In this third chapter, you will learn what mental strongholds are, the many types, how they control our destructive behaviors, and how to be free from them. But first, if you haven’t read chapters 1 and 2 yet, please read them. Chapter One explains the spiritual and neuroscientific facts of why specific prayers work to free us from wrong thinking, unhealthy beliefs, and mental strongholds. Also, the first chapter describes how to be spiritually healed, which is necessary for all other healing. (1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories). Chapter Two explains what a healed heart looks like and the factors that hinder healing. (2–Removing Blocks to Healing).
A stronghold describes a fortification that protects. A ruler builds a fortress to protect his or her interests and authority to rule. Most castles have multiple protective barriers. Now imagine having similar mental strongholds in your mind that safeguard wrong thinking. These wrong thoughts and the resulting unhealthy beliefs are on “seats of authority” that control our behaviors and decisions. Authority seats are like thrones within fortified castles.
Mental stongholds contain programming from painful memories that controls how we reacted. For example, my emotional reactions were controlled by anxiety, insecurity, shame, impatience, and betrayal, to name a few. With God’s help, I discovered how to break free from the many oppressive strongholds in my life and to recognize unhealthy beliefs and their connection to painful memories. To better understand my unique background, read my brief transformational story here.
We can identify unhealthy beliefs and strongholds by being mindful of our neative reactions, thinking, and words. Our reactions are often triggered by external events that trigger a painful memory. We react with the same emotion of that memory. For example, when I smell a cigar, it triggers a memory of my grandfather. Had my gradfather molested me, which he didn’t, then that memory of the molestation would also flood my emotions, evoking a negative reaction not suited to the event. My irrational reaction would signal a negative heart issue that needs to be healed.
Moreover, God created us to love and be loved, so when we don’t feel loved, our feelings are hurt, and we become offended. Remember, people who hurt others are hurting themselves. Furthermore, the offenses, hurts, and resentments in our hearts keep us from loving well in return, which creates more offenses in other people.
The following verses give us hope to effectively dismantle the mental strongholds and unhealthy beliefs in our lives, so we can love from a pure heart. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 states, “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4) For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy1 strongholds (fortresses). 5) We destroy arguments2 (imaginations3; speculation4; Greek meaning is logical thinking) and every lofty opinion5 raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
** 1) Destroy means to tear down; demolish. 2. To break up; completely ruin. 3. To put an end to; do away with. Strongholds are fortresses built for protection.
** 2) Argument implies logical reasoning.
** 3) Imagination in this context, means foolish notion; or empty fancy.
** 4) Speculation implies conjecture, which is guesswork; inferring, theorizing, etc.
** 5) Opinion means a belief not based on absolute certainty or positive knowledge, but on what seems true, or probable to one’s own mind; what one thinks; judgment. Lofty means very high.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 describes a war or battle with thoughts that do not conform to God’s truth found in the Bible. These wrong thoughts then create unhealthy, toxic beliefs (i.e., speculation, imagination, or arguments) that are often protected by mental strongholds. According to 2 Peter 1:3, we are given God’s divine power to take every thought captive. Taking something captive describes a holding or securing. But before we can take our thoughts captive, we first have to be aware of them, which is called mindfulness. Also, listen to your words because they reveal your thoughts and ultimately what is in your heart. Luke 6:45 states, “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” With this understanding, we also need to replace all toxic beliefs (based on lies) with the right beliefs (based on truth).
Two Keys to Healing Negative Issues
The two keys to healing negative issues of our hearst are forgiving and using the binding and loosing principle. The binding and loosing principle is very effective at eliminating the negative heart issues that keep us from being completely transformed and healed. Matthew 16:19b and 18:18 states, “…whatever you bind (Greek meaning: knit, tie) on earth will be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose (Greek meaning: destroy, put off) on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (NAS) If you don’t understand why forgiving is a key, read WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE.
I discovered that the negative stress energy of negative, painful memories needed to be loosed as well, and replaced with a positive image, or see Jesus comforting you in the memory; otherwise, these painful memories will reestablish the unhealthy belief(s) and stronghold(s). Below is a biblical example of how to put off our old self and put on the new self using the loosing and binding principle. You can turn this scripture into a personal prayer by making the pronouns personal.
Colossians 3:8-14 – “But now you (I) also, put them all aside (loose): anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your (my) mouth. 9) Do not lie to one another, since you (I) laid aside (loose) the old self with its evil practices, 10) and have put on (bind on) the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him- 12) So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, (I) put on (bind on) a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13) bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you (me), so also should you (I). 14) Beyond all these things (I) put on (bind on) LOVE, which is the perfect bond of unity.” (NAS) Also see Eph. 4:22-32
Protection of Stronghold Pairs
God revealed to me that strongholds often come in pairs. So, if we recognize one stronghold and tear it down, then the other stronghold will continue to protect the authority seat that controls our destructive behavior. As long as one stronghold remains, our negative thoughts and reactions can not be changed. God showed me this truth when I continually struggled with the same issue of being controlling after destroying the controlling stronghold and the lies it protected. Since discovering double fortified strongholds, I then began to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal both strongholds. I would quietly wait for the Holy Spirit flow to reveal the answer (Holy Spirit flow is described in Chapter Two). Sometimes it would take several days. The answer may be shown in a dream, maybe it’s a word, and sometimes it’s a feeling or vision. One time when I was waiting for an answer, I heard it on the radio. Healing is not a quick process, but one that is well worth the effort. Note, to hear from God through the Holy Spirit; we need to be humble and submitted to Him (see James 4:4-8) and free from sin (see Isaiah 59:2; Psalm 66:18; and 1 John 1:9).
