Agape Christian Counselling, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
© George Hartwell M.Sc. 4/3/2006 all rights reserved
Invocation - the Importance of the Opening Prayer in Prayer Counselling
To invoke means to call by name. Christian worship services often begin with a prayer inviting God's presence at the time of worship. This is called "The Invocation." It is a prayer calling for the presence of God.
In the sprit, what you name is what you get. Name God and you invite God's presence. Name demons and you invite demons.
The danger of naming demons, addressing them and binding them in your opening prayers is that you have called demons into your presence. I do not want to do that so I never begin by naming evil, dark, demonic forces. I am concerned that even so-called 'binding' prayers can and do invoke and invite the presence of evil. Demons like any attention you give them!
The benefit of naming and inviting God in your opening prayers is that you have called upon the presence of God. Since this is the foundation of the rest of the counselling session I am careful to call upon God and to name the ways that we need God.
I might say: "God we offer this session to you and invite your guidance and protection as we meet. May your kingdom come here in this prayer counselling session. Send you Holy Spirit to be our guide and counsellor. Help us to listen to you and to one another, we pray in Jesus name. Amen."
Faithful men, such as Judson Cornwall, have been shocked to discover that demons enjoy the attention they get in such prayers. Given some wrong teaching on Matthew 18, it is an easy mistake to think you can name Satan and bind demons at the start of a session. Not so. You do reap the consequences that come from invoking Satan. Whom you focus upon and name in your prayers may well be who shows up. Be careful whom you invite.
When you read about Judson Cornwall's experience you will be surprised and shocked. He thought he was 'binding' demons. They were taking it as worship and called for more demons to come to the service. If you have been 'binding' Satan and the principalities of darkness, you will experience continuing and deepening oppression in your life. By giving Satan access to your life you may find the resources of heaven, God's provision, your finances being cut off. Continue "binding" Satan to you and you will find yourself 'enjoying' the presence of poverty, ill health and accidents in your life.
God will take care of the demons if we focus our attention, worship and prayers on God. Learn to be like Brother Lawrence and 'practice the presence of God.' Read: "The Practice of the Presence of God."
So ask to be hidden in Christ if you fear the presence of evil. Ask to be covered with the blood of Jesus - the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. Ask to be surrounded by God's presence as a mighty shield of protection. Ask and you will receive.
I may pray some of the following words:
"Father, we dedicate this counselling session to you.
"We ask the Your Spirit be here so that we can understand one another and listen for your still small voice.
"Guide and direct us in all that we say, do and pray.
"May we know the truth of Jesus that sets us free.
"Keep us hidden in Christ, covered with the blood of the Lamb and surrounded by Your presence so nothing can get through to hurt or harm us.
Note: The strict avoidance of binding prayer and the strategic avoidance of invoking the powers of darkness differentiates Life Transformation Therapy from some other recent developments in inner and emotional prayer counselling.
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