This last year God opened many new doors for me to go teach on spiritual warfare. I consider it a blessing–and an honor. (Please contact me at Steve@PrayerThoughts.com to schedule me in, and I don’t charge.)

One week was spent at a small church in North Texas. It had a membership of a little over 100, and was situated in a small community that focused on agriculture. The people were wonderful, friendly and responsive. I stayed with one of the church leaders at his home a few miles from town. He had a construction business, a horse farm, and lost of family. You could feel the love in their family, in this church, and even throughout the community. I really enjoyed my week there.

I taught the Bible class on Sunday morning: “How God Works By Covenant.”

I preached at their morning worship: “Spiritual War in a Physical World.”

I taught Sunday evening: “Satan’s Tackle Box & Prayers He Hates.”

Then I taught on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings: “Following God Through Tough Times & Difficult Circumstances,” “Demonic Harassment In Today’s World & Things That Hinder Your Prayers,” and “Thinking Like The Enemy.”

The response I’m getting everywhere I get to teach is astounding. It’s so much fun to feel like I’m right where God wants me and also to feel like I’m helping people; giving them hope.

After I returned home from this trip, I got a text message from a single mom that made my dad–and scared me for our children at the same time:

“Hey steve. This is Tammy. I wanted to tell you our long story.

“My son Paul just turned 8 two weeks ago and is so sweet. Sunday night after you spoke we came home and he and I were working on his pinewood derby car for cub scouts. He wanted a flame on the top of his car. I searched for one and then drew it for him and even cut it out (I did most of the work on it.) He did paint it, but that was all.

“My boyfriend told me that Paul should do it on his own, and I agreed so we decided to start over. I got Paul’s iPad out to search for flames again so he could do the work himself this time. There were a lot of tabs at the top and I started closing them out when I realized that several of them were porn websites.

“I asked Paul about them and he admitted that he had watched some. He had just done it, and had never been exposed to that kind of thing before this experience. I had no idea what to say or do. We both broke down crying and were so upset. He felt awful because he knew he was wrong and how upset I was. We prayed about it together and I told him about forgiveness, explaining that looking at that is wrong. God intended that to be between a husband and wife, not for the rest of the world to see. Also that it was fake.

“Monday I felt like I needed to delicately ask more questions about it. He had specifically said he had searched for them, so I asked him why did he did that. He told me it just popped in his head, and now he thinks that it was the devil who did that. I knew right then (because of listening to your lessons) that we had to do something right away.

“So Monday night we bought stakes and walked around the house with my mom and dad. We staked the property and prayed, casting the demons out and into the pits.

“Tuesday morning I woke up like a new person. I felt so refreshed and ready for the day. I knew there had been a spiritual change in our house and that god had won that battle. Little did I know that Paul was having the same kind of day. He was a different child. There was no whining when he was asked to do something and he was even did things that I didn’t asked–like wash dishes!

“I couldnt believe it (I really can though because it happened).

“Tuesday night we go to hear you again and Paul looked up at me when we got there and said ‘the devil is gone mom.’

“I asked him how he knew and he said he just felt it and he also felt so much better.

“We have been blessed by you being here. I know that gods timing was the key because had this come to light a week ago, I wouldn’t have had the faith to handle it the way we did. I believe it’s nothing short of God at work putting you here and allowing me to find the porn when I did. I am so grateful and thankful and excited and on fire for God. I just had to share with you!”

Thank you, Tammy, for sharing that with me. It made my day and reminded me why I’m doing this even though it isn’t easy and some are going to make fun of me. I choose to be a fool for Christ.

Steve Hemphill, author / inspirational speaker
“My Search for the Real Heaven”
(Also Available In Spanish)
“My Search for the Real Heaven Workbook”
“My Search for Prayers Satan Hates”
“What Are The Stakes?” (God Markers On the Land)

“Never stop praying.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT

God is still on the throne. And prayer still works. Never forget that.

