I’ve always had a hard time believing that the prayers I whisper in solitude have power to make any meaningful change in my life. For a very long time it made praying and ‘quiet timing’ seem like a ‘let me do it for doing sake’ activity than ‘the exercise of dominion’ activity it actually is. A few years ago, something extraordinary happened that changed the trajectory of my life and my response to these ‘mind games’. I have never spoken of it publicly, and even now, I’ll alter minor details, but the main facts will be unscathed.
Jones and I became very good friends many years ago . I don’t keep many close friends so there’s enough quality attention to give to the few. Jones was a great buddy. We had equally crazy ambitions, same love for bantering, wit and word games and a shared taste in beautiful women. The bad boys detested us because we won over the beautiful girls and just flirted playfully, ruining their chances of getting them and actually getting to base 3. Till date we’re tagged ‘The meat wasters.’
A few years ago Jones changed. He’d become more irritable, too obsessed with how he looked and overly swayed by material things. Too proud and stubborn to admit it if he was wrong and too hungry for new ‘adventure’. This badly affected his relationship with Maame. Maame is the sweetest thing and I couldn’t believe he was being such a jerk to her. Their relationship went sore from the incessant fights and it saddened me because things were really happening for me and mine :-).
I started to pray for him. Honestly I didn’t believe my prayer would do anything and I just prayed dutifully. It was hard to pray intensely because I’d remember some weakness of mine or some unanswered prayer from before and I’d wonder why I was bothering at all. But I stubbornly continued to pray. Nothing seemed to change, Jones was slowly becoming a completely different guy and I saw him as the pale downgrade of the awesome buddy I used to have.
When he started giving me attitude, the only reason I didn’t just jump ship was because I knew that if the tables were turned and I was acting funny, Jones would NEVER leave. Even if I punched or dissed his mum (his sore spot), Jones would stick around till I came to my senses then give me his piece of mind…so I tried to do same. It got worse and he finally ditched Maame…the poor thing. I knew it was a mistake, I knew any guy in his right senses would never walk away from a Maame; she was an endangered species; the kind of woman that men searched a lifetime and didn’t find, and foolish Jones was treating her like dirt.
I was so upset, but I prayed for and accommodated this new downgrade of a Jones for the sake of his awesome original version. A week after him and Maame split, I went over to his and we were just hanging out. He hadn’t expected me and for some reason that day when I spoke to him it seemed to be getting through to him. We were sitting in my old car just talking, when the freakiest thing happened! I need you to know that I am not making this up…this is Ben talking, no role playing, no gimmicks. I’m the realest most skeptical guy this side of the Sahara, so I cant make this kind of thing up without tearing my skin out in the process.
I was just going on with Jones about how terrible a mistake he was making with Maame and how his recent rants and tantrums weren’t adding up when suddenly his voice deepened, eyes widened and when the words he spoke came out of his mouth I knew it wasn’t my buddy Jones talking…the voice said “YOU THIIISSS BOOOYYY…..STOP PRAYING FOR THIS BOY, YOU WONT STOP. I WILL KILL YOU TODAAAYYY!!”
“Kaaaiiiiii, but Jones why?” I thought “We are playing noorr, then you pull this on me…” O but Jones wasn’t there, the thing that was wasn’t kidding either. There noorrr I screamed “Jeeezos!” I started speaking in tongues I’d only heard come out of the mouths of prayer warriors. I am a pretty good actor so I feigned confidence, but I’d never been more shaken in my life! His folks were inside so they heard the commotion and came out. There, their son was speaking mysteries -some predating his birth, clearly overtaken by something very dark. It was just us three and his dad asked me to restrain him while he prayed.
Me? The same Ben who never stayed for a deliverance service because he didn’t want to upset any demons? The same Ben who never sang ‘Y3 tia abonsam so’ because he didn’t want to trouble the devil? The same Ben who had a list of weaknesses and addictions too dirty to be spoken in public? I should be the restraint of a deliverance session? You must be joking! What if the thing realized I was getting in the way and started telling my dark secrets to everyone? Why me? Why me? Why me O, God? The way I don’t like trouble!
But Jones was my friend, and there was no pastor around. So the dirty, sinful, guilty, freaked out me had to hold James back and call on a God I had disappointed so so so often. I screamed on top of my voice but the foul thing only laughed in my face…and rightfully so; my relationship with God was “Our faaaada…” I understood then that verse in the Bible where the foul spirit said “Jesus I know, Paul I know, but who be this Ben guy?”
In the end, the foul spirit left my dear friend and it had nothing to do with me; a man of God had issued the command over the phone and asked us to say “Thank you Jesus.” I cried all the way home that night. The police man at the barrier didn’t even feel right about making a bribe request. I was drenched in anointing oil and tears. I was so so scared too. I really thought I’d die. If I’d upset such a dark king pin…what would stop my Honda from being toppled off the Achimota Highway at midnight? I couldn’t sleep that night. I was so scared. But two things stuck with me that night;
When thingy started talking, its main issue was that I wouldn’t stop praying for Jones. But me too those prayers I’d been saying weren’t any serious prayers. I was so spiritually careless with a lot of foolish habits, I didn’t even believe so much in the prayers I was saying…but it still managed to disrupt the plans of some dark kingdom, so I thought…what if I set out to live more rightly…what would happen to the prayers I say then? That night, that confrontation with darkness was my greatest proof of the fact that PRAYER WORKS. It doesn’t matter what your mind is saying, how you feel, what you did last night, how bad you think you are, PRAYER WORKS! In trying to frighten me, it had proven to me better than anything could that prayer does work.
The greatest weapon the devil dreams of is your mind against you. If he gets you to believe lies like you’re not so loved by God, your prayers wont work, God’s ok with you sleeping around and abusing his forgiveness, you’re too gone to get a second chance…the moment he has you believing those things, that’s when you start to die…not when your liver gives up on you decades from now or your marriage goes bad. You start dying when your mind gives way to his deception.
The second thing that happened was my life changed for good. There are things I haven’t done since. You don’t get threatened in the face by some dark prince and go back to your foolish ways….what’s wrong with you?!
It was that night I decided to change the content style of what I put up here on Goldinwords. Previously, these kind of explicitly Godly posts were infrequent. I used to tag them ‘Strictly Spiritual’. After that encounter, I took a second look at my priorities, and I realized that the funniest, wittiest and most dramatic posts will do you no good if you encountered what I did. You can’t joke a demon out of a situation or reason or bribe him out of it, you exercise spiritual authority but how can you if you have an identity crisis? That encounter changed the content form of this blog.
Jones made radical changes to his friend list and his playlist. I have my buddy back. You know what’s funny? Till date I still worry that my prayers are in vain. After aaaaallll of that, my mind still tries to play games and it takes a conscious effort to inject faith into my prayers and believe that I’m not just speaking in vain.
My friend wasn’t the only one that got delivered that night, in many ways I was too. So I’m telling you all this so you believe more in the power your words have. So that you muster the courage to dispel any voices in your head which will try to deceive you and make you think spending time with God and praying are pointless. God answers prayers fam. Trust me, I know it for a fact. Pray.
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