A Real Prayer

I spent the summer of 2000 in Northern Ireland, working with a ministry there called Project: Evangelism. John Moxen will likely never know how formative my time with him there was. He was a temporary mentor, and I only wish that I had honored him with more of my time while I was there, or simply had been able to spend more time there in general.

My three trips to Northern Ireland and Project: Evangelism are a part or the makeup of my spiritual life and are – in many ways – when I grew from a boy into a man.

It was during this trip when I had perhaps my most emotional and spiritually draining prayer experience.

I try to keep my conversations with God fairly simple. I find that Christ’s example in the Lord’s Prayer was pretty simple. It consists of honoring God, of asking for our most basic needs, and for God to shape us into His will. As such, I ask for little, try to give thanks a lot, and am more concerned with the simpler needs than extravagant, supernatural requests.

Please don’t think that I’m saying we shouldn’t pray for such things; it’s just not in the norm of my prayers.

But this story is a story about one of those times when I truly believe the supernatural interceded.

A trio of students who were there the summer I was on staff came rushing into the house in a panic. What was the cause? One of them had been attacked by a demon.

Now… I don’t know what really happened that night. I didn’t see a demon. I’m not at all an expert on these things. Here’s what I know: these students were scared. They were crying, they were freaking out, and something was desperately wrong.

This was early evening, somewhere around 8pm. The boy who had been “attacked” went straight to the students’ bedroom. I went in to talk with him and pray with him.

I believe he told a genuine story. I believe that something happened that night. And I know this – there was a spiritual battle going on in the room, surrounding us.

We prayed and prayed for what seemed like hours. In truth, it was probably somewhere between five and ten minutes. The passion was there, the urgency was there. I remember praying these words:

“God, take your protection from me and offer him a double dose of your spirit. Protect him through the night.”

Moments later our prayers ended. Then I was driven straight to my bedroom. I was overcome with exhaustion. Every part of me was saying to go to sleep, to rest, and to simply let tomorrow come.

My spirit felt naked and open.

I don’t know how all this works. I can’t say that I have anything much to say about experiences with angels or demons or any knowledge of how I’ve been spiritually protected in the past. But I know that prayer is real, and that it is heard.

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