Ladies brace yourself! This is the kind of topic that makes people very uncomfortable. However, if we want to take our role as “Ezer” women seriously (read my blog on “What is a Woman’s Role, Defining Help Meet” if you are not familiar with term), then spiritual warfare is something we need to get serious and smart about. In my efforts to empower you with knowledge and help you become spiritual warriors, I am providing you a list of my top 5 spiritual warfare books I recommend to get you started.
I Was Not Always on the Spiritual Warfare Train
Spiritual warfare. Deliverance ministry. Casting out demons. Breaking curses. These are all common phrases in spiritual warfare circles that Christians either love or hate. I have to admit that I used to be in the “hate” camp many years ago. Ghost busting was just not my thing and I thought I had spiritually sound doctrine to prove that it was unnecessary. But I have seen and experienced too much since then to believe otherwise. I don’t “do” spiritual warfare all the time, but I now have the tools necessary if the need arises (and it has).
Likewise, I would love to see you ladies, as you progress in your spiritual growth, to develop this important skill-set and keep it in your back pocket when the need arises. So if you are new to spiritual warfare, are curious about it, or just want to get smarter on the topic, my top 5 spiritual warfare book recommendations will help you get on your sword wielding, demon-fighting, way.
What is Spiritual Warfare?
Spiritual warfare is taking direct action to loosen the grip of demonic influences on someone’s life, property, or things. That action can involve prayer, intercession, fasting, or verbally commanding demonic forces to leave.
The big debate within Christian circles is whether this is necessary in the post-Pentecost age and whether Christians can be affected by demonic influences. People on either side of the debate will quote scripture until they are blue in the face. My goal here is not to go into detail on either position (I will do that in a later blog), but to provide an overview as a starting point for those that are new to spiritual warfare.
Why is Spiritual Warfare Necessary?
The simple answer is that we are commanded to do so. I Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to pray without ceasing. Any act of prayer is an act of spiritual warfare. We learn from the book of Daniel, Chapter 10 that a lot goes on in the spiritual realm when we pray. Angels are dispatched, battles are fought, answer to prayers are delayed and finally answered. I don’t think most Christians would debate this part of it.
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However, where things really get dicey is when people ask whether spiritual warfare should include directly casting out demons (or deliverance to use modern spiritual warfare terminology)? Jesus and his disciples did it all the time, are we to do so today? If someone has never been oppressed by a demon (that they know of) it is easy to build up a doctrinal position, stick to it, and say no. That was me until I experienced otherwise. Having been freed from the throngs of spiritual oppression, I am thankful for those in my life that knew how to cast demons out.
I refuse to get into petty debates about it that go no where. People will have to be convinced in their own mind, but chances are that if you are reading this–you have already experienced something that makes you want to learn more about how to deal with it. And you may be in a position where you are afraid to bring it up at your church? You are afraid that people may think you are crazy. You are not alone and let me be the first to tell you, you are not crazy.
Spiritual warfare is necessary because people need it. Unfortunately, a lot of churches don’t want to touch it with a ten-foot pole. I have had people within adamantly non-charismatic churches admit that it happens in certain third-world countries where witchcraft and the like is practiced more openly, but the same people will deny that that stuff happens here.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news—but it happens here as well. The devil is out there causing havoc in people’s lives and creating barriers to keep people from coming to the the full measure of their calling. And he can be really subtle about it, until you learn to recognize it.
Spiritual Oppression Is Not Always Obvious
Haunted houses and seeing “ghosts” walking around are obvious signs of demonic influence. But let me give you a list of some possible subtle (but not always) signs of demonic oppression.
- Certain unexplainable ailments.
- A bondage to a particular sin or addictions that feels impossible to overcome
- A series of freak accidents
- Emotions that feel uncontrollable
- Urges out of the blue to do really bad things
- Night terrors
This is not by any means an all-inclusive list. At the same time, it is important to not over-spiritualize everything. For example, many times a mental illness is due to a brain that is not functioning properly. If a heart or a liver can be subject to corruption, so can the brain. There is no shame in seeing a therapist or taking medications for a mental illness.
In the same vein, not every illness is a spiritual attack. Sometimes it is just the natural effects of a fallen world. Sometimes it is both “biological” and “spiritual” and you will need both spiritual healing and modern medicine. I know of one individual who was unable to start treatment for mental illness without first going through the spiritual process. But once the spiritual part was done, the medical treatment became effective.
I want to stress this because some within spiritual warfare circles can get very dogmatic about this stuff, and you might even find that within the spiritual warfare books I recommend below. Spiritual warfare can work for things like depression, mental illness, physical ailments, strange behavior in children (and so much more)–I have seen it work. It works amazingly. However, there are times where it doesn’t work, but medicine works. Take the medicine and just praise God you are healed. Let God be glorified in either case.
Demonic Oppression Can Affect Anyone, Christian or non-Christian
I know there are many that would disagree with that statement and they are entitled to disagree. However, I know what I have seen and experienced. As my little brother likes to say, “I don’t need to watch The Exorcist. I have lived it.” Maybe in a later blog I will go into detail on my various experiences, but suffice it to say that I saw my own daughter–only two at the time–delivered from demonic oppression even though I had been a Christian for more than two decades by then.
The experience would have been enough to terrify any grown man and it still gives me shivers when I think about it. My husband, a combat veteran, always says he would rather re-deploy to the front lines than see that again. But I’d like to give a shout out to my parents who are very well versed and experienced in spiritual warfare who took it upon themselves (through the power of the Holy Spirit and in the powerful name of Jesus) to deal with that head-on.
I had never imagined nor considered that my daughter’s behavior was demonic oppression until I saw what I saw in my living room that day. But the biggest testimony to its effectiveness was the drastic change in my child immediately afterward who finally seemed to settle into who she really was–and still is to this day.
My Top Five Spiritual Warfare Books
Finally, here is my list. I put them in the order I would read them, but you don’t have to follow that order. All of these spiritual warfare books will give you a good introduction into this topic.
Pigs in the Parlor by Frank and Ida Mae Hammond (This is great for a quick read and to quickly familiarize yourself with deliverance ministry).
How to Cast Out Demons by Doris M. Wagner (This is the book I will re-read before I conduct another deliverance. It is a great practical guide with a step-by-step process to successfully get through the process).
Spiritual Housecleaning by Eddie & Alice Smith (If you think your house is haunted, read this book. However, you will also learn ways that your house and home can be demonically polluted and strategies for keeping the enemy out.)
A Manual for Children’s Deliverance by Frank and Ida Mae Hammond (Even though my parent’s had performed hundreds of spiritual deliverances by the time they took my daughter through deliverance, they had limited experience with deliverance for children. This book helped guide them in that process.)
Healing Through Deliverance by Peter Horrobin (All the books use Biblical references, but this book almost seems to leave no stone unturned. It is a very comprehensive guide and walks you through the scriptures regarding spiritual warfare).
I have not read through every spiritual warfare book so I am sure there are others that people would recommend. Please be so kind as to do so in the comments below for the benefit of all our readers.