We staked out the city of Longview on January 7th, 2017. The very next Thursday, on January 12th, there was an article in our local paper with some good news for our citizens. It was a press release from our local police department:

“The Longview Police Department has received the approval of the City Council to provide one officer to the East Texas Area Safe Streets Task Force. This Task Force is under the direction of the FBI. The mission of the Safe Street Task Force is to identify and target for prosecution criminal enterprise groups responsible for drug trafficking, money laundering, alien smuggling, crimes of violence such as murder, aggravated assault, robbery, and violent street gangs, as well as the apprehension of dangerous fugitives where there is, or may be, a federal investigative interest.”

I reposted the article on my FaceBook wall with this comment: “See, the stakes are already working.”

God’s Name is on the line; HIS Word now surrounds the city. Good things WILL happen… and are already happening…

I will venture to predict that crime rates will drop. Watch Longview and see God at work here. Watch the churches fill up (that’s what we prayed for). Watch the gangs disintegrate. Watch and see all the good things that will happen.

If you say, “I’m going to pray about that, but it won’t do any good,” then don’t pray, because it WON’T do any good. Jesus Himself couldn’t do many miracles where there was no faith. Over and over He told folks that their FAITH had made them well. How I wish you could see the power of God’s Word and how powerful your prayers are.

You can pray here and change something in Africa. You can pray now and change something in the future. You can pray if you are 8 or 88 or 108 years old. You can pray if you are deaf, dumb, and blind and on your death bed. PRAY, because it works and it matters.

“So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11 NLT

Lord, open our eyes to the power of prayer and the unstoppable power of Your Word. Remind us that You spoke the world into existence, and that as Your children we can speak Your Words of power to change our own reality. May it all be to Your glory. In Jesus Name…

Steve Hemphill, author / inspirational speaker
“My Search for the Real Heaven”
(Also Available In Spanish)
“My Search for the Real Heaven Workbook”
“My Search for Prayers Satan Hates”
“What Are The Stakes?” (God Markers On the Land)

Staking Longview Texas

Ray Coates is an active Christian minister and teacher. Although he isn’t a pastor, he helps tear down walls between groups and races. He speaks at all kinds of churches, often teaching classes on becoming debt-free. Everyone who knows Ray loves Ray. He is part of the Longview Clergy Coalition and also part of the Longview Area Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance. Dr. Glen Stone, lead pastor of Mobberly Baptist Church in Longview, got me connected with the local ministerial alliances. This is where I met Ray.

Ray had been trying for over two years to get the local pastors he was associated with to realize the importance of doing spiritual warfare. Nobody seemed to listen or understand. He decided to wait on God. Then I showed up.

I was invited to meet with two of the local groups that Ray is a part of, telling my story of the spiritual warfare stakes and explaining how I was now involved in spiritual warfare seminars. The next thing I knew, they had formed a Spiritual Warfare Committee for Longview, and I was being asked to help with it.

Ray coordinated beautifully, and I was the teacher for several area training sessions. The focus was on the power of God, of prayer, and of the Bible. Many different churches were involved, and word slowly got around that we were planning an event.

Everyone understood the need, since the crime rate has skyrocketed. (Sound familiar in your town, too?). Murder, rape, and robbery was way up, and gangs now infested our once-quiet city. Many live in fear. (Just the way Satan likes it.) We wanted to do something pro-active, Biblical, and personal.

There are 30 “gateways” or entrances into the city limits of Longview, TX, and we decided to put a spiritual warfare stake at each and every one.

Satan was doing everything he could to stop us. Some people planned to come, but simply forgot. Some who were very excited about this event were out of town. Some misunderstood the plan, showing up too late. Some had kids involved in special events. And to top it off, the weather turned cold–very cold. Would 19 degrees keep you away?

The plan was to meet at 9 a.m. and divide up into 30 teams. All the teams would leave at the same time and put out the stakes around Longview all at once. We didn’t want anyone to be alone, so that required at least 60 people–a monumental task when the weather had even turned against us. What happened? God delivered. Here is the group picture of the 80 who came!

Each team was given a packet containing a photo of the location including detailed directions and a red dot on the spot where the stake should be placed. There was also a page with all the verses printed for easy reference and sharing. Each group put the stake all the way in the ground–as far as a mallet can drive it, read the verses out loud, and prayed together. The prayer focused on protection for our city, the declaring that Jesus is Lord here, and an invitation for the Holy Spirit to fill Longview, preparing every unsaved person to receive Jesus and the gospel message.

