31st October

Halloween

The Lord Almighty says ‘My people are oppressed, but the One who will rescue them is strong – his name is the Lord Almighty. He will take up their cause but will bring trouble to Babylon… Babylon will be haunted by demons and evil spirits. Jeremiah 50: 33, 34, 39.

In the Northern Hemisphere, Winter draws near, nights draw in, and something within us draws back and is afraid. Halloween (that is, the evening of All Hallows, meaning all the holy ones or saints of God) is a day when, in the past and today, people focus on the darkness that is encroaching, and on the spirits, fears and powers which seem to ‘come out’ at this time. The idea of wearing masks and witches hats was not to imitate evil spirits, it was to frighten them off! Today many older people are frightened to go out after dark, or to open the door, not because of evil spirits, but because of youngsters taking ‘trick or treat’ too far.

Some people think that dressing up as witches etc. at Halloween parties is harmless fun; however, it would be foolish to underestimate the reality of the occult forces, which are reviving, not declining. The Celtic Christians understood that our world is like a good land that is temporarily under occupation by malign forces. Their responsibility was to expel evil forces in the name of the Owner, and to claim back the land for God. In order to do this they used protective prayers like a coat of armour. Today it is good to focus on Christ’s victory over evil, to circle in prayer the places that attract fears or forces of darkness; to light a candle to symbolise Christ, the Light of the world, whom no darkness can quench, and to use prayers such as these:

Compassionate God of heaven’s powers
screen me from people with evil intentions.
Compassionate God of freedom
screen me from curses and spells.
Compassionate God of the saints
screen me from bad deeds, bad words, bad thoughts.
Compassionate God of eternity
screen me from bad influences here in the past.
May your cross be between me
and all things coming darkly towards me

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