Recently I had a Deliverance Encounter with a heavily oppressed eleven-year-old girl and her grandma who is her legal guardian. The details of her case are not important here save what happened after our session.

Immediately after receiving deliverance and inner healing prayer, this young girl felt a sense of lightening and joy. A huge part of the oppression that she was feeling was lifted. A true miracle of the Holy Spirit had taken place! There was no strong torment or heaviness. Her behavior suddenly became angelic and for once she acted like a “normal” fifth grader.

In her mind, grandma must have been thinking, “She is healed. No more torment. Now she can focus on other things instead of her spiritual troubles.” I am sure that the thought even crossed grandma’s mind that her granddaughter was now fully healed and would not have to visit a deliverance minister again.

This peace lasted for about three days.

Around the fourth day, however, it started coming back—the torment, the demonic behavior and the heaviness. When I spoke to grandma, she was surprised to hear me tell her that this pattern is absolutely normal when it comes to deliverance ministry and it just shows that even though her granddaughter had a great first Deliverance Encounter, there is still more healing to be done.

I have come to call this temporary calm after the storm of deliverance, “demonic push-back.” When this happens, the demons that aren’t cast out get pushed back from the forefront to the background of the individual’s mind.

I coined this term to refer to the immediate calming effect that strong spiritual warfare prayer (resisting, confronting, curse-breaking and casting out) has on a demonically oppressed individual.

You see, not only are demons cast out during SW prayer, but the other remaining unclean spirits (usually in different demonic kingdoms) run for cover. They don’t want to be exposed and they know that if their presence is detected by the deliverance minister, the Holy Spirit may force their expulsion along with the others that are being cast out. As a result, they opt to play it safe by going into deep hiding.

Remember, every demon desires to dwell inside of a person. They are comfortable inside of a person. Their mission is to indwell people. They need to be inside of people to fully steal, kill and destroy. Therefore, they will do everything possible to avoid detection in order to not get cast out.

Spiritual warfare prayer is akin to a house being treated by the exterminator. Many roaches will die and many will flee. The roaches that do flee will eventually return—unless their points of entry are closed off and food isn’t being left out to attract them.

The same thing happens to the demons: when they see that their companions are getting bound up and cast out by the awesome power of the Spirit of God, they run—they get pushed back. When they are pushed back, they can no longer exert oppression on their victim.

For the person receiving prayer, this push-back translates into a beautiful sense of peace and calm.

Therefore, when you begin a process of deliverance and inner healing, I would like you to understand the following:

1) When demons are confronted and expelled, there is usually some sort of physical reaction that accompanies the expulsion: yawning, belching, spitting up, vomiting, shrieking or coughing.

Keep in mind, however, that demons can also be cast out with no noticeable reaction at all. Therefore, just because there is no visible expulsion manifestation, that doesn’t mean that the Holy Spirit isn’t delivering you of any demons.

2) The demons that don’t get cast out will probably get pushed back. This pushing back pushes them into hidden places of the soul (thoughts, feelings and emotions) and body where they will hide in order not to be exposed. While in hiding, they will stop their tormenting in order to keep their cover. This will cause the person receiving the deliverance prayer to experience an immediate sense of peace and cessation to overt torment.

This is where people call our ministry and inform us that thanks to our prayer they are now “completely delivered” and will no longer be requesting any additional prayer. In response, I caution them that this is probably a temporary effect and that they should remain vigilant and keep binding the enemy.

In addition, I never tell people after a Deliverance Encounter that they are completely delivered. In 98% of all cases, there is more work to be done and this will require perseverance on the part of the person being healed.

I often quote Deuteronomy 7:22:

The LORD your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you. (emphasis mine)

3) Around the third or fourth day the demons start to come out of “hiding” and begin tormenting (or whatever their function is) again.

At this point it is common for these remaining demons to begin taunting, “We’re still here” or “We’re not leaving.” Or the biggest lie of all: “All that prayer you did didn’t do anything! Your Jesus can’t help you!”

The aim of course is to discourage the person and cause doubt regarding the sufficiency and efficacy of the power and authority of the name of Jesus.

4) Demonic push-back is a good sign! If you do experience it, that is good news. First it means that the enemy has been exposed. Second, it means that the Holy Spirit is moving in your life (Amen!). And third, demonic push-back confirms that your problems are indeed, “spiritual.” I think of demonic push-back as a sort of spiritual litmus test. If you experience it, you know that your issues are mostly spiritual and not organic.

The first step to victory is exposing your enemy and knowing what you’re up against.

As an aside, if I pray deliverance prayer for someone and there is no immediate calming effect, I will strongly consider the possibility that the person’s issues are more organic in nature than they are spiritual. Organic issues don’t just go away for a few days and then return.

This understanding will inform the type of prayer that needs to be prayed—from strong confrontational prayer to healing prayer by the Holy Spirit.

5) Finally, be in touch with either Pastor Jana or myself after your Deliverance Encounter. Keep us in the loop as to what is happening in your emotions and in your body so that we can pray with you over the phone to continue to resist the demons that remain.

As we pray for you, you will learn how to keep resisting. You will learn to trust in the Holy Spirit for your healing. And do not be anxious, all the demons will eventually be cast out—you might just have to wait for God’s perfect timing though!

In addition, schedule another Deliverance Encounter appointment, perhaps for two or three weeks later. This will let the demons know that you mean business and that you have purposed in your heart that you WILL be free.

And finally, don’t let the demons’ lies discourage you. When they tell you that you can’t make them go, say, “My God has promised me that the Son has set me free and I will be free indeed! And I will OVERCOME in the name of Jesus!”