I once went to a seminar by Kenneth McCall, the well known healer, exorcist and author of Healing the Family Tree. Some rather excitable women exclaimed during the question and answer time that they had a cover of witches meeting in their town and how should they be expelled? Prayer and fasting? Exorcisms? Holy Water? Dr. McCall said calmly, “In 90% of cases that I have seen that involve any form of demonic influence all that is necessary is for two or three baptized Christians to simply pray the Lord’s Prayer with a focus on the phrase, “Deliver us from evil.”

I’ve found this to be the case as well. There is much more demonic activity around than we imagine. It comes to us in the form of temptation, in the form of evil thoughts, in the form of consent to evil actions and words. The demonic is there in many ways, and the best way to be rid of it is to regularly and consciously pray the Lord’s Prayer with an emphasis on ‘deliver us from evil.’

The word ‘deliver’ voices the concept of deliverance from the powers of darkness. Each baptism (and each re-affirmation of baptismal vows) still retains the formula of repudiation of the devil and all his works and these formal renunciations are emphasized and re-iterated every time we pray the Lord’s Prayer. Therefore, each time we pray the Lord’s prayer we are (in a minor but important way) re-affirming that part of our baptism.

I believe it is important for spiritual growth to be constantly aware of the dimensions of the spiritual battle, and a more conscious praying of this phrase in the Lord’s Prayer helps to raise that awareness. When we pray for deliverance from evil we link in with the power to deliver from evil which is Jesus Christ himself. He gave us this prayer and so we should pray it in him and through him, remembering that it is not us who cast out Satan, but Christ.

The fact that this comes at the end of the prayer is also important, for it is a reminder that the Lord’s prayer is often not an end in itself, but a beginning of prayer. We pray the Lord’s prayer, ending with ‘deliver us from evil’ and this should be the gateway into a more rigorous and complete action of prayer. In other words, once we’ve asked for God’s will to be done and submitted ourselves to him, once we’ve asked to be delivered from the powers of darkness the more intimate prayer can begin.