The very first stronghold combination God showed me was the pride, judgment, and anger combination. The outer stronghold was pride that protected the inner stronghold of judgmentalism, which protected the authority seat (throne) of anger that ruled my life. I was delighted when God showed me this because my anger issues prevented me from being a loving person. The stronghold of pride and judgementalism may take a long time to tear down depending on how many painful memories you have and how much hurt is in your heart. I have had to dismantle this stronghold combination many times. Don’t give up, it is worth it to experience love, peace, and joy. Since that time, I have destroyed 12 stronghold combinations that ruled my life, which I describe in this chapter.
Overcoming Mental Strongholds and Unhealthy Beliefs
The false, unhealthy beliefs I list in the following transformational testimonies may not be the same as yours. So ask the Holy Spirit to show you the unhealthy beliefs created by your painful memories. For example, each one of us has a different perspective and response to painful and traumatic events in our lives, even within the same family. Furthermore, the following stronghold combinations may not be the same for you either. So, seek God to show you the fortresses protecting your painful memories and unhealthy beliefs that control your choices. Also, mental strongholds keep the fruit of the Spirit captive so that love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness (humility), faithfulness (trust), and self-control cannot operate in us or flow out of us to others. Our goal should be to love others well from a pure heart, which is free from strongholds, painful memories, false beliefs, and self-centered thoughts.
When dealing with a negative heart issue, first ask God to loose and remove pride and any deceptive spirits that would keep you from humbling yourself and hearing from Him. Also, writing out what God shows you and your prayers is helpful. Read the following post to learn how to write your story to uncover known and unkown negative issues affecting your life: WHAT IS INNER LIFE TRANSFORMATION? My Story
The following testimony is an example.
Freedom from Humiliation and Strongholds of Shame and Sadness
God showed me this combination in a dream. The dream was very perplexing, which was a repeating phrase, “shame and humiliation in a box” being spoken to me until I woke up. I ask God to show me the meaning. I did not receive an answer until that evening when God revealed that the shame and humiliation my mother was feeling and experiencing, translated into my sister and me while we were being formed in her womb (the box). I looked up the words shame and humiliation in the dictionary to get better insight.
Shame is a painful feeling of guilt, incompetence, indecency, or blameworthiness. It is a feeling of dishonor and disgrace, which may have come from the things you have done for which you need to forgive yourself for. Shame could also be put on you by other people’s unloving actions for which you need to forgive them. God showed me that shame was a stronghold protecting feelings of humiliation and the wrong beliefs that I am a melancholy, depressed person and I am unable to feel joy or happiness.
Humiliation happens when our dignity is attacked, and we are caused to feel foolish or contemptible. Contempt is to be scorned and made to feel worthless. We feel humiliation when we are degraded, and our honor is taken away from us. We also feel humiliation when we are shown disdain, or being despised and looked down on, or disgraced. Disgrace is a loss of favor and respect. This then creates pridefulness, which covers up our feelings of humiliation, and in turn, we humiliate others.
This is how my life began, and as I continued to journal my life, I could see shame and humiliation affecting my life. I wanted to be valued and accepted and I realized that this was one of the reasons I was so angry and destructive, which brought more shame and humiliation into my life. God showed me that shame was the inner stronghold that protected the authority seat of humiliation, which held all my painful memories of humiliation. I knew that strongholds came in pairs, so I asked the Holy Spirit of truth to show me what the second stronghold was. The next day, I had a heavy sense of sadness, and I could see the sadness in the things that I wrote in my journal. I knew that sadness was the outer stronghold that had kept me from feeling joy. Also, the sadness stronghold protected the painful memories of shame and guilt and kept them from being healed.
Sadness is sorrow about the loss of love, honor, respect, innocence, and not being accepted. It is a feeling of dejection, which is a low spirit of depression and discouragement. Depression often comes from brooding on one’s problems. Another aspect of sadness is despondency, which is the loss of courage, confidence, and hope. A year later, God revealed that I was addicted to the feeling of sadness. I found this out because my mind would compulsively conjure up vain imaginations of things that would make me sad, like death or a loss of some kind. These thoughts needed to be taken captive and loosed from my mind.
The wrong and unhealthy beliefs developed from the many memories of shame and humiliation continued to fortify the mental stronghold of sadness. When I prayed the following prayer to destroy this stronghold combination, I felt a greater sense of confidence and joy, and I no longer had a cloud of sadness swirling in my mind.
I include the phrase “In Jesus’ name” because John 14:14 says, “If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.” But, what we ask needs to be God’s will and align with His truth as we obey Him (1 John 5:14,15; 1 John 3:22-24; and John 15:7). We know it is God’s will to heal our hearts and sanctify our lives with truth (John 17:17).
DELIVERANCE PRAYER EXAMPLE
Dear Lord, thank you for helping me by Your grace and power to overcome the negative heart issues of shame, humiliation, and sadness. By the authority of Jesus Christ, I loose/put off the painful memory of struggling academically. I forgive Mr. S for making me feel stupid and shaming me in front of the class for not understanding algebra. I forgive Miss N. for shaming and humiliating me when I made mistakes. I also forgive them for not encouraging or believing in me, on the other hand, I thank You for Mr. D, who did support me and helped me succeed. Thank You for increasing my intellectual ability and to think clearly, so I could get a college degree.
