It is easy to ignore what happens around us, in the spiritual. We live on this earth so surrounded by desires and commitments, so overwhelmed by cares of this world, we pay no attention to the war that happens around us, a war that would not stop until the end; until the end of all things. We were born into this war, and it is wise we pay attention, or we would not survive it.
#OST: Linkin Park – Wastelands
The night was dark and the wind howled around the treetops, swaying them beneath the starless sky. The scent of danger lay thickly upon the air, a pungent smell easily detected by the more visceral senses, and on the ground and within the branches, creatures hid in nests and burrows, and even the serpentine and nocturnal slithered and crouched deep away from sight.
The dark shapes streaked through the clouds, crackling through the air with lightening in their wake, nebulous forms as of thundery dark and winding clouds, they twisted about each other, moving through the air heading for the forest below. Spiraling around each other, the dark clouds spun in the night, winding tighter and tighter as though to drill into the earth. Sparrows cried in the night, bats shrieked and owls hooted, a cacophony of calls and wails as the forest protesting the intrusion. The shapes tore through the forest canopy with the sound of rushing wings and slammed into a clearing at three distinct spots. Instantly all went silent as the dark shapes resolved into the forms of three women. A ring of fire formed immediately around all three, burning but not consuming. One of the women threw back her head and shrieked into the night, the other two joined her, their cries, so fell in the dark night, a terrible sound to hear, full of malice and evil. The women wore black gowns that looked to be made of gossamer, so light it seemed to taper not to a hem, but like shifting shadows, into nothingness. Their hands were bony and malformed, twisted in rictus and ending in long curved nails. Long hair streamed down to their shoulders, snarling teeth filed to points, eyes shining with a red fire from their coal black faces.
The leader’s head snapped back up. Stretching her hands towards the centre, she smiled as a giant cauldron, the contents boiling already appeared, the steam from the pot forming up indistinct shapes. “Tonight we feast on flesh,” she said, her voice rumbling as though from a barrel of stones. The other women on the other side of the cauldron cackled.
Above the cauldron, the shapes swirled and shifted, changed and twisted, forming human figures, then faces; faces of people in a congregation.
The pastor spoke. “Let us ask GOD for forgiveness. If we bear sin, our prayers are but an abomination to GOD.” From his eyes, as he stood above them on the raised altar, yellow lights flickered among his congregation, invisible to them, but telling so boldly of the uncertainty in their hearts. “GOD is ready to forgive you. All you need to do is ask. Ask him now!” he thundered into the microphone.
The church seemed to swell as the people prayed, the sounds of their voices an almost constant roar. The yellow lights slowly went from a flicker to a white glow. Good, he thought, but not enough. Tonight was different, danger lay upon the air, and he needed to get his people ready.
“Now, I want you to ask for power. The bible says, you will receive power after the Holy Ghost has come upon you. You have the Holy Ghost, now ask for power. Say, ‘Oh Lord, give me your power!’”
The roof of the church seemed to split open as the people prayed, golden light streaming from what seemed to be white clouds. Opening his mouth wide, the pastor yelled out his request for power along with his congregation. But nothing else seemed to be happening; the roof even seemed to be reappearing, the clouds vanishing. The pastor was frantic. “It seems you are not praying. Do you not know the power is yours, if only you will ask? The power of GOD himself. Raise your right hand and repeat after me, ‘Oh Lord, give me your POWER!’”
The clouds above suddenly caught flame, the explosive power pouring down upon the congregation in wave after wave, until the white light around them shone too bright to even look.
“Dunamis,” he muttered. The pastor ached to close his eyes, to see only physically, but he couldn’t even if he wanted to. Moreover, he was pleased, the battle was about to start.
“Children of GOD, tonight we are going to pray, we are going to possess our possessions.”
In the forest, the three witches swayed in time with their incantations. Bodies moving from left to right, eyes crazed and wild with delirious frenzies, they muttered incomprehensible words in dark tongues. So heavy their energy, sp thick the evil in the atmosphere, the trees made to shrink away as their roots started to wither, leaves to mottle. The witches paid no heed, they were caught up in it now. The darkness of the night seemed to thicken, to curdle, as shadow forms coalesced out of the air. Six forms in all, standing around the circle of fire looking in on the witches, they were in form of men, but with cloven hooves for feet and wolf-like snouts for mouths. The demons made no movements, save for the swishing of their tails from side to side.
“Go,” came the voice from the circle, though none of the women had spoken. Wings suddenly sprouted from their backs and the demons launched into the air. Diving as one, they flew through the ring and into the swirling steam that was the congregation.
The pastor shouted, “In Jesus name! Now I want everyone here to just pray in the spirit. We have asked of GOD, and now let us accompany our prayers with divine tongues. Do not bother about what you are speaking, just pray in tongues.”
Once again, the church seemed to swell, the burst of angelic tongues, a deeper language, more mysterious than the oldest Enochian, rushed upwards, ascending to the clouds like a streak of golden light. As the prayers went up, the clouds suddenly seemed to darken and the streak of light stopped in place. The pastor gasped. Right before his eyes, he could see four demonic spirits holding the prayers back from reaching the golden clouds above. Two other demons broke away and dove in flight, heading for them.
