Francis MacNutt: Deliverance from Evil Spirits – a practical manual
Chosen Books, Grand Rapids, Michigan 1995
AJM 6.99

1. How I got involved in casting out demons

Through experience, not theory. Dangerous; but every minister should be able to help hundreds of people through prayer for deliverance.
Demonised people often appear from nowhere – in healing service, for example. No other explanation – have always been normal till this point, have never seen anyone else behaving this way, yet speak and behave uncharacteristically and violently. Usual pattern is that after prayerthe person says she felt the spirits leave, and is peaceful; she remembers little of what happened, as if it had been a temporary possession. You on the other hand are tired.
Sees need for deliverance as common, not rare, problem. Most of us have been trained to refer to someone else; but deliverance is our job. Is not academic issue; matter of life and death.

The existence and kinds of evil spirits

2. Do demons really exist?

Scripture and experience.
Delivering people from evil spirits is, together with forgiving sins and healing the sick, an essential part of the gospel.
OT: Saul tormented by evil spirit 1 Sam 16; lying spirit 1 Kings 22.
NT: numerous refs. 7 specific accounts of Jesus casting evil spirits out of individuals.
Modern embarrassment about the supernatural.
Biblical worldview of evil: can’t overcome it by simple teaching; it is at its root demonic
: Jesus came to overcome it
: can be overcome only by power of God
: through prayer we become channels for Jesus to heal and free people

3. What is the evidence of human experience?

Jesus assumed the existence of a spirit world; experience backs him up. Church professes scepticism, while occult section of bookshops grows. Majority of world believes in evil spirits; but too often missionaries turn the good news into good advice and expect them to grow out of it. Field thus relinquished to witchdoctors. Psychiatrists are coming to believe in evil spirits – see Scott Peck, People of the Lie .

4. Should we call it possession?

Possession, and need for exorcism, is rare. Deliverance is common; find struggle going on between individual and infesting spirit. Mostly find one area of person’s life is affected. Prince: centre city free, but back streets occupied by criminal gangs. Demonisation or infestation are better words.
Levels of demonic activity
Physical attacks obstructions – eg car, computer won’t work
Emotional oppression; heaviness or depression.

Demonisation – from within; causing physical pain, inability to say Jesus Christ, even taking control of person’s voice body. Person can tell you when it they have left.
Possession – temporary possession can come when we praying to evict spirits from a demonised person; quite common. Permanent possession rare.
Christians can be demonised.

5. How do we know if an evil spirit is really present?

Usually find pyschological problem as well as demonic interference.
How to tell when a person needs deliverance
They tell you they do (which they are usually reluctant to do); they experience demonic control, voices, compulsions
Symptoms: bodily contortions, changes in voice, changes in expression.
Warning: multiple personality disorder may look the same
Discernment (presence and identity)
What you do: pray for baptism of Spirit; look and listen carefully; don’t go in beyond experience.

6. The different kinds of evil spirits

They have names. Helpful to know name and rank for ministry. Higher ones require person with greater spiritual authority and take longer. Knowing its name gives you additional power over it.

4 major groups of spirits:

1. Spirits of the occult: usually have odd personal names, and are high in rank. Come from involvement in the occult. Are most dangerous 10%.
2. Spirits of sin, eg lust, envy. Enter a habitation built by sin; repentance therefore necessary.
3. Spirits of trauma. Perhaps 2 thirds of deliverance prayer is here.
4. Ancestral familiar spirits, having ordinary names. Are either demons masquerading as dead people, or souls of dead needing rest (2 theories). If in doubt, just send it to Jesus.
Curses and the power of false judgment

7. Falling under a curse

We ignore, but traditional pagan religion not only believes in it but concentrates on seeking blessings and avoiding curses through the rituals of their shamans.
Evidence of scripture also compelling – see eg blessings and curses in
Deuteronomy 28. Scripture teaches words can convey spiritual power for either good or evil.
Pagans understand spiritual warfare better than we do.

How do we know if someone is cursed: discernment; mental or emotional breakdown, repeated chronic sickness (esp if hereditary and with no known cause), barrenness miscarriage; marriage family breakdown; financial insufficiency when should be OK by education and salary; being accident-prone; family history of suicide untimely death.

Covens target clergy marriages and churches. His family prays daily for protection.
Curses from the past – if family in previous generations has been involved in the occult; has been cursed by someone else; has been deeply involved in some kind of sinful activity.
Curses from a present cause: many Christian leaders are targeted by local covens and unwittingly afflicted, eg depression, illness, obsessive thoughts.

