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How To Pray For Someone Who Is Deceived

All of us came from the kingdom of darkness. Before we became Christians, we were at first in the domain of darkness, where the enemy had authority and power over us. The Bible teaches us that we are all in slavery to sin. That is the result of the “fall of man,” when Adam and Eve chose to eat the forbidden fruit, out of pride, to become like God and define good and evil on their terms. Those in the domain of darkness are all bound to death because of Adam. However, the game-changer was Christ. If we have found death in Adam, we have found life in Christ. Christ came to redeem us and bring us from the domain of darkness into His kingdom. Christ also took back the authority that Adam stole when humanity fell. Anyone can enter the kingdom of Christ if he or she repents. That is why, in Matthew 3:2, Jesus tells the people to repent, for His kingdom is at hand. A person is brought from darkness to light as he or she repents and believes in the person and work of Christ, and such a thing is possible only when the Holy Spirit regenerates their hearts by turning their hearts of stone to hearts of flesh. Knowing that we all came from the kingdom of darkness, we can say that we have been deceived all along. We only come to know the truth because we know Jesus, Who is the truth. There are numerous deceptions that the enemy uses to harm people and lead them into the darkness and away from Christ. This is not surprising, since he is the father of lies. He deceives people into thinking that God does not exist, that vices and other sins are normal and acceptable, that morality is irrelevant in this world, and more. Such deceptions can only be broken by the truth, which is Christ Himself.

John 8:31-32

31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Matthew 3:2

And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Colossians 1:13-14

13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

How do you know if someone is being deceived?

You can know if someone is being deceived if you check on it by using God’s word. Christ is the embodiment of God’s word. If we abide in Christ, Who is the truth, we shall also abide in God’s Word, the Scriptures. The Bible or the Scriptures, the word of God, is essential in one’s Christian life. Without them, it would be impossible to live a Christian life since everything that a Christian believes is all from God’s word. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, the apostle Paul teaches us that the Scriptures are God-breathed. That is why they are profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. If we know of someone who is deceived, we should use the Scriptures to reproof and correct those who are being deceived. God’s word is the highest authority over a Christian’s life. The Scriptures are a lamp to a Christian’s feet to help them navigate their life when the enemy is trying to deceive them.

Psalm 119:105

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

John 17:17

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

It is also essential to know that it is not just unbelievers the enemy is deceiving because they are in the domain of darkness. Even Christians can be deceived as well. The Bible consistently teaches us to be sober-minded and watch out for the enemy because it will always try to do anything to hinder us as we advance God’s kingdom. It is written that we don’t wrestle or go up against flesh and blood but, rather, the spiritual forces of evil. We have to be always watchful because the hard part of being deceived is that we don’t know that we are being deceived. Prayer, Bible reading, and fellowship with fellow believers are essential spiritual disciplines that a Christian must always keep. How can a Christian know if he or she is being deceived if they do not read the Bible or if they are not in fellowship with fellow believers who will correct and reproof them? Praying is also important because, through prayer, we get to ask God for grace and pray that the enemy’s lies be shut out. 

Acts 17:11

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Ephesians 6:12

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.

1 Peter 5:8

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.

While unbelievers in the domain of darkness are deceived, Christians also face a wide range of deception from the enemy—false teachings, about which the Bible has warned us often because what makes them attractive is that they suit what the hearers want to hear and not what the Bible is designed to teach. It could also be that a Christian is deceived so that the enemy can bombard him or her with lies such as that God will never use him or her for His kingdom. Regardless of what those lies or deceptions are, we are to respond by going to the truth of God’s word and not making the same mistake that Adam and Eve did. We should believe what God says in His word rather than what the enemy says. We have to pray to God for grace and always be connected to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

