Exorcist Diary #208: Demons 'teach' us about prayer
["Woman Kneeling in Prayer," George Henry Boughton, c. 1860]
I have been encouraging David, who formerly belonged to a Satanic cult and is possessed, to pray daily deliverance prayers, in addition to attending exorcism sessions. He is slowly working up to an extensive daily regimen of protection and deliverance prayers, tailored to the kinds of demons he has.
I recently added the Saint Michael prayer, which has been difficult for him to pray. I subsequently asked him how it was going. He responded:
"When I say the St. Michael prayer, if I don't speak it out loud, or think about it, or
what it means, and just quickly read it, then it's not as bad. If I were to go to
church and hear it spoken by alot of people, then I would be in alot of pain...The
demons [would be] screaming."
I think we all realize that when we pray, we ought to focus on the words and pray them thoughtfully and deliberately. Moreover, doing so in a community of the faithful adds additional spiritual "power." Sadly, our human minds tend to wander and get distracted. Also, we can sometimes rush through our prayers, just trying to get through them quickly, as if a superficial rote recitation of prayers is sufficient. Obviously, the witness of the demons is otherwise.
I have learned much about the practice of our faith in the course of being an exorcist. David's witness has demonstrated the power of communal prayer. And David has also reminded me of how to pray most effectively: I need to slow down, and say the prayers, including the Rite of Exorcism, thoughtfully and deliberately. It makes a difference.
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