7-7 Setting the Captives Free

It isn’t easy to lead a Christ-like life. We have many battles to fight. God has given us weapons to use and authority over the enemy, but it is hard work to make progress. It is particularly hard right now. The devil is working overtime trying to defeat God’s people and God’s plan! I believe it is because we are on the verge of a huge breakthrough! We can’t give in. We can’t slow down. We must push ahead.

The woman who led me to the Lord showed me a way of praying using discernment and binding and loosing. I have been praying this way for 15 years. I have 80 journaling notebooks full of these prayers for myself and others. I am on notebook 81 and it is filling up fast. When she taught me this procedure, I knew very little. I was just starting to study the Bible, getting to know God’s Word and His promises.

I feel that this information is revelation knowledge. It provides a means for delivering ourselves and others from traits that are holding us back, from physical or mental pain from the past. Although it takes dedication and patience, you can do it from your prayer closet. You start with what you know about a situation or person, then ask God to help you fill in the blanks.

It works! Of all the types of prayer I have used, this one has stuck. It has not been a passing phase. As I pray, I can feel breakthroughs in the Spirit. When I see the people I have been praying for, I can usually note changes – their faces are brighter, happier, their moods have changed. I am setting the captives free!

I pray for myself in this way. In fact in the last few weeks as I have been preparing for this meeting, I have been delivering myself of lots of junk from the past. It is an ongoing process, like peeling layers off an onion.

The Scriptural Basis

Basically the principle is this. Whatever is not of God in a person or situation, I bind and cast out. I identify the characteristics, thoughts and feelings and bind them and cast them out in the name of Jesus. I cast them into the abyss because when Jesus cast the legion of “devils” out of a man, that is where they didn’t want to go. (see Luke 8:31) Then I ask God to loose His Spirit and His angels into the situation.

Luke 10:19 tells us that we have authority over all the power of the enemy. The New Living Translation clarifies 2nd Corinthians 10:3-5, showing that it is not just strongholds in our own minds that we have authority over, we have weapons to knock down the strongholds and arguments in the minds of others!

We are human but we don’t wage war with human plans and methods. We use God’s mighty weapons, not mere worldly weapons, to knock down the devil’s strongholds. With these weapons we break down every proud argument that keeps people from knowing God. With these weapons, we conquer their rebellious ideas, and teach them to obey Christ.”

Teacher/Author Dutch Sheets agrees with this scripture translation and has some good teachings on it.

In Matthew 16:19, Jesus said “And I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven; and whatsoever is bound on earth shall be bound in heaven (the spiritual world) and whatsoever is loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven. If Jesus called binding and loosing the keys to the Kingdom, we need to pay attention. I had been praying this way for several years before I noted this reference to keys in scripture. It made me very excited to see this!

Each thought that we have has great power. It can either help us or hinder us. Proverbs 23:7 says as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. Matthew 12:34 indicates that what is in our hearts comes out of our mouths. And Matthew 12:37 says that the words of our mouths condemn us.

Negative thoughts have extreme power over us. We must get rid of them, not just stifle them. They must be identified, bound, and cast out. Then instead of returning again and again, they will be removed permanently from our hearts.

When a child hears the words that he is no good, will never amount to anything, that thought is implanted in his mind. If it is not removed by the power of God, it can hinder him all his life. These thoughts can be bound and cast out, erased from memory, divested of their power over us.

The Procedure

I normally pray in the early morning. I start by praying the Lord’s Prayer, then I put on the whole armor of God. I cover the road (where I will travel that day) and my possessions with the blood of Jesus.

Next I bind the spirits on my family, naming each person, and ask the Holy Spirit to hover over them. In praying for individuals or situations, I write down words and phrases that describe what I see, what is going on. This process is easy to describe in terms of people.

You may not think you have discernment but you really do. We are all discerning, especially about others. We have extremely accurate opinions of each other. It is always much easier to see the splinter in our brother’s eye than the log in our own. After visiting a friend, we sense that she is:


“fed up”

“can’t seem to cope any more”


“looking tired”

“acting stubborn and intractable”

“downright mean”

“gave me a hard time”


Instead of getting upset and giving her a lecture like one of Job’s “friends,” we should go home and pray for her – casting out those spirits and seeking the Lord on her behalf. I make this list and bind these things that I see/feel and cast them out as above and ask God to loose His Holy Spirit and warring angels into the situation. Then I ask God what is behind this behavior and say a prayer.

What is Behind the Fear?

Fear is behind many of our problems. We know that fear is not of God. The Bible tells us repeatedly to “Fear not.” Scripture also tells us that perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18) and that God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). We know that God’s Word is true, that Jesus died for our sins – that we are forgiven – and that He has given us the victory. Why do we still fear?

Let’s assume that you are about to change jobs and have some anxiety. As you pray, God might show you that you:


“hate changes”

“resist new things”

“afraid it won’t work out”

(then I might ask why and get the following answer)

“it didn’t work the last time”

“boss and I clashed”

“hated my work”

“dreaded every day”

“persecuted by the boss”

“ribbed by co-workers”


“gun shy”


These basically describe the reasons why you fear taking a new job. After you bind them and cast them out, you will feel very much relieved. The fear disappears! Then you might pray.


