There are two teachings of Jesus in the book of Matthew which talk about releasing those who are bound. Matthew 16:19 and 18:18. This was a definite part of His mission (Luke 4:18-19).
“And there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit; and she was bent double, and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your sickness.” And He laid His hands on her; and immediately she was made erect again and began glorifying God.
But the synagogue official, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, began saying to the crowd in response, “There are six days in which work should be done; so come during them and get healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites, does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the stall and lead him away to water him?
And this woman, a daughter of Abraham as she is, whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, should she not have been released from this bond on the Sabbath day?” As He said this, all His opponents were being humiliated; and the entire crowd was rejoicing over all the glorious things being done by Him.” – Luke 13:11-17
I have a challenge for you. Think about your own story and the people in your relational network. As you think and pray, can you discern those who are bound by something – perhaps like the woman above, or something more common and subtle? Do this prayerfully – we can’t cover everyone – but we each can be directed toward this critical intercessory need. As these people come to mind make a note and commit to fasting and praying for release for these captives.
You can even take this a step further – invite a friend or group of friends you trust to enter into this with you. There are many captives to be found in the human race. Perhaps this is unanimous by nature but being changed by the Spirit. What do you think?
It is all too easy to lose hope because of lack of change, unanswered prayer, and the accompanying discouragement we all feel as things grind on.
Hometown boy grows up:
“And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blond, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”
And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” – Like 4:17-21