3–Breaking Free From Mental Strongholds

In this chapter, you will learn what mental strongholds are, the many types, how they control your behaviors, and how to become 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 prayers works to free us from wrong thinking, unhealthy beliefs, and mental strongholds.  The first chapter also describes how to be spiritually healed, which is the first step 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).

What are mental strongholds?

A stronghold describes a fortification of high walls that protects something. Most ancient castles had multiple protective barriers. For example, a ruler builds a fortress to protect his or her interests and seat of authority where they rule and make laws to control people. Now imagine having similar mental strongholds that safeguard your memories or wrong perceptions on a “seat of authority” that rule your emotions and control your decisions.

As fortress walls protect a ruler’s throne and right to rule, so mental strongholds protect our memories’ right to rule our emotions. I use the term “authority seat” instead of throne to describe the ruling nature of our memories over our emotions. For example, memories from unkindness, traumatic events, and abuse, controlled my emotions. I could not control how I reacted to a perceived threat.

External events trigger our memories that then trigger our reactions. We react with the same emotion of that memory, often called emotional programming. For example, when I smell a cigar, it triggers a memory of my grandfather. Had my grandfather molested me, which he didn’t, that traumatic memory would flood my mind with negative emotions, evoking a negative reaction not suited to the event. My irrational reaction would signal a negative heart issue that needs healing.

Moreover, God created us to love and be loved, so when we don’t feel loved and valued, we have hurt feelings, and we become offended. Being offended by unloving actions and words creates painful memories, false beliefs, and wrong thinking that are then protected by strongholds. Furthermore, the offenses, hurt feelings, and resentments keep us from loving well in return, and we will offend others. People who hurt others are hurting themselves.

How to destroy mental strongholds

With God’s help, I discovered how to break free from the many strongholds in my life and to recognize unhealthy beliefs and their connection to painful memories. You can identify unhealthy beliefs and strongholds by being mindful of your negative reactions, thinking, and words. To better understand my unique background, read my brief transformational story here.

The following Bible passage explains how to effectively dismantle the mental strongholds and unhealthy beliefs in our lives so that we can love from a pure heart. 2Corinthians 10:3-5 (NAS) states, “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds [fortresses]. We destroy arguments [imaginations; speculation; Greek meaning is logical thinking] and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge [truth] of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”

When you destroy a mental stronghold, you demolish it and put an end to it through prayer. But first, you need to identify the false beliefs they protect and transform them using the “loosing and binding principle.” Unhealthy beliefs can be arguments, imaginations, speculations, and opinions. Speculating is theorizing or making assumptions without knowing the truth. An opinion is a belief not based on absolute certainty or positive knowledge but on what seems true or probable to one’s own mind.

2Corinthians 10:3-5 describes a 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 2Peter 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 beliefs 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 ideas (based on truth). 

The Two Keys to Healing Negative Issues

I want to briefly go over what I explained in chapter two. The two keys to healing our hearts’ negative issues are forgiving and using the “binding and loosing principle.”  If you don’t understand why forgiving is a key to healing, please read WHY MUST I FORGIVE.

The binding and loosing principle successfully eliminates negative heart issues that keep us from being transformed and completely healed.  Matthew 16:19b and 18:18 (NAS) states, “…whatever you bind [Greek meaning: knit, tie, fasten] on earth will be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose [Greek meaning: release, destroy, put off] on earth will be loosed in heaven.  

I realized that I needed to loose the negative emotion of resentment from the painful memories and replace the memory with a positive image, or see Jesus comforting or helping me in the memory. Otherwise, the resentment and negative emotions of the painful memories reestablish the unhealthy belief(s) and stronghold(s). Below is a biblical example using the loosing and binding principle to loose (put off) your old self and bind (put on) the new self. Turn Colossians 3:8-14 into a personal prayer by personalizing the pronouns.

But now you [I] also, put them all aside [loose]: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your [my] mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you [I] laid aside [loosed] the old self with its evil practices, and have put on [bind] the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him. So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, [I] put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; 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]. Beyond all these things [I] put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. – Colossians 3:8-14 (NAS). Also, see Ephesians 4:22-32.

Protection of Stronghold Pairs

I became aware of mental strongholds when I continually struggled with the same issues (such as unfairness and control). After several years, I realized that my problem behaviors were double fortified by two walls of protection. For example, I struggled with being controlling for several years after tearing down the control stronghold and the unhealthy belief of wanting things my way, so why was I still having the problem. I asked God, and He showed me that I had to also tear down the stronghold of betrayal and remove the insecurity authority seat that held the painful memories of unfaithfulness and not feeling valued. I had a lot of painful memories that caused me to feel insecure, so it took a while to see lasting change. Every once in a while, when I don’t feel valued, I am tempted to emotionally control people, instead of going to God for help.

Since discovering double strongholds, I now ask the Holy Spirit to reveal if there is another stronghold fortification. Because when I tore one wall down, then the other stronghold still protected the unseen lies and unhealthy beliefs from the painful memories on the authority seat in my heart. Then the remaining false beliefs rebuilt the stronghold I destroyed. Double fortification makes sure your memories continue to control your reactions to a perceived threat. 

When I ask God a question, I quietly waited for the Holy Spirit to speak to my spirit. Sometimes it takes 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 submit to Him (see James 4:4-8) and free from sin (see Isaiah 59:2; Psalm 66:18; and 1John 1:9).

While teaching Bible studies to the county jail female inmates, I drew the following illustration to help the inmates visualize mental strongholds.

Stronghold

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 behavior. 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. Destroying mental strongholds is worth it to experience love, peace, and joy. Our goal should be to love others well from a pure heart that is not controlled by strongholds, painful memories, false beliefs, and self-centered thoughts. 

Uncovering and Transform Unhealthy Beliefs that Maintain Your Strongholds

The first step to changing false beliefs and transforming painful memories is going through the nine Spirit Characteristic worksheets to resolve the negative issues in your life. These nine prayer focuses are based on the fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23. Each prayer focus has a list of wrong behaviors, unhealthy beliefs and lies, positive behaviors, and truth statements. These nine Spirit Characteristic worksheets transform the lies we believe into truth and our wrong (sinful) actions with the right behaviors.

Unhealthy beliefs need to be replaced with healthy, true beliefs so the strongholds that protect them can be torn down; otherwise, the false beliefs will rebuild the strongholds. Likewise, the painful memories that created the unhealthy views must be changed through forgiveness; otherwise, the painful memory will recreate the unhealthy belief. Next, the negative emotion and any resentment associated with the painful memory must be put off from our hearts so we can love from a pure heart.

The Apostle Paul said we are to transform our lives by renewing our minds with God’s Word (Romans 12:2). And in Philippians in 2:12b-13 (ESV), he said, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Yes, our salvation is by grace and not by works, and it is the gift of God, yet there is much work to be done to transform our minds (wrong thinking and unhealthy beliefs) and submit our wills to the will of God.