I loose/put off the painful memory of living in poverty and of being dishonored, disgraced, and devalued by my peers, teachers, and family (I loosed specific memories as God showed me and forgave). I forgive my peers for making fun of how I dressed and being on welfare assistance, in Jesus’ name. I thank You for those that did care and showed compassion, especial the Driver’s Ed. teacher Mr. J who went the extra mile to help me. Thank you for providing for all my needs. I loose/put off all oppressive energy/spirits associated with these painful memories, in Jesus’ name.
I confess that I was angry and gave in to the temptation to be destructive. Forgive me Lord for getting angry and being destructive. I loose/put off _(identified painful, destructive memories)_ and all oppressive energy/spirits associated with these painful memories. Forgive me for discounting myself and not seeking You for help. Forgive me for humiliating others. I forgive myself for shaming, dishonoring, and disgracing my family members by my hurtful actions from the hurt in my heart. Lord, take the guilt of these sins from me, in Jesus’ name. Thank you for healing me entirely of these wounds and hurts in my heart, so I can love others from a pure heart.
By the power of God, I first, loose/put off the outer stronghold of sadness and the associated wrong thinking and unhealthy beliefs that I am melancholy and will always be depressed and sad. And that I will always be dishonored, discounted, and devalued. I bind in/put on the truths that I have the joy of the Lord and can rejoice always, and that I am worthy of honor, and I am valuable. Next, I loose despondency thinking, and I bind in the positive thoughts that I am confident and have hope in God, in Jesus’ name.
Secondly, I loose/put off the inner stronghold of shame, and I loose/put off the associated wrong thinking and unhealthy beliefs that I am not worthy to be respected, and I can’t forgive myself for what I have done, in Jesus’ name. I bind in the truths that I can forgive myself because God has forgiven me, and I am worthy of respect.
Thirdly, I loose/put off the authority seat of humiliation and all painful memories of feeling foolish, contemptible, scorned, devalued, dishonored, and despised _(name all memories of hurt/offenses/wrong thoughts)_ that controlled my behavior of angry outbursts and decisions to dishonor others, in Jesus’ name. Next, I loose and destroy all associated oppressive energy/spirit attachments, in Jesus’ name.
By the power of God, I loose and destroy all generational sins and the DNA markers of humiliation and sadness that have influenced my negative heart issues of sadness, shame, and humiliation that I inherited, in Jesus’ name. I bind in/put on the truths that I am worthy of being loved, honored, valued, and respected; that I can do all things with God’s help; I have the mind of Christ; I can honor and value others through Christ. (List other related truths found in the fruit of the Spirit issues worksheets on this website or other biblical truths.) I also thank You, Lord, that “goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life” Psalms 23:6.
PRAYER FORMAT TO DESTROY STRONGHOLDS
The following specific prayer model can be used to destroy stronghold combinations and false, unhealthy beiefs that God shows you. Before beginning these steps, first ask God to loose and remove pride and any deceptive spirits that would keep you from humbling yourself and hearing from Him. In the blank underlined spaces, insert the information specific to you.
- List the past or present negative issue(s) to be healed the Holy Spirit reveals, including the problems listed in each of the nine core prayer focuses listed on this website: LOVE Issues — JOY Issues — PEACE Issues — PATIENCE Issues — KINDNESS Issues — GOODNESS Issues — TRUST AND FAITHFULNESS Issues — MEEKNESS, HUMILITY, AND GENTLENESS Issues — SELF-CONTROL Issues
- Pray: Dear Lord, thank You for helping me by Your grace and power to overcome the negative heart issue of ___.
- List the painful memory of the offense, word curse, etc. associated with the negative heart issue(s): negative feelings, thoughts, decisions, and behaviors you want to be healed. Also, list other people’s unloving actions that have affected you that are related to the negative issue(s) to be healed. Do not dwell on the painful memories but be quick to forgive, though you may need to grieve a loss, which is healing. Pray: By the authority of Jesus Christ, I loose/put off the painful memory of ___. And I forgive _(person/people involved)_ for ___. I thank you, Lord, for (___ ). Thank God for something He did to protect, prevented, provide for, or comforted you. I loose/put off all oppressive energy/spirits attached to these memories, in Jesus’ name.
- For each painful memory, identify and list any sinful reaction(s) that needs to be confessed, forgiven, and cleansed (1 John 1:9). Pray, I confess and ask that You forgive me for my sinful reaction(s) of ___, and I loose/ put off the _(identified painful memory(ies))_ of my sinful responses along with all oppressive energy/spirits associated with all these painful memories. Lord, take the guilt of my sins from me, in Jesus’ name. Thank you for healing me completely of these wounds and hurts in my heart so I can love others from a pure heart. REPEAT THIS FOR EACH IDENTIFIED MEMORY. Our sinful reactions also have a negative, oppressive stress-energy and will re-establish the offense, which is why they need to be confessed and forgiven.
- List all the unhealthy beliefs (lies) the Holy Spirit reveals that are associated with your negative issue(s) and painful memories that need transformation, which will also reveal the seat of authority and the stronghold names. Patiently wait until God gives you a clear picture. Pray: By God’s power, I first, loose/put off the outer mental stronghold of _(stronghold name)_ and all associated wrong thinking and unhealthy belief(s) that _(list revealed wrong thinking and unhealthy beliefs)_, in Jesus’ name. I bind in/put on the truth(s) that _(opposite thought and biblical truth)_. Secondly, I loose and put off the inner mental stronghold of _(stronghold name)_, and I loose/put off the wrong thinking and unhealthy belief(s) that _(list revealed wrong thoughts and unhealthy beliefs)_, in Jesus’ name. I bind in/put on the truth(s) that _(opposite thought and biblical truth)_. Thirdly, I loose/put off the authority seat of _(seat name)_ and all the memories of _(hurt/offenses/wrong thoughts)_ that controlled my behavior and decisions to _____, in Jesus’ name. Next, I loose and destroy all associated oppressive energy/spirit attachments to all the unhealthy beliefs and wrong thinking, in Jesus’ name.
