How You Can Avoid Praying Witchcraft-Type Prayers

Take care when you pray about certain things. You might be praying witchcraft-type prayers. (Photo by on Unsplash)

Many Christians today are debating about good versus evil—and about how to keep oneself unspotted from the blatant witchcraft of this world. However, even faithful believers get caught up in witchcraft every day under the guise of spirituality.

How? Through witchcraft prayer.

What Is a Witchcraft-Type Prayer?

Imagine a clip art picture of a witch stirring a cauldron. In this clip art scene, you can imagine that the witch is speaking incantations over her potion, trying to make her own will happen in whatever situation concerns her that day.

As Christians, we probably recoil from that mental picture—and we should. We should avoid all forms of witchcraft and all associations with darkness. However, many Christians don't realize that they are doing the same things in their prayers as that witch is doing over her cauldron.

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Witchcraft prayer is any prayer that is released out of a desire to manipulate another person.

Prayers prayed in an attempt to manipulate may sound innocent and even spiritual. But manipulation is never from God. Some examples of manipulative prayers include:

—"Dear God, I pray that Mr. Smith would give me that job."

—"Father, I pray that the Jones family would give $1,000,000 to this cause. You know they have it to give."

—"Lord, please make my husband start treating me right."

—"Lord, give me that house that I drive by every day. I want that house, and that house only" (a house in which someone else lives).

Prayers like this are witchcraft because they are basically verbal attempts to get God to force another person into your will. Such prayers are not about God's will at all, but are rather about getting your way (control) over the third party. When you or anyone else prays this way, it is the same as speaking "incantations" over another person to conjure up the result you want.

Praying Like This Is Dangerous

Witchcraft prayers open doors to the enemy to operate in your life. Additionally, God can't honor a spirit of manipulation. (God honors freedom, not manipulation. If the Spirit of the Lord is in a thing, liberty will always be the fruit of that thing.) Therefore, we must avoid witchcraft prayers at all costs.

But here's the thing: We all want results in our prayers. The entire purpose of praying is getting answers from God. Prayer is, and must always be, a two-way conversation. Therefore, one must ask:

How do you pray properly so you can get the answers you desire and that God so desperately wants to give?

The answer is simple. The secret to effective, answered prayer is to pray in sympathy with the heart of Jesus.

I learned this from one of my heroes, Charles Finney, the mighty revivalist of the Second Great Awakening. Finney teaches how to pray effectively in his book Power, Passion & Prayer.

Charles Finney was a mighty man of prayer. His entire ministry was fueled by prayer. Finney's secret to answered prayer was that he prayed in sympathy with the heart of Christ. In other words, instead of praying just because he wanted something himself, Finney prayed for the things Jesus wanted. He looked at the heart of Jesus for a person or a situation, and he prayed for God's will in that person/situation.

For example:

—If there was disunity in the church, Finney prayed for unity because Christ bought and paid for unity in His body when all His bones were ripped out of joint (Ps. 22:14).

—If a person needed salvation, Finney prayed for his salvation so that the inheritance of Christ would be fully realized (Isa. 53:11).

—If someone needed healing, Finney prayed for their healing because Jesus bought and paid for their healing (Isa. 53:5).

—If provision was needed, Finney prayed for it because God says His children shall not lack (Ps. 23:1).

How would you translate this into praying for the situations you encounter every day?

  1. Find out what God's will is. God's will is not a mystery. It's clearly laid out in the Bible. To identify the proper way to pray, simply find a relevant scriptural promise, a description of what Jesus paid for on the cross or a command of the Lord and pray for that thing.

For example:

Do you have a financial need? Pray to prosper in all things, even as your soul prospers. Pray that God would provide all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. But do not pray that so-and-so would give you money. There's a big difference between those two prayers!

Do you need wisdom in a dating relationship? Pray that the Lord would bring the manifestation of His heart, purpose and will in the situation. Pray that you and the other person would love each other as Christ loves. Pray that you would both forgive one another from your heart, as Jesus commanded. But never pray that so-and-so would marry you, break up with another person or do a particular thing that is not clearly laid out in God's Word. That would be witchcraft.

Do you need a new home to live in? Ask the Lord to provide the housing that He has picked out for you before the foundation of the world. Pray for a safe, clean, comfortable place to live. But never pray that the Lord would give you a particular house that belongs to someone else. Simply ask Him for His very best—for His best, highest and perfect will for you.

  1. Pray because you want the Father's heart to be satisfied by seeing His will accomplished on earth. In other words:

—Pray because you want Jesus to receive His full inheritance.

—Pray because you want the Holy Spirit to not be grieved.

—Pray because you want the Father's plan for your life to be fully manifest.

—Pray because you want God's kingdom and government to increase in your life and in the lives of others.

Pray the will of God, and pray the Word of God. For example, if your husband doesn't treat you well, pray:

"Father, I pray that You would fill my husband with Your Spirit. Help him love righteousness and hate sin. Let him love like You love. I pray that you would give him all wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of You. Let him see You, love You and honor You in everything."

If you need a job, pray: "Father, I pray that You would direct my steps and bring me into the job You have for me. If this is the one, then Father, grant me favor. Be the answer of my tongue in this interview. Show me what to say and when to say it, and let me be a blessing to my employer. But if this job isn't the one You desire for me, then I pray You'd protect me from it. No matter what, I know that it's Your desire to bless me. Please perfect those things that concern me, and guard my steps so that Your plan will come into fruition."

For friends who are arguing, pray: "Father, I pray that You would fill them with the fruit of the Spirit. Let them each exhibit Christ to one another. Let them love and prefer one another. Pour out a spirit of humility on each of them, and bring peace into this situation."

Praying in sympathy with the Father's heart—which is also the heart of Jesus and the Holy Spirit—is the opposite of witchcraft prayer.

Praying God's will and God's Word is holy praying. Praying this way will draw you closer to Christ. It will get results and effect change, and it will give the Lord the opportunity He needs to work His will on the earth.

Jamie Rohrbaugh equips believers around the world in the areas of prophecy, prayer, spiritual warfare and kingdom wealth. Her work has appeared on The Elijah List,,, Christianity Today's Women Leaders and other outlets. Follow her blogs at and for fresh biblical insight and encouragement.

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