Minster in India reckons about a third of those he prays for are delivered from demons identifying themselves as Hindu gods.
Superstitions eg Friday 13th. This is a day sacred to satanic covens, which meet to send curses and spells.
His daily prayer: Lord Jesus, I ask you to protect our family [named] from all harm and from accidents. If any of us has been subjected to any curses, hexes or spells, I declare these curses, hexes or spells null and void in the name of Jesus Christ. If any evil spirits have been sent against us, I decommission you in the name of Jesus Christ and I send you to Jesus to deal with as he will. Then, Lord, I ask you to send your holy angels to guard and protect all of us.

Categories of sin that ordinarily call down a curse on us (Prince): – worship of false gods, esp spiritualism or other occult activities
– disrespect for parents
– oppressing people
– illicit unnatural sex
Need repentance and renunciation.
All this is like taking out the rubbish.

8. Curse-like judgments and ties that bind Judgments of parents and authority figures.

Adults can also receive a harsh criticism and make it their own, turning it into a festering wound.
Self-imposed vows – to protect self from further hurt.

How to deal with these bondages: ask them to forgive person who said it; cut them free from it; if sense some demonic force has hooked in, command it to leave.
In case of vows: they to repent; you break vow and cut them free from it, command spirits to leave, ask Jesus to restore the part of their life that was most wounded by the judgment or vow.
Spiritual and psychological ties – eg man on mother; sexual ties. Good idea to pray for deliverance for each partner entering a marriage.

9. Who can pray for deliverance?

Early church – all believers
Early adult baptism service included exorcism; believed all pagans needed it.
Restrictions introduced till by MA the priest was the normal minister of exorcism.
1604 Anglican clergy forbidden except with express consent of bishop beforehand. Catholics distingguished between exorcism for the possessed, and private exorcism for deliverance.
Revival of exorcism through pentecostal churches C20.
Now. Caution needed; but those gifted should have general permission from authorities, whom they should keep informed about what they are doing.

3 levels of spiritual warfare:

– protection
– simple deliverance (all mature Christians can do it)
– heavy deliverance (where there has been involvement in occult); specialist.

Getting ready

10. How to prepare

Exorcist should be person who combines simple faith with an awareness of difficulties; who can join knowledge of psychology and human frailty with the exercise of the gifts of the HS.
You can’t pray for them all – too many.
Decide on best time and place; don’t let Satan set it (midnight, after meeting…)
If in doubt, pray prayer of blessing. It may develop into deliverance, or remain as simple blessing.
Decide on timescale – one off or weekly sessions (combination of counselling and prayer).
Prepare yourself by prayer (and perhaps fasting).

11. Selecting a team

Work with a team if possible.
Not alone with client of opposite sex; spirits of lust may work.
If have team, can take break if tired; people there to restrain client if necessary; will have greater variety of spiritual gifts at your disposal – this the main reason. Need those who can discern and those who can intercede, in particular.

12. How the demonized person prepares for deliverance

Normally best to hold separate interview with them first. Try and discover the reason the evil spirit has come into their being; have they done anything to contribute to the situation. If so, need confession and forgiveness. Are they infested because of another person’s sin? Need forgiveness; for which need grace.
After repentance, confession and forgiveness, need to ask 2 key questions:
– when did it start
– why did it start.
Approach to deliverance depends on kind of spirit present (wounding, sinful, occult, ancestral)
33 question occult sheet pp 160-61
Once you have discovered what needs healing and what needs deliverance, help them: repent and ask forgiveness for sins; forgive those who have injured him; renounce any occult activities he may have practised.

How to pray for deliverance

13. How to pray for deliverance:

the basic form
Different for prayer for healing in that it isn’t a prayer at all, it is a command, directed not to God but to evil spirit.
Opening prayers – wisdom, authority, power and love, HS, angels, forbid any communication in realm of evil spirits.
Be compassionate, speak calmly and quietly, look person in the eye (often get negative or avoidance response).
Decide how to handle temporary possession – drive out straight away or bind while person finishes commitment to Jesus or other prayer necessary first. Spirits which have not demonstrated their presence previously may feel threatened enough to surface and take over victim’s personality as they fight to keep her in their power. Makes getting permission to exorcise difficult; ordinarily the person acts normally.