Once we believe and receive the gift of salvation, then we must get into the Word of God and transform our false beliefs with the truth, and our old self with the new self, which is the image of God (Eph. 4:23-24; Col. 3:19). But Satan wants us to remain defeated, so he uses mental strongholds to keep our offenses and wrong assumptions protected. Strongholds also prevent the fruit of the Spirit from growing in our lives. They even stop love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness (humility), faithfulness (trust), and self-control from flowing out of us to others.

First, work through each of the following Spirit Characteristic worksheets to remove the unwanted occupants of your mental strongholds:

LOVE ISSUES: uncover the unloving acts that created offenses in your heart, which impairs your ability to love others well.

JOY ISSUES: expose the memories that cause you to feel sad, hopeless, worthless and prevents you from enjoying life.

PEACE ISSUES: discover the memories that cause you to worry, be nervous and fearful, or quarrel.

PATIENCE ISSUES: reveals memories that cause you to be frustrated, angry, or upset when someone did not meet your expectations, or you suffered an unfair or unjust action.

KINDNESS ISSUES: helps you uncover memories of when you experienced rejection, abandonment, hurt, criticisms, and so on.

GOODNESS ISSUES: finds the memories of guilt, destructive actions, not being valued, and so on.

TRUST and FAITHFULNESS ISSUES: will lead you to find memories of suspicion, jealousy, betrayal, and defensiveness.  Have you let people down by not keeping your promises, or has someone not honored their commitment to you?

GENTLENESS or HUMILITY ISSUES: will expose the memories of when you felt inferior or superior, disrespected and judged, or treated rudely and without mercy.

SELF-CONTROL ISSUES: reveals memories of being discontent, feeling helpless at times, overreacting, and sometimes manipulating. 


PRAYER FORMAT TO DESTROY STRONGHOLDS

The following specific prayer model can be used to destroy stronghold combinations and false, unhealthy beliefs that God shows you.  Before beginning these steps, ask God to loose and remove pride and any deceptive spirits because they keep you from humbling yourself and hearing from Him. Repent of sins that block prayers.

I also include “In Jesus’ name” to my prayers because John 14:14 says, “If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.” Also, see John 15:7.   But, what we ask needs to be God’s will and align with His truth as we obey Him (1John 5:14-15; 1John 3:22-24; and John 15:7). We know it is God’s will to heal our hearts and transform our lives with the truth (John 17:17).

List the past or present negative issue(s) you want healed. Ask God to show you the following:

  • Related painful memory. (Past or present of your sin or another person’s unloving behavior. Please don’t dwell on the memory and relive it. Be quick to forgive to remove the power of the memory.) Try to remember the earliest or strongest memory of a time when you felt the same emotions. It may be a memory of a general period (i.e., birth, toddler years, elementary, teenager, and so on) or situation in your life (i.e., death, sickness, divorce, and so on) instead of one specific incident or actual event. Identify what was important about the time-period or ongoing situation. List all the beliefs and any new feelings associated with that memory.
  • Unmet expectation that caused disappointment.
  • Unhealthy beliefs.
  • Word curses or vows.
  • Your sinful reactions to the painful event that hurt someone.
  • Family history. If you see the same pattern or negative issue(s), assume that the issue that needs healing is generational. 

Examine your unhealthy beliefs and ask God to reveal if a stronghold is protecting them. Word curses also create strongholds. Ask Him to show a possible second stronghold. Please use the double stronghold testimonies following the prayer guide example to identify the possible presence of strongholds in your life. However, your memories, offenses, and unhealthy beliefs may differ from those I have identified. The presenting heart issue controlling your reactions is often the “authority seat.”

Next, identify the truths to replace the unhealthy beliefs (refer to the Spirit Characteristics worksheets).

After identifying all the above aspects of the heart issue needing healing, pray the below prayer or something similar. As you pray, breathe deeply to remain focused on the Holy Spirit’s transformation. Breathing deeply also releases emotional stress. This prayer is not a formula but a guide. Fill in the blanks with the specific facts the Holy Spirit shows you. Writing out this prayer model helps you focus on the Holy Spirit speaking to your spirit, which will reveal other false, unhealthy beliefs or memories related to the issue. Replace the painful memory with something you can be thankful for. Maybe for what God did to protect, rescue, provide for, or comfort you.

In this chapter, you will learn what mental strongholds are, the many types, how they control your behaviors, and how to become 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 prayers works to free us from wrong thinking, unhealthy beliefs, and mental strongholds.  The first chapter also describes how to be spiritually healed, which is the first step 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).

What are mental strongholds?

A stronghold describes a fortification of high walls that protects something. Most ancient castles had multiple protective barriers. For example, a ruler builds a fortress to protect his or her interests and seat of authority where they rule and make laws to control people. Now imagine having similar mental strongholds that safeguard your memories or wrong perceptions on a “seat of authority” that rule your emotions and control your decisions.

As fortress walls protect a ruler’s throne and right to rule, so mental strongholds protect our memories’ right to rule our emotions. I use the term “authority seat” instead of throne to describe the ruling nature of our memories over our emotions. For example, memories from unkindness, traumatic events, and abuse, controlled my emotions. I could not control how I reacted to a perceived threat. External events trigger our memories that then trigger our reactions. 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 grandfather molested me, which he didn’t, that traumatic memory will flood my mind with negative emotions, evoking a negative reaction not suited to the event. My irrational reaction would signal a negative heart issue that needs healing.

Moreover, God created us to love and be loved, so when we don’t feel loved and valued, we have hurt feelings, and we become offended. Being offended by unloving actions and words creates painful memories, false beliefs, and wrong thinking that are then protected by strongholds. Furthermore, the offenses, hurt feelings, and resentments keep us from loving well in return, and we will offend others. People who hurt others are hurting themselves.

How to destroy mental strongholds

With God’s help, I discovered how to break free from the many strongholds in my life and to recognize unhealthy beliefs and their connection to painful memories. You can identify unhealthy beliefs and strongholds by being mindful of your negative reactions, thinking, and words. To better understand my unique background, read my brief transformational story here.

The following Bible passage explains how to effectively dismantle the mental strongholds and unhealthy beliefs in our lives so that we can love from a pure heart. 2Corinthians 10:3-5 (NAS) states, “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds [fortresses]. We destroy arguments [imaginations; speculation; Greek meaning is logical thinking] and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge [truth] of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”

When you destroy a mental stronghold, you demolish it and put an end to it through prayer. But first, you need to identify the false beliefs they protect and transform them using the “loosing and binding principle.” Unhealthy beliefs can be arguments, imaginations, speculations, and opinions. Speculating is theorizing or making assumptions without knowing the truth. An opinion is a belief not based on absolute certainty or positive knowledge but on what seems true or probable to one’s own mind.

2Corinthians 10:3-5 describes a 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 2Peter 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 beliefs 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 ideas (based on truth). 

The Two Keys to Healing Negative Issues

I want to briefly go over what I explained in chapter two. The two keys to healing our hearts’ negative issues are forgiving and using the “binding and loosing principle.”  If you don’t understand why forgiving is a key to healing, please read WHY MUST I FORGIVE.

