Prayer warriors stay in your lane

February 22, 2021


What are your thoughts on the book "Unbound" by Neal Lozano? I have encountered lay prayer ministers who believe that they, as lay Christians, have been given the authority to bind and to loose and thus see their work as a deliverance ministry in which they speak of casting out demons and evil spirits and speak of liberating souls from the oppression of malign spirits.


 Fr Stephen Rossetti (Exorcist): There are many potential benefits and abundant graces that result from such healing prayers. One place to tread lightly is in regards to Key # 4/Authority and the "word of command". As lay Christians it is inappropriate to lay hands on another with the intent to command demons to be cast out. Catholic exorcists agree, to do such a thing is inviting trouble since they do not have the requisite spiritual authority.

It is important for those in this ministry to be aware of the “chain of command” and to stick to it with a holy attentiveness. The laity do not have authority over anyone other than themselves, their spouses and children. The enemy is legalistic and can wreak havoc in those places where holy boundaries are overstepped. We recommend that the laity not engage or address demons directly, but rather encourage souls, in courage and clarity, to unearth and name their woundedness aloud, beseeching the Lord to take away their misery and to be freed.

Another important point to make is that once the woundedness has been named and spirits have been cast to the foot of the cross, an infilling of the power of the Holy Spirit, mercy of Christ, and Fathers love is essential. When our focus rests disproportionately on the workings of the enemy of our souls, rather than on claiming the promise and freedom of Christ Jesus, we again have a disordered and potentially risky perspective at play. When we prayerfully call upon and invite in the light of Our Triune God, to push back all darkness and take up residence, we are being obedient to the teaching of Jesus. We not only empty, sweep clean, and put in order, but invite our Lord to dwell within, filling us with hope, peace, joy & faith to name a few, lest “it goes and brings back with itself seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they move in and dwell there; and the last condition of that person is worse than the first.” MT 12:45. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS | St. Michael Center (

Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti - PhD DMin. He has been an exorcist for the Archdiocese of Washington for over 12 years. He is a priest of the Diocese of Syracuse and is a research associate professor at the Catholic University of America. He is also the President and Founder of the St. Michael Center For Spiritual Renewal. He is a licensed psychologist and has spent 30 years working in psychological treatment and the spiritual renewal of priests and religious.  He assists in the training of exorcists and lay team members. Msgr Rossetti has led hundreds of exorcism and deliverance sessions.