- Examine your family history, if you see the same pattern or negative issue(s) then assume the issue that needs to be healed is generational. Pray: I loose and destroy the generational sins and the DNA markers of ___, that I inherited, which have influenced my negative heart issue(s) of ___, in Jesus’ name.
- Identify the truths to replace the negative heart issue. Pray: I bind in/put on the truths of _(found in the nine fruit of the Spirit characteristics issues worksheets on this website or other biblical truths)_.
- Go through each of the nine fruit of the Spirit characteristic prayer focuses listed above. Identify additional issues that also may be contributing to the negative heart issue; otherwise, they will rebuild the strongholds, wrong thinking, and unhealthy beliefs.
The following are more stronghold combinations that keep us in bondage to wrong behavior (sin). If you find you are also struggling in the same areas as I did, then pray along the same lines as I described above, though you may have different unhealthy beliefs.
Freedom from Anxiety and the Strongholds of Worry and Fear
Worry Stronghold—protected my right to fear, and the wrong belief that something terrible is going to happen and I won’t be able to control it.
Fear Stronghold—protected anxious thoughts on the Anxiety Seat.
Anxiety Seat—held thoughts of despair, nervousness, dread, etc.
Worry and fear are major mental strongholds that keep people in bondage during trying times, which lead to anxiety, hopelessness, despair, discouragement, fretting, and depression. However, trials should; perfect our faith in God, our perseverance (endurance), and our character (see Romans. 5:3-5; James 1:2-4; and 1 Peter 1:6-9). I tore down this stronghold combination in the midst of a tremendous trial in my life. I was full of anxiety about the deceptions and retaliation surrounding my layoff. The tension created a host of digestive problems that I was healed of when I overcame this stronghold combination. I could see how this stronghold combination affected all aspects of my life.
The worry stronghold kept me from trusting that God works all things out for my good ( see Romans 8:28, 29). I would dwell on the problem and try to solve the problem myself if I could. This stronghold protected the fear stronghold which encouraged self-protective behavior and the compulsion to control circumstances. If I couldn’t control the details, then I would become anxious, fearing something terrible is going to happen that I can’t control.
The anxious thoughts on the seat of authority caused me to feel nervous, hopeless, despaired, discouraged, and unhappy. I transformed this stronghold combination by praying the prayer format to destroy strongholds explained above. After writing out the stronghold deliverance prayer, I bound in/put on HOPE and TRUST in God that He wants to give me a hope and a future (see Jeremiah 29:11). Also, that He will deliver me from all my troubles (see Psalm 34:17-19). Pray the truths in the following prayer focuses found on this website over your troubling circumstances: “Trust Issues,” “Joy Issues,” and “Peace Issues”
Freedom from Impatience and Strongholds of Injustice and Unfairness
Because of the strongholds of sadness, shame, and the seat of humiliation, I developed strongholds within my heart and mind of injustice and unfairness that protected the seat of impatience. Impatience ruled my behavior, which explained why I was an over-reactor. The impatience authority seat held the following unhealthy beliefs and lies: that trials or difficulties are wrongful actions against me and I need to fight them and the people involved. I had the negative emotion of frustration and anger when I didn’t get what I needed, wanted, or expected. I developed a distrust of authority figures, therefore, I could not readily submit to them, which included God.
I often asked God why I over-reacted all the time. He showed me that the unhealthy beliefs on the impatience authority seat of my heart controlled my reactions when I perceived something was unfair and unjust. God also showed me that the unfairness and injustice stronghold combination was generational. So I prayed through the steps to destroy strongholds described above, and applied the following truths: I can submit to God and trust Him to give me what I truly need in His perfect timing (see Psalm 37:5; James 4:7a; James 1:17). I don’t lean on my understanding but acknowledge Him, and trust He will give me direction (see Proverbs 3:5-6). I can be humble, gentle, and patient; showing tolerance for others in love (see Ephesians 4:2). And that with patience and faith I will see the promises of God found in His Word (see Hebrews 6:12). I felt a burden lifted off me.
This healing uncovered the need to heal issues of frustration, which was also generational. Again, I loosed all memories and negative energy of my mother being frustrated with me, and I forgave her. I also had to forgive myself for being frustrated with my children and husband. I then loosed all the unhealthy beliefs that things must go as I intended them to go or people do as I expect them to do, etc. I also loosed the negative energy I created in my children and husband from my outbursts of frustration. I then loosed and put off the DNA generation marker and internal programming for frustration. Then I bound in the positive attributes found in the “Patience Issues” prayer focus.
Freedom from Insecurity and Strongholds of Control and Betrayal
Because of the strongholds of unfair treatment and unjust actions, I developed the stronghold combination of control, betrayal and insecurity. We all have some measure of insecurity, whether we realize it or not, because we live and work with sinful, hurting people. Insecurities are revealed by negative reactions of anxiety or anger when triggered by criticism, dishonor, disrespect, etc. For example, if someone found fault with me or with what I did, I would have an anxiety attack, and feel they don’t like me, and that I will never be good enough. Another example is when I would suggest doing something or going somewhere, and I would be ignored or discounted, then I would get angry and feel sorry for myself.