Get ready, churches of Longview, because you might just be filled to the brim with visitors and new Christians!

Let’s watch and see what GOD does here now!

Steve Hemphill, author / inspirational speaker
“My Search for the Real Heaven”
(Also Available In Spanish)
“My Search for the Real Heaven Workbook”
“My Search for Prayers Satan Hates”
“What Are The Stakes?” (God Markers On the Land)

The Angry Customer

A friend of mine owns a business here in my community. He is a good Christian and an active prayer warrior. He’s the kind of man who always has his eyes open to how God and Satan are at work in the world around him. He is a leader in his church community, and it isn’t unusual for him to travel at least once a year on mission trips–often overseas. He has seen spiritual warfare in other countries, and this has enabled him to more readily recognize it here in the United States.

Recently, a customer came in his place of business and looked around. After spending some time examining various items in the store, this customer came up to the counter and leaned way over it as he looked the cashier in the eyes. Their faces were just inches apart. He had an extremely angry expression as he said, “Your life means NOTHING to me.” Then he calmly turned to leave. My friend heard the entire exchange and spoke to the man’s back as he was walking toward the exit, “Well, YOUR life means something to ME, and it means something to GOD, too!”

At hearing this, the angry customer turned an yelled at the top of his lungs. He cursed and screamed and ranted a list of expletives that would make a sailor blush. Then he continued out the door and sat in his vehicle, staring intently at them. He remained there for about 5 minutes. Finally, he cranked the truck, backed out, and drove away.

My friend turned to his co-worker at the counter and said, “Maybe you’ve never seen a man with a demon before, but I can tell you that you have now.”

“Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.” Mark 3:13-15 NIV

Steve Hemphill, author / inspirational speaker
“My Search for the Real Heaven”
(Also Available In Spanish)
“My Search for the Real Heaven Workbook”
“My Search for Prayers Satan Hates”
“What Are The Stakes?” (God Markers On the Land)

The Campus Ghost

ouija_board

I recently had a booth displaying my materials at a Christian college lectureship. It’s always fun to reconnect with old friends like this, but it’s also a great way to make new ones!

I always give a prominent place to my Spiritual Warfare Stakes, and this often causes folks to come take a closer look and ask questions. I love to share the incredible stories of good things happening in the lives of folks after they have staked out their place for God, reading the embossed verses out loud and putting the stakes in place.

One man walked up and started asking questions about the stakes, and we struck up a lengthy conversation. He asked me, “Do you believe in ghosts?”

“Well,” I began, “I think that in reality these are demons who disguise themselves as ghosts of people who used to be alive. If Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), then I think it’s no problem for them to pretend to be the dead relative of someone. I think they do this because if they didn’t use this explanation, then people would realize they were demons, and want them to leave, but if people feel these spiritual beings have a reason or even a right to be there, then we will just accept them and not command they leave in Jesus’ Name.”

“That makes sense,” he responded.

Then he told me this story:

“It was common knowledge when I was in school here many years ago that we had a campus ghost named Gertie. Gertie had been murdered in a building near the campus here, and later on that building and property were purchased by the college and added to the facility. The structure was torn down, but the bricks were salvaged and used on the new building. That building had a large auditorium inside.

“We had a Ouija Board in our dorm room, and played with it from time to time, asking Gertie questions and laughing at the answers she spelled out as our fingers lightly touched the pointer and gave her responses. We thought it was just a funny, harmless activity.

“One day, one of our friends suggested we ask Gertie to meet us somewhere. So we got the board out and asked Gertie if she was willing to meet us somewhere on campus. The pointer spelled out her answer: Y-E-S. Where? S-C-I-E-N-C-E A-U-D-I-T-O-R-I-U-M was her answer. What time? 1-P-M.

“The next day were were all excited to go meet Gertie in the science building right after lunch, and we laughed at the fact that the science building had been built with the bricks from the original building where Gertie had been killed.

“We got there at about 1:15 pm, and didn’t see anything. This really didn’t surprise us, as we hadn’t actually expected to see anything. Another round of laughter.

