Over the last several years, my wife and I have ministered to many people who have been victims of various types of abuse. Something that we have learned is that, quite often, a key part of the healing process is receiving deliverance from demonic oppression. In saying this, I want to be clear that to need deliverance from demonic oppression does not make you an evil person. Some people come under demonic influence because of sinful choices they have made. Other times, people come under demonic oppression because of ways that they have been sinned against or harmed by others.
If you have endured traumatic experiences or been involved in an abusive relationship, demonic oppression could have come as a result. But the good news is that Jesus came to heal broken hearts and set captives free!
Below is an excerpt from my book Setting Captives Free that outlines the connection between trauma, abuse, and demonic oppression.
There is a close connection between the healing of a person’s soul and deliverance from captivity. Inner healing and deliverance from demonic oppression are closely related. Let’s take a look at a key passages of Scripture:
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound.
(Isaiah 61:1, emphasis added)
First, it is important to understand that when this passage speaks of bringing good tidings to the poor it is not necessarily referring to the financially deprived (although that could also apply). The word in Hebrew refers to those who are afflicted, downtrodden, or oppressed. Second, notice the flow from healing the brokenhearted to freedom to the captives. These concepts are merged together in this passage and there is a clear relationship between the two.
When this verse speaks of healing the brokenhearted, it is not simply referring to sadness. In the original Hebrew language, this speaks of binding together a fractured soul. It refers to a heart that has been shattered, broken, bruised, crushed, or fragmented. Just like our bodies can be injured and broken, so can our heart and mind. This can happen when a person goes through various types of trauma in their life.
Trauma does damage to the interior of a person. And it can also be an open door for demonic oppression. This might not seem fair, but traumatic events create a moment of weakness that can make us more vulnerable to the enemy who “walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). The devil doesn’t play fair. He is a thief and thieves don’t operate by fairness or play by the rules. Traumatic experiences can be the access point that evil spirits use to oppress and torment people. Some examples include fearful accidents, being the victim of a crime, near-death experiences, the sudden death of a loved one, and witnessing violence. Relational betrayal and breakdowns can also become a door that the devil tries to use to oppress people.
And we must also address the trauma that is related to abuse. One of the main ways I have seen people come under demonic oppression is through experiencing abuse of some kind. This does not just relate to physical harm or violence; it can take on many forms. At its core, abuse is about control and domination over another person in a way that diminishes or destroys their personhood and identity, and violates their will. Whether the abuse is verbal, physical, emotional, sexual, or otherwise; it brings wounding to the interior of a person and often opens the door for evil spirits to harass, oppress, and torment.
I have witnessed the demonic oppression that occurs through abuse:
Many other scenarios of trauma and abuse could be given. Abuse is pure evil. It is actually satanic in nature, as it takes on the very attributes of the devil who loves to oppress and torment.
When people are recovering from abuse or trauma, I believe that deliverance from evil spirits is often a missing link in the healing process. Counseling is good and helpful, inner healing and the renewal of the mind is needed, and getting grounded in the truths of God’s Word is a must. Experiencing God’s love in a personal way and connecting with others in loving, healthy relationships is also a part of this journey. But I have seen that many times deliverance from demonic oppression is a critical facet of deep and lasting healing.
If you have been wounded by abuse and trauma, or are under demonic oppression in any way, please know that God’s heart is toward you. He has a special compassion for the brokenhearted: “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18 ESV). He wants you to experience His love in the depths of your heart and have the weight of oppression lifted from your life.
If you are in need of deliverance from oppression, I encourage you to open your heart to God right now and begin to receive His love. His compassion is toward you and He sees what you have been through. He cares about the pain and wants you to be free from demonic oppression.
Take time to pray this prayer, focusing on Jesus and allowing the Holy Spirit to minister to you.
Heavenly Father, I thank You that it is Your desire to heal broken hearts and set captives free. I come to You in the name of Jesus and ask for the Holy Spirit to minister to me on the inside. Fill my heart with Your love. I receive Your love for me in a new way, and let go of pain, disappointment, and misunderstanding. I ask to be fully released from any demonic oppression that has come into my life.
In the name of Jesus, I command the spirit of oppression to leave me right now. I rebuke the spirit of heaviness and depression, and command it to go from my life. I command any spirits that have come into my life through trauma to come out. I command any spirits that have come in through abuse to leave.
I ask for my heart to be healed and restored, and I receive Your perfect peace. I ask for the oil of joy to be my portion. I put on the garment of praise, worshipping and honoring You. I receive freedom from oppression, in the name of Jesus!
If you would like to learn more about deliverance from demonic influence, check out the following resources:
Deliverance from the Spirit of Heaviness, Oppression, and Fear