The binding and loosing principle successfully eliminates negative heart issues that keep us from being transformed and completely healed.  Matthew 16:19b and 18:18 (NAS) states, “…whatever you bind [Greek meaning: knit, tie, fasten] on earth will be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose [Greek meaning: release, destroy, put off] on earth will be loosed in heaven.  

I realized that I needed to loose the negative emotion of resentment from the painful memories and replace the memory with a positive image, or see Jesus comforting or helping me in the memory. Otherwise, the resentment and negative emotions of the painful memories reestablish the unhealthy belief(s) and stronghold(s). Below is a biblical example using the loosing and binding principle to loose (put off) your old self and bind (put on) the new self. Turn Colossians 3:8-14 into a personal prayer by personalizing the pronouns.

But now you [I] also, put them all aside [loose]: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your [my] mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you [I] laid aside [loosed] the old self with its evil practices, and have put on [bind] the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him. So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, [I] put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; 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]. Beyond all these things [I] put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. – Colossians 3:8-14 (NAS). Also, see Ephesians 4:22-32.

Protection of Stronghold Pairs

I became aware of mental strongholds when I continually struggled with the same issues (such as unfairness and control). After several years, I realized that my problem behaviors were double fortified by two walls of protection. For example, I struggled with being controlling for several years after tearing down the control stronghold and the unhealthy belief of wanting things my way, so why was I still having the problem. I asked God, and He showed me that I had to also tear down the stronghold of betrayal and remove the insecurity authority seat that held the painful memories of unfaithfulness and not feeing valued. I had a lot of painful memories that caused me to feel insecure, so it took a while to see lasting change. Every once in a while, when I don’t feel valued, I am tempted to emotionally control people, instead of going to God for help.

Since discovering double strongholds, I now ask the Holy Spirit to reveal if there is another stronghold fortification. Because when I tore one wall down, then the other stronghold still protected the unseen lies and unhealthy beliefs from the painful memories on the authority seat in my heart. Then the remaining false beliefs rebuilt the stronghold I destroyed. Double fortification makes sure your memories continue to control your reactions to a perceived threat. 

When I ask God a question, I quietly waited for the Holy Spirit to speak to my spirit. Sometimes it takes 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 submit to Him (see James 4:4-8) and free from sin (see Isaiah 59:2; Psalm 66:18; and 1John 1:9).

While teaching Bible studies to the county jail female inmates, I drew the following illustration to help the inmates visualize mental strongholds.

Stronghold

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 behavior. 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. Destroying mental strongholds is worth it to experience love, peace, and joy. Our goal should be to love others well from a pure heart that is not controlled by strongholds, painful memories, false beliefs, and self-centered thoughts. 

Uncovering and Transform Unhealthy Beliefs that Maintain Your Strongholds

The first step to changing false beliefs and transforming painful memories is going through the nine Spirit Characteristic worksheets to resolve the negative issues in your life. These nine prayer focuses are based on the fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23. Each prayer focus has a list of wrong behaviors, unhealthy beliefs and lies, positive behaviors, and truth statements. These nine Spirit Characteristic worksheets transform the lies we believe into truth and our wrong (sinful) actions with the right behaviors.

Unhealthy beliefs need to be replaced with healthy, true beliefs so the strongholds that protect them can be torn down; otherwise, the false beliefs will rebuild the strongholds. Likewise, the painful memories that created the unhealthy views must be changed through forgiveness; otherwise, the painful memory will recreate the unhealthy belief. Next, the negative emotion and any resentment associated with the painful memory must be put off from our hearts so we can love from a pure heart.

The Apostle Paul said we are to transform our lives by renewing our minds with God’s Word (Romans 12:2). And in Philippians in 2:12b-13 (ESV), he said, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Yes, our salvation is by grace and not by works, and it is the gift of God, yet there is much work to be done to transform our minds (wrong thinking and unhealthy beliefs) and submit our wills to the will of God.

Once we believe and receive the gift of salvation, then we must get into the Word of God and transform our false beliefs with the truth, and our old self with the new self, which is the image of God (Eph. 4:23-24; Col. 3:19). But Satan wants us to remain defeated, so he uses mental strongholds to keep our offenses and wrong assumptions protected. Strongholds also prevent the fruit of the Spirit from growing in our lives. They even stop love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness (humility), faithfulness (trust), and self-control from flowing out of us to others.

First, work through each of the following Spirit Characteristic worksheets to remove the unwanted occupants of your mental strongholds:

LOVE ISSUES: uncover the unloving acts that created offenses in your heart, which impairs your ability to love others well.

JOY ISSUES: expose the memories that cause you to feel sad, hopeless, worthless and prevents you from enjoying life.

PEACE ISSUES: discover the memories that cause you to worry, be nervous and fearful, or quarrel.

PATIENCE ISSUES: reveals memories that cause you to be frustrated, angry, or upset when someone did not meet your expectations, or you suffered an unfair or unjust action.

KINDNESS ISSUES: helps you uncover memories of when you experienced rejection, abandonment, hurt, criticisms, and so on.

GOODNESS ISSUES: finds the memories of guilt, destructive actions, not being valued, and so on.

TRUST and FAITHFULNESS ISSUES: will lead you to find memories of suspicion, jealousy, betrayal, and defensiveness.  Have you let people down by not keeping your promises, or has someone not honored their commitment to you?

GENTLENESS or HUMILITY ISSUES: will expose the memories of when you felt inferior or superior, disrespected and judged, or treated rudely and without mercy.

SELF-CONTROL ISSUES: reveals memories of being discontent, feeling helpless at times, overreacting, and sometimes manipulating. 


PRAYER FORMAT TO DESTROY STRONGHOLDS

The following specific prayer model can be used to destroy stronghold combinations and false, unhealthy beliefs that God shows you.  Before beginning these steps, ask God to loose and remove pride and any deceptive spirits because they keep you from humbling yourself and hearing from Him. Repent of sins that block prayers.

I also include “In Jesus’ name” to my prayers because John 14:14 says, “If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.” Also, see John 15:7.   But, what we ask needs to be God’s will and align with His truth as we obey Him (1John 5:14-15; 1John 3:22-24; and John 15:7). We know it is God’s will to heal our hearts and transform our lives with the truth (John 17:17).

List the past or present negative issue(s) you want healed. Ask God to show you the following:

  • Related painful memory. (Past or present of your sin or another person’s unloving behavior. Please don’t dwell on the memory and relive it. Be quick to forgive to remove the power of the memory.) Try to remember the earliest or strongest memory of a time when you felt the same emotions. It may be a memory of a general period (i.e., birth, toddler years, elementary, teenager, and so on) or situation in your life (i.e., death, sickness, divorce, and so on) instead of one specific incident or actual event. Identify what was important about the time-period or ongoing situation. List all the beliefs and any new feelings associated with that memory.
  • Unmet expectation that caused disappointment.
  • Unhealthy beliefs.
  • Word curses or vows.
  • Your sinful reactions to the painful event that hurt someone.
  • Family history. If you see the same pattern or negative issue(s), assume that the issue that needs healing is generational. 