“Later that day, we went back to the room and got out the board to ask Gertie why she didn’t show up.

“How are you, Gertie, we asked. M-A-D was spelled out in response.

“Why are you mad? we asked, laughing. L-A-T-E.

“We were all shocked. We had been late.

“We threw the board in the trash and repented of our naive sin of using something that connected us to evil.”

Yes. Evil is real. Evil has power. And Christians shouldn’t dabble in it.

“Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.”
Ephesians 5:11 NLT

Steve Hemphill, author / inspirational speaker
“My Search for the Real Heaven”
(Also Available In Spanish)
“My Search for the Real Heaven Workbook”
“My Search for Prayers Satan Hates”
“What Are The Stakes?” (God Markers On the Land)

parthenon_in_athens_14129

What Might Be: The Hall of Pictoglyphs

The angel and Jamie walked slowly up the hill toward one of the great halls. Each one was unique, designed for a speci c purpose: to bring pleasure in a particular area—emotionally, or physically. Like the other large structures Jamie had seen from a distance, this one was on top of a large plateau, stately and majestic, with enormous pillars outside that lined the entire perimeter. As they slowly approached, it became clear that these were by far the biggest pillars and the biggest building—at least twice as large as the others—he had visited so far. Jamie realized that it would take at least ten people his size with outstretched arms to be able to reach all the way around a pillar, and he didn’t even try to count them. Each building seemed to be about the width of a football eld on the front side. As they walked up the incline toward the building, they approached at an angle, and it became evident that it was at least ten times as long as it was wide. Large trees—like giant redwoods—guarded it like sen- tinels and prevented him from seeing how far back the monu- ment actually went.
They were completely silent as they made their nal approach; the only sound Jamie heard was their own soft foot- falls on the immaculate lawn as they ascended the inclined yard that led to the steps of the structure. The lawn was lined on both sides with owers of every color, size, and shape. Their aroma alone was enough to reveal this as heaven, but the colors were richer and fuller than anything he had ever imagined. It was as if the moment would be spoiled if anyone spoke. They walked together, Jamie a half step ahead, anticipation growing stronger with each step that brought them closer to the huge, wide granite doors.

They stopped. Jamie slowly raised his head to determine the height, which had to be at least a hundred feet. The angel xed his gaze on Jamie, reveling in the moment, sharing the excite- ment with his charge, anxious to explain, but patient to wait for the right moment.

“Wow. I didn’t know anything this big could exist anywhere in all of creation. What is this place?”

“You might think of it as your personal walk down memory lane. It’s one of the great halls with your name on it. You will visit some of the others later.”

“This one is dedicated just to me? And there are others?”

“Oh, yes, Jamie, many others. This is just the rst of many. I am honored to take an image-bearer for the rst visit to one of his personal great halls. This one is called The Jamie Voigt Hemphill Great Hall of Pictoglyphs. Please follow me.”

They traveled the last few steps up the marble steps and to the entrance, past the huge pillars silently guarding the front like gentle giants smiling at the surrounding countryside. The structure smelled like a new home, freshly scented with the clean smells of roses and honeysuckle. Inside appeared to be marble, just like the beautiful walls and surrounding columns outside. A cool breeze seemed to come from out of the dimly lit hallway ahead, and the path down the center was wide enough for at least fty people to walk shoulder to shoulder.

After they had traversed about fty feet, the guide stopped and turned to face his charge with a broad smile of excited anticipation, as if he were the one who was about to be the bene ciary of the waiting surprises. Suddenly—as when you turned on a light switch in a pitch-black room—the surface in front of them rippled and disappeared, and this rst section came alive with color and light. It was a picture—a photograph of Jamie and his family. They were outdoors on a bright, sunny day, a gentle breeze wafting the intoxicating smells of nature all around them. They were all smiling and dressed up as if going to a special banquet or celebration. Behind them—making it a picture-perfect setting—was an ancient log cabin, complete with a smoking replace offering the smell of something savory, cooking slowly. It was peaceful and comforting just to gaze at it, as if somehow this scene was made just to be preserved—and enjoyed—by the family.
Mary, Jamie’s wife, was sitting on a wooden stool, back straight, smile wide, and con dent joy evident in the curves of the smile on her face. Her light pink shirt perfectly comple- mented the pastel, oor-length skirt with pink roses. A rose was in her lap, cradled gently by her left hand.