Decide about laying on of hands. Some say don’t, others (inc author) believe power of HS flows out form us to the afflicted person. Not however essential.
Actual prayer for deliverance. You should know the evil spirit’s identity before you start.
Commitment, repentance, renunciation.
Ask them to look you in them eye, ask HS to guide you (silent prayer).
Need discernment; do you start with the main spirit or with lesser ones.
Look out for blocking spirits (mockery, lying, confusion, sleepyness, game-playing).

Ordinary deliverance prayer contains these elements:

– authority: name of Jesus
– command
– name of spirit concerned

what you command: go
– how: quietly and without hurting anyone
– where: to Jesus

How to tell when they’ve gone: sometimes instant, sometimes it takes hours or even days. Sometimes they hide and pretend they’ve gone. We tell in 3 ways: discernment of team, of victim (they mostly know), and human observation – look in their eyes, at facial expression, at behaviour. Sometimes the spirits cause pain, which moves out through body as you pray, most often in coughing.
Sometimes you’ve done enough if you’ve done the main one, and better to set another time for the rest, perhaps over weeks or months.

Finish prayer by filling in the spiritual vacuum created, with HS.
Other helps – anything that brings us into presence of God will make the spirits uncomfortable and help us deliver the person: background prayer, music, scripture readings, mentioning blood of Jesus, hymn in Phil. 2.

Also oil, water, salt – all previously prepared by a blessing. Ancient prayer to bless water is: may you be a purified water, empowered to drive afar all power of the enemy, in fact, to root out and banish the enemy himself, along with his fallen angels.
Use of crucifix can be helpful.
Follow up suggestions

Closing prayer after they have left, eg:

Lord Jesus, thank you for sharing with us your wonderful ministry of healing and deliverance. Thank you for the healings we have seen and experienced today. But we realise that the sickness and evil we encounter is more than our humanity can bear. So cleanse us of any sadness, negativity or despair that we may have picked up. If our ministry has tempted me to anger, impatience or lust, cleanse us of those temptations and replace them with love, joy and peace. If any evil spirits have attached themselves to us or oppress us in any way, we command you, spirits of earth, air, fire or water, of the netherworld or of nature, to depart now and go straight to Jesus Christ, for him to deal with as he will.
Come Holy Spirit, renew us, fill us anew with your power, life and joy.
Strengthen us where we have felt weak and clothe us with your light.
Fill us with life. And Lord Jesus, please send your holy angels to minister to us and our families, and to guard and protect us from all sickness, harm and accidents, and guard us on a safe trip home. I praise you now and forever, Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

Final suggestions. Makes it easier if you can get the person to take part in their own deliverance. Ask them to repeat baptismal vows or prayer of confession; then ask them to repeat after you the parts of the actual deliverance prayer:
In the name of Jesus Christ I command you spirit of … to leave me now and go to Jesus Christ for him to deal with and I command you never again to return.
Also ask them at intervals what is going on from their point of view.

Have one person in charge.

14. Freeing a person from spirits of trauma

Most common category, yet literature pays them the least attention. (See Sandford, A Comprehensive Guide to deliverance and inner healing , Chosen Books, Grand Rapids, MI, 1992). Names like grief, rejection, fear. Spirit of fear can invade emotion of excessive fear, and exacerbate it, blocking victim’s free will. Such spirits move in when person suffers severe emotional trauma and is unprotected spiritually.
Result is irrational behaviour and temptation to commit desperate acts.

Deliverance is relatively easy, because no sin involved. Inner healing needed, not repentance.
How do you tell – discernment.
How to pray for freedom from a spirit of trauma:
– protection
– binding

In the name of Jesus Christ I command you not to interfere with this prayer. I bind you off from influencing x’s will, from his mind, from his imagination or emotions, from his memories and from his body. I cut you off by the sword of the Spirit from stirring up x’s grief (or whatever). I command you to be quiet and to leave when we finish our prayer for healing.
– forgiveness
– inner healing (go back to the event, relationship, with Jesus and ask him to heal)
– if it hasn’t gone, cast it out (very sensitively….)
– ask Jesus to fill the wounded nature

Spirits of trauma come in related clusters more often than individually.
May be consequent sin of which person needs to repent.
Plan new behaviour patterns, and give appropriate counteractive spiritual reading.
All deliverance requires inner healing; but not vv.

