Can demons control how your soul prays to God? Can they block your prayers from getting through to Him? Absolutely not. But they will try to make you think they can by scrambling your thoughts. And if you don’t understand the difference between your thoughts and your prayers, you will end up quite distressed. So this is where we need to do some explaining about how prayer actually works.
Your soul (or spirit) is not the same as your brain. When you die, your soul will go on to be with God while your physical brain will remain inside your physical corpse and the whole package will rot away. Your body is merely an earth suit—it’s your soul’s vehicle for getting around on this planet. And just as a man is separate from the car that he is driving, so also your soul is separate from the flesh suit that it’s currently walking about in. Yet the two things do have a relationship, and one affects the other. If a man steps hard on the brake pedal, his car will be jolted to a stop. If the car’s engine suddenly stops working, the man could find himself crashed into a tree. In the same way, your body and soul interact with each other. When one component is distressed, the other notices and is affected by it. But being affected is quite different than being controlled. Your body, mind and emotions do not control the activity of your soul, nor can your soul always control your body. These two things have separate wills, and this is what Paul is talking about when he describes doing what he doesn’t want to do as the will of his flesh overwhelms the will of his soul (see Romans 7).
Now then, God is a spirit Being and you communicate to Him using a spiritual language. Your soul does not speak the language that your physical tongue speaks. Your soul doesn’t use human words. It has its own language that God gave it—a spiritual language which is far more efficient than all these noises and letters we have to use to try and communicate with other human beings. God doesn’t talk to your body, He talks to your soul, and your soul talks back to Him. Your soul and God are talking to each other far more often than your brain is aware of. Most of the exchanges which are happening between you and God never get translated into a language that your brain can understand, therefore you think that God is never talking to you. But God is talking to you and your soul knows it and it is responding to Him. It’s all going on underneath your mental radar because when it comes to spiritual things, your physical brain just can’t keep up.
Your brain is always late to the party when it comes to getting in on exchanges between your soul and God. The very instant that you even feel a desire to say something to God, your soul has already said it and He has already answered. Spiritual communication is instantaneous. But your brain is oblivious to this so it trudges on with the task of forming a mental prayer using a verbal human language. You think to yourself, “Dear God, please help me know You better.” This is all fine, but it’s already been said. Your brain is like a slow internet connection that takes a very long time to load a page. Your soul is the one that constructed the page—your brain is simply trying to download a clear picture of it. Sometimes your brain jams and the page never does finish loading. You get distracted. You can’t find the right words. A bunch of mental static starts getting dumped into your brain by demons. Whatever the cause, when you don’t finish forming your mental thought, you think you haven’t finished praying your prayer. But this isn’t true—the prayer has already been prayed a long time ago by your soul. Your brain had nothing to do with it. Just as the contents of an internet page don’t change simply because your computer fails to download them, so also the contents of your prayers don’t change because your brain fails to translate them into a verbal language. The prayers you form in your mind are really echoes of what your soul has already said. Your brain is always picking up a late broadcast—the actual event has already happened and your brain had nothing to do with it.
Now when demons want to freak you out about how much control they have over you, they will pour all kinds of terrible thoughts and images into your mind and then accuse you of coming up with them on your own. It’s a cinch for them to say the words “I love Satan” in your brain and then try to tell you that you said those words yourself. But of course you didn’t, for when demons plant thoughts into your mind, it’s like someone whispering words in your ear—the words aren’t coming from you and have nothing to do with what your soul desires. Demons can dump thoughts into your brain all day—it doesn’t matter. Your soul will continue to have its own conversation with God in a private room that demons can’t get into. Demons have no ability whatsoever to alter what your soul says to God or to block God from receiving your soul’s messages.
Suppose you have a friend in another country who is typing an email to you. Can you physically stop their fingers from striking certain keys? Not at all. You are powerless to control the content of their email—all you can do is wait for them to hit send so you can receive a copy of it. Now once you have a copy, you can try to mangle it. You can go into an edit screen, delete certain words, and type in other phrases to make it sound like a totally different message. Then you could forward the whole thing to someone else and say, “Look what my friend wrote me.” And of course you’d be misrepresenting your friend because you have changed their original message. But over where your first friend lives, they have a perfect copy of their original message to you sitting in their sent box, and there’s nothing you can do to access that original and mess with it. This is what it’s like when you pray to God: your soul sends Him a message which He instantly receives and responds to. Meanwhile, your brain tries to pick up a copy of that message which is translated into a verbal language. But while your brain is still struggling to complete its translation process, demons will leap in and try to scramble your thoughts by inserting some nasty comment about God into the mix. Then they’ll accuse you of being the originator of that thought, even though they know very well that you are innocent. It’s all just a shady little game to make you think they have more control over you than they actually do. Whether you’re saved or not, demons cannot interfere with your soul’s communication with God.
So how do you know when demons are messing with you like this? One major clue is when some thought appears in your mind that distresses you. Suppose you’re trying to pray and suddenly the words, “I hate Jesus” form in your mind. You then panic, distressed that your soul would come up with such a terrible sentiment. Then you worry that God is now going to react in anger. But the fact that you’re repulsed by the thought proves that your soul is NOT the originator of it. Instead, the thought has been planted in your brain by demons, and they now want you to take both the credit and the blame for it.
One of the keys to escaping condemnation is to realize that a lot of what goes on in your mind isn’t coming from you. There is a lot of static being dumped into your head by demons and you need to learn how to reject what they say as garbage. Sometimes this static can become so constant and so intense that you feel like you can’t think for yourself. And since everything demons say is a negative downer, you’re going to end up feeling very guilty and oppressed unless you realize what the little rats are up to. It’s all a just game to try and stop you from realizing how private and secure your soul exchanges with God really are. While demons scream their hateful messages into your ear, your soul is continuing to talk with God without any interruptions. And though your soul knows that your flesh is in distress, it is not controlled by your flesh. It continues to have its own thoughts, just as a man in a lurching car still retains the ability to think for himself.
God judges you by the desires of your soul, not by the noise in your head. If your soul wants to please God, He is pleased, even if your mind is filled with garbage from demons. God never misunderstands your intentions towards Him. Demons can scream into your mind the words, “I hate Jesus” all day long, but Jesus will never think for a moment that you really do hate Him when He can see that your soul does not. We never have to be afraid of demons interfering with our communication with God or blocking us from being able to access God. These are things which are completely beyond their limited range of power.
Voices in Your Mind