Here’s a personal and spiritual answer.
Since I was eighteen years old I frequently had engaged in an internal battle within me between who I understood myself to be and what was being played out in my nightmares. I wasn’t sure what I was contending with in its entirety, so for years I had to sleep with the light on, listening to Scripture readings on CD with Christian worship music playing. If the tapes ended, I would awaken trembling and damp with sweat. I had to pray warfare prayers and often slept with my Bible on my chest. Lights on. Music playing. Bible sprawled out. Nightly battles.
There were times I was so asleep I couldn’t wake up—something was pressing on my chest. My mouth and tongue were paralyzed. I would utter the words “Jesus Christ,” but it would sound more like “hesus heist.” That’s all I could say. My body would pop forward into an upright sitting position. I would feel as if something had been wrestling with me. My face and chest would feel as if they had been smashed. Something was on me, stifling my breathing, silencing my voice—my capacity for action gone. As I lay immobilized and terrified, only the name of Jesus Christ saved me. This is not some experiment I hoped would work. It was front- of-the-line battle, and the only weapon I really had was calling out, “Jesus Christ.”
I use the following Declaration of Independence statement like most people drink water. I could not have made it this far without it. It’s in my purse 24/7, by my bed, in my Bible and the most handed out piece of material in my counseling office.
I want you to know that there is not one correct way to spiritually reclaim your life. This is simply a way to set the boundary lines between you and Satan’s lies and attacks, reclaim the ground you have given him and allow God the chance to heal, empower and care for you.
It has effectively calmed the battle of countless clients, family and friends. Clients of mine have shared it with their friends and family and with great effect. I am deeply honored to share it with you, as one of many steps you can take on the road to freedom and power.
Declaration of Independence
Father, in the name of the risen Lord Jesus Christ, I take authority over and bind this demon that is afflicting me, along with those under his authority. You, evil and afflicting spirit, I bring the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ between you and me. Any negative words, thoughts or feelings you have given or put upon me, I bind in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Any negative words, thoughts or feelings you give ____________________________ (use this blank to list one or 21 people who have purposefully or unknowingly brought oppression into your life—even if you have forgiven them, love them, like them) that are against me, I bind those words, thoughts and feelings and put them back on you. I break any evil curse you’ve put upon me or that you are trying to carry out in my life, and I break any evil soul tie between me and those I have named. I take back all the ground I’ve given you and I confess my sin, if I’ve listened to your lies, thoughts or feelings.
Now, you evil spirit from those I have named, I command you to go to the place the Lord Jesus Christ wants you to go. Be gone in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Father, in the name of the risen Lord Jesus Christ, I ask for protection and loose your angels to minister to me and ask that the Holy Spirit would counsel and comfort me so that I may be healed of my infirmities to your glory and my freedom.
“I pray that out of your glorious riches, O Lord Jesus Christ, you would strengthen me with power through your Spirit in my inner being so that you, Lord, would dwell in my heart through faith. And I pray that I, being rooted and established in love, would have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is your love and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that I may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to you, Lord Jesus Christ, who is able to do immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine, according to your power that is at work within me, to you be the glory throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3: 16-21)
Mary Ellen Mann
Mary Ellen Mann is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice in Denver (visit www.manncounselinggroup.com). After attending a Christian college, she did her graduate work at Columbia University. Recently she co-founded Last Battle, LLC and helped develop the first interactive website for survivors of sexual violation, www.lastbattle.org, to help survivors, family and friends of survivors, Christian leaders, and professionals who care about this population. Her book, From Pain to Power will be on the market September 22, 2015. Mary Ellen lives in Denver with her husband and their two sons.