Jamie stood just behind her with his right hand resting on her right shoulder. He was dressed in a white shirt, dark blue suit, and a sporty red tie, looking dapper and friendly. His wide smile indicated the utter joy he felt in his heart, like there wasn’t a care in the world because the family was together. His bright eyes and sparkling teeth weren’t at all discouraged by his thin- ning hair. It was as if he was exactly who he should be, a perfect t to ll the needs of the many others in his life who looked up to him, respected his wise counsel on all things godly, and honored him as friend and colleague. It was like a snapshot of perfection: perfect love from above, harmony at home, and companionship cherished—all rolled into one picture.

The bookends, their two sons, Kendal on the left and Steve on the right, were also dressed up for the occasion, smiling and content, though perhaps completely clueless of just how blessed they really were. When wisdom lives in the room across the hallway, appreciation doesn’t rule the day. Taking wisdom for granted becomes the norm, and appreciation may not well up in the human heart until wisdom personi ed—Dad—makes his exit.

As he gazed at the scene, Jamie smiled. The memories of family and the love that ooded their home came rushing in like a tsunami. Picnics, camping trips, hunting excursions, long drives, family get-togethers, and a host of other thoughts ashed through his head like a cherished photo album, clean and neatly organized. The joys of this hall were going to exceed anything yet experienced.

Jamie studied the picture, and the angel studied Jamie, eyes wide with joy and wonder.

“Jamie, every picture you ever took—or that was ever taken of you—is in this building. And as you have probably already noticed, each one is now much more than just a snapshot. Sweet aromas, gentle breezes, and a variety of other enhancements are included with each unique picture. Not only will each one jog your memory of the event, you will remember details and expe- rience feelings that connect you even more deeply with each one.

“I know you must be enjoying this particular picture—the King knew it was one of your favorites—but if you will just turn toward the opposite wall, you’ll see the spiritually enhanced version. This will bring the wonders of your past life in the shadow lands of the post- ood earth into even clearer view. Just across from each picture is a version of the same picture that includes your guardians—the angels assigned to those who will receive salvation.”

With eyes wide, and with the silence of an obedient sheep, Jamie turned one hundred-eighty degrees to face the opposite wall just as it began to illuminate with the enhanced version of the same scene. His mouth dropped open, but words didn’t come.

The picture now added the unseen world to the physical reality. Enormous, muscular, stone-faced giants stood silently behind each member of the family—as if they were a perma- nent, unseen member. They weren’t smiling as each family member was. Their faces were those of battle-weary, victory- focused warriors with a single-mindedness for care and pro- tection that was unstoppable. Swords hung at their sides—tiny words like etched artwork adorning each one with the unique- ness of a painting by Michelangelo. They re ected light like polished diamonds, but this didn’t negate their erce design to defend the faithful.

Each warrior had one hand on his sword, ready to draw and defend in an instant. Then Jaime noticed more of their kind in the background, almost blending into the surrounding, but facing the other way—like a battle-trained ghting unit, these were guarding the perimeter. No one—man or beast, seen or unseen—would be catching this angelic host by surprise. It was obvious that their constant, unwavering vigilance was ingrained into their personality, like soldiers stationed on the border of an enemy nation.

All male, all muscular, these hulk-like towers of strength and power were messengers of the King, sent to guard these children of the kingdom until they left the temporary cocoon and burst into the real world, the realm of the King— lled with joys and pleasures unspeakable. And it was obvious that they were focused on the task of defending and protecting this Hemphill family.

Jamie stood there—soaking in each and every detail that this rst pictoglyph revealed. Finally, he heard his guide say, “Jamie, would you like to step inside the pictoglyph now and examine the details more closely?”

Wonders never cease.

