For he has rescued us from the one who rules in the kingdom of darkness, and he has brought us into the Kingdom of his dear Son. God has purchased our freedom with his blood and has forgiven all our sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)

I often find myself on the road ... far from home ... where no one knows me. Maybe I get to my hotel exhausted, maybe even hurt or depressed. And I walk into a strange room — all alone. Sometimes, evil seems to lurk everywhere around me. And without accountability, in a weary and depressed and lonely state, I feel vulnerable. Vulnerable to who knows what — to the bright lights and sound from streets and bars? To the lure of the XX rated movie channels, right there in the room?

Oh, so you understand. You too have stood at such dark anonymous doorways.

"Often", you say? And you know what I mean?

Let me pass you a bright secret for such dark places. Years back, a friend gave me a strong weapon for times like those. He taught me to step through the door, set down my luggage, fire up my lap-top to an open file in "My Documents" under "Prayer of cleansing." And pray the prayer aloud. It goes like this:

Lord, I claim this place for your purposes. I stand on the truth of your Word: "The scepter of the wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous" (Psalm 125:3). I believe you have given me this place (home, business, motel room, or condo). I dedicate it to you and ask you to fill it with your holy presence. I separate myself from any iniquity that has occurred here in past times. I apply the power of Jesus' blood to remove any desecration of God's name in this place. I ask you, in Jesus' authority, to set watching angels around this property, protecting your servant from the work of the evil one.(If this is a hotel or motel room, I will add the following.) Father, I ask for your holy presence and holy angels to linger here, to touch the lives of those who inhabit the room after me. Bring conviction to their hearts, and draw them to seek after you.I stand on the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, whose name is above every name, to weaken the power of evil in this place. Through the blood of Christ, I remove all desecration of the name of God that was prompted whether by human or demonic beings. I command all enemies of Jesus Christ that have access to this place, or who may be here now ... to leave. Go now where you are ordered to go, by the voice of the Holy Spirit. I claim this property for the Kingdom of Light. I order all darkness to flee, in the name of Jesus the King.

But I must do this first thing. Before anything else. ANYTHING else! Sometimes I sit on the edge of the bed and pray this prayer over and over, till a sense of security descends. When I pray the prayer aloud, firmly, and resolutely — from the heart — I begin to feel much safer. And my room seems cleaner and healthier. The dark corners, once seemingly inhabited by sinister forces, seem to fill with loving-kindness.

God left us at least three powerful promises:

I must do this first thing!

  1. "I am with you always to the end of the world." (Matthew 28:20)
  2. "He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but ... will also provide a way out, so that you can stand up under it." (1 Corinthians 10:13)
  3. "If you ask for bread, He will not give you a stone. If you ask for a fish He will not give you a snake." (Matthew 7:9-10)

My friend gave me a great gift. That's why I am eager to pass it along. So together we can be reminded of the infinitely more precious gift of God's presence.