Dear Heavenly Father:

You are Lord of all. You can give me confidence and the right attitude,
he perfect job, and the perfect boss.
Give me peace as I go for this interview.

If this job is Your choice for me, give me favor and open the door.
Close it if it is not.

I ask these things in Jesus’ name.


Praying for Others

As you pray for others, it is important to look behind the person’s behavior, look beyond the obvious. If someone is angry and treats you badly, you are often not the cause of their unhappiness. Something else is often behind the person’s actions. God can give you insight into their problems and sometimes into your own difficulties as well. For example, you might encounter an uncooperative clerk at the grocery store and might note the following:

“she snapped at me when I asked a simple question”

“was curt and impolite”

“gave me a dirty look”

“didn’t answer my question”

“turned her back on me”

I bind and cast these things out and also ask that the Lord take care of the problems that are causing her to act this way. It could be that her husband just left her, her children are sick, or the rent is due and money is tight.

For the clerk I might pray. Lord, give her peace. Bring that husband back, if it is your will. Mend that relationship. Bring that family to you. Meet the needs. Help me to continue to pray for her.

I might also express how I felt about this encounter, letting God show me an important facet of my own behavior.

“people are always ignoring me”

“hardly know that I am there”

“rarely get a straight answer”

“feel hurt and ignored”

“mother used to do that to me”

“I would run away and cry”

In praying for myself, I ask God to cleanse me of those old feelings of frustration and anger at being ignored. I might delve into this farther and ask God to show me particular instances where I was hurt when people ignored me. I would recall those feelings and write them down and cast them out. Then I would pray in the Spirit until I receive a release, achieving deliverance in an important part of my life.

Dealing with Unforgiveness

When a person is offended by a friend or relative, the very words and deeds are often remembered throughout life! The offense still continues to take its toll each time Satan brings it to mind. Forgiving is not just a matter of saying I forgive you, it is much more complex. You usually have to forgive the person for each offense that was committed, each battle that took place. The person doesn’t, however, have to be present. They may even be deceased.

It is very helpful to go through the process of what happened, as you remember it, and write down what was said, your feelings, your words, their words, their probable feelings. I once wrote 8 pages of comments after an argument with my brother. I was furious, as mad as I have ever been. I prayed a bit in the evening and then more in the morning. I cast the list out and achieved perfect peace.

I prayed for some other people that morning and soon was singing from the heart and decided to call my brother. I had resolved I wouldn’t call him for several days, if then! He admitted that he had had a bad day and we made up. The interesting thing was that later that day, I could not even remember what the argument was about. Instead of remembering every gory detail, the words and feelings were erased from my mind and they are still erased. Hallelujah!

The Power of Words

Sometimes when I am praying and making my lists, I get a single word. The word may be familiar and I may have an idea of what it means, but I look it up in the dictionary. It usually describes the situation/person perfectly. For example, I was praying for a person and got the word, “languid.”

I looked up the word languish; it means to become feeble, weak, to live in a state of depression or decreasing vitality, to become dispirited, to suffer neglect. These definitions certainly shed more light on the person. I cast these out and often look up synonyms in a Thesaurus and cast out any that apply.

Two Real Life Examples

Last week at a prayer meeting two friends shared real life examples of some of the principles I am sharing with you. However, these prayers were said in emergencies out in the world and not in their prayer closets.

The first friend said that she went to her local gas station and there happened to be about 10 cars waiting in line for gas. She looked over at the attendants and sensed that something was very wrong. One of the men was extremely angry and agitated. He seemed ready to attack the other physically. She sensed a real and imminent danger.

The cars meanwhile where all held up waiting. Suddenly, she realized, I have authority in the Spirit! She bound the spirit of anger in the man and prayed in the Spirit. Things immediately began to quiet down.

The men started to go about their work peacefully. By the time the “angry man” waited on my friend, he was soft spoken and kind and polite, a huge change from minutes before when he looked poised to kill!

Another friend shared a similar incident. She was driving in downtown Portland and made a slow and careful turn. A policeman pulled her over and asked for her license and registration. He was loud, angry and nasty.

My friend had done nothing wrong that she knew about, so under her breath, she rebuked the spirits on this unhappy man and commanded them to leave. Then she prayed in the Spirit vehemently under her breath.

His demeanor changed rapidly. He apologized and became very quiet and polite. She didn’t get a ticket and went happily on her way, glorifying God, His power, and the weapons He has given His kids!

There is Much More

In regard to sickness, I bind and cast out the symptoms, they are not of God, then I ask God to show me the root cause of the illness. What God has been showing me of late is the very close connection between our illnesses and our spiritual past or present.

I would like to close by having us say a prayer together.


Dear Heavenly Father –

Help me to use binding and loosing
To unlock the prisons of my past and present
And to pray for others so that they might be set free.

Give me Your revelation and Your discernment
Help me to kick the enemy out of my life,
I want to fulfill your purpose for my life.

I ask these things in Jesus’ name.



DLH  –  September 19, 2000
Aglow Meeting – Augusta, ME