Christian Evangelism, Healing, and Teaching Resources


How to Cast Afflicting Spirits Out of Your Life


We live in a war zone on planet earth, and whether we know it or not we are all involved in an ongoing spiritual battle. Demons are real, and they can afflict us mentally, physically, emotionally, and so on. For proof, I invite you to read my article called An Introduction to Spiritual Warfare.

The article you are reading now will help you fight back against the enemy and show you how to cast out demons which might be afflicting you or your family. I cannot guarantee what kind of results you will have, but by following this self-deliverance procedure you will be taking strong steps toward gaining victory over the enemy. Many people (myself included) have gained instant victory over areas of sin or areas of physical affliction through this type of self-deliverance, but there may be times when people will need further deliverance counseling (if the problems are spiritual in nature). My prayer is that this article will bless you and help you to get out from under any demonic oppression that may be coming against you or your family, and that the Lord will be glorified as a result!

The Spiritual Effects of Past Sins

Becoming a Christian removes the penalty of your past sins, but it does not necessarily remove the effects of your past sins. For example, if your body was damaged in some way by drugs or alcohol before you became a Christian, you probably weren't instantly healed the moment you got saved. You might still have some of the effects of your past sins to deal with. In a similar way, if you have taken part in occult practices or other demonic activities then you may have opened yourself up to the possibility of being afflicted by demonic spirits.

Christian counselors with decades of experience in dealing with demonic afflictions report that when the Holy Spirit enters a person's heart at the moment of salvation, this does not necessarily cause any demons to stop afflicting the person. By sinning we give demons "legal rights" over areas of our lives, and some of these demons may still be around even after the Holy Spirit comes to dwell inside us. Consider for example that the devil "accuses [us] before our God day and night" (Revelation 12:10), which means that God allows the presence of the devil in His Throneroom (see also Job 1:6 and 2:1 where the devil presented himself before the Lord). In other words, God allowed an evil spirit into His presence, and therefore we can't dogmatically say that the Holy Spirit will never allow any demons near Him in or around a Christian. Also, if we say that the Holy Spirit absolutely cannot or will not dwell in the presence of evil then we are forgetting that He dwells within the heart of our sinful, evil, corrupt, fallen flesh. This idea that Christians can be afflicted by demons may be difficult for many people to accept, so let me simply refer you to the spiritual warfare section of your local Christian bookstore for further study. An excellent resource is The Handbook for Spiritual Warfare by Dr. Ed Murphy (see chapters 53 to 56, for example). You can also find the Scriptural proof of this in my article called An Introduction to Spiritual Warfare.

Those who are afflicted by demons are usually not aware that their problems are spiritual in nature. This means that you or I might be suffering from demonic affliction or oppression without even knowing it. We might be suffering from physical infirmities, emotional problems, problems with recurring sin in our life, problems dealing with things such as anger, lust, pornography, homosexuality, and so on, all of which can have a demonic origin. For example, there was a woman in Luke 13:10-16 who was bent over for 18 years and could not straighten up (which we might diagnose as a form of scoliosis today), and Jesus said that her physical infirmity was caused by an afflicting spirit. When Jesus cast the evil spirit out, her physical infirmity immediately disappeared and she was able to stand up straight. Scripture also speaks of lying spirits (1 Kings 22:23), a spirit of dizziness (Isaiah 19:14), a spirit of prostitution (Hosea 5:4), a deaf and mute spirit (Mark 9:25), a spirit of fear (Romans 8:15), a spirit of stupor (Romans 11:8), a spirit of timidity (2 Timothy 1:7), a spirit of falsehood (1 John 4:6), and so on. These are possible examples of afflicting spirits, and there are many other ways in which evil spirits can afflict people.

Please understand that I am not speaking of demon possession, I am talking about demonic affliction. Demons do not "possess" anything, especially human beings, because possession means ownership and they do not own anything or anyone. The English word "possessed" is not the best translation from the original Greek, but unfortunately this is the term that has been used in many versions of the Bible. A better word is "demonized," which covers the range from mild afflictions to partial control of the person by evil spirits. If the area of spiritual warfare is new or unfamiliar to you, I invite you to read my article on spiritual warfare which I mentioned above.

