Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Painting the Dragon Red

Years ago some church planting friends asked my wife to be on their prayer team. