Freedom from oppression – deliverance (Prayer day 20)

The Lord’s prayer ends with the phrase “deliver us of evil” reminding us that our Father desires us to live in freedom, and invites us to call for help.


Psalm 40:1-3, 11-17 – A Psalm of David

1  I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry.

2  He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.

3  He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.

11  As for you, O LORD, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!

12  For evils have encompassed me beyond number; my iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see; they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me.

13  Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me! O LORD, make haste to help me!

14  Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether who seek to snatch away my life; let those be turned back and brought to dishonour who delight in my hurt!

15  Let those be appalled because of their shame who say to me, “Aha, Aha!”

16  But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the LORD!”

17  As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord thinks about me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!

Observations and reflections

  1. Visualize the Lord’s saving act that David describes in verses 1-3. What was David’s situation like in the beginning of verse 1, and what was David’s situation like in verse 3?
  2. What “evil” / “enemies” do David need deliverance from? (verses 12 and 14)
  3. Why does David have confidence to pray to the Lord for help? (verses 11b and 17)
  4. Look at how honest David prays in verses 11-17. How would you describe his prayer? What draws your attention most, and why?

Personal reflection and Application

God is a merciful saviour!  Our world is sin-full, leading to bondage – in our outer environment and inner motives and emotions.  But God is our merciful and mighty saviour who invites us to call on him when we are in need.

  1. Can you recall a time when God had saved you from a dire situation? Recall that in prayer to God, thanking and praising him.
  2. Consider your current outer and inner world.
  • In which ways so you experience enslavement or bondage in your outer world of activities, possessions, etc? Examples could be debt, abuse, unfair treatment at work, etc.
  • In which ways so you experience enslavement or bondage in your inner world of thoughts, identity, purpose, relationships etc? Examples could be addictive habits, fear, shame, etc.
  • Tell God how you feel about these.
  • Ask God to save you from it, and declare your trust in Him.

“As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord thinks about me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!”





PRAYER 7: God’s Protection – Seeking guidance and deliverance through prayer

The aim of this devotional study is to reflect on God’s intervention to guide and deliver a person in need.


Acts 12:1-11

Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. 2 Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 3 And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread.

4 So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads if soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover. 5 Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. 6 And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison.

7 Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. 8 Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals’; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.” 9 So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by die angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they were past the first and second guard posts, they came to the Iron Gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel left him. 11 And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.


  1. Upon reading this text, what would have been the most likely outcome for Peter had the angel NOT rescued him from prison?
  2. What measures did Herod take to insure that Peter does not escape from prison?
  3. Peter’s rescue from the prison was so 100% miraculous. List the things that happened in this account that would account for miracles.
  4. What do you think was the key in preserving Peter’s life vs James that died at the hand of Herod?
  5. Can you think of a view other instances in the Bible where prayer saved lives from death or destruction?

Personal Application & Prayer

  1. Have you heard testimonies of contemporary Christians relating miraculous deliverance and protection? List these instances.
  2. Do you yourself remember a time that God supernaturally guided and protected you from harm? Recall those events.
  3. Do you take this protection from God for granted or do you make a point of asking God regularly to guide and protect you?
  4. Where in your life do you feel you need to start praying for specific guidance and wisdom in order to not fall into the enemies trap?
  5. Is there an area in your life that you still experience fear or dread? Confess it before God and start praying for his deliverance, knowing that it is His will that you be set free from all fear.

BS1 Setting the captives free 4

The aim of this devotional study the practice of deliverance in the life o fPaul


Acts 16:16-18

16  One day as we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a young servant woman who had an evil spirit that enabled her to predict the future. She earned a lot of money for her owners by telling fortunes. 17  She followed Paul and us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God! They announce to you how you can be saved!” 18  She did this for many days, until Paul became so upset that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I order you to come out of her!” The spirit went out of her that very moment.

Acts 19:11-17

11  And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12  so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them.