Examine your unhealthy beliefs and ask God to reveal if a stronghold is protecting them. Word curses also create strongholds. Ask Him to show a possible second stronghold. Please use the double stronghold testimonies following the prayer guide example to identify the possible presence of strongholds in your life. However, your memories, offenses, and unhealthy beliefs may differ from those I have identified. The presenting heart issue controlling your reactions is often the “authority seat.”

Next, identify the truths to replace the unhealthy beliefs (refer to the Spirit Characteristics worksheets).

After identifying all the above aspects of the heart issue needing healing, pray the below prayer or something similar. As you pray, breathe deeply to remain focused on the Holy Spirit’s transformation. Breathing deeply also releases emotional stress. This prayer is not a formula but a guide. Fill in the blanks with the specific facts the Holy Spirit shows you. Writing out this prayer model helps you focus on the Holy Spirit speaking to your spirit, which will reveal other false, unhealthy beliefs or memories related to the issue. Replace the painful memory with something you can be thankful for. Maybe for what God did to protect, rescue, provide for, or comfort you.


Stronghold Deliverance Prayer

Dear Lord, thank You for helping me by Your grace and power to overcome the negative heart issue of ___. I forgive _(person’s name)_ for _(offense)_ and I loose the resentment and the power the offense has over me, in Jesus’ name. Forgive me, Lord, for _(sinful response to issue)_ and remove my guilt, in Jesus’ name. By the authority of Jesus Christ, I loose and remove all oppressive spirits and negative emotions attached to the memory of ____, in Jesus’ name.

Lord, by Your power, I loose the related wrong thinking and unhealthy belief(s) of ____, in Jesus’ name. I bind in the truths of _(refer to Spirit Characteristic worksheets)_. I loose the protecting stronghold of ____ from my mind.

Next, (if there is a second stronghold) I loose the second stronghold of _(stronghold name)_ from my mind and put off the wrong thinking and unhealthy belief(s) of _(unhealthy beliefs revealed)_ protected by the second stronghold, in Jesus’ name. I bind in the truths of _(refer to Spirit Characteristic worksheets)_.

Now, I loose the authority seat of _(seat name)_ and painful issues of _(list hurt/offenses)_ that controlled my behavior and decisions, in Jesus’ name. Loose and destroy all spirit attachments and generational sins that are influencing my issues of _____, in Jesus’ name. I bind in the truths of _(refer to Spirit Characteristic worksheets)_.


Replace the painful memory with something you can be thankful for. Maybe for what God did to protect, rescue, provide for, or comfort you.

Go through the nine Spirit Characteristic worksheets.  Identify additional issues that also may be contributing to the negative heart issue. Otherwise, other repressed memories will reestablish the strongholds, wrong thinking, and unhealthy beliefs.


Overcoming Mental Strongholds and Unhealthy Beliefs

When you read the stronghold combinations and associated unhealthy beliefs, you may recognize the same issues in your life or the life of your children. The false beliefs that God showed me may not be your beliefs. So, ask the Holy Spirit to show you the corrupt perspective specific to you, then pray along the same lines as I described above.

Each of us has a different perspective and response to the traumatic events in our lives, even when we experience the same event.

The stronghold combinations I identified in my life may not be the same for you so seek God to show you the strongholds protecting your unhealthy beliefs and traumatic memories. The negative issue controlling your life is usually the authority seat within the stronghold.

Suppose you see the same stronghold pattern in your children’s lives. In that case, you have the spiritual authority to lead them through the deliverance prayer guideline to help them be free from the negative issues in their hearts.

This first stronghold combination is the most prevalent, so I will explain it first.


Freedom from Anxiety and the Strongholds of Worry and Fear

Worry Stronghold—protected my right to fear and the wrong belief that something terrible will happen, and I can’t control it. The worry stronghold maintains the fear stronghold.

Fear Stronghold—protected anxious thoughts of potential bad things happening and protects the Anxiety Authority Seat.

Anxiety Seat—holds memories of despair, nervousness, dread, and so on.

I developed anxiety when I didn’t feel safe from abuse and betrayal. Worry and fear are significant strongholds that keep many people in bondage to anxiety. Trials and hard times (or watching the news) reveal this combination. Life’s problems should strengthen our faith in God and our perseverance and perfect our character (Rom. 5:3-5; James 1:2-4; 1Peter 1:6-9). But more often than not, life’s difficulties foster fear and worry. I tore down this stronghold combination during a tremendous trial at my job. I was full of anxiety about the deceptions and retaliation surrounding my layoff. The tension created a host of digestive problems that were healed when I dismantled this stronghold combination. I could see how these strongholds affected all aspects of my life.

The worry stronghold kept me from trusting that God works all things out for my good (see Rom. 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 my circumstances, I would become anxious, fearing something terrible would happen.

The anxious thoughts on the seat of authority caused me to feel unsafe, nervous, hopeless, despaired, discouraged, and unhappy. God asked me to mentally or physically put myself back into the homes and places where I did not feel safe or accepted and go through the stronghold deliverance prayer. Then I forgave those involved and loosed the unhealthy beliefs and spirit attachments from the bad memories created in those places. Then I imagined myself safe in the arms of my Heavenly Father who loves me, and I imagined God as my place of refuge and safety. I often quoted Psalm 91 and Isaiah 41:10-13 from memory to reinforce my faith.

After writing out the stronghold deliverance prayer, I put on hope and trust in God that He wants to give me hope and a prosperous future (Jer. 29:11). I also believed that He would deliver me from all my troubles (Ps. 34:17-19). Pray the truths in the following prayer focuses on the “Trust Issues,” “Joy Issues,” and “Peace Issues” worksheets found on this website over your troubling circumstances.

Read my testimony of how I became free from anxiety disorder. Why, What, and How to Submit to God and be FREE


Freedom from Humiliation and
the Strongholds of Shame and Sadness

I read some letters that my mother wrote to my grandmother about my birth and her mental state. Then a few months later, I had a dream that was very perplexing. The dream was the words “shame and humiliation in a box” being spoken to me repeatedly, then I woke up. I began to pray and ask God what the meaning was. I did not receive an answer until that evening. God revealed that my mother’s shame and humiliation became part of my sister and me when we were being formed in her womb (the box). So, I looked up the words shame and humiliation in the dictionary, which gave me greater insight.

Shame is a painful feeling of guilt, incompetence, indecency, or blameworthiness. If shame for what you have done causes you to feel dishonor and disgrace, you may need to forgive yourself for the sinful things you have done. 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.

Humiliation occurs in the following situations:

  • You or someone else degraded your dignity.
  • Your honor is taken away.
  • Someone makes you feel foolish or contemptible. Feeling contemptible happens when you are scorned and made to feel worthless.
  • Someone disdains you publicly.
  • You are despised and looked down on.
  • You are disgraced by a loss of favor and respect.

Being humiliated creates pride that covers up our feelings of humiliation. Then we offend others in the same way we were offended.