Insecurities are also revealed by the negative tapes that are automatically played in our minds when we feel out of control or discounted. Negative tapes could be, “You’re a loser and a failure,” “You’ll never be able to accomplish anything,” or “I’m not good enough,” “I’ll never be accepted because I am different.” “I’ll never be able to accomplish anything because people don’t support me, ” “What is wrong with me?”
Because of my insecurities, I found myself being disconnected emotionally as a way to control relationships so I would not be hurt. I also wanted to control people, what they did, and what they thought of me, as well as circumstances, to prevent being betrayed, hurt, disappointed, or even annoyed. And if things did not go my way, I would often get angry.
I struggled with the control stronghold for several years even though I would continually loose and put it off. I wanted to control what people did and what they thought of me, as well as controlling circumstances to prevent being hurt, disappointed, or even annoyed. I asked God why I kept dealing with this control issue, and He showed me that there was an outer mental stronghold of betrayal that protected my need to be controlling.
The betrayal stronghold was built and kept in place by all the negative memories of betrayal by those who should have protected and loved me. I believe there is no greater injustice than the betrayal of one’s sexuality because it wounds the soul the deepest. It is my conviction that sexual betrayal is the number one assult of the devil to keep humanity in bondage and defeat. These painful memories of betrayal develope insecurities. Insecurities are unhealthy, toxic beliefs and lies that perpetuate anxiety about what others do or not do or think and say about us. For instance, I trusted that my parents, my spouse, and friends would love me and not hurt me, or lie to me, but they did. As a result, I disassociated and disconnected because I was not able to trust. Note, some people should not be trusted and that is okay. Dictionary.com defines betray as – to be unfaithful in guarding, maintaining, or fulfilling; be disloyal to. I also often found myself betraying those I should have loved and protected.
First, and most important, is to forgive to be set free from insecurities. After writing out the stronghold deliverance prayer in my journal, I then prayed through the nine fruit of the Spirit prayer focuses on this website, then bound to my heart the virtues and truths of these nine prayer focuses. I now see people as people with insecurities who want to be loved, accepted, and honored as much as I do. And, disassociating from people is not loving them as God would love them.
Freedom from Disappointment and Strongholds of Apathy and Rejection
The strongholds of control and betrayal caused me to be disappointed. Disappointment means to be made unhappy by the failure of one’s hopes or expectations (Webster’s dictionary). Disappointments feed insecurities and affect our self-worth and sense of significance. I was disappointed when my perceived needs and desires were not met. Disappointment caused me to feel rejected and to become apathetic, in which I did not care anymore because I felt no one else cared. This, of course, led to a lot of pathetic self-pity and feeling sorry for myself, which often led to self-destructive behavior. Self-pity is a bondage that keeps us in the pit of despair because we are only thinking about ourselves and how our desires were not met and so on. Unfortunately, this also is a contributing factor in people who commit suicide or walk away from God.
The negative heart issue of disappointment was protected by the inner mental stronghold of apathy that reinforced the unhealthy, toxic beliefs that nobody cares about me; I don’t care about others; I can’t count on anyone to meet my needs and desires, etc. The apathy stronghold was fortified by the outer mental stronghold of rejection, which reinforced my unhealthy, toxic beliefs that I will always be rejected no matter what I do; I should reject first; I can’t risk getting close to anyone, etc. Because of this stronghold combination, I could not remember feeling loved. When someone said they loved me, I felt indifferent. Though I knew I had the love of God in me, and I loved my children and husband and the family of God, I did not have feelings of love.
After writing out the stronghold deliverance prayer, I then went through all the truth statements for each of the nine core fruit of the spirit characteristics and bound/put on those truth statements to my heart and mind. I focused on 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and prayed those love virtues into my heart and mind. I then turned all my needs and expectations over to God to meet in his perfect timing. And, I now choose to meet the needs and desires of others without expecting anything in return and to give preference and honor to others.
Freedom from Insignificance and Strongholds of Rejection and Approval
Because of my insecurities and disappointments, my self-worth was damaged, which was revealed by what I thought about myself and what I expected others to think about me.
The outer mental stronghold of rejection protected the following unhealthy beliefs: I need to be successful to have significance, so I will reject anyone who gets in my way; I don’t want to be rejected and will do anything to avoid it; I feel worthless when I am dismissed; and, there must be something wrong with me. This stronghold protected the inner acceptance/approval mental stronghold, which protected the following unhealthy beliefs: People need to like me for me to be okay. I need to work hard and do good things to get people to accept me and approve of me.
The acceptance/approval mental stronghold protected the insignificance and wrong self-worth authority seat, which held the following wrong beliefs: My self-worth is in what I do, who I know, and how much I have. I need to be important to have self-worth, so I need to be in control to feel important. We all desire to feel significant, to be accepted and approved, and we don’t want to be rejected or disappointed. Furthermore, the insecurity stronghold combination keeps us from sharing our faith about Jesus to others out of the fear of rejection or disapproval.
First, repent and find significance and worth in God and not in people because they are flawed by insecurities and their own damaged self-worth. After writing out the stronghold deliverance prayer, choose to focus on what God thinks about you. Pray the prayer focuses for “Joy Issues,” Patience Issues,” and “Kindness Issues”.