“Pray, louder! Pray in the spirit. I want to hear you scream, nothing would stop our prayers from reaching the ears of GOD,” yelled the Pastor, letting burst a stream of tongues.
The two demons suddenly seemed to slam into an invisible wall.
“None of our prayers would be hindered tonight. Raise your hands and say, ‘Father, no stronghold or strongman shall withstand our prayers’” As the flow of tongues had stopped, the invisible wall had seemed to crack. Rearing backwards, one of the demons slammed into the wall with his hooves, shattering it into pieces. Now they dove in faster, great swords of black smoke and lightening hissed and sputtered in their hands.
A voice, slow and quiet, seemed to minister to the pastor. “Command the angels, you have the power of GOD, you can command the angels to deliver our prayers to the LORD!” he shouted. “Prayers in Jesus name!”
The words were barely out of his mouth when they appeared. Golden breastplates gird around white robes, pearly white great wings twinkling with golden dust upon their backs, blades of gleaming silver and vengeance in their hands, angels of the LORD. The demons broke away from their flight, banking away they sought to regain the height of their comrades. The two angels disposed of the demons in single strokes.
Streaking upwards, they tore towards where the other four held the prayers of the congregation. The first angel darted below the sword swing of one demon, great silver broadsword slicing the demon in two, then it twisted around and stabbed the second one in an underarm thrust. The demons turned to ash. The second angel swung his sword in a mighty arc releasing a beam of light, obliterating the other two demons. In the congregation, the people instantly broke into tongues again.
“Give thanks to the LORD,” the pastor cried as the angels hovered above the congregation, baleful eyes gleaming with the glint of the silver swords still at the ready, golden breastplates reflecting the white light of the church members. The light shone bright, through the steam and into the forest. The witches snarled.
“Blood! We need blood for this,” the leader screamed. In the congregation, a young man stood and prayed, the white halo around his head almost blinding, but within his head they could see a family; mother and father and two siblings, one of which was a little girl.
“Her! Yes, her! I want that girl!” the witch screamed.
From their robes, that shifting darkness, a part of the shadows seemed to dislodge and forming a spear, dove straight through the steam for the girl’s head.
In the house, the girl slept, her hands wrapped around her teddy-bear, above the small fan whirled and slowed, slower and slower and then froze. A spear materialized over her head, straining against an invisible barrier to strike her.
“…protect us and our loved ones, against the darts of the evil one! Prayers now!” screamed the pastor.
The spear strained and trembled, so great was the force behind it pushing it towards the girl; it refused to yield at the barrier. The spear moved an inch closer.
“There is someone here, the devil is targeting a member of your family, he wants to harm them. There is no time. I need you to pray. Say, ‘Father, protect my family!’”
The young man, his head suddenly filled with visions of his dear family members, howled in anger, and called upon the fire of heaven to strike every and any who dared to raise a hand against his loved ones. So great was his anger, so righteous his fury, that as he knelt to the floor and cried, one of the angels hovering above had to turn to look.
The spear shuddered and burst into flame and shot back from whence it came, disappearing into nothing again. Thus, the spear, now formed of flame appeared out of the steam and slammed into one of the witches, knocking her from her spell to the ground and into the fire that formed the ring. She shrieked in agony, but her mates paid her no mind. Focusing, they invoked a deeper chant, deeper than any other before now.
In the room, the girl turned in her sleep, hands still holding her teddy-bear, and above the fan turned peacefully.
“We are coming to the end of the prayer, but we are not yet done,” said the pastor. “Tonight, as we prayed, we have asked for blessings, for ourselves, for our family, for our country. But there are those who would not allow our prayers to work. So I need you to pray, and this time, with anger and passion. Raise your right hand and say after me, ‘Oh Lord, every evil altar, every coven or meeting place, that has been convened against us or our family or this country, burn by fire!”
The witches growled, their incantations more heated than ever before. Once again, the night curdled, evil mixing with the darkness in a miasma so thick, tendrils of hell’s smoke seemed to seep through. The darkness wrapped itself layer upon layer around the circle, which still burned as before, but with the crisp corpse of the third witch a charred mess within. The corpse floated in the air and dropped into the cauldron, the sacrifice imbuing the witches with even more power. Golden light streamed out of the pot; the power of an offered soul, and weaved itself into the darkness, forming a shield around the witches.
The lead witch, her prayer so powerful, her chant so deep, she sweated blood, yelled out, even as fire struck from heaven. The shield held.
“Pray in the mighty name of Jesus,” yelled the pastor.
The shield held.
A voice, again, quiet, ministered unto him.
“Like it was in Jericho, all those years ago, we will shout the name of the LORD Jesus seven times and praise Hallelujah once. Jesus!”
The fire struck again.
The shield seemed to crack, but it still held.
The witches, curved black blades, forged of deepest sin, appearing in their hands severed their own arms into the cauldron. Light streamed out again, reinforcing the shield.