As I continued to journal my life, I could see that shame and humiliation were curses in my life. I wanted to be valued and accepted, and I realized that this was one reason 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 being and feeling humiliated. Since I knew that strongholds came in pairs, I asked the Holy Spirit 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. 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 is brooding on one’s problems. Another aspect of sadness is despair, 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.

The many painful memories of shame and humiliation reinforced 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. I no longer had a cloud of sadness swirling in my mind.

MY DELIVERANCE PRAYER

Dear Lord, thank you for helping me, by Your grace and power, to overcome the negative heart issues of despair from shame, humiliation, and sadness. By the authority of Jesus Christ, I put off the resentment and embarrassment created by the painful memories of struggling academically. I forgive Mr. S for making me feel stupid and shaming me in front of the class. I forgive Miss N for shaming and humiliating me when I made mistakes in English. I also forgive them for not encouraging or believing in me. On the other hand, I thank You, Lord, for Mr. D, who supported me and helped me succeed. Thank You, Lord, for increasing my intellectual ability so that I could succeed in college.

Lord, loose the painful memory of living in poverty and being dishonored, disgraced, and devalued by my peers, teachers, and family. (I loosed specific memories as God showed me and forgave those who humiliated me.) I forgive my peers for making fun of how I dressed and being on welfare assistance. Thank You, Lord, for those who did care and show compassion, especially Mr. J who let me use his car for my driver’s test. Thank you for providing for all my needs. Loose all oppressive 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 damaging people with my words and actions. Loose _(identified painful memories)_, resentment, and oppressive 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 as I forgive so that I can love others from a pure heart.

By the power of God, I loose the outer stronghold of sadness and the associated unhealthy beliefs that I am melancholy and will always be depressed and sad. And that I will forever be dishonored, discounted, and devalued. I 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 despairing thoughts, and I bind in confidence and have hope, in Jesus’ name.

Loose the inner stronghold of shame, and I put off the false, unhealthy belief that I am not worthy of being respected. And that I am not forgivable 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.

Loose the authority seat of humiliation and the painful memories of being made to feel foolish, shameful, scorned, devalued, dishonored, and despised. (I named the memories of hurts, offenses, and wrong thoughts that controlled my improper behavior of angry outbursts and decisions to dishonor others.) Next, loose and destroy all associated negative emotions and oppressive spirit attachments, in Jesus’ name.

By God’s power, I loose and destroy generational sins of humiliation and sadness that have influenced my negative heart issue of despair, in Jesus’ name. I put on the following truths: I am worthy of being loved, honored, valued, and respected; 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 Spirit Characteristics worksheets or other biblical truths.) I also thank You, Lord, that “goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life” (Ps 23:6).

Thank you, Lord, for healing my wounded soul and setting me free from this painful issue of feeling sad and unworthy of honor and love. I bind to my heart the right beliefs that I am worthy of being respected and loved, and I have the favor of God in my life. Amen.


Freedom from Impatience and
the Strongholds of Injustice and Unfairness

Because of the abuse I suffered, I developed mental strongholds of injustice and unfairness that protected the authority seat of impatience. Impatience ruled my behavior, which explained why I was an over-reactor and always frustrated when things did not go as I planned.

The impatience authority seat held the following unhealthy beliefs and lies: 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 distrusted authority figures; therefore, I couldn’t readily submit to them, which included God.

I often asked God why I over-reacted all the time. He showed me that the painful memories and resentments on the protected impatience authority seat controlled my reactions when I perceived something was unfair and unjust. God also showed me that the unfairness and injustice stronghold combination was generational. I forgave the people who were over-reactive towards me and who were not being patient and kind. I forgave myself for being over-reactive and not being patient and kind.

Next, I prayed through the steps to destroy strongholds. Then, I bound in the following truths: I can submit to God and trust Him to give me what I genuinely need in His perfect timing (Ps. 37:5; James 4:7a; and 1:17). I don’t lean on my understanding but acknowledge Him and trust He will give me direction (Pro. 3:5-6). I can be humble, gentle, and patient, showing tolerance for others in love (Eph. 4:2). With patience and faith, I will see the promises of God found in His Word (Heb 6:12). When this transformation was completed, I felt a burden lifted off me.

This healing also uncovered the need to heal issues of frustration, which was also generational. Again, by God’s power, I loosed the negative emotional stress from the memory 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. Then I loosed all the unhealthy beliefs, such as “things have to go as I want them to go” and “people should do what I expect them to do.” I also loosed the negative emotional stress I had created in my children and husband from my outbursts of frustration. Next, I loosed the generational sins and internal programming for frustration. Then, I bound in the positive attributes found in the “Patience Issues” worksheet. 

To test my victory over frustration, I drive on a busy roadway. If you are a mother, your children will try your patience level every day. Each time you feel frustrated, ask yourself, “What expectation is not being met?” Acknowledge you are disappointed with that person or object that is not cooperating. For example, I got super frustrated when something broke or did not work, and I was trying to accomplish a task. So, when the computer or lawnmower stops working or the car breaks down, I am disappointed, but I have a choice to make. I can get upset and throw a fit, get stressed out and stress everyone else out, or I can use my frustration energy to solve the problem instead.

My heart issue was my out-of-control reactions to unmet expectations. I reacted according to my emotional programming from my childhood. I had to work through this stronghold combination for about a year to transform all the traumatic memories and unhealthy beliefs. Now, when I am disappointed because something or someone didn’t do what I wanted, I don’t over-react anymore. I’m not perfect yet, but reprogramming my mind with God’s truth changed the over-reaction programming in my mind. Now I pray first instead of getting angry or anxious when something happens that frustrates me.

Read my post called What is Wrong with Fairness?

EXAMPLE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I forgive my mother for being frustrated, over-reactive, and not patient and kind when I needed her to be. I forgive her parents for being over-reactive to my mother and not modeling love through patience and kindness. I confess and forgive myself for being frustrated and over-reacting in the same way to my husband and children and not loving them by being patient and kind. Forgive me for reacting in anger toward my mother, sisters, husband, and children, and then in self-pity and despair toward myself. Remove all my guilt in Jesus’ name.

Lord, show me the unknown/subconscious strongholds, unhealthy beliefs, wrong thinking, oppressive spirit attachments, destructive cellular memories related to mine, and my mother’s over-reactive nature and self-pity.

I loose and remove resentment, disappointment, and oppressive spirits for every time my mother did not respond to me with love. I loose the false belief that my mother did not love me or care about me. And I loose the negative energy of resentment I put in my husband and children when I responded with frustration and over-reacted, along with every attached oppressive spirit, in Jesus’ name.

Thank You, Lord, for healing me and restoring love and patience to my heart toward my mother, sisters, husband, and children. I put on/bind to my mind and heart the truth that I can be self-controlled in my emotions and reactions. I can love my mother, sisters, husband, and children by being patient and kind as God is patient and kind to me, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

(Prayed truth statements in the  Love, Patience, and Kindness issues worksheets.)


