord hear His voice, receive answers, get direction, and gain strength to obey what He speaks to them. Don’t get me wrong; it’s difficult. But if we truly trust in Him, we know He will get us through. He always does!
If you lose peace when you do or say something, God is speaking to you. One of the ways He lets us know how He feels about what we are doing is by either giving peace as approval or withdrawing it as disapproval. Anytime we lose our peace, we must stop and be sensitive to what God is saying to us.
Peace serves as a compass in our hearts, pointing us in the right direction.
We must follow peace.
Many times, instead of turning to Him in prayer, we turn to other people, mistakenly thinking that telling them all about what happened will comfort us, but it doesn’t.
Talking about something that hurts us only stirs up the pain in our emotions and makes it more difficult to overcome. This is one of my personal struggles: I tend to do everything I can think of before turning to God, and nothing ever changes the situation.
One of the ways I try to ask for God’s help is by praying, “God, I need you to comfort me. I don’t want to feel like this. I don’t want to get bitter or develop resentment. I’ve experienced this same kind of pain before and I don’t want my day to be ruined by it. But I’m having trouble handling it and I have to have Your help.”
It’s important that we totally depend on God, and let Him know that we need Him more than anyone or anything.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. (PSALM 91:15)
Feel free, anytime.