Demons and “Place”

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The demonic is real.

Some people have gifts in discerning such spiritual realities. I’m not one of them. Nevertheless, I have no doubt as to the existence, the influence, or the power of such beings and have had numerous experiences over the years where the demonic has manifested itself.

One such manifestation that we see in scripture and in reality is that demons can be attached to people, objects and places. Recently, I have been in situations where we took seriously the issue of “place.”

John and Deanna Hayes who lead InnerCHANGE, the order among the poor within CRM, have moved with their two girls to Tower Hamlets, a borough in the east end of London. The flat they are renting is part of “estate housing”—the British term for tenements—that house an amazing and wonderful cultural menagerie. Their immediate neighborhood is predominantly Bengali Muslim.

Along with John, Deanna, and the girls, Patty and I spent time praying through, and cleansing, their new digs. We went room by room, anointing each doorway with oil, commanding, in the name of Jesus, any residual spirits to be gone, and then asking the Spirit of God to fill each room with his presence, making it holy ground. We also prayed for the function of each room to be sanctified and empowered by the Spirit in every respect.

I would do this as a matter of course for any new home or lodging. I frequently do the same thing when I enter a hotel room for a night. Who knows what’s gone on in such a public place!? At least while I’m there, I would like it to be filled with the presence of God and be a safe island of rest.

While I may not necessarily see the overt results of such prayer, others may. A few years back, we were traveling and another couple stayed in our home. The wife has definite gifts of spiritual discernment but the husband doesn’t—he’s kind of thick like me. Nevertheless, both of them, apart from one another, had visions in the middle of the night of demons trying to scale the walls and parameters of the property but with no success. It was “protected” and holy ground.

I’ve also seen what happens when these realities are not taken seriously. For example, when CRM first sent people to serve and minister in Russia after the fall of communism in the early 90s, they stepped unprepared into a spiritually dark and profoundly oppressive setting. When demonic appertains began appearing overtly in their apartment, they thought they were loosing their minds.

While our rationalistic western world-view makes it hard to buy into such supernatural goings on, it’s very real. It’s unfortunate that sometimes this whole thing gets sensationalized and consequently dismissed. But we do so to our peril.

2 Responses to “Demons and “Place””

  1. Makeesha Says:

    absolutely. When I went to Israel the spiritual “component” was very heavy. Discernment is one of my gifts and I found it almost overwhelming to be there – esp. in Jerusalem.

    David told me that story about Russia. Siberia has been heavy on my heart ever since we knew that we’d be there some day.

  2. Greg Burch Says:

    Thanks for the insightful post. We will be praying over our house as well.

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