February 11OVERPOWERING THE CAPTORS Matthew 12:29How can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? A prime target for our authoritative prayer is the “strong man” mentioned in Matthew 12:29. Jesus was saying that you cannot rescue people from the bonds of spiritual blindness or demonic influence unless you first overpower their captors. Satan’s power is already broken, but he will not let go of anything he thinks he can keep until we exercise the authority delegated to us by the Lord Jesus Christ. When we pray we are not trying to persuade God to join us in our service for Him; prayer is the activity of joining God in His ministry. By faith we lay hold of the property in Satan’s clutches which rightfully belongs to God, and we hold on until Satan turns loose. He will hold on to these people until we demand their release on the basis of our authority in Christ. Once Satan is bound through prayer, he must let go. Understanding the spiritual nature of our world should have a profound effect on our evangelistic strategy. All too often we proclaim the virtues of Christianity to unbelievers like someone standing outside a prison compound proclaiming to the inmates the virtues of the outside world. But unless someone overpowers the prison guards and opens the gates, how can the prisoners experience the freedom we’re telling them about? We must learn to bind the strong man before we will be able to rescue his prisoners. Prayer: In the name and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, I command Satan to release those loved ones in my family who are blinded to the truth and whose thoughts are raised up against the knowledge of God and to return them from enemy territory.
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