Painting the Dragon Red
"Something just seemed 'off’ at our small group tonight. People were touchy and argumentative, and I was really upset, but I’m not sure why.”
Have you ever experienced the sense that something was wrong, but you couldn’t pinpoint what, or why? Your family (or your small group or your church) got along well in the past. Peace, love, and mutual respect prevailed. But then you noticed an increase of rancor, criticism, and cliquishness. What happened?
As a pastor for many years, I’ve encountered that unsettling scenario all too often. Usually, it’s the work of the enemy. He hates Jesus, Christians and the church, and the truth of Scripture. Dissention and unrest may be signs of his attack. When you see the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21) instead of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), you know you’re in a spiritual battle.
We must fight on our knees, with prayer and fasting. Egregious sins and deliberate divisiveness must be addressed by church discipline, as Jesus specified in Matthew 18:15-20.
As we pray, let’s be sure to include The Painting the Dragon Red prayer. My wife first read about this prayer in the writings of Leann Payne, and she and I have prayed it many times over the years. We’re asking God to expose – paint red – the way the enemy is working.
1. The eyes of all who surround these people will be opened to see the situation as it really is;
2. Their associates will be given ways to speak truth and light into the situation (and be protected themselves);
3. Any demonic power within these people or situations manifest itself -- that it may be clearly discerned and seen by all;
4. What can be salvaged (in this situation and in the lives of your enemies) be saved, humbled and blessed by the Spirit of God.
Don’t forget to humble yourself, as you too are a sinner. Pray that God would have mercy and bring deliverance upon those in the grip of sin.
And claim God’s promises:
so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes. (2 Corinthians 2:11)
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. (1 John 5:18)