Freedom from Anger and Strongholds of Pride and Judgment
This mental stronghold combination is the next most prevalent stronghold combination next to worry, fear, and anxiety. If you have been working through the previous mental stronghold combinations, then you have also been working through and becoming free from many of your anger issues. For example, my damaged self-worth and insignificance issues contributed to the development of intense pride, and I became very judgmental. Being judgmental then attracted the negative reaction of being judged in return. Many of my anger issues were created by other people’s sins and were stored in my memory as offenses.
Understand that God hates pride (see Prov. 8:13; James 4:6), and anger does not achieve the righteousness of God; only peace and humility does (see James 1:20; 3:18). The pride stronghold protects many unhealthy beliefs such as: I am better than you. Don’t tell me I am wrong. And, don’t tell me what to do but do what I want. This outer stronghold protects the inner judgmental stronghold, which protects the unhealthy beliefs: I have the right to determine if you are right, wrong, or insincere. I have the right to be angry, bitter, resentful, and hateful. And, I don’t trust you or value you. The judgemental mental stronghold protects the anger seat of authority, which holds all our the offenses from disappointments, unmet needs and desires, soul wounds from betrayals, etc.
First, use the nine prayer focuses in this guide to work through all the areas on the anger seat of authority. Second, loose/put-off the strongholds of pride and judging, then the anger authority seat; and all associated unhealthy beliefs and thoughts that God reveals. Third, bind in the truths found in this guide for each of the prayer focuses to your heart and mind. Additionally, pray all the prayer focuses in each of the fruit of the Spirit characteristics until all offenses and trauma memories are revealed and healed.
Freedom from Escapism and Strongholds of Loneliness and Discontentment
Every living person has felt lonely at one time in their lives. Some people feel lonely all the time. It is my experience and observation that loneliness comes from a love deficit, both in receiving love and giving love, but more than that, it is a lack of felt love. A person raised in a dysfunctional or abusive home that lacked love is left feeling empty, alone, and unwanted, which results in dysfunctional marriages and families. Loneliness and depression exist when we don’t experience unconditional love and when we don’t have a sense of belonging or fitting in, which can lead to addictions.
Moreover, we were created by God to be loved and to love. So, I discovered that the unmet desire to be unconditionally loved makes us want to isolate ourselves to suppress this unfulfilled desire. We often isolate ourselves by escaping into drugs, alcohol, work, entertainment, sports, excessive daydreaming, and many other escaping behaviors.
Many married couples are very lonely and feel disconnected because their need for love is not met. These couples have dysfunctional love needs or absence of love from their past. Consequently, it is carried over into their marriage and is then passed down to their children.
The stronghold of loneliness keeps us in bondage to unhappiness and depression. This stronghold protects the stronghold of discontentment. Discontentment, according to Webster, is to lack contentment; to be dissatisfied; to have a restless desire for something more or different. To be content is to be satisfied with what one has and is not disturbed by a desire for something more or different. We should make sure, though, that we do not have unrealistic expectations, which is also a source of discontentment. The stronghold of discontentment protects the authority seat of escapism; which is the desire to escape from our loneliness and discontentment through many different means. Some of the means of escape are: drinking alcohol, doing drugs, watching TV, spending hours on social media, working long hours, playing video games, uncontrollable daydreaming, etc.
The following is my testimony of how God helped me break this stronghold combination. If you see this in your life, then ask God to show you the unhealthy beliefs you developed and the painful memories of not being loved and accepted. The loneliness stronghold protected the following unhealthy beliefs that I verbally loosed and put off from my mind, which were: First, “I am alone because I am unlovable.” I replaced this unhealthy belief by verbally binding in the truth that I am lovable and that God loves me and is always with me. Second, “I need to isolate myself because I don’t trust that I won’t get hurt or I will be let down.” I changed this unhealthy belief by verbally binding in the truth that I can trust God and give my hurt to Him and forgive those who did not unconditionally love me and let me down. Third, “I am alone because I am different and unaccepted.” I changed this unhealthy belief by verbally binding in the truth that it is okay that I am different because God has given me unique qualities and insight and I am acceptable to Him.
I asked God to reveal the painful memories that made me feel lonely from my childhood beginning from the time I was born. I then forgave those who did not give me the love and acceptance I needed. Next, I asked God to take that painful memory from me, or I envisioned being loved and accepted. I asked God to forgive me for isolating myself and creating a dysfunctional environment for my children.
The unhealthy beliefs, protected by the discontentment stronghold, that I verbally loosed and put off from my mind, were: First, “ I need more because what I have is not enough.” I replaced this unhealthy belief by verbally binding in the truth that God will give me all that I need, and I can be content and thankful for what I already have. Second, “I need to have something different (i.e., life, car, house, furniture, spouse, job, etc., which is different for each of us).” Discontentment has many facets, but the remedy is thankfulness and trusting God to provide the things we need.
Next, evaluate what is on the escapism seat of authority that is controlling your choices. I noticed that I needed to be busy all the time so I did not feel my loneliness or discontentment. I also found that I would daydream a lot to escape the mundaneness and boredom of life. Most times my thoughts were unproductive, futile, unprofitable, and empty musing. I verbally loosed these escaping mechanisms and bound in the truth that I can be thankful for everything, pray without ceasing, and rejoice always. The escape mechanisms you have may be different, verbally loose them, and then bind in what God shows you to overcome your escaping tendency. If you know you have an addiction, please continue reading this page to learn how to break addictions.