13  Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I command you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” 14  Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 15  But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16  And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

17  And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was greatly honored.


  1. In Acts 16:16-18, how did Paul cast out the evil spirit from the woman? What happened (in your own words)?
  2. In Acts 19:11-17, how did Paul cast out the evil spirits from people? What happened (in your own words)?
  3. In Acts 19:11-17, how did the “itinerant Jewish exorcists” cast out evil spirits from people? What happened (in your own words)?

Reflection and Application

  1. Why could Paul do extraordinary deliverance, but the Jewish exorcists could not, even though they also invoked the names of Jesus?
  2. How did the demons “know” or recognize the authority of Paul?
  3. Would you be recognized as one living in Christ?


Spend some time praying affirming your identity in Christ – this list of Scriptures can help. Let the focus be worship of God’s generosity:

Setting the captives free 3

The Aim of this devotional study is to discover the relationship between the preaching of the gospel and deliverance from demonic activity,


Mark 1:39

39  And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.

Mark 3:13-15

13  And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. 14  And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach  15  and have authority to cast out demons.

Mark 16:15-20

15  And he said to [the 11 disciples], “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 16  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17  And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18  they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

19  So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20  And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.


These three sections from Mark is selected which summarized the ministry of Christ according to Mark, and the appointment of the 12 apostles and then the Great Commission before his ascension.

  1. What pattern to you seen in these three texts? What – according to Mark – accompanies the preaching of the gospel?
  2. Why would the preaching of the gospel of the Kingdom of God be accompanied by the casting out of demons? (hint: think clashing of kingdoms)


  1. In Mark 16:17 Jesus promised his disciples “These signs will follow those who believe… in my name they will cast our demons…” Have you ever experienced the fulfilment of this promise?
  • If you have – where and how? When last?
  • If not – why not? Do you believe that demons exist? And do you believe that in Christ you have authority to cast them out?
  1. According to Mark the casting out of demons accompany the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God – the reign of God and victory of Christ. When last have you shared that gospel with someone?  With whom will you share it this week?


Jesus sent his disciples to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God to everyone, and promised that signs will follow – including deliverance from demon-oppression and possession.  Pray to God for boldness to preach that gospel to see the captives set free!

Setting the Captives Free 2

The Aim of this devotional study today is to reflect on the deliverance ministry of Jesus, and learn from his discernment and authority.


Luke 4:16-21, 33-41

16  And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read.  17  And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

18  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19  to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20  And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21  And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

33  And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 34  “Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God.” 35  But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm. 36  And they were all amazed and said to one another, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!”

37  And reports about him went out into every place in the surrounding region.

38  And he arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to him on her behalf. 39  And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them.

40  Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them.  41  And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.


Note: the reference to “proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” refers to the year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25)– every 50 year the Lord commanded that all Israelites rest that year, and that all Jewish slaves be set free, and all property return to the families and clans to whom it belonged originally, thus everyone bound in debt was restored.

At the beginning of his ministry Jesus was given this portion to read from Isaiah’s scroll his home town Nazareth.  Then he sat down and everyone listened as he should teach.  But all Luke recorded Jesus said was “This text is fulfilled in [me].”

  1. List the ministry of Jesus according to Isaiah’s prophesy quoted above. (v16-21)
  2. Regarding the quotation from Isaiah: note the two references to “liberty” those who are oppressed, plus the reference to the year if Jubilee. What does that suggest of the importance of deliverance I Jesus’ ministry?
  3. Reading the rest of the chapter we note a few other instance where Jesus commanded sickness and evil spirits to let people go – a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophesy of Jesus’ ministry. List the instances of deliverance recorded above.  What do you learn from that?
  4. How did Jesus exercise his authority over demons?


  1. As “modern, educated” people we tend to rationalize everything. If you were with Jesus when he performed these miracles of healing and deliverance – do you think you would have “rebuke(d) the fever” out of Simon’s mom or even recognized the man in the synagogue was demon-possessed, or that the demons were speaking through people who were set free?
  2. If Jesus were to walk with you in the course of your every-day life, where would he set people free from demonic oppression, temptation or possession? Or perhaps even you?


