The prayer that terrifies demons

    

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke 8:26-39

When a man or woman or child falls into the life of sin they find themselves inching closer to the demons and further from the Master of Creation. This is the case no matter how small or insignificant the sins may seem to us at the time because sin is a rebellion against God our creator. Sin is a delusion and also a form of permission. We are permitting the unholy and rejecting the holy in our lives.

In some relatively rare cases, this life of sin becomes so much a part of the individual that they find themselves completely enslaved by a new master. This master is harsh and cruel to his subjects. He trades their homes and offers them tombs. He takes their right mind and their will and he manipulates them until they are left with nothing as their own…not even the very clothes on their back! He gives them slavery instead of freedom. He even trades them life for death!

We see this in today’s gospel reading as the man who was possessed by demons is actually naked and lives not in a normal house but among the dead in the tombs. It is in fact a fitting place for him because his relationship with sin has made him friends with the demons and estranged him from God who is the life-giver. When God is pushed out of our lives, we begin to take on the characteristics of death. We have seen this happening in our own society. While the cases of true demon possession are fairly rare, it should be noted that by many accounts, these cases are rising at a staggering rate. It makes sense. As we become a less godly nation, as people become less Christian, we find ourselves more at risk.

We see something interesting happen as the demoniac encounters Our Lord Jesus Christ. He cries out and falls to the ground. The man who was strong enough to break free of chains and to escape from his guards became like a little screaming toddler before the Lord of glory. He cried out “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.” Amazing! What had the Lord done to cause the demon possessed man to react in such a way, to fall to the ground and cry out and beg? Nothing. It was simply the presence of Jesus that caused horror and torment to the man. This falls very much in line with our understanding of the afterlife and the presence of God. His presence is experienced as warmth, light and joy to those who struggle during their lives for holiness and the love of God and neighbor. But for those who reject the principles of the gospel, who love sin and the pleasures of the flesh, who know nothing of love for God or their neighbor, and who do not repent and turn away from their rebellion, the presence of God Himself becomes torment and burning and fire and this is an everlasting fire.

We see here the power of the presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ when He draws near to the demoniac. It is the teaching of the Orthodox Church that even the name of the Lord Jesus Christ has a similar power in the lives of the faithful. Many of the saints, fathers and mothers of the Church teach us to say the Jesus prayer (sometimes simply known as “the prayer”). When we are disturbed or lack peace, when we are angry or feeling impatient, when we have lustful thoughts….we can turn to the prayer. The short prayer “Lord Jesus, haver mercy on me” is powerful in it’s ability to return us to our proper state. According to one of the saints, the mere mention of the name of Jesus is like a whip on the backs of the demons who try to whisper and tempt us. The name of Our Lord, coupled with the sign of the cross, is like a forceful repellent against our enemies. The demons are terrified by His name.

The practice of this prayer allows each of us to be in our right mind. Over the course of time, the fire of the name of Christ burns away the thorns of desires and leaves only what is good. It is not insignificant that when the Lord Jesus heals the man, we then find this man sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. He had been naked, homeless and crazy. He lived among the tombs like one who was already a dead man. Now we see the opposite. It is a not so subtle way of telling us that when one is sitting at the feet of Jesus, in His presence, listening to His words, he is like a new man. We have perfect sanity when we are sitting at the feet of Jesus. Whether we are on our knees praying before the icons or worshiping liturgically or sitting and reading the gospels or even listening to sermons and homilies. In each of these cases we are offered restoration and healing which lead to sanity and a renewed life. It is not possible for the Giver of life to give less than that.

This man had formerly been comfortable with the sin in his life. He married himself to sin. So later he was uncomfortable with the presence of Christ. As Christians we learn to be at peace with the presence of Christ in our lives as we grow in our relationship with Christ and then we do not have to be tortured and tormented and caught off guard like the demon possessed man. We should deal with what is evil, fleshly and demonic in our lives as if it is a terrible torment and burden and we should cast it off through repentance and the saying of the Jesus prayer. When we do this God will show mercy to us and relieve us of these burdens and afflictions and we will be found seated in the presence of the Lord, clothed with the garment of righteousness and salvation and with our hearts and minds enlightened. All of this He will do in us, because He is the only lover of mankind.

Glory be to God forever, AMEN.