After writing out the prayer outlined above, I had terrible cramping in my hands, feet, and legs for several days. Then I remembered, I had forgotten to pray and loose and put off the oppressive spirits, in Jesus’ name. Once I did this, the cramping immediately stopped. I also brought in the light, life, and love of God to fill me and to restore me and to heal me. I then bound the truths found in the “Love,” “Joy,” and “Kindness” issues.
Freedom from Guilt
After I became free from the Escapism Stronghold combination, God showed me that I did not even love myself, that in fact, I hated myself. I asked God to show me why. A few days later I was at a Bible Study, the facilitator said that the High Priests in Leviticus would make one sacrifice for sin and another one for guilt. God made me aware that I could not love myself because of guilt. The next morning I opened the e-sword computer software program and looked up all the verses on guilt. Many verses came up but here are a few: Leviticus 4:3 states that our sins bring guilt on us. Jeremiah 3:13 states, “Only acknowledge your guilt, that you rebelled against the LORD your God…and you have not obeyed my voice, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 33:8 states, “I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against Me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me.” 1 John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (including guilt).”
Guilt in the Webster dictionary means, the act or state of having done a wrong or committed an offense. I went to God and asked Him to show me my guilt. I then found guilt listed under Goodness Issues on my website. I also found destructiveness listed, and it all became clear to me what my guilt was about. Because I grew up in an angry and destructive home, I learned to be destructive with my words and actions through my anger, impatience, unkindness, and pride. As a child, I was not treated as someone with value and worth, so I treated others the same way. I realized I had never repented of these sins and I had guilt from all the times my anger caused destruction, and I hated myself for that. I first forgave my mother for her destructive words and actions against me, and I verbally loosed and put off the repressed memories I had. I also forgave my sisters and my first husband for their destructiveness towards me. I then forgave myself. Next, I asked God to forgive me for being destructive to my mother, sisters, husbands, and children, and not valuing them. Then I asked God to loose and remove all the bad memories of my destructiveness from my subconscious. I then loosed and put-off the guilt feelings and memories of being destructive, along with all oppressive spirits attached to those memories in Jesus’ name.
When I looked at the unhealthy beliefs in the Goodness Issues, God showed me that I had the harmful belief that I was a terrible person, so I loosed and put off this harmful belief and bound to my heart the truth that I have the goodness of Christ in me. I then bound all the good attributes and truths listed in the Goodness Issues worksheet to my heart and mind. I also bound in the positive virtues that I can and will use my words to contribute to the good of others and that what I say and do will benefit those I come in contact with. Secondly, I will be kind, generous, and sympathetic and to treat others as having worth. Thirdly, I value others as God values them and values me, and I will value myself and love myself. After that, I was so delighted, and I felt a huge weight lifted off my chest. Now I can love God with all my heart, mind, and soul for how could I love when I had the sin of hate in my heart.
Freedom from Disrespect and Strongholds of Failure and Unworthiness
Do you find yourself being disrespectful when others fail to meet your expectations or do you know someone who is disrespectful to you when you fail? Do you bad-mouth people and treat them as lower than yourself? Do you feel unworthy of respect, or are you treating others as unworthy of respect? If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, then read the pages on my website to understand the science and spiritual concepts to becoming free. All bad behavior has a source. So, don’t make excuses, but ask God, “Why am I behaving this way?” “What is the root or source behind my behavior?”
The following is my testimony of God’s revelation of the connection between disrespect, unworthiness, and failure. For instance, if my husband did not meet my expectations, then I would demean him, which is not godly behavior. God wants us to value others and to honor them; therefore, being disrespectful is not loving and is a sin. So, I asked God to show me the root of why I was being irritated. He revealed that I still had painful memories of not being valued as a child or by my first husband. I also had disdain for my first husband because of his abusiveness. Additionally, I was influenced by my mother’s disrespect and contempt for my father. Therefore, I developed unhealthy beliefs and wrong thinking that caused my sinful behavior of disrespect.
God also revealed that I felt like a failure as a child, especially with academic schoolwork. I was told I should have been in special education classes, but my mother fought against it. I’m sure, you can think of the times when you failed, and others may have treated you as unworthy and disrespected you as well. Failure was the outer mental stronghold that reinforced the inner stronghold of unworthiness. Both mental strongholds protected the authority seat of disrespect, which held the memories of the offenses I had of disdain, dishonor, and rude behaviors. I also realized that disrespect was a generational sin because I observed the same responses in other family members. Several months later, I struggled with anxiety and a sense of failure again. I asked God why, and He showed me there was a curse of failure put on my family. I loosed the curse and now I feel confident and secure.
The following are some of the unhealthy beliefs I had. “I am not worthy of respect, and no one else is worthy of my respect.” “I am inferior to others and deserve to be treated as inferior.” “I have no value and what I have to say is not valued.” “Men are not worthy of respect because they fail to meet expectations.” There are many other unhealthy beliefs associated with these two strongholds. I replaced these unhealthy beliefs with the truths found in the section on my website called MEEKNESS/HUMILITY ISSUES. Can you see the connection now between failure, feeling unworthy, and disrespect for yourself and others?
The following are three more stronghold combinations that I have seen in other people. The unhealthy beliefs listed are only examples, if you see any of these strongholds in your life, then ask God to show you the specific unhealthy beliefs that you have and the associated memories and offenses that need to be healed. Then use the prayer format listed above to be set free. The key is to seek God to reveal the issues and memories that built the mental strongholds in the first place. It may be helpful to review chapter/page 5–Healing and Transforming Issues, to learn how to find the repressed painful memories.