Lastly, when it comes to unbelievers, they can only see the truth if they can see Christ. However, the problem is that they are not just deceived but also spiritually blind. They hold crazy beliefs such as “you only live once” so life should be a party, the universe is an accident, and many other deceptions. That is why we have to preach the truth to them, which is Christ. Only in Christ can they know that life has a purpose, and as they indeed live only once, they ought to live it wisely for God. It is also in Christ that people can know that there is indeed a God and that He came down on earth to die for the sins of humanity. But He didn’t stay dead and was risen from the dead, proving that He is indeed the Son of God. Knowing the truth of the existence of God shall change the way people see the universe and its meaning. The starting point of all of this is Christ, Who is the truth that can set them free. However, we should also pray for the Holy Spirit to open their spiritually blinded eyes so that they may see Christ at all. That is the difference between the man born blind and the Pharisees. The man born blind’s sight was not just restored physically but also spiritually. He saw Christ and his need for Him, the Messiah, while the Pharisees with all of their intellectual prowess missed out on Christ even when He was right in front of them.

John 9:25

He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.

How do I pray for someone who is deceived?

Knowing that it is essential to get into God’s word to know if someone is being deceived and to reproof and correct them if they are indeed being deceived, we understand that God’s word is also essential when praying for someone who is deceived. The critical thing to remember as you pray for someone who is being deceived is to look for the truth found in the Scriptures and use Scripture as you pray for someone the enemy deceives. The prayer that you pray is like a reminder of the truth for that person. 

For example, suppose a Christian is being deceived by the enemy telling him that God can never use him because he is unqualified. In that case, you can pray the scriptures from Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 1:8, and 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, which tell us that we have nothing to fear as we make disciples, even if we think that we have many weaknesses, because Christ will be with us and the Holy Spirit shall empower us. The grace that we have in Christ is sufficient for us. When we are weak, we are made strong because it is in our weakness that the power of Christ is made perfect.

Here is an example of how you can pray for that Christian being deceived by the enemy:

Heavenly Father, You are the God of all truth. I pray that You would shut out the enemies’ lies to [name of the person]. Thank You because he is not doing ministry work alone but in Christ. You are always with him, and the Holy Spirit empowers him. Your grace is more than sufficient for him, and it does not matter if he thinks he is full of weakness because it is in his weaknesses that You shall display Your power. I pray that You would cause him to be fruitful in the ministry and that people will be impressed not by his capabilities but by Yours as You work through him. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Matthew 28:19-20

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Acts 1:8

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

If you have observed, in this prayer we used Bible verses, which are the truths addressing the deception the Christian was going through—in this case, the lie of not being able to be used by God. We incorporated the truth of God’s word into the prayer, and so we are not just thanking God for things but also reminding the person of the truth and thanking God for that. We can apply this pattern to whatever deception a Christian may be going through, with the truth that God’s word is saying.

For the unbelievers, regardless of what deception the enemy hands them, there is only one thing to pray for them—to encounter Christ. As mentioned before, Christ is the truth. Whatever deception they believe as they encounter Christ, Christ shall break it. With that, you can pray not just for them to encounter Christ but also for the Holy Spirit to open their spiritual eyes so that they may see Christ, Who is the truth. For example, going back to the person who believes that you only live once and that is why you ought to live it however you want, here is how you can pray for that person:

Father in heaven, You are the creator of the universe. I thank You because we are no accidents in this world; You have a purpose for every one of us. Thank You because our purpose can be found in Christ alone. Holy Spirit, I pray that You would open the spiritual eyes of [name of the person] so that he may see Christ, Who is the truth and the Savior and Master that he needs. Open his eyes to the truth that while indeed we only live once, we ought to live it wisely. Living with wisdom is fearing You and hating that which is evil in Your sight. I pray that he shall repent and commit to following Christ, in Whom he can have a restored relationship with You and find his purpose in life. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

John 16:13

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

John 14:26

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Whether a person is a Christian or not, while we can do everything we can to point them to the truth, ultimately, God shall minister to them. If a Christian is deceived, the Holy Spirit shall lead them to the truth and even bring it to their remembrance. For the unbelievers, it is also the Holy Spirit who shall lead them to the truth and open their spiritually blinded eyes so that they may see the truth. That is why we should pray to God for the people we know who are being deceived.