(Photo above by me. This is Leroy, our outdoor wild cat we feed)
I want to speak to something today that has been on my mind for the past 2-20 years. Yes, that long! Even in my now distant youth, the following issue is something that always struck me as not right. There is a certain learned behavior that is predominant in the charismatic world. Many, many well-meaning Christians are spending a lot of prayer time talking to Satan. Yes, prayer time. Many of them likely do not even think about what they are doing, and if some of them did, it would not matter to them, as this tends to be a standard practice in the charismatic world. Christians are bowing to pray to God, then talking to Satan.
I just wanted to lovingly admonish those of you who have been caught up in talking to the devil while you are talking to God. This is not Biblical behavior, or doctrine. When we pray to God, this is not the time to talk to Satan. Following is an example I just drew up. It may come out like this when you do pray:
“Father, I just thank you for taking care of my needs, and that you love me, and died for me. Now Satan, I just bind you and command you to loose your hold on my finances! You must obey me, you lousy devil! I just cast you off of my life and I command you to be bound up with chains! Now Father, I just thank you again for favor in my life. Now Satan, I already told you I bound you, so you must flee! Now Father, I love you……wait a minute Lord….ok…Satan..get out of my life!! Thank you Jesus for all the victories you give me. I bind you again Satan. Thank you Lord! Amen”.
OK, so I exaggerated the common Charismatic prayer just a little, but not by too much. Sometimes absurdity is a great way to illustrate a point. I am not trying to be inflammatory in my example. Aside from the fact that binding demons is not the proper interpretation of Matt. 18:18, I want to make another completely different point on this. (we will get to the frequently misinterpreted “binding and loosing” teaching in a very soon coming blog) What I want to point out here is that we all need to keep our prayers between us and God, and not bring Satan into the conversation. No place in scripture does Jesus or an apostle start praying to God, then switch over and start talking to Satan, then back to God. Wait a minute, who are you praying to anyway? Even if you believe in the practice of binding demons, why do it during prayer? This is completely foreign to biblical example and teaching. Let’s now look at the Lord’s prayer, just as an example of the model prayer.
Our Father, which art in heaven
Hallowed by The Name
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive them who trespass against us
and lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil
for thine is the kingdom,the power, and the glory,
forever and ever
This prayer is not a mantra to be prayed in vain repetition, but it is a guideline to how we should pray. That being said, can you spot the part of that prayer where Jesus starts talking to Satan or the demons? Well of course not, because it’s not there. (I admit I was tempted to put it in there, to make a further point) When Jesus prayed, he always spoke to the Father. He did not go back and forth between the Father and Satan. We should certainly take our example from that! Further, let us consider the apostles. How often were they recorded in the Bible talking to Satan while talking to God? None. Zero. Never. If Jesus didn’t do it, and the apostles didn’t do it, then why do so many Christians do it? Answer: They have been taught to, wrongfully. Some were taught by instruction, and some have been taught through example of others. I think the latter reason applies to most who practice this. They see it, then they do it. I think we are all guilty of copy-cat behavior in some way or another.
You can look at every prayer ever recorded in the Bible, and nobody ever spoke to Satan while in prayer to God. So if you practice this, you may want to reconsider. How do you think the Father feels when you meet with Him to pray, and start talking to His enemy? As usual, I am simply pointing out scriptural truths that are easily applied to our lives. There is much false teaching in the land, and we have to fully examine everything we are being taught, or are picking up from others. We are reminded time and again in the Scriptures to test and verify everything. (think of the Bereans in Acts 17:11) Again, if you insist on practicing the binding of demons, at least consider not doing it while in prayer to our Father in heaven. Perhaps you can set aside another time for it.
I do want to emphasize again that neither Jesus nor any apostle was ever recorded as saying “I bind you Satan”. If this were a valid practice, surely we would see some examples of it in scripture. Many even believe we can bind demons via email. Two years ago, a church member from my last church had some pretty heavy doctrinal discussions with me via email. In one of his last emails to me, he actually tried to bind some demons he believed I must have (since I do not believe his way). I believe he typed out “I just bind the spirit of unbelief”. If this were a valid practice, then I think surely the apostle Paul would have been binding a LOT of demons in his epistles to the Corinthian church! The church of Corinth was a big carnal, sinful mess. They had no shortage of spiritual gifts, but were corrupted, sinful, and carnal at the same time. ( I Cor 1:7, and 3:1) So I would think that if we could bind demons via email, or in Paul’s case, via written epistle, then Paul would have been binding demons left and right, verse by verse! Even with regard to verbally binding a demon, it is never once recorded in the Bible. Not once.
The holy scriptures set our examples, and we really must stay within those bounds, or else we get caught up into all kinds of spiritual mess. Those of us who choose to stick to only scriptural practices are often accused of having a “religious spirit”. We are accused of “putting God in a box”. I could easily turn the tables on a Pentecostal, and tell them that they are boxing God in by assuming God always has to do things their way. (many of which are totally unscriptural) And if I have a “religious spirit” because I stick to what the Holy Bible has spoken to us and laid out for us, then call me religious all you want. I can take it.
I hope this blog has been helpful to you today, and brought some clarity on some things. Now let’s keep the faith. The faith once for all delivered unto the saints. Amen
*to hear a less than two minute long clip on the binding of Satan, and how it has sadly turned into “prayer” in today’s churches, click and listen this this clip.