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Overcoming Strongholds of the Mind

The following are notes from a prayer lesson I taught in my church on praying through the strongholds of your mind. The sections in blue are the points that can be prayed about and/or need addressed for each stronghold that you are dealing with. You will have greater success in this process if you allow yourself time to go slowly through each section, allowing time for reflection and listening as God speaks to you. The process of overcoming your strongholds may take time, as thought patterns need to be reshaped and the automatic responses we often give need to be replaced. Allow yourself this time of healing, and don’t get discouraged. After time, you’ll start noticing a change, as long as you are consistently applying these principles. You may also use some of these scriptures and principles as you pray for others who are battling strongholds. Here is a list of some common strongholds that people deal with. – Colleen Clabaugh (WNOP)

When we let our minds dwell on and accept negative words or thoughts, we partner with the enemy, giving him authority and access to our life. As this happens, strongholds begin to develop, taking control of our thoughts and ultimately our actions. We find ourselves struggling to live the victorious and abundant life that God has for us. But God has given us a way to overcome these strongholds. We don’t have to be bound or controlled by our emotions or thoughts. We were promised in John 8:36,  “He whom the Son has set free, is free indeed.” 

A stronghold of the mind is a lie that gets established (as a lifestyle/pattern) in our thinking and actions.

There are three sources that affect strongholds in our lives:

  • Ourselves: Proverbs 23:7 says, “for as he thinks in his heart so is he.” In other words, whatever we personally believe about ourselves, we become. Thoughts become actions.
  • Others: Life events and environments can greatly affect what we believe about ourselves.
  • Satan/evil forces: The enemy will use our life experiences and relationships against us and speak lies into our mind.

How can we pray and overcome these strongholds?

  1. Understand God’s love, and who you are in Him. Because God is our loving Father and we are His children, He will bring us to a place of dealing with our strongholds. He wants us to have abundant life. None of us are perfect. Whatever He does, He does in love.
    • Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
    • Hebrews 12:6-7, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons.”
    • I John 3:1, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.”
    • Acknowledge the love that God has for you as His child, even in times of correction.
  2. Identifying the stronghold, accept responsibility, and repent of it. The first step in any recovery is acknowledgment of the problem, and a desire to truly change it. We have to get beyond shame and step into restoration. We choose our own actions – we cannot blame someone else for our actions/responses.
    • Ask God to remove all spiritual blindness, deafness, and hardness of your heart.
    • Ask the God to show you strongholds that exist in your life. Wait for Him to answer.
      • Psalm 69:5, “O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.”
      • Psalm 19:12, “Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.”
    • When God reveals or confirms it, don’t shift the blame to others.
    • Ask God to forgive you for believing the lies that have created your stronghold and for reacting in ungodly ways to negative experiences that have happened to you.
  3. Forgive and accept forgiveness. As we accept forgiveness, God gives us grace to forgive others who may have contributed to our stronghold/hurts.
    • Unforgiveness and an attitude of victimization will keep you from overcoming your stronghold.
    • Matthew 6:14-15, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
    • Forgive anyone who has wronged or wounded you. This is a choice, not a feeling.
    • Forgive yourself. Condemnation and shame are not of God; these are tools of the enemy.
    • If you have anger toward God, release it and commit yourself to trusting Him.
  4. Depend on God’s Spirit. We cannot defeat the enemy with our own will power. The enemy will keep coming back to try to reestablish strongholds again. God has given you authority over the enemy.
    • Luke 10:19, “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy.”
    • John 17:15, “I pray not that you would take them from the world, but that you would keep them from the evil one.”
    • Psalm 9:9, “The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.”
    • Ask God to help you to recognize and break the thought patterns that created the stronghold.
    • Take authority over the wrong thought patterns and the evil spirits that are influencing them.
  5. Use God’s Word. Hebrews 4:12-13 states that the Word of God has power. It goes to the innermost secrets and motives of our hearts. It can change our thinking and transform our lives. It is our weapon.
    • Psalm 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
    • John 8:32 says, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”
    • Replace Satan’s lies with God’s truth. Find scriptures that are the opposite of the lies you’ve been believing. Make a list and keep it handy.
    • Ask God to show you what He says about you in His Word.
    • Ask God to show you in His Word what to do, and what to pray.
    • Pray the scriptures God shows you until it changes your thought pattern.
  6. Replace your thoughts. Negative thoughts cannot create positive actions. Truth dispels lies. Light dispels darkness. Make an action plan, in advance, of how to respond.
    • Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
    • Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight.”
    • Romans 12:1, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
    • Ask God to cleanse your active thoughts as well as your subconscious mind.
    • Ask God to heal your soul from past wounds and lies that have affected you.
    • Ask God to renew your mind with His thoughts and His words.
    • Bind yourself to good actions and thoughts. Loose yourself from wrong actions and thoughts. 
  7. Don’t entertain the lies. When the enemy attempts to invade our thoughts and speaks his lies, we must choose not to listen and entertain them.
    • Ephesians 4:27, “Neither give place to the devil.”
    • James 4: 7, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
    • Ask God to make you aware when you are thinking or reacting in ways that reinforce the stronghold.
    • Ask God for His strength to resist the enemy when he comes.
  8. Fill your mind with worship, praise, and holy things. When the enemy has been removed from your mind, it must be filled with the power and presence of God. The enemy has no power where the Spirit of the Lord resides.
    • II Corinthians 3:17, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
    • Spend time worshiping God for His love, power, and deliverance in your life.
    • Remove ungodly influences from your life and home. These affect us even when we don’t realize it.