Freedom from Insecurity and
the 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. Everyone has insecurity because we live and work with sinful, hurting people we are trying to please. The painful memories of betrayal by those we trusted develop insecurities. Insecurities are unhealthy, toxic beliefs and lies that perpetuate anxiety about what others do or don’t do or think and say about us. For instance, I trusted that my parents, spouse, and friends would love me, and not hurt or lie to me, but they did. As a result, I was emotionally disconnected because I felt I could not trust anyone. Note, you should not trust some people, and that is okay. Dictionary.com defines betrayal as: to be unfaithful in guarding, maintaining, or fulfilling; be disloyal. I also found myself betraying those I should have loved and protected.

Our negative reactions of anxiety or anger triggered by criticism, dishonor, and disrespect reveal our insecurities. For example, if someone found fault with me or something I did, I would have an anxiety attack. I felt they didn’t like me and that I would never be good enough. And when I suggested doing something or going somewhere and was ignored or discounted, I became resentful and felt sorry for myself. You know your insecurities by the unhealthy beliefs triggered by something someone says to you or does to you. Insecure beliefs could be: “I’m a loser and a failure.” “I’ll never be able to accomplish anything.” “I’m not good enough.” “I’ll never be accepted because ___.” “I’ll never be able to accomplish anything because ___.” “Something is wrong with me.” These messages automatically play from the programming of your painful memories of traumatic events in your life. They can also be word-curses spoken over you by someone else.

For several years, I struggled with the control stronghold, even though I continually tore it down. I asked God why I kept dealing with a control issue. He showed me an outer mental stronghold of betrayal that protected my need for control. The betrayal stronghold was built and held in place by the negative memories of unfaithfulness by those who should have protected and loved me.

The stronghold of control protected the insecurity authority seat, which prevented my insecurities from being revealed. So I thought. Because of my insecurities, I found myself emotionally disconnected from people, so I would not be hurt. I also wanted to control people, what they did, and what they thought of me. I tried to manipulate circumstances to prevent being betrayed, hurt, disappointed, or even annoyed. And if things did not go my way, I responded with frustration and anger, thus revealing my insecurity.

Sexual Betrayal also Builds the Betrayal and Control Strongholds

Remember, strongholds protect us from being offended again. The betrayal of one’s sexuality is the greatest injustice, and it wounds the soul the deepest. Dr. Seamands wrote in his book Healing of Memories that he believes no secrets are more carefully guarded or deeply buried in the soul’s dark cellars than sexual secrets. Sexual secrets are suppressed because of the stronghold of shame. When a child does tell an adult, especially a parent, they should be believed. Dr. Semands said that there is nothing more humiliating to children than not to be believed. It is one of the greatest hurts they can endure. In their eyes, it’s sheer injustice. They are desperately telling the truth, but the people they want to be most truthful with are accusing them of telling lies. (Seamands, David, 1985, Healing of Memories. SP Publications Victory Books, Wheaton, IL)

We betray ourselves and the other person when we give in to pre-marital sexual acts or adultery. God created the marriage bed to be a sacred act of love between two committed people (see Heb. 13:4). So when we defile the law of love, we feel violated, dirty, and worthless when we degrade it with sensual lust. Because sexuality is an intimate, vulnerable part of humanity, any interference (such as exposure to pornography, sexual acts (even in a movie), fondling, uncomfortable affection, making a child take on a spouse’s role, and so on) damages the very core of our being. The destruction of our soul is why Satan perverts what God creates as good. Satan wants to destroy our self-worth and ability to trust.

Betrayal also destroys our ability to trust Jesus, who came to earth to heal, restore, and regenerate us. To receive restoration, we need to forgive the person or people that Satan used to violate us. Maybe you need to forgive yourself if you gave in to Satan’s lies that sex is a means for feeling love outside of marriage. Come to Jesus with your damaged sexuality and allow Him to restore your purity and respect. Purity restoration is a supernatural act of healing that is received by faith through the redemption of forgiveness.

How to Destroy the Betrayal and Control Stronghold Combination

The first and foremost step of healing is to forgive. I went through the nine Spirit Characteristic worksheets on this website and asked God to uncover betrayal memories. I wrote out the stronghold deliverance prayer for each remembrance. Next, I bound to my heart the virtues and truths in the prayer focus. I now understand that everyone wants to be loved, accepted, and honored as much as I do. And, disconnecting from people is not loving them as God loves them.

Because of the trust issues from the betrayal, I prayed and loosed off the following unhealthy beliefs:

  • I am awful, and I have done appalling things.
  • I cannot trust anyone because they want to hurt and reject me.
  • I trust in my abilities and in what I do to meet my need for significance.

I also had the wrong behavior of pulling other people down with my words. Once I loosed these faulty beliefs and the inappropriate actions, I bound into my heart and mind the following truths to reprogram my thinking:

  • I can stay in forgiveness because forgiveness heals me and frees me from the control of painful memories.
  • It is safe to trust God and do what is good (Ps. 37:3-5).
  • I am trustworthy and faithful with what God has given me (Luke 16:10).
  • I can trust and believe that my life has a purpose and that God has a good plan for my life, which gives me hope (Jer. 29:11-14).
  • I build trust by acting with integrity and keeping my promises, and it is better to trust in God than to trust in a man (Ps. 118:6-9).

Freedom from Disappointment and
the Strongholds of Apathy and Rejection

The betrayal and control issues created many disappointments in my life. When you are disappointed, you become unhappy because of unmet expectations and hopes. Disappointments feed our insecurities and lower our self-worth and sense of significance. I became disappointed when someone did not meet my needs and desires.

Disappointments caused me to feel rejected, and I became apathetic. Apathy is not caring about other people because you think no one else cares about you. This unhealthy belief led to a lot of pathetic self-pity and feeling sorry for myself, leading to self-destructive behavior. Self-pity is the idolatry of yourself. This victim mentality is a bondage that keeps us in the pit of despair because we only think about our unmet desires. Unfortunately, this also is a contributing factor in people who commit suicide or walk away from God. Because of my abusive childhood, I did not remember feeling loved or safe. When someone said they loved me, I felt indifferent because of the apathy stronghold. Though I knew God’s love was in me, I could not love well or feel love.

The inner mental stronghold of apathy protected the negative heart issue of disappointment. The apathy stronghold was fortified by the outer mental stronghold of rejection, which reinforced harmful, toxic beliefs similar to the following: “I will always be rejected, no matter what I do.” “I should reject first to protect myself.” “I can’t risk getting close to anyone.” This disappointment “authority seat” was controlled by the painful memories of feeling rejected.

Tearing Down the Rejection and Apathy Strongholds

I first asked the Holy Spirit to show me why I did not feel love. I then asked Him to reveal the memories of being disappointed. He also exposed that I was disappointed with Him for not answering my prayers as I expected. Are you disappointed with God for not answering your prayers as you desired? Ask Him to bring up your repressed disappointment memories. Pray through the steps for destroying strongholds for each memory God shows you.

God also showed me that I had a generational curse of apathy from my paternal grandmother’s side, so I loosed and removed that and the attached spirits. Then I loosed the unhealthy belief that I did not care and that others did not care about me. I also loosed the unhealthy belief that others should meet my expectations for me to be okay. Next, I loosed and put off the seat of disappointment that controlled my attitude.