Steve Hemphill, author / inspirational speaker
“My Search for the Real Heaven”
(Also Available In Spanish)
“My Search for the Real Heaven Workbook”
“My Search for Prayers Satan Hates”
“What Are The Stakes?” (God Markers On the Land)

robbed-at-the-theatre

Writing On Spiritual Warfare Is Dangerous

“Be careful of false prophets. They come to you looking gentle like sheep, but they are really dangerous like wolves.” Matthew 7:15 NCV

As my first book, “My Search for the Real Heaven,” began to fill my speaking schedule I called my editor one day and said, “I think I know what I want to write about in my next book: ‘Spiritual Warfare.’” She encouraged me in this endeavor, and I didn’t think much more about it.

That was on a Friday. Our youngest son, Jay, had just left for college, leaving us in the category of “empty nesters.” Now I know that I lot of parents are excited by the exit from home of the youngest child, but we weren’t really happy about that. We really enjoyed our children as well as their friends. We had a game room built over the garage when the boys were small, because we wanted our house to be the fun place; we wanted our children’s friends to want to come over and encouraged them to invite them all the time. (That way, you always know who they’re with and what they’re doing, right?)

Anyway, Jay’s departure left us feeling a little lonely and dejected, so Mary Lynn and I decided that Friday to go to a funny movie together to get our mind off the fact that Spencer, Blake, and Jay were all gone from home now. We needed a little cheering up.
At this point in my life as an author, I still owned my technology company and was quite busy with work, family, and business, not the least of which was helping Jay get everything he needed ready to depart for college. Suffice it to say that although I had done several exciting book signings in the previous two weeks, I hadn’t had the time to run the cash deposit by the bank as I had intended that day. In fact, I forgot about it completely. There was about $5,000.00 in a bright blue bank bag in the back seat of my Jeep. …

While we were in the movie—trying to laugh in order to keep from crying about our empty nest—there was a police car patrolling the small parking lot. We also took comfort in the fact that we had parked just two cars down from the sidewalk leading a short distance to the entrance and that we had parked right under a security light. But it wasn’t enough.

Everything looked fine as we got back in the Jeep and buckled up, but horror took over when I turned my head to back safely out—the back window on the passenger side was gone. I froze. Then I looked down at the items still in the back seat: books, a Bible, some folders, and an expensive camera—all still there. That led me to the incorrect conclusion that the police car must have come along at just the right moment to scare away the offender before anything went missing. But it was not to be. As I quickly took inventory—in a mild state of shock—it dawned on me that the blue bank bag was nowhere to be found. Panic rose in my throat as I remembered how much was actually in the pouch, and the fact that I hadn’t made it to the bank that day.

Then it hit me—it wasn’t an accident that it occurred on the very day I had informed my editor what I wanted to write about now: spiritual warfare. Satan and his forces were not happy, and they were sending me a message. …

After the $5,000.00 loss, I initially contacted Billy’s agent who handled the details of our policy, asking about the possibility of reimbursement. I was quickly informed that cash wasn’t normally covered, since the amount was often difficult to prove, and that companies who dealt in cash had to purchase a special rider dealing with this sort of unusual and special circumstance.

Obviously, I was disappointed, but tried to tell myself that God was good, and that He would take care of me through this crisis, just as He had through so many others. But in the back of my mind I was hearing, “Wow. This is a terrible time to lose $5,000.00, with three boys in Christian college that year,” (Spencer was getting a Masters in Accounting at Abilene Christian University, while Blake and Jay were sophomore and freshman at Harding University, both as pre-dental students). “Just trust God,” I kept telling myself—over and over and over.

In desperation, I sent Billy a email detailing my dilemma and asking him to check on it for me if possible. I got a chuckle when he did so by sending an email to one of his employees to double-check the policy for me, and added, “Now be nice to Steve, because he send out those Prayer Thoughts each day that I enjoy so much about many Bible verses, so lightning might strike you if you don’t do the right thing for him.”

Basically I had given up hope on getting reimbursed when I got a phone call from one of the ladies at HHC. “Hi, Steve,” she began, “we pulled your policy and you did have the rider that covered cash, so how much do we owe you?”

I said, “5,000.00,” and it made my day. God is still on the throne, isn’t He!

This whole event led me to an important deduction: if I am going to write about spiritual warfare, I’m going to need some prayer warriors to pray for me on a regular basis.