Comments
Lineta Ah chong10/23/2021 12:01 am
Hi im reaching out for a prayer to my beautiful cousin,that i believed shes posessed by devil,my hesrt breaks to see her on video call thru messenger that shes suffered a lot,shes talking to herself with non stop.and i can see its not her,appreciate any help thanks
Georgia simmons6/8/2021 12:50 am
Dear sir am looking for a church that deals w these demons things are moving around in the house my husband seems to be under a evil spell everything goes wrong my animals are dying and if u talk about it they think u are CRAZY am in hawaii any help would be appreated ty so much for realizing the problem if u tell these churches they won't call u back can u believe this ty
ZACHARY SMITH1/23/2021 9:45 pm
I need a prayer that god would guide me from the demons where i can recognize them and keep my guard up against them . Because i have struggle for long time to please god but all saw be kind to people. Please help I pray that all my prayers comes true.
Whitney11/12/2020 1:58 am
I hear and see things too I'm sorry to hear about your daughter. But theres nothing that can be done. I hope shes on medication it hasnt help me though. Schizophrenia is the worst thing to happen why cant it be heavenly stuff that we hear? I have no idea where this evil comes from. I had a bad case of it earlier today. All you can do is give her hugs and love on her! Like alot! I dont get hugged often my mom cares alot and when its bad she will rub on me but I need more then that but I dont get it ): I'm sure tour daughter would like that. Schizophrenia is no joke it can make you very sick
Tacy Caudle 8/6/2020 1:50 am
Please pray for my 42 year old daughter Janet, who is unto the occult and mentally ill. She lives with me, my husband and developmentally disabled brother and sister. She is harassing the neighbors. We need help. May Jesus grant her His Holy Spirit! . And she accept Jesus as her Savior. I think she is demon possessed So today the next door neighbor is filing an anti harassment order against a Janet for smoking on their front steps.  Prayers please She’s really out of control and lives in a world in her mind.  Washington state won’t allow involuntary mental health help.   We got this from another  neighbor today Hello neighbors. Unfortunately, today Janet had a little situation, or two. We heard she started drinking early, out on the corner. ‪Around 2:20‬, while I was at work and Mariya was home with the kids, she started yelling at Mariya came onto our property poured some drink over my mother-in-law’s car, spit water over our fence and yelled bitch a few times. I just reported it to officer Krahm, and he will be forwarding it onto officer Elrod, and Snohomish mental health personnel. I’m sorry this continues to be an issue, and I’m following your direction to report any situations. Tacy
zachary smith5/19/2020 11:39 pm
I pray that my wishes would come true. I want my body to go through changes i want. I wished for money to help the poor. I want to see angels and the able to see demons to protect myself from them. Please tell me what to do . Please send someone my way to help me with my dream. I want to hear god voices. Please help
A.M. Day5/13/2020 2:51 pm
I feel like I was called to the ministry when I was younger, the devil put a beautiful woman in my path that was a Wiccan come to find out and she used drugs and sex to keep me from my goals then spread vicious lies about me! Since then God only communicates w me if it’s an emergency never when I ask like he used to! I was young and a fool, but since then I have dealt w addiction and demonic oppression to the point of wanting to give up on life! I’ve been tempted to go to new age psychic or healers but I know God forbids that! Please tell me what to do to sal age my life! For Christ’s glory I ask u pray for and advise me I’m so lost! And also over the years if I ever leave my guard down the devil immediately sends someone new in my life to do more damage which at least tells me I’m still important or why all the trouble but it is about to break me!
Mike4/22/2020 9:05 am
My daughter is demon posed I need your help for nine years ,we have gone to many prayer centres we need your guidance
Gladys Bursey3/31/2020 8:42 am
can you please tell me how to help my daughter she here voices and see people like family members friends telling here we do not care about her evil spirts want leave her alone please help me she a good daughter she deserve the best
Cristy Haynes2/10/2020 12:05 pm
My boyfriend has been taken over by the evil spirits in the house that we live in. He has become a very unhappy very tormented very evil soul. He makes recordings of me while he's gone, then listens to them day after day, and swears that he hears me talking to a man. When there's never been anybody even in this house. I will not allow people to come in the house just because of what he does. Please help me please help me to help him.
Kesha Shaw2/8/2020 8:13 am