Beliefs and Practices Which May Need to Be Renounced

Even though you have been forgiven of your sins, it is a good idea to renounce any past involvement in things which might have opened the door to demonic activity in your life. The following list (compiled from the experiences of Christian counselors) is not meant to be complete or all-inclusive, it is simply meant to get you thinking about the activities that you have been involved in. Some of the things on this list are obviously denounced in Scripture (such as satanism), but other things on this list may have had no harmful effect on you.

However, experienced deliverance counselors say that most of the things on this list have caused some people to become demonized at one time or another, so we would be wise not to take them lightly. When we do some of these things "just for fun" (such as going to a palm reader or a fortune teller), when we cast spells and hexes "just for fun" while playing fantasy games such as Dungeons and Dragons or Pokemon, when we listen to certain songs and consider them to be harmless, etc., we are entering dangerous territory. Demons don't care if we were just kidding or "just having fun." If we invoke their language or dabble in their realm then they may become active in our life. Consider a prisoner of war who says, "I was just joking around, having some fun. I didn't mean for you to capture me!" That's what it is like when we naively play games or listen to songs which are associated with the demonic realm, no matter how "harmless" these things may seem to us. The point of this list is simply to give you some things to consider, and I'll leave it between you and God whether you feel that you should renounce any of these or other activities:
involvement or belief in other religions or cults, Transcendental Meditation, the occult (including such things as Ouija boards, Tarot cards, crystal balls, palm reading, fortune telling, horoscopes, astrology, clairvoyance, and other aspects of ESP), spiritism, satanism, participating in seances, fantasy games such as Dungeons and Dragons or Pokemon, the "Magic" or "Myst" types of card games, demonically-oriented video games, demonically-oriented song lyrics (even when the music may seem "tame"), hypnotism, fraternal organizations such as freemasonry, witchcraft (both "good" and "bad"), Wicca, trance channeling, belief in reincarnation, out-of-body experiences, past life experiences, pornography, sexual sins, and so on.
According to those who have decades of experience in spiritual warfare, these types of things might have opened doors in your life, giving demons legal rights to afflict you in certain ways. These things should be renounced as you feel directed by the Holy Spirit to do so (which I'll cover in a moment).

Another area which can open the door to demonic affliction is anything having to do with foreign gods and idols. If you own any artwork that has occult symbols or pictures of pagan gods or goddesses on them, be aware that these may be more dangerous than you realize. Idols are associated with demons in Scripture, and the Israelites in the Old Testament were told over and over to smash and completely destroy all sacred images and idols from other cultures. Notice carefully what God's attitude is toward any artwork or objects associated with pagan beliefs:
"Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'When you cross the Jordan into Canaan, drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. Destroy all their carved images and their cast idols, and demolish all their high places.'" (Numbers 33:51-53)

"This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols in the fire." (Deuteronomy 7:5)

"Destroy completely all the places on the high mountains and on the hills and under every spreading tree where the nations you are dispossessing worship their gods. Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places." (Deuteronomy 12:2-3)

"They made him jealous with their foreign gods and angered him with their detestable idols. They sacrificed to demons, which are not God" (Deuteronomy 32:16-17)

"They worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them. They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons." (Psalm 106:36-37)

"Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons." (1 Corinthians 10:18-20)
We can clearly see in these passages that there are demons behind pagan idols and gods. When people sacrificed to the gods they were sacrificing to demons (see 1 Corinthians 10:18-20 above), and God commanded the Israelites to completely destroy all objects and artwork associated with these foreign gods. This was an act of spiritual warfare against the demonic realm, and we would be wise to destroy and get rid of any objects in our homes which are associated with the things in the list above. This simple act of destroying such objects and renouncing the spirits attached to them and dedicating the home and family to the Lord has brought freedom to families which were afflicted with strife in the home or afflicted with a string of "accidents" or illnesses, and so on. Unfortunately, modern Christians tend to be very naive when it comes to the spiritual realm, and we place ourselves in potential danger when we associate ourselves with anything having to do with pagan gods, goddesses, idols, vows, oaths, curses, etc.

