"Could the ministry team please step to the front?” Pastor Bill Johnson motioned his prayer servants forward. I made my way to the stage. Halfway through the ministry time, a middle-aged man named Daniel came forward and introduced himself. I asked why he needed prayer. Daniel replied, “Deliverance.”
As we worked through issues, Daniel confessed that as a teenager he had sold his soul to the devil. Surprised, but not wanting to appear too concerned, I held my best non-shocked face and asked, “Why?” With tears in his eyes, Daniel explained.
As far back as he could remember Daniel’s dad had been a violent drunk. One night, when Daniel was 14, his dad had come home from work completely intoxicated. Daniel raced to his bedroom to hide beneath the sheets. He could hear his dad rampaging throughout the house.
Terrified, Daniel clutched the bedsheets and asked Jesus if He were real, to appear and save his family. Seeing no immediate change, Daniel asked satan if he were real, to rescue his family. Within seconds, a demonic presence filled the room. Terrified, Daniel promised his soul if only it would keep his family safe.
At 16, Daniel ran away from home and entered into a life of drugs. Not until he overdosed at the age of 18 was he again visited by the demonic entity. This time it told Daniel that his time was up. In a sort of post-death vision, Daniel saw himself outside of his body and cried out to Jesus for help. Immediately, Jesus appeared. Daniel’s overdose ended. He woke up on the floor of his apartment completely free from drug addiction. Afterward, he gave his heart to Jesus. Following this encounter, Daniel started attending church. However, he sensed the demonic spirit was still attached to his life.
Now, fifteen years later, Daniel sobbed at the prayer line. Seeing the guilt left from his past sin, I gently asked if Daniel wanted to speak to Jesus about this specific memory. Through sobs, Daniel said, “Yes.”
I led him through a prayer of forgiveness, “Close your eyes. Repeat after me: ‘Jesus, I ask You to forgive me for creating an unhealthy soul tie with the demonic realm. I renounce the lie that even though I am with You, I still have to be bound to its presence. Jesus, what do You have for me in exchange?’”
Daniel repeated the prayer.
I continued, “What do you see, sense, or hear?”
Daniel cocked his head as if listening to an interior conversation. “I don’t know. Jesus wants to tell me something, but I can’t quite hear Him.”
“Repeat after me: ‘Jesus, would You show me where You were in that moment when I first cried out for Your safety?’”
Daniel replied, “I saw myself as a boy hiding under the sheets in my bedroom. But this time, Jesus showed up. He was so huge that He filled the entire room.”
“How does that make you feel?”
“Kind of dumb. I wish I had seen Him.”
“Repeat after me: ‘Jesus, thank You for revealing Yourself to me in that memory. I ask You to forgive me for not noticing when You entered the room. I renounce the lie that You are angry with me for not recognizing Your presence. I give You permission, Jesus, to teach me how to recognize when You come near.”
Daniel finished the prayer.
I leaned forward, “How does that make you feel?”
Daniel opened his eyes. A grin formed across his face. “Thank You, Jesus.”
Daniel’s voice cracked. He doubled over into a succession of sobs. When I felt he was ready, I continued.
“Repeat after me: ‘Jesus, thank You for revealing Yourself to me. I renounce the lie that my soul, at any time, belonged to the enemy. I hand this lie to You in Jesus’s name and ask that You would cleanse me from any and all ties to the demonic realm. I ask this all in Jesus’s name. Jesus, what do You have for me in exchange?’”
Dawna waited to hear Daniel’s response. “What do you hear, sense, or see?” Daniel wiped his eyes with the back of each wrist. “Jesus said He is proud of me. I saw Him rip the document that I had signed to the devil. Then He gave me a new contract and said I’m now in partnership with Him.”
“How does that make you feel?” “Pretty good.” “Repeat after me: ‘Thank You, Jesus, for tearing this false document. I separate myself from all of its ties and hand You each piece. I ask, Jesus, that You would preserve me with Your blessing. I seal these truths in Your Holy name. Amen.’”
Daniel repeated the prayer. Drying his eyes, he looked at me and gave me bear hug.
In a powerful act of exchange, Daniel severed partnership with the enemy and established a covenant with Jesus.
Jesus fulfills many roles for us throughout our lives. However, there are two main characteristics we focus on as Sozo ministers when reconnecting individuals to Christ—those characteristics of friend and mediator.
The first role Sozo ministers investigate with a person is Jesus’s function as our friend. While the significance of this concept may be diluted in contemporary society, understanding this relationship has the power to shape nations. Jesus was, is, and is eternally God (see John 1:1-14). Having relationship with Him means we have relationship with the Father.
Also noted in Scripture is Jesus’s second major role in our lives as our perfect mediator (Romans 8:34). Jesus intercedes for us continuously. He has our best interests at heart. In light of this, it is not surprising to see that many Christians relate to Jesus better than the other two members of the Godhead. Of the Trinity, Jesus generally is seen as the most personable and easiest to relate to. Because of the ease with which we relate to Jesus, we often begin our Sozo inner-healing sessions with Him.
It is so rewarding to watch Jesus bring truth into places of pain. Over and over, I have seen Jesus heal hurts, remove lies, and exchange those lies for truths. Connecting people to Jesus as a friend, companion, and savior opens the way to clearer communication between themselves and God.
In examining your own life, are there areas with your friends and siblings that need prayer and breakthrough? Maybe you need to work through forgiveness with your friends? Perhaps your friend or sibling did not show you honor growing up? Do you feel a never-ending sense of loneliness even when surrounded by people who say they love you? Chances are, there are some lies that need to be dealt with.
Healing happens because those hungry enough to seek it out are brave enough to confront their fears.