The shied would not give way, but now the witches were beginning to show the strain. Their faces began to melt away, their eyes blinding in the fire of heaven, their fingers beginning to curl backwards from the strain of holding up the shield. But still they will not yield to the power.
“Jesuuuuuuus!” the congregation roared.
The shield held still, the witches shaking their heads in refusal as they held their ground. They will not bow.
“Hallelujah!” the people shouted.
“Come forth with a sacrifice unto GOD, to thank him for the prayers HE has answered,” smiled the pastor.
The pastor raised the basket of money to heaven as he gave thanks. A stream of vapour arose from the basket, unseen to all, it wafted upwards into the clouds, a sweet-scenting savour.
“Thank you LORD, for answering all that we have asked.”
The shield exploded, the fire from the sky smashing it into a million tiny pieces. The coven went ablaze in an instant, fire and light from heaven banishing every trace of darkness in a flash. The shrieks of the witches were cut off as the evil creatures burned to nothingness, the cauldron and the ring of fire disappeared as the clearing was scrubbed of all traces of evil, and from the air descended two angels, white bands of praise and sacrifice energy writhing on their arms.
Pastor James rested against the young man as he was helped into the back seat of his car. He dropped his bible beside him on the seat, adjusting his cane for better access. His gray eyes stared into nothingness, his only vision a black void empty of anything else but sound. He fixed the black shades on his eyes as the driver pulled away. As the rays of the early morning sunlight hit his face, he smiled. It was going to be a good day
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through GOD to the pulling down of strongholds” – 2 Corinthians 10 vs 4.
- Once again, I cannot claim to know precisely if this is what happens during prayers, but I am sure I am not too far off point
- I am not a fan of most of the more famous christian fiction authors. Read Left Behind a bit, but who didn’t. But not Perretti or Dekker or Rivers
- The war is real
- I pray
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GOD bless Nigeria
22 thoughts on “War”
intriguing piece . … I read it all..
Thank you. That was the general idea..
Do come back..
LikeLiked by 1 person
The offering after the prayers kind of deadened it for me. Especially as the sacrifice (or payment if you will) for answered prayers.
Gave the impression that it was money, not faith or unwavering belief that urge(s)d God to go the extra mile.
Not a theologian but as far as gifts/sacrifices to God go, as the story of Saul and David illustrates, money doesnt carry that much weight.
Truth is, worship is spiritual. Spiritual beings require sacrifices, a payment for prayers to be answered. Sacrifice could be in form of love and fellowship, fasting or denial and could also be in form of money or the blood of a cow. However way it is, a sacrifice provokes GOD to act for you.
Vundie kinda has the hang of it. Obedience is most important, but sacrifice is worship.
I wanted to explain how Jesus’s life, death and doctrine might refute this but I realise now that this story really isnt detached celestial fiction like Ekwem’s work.
I see this is your personal interpretation of some important tenets of faith. In that light it makes more sense now.
Yeah! Thanks..and who is Ekwem? Once again Edd, you make me google
Ekwem is a fantasy blogger, and he’s pretty good at it. His Twitter handle: @ekwem.
Oh, thanks…in that case then, I shall search and read.
I think this is your first comment on my blog!!!! Woooow! That thing that inspired you to type that wow, may it come back again..hehe
Good writing as usual.
I half-agree agree with Edgothboy. I don’t particularly agree that money doesn’t carry that much weight. I think it does. In Janus’ defense, that offering bit might have been inspired by the ‘bring your offerings and tithes…I will rebuke the devourer for your sake…’ part of the bible. However, the timeline of this narrative unfortunately suggests that the offering was the most important ingredient in the war against the principalities. Not the prayers. Not the faith. Not the very act of staying awake to wage a war in God’s name.
But I’m sure that wasn’t his intention anyway 😀
Personally I liked the tale (even though I am positively disagreeable to this kind of fantastic tug-of-war) and I hope it inspires Christians to, ah, ‘stay woke.’
Lol..I hope it inspires too.
And I didn’t intend for it to seem the most important ingredient. The faith was actually, but I did mean to show that sacrifice is a supreme form of invocation. Even the witches used sacrifices to “power up” lol.
Thanks for reading as per usual. .
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” – Ephesians 6:12
That’s right Pastor Tikva..ride on ma!
This is encouraging. Inspiring.
I particularly like the disclaimer – so many feel like that. I like to also imagine that this is what happens when we pray – and I pray.
Or at least I try to.
Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for reading Mr Odukoya. Do share also..so ehm..others can also be inspired.
Thanks for coming..and pray.
Thanks man. Keep reading..and share!
This is Epic!! I enjoyed it all the way. Nice choice of words, it creats a perfect imagery.My imaginations while I was reading it was like a Hollywood block buster! Great work Chris!
Lmao! Oshey Nolly..all this praise from Nigeria’s biggest gospel hip hop sensation! (Anticipated pun plus free hype)
Keep reading sir..
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I pray too.
And may GOD hear you when you do