“My dear children, you belong to God and have defeated them; because God’s Spirit, who is in you, is greater than the devil, who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 NCV

Lord, thank you for seeing that I was reimbursed for my stupidity during this transitional time in my life of service to You. Thank You for Your patience with me as I continue to learn and grow closer to You each day. When I am delivered from each new crisis, remind me that it’s You doing it. In Jesus Name, Amen.

“My Search for Prayers Satan Hates,” pages 19-25

Steve Hemphill, author / inspirational speaker
“My Search for the Real Heaven”
(Also Available In Spanish)
“My Search for the Real Heaven Workbook”
“My Search for Prayers Satan Hates”
“What Are The Stakes?” (God Markers On the Land)

SWATTEAM_LOGO

For those of you who don’t know, S.W.A.T. stands for Special Weapons and Tactics. It’s a group of specially trained police officers who handle the most difficult and dangerous situations. They go into harm’s way when the rest of us are running the opposite direction. In most cities, the S.W.A.T. Team is on regular police duty, but can jump into their unique role as a specialized unit at the drop of a hat to handle the most difficult of situations.

When “Sam” (see previous blog: “Spiritual Warfare Spilled Into My Home,” and the follow up blog, “Sam’s Apology For Damaging My Home”) turned my house into what looked like a war zone, two very nice, young policemen came to my house (in only 4 minutes!) and rendered aid. When they had Sam secure in the back of one of the police cars, they came into the house and surveyed the damage (about $42,000.00 worth).

“What were you doing?” one of them asked.

“We were having a Bible study,” I responded.

“A BIBLE STUDY?” he repeated.

“Yes.” I smiled.

This is the scene he viewed from just inside the front door:

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 10.29.56 AM

As he walked around the house looking at all the damage, stepping over shattered glass and broken furniture, he stopped and looked up at me.

“Do you want to press charges?” he questioned.

“No,” came my immediate response… “We have known this family for many years, and I don’t want to do that unless I’m forced to.”

He seemed surprised, but accepted my decision and left. As he was going out the door, I called him back.

“Thank you for coming. I appreciate your service to this city and community. And I think I know what this happened.”

Intrigued, he answered with, “Why?”

“Well,” I began, “I am a Christian author. And I teach on prayer and spiritual warfare. Satan doesn’t like what I’m doing, so I think I’m a target. He wants to discourage me to stop it.”

I explained a little further, and then offered him a copy of my latest book on the subject, “What Are The Stakes? God Markers On The Land.”

He took it and thanked me. I thought I’d probably never see him again.

(Funny how life works–I had never called 9-1-1 in my life, and ended up having to call it twice in a 48-hour period!)

But I did meet him again. He came to my house yesterday evening…

I heard a knock on the door, and as I approached I saw it was a police car in front of the house. Curious, I opened the front door. And then I saw his face, and he was holding the book I had given him the day my house got wrecked. I smiled. He smiled. We shook hands and I invited him in.

“Mr Hemphill,” he began. “I finished your book, and you are spot on. I am team leader for the local S.W.A.T. Team, and your response that day I came here changed my life.”

“How is that?” I questioned.

“I had the suspect handcuffed, ready to file charges. All I needed was the ‘OK’ from you, which I thought was a foregone conclusion. But I asked you about filing charges and you said no. I couldn’t believe it.

You need to understand that although I am a believer, I wasn’t living right at the time. Seeing your disaster and hearing you decline to press charged caught me completely off guard. I’m going back to church now, and I have my life right with Jesus again. I want to thank you for that.”

“Wow. You’re welcome,” was all I could think to say.

“I want you to know that our S.W.A.T. Team is a fine, oiled machine. We are well-trained and prepared for any situation. We know what we are doing, and we go into harm’s way. And they are a great bunch of guys… but … not every guy has his life right with God. So I was just thinking…” He hesitated. So I interjected what I thought he wanted.

“Do you want me to give you books and stakes for the S.W.A.T. Team?”

He smiled, thankful I had figured out what he really wanted.

“Yes!”

“How many on the team?” I asked.

“24.”

I was floored. “You bet,” answered. “Let me get a box and gather everything up for you. No charge.”