DOUBT STRONGHOLD COMBINATION: Rebellion Stronghold―Unhealthy beliefs: I don’t feel that God is real in my life; therefore, I can’t trust Him. I want things to be my way and what feels good to me. I want to have fun and not be burdened by obeying God. Protects the inner Independence Stronghold―Unhealthy beliefs: It is up to me to meet my needs. I don’t trust God to meet my needs. God doesn’t answer my prayers; therefore, I have to take care of myself. Protects the Authority Seat of Doubts―Holds all your doubts about God, which are lies from the demonic world.
DECEPTION STRONGHOLD COMBINATION: Protection Stronghold―Unhealthy beliefs: Lying protects my interests, reputation, future, etc. It is the only way to get ahead in life, etc. Protects the inner Manipulation Stronghold―Unhealthy beliefs: Lying influences people to think differently. I can’t risk for people to know the truth; otherwise, they will not like me. Protects the Authority Seat of Deception―Holds all the memories of story spinning, total lies, little “white” lies, etc. Also, holds the unhealthy beliefs of why deception is good to do.
OPPRESSION STRONGHOLD COMBINATION: Irresponsibility Stronghold―Unhealthy beliefs: I am incapable of taking care of myself. It does not matter what I do or eat, I will be sick because of my genetic weakness. Cancer, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis all run in my family, and I have no control. Protects the inner Infirmity Stronghold―Unhealthy beliefs: I am a weak and frail person, and I can expect to be sick all the time. I need people to feel sorry for me and pity me to feel loved. Protects the Authority Seat of Oppression―Holds curses/oppressive spirits of sicknesses, weaknesses, illnesses, diseases, and distresses of all kinds.
Drs. Loyd and Johnson in The Healing Codes Manual said, “Harmful actions are desires and behaviors we continue to repeat even though they take us farther away from what we really want in life. …Our memory pictures guide us toward certain behaviors and make it difficult to begin new behaviors. …Anything done out of an unhealthy fear or as a substitute for love is either self-protection or self-gratification.”
“Self-gratification involves doing something that feels good in order to relieve stress or numb emotional pain.”
- “Harmful desires of the 5 senses. Behaviors in this category include: eating, drinking, taking drugs, unhealthy sexual desires and behaviors, excessively watching television or movies, reading, listening to music, etc.”
- “Harmful desires for stuff. These are desires to acquire possessions to make us feel better about ourselves. ”
- “Harmful prideful desires. These are desires to portray a certain image to others, and what people think about us. (i.e., excessive attention to appearance, trying to win awards and achieve things for the wrong reasons, using relationships for status-building purposes, doing things you don’t believe in for ulterior motives, etc.)”
“Self-protection involves doing something to distract yourself from emotional pain, or to control your circumstances to keep pain from happening again. Common methods of self-protection include: staying alone, extreme shyness, reading, studying, staying busy, work-a-holism, trying to be perfect, trying to project a certain image to others out of fear (wearing a mask), painstaking attempts to control your circumstances to guard against further painful circumstances recurring, etc.” (The Healing Codes Manual, p. 48).
Also, look for the ADDICTION STRONGHOLD COMBINATION: the Pleasure Stronghold protects the unhealthy beliefs: I like _(bad habit or compulsion)_ too much to quit. I am not hurting anyone. You only live once so you might as well enjoy it. Protects the inner Addiction Stronghold, which protects the unhealthy beliefs: It is hopeless. I am hopeless. I will never be able to break this bad habit. I have no control, and I can’t stop the compulsion to ____. I don’t have a problem, and I can quit at any time. Protects the Authority Seat of Desire, which holds all our sinful fleshly desires (lusts) for the harmful action(s). Also, consider how addictions help us escape from painful memories; therefore, healing these painful memories will free us from our addictions.
If you have any harmful habits or unhealthy beliefs listed in this section, then pray the following prayer format, breathing deeply to stay mindful of your deliverance:
Dear Lord, in Jesus’ name, I ask that this harmful action of ____ be loosed and put off, then fill me with Your love, life, and light. Forgive me for _(harmful action)_. If this harmful action is protected by the pleasure and addiction strongholds, I loose and put them off, in Jesus’ name, along with all associated memories of _(list sinful desires)_ and the authority seat of desire. Loose and destroy the oppressive energy/spirits associated with the memories and harmful desires, in Jesus’ name. I loose and put off all unhealthy beliefs of ____. I put on/bind to my mind and heart the following truths:
TRUTH FOCUS STATEMENTS
I am a beautiful work of God, and I am valuable, and I will value myself. Eph. 2:10; Ps. 139:14
Jesus helps me when I am tempted. Heb. 2:18; 4:15,16
God’s love is the only thing that truly satisfies. Eph. 3:17-19
I have hope in God who strengthens me and gives me hope, which is my anchor. Ps. 62:5-8; 42:5; Heb. 6:19
I put my hope in God’s unfailing love. Ps. 147:11, Lamentations 3:21-25
I can be honest with others and not be afraid because God is with me and strengthens me and helps me. Ps. 27:1; Is. 41:10; Heb. 13:6
I release control of everything around me, and find encouragement and hope in the Word of God. Rom 15:4
I can move beyond the things that numb my pain to find lasting satisfaction in love and life through Jesus. Rom. 8:15
I can focus on being close to God and not my pain. Ps. 71:4-5, Ps. 91
I can loose and put off fear and self-protective behaviors, and I bind/put on power, love, and a sound mind/discipline. 2 Tim. 1:7