I believe there are two reasons we suffer from negative thoughts and toxic emotions. The first reason is our lack of control over our minds. The second reason is spiritual warfare. "For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against rules and principalities, against wicked forces in the heavenly realm. We have a real enemy that wants us to live a defeated life in Christ and he's like a lion looking day and night for someone to devour. We give the enemy entrance into our lives by having an unrestrained mind. He creeps in with debilitating thoughts and mindsets, then he makes resident by bounding us with strongholds and evil influences. That is why you can pray and pray for deliverance but if you're not saying the right prayer, you'll continue to be tormented day and night in your mind.

The Lord led me to this story in the Bible to show you what I mean. It is a long story but I'm going to try and summarize it. In Mark 5, there was a man who lived in the tombs. This man had been possessed by a demon for many years. As people walked by they could hear him screaming in torment. He often cut himself and he was so strong that others could not restrain him. Jesus was walking near the tombs when the demon possessed man ran out to meet him. The man fell at Jesus feet and asked Him if he had come to torment him before the appointed time? Jesus replied by saying, "What is your name?" The demon replied, "My name is Legion, for we are many." Then Jesus command of the demons to come out of the man and go into a herd of pigs.

For those who suffer from tormenting thoughts, raging emotions, and uncontrollable and debilitating behaviors, there is so much to be gleaned from this story. Here have a man living in the tombs, a place of darkness and death. Stagnation had set in. He was no longer fulfilling his purpose. He was paralyzed by inner demons. The joy, love, and peace had gone out of his life. He lived alone, withdrawn from his family and friends. He was filled with so much emotional and physical pain that you could hear him screaming from a distance. His ongoing pain caused him to want to hurt himself, so as an act of self-debasement, he cut himself with sharp objects and stones. Everyone had given up on this man. He was doomed to live forever in a state of hopelessness and anxiety.

I don't know about you, but I've been at this place many times in my life. We all have. A dark cloud lingers overhead, we're paralyzed by our own fears and physical or emotional pain causes us to withdraw from loved ones. Peace, joy, and well-being are replaced with worry, fear, anxiety and depression. If we're not verbally screaming on the outside, we're moaning and groaning on the inside. We may have even had thoughts about hurting ourselves or others. People commit suicide to stop the pain they feel inside everyday, even Christians. If you've watched Oprah, you've heard stories about people cutting themselves.

From close observation, I don't see much difference between the struggle of the man in the tomb and the conditions that plague many believers today. As Christians, we may not be outright possessed, but we are heavily influenced by the spirit world to the point that we lived in mental torment, depression, anxiety, and a host of other depraved behaviors and habits. Somewhere along the line, we opened the door and gave the enemy and entrance into our lives and our thoughts.

There are several more aspects of this story I want you to see. The first is that this man wanted to be delivered. This man sought out Jesus. He left the security of the tombs to meet Jesus. Even the most hopeless people want help. Secondly, before Jesus commanded the demon to come out of the man, he asked him, 'What is your name?" That was an odd request, why would Jesus care what his name was? Because Jesus wanted to know what type of demon he was dealing with. Similarly, we can't change or eliminate what we don't see or recognize. If you have a problem, but you don't see it, what is going to motivate you to take action?

Mark tells us "no one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man." The enemy comes in subtly then gains control of our mind and emotions and plunders the fruit of the Spirit right out of our lives.

According to this story, I believe if our lives are plagued with fear, worry, anger, lust, low self-esteem, depression, insecurity, anxiety, overeatingand nothing you do seems to help (prayer, counseling, affirmations, even meditation) spiritual influences are suspect.

So how do we gain our freedom again? We do what Jesus did, we identify what is ailing us and then we speak to these entities directly and cast them out, in the authority and the name of Jesus Christ. Last week I asked you to record your thoughts and categorize them by themes. Your list is similar to Jesus asking the demon to identify itself. This list represents the unclean spirits that are stealing your joy and causing you to live in mental torment. Now it is time to CAST THEM OUT! Praise the Lord. Are you ready!

BEFORE you get out of bed, read the the following UnClean Spirit Prayer. Also read it as the very last thing you do before going to bed at night. You need day and night protection! Read it with authority and confidence, like you mean business. Read it like the armies of God are standing behind you ready for battle. Before you read it, you'll need to add your list of unclean spirits in the blanks. I've already included the most common ones, but make sure you included the ones on your list.

Unclean Spirit Prayer:

God is the ruler of heaven and earth and the creator of everything under the sun. He is my present help in time of trouble and a snare against the enemy in my life. God has given me kingdom authority in the power of his son Jesus Christ. Under that authority I am protected from deadly substances, I can cast out demons, I can heal the sick, I have a mountain moving faith, and nothing can hurt or harm me. Therefore under the authority which I have in Jesus Christ and in the name of Jesus Christ I cast out every unclean spirit and demons influencing my life and disturbing my peace of mind. In the authority of the name of Jesus Christ

I cast out the unclean spirit of worry.
I cast out the unclean spirit of depression.
I cast out the unclean spirit of oppression.
I cast out the unclean spirit of low self-esteem.
I cast out the unclean spirit of anger.
I cast out the unclean spirit of fear.
I cast out the unclean spirit of the restlessness.
I cast out the unclean spirit of addiction.
I cast out the unclean spirit of lust.
I cast out the unclean spirit of unbelief.
I cast out the unclean spirit of gluttony.
I cast out the unclean spirit of _______________________. (Add yours)
I cast out the unclean spirit of _______________________.
I cast out the unclean spirit of _______________________.
I cast out the unclean spirit of _______________________.
I cast out the unclean spirit of _______________________.

and every other unclean spirit tormenting my mind. I command them to leave my presence and enter into the swine and be cast into utter darkness never to return again. Right now, God's angels are ministering unto me and by faith I receive my deliverance from evil spirits and God's peace that passes all understanding. In the mighty name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Praying this prayer and casting out demons completely changed my life. Although I had gained authority over my thoughts, for some time I walked around with a low-grade feeling of fear and worry. Identifying and casting out these unclean spirits gave me the peace that does pass all understanding, even in the midst of storms.

Author's Bio: 

Rhonda Jones is the author of 23 Christian meditation and affirmation Cds. Visit her award-winning website at www.thechristianmeditator.com. Sign-up for her Free Spiritual Growth Eseries, 18 Weeks to More Peace, Joy, and Intimacy with God. Copyright Serenity Enterprises.