Jesus once said he only did “what he saw the Father was doing.”   Pray to the Lord for this gift of discernment – to see what He is doing or wants to do in your life, and where he wants to set you or those around you free from oppression.

Setting the Captives Free 1

The aim of this devotional study is to reflect on Jesus’ compassion over oppressed people and his authority over demons.

This 3min video dramatization will greatly add to your Bible reading today (



Mark 5:1-20

1  They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes.  2  And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit.  3  He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, 4  for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him.  5  Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones.

6  And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. 7  And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.”  8  For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 9  And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” 10  And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country.

11  Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, 12  and they begged him, saying, “Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.” 13  So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the sea.

14  The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. 15  And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. 16  And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and to the pigs. 17  And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region.

18  As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. 19  And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”  20  And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.


  1. In studying this section describe what you observe about all these key characters as Mark reports relays this account – noting the five key sections:
  • The man in need of deliverance (verses Mar_5:1-5).
    The confrontation between Jesus and the demons (verses Mar_5:6-10).
      The perishing pigs (verses Mar_5:11-13).
      The swineherds and the people to whom they report (verses Mar_5:14-17).
      The cured man’s request and Jesus’ reply (verses Mar_5:18-20).
  • 2. Considering the five main paragraphs and their key characters above,
  • Who was pitiful? Who was merciless?  Who was merciful?
  • Who was powerless? Who was overpowered?  Who was most powerful?
  1. What do you learn about demons from this account? What are they like?  What do they like?  List the characteristics that are mentioned here.
  2. What do you learn about Jesus’ compassion for people oppressed by demons?
  3. What do you learn about Jesus’ authority over demons?

Application and prayer

What is the thing in this life that you fear, or that is too powerful for you to control?  Do you believe that Jesus is more powerful than it?  Then praise Jesus as the One who has All Authority, pray against this challenge in Jesus’ Name as you feel the Holy Spirit leads you.20

Salvation 9

The Aim of this devotional study is to reflect on one of the images of salvation frequently used in the New Testament.


1 Corinthians 10:1-8

For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers [2] were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert. Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry.” We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day.

Exodus 14:5-31

Now it was told the king of Egypt that the people had fled, and the heart of Pharaoh and his servants was turned against the people; and they said, “Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” So he made ready his chariot and took his people with him. Also, he took six hundred choice chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt with captains over every one of them. And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the children of Israel; and the children of Israel went out with boldness. So the Egyptians pursued them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and overtook them camping by the sea beside Pi Hahiroth, before Baal Zephon.

10 And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord. 11 Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? 12 Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.”

13 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”

15 And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. 16 But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. 17 And I indeed will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them. So I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, his chariots, and his horsemen. 18 Then the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gained honor for Myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”

19 And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them. 20 So it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. Thus it was a cloud and darkness to the one, and it gave light by night to the other, so that the one did not come near the other all that night.

21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 23 And the Egyptians pursued and went after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen…

26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come back upon the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen.” 27 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and when the morning appeared, the sea returned to its full depth, while the Egyptians were fleeing into it. So the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.28 Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained. 29 But the children of Israel had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.

30 So the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31 Thus Israel saw the great work which the Lord had done in Egypt; so the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord and His servant Moses.


The parting of the Red Sea was the greatest act of deliverance of the Hebrews in the Old Testament and the culmination of God’s deliverance from the Egyptian enslavement.  There are numerous NT references to this great act of salvation account, mostly coupled to warnings, such as 1 Corinthians 10 above.

  1. With regards to our salvation, what does “Egypt” point to?
  2. Using this imagery of God’s salvation of the Hebrews from Egypt, what powerful lesson does Paul teach us in 1 Corinthians 10:1-8 about our salvation?


The Hebrews were saved from Egyptian oppression, but reverted back to their familiar lifestyle of idolatry and immorality, and died in the Wilderness before entering the Promised Land.  So “walking through the Wilderness” was still part of the Hebrew’s salvation journey which had to be completed.  How does this make you feel, and in which way can you relate to this?


Thank God that “He who began a good work in you will complete it until the Day of Jesus Christ”.