Editor's Note: Pastor Roger Barrier's "Ask Roger" column regularly appears at Preach It, Teach It. Every week at Crosswalk, Dr. Barrier puts nearly 40 years of experience in the pastorate to work answering questions of doctrine or practice for laypeople, or giving advice on church leadership issues. Email him your questions at roger@preachitteachit.org.

Hi Roger,

I have a spiritual warfare question. I pray for two of my kids to be released from Satan’s grip. I pray this on a daily basis. I fully believe that God is able to free them. I have faith and complete confidence in God’s power to do this. I just don’t know when or how. My question is, WHY AM I NOT SEEING RESULTS?

I can halfway answer my own question by saying that they themselves need to repent and appropriate a new life and freedom in Christ.

Now, is there more to it that I need to know as I pray for them? Can you give me a more complete answer? If you use my question in your website, that is fine. I just don’t want my name revealed.

Thanks,

Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

First of all, I grieve with you. We all want our children to have wisdom, to make good choices and to manifest solid morals and values. We want to see them living for Christ and moving well on the way to maturity. I know your heart is in agony. I am so sorry for your pain and hurt. I also grieve for the pain and hurt they well may experience while they are living away from Christ. Perhaps I can give you a little hope.

The most obvious answer to your question, “Why am I not seeing results?” is likely the half answer you gave above: “They themselves need to repent and appropriate a new life and freedom in Christ.” The truth is, their choices are of paramount. You can pray and pray and pray but their decisions to continue in sin and most probably to remain under Satan’s grip will continue until they decide otherwise.

In Ephesians 4:27 Paul taught that it is possible for individuals to continue in perpetual sin long enough that Satan gains a foothold. You may need to pray for your children’s repentance and victory over specific, ongoing sins before they themselves can dislodge Satan’s grip! In James 4:7  James taught that only when we stop our sin, do we have the freedom to demand that the Devil flee our presence. By the way, it is possible to personally confess the sins of others. Daniel confessed the sins of his people in Daniel 11  God heard that prayer.

Obviously, your questions indicate that you are familiar with spiritual warfare. Neil Anderson has many helpful guideline prayers for overcoming Satan's grip in particular areas of our lives. His “Bondage Breakers” books are ever so helpful. You might consider praying some of his specifically designed, spiritual warfare, guide-line prayers to overcome any stronghold that Satan may be using against your children.

While the choice to remain in sin lies primarily with your children, our prayers are still important. Let me share some thoughts that may help lay the foundation for their eventual freedom.

Pray specifically for their minds to be free enough to choose against Satan and for the Lord. One prayer you might add to your arsenal is based on 2 Corinthians 4:4  “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” Pray specifically for their blinded eyes to be opened to see the truth of what's becoming of their lives.