Thursday, April 5, 2012

2. Personal Introduction

I am a spiritual person. My spirituality developed from a devout religious upbringing plus my share of trials that developed my faith in God. I am a faithful member of the LDS Church (Mormons). I did not think a lot about Satan or evil forces in my youth, though weekly Sunday School lessons certainly covered the topic basics.

My first profound experience with evil opposition occurred in my late 20s. Since childhood, I would kneel next to my bed each night to pray. During my late 20s, I noticed that I could not concentrate on my thoughts during prayer; instead, my mind would either wander or go blank. Blank turned to black, so that all I would see in my mind was blackness while I was trying to pray. This situation disturbed me because I had many things I wanted to pray about. I felt a strong blockage in my efforts to connect with God. I began to wonder if I was somehow possessed. This thought was obviously disturbing, especially because I considered myself a good person who tried hard to avoid sinful behaviors (as I defined them). As my frustration grew over the prayer difficulties, some spiritual guidance came into my mind. First, I heard the message, “Satan does not want you to pray.” Second, I heard the message, “Satan is having a lot of fun at your expense.” Third, I heard, “You don’t understand how Satan fights you, so he is winning.” I prayed for protection from Satan and the prayer blockage lifted.

Many years later, I was thinking about the earlier experiences with prayer blockage and I realized I still had not learned how Satan fights against me. I always had faith that God could protect me, but I felt ill-equipped by my own lack of understanding. I did not want to be the proverbial ostrich with his head buried in the sand. I began to pray that God would teach me to protect myself against evil forces. And, miraculously, He did.