After writing out the stronghold deliverance prayer, I bound to my heart the truth statements for each of the nine Spirit Characteristics worksheets. 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 be met in His perfect timing. I now choose to meet others’ needs and desires without expecting anything in return and giving preference and honor to others without fearing rejection.


Freedom from Insignificance and
the Strongholds of Rejection and Approval

Insecurities and disappointments damaged my self-worth. What you think about yourself reveals your self-worth. We all desire to feel significant, to be accepted and approved; therefore, we fear rejection. The most painful emotions we store are feelings of not being loved, valued, and accepted. For more details, read Breaking Childhood Rejection and Insignificance Strongholds.

We all want people to like us and approve of us but are you okay when people don’t like you. If someone does not like you, ask them why. You can say, “May I clear up an assumption I have made? “I get the feeling that you don’t like me, is that true?” “Have I offended you?” Be prepared to apologize if they are offended by something you did or said. Some people hold grudges or don’t like certain personalities and that is not something you can control.

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 people dismiss me.” “There must be something wrong with me.” The rejection stronghold protected the inner acceptance and approval stronghold that protected the following unhealthy beliefs: “I’m okay when people like me.” “I need to work hard and do good things for people to accept and approve of me.” Seeking people’s acceptance is also idolatry.

The acceptance and approval stronghold protected the insignificance authority seat which held the following wrong beliefs: “My self-worth and significance are in what I do, who I know, and how much I have.” “I need to feel important to have self-worth, so I need to be in control to feel important.” Furthermore, the insecurity and insignificance stronghold combinations keep us from sharing our faith in Jesus because we fear rejection.

With God’s help, I repented of idolatry and looked to God for my significance and worth. After writing out the stronghold deliverance prayer for each memory, I choose to focus on what God thought about me. Pray the prayer focuses on the “Joy,” “Patience,” and “Kindness” worksheets.

      I am no longer in bondage to the fear of rejection or what people think of me. I learned that the negative opinions that people have about me do not represent the truth but reflect their damaged emotions and insecurities. I also knew that I’m disappointed and discouraged when I try to get my self-worth from other people or in what I do. So, I need to keep my mind on Jesus and what He thinks of me, which is only accomplished by turning every thought into a prayer.

      God showed me that I was in a rejection cycle that was generational and controlled by a spirit of rejection. I prayed and loosed the generational rejection cycle and rejection spirit from my sisters and me.


Freedom from Anger and
the Strongholds of
Pride and Judgment

This mental stronghold combination is the next most prevalent stronghold combination next to worry, fear, and anxiety. While working through the previous mental stronghold combinations, you are hopefully liberated from many of your anger issues. Also, my feelings of insignificance from rejection and humiliation contributed to the development of intense pride, and I became very judgmental. Being judgmental then attracted the adverse reaction of being judged in return. People’s sins against me created many of my anger issues, and I stored them in my memory as offenses.

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 offenses from disappointments, unmet needs and desires, soul wounds from betrayals, etc.

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 produce righteousness (see James 1:20; 3:18). Read the nine Spirit characteristic worksheets on this website to work through all the areas that cause you to feel pain when you think of them. Then pray through the steps to destroy strongholds. You may have to repeat this process several times before anger no longer controls your thoughts and behavior.


Freedom from Escapism and
the Strongholds of Loneliness and Discontentment

Every living person has felt lonely at one time in their lives. Some people feel lonely all the time. My experience and observations are that loneliness comes from a love deficit, both receiving love and giving love. Still, more than that, it is a lack of felt love. A person raised in a dysfunctional or abusive home that lacked affection is left feeling empty, alone, and unwanted which results in dysfunctional marriages and families. Loneliness and depression exist when we don’t experience genuine love. When we don’t have a sense of belonging or don’t fit in, it can lead to addictions to escape the pain.

When we are not genuinely loved, we feel lonely and discontent because we are created by God to be loved and to love. Many married couples are very lonely and feel disconnected because they cannot meet each other’s love needs. My first marriage was like this. My first husband and I reacted out of our emotional pain from past disappointment when we were not valued. Therefore, we became offended and offensive with each other, which compounded our pain and loneliness. We could not genuinely love well because of the absence of felt love from our past which left wounds in our souls. So, the marriage ended in divorce, which further damages the souls of our children. The damage to our children’s souls will carry into their marriages. The solution is forgiveness and healing the emotional pain from the memories of feeling unloved and disappointed.

The loneliness stronghold keeps us in bondage to unhappiness and depression by protecting the discontentment stronghold. According to Miriam Webster, discontentment is to be dissatisfied and to have a restless desire for something more or different. However, we should make sure that we do not have unrealistic expectations, which is also a source of discontentment. For example, it is unrealistic to own a BMW when you can only afford a Buick. Also, being judgemental about things outside your control causes discontentment. For instance, you want a thin, fit spouse, which is perhaps outside your control. Or, you want the government to do what you think is best. Being content is being satisfied with what you have with no desire for something more or different. Thankfulness is a powerful action that changes a person’s perspective in any situation, including discontentment. To understand why gratitude creates peace and joy, read my post called A POWERFUL MOOD CHANGER.

The strongholds of loneliness and discontentment protect the escapism authority seat. This authority seat causes us to want to escape from our loneliness and dissatisfaction through many different methods. Some of the means of escape are: drinking alcohol, using drugs, watching TV and sports events, spending hours on social media, working long hours, playing video games, excessive daydreaming, and so on.

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. The second unhealthy belief was, “I need to isolate myself because I don’t trust that I won’t get hurt or disappointed.” I changed this belief by verbally binding in the truth that I can trust God and give my hurt to Him and forgive those who did not genuinely love. The third unhealthy belief was, “I am alone because I am different and unaccepted.” I changed this belief by verbally binding in the truth that being different is okay because God has given me unique qualities and insight, and I am acceptable to Him.

The discontentment stronghold protected the following unhealthy beliefs: “I need more because what I have is not enough.” I replaced this 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. The second unhealthy belief was, “I need to have something different to be happy (such as car, house, furniture, spouse, job, and so on).” Discontentment has many facets, but the remedy is thankfulness and trusting God to provide the things we need.

Next, evaluate what is controlling your escaping choices. I noticed that I needed to be busy all the time, so I did not feel my loneliness or discontentment. I also daydreamed a lot to escape the mundaneness and boredom of life. Most times, my thoughts were unproductive, vain, 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 to learn how to break your addictions.

After praying to destroy this escapism stronghold, I had terrible cramping in my hands, feet, and legs for several days. Then I remembered I had forgotten to pray and loose the oppressive spirits attached to unhealthy beliefs. 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 worksheets.


Freedom from Guilt

After I became free from the escapism stronghold combination, God showed me that I did not even love myself. In fact, I hated myself. I asked God to show me why. A few days later, I attended a Bible study. The facilitator taught that the high priests in Leviticus made one sacrifice for sins and another for guilt. God spoke to my heart to tell me that I could not love myself because of my guilt. The next morning, I looked up all the verses about guilt. Here are a few: Leviticus 4:3 states that our sins bring guilt on us. Jeremiah 3:13 (ESV) 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 (ESV) 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.” 1John 1:9 (ESV) 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].”