15. Spirits of sin

Enter after habitual and prolonged sin, or after particularly intense sin.
Unforgiveness one of the commonest spirits of sin. As usual it will identify itself when asked.
Person must repent and ask God’s forgiveness for the sin, and for hurting others. They will find it hard to shut the door on the sin, because they did it willingly for so long. It won’t go till he repents.
Spirits of sin add compulsive aspect to a sin; so can easily return.
Spirits of unforgiveness – may need to pray for the power of forgiveness first; forgiveness lies beyond our human capacity.

Two steps: help them truly repent
: pray with them for deliverance.

Inner healing may be needed in order to enable repentance. Almost every sin has a hold on us because of an emotional weakness.

16. Spirits of the occult

Most tenacious and vicious of all spirits.
Occult is spiritual realm where people seek either knowledge or power from any source other than God, when the kind of knowledge or power sought can come only from God. Most do not realise they are doing anything wrong.
Unwitting involvement (spiritualism)
Deliberate involvement (satanism)

The spirits come from hell itself and are stronger than ordinary evil or unclean spirits; witches call them demons.
Minister in love.
Timing important

Ask self if you have enough spiritual authority; needed here. Make sure you live life of spiritual strength and integrity; they know your weaknesses.

Levels of involvement:

– unwitting involvement thru spiritualism other occult practices; no intent to contact Satan
– knowingly seeking power to harm or dominate thru spells etc
– becoming channel, medium, witch
– commencing knowing and direct relationship with Satan
– belong to coven

Work with the person – preparation in Christian lifestyle important; person must desire to be whole and follow Jesus. Not enough to desire to be free from demonic torment.
Steps for counsel-lee to take commit life to Christ repent renounce (baptismal rite)
Need to confront the spirits directly
Dangerous ministry; authority and team needed
Expect blocking spirits; bind them
Find out how it entered and how it plays on the person’s weakness (discernment or questioning of person or spirit)
Keep contact with person periodically by telling it to be quiet
They come in groups; it will take a long time, even weekly sessions
Person will need time to make changes in long established thought emotional patterns; reason for taking it slowly

Seals. Person can be sealed for Satan, and not freed till the seal is broken. Can be done by contract or by dedication. Break it if the deliverance isn’t working. Can even happen in utero.
In the name of Jesus Christ, I break every seal of Satan and I set you free by the sword of the Holy Spirit

17. Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA)

Programming covens use to purposely invest victims with occult spirits; esp children. Is evidence. Hard to prove in court tho’ – child witnesses or years later. Victims will not remember a lot; will not believe in love or that you care; will confuse love with sex; will have been programmed to hurt you and even kill themselves if they talk to an outsider about life in a coven. Release takes months and years.

SRA = the emotionally, physically and sexually abusive acts that take place during satanic rituals.
Covens have rituals to mock the Christian ones. Include ritual murder – animals usually substituted for people. Torture used to ensure control.
Common result is multiple personalities; which need to be integrated not cast out.

Points to remember:

– healing takes time
– you need to know about SRA and MPD
– she needs love but is programmed against it
– she needs ongoing and frequent support; once a week not enough
– you need to find both the personalities and the spirits
– start any session with binding
– she will harbour some personalities loyal to the coven, may even keep going at night and not remember it
– you may need to deliver her from spirits instilled directly by the coven

18. Other kinds of spirits

Others which can’t be categorised.
False religion
Spirits that cause illness
Spirits that cause mental or emotional illness
Spirits of torment; pain moving around the body

19. Deliverance through blessed objects


Spirits seem to be able to tell the difference between those that have been blessed and those that have not.
Salt stays for weeks months if used to bless a room; and can be sprinkled on food. Ancient prayer for salt:
God’s creature, salt, I cast out the demon from you by the living God, by the true God, by the holy God, by God who ordered you to be thrown into the water-springs by Elisesu to heal it of its barrenness. May you be a purified salt, a means of health for those who believe, a medicine for body and soul for all who make use of you. May all evil fancies of the foul fiend, his malice and cunning, be driven afar from the place where you are sprinkled. And let every unclean spirit be repulsed by him who is coming to judge both the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen. Let us pray. Almighty everlasting God, we humbly appeal to your mercy and goodness to graciously bless this creature, salt, which you have given for mankind’s use. May all who use it find in it a remedy for body and mind. And may everything that it touches or sprinkles be freed from uncleanness and any influence of the evil spirit; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

May you be a purified water, empowered to drive afar all power of the enemy, in fact, to root out and banish the enemy himself, along with his fallen angels. We ask this through the power of our Lord Jesus Christ…
May everything that this water sprinkles in the homes and gatherings of the faithful be delivered from all that is unclean and hurtful; let no breath of contagion hover there, no taint of corruption; let all the wiles of the lurking enemy come to nothing. By the sprinkling of this water may everything be opposed to the safety and peace of the occupants of these homes be banished, so that in calling o your holy name they may know the well-being they desire, and be protected from every period; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Or similar.
Other helps – bibles, candles, crosses.