For example, if you have been involved in a fraternity in which you made any kinds of vows that invoked the names of Greek gods, these oaths should be renounced. If you are a medical doctor, you should consider renouncing any parts of the Hippocratic Oath Offsite Link which invoked the names of Greek gods. Modern medical schools sometimes use a modified Hippocratic Oath, so you should closely examine the particular oath you took. The traditional oath often begins in this way:
"I swear by Apollo the Physician and Asclepius and Hygieia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfil according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant."
and it ends by having the physician pronounce a curse against himself:
"If I fulfil this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honored with fame among all men for all time to come; if I transgress it and swear falsely, may the opposite of all this be my lot."
A Christian should never swear by any pagan gods or goddesses nor pronounce any types of curses, and if you have done so (even if it was before you became a Christian) then these oaths should be renounced. I hope that by now you can see how such an oath would be viewed by God (based on the Scripture passages above) and how it might allow the possibility of the entrance of demons into your life in some way, even though you are not likely to be aware of their presence.

Requirements for Deliverance from Demonic Affliction

Dr. Ed Murphy, whose book I mentioned earlier, is an internationally-recognized teacher and trainer in front-line spiritual warfare (delivering people from demonic affliction) and he has over 30 years of experience in this area. He offers the following requirements for deliverance (p.96):

  1. The assurance that you are saved through a personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. For help in this area, I invite you to see my article called How to Be Certain That You Will Go to Heaven.
  2. Humbling yourself before the Lord, being completely honest and open with Him.
  3. Confessing and renouncing sins that may have come down through your family line. Experience has shown that when parents or other ancestors are involved in satanism, the occult, freemasonry, etc., they can become demonized. Some of these demons may then attach themselves to the children. Therefore any known or suspected sins in our generational lines should be confessed and renounced. See for example Exodus 20:5, Nehemiah 1:4-9, Psalms 79:8, Isaiah 65:6-7, Jeremiah 3:24-25, 32:18, Lamentations 5:7, Daniel 9:7-21.
  4. Confessing and renouncing the sins that you know you have committed. It is important to be as open and honest as possible when examining our lives for sin, whether it involves things we have done or attitudes we have harbored such as bitterness, unforgiveness, pride, selfishness, self-centered ambition, jealousy, envy, lust, love of money, love of the world and worldly things, etc. We must confess all such sins to God in true repentance and humility, breaking with these things and refusing to continue in these sins.
  5. Choosing by an act of your will to forgive all those who have rejected you, offended you, or hurt you in some way. This is an act of faith and obedience, your emotions or feelings have no bearing on the matter. Notice that Jesus said that our heavenly Father will not forgive our sins if we are not willing to forgive others when they sin against us!
    "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." (Matthew 6:14-15)
  6. Asking God to forgive those who have hurt you in any way, to redeem them and to cleanse them. By an act of faith, desire their salvation and their spiritual well-being. Again, your feelings have no bearing on the matter.
  7. Committing your life totally and completely to the absolute Lordship of Jesus Christ. Remember, the word "Lord" means "Master" or "Owner."
  8. Speaking out against the devil and his demons, making the declaration that they no longer have any place in your life (which I will cover in a moment). This includes declaring that their grounds for legal access to your life have been removed because your sins have been confessed, renounced, and forgiven.
This type of spiritual warfare is something that is often ignored in evangelism, which is one reason why many Christians do not have victory in certain areas of their lives. People who have done this type of self-deliverance have discovered that problems which they have struggled with for years (such as physical pains or afflictions, recurring sexual fantasies, and so on) have suddenly disappeared. They now have victory in areas of their lives which they previously could not overcome. If you follow this self-deliverance procedure it is likely that you won't immediately feel or notice anything happening. Just as afflicting demons enter our lives without our being aware of it, they tend to leave without our noticing it as well. You may never know that they were there and that they have gone, but later you may realize that you no longer have that pain or you are no longer experiencing those sinful fantasies or desires.