Please pray for my son's father. Something very evil is trying to take him over completely. I'm afraid everyday that something more is going to happen to him. We love him so much and don't have any idea what to do. Can he be saved from this evil? Will he ever have his life back??
Ashley Masterson1/24/2020 11:55 pm
I’m in need of an exorcist.what do I do?
Wilma Seolo1/19/2020 12:05 am
Hi please for my son who is under evil possed is now now under the care of a mental institution guidancee.
zachary smith12/31/2019 10:06 pm
I pray that god give me the spirits to see demons where I can identified them. I been tormented by evil spirits for so long. I would love to see angels around me. I wished that I was huge. I want to be able to protect myself from demons and show evil people. Please help
April11/20/2019 3:15 am
Father, I come to you with a weary heart forgive me for I am a dinner. My family is under Demonic attack Some are possed by demons forgive my family for they no not what they do. Teach me how to pray for us in Jesus name Amen
Gloria11/8/2019 3:17 pm
I'm tormented by the demons and evil spirit and my family members worships false God's.which prayer can I pray
Javier bustamante9/22/2019 5:27 pm
Ive suffered for 30 years with what seems to be a curse upon my wife, she has become angry , vengeful and ive caught her praying in private saying gods names in hebrew. She then goes silent and whispers, punish anika gonzales punish her. Aniks is my 12 year old niece who has autism, she is sweet and kind.
Jodi 9/20/2019 10:37 am
Hi, thank you for the story. My friend has demons in her house. We have been trying to get them out, I, don't know what prayer we should say to get rid of them. We need help, please thank you so much.
Editor9/16/2019 9:29 am
Elaine Tucker: Though your illness is a medical issue, you might also greatly benefit by seeing an Orthodox priest and talking with him about it. The sacrament of confession is a wonderful way to find healing. But meanwhile, try to do as Fr. James says, and repeat the prayer, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner!" Try to say it with attention, and sincerely. Spiritual healing is a wholistic matter and requires work from us. May the Lord help you!
Elaine Tucker9/14/2019 1:44 pm
I have been fighting depression fear ADHD. All of my life. I know these are generational. But how do I make them go away
Immaculate 9/8/2019 11:44 pm
Please pray for me and my only small, for we have an Auntie who is using demons and whichcraft
Minnie Cox8/28/2019 12:37 pm
Please pray with me regarding my daughter Cathresha she have a severe depression problem she just lost her disability benefits she have a 15yrs old son is adhd pray with me she will be able to get her benefits back thanks
Gillian Taylor. 8/14/2019 4:34 pm
Hi. Please pray for me as I have to fight demonic forces alot. I have tried to ask for forgiveness even to my enemies. Thank you.Gillian.
Yandiswa8/8/2019 12:00 pm
My nephew is possessed with demons please how can we help her?
Ava 8/3/2019 11:40 am
When the demon possessed man cried out "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me" it was not the man speaking but the demon within.
Olga Perez7/31/2019 6:31 pm
Thank you for this prayer. At this point in my life I truly need prayer for protection against relatives that are committing much calumny and libel against me and deceiving many people in this world through inappropriate images on social media. I have been praying for their soul’s salvation for over 20 years. I helped them out when they were at their lowest point and they turn around and slander me, they try to destroy me and my sons as well as bring much division into our family. Please pray for my protection as I am a widow and I live alone and my sons are about three hours away from me. But most importantly join me in interceding for the salvation of my sister and her children’s souls, they are the ones slandering me. Thank you for your prayers. May the peace of the Lord be with you. God bless you all.
Sheri Koch7/26/2019 5:08 am
Please pray for my husband he has become possessed with something very evil.
Mary Brown 7/5/2019 5:18 pm
Please pray for us. My daughter has Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. We need help spiritually, financially, and healing. Thank you!
Lori Kellerman5/21/2019 12:50 pm
Please help mu friend is possesed he has threatened to kill his mom i need any wone to help me please
Art10/25/2016 5:23 pm
Thank you for this message, Father. For me, the timing was perfect. Very encouraging.
Xiang yong10/25/2016 4:13 pm
Yes,Jesus Christ our savior have overcome the demon. This is a great comfort for us.
Anthony10/24/2016 9:23 pm
Really lovely sermon. Father Phillip LeMasters also has a wonderful sermon for this past week's gospel reading which I hope Pravoslavie will publish but if not it's available on Fr Philip's Ancient Faith blog and entitled The Good Witness of Becoming Our True Selves: Homily for the 6th Sunday of Luke in the Orthodox Church
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