I went to God and asked Him to show me more about my guilt. I found guilt listed under the Goodness Issues worksheet. I also found destructiveness listed under the Goodness Issues worksheet, and the source of my guilt became clear. Because I grew up in an angry and destructive home, I was programmed to be destructive with my words and actions through my anger, impatience, unkindness, and pride. As a child, I did not feel valued, so I treated others the same way. I realized I had never repented of these sins, and I had guilt for all the times my anger caused destruction, and I hated myself for that. I prayed through the prayer in the Goodness Issues worksheet for every painful memory of destruction in my life.

I put off the wrong belief that I was a terrible person, then bound to my heart and mind the positive attributes and truth statements listed in the Goodness Issues worksheet. I also bound in the positive virtues that I can and will use my words to contribute to others’ good and that what I say and do will benefit those I meet. Secondly, I will be kind, generous, and sympathetic and 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 I prayed this, I felt so delighted and 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 self-hatred in my heart.


Freedom From the Addiction Stronghold and Harmful Actions

In The Healing Codes Manual, Drs. Loyd and Johnson said, “Harmful actions or desires are 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.” “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.”

  • “Harmful desires of the five 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.)”    (The Healing Codes Manual, p. 48)

Freedom from Controlling Desires and
the Strongholds of Pleasure and Addiction

The outer pleasure stronghold protects the unhealthy beliefs of “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.” This stronghold fortifies the inner addiction stronghold which protects the unhealthy beliefs of “It is hopeless.” “I am hopeless.” “I can never 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.” This stronghold maintains the authority seat of controlling desires, which holds the memory pictures of sinful fleshly desires (lusts) for the harmful action(s). Also, consider how addictions help us escape from our painful memories. So, healing our painful memories through forgiveness and transforming destructive beliefs will free us from our addictions and harmful habits.

If you have any harmful habits or unhealthy beliefs listed in this section or that God showed you, then pray the following prayer format, breathing deeply to stay mindful of the leading of the Holy Spirit:


Dear Lord, I ask that You break and loose the stronghold of the deceit of pleasure, protecting the destructive habit of _(issue)_ from being conquered. By Your power and authority, I put off the unhealthy beliefs of “It is hopeless,” “I am hopeless,” “I’ll never break this destructive habit,” _(other unhealthy beliefs)_. I loose the image and memory of the pleasure triggers of the destructive habit of ____ from my mind and body. I break and loose the addiction stronghold protecting the fleshly desires for _(specific issue(s))_ from being conquered. I put off the unhealthy beliefs of “I need to have it,” “I have no control, and I can’t stop the compulsion,” “I don’t have a problem, I can quit any time I want,” ”I’m not hurting anyone,” _(other unhealthy beliefs)_. Next, I loose from my mind the fleshly desire for _(issue)_ that controls my behavior and decisions, in Jesus’ name. Forgive me for ___. I bind to my mind, heart, and soul the following truths:

TRUTH FOCUS STATEMENTS

  • I am a beautiful work of God, I am valuable, and I will value myself (Eph. 2:10; Ps. 139:14).
  • Jesus helps me to overcome temptations for destructive habits (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 is my anchor (Ps. 62:5-8; 42:5; Heb. 6:19).
  • I 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 my desire to control 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 rather than my pain (Ps. 71:4-5; Ps. 91:1).
  • I can loose and put off fear and self-protective behaviors and I put on power, love, and a sound, disciplined mind (2Tim. 1:7).

Freedom from Disrespect and
the Strongholds of Failure and Unworthiness

Do you find you are disrespectful when others fail to meet your expectations? Has someone been disrespectful to you? Do you feel unworthy of respect, or are you treating others as unworthy of honor? If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, you may have a failure and contempt stronghold combination that protects the disrespect authority seat. Dictionary.com says that “contempt” is the feeling with which a person regards anything considered mean, vile, or worthless; disdain; scorn.

Every harmful behavior has a source, and we must not make excuses but ask God, “Why am I behaving this way?” “What is the root or source behind my behavior?” For instance, if my husband did not meet my expectations, I felt disdain and demeaned him. God showed me that contempt is not godly behavior because He wants us to value others and honor them. Being disrespectful is not loving and is a sin. So, I asked God to show me the root of why I was irritated with my husband’s inconsideration of me. He revealed that I still had painful memories of not being valued as a child and by my first husband. I also had disdain for my first husband because of his abusiveness. The memories of my mother’s disrespect and contempt for my father also influenced me. So, I developed unhealthy beliefs that caused my sinful behavior of disrespect.

God also revealed that I felt like a failure as a child, especially with schoolwork. My mother told me that I should have been in special education classes but she fought against it. I’m sure you can think of times when you failed and how others may have treated you with contempt. Failure was the outer mental stronghold that reinforced the inner stronghold of contempt. Both mental strongholds protected the authority seat of disrespect, which held the memories of the offenses 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 do not feel worthy of respect, and no one else is worthy of my respect.” “I am inferior and deserve to be treated with contempt.” “I have contempt for people I disagree with.” “I feel I have no value, and what I have to say and what I want 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. There are many different beliefs related to these two strongholds so ask God to reveal your wrong thinking. I replaced these destructive beliefs with the truths found in the worksheet called  MEEKNESS-HUMILITY-GENTLENESS 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, ask God to show you the specific beliefs you have and the associated memories and offenses. Then use the Stronghold Deliverance prayer format listed above to be set free.

DOUBT STRONGHOLD COMBINATION: The outer Rebellion Stronghold protects the following wrong thoughts: “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.” These protect the inner Independence Stronghold that protects the following unhealthy beliefs: “It is up to me to meet my needs.” “I can’t trust God to meet my needs.” “God doesn’t answer my prayers; therefore, I have to take care of myself.” And these protect the Authority Seat of Doubts which maintain lies from the demonic world that cause you to doubt God.

DECEPTION STRONGHOLD COMBINATION: The outer Protection Stronghold protects the following wrong thoughts: “Lying protects my interests, reputation, future, and so on.” “It is the only way to get ahead in life, and so on.” This fortifies the inner Manipulation Stronghold that protects the following thoughts: “Lying influences people to think differently.” “I can’t risk people knowing the truth; otherwise, they will not like me.” Protects the Authority Seat of Deception, which contains the memories of story spinning, total lies, little “white” lies, and so on.

OPPRESSION STRONGHOLD COMBINATION: The outer Irresponsibility Stronghold protects the following 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, and arthritis all run in my family, and I have no control.” These thoughts fortify the inner Infirmity Stronghold that protects the following wrong views: “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.” And these beliefs protect the Authority Seat of Oppression which holds the curses and oppressive spirits of sickness, weakness, illness, disease, and distress of all kinds.


Copyright 2015

4–Transforming Heart Issues Causes Physical Healing


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