Keep in mind that the devil and his demons are defeated foes. Our Master has defeated them and they know it. In fact, when demons come into manifestation and they are confronted with this truth by a child of God, they admit that our Master has defeated their master, that all Christians have authority over them, and that they are bound for the lake of fire for all eternity. This is why their main strategies are ignorance, deception, and fear. They know that they are already defeated, but they don't want us to know.

A Prayer for Renouncing the Effects of Past Sins and a Command Against any Spirits Which Have Attached Themselves to Your Life

When you are ready to renounce all unGodly beliefs or practices in which you have been involved, here is a prayer for taking back all of the ground you may have given to the devil. Notice that we only pray to God, we never pray to the devil or his fallen angels. Instead we take authority over demonic spirits in the powerful Name of Jesus and we command them to leave us. Say the following out loud:
"Heavenly Father, I know that the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross for all my sins and that He rose again from the dead to assure my salvation. I belong to You, I am Your child, and I desire to live in a way that is pleasing to You. If I have believed or taken part in anything which is contrary to Your will or is in any way displeasing to You, I am truly sorry and I ask You to forgive me in the Name of Jesus. I now confess all of the sins which gave legal ground to the devil, and I repent of them and plead the blood of Jesus over them all: [now tell God the things you can recall, being as specific as possible (names, places, etc.)]. I now renounce these things in the Name of Jesus, and by my will I put them all under His precious blood. I forgive everyone who has hurt me just as I desire You to forgive me. I now thank You for forgiving and cleansing me by the blood of Your Son.

"Father, I confess to You the sins of my parents, my grandparents, my great-grandparents, and other ancestors. I don't know what they may have done, but You know. They may have been involved in the occult, they may have rebelled against You and hated You, they may have even dedicated their family line to evil powers. Father, in Jesus' Name I now break any demonic transference that has come down through my family line. I confess the sins of my family, and I ask You to forgive me and my family line for what has happened, and I ask in Jesus' Name that any demonic transference be broken in my line. In the Name of Jesus I take back any and all ground which I or my ancestors gave to the devil, and in the Name and authority of Jesus I now cancel all assignments against me and break all bindings of the sins of past generations.

"In the powerful Name and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ: satan and all your hosts, I renounce you and all your works. I take my authority in Jesus Christ and by His Name I command you to leave me now, and do not ever return! By the authority I have in Christ I command every demonic power attached to or assigned against me or my wife or my children or my grandchildren to leave us right now. I have confessed my sins and the sins that have come down through my family line. We are no longer responsible for their sins. Get out of my life, get out of my wife's life, get out of my children's lives, and get out of my grandchildren's lives. In Jesus' Name I bind all spirits which have attached themselves to our lives, in Jesus' Name I break your authority, in Jesus' Name I cancel all your assignments, and in Jesus' Name I come against you and command you to leave us and to go where Jesus and His angels send you.

"Dear Father, if anything has been cast out, please fill the empty space with Your Holy Spirit. Lord, walk through my past, cleansing and healing anything which has given demons access to any areas of my life. I apply the cross and blood and resurrection life to anything in my past which is an open door for demons to afflict or oppress me. Wash these things clean in the blood of Jesus, cleansing them and healing them. I pray this in the precious and mighty Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen."
By renouncing your past sins which may have given demons the "legal right" to come into your life, you have taken strong steps toward being completely set free to live an abundant life in Christ.

If the devil or his fallen angels try to attack your faith, your health, your finances, or any other areas of your life, simply command them with authority in the Name of Jesus to get out of your life and never return, just as you did a moment ago.

May the Lord bless you, and may you live an abundant and victorious life in Christ, my dear brother or sister!
  Modification History  

  • 05/23/2001 - Modified some of the wording.