[Risk No. 19] Invite someone over for dinner that you don’t normally invite. Treat them to a great meal, not McDonald’s.
[Risk No. 935] We began the night of worship by praying over those in line as they walked into the United Pursuit show in San Jose, Costa Rica. Joani and I stayed outside talking for a bit as UP began leading worship. We heard the obvious cry of a young child not far from us and noticed his parents pushing a stroller in circles. Not thinking too much of it, we stretched out our hands toward the child and began praying. Right about that time our friend Sam came out and said “Oh, are you guys praying for the boy? Do you want to come pray with me over him, we think it’s a demonic thing.” I wasn’t sure what to think at that statement. We introduced ourselves to the parents and I asked if the boy (who was three) was teething. “No.” He had been like this since about midnight the night prior. There’s no way for me to describe what he was doing other than FREAKING out. I’ve never seen anything like it and have been a dad for quite some time now. My first thought was that if we don’t see breakthrough in prayer, these parents need to call 911. This is one of those times I wish a camera had been nearby. It was that intense.
I asked the parents, as crazy as the suggestion was, if I could try holding the baby. They were happy to hand him off, and there I held him, swaying to the deafening noise of screaming baby and soothing rhythm of United Pursuit. I prayed over him and swung him while he screamed his best and dug his mouth/teeth into my shoulder. Surprisingly, he did calm down some though not nearly enough. At some point during me holding this child, I began crying.
Here I was, in San Jose, Costa Rica, holding a broken child who represented so clearly to me – in that moment – all the brokenness in the world. I wept with God’s heart of compassion. Sam had told me that prior to coming to Jesus, this couple had lived a crazy life. While praying over the couple, they discovered the chid’s grandmother was a practicing witch and did not approve of their coming to Jesus. They prayed for what must have been 10 or more minutes while I rocked screaming child. As soon as they were done praying for the parents, I felt an authority come over me. I clearly (and with confidence) knew what had to be done. I began rebuking specific demonic names as the Holy Spirit gave insight. Spirit of idolatry, witchcraft, sexual immorality, etc. Each name I rebuked would cause the little boy to cough – as though he was expelling the invisible. Six or seven names came to me, and every-time, he coughed. I asked the Holy Spirit if we were done, and within seconds, a powerful peace came over the boy and he stopped screaming; entirely. I handed him, quiet as ever, to a grateful mother.
It had been a fight, but once again, Jesus prevailed. Thank You, Jesus, that no power of darkness is any comparison to Your love. Seems unfair that the devil would attack even a helpless child. This story ought to remind us that he doesn’t care. He only comes to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus came that we might have life, and abundantly.