“This kind can come out only by prayer (and fasting).” (Matthew 17:21)
After the disciples were unable to deliver a child from a certain type of demon, they wondered what it would take. Jesus had stepped in and exercised the demon. In doing this He revealed two things. First, there are some demons of the Devil that are especially difficult to deal with. Second, only a life of devotion to continued prayer and focus on God (some manuscripts add fasting) will be able to stand up against such a demon and exercise it from a person. The point is that a life of prayer and devotion is what is required, not on the spot prayer. One must be able to stand on the solid ground of faith in Jesus when confronting such evil.
We are only to confront demons directly if we are called and empowered to do so. They are nothing to fool around with. On the other hand, as a follower of Jesus we can know that demons have no power over us – we need not fear them. Their temptations and powers are opposed by the Holy Spirit of God who resides within us. We are His and the Devil has no right to us as we trust Jesus as our Savior and Lord. At any time, when me might feel demons bothering us, we can invoke the name of Jesus and drive them away – “Be gone in the name of Jesus!” We can also pray the Lord to send His Holy Angels to put a hedge of protection around us. In fact, it is good for us each day to ask the Lord to send his Angels of protection as we begin a day and lay down to rest in the evening. It is also important to thank our God for getting us through the day and night safely.
Heavenly Father, our life so depends on You every moment of every day. The Devil with his demons seeks to turn us away from You and inhabit our lives for evil. Empower Your Spirit within us to block these demons and with Your Holy Angels drive them out. Give us the victory through Your Son, our Savior and Lord, Jesus. In His name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.