Lord, thank You for the men and women who protect us as they go into harm’s way every single day. Put Your mightiest angels around them and give them peace and comfort as they do their job. Keep them well and safe until they all draw close to you and get their lives right through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Steve Hemphill, author / inspirational speaker
“My Search for the Real Heaven”
(Also Available In Spanish)
“My Search for the Real Heaven Workbook”
“My Search for Prayers Satan Hates”
“What Are The Stakes?” (God Markers On the Land)

evil demon vase from Honduras

After spending several years on the road speaking on demons, prayer, and spiritual warfare, It’s quite common for me to get a text or an email asking a question. One such question came yesterday:

“I am reading your books and have ordered several sets of your stakes. Question: I have this vase that I purchased on mission trip to Honduras this summer. Just looked at the figures on it and wondering if they are Satanic. Linda” (Pictured above.)

Here was my response:

“I don’t know enough about the Honduras culture or gods to tell you for sure. Pray about it and ask God to reveal to you whether it’s OK or not. He is good at that… Be sure to tell him you will destroy it if it dishonors Him in any way. Let me know what happens…

Your Servant,

Steve

P.S.: thanks for all the orders! I hope they bless your life greatly!”

I got a response back from Linda right away:

“They are blessing my life already. I have staked out the condo property where I live. Our church meets in a school so we staked that out, as well as an office building where we rent space to have other meetings during week, and our preachers house. I also staked out my sons house in NY … Ordered the others to take to Michigan and Indiana where my other children live. I try to talk to them about the reality of demons, not sure how successful I will be. I raised them in very conservative, legalistic church so …”

I understood that completely. I was also raised much like that, and really struggled with this concept when it first began happening around me.

Early this morning I got another message from Linda:

“I prayed as you suggested and in couple of hours God answered me. I was visiting friends and happened to show them the picture of the vase. He said right away that was a god they worshipped and could be used by Satan. He recommended I destroy it. This is without knowing what you had told me. Thank you. Our God reigns!!!!”

God is good. All the time.

Lord, thank You for your goodness and mercy and for answering our prayers when we are focused on pleasing You and destroying all of Satan’s back doors into our lives and homes. Open our eyes to all the activities and objects that allow evil in. We are willing to destroy these things to honor You if You will only reveal them to us. In Jesus Name…

Steve Hemphill, author / inspirational speaker
“My Search for the Real Heaven”
(Also Available In Spanish)
“My Search for the Real Heaven Workbook”
“My Search for Prayers Satan Hates”
“What Are The Stakes?”

sad-alone-girl

“My daughter was only 19 when she was raped,” she began. “She hasn’t been the same person since. And neither have I.”

It was a sad story. I get calls like this pretty often. The young lady mentioned here had a complete personality change after this devastating event. She was an only child. So, obviously, her parents was just as devastated. Hope crushed. A bright future snuffed out. An overwhelming sense of loss and hurt and shame. Unfortunately, it’s a story that’s all too common…

But right now, let’s focus on the mom. She made a starting confession (though understandable) to me when she called. Let me explain.

She explained that she was reading my book, “What Are The Stakes?,” and it helped her to realize that she absolutely HATED the boy who had done this to her daughter. But then she said what I hoped to hear: “I realized I needed to forgive him, because that hatred was eating me up on the inside.”

“I saw him in town recently,” she continued, “so I asked him if I could talk to him for a minute.”

The young man consented.

“I told him how hurt I was; how much our entire family was hurt by what he had done to our only child, and then I told him that I forgave him.”

“He just sort of sat there without responding,” she explained. “I don’t know what I expected, but I admit it was confusing for me to see him just shrug his shoulders as I told him I forgave him.”

“Then I went home,” she went on, “and I realized how good and unburdened I felt because I had forgiven him. I never knew hatred–even justified hatred–could be such a heavy burden until I put it down.”

“Thank you,” she concluded.

It made my day.

Lord, thank You for using my meager efforts as a writer to help lift the burden off a fellow traveler. In Jesus Name…

Steve Hemphill, author / inspirational speaker
“My Search for the Real Heaven”
(Also Available In Spanish)
“My Search for the Real Heaven Workbook”
“My Search for Prayers Satan Hates”
“What Are The Stakes?”