I just graduated…yesterday.
Sat for maybe the last exam of my life. But it didn’t feel like anything. Maybe cos I’m pretty sure I’m gonna fail that Art critique module that had drained my life away week by week and caused Dean to be so hopping mad at me (“VAL YOU’RE THE WORST STUDENT EVER!” haha).
The last exam of my life incidentally was for Philosophy of Religion. What a quaint way to end it. So I’ll conclude it with a quaint little story I heard from Dick…yesterday. (it’s this a.m. past the stroke of midnight thing.)
It’s purported to be a true firsthand account but well, I don’t know. It’s still a nice story, some bits, when it’s not trying to be spooky.
This man, the one who told the story, was born to parents who, for reasons incomprehensible, sold his soul to Satan at birth. Because of his enslavement to Satan, his soul had the unique ability of leaving his physical body at will. Those times his soul left, it left to do the work of Satan alongside other demons who were, as demons are, incorporeal.
According to him, in our world, there is a stratum just immediately above us where demons roam and reign. There, they undertake the directive of Satan, freely exacting on us malevolent trickery. Once, he wondered about the intermittent puffs of smoke entering the realm of demons and inquired of an elder demon. The elder demon explained that these puffs of smoke were prayers made by people to God. Unfortunately, these prayers, made by people of weak faith, never find their way to God’s ears because they are too weak to even penetrate that demonic stratum. There is another kind of prayer that punctures the lower stratum but rebounds off the top, again unable to reach God. Lastly, the most feared of all earthly ammunition, prayers spoken by the most faithful of God’s people. These prayers pierce through the realm of the demons with a force deadly enough to destroy any demons in their way, catapulting triumphantly to the Kingdom of God. Only these prayers are heard.
The goal of the demons, their defence against such attacks, lies in devising all kinds of devilry to cause such faithful people to fall from grace. When they lose their faith, they lose the ability to communicate with God.
One day, this man with his gang of demons was summoned to wreck mayhem in a particularly powerful church. However, try as they might, none of their incursions could penetrate the strong wall of faithful prayer surrounding it. At last, an entire contingent of angels came upon the demons and destroyed them. All but the man whose soul was sold to the Devil. The angels held his soul captive and brought it before the pastor of the church. Miraculously, his physical body had also been transported to his whereabouts to be reunited. He then awoke before the pastor and has since been discharged from his enslavement to Satan.
He recounts his deliverance to Christ and provides some insights to the realm of the demons. He claims that all of us are assigned guardian angels to carry our prayers to God. The strength of our guardian angels in delivering our message to God determines whether or not the message is safely delivered to God. This strength is in turn determined by the armor we dress our guardian angels in (might have some relation to Ephesians 6:11-17, see below). So, it is important for us to pray also for our guardian angels who carry our messages because if they are ill-equipped, they might be susceptible to attacks from demons who steal the messages and sell them to dubious cults. These cults might then draw you away from your faith by granting your most fervent prayers that God has been unable to fulfill because they had never even reached him in the first place.
The beautiful part comes in here. Christians value highly the idea of community in faith. Sometimes when you truly want to ask something of God, you might be advised to get the people around you to pray for you as well. He provides a beautiful explanation for this. In the event that your guardian angel gets hijacked on his way to God, the guardian angels of all those you ask to help in prayer will form a small army to rescue your angel from the clutches of the enemy. That’s the power of group prayer.
And here’s the part from Ephesians (6:11-17):
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
There, take it with a pinch of salt, as Dick advises. (I think I tell it much better than you! haha)