20. Follow-up

Scripture and spiritual reading
Church home group attendance.

21. Larger dimensions of deliverance

Deliverance prayer also against evil principalities and powers that control entire cities, regions and nations – Wagner and others. Deliverance from evil embedded in nations, societies and cultures which blinds people to the evil that operates in their lives – Wink and others.

22. Deliverance of places

When targeted by curses, hexes, spells
When crimes serious sins have been committed there
When people infested by demons have lived or spent time visiting a place
New home church

23. Baptism in the HS

Appendix: sample prayers


Additional Comments

Most ministers don’t know much very much about “Deliverance Ministry”. First of all, if a person is possessed, he/she cannot cast demons out of themselves. That is total nonsense. Demons take control over all body parts from the top of the head to the bottom of their feet.

When they talk about strongholds, they seems to think that they are talking about demons/evil spirits. No! No! No! When a Christian has been Baptized with the Holy Spirit, no demon/evil spirit can enter his physical body. He can be harassed from the outside but he cannot have a demon/evil spirit enter his body. That is total nonsense. Some years ago, I dealt with a man who was attacked by a demon/evil spirit for 4 hours. It kept trying to enter his body through his mouth. When I go there, he was holding the demon at bay in a matter of speaking. Every time it would attempt to enter his body through his mouth, it would growl at him and try to go inside but it couldn’t accomplish that and it bounced right back outside and he would speak in tongues. The demons/evil spirits are not very smart. That is the case when they foolishly attack any person who has received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

When I arrived at his house, he was on his knees fending it off by praying in tongues. I commanded the demon/evil spirit to leave in the name of Jesus Christ and go to the abyss and stay there. He had only been Baptized with the Holy Spirit 2 days before when I prayed with him and his wife so he didn’t know what authority (Mk. 16: 17) he had to get rid of the thing. No evil spirit/demon can enter a person’s body when that person has received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Our body does not have rooms or particans with open areas, like rooms, where the Holy Spirit can be in one room and demons in other rooms. That is a lie from the devil/Satan and people who do not know what they are talking about.

The “strongholds” are not demons. The strongholds are the works of the flesh (Gal. 5: 19 – 21). They are sin not demons/evil spirits. They are what I call “stinking thinking”. That’s the reason why Paul writes concerning “strongholds” (2 Cor. 10: 3 – 6). For though we live in the world we are not carrying on a worldly war, for the weapons of our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.” In Greek, doesn’t say “weapons of the world”, it says “weapons of the flesh” which means works of the flesh which can be destroyed when they are replaced with the “Fruit of the Holy Spirit” (Gal. 5: 22 – 23). “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal. 5: 24). So, the strongholds are “the flesh with its passions and desires” not demons/evil spirits.

And, further, the Greek doesn’t say divine power, it says (God’s power) which comes into us when we have received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2: 4). Before this, Jesus said, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the end of the world” (Acts 1: 8). It’s people like Matt Sorger who are preoccupied with demons/evil spirits and the devil/Satan, that they see the enemy everywhere when the main problem is sin.

So, what I am saying is this, when somebody has one of these sinful strongholds: fornication, impurity (homosexuality),licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like” (Gal. 5: 19 – 21). And, the way we destroy these strongholds is by repenting for the sin, receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (if they haven’t done this already) and asking Jesus to forgive us and replace the sin strongholds with the “fruit of the Spirit”. Anybody who tries to cast out sin, is the devil/Satan’s best stooge and are like the Sadducees of whom Jesus said, “You are wrong because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of sin” (Matt. 22: 29).

And, by the way, I almost forgot, many of these people who are preoccupied with the devil/Satan and/or demons/evil spirits want to call the strongholds the result of generational sin and curses, which again they have never studied the Old Testament where God said that He has done away with them (Jer. 31: 27 – 34 ; Ezekiel 18). Any person who has received the authentic Baptism of the Holy Spirit cannot be possessed because the Holy Spirit fills our whole body and not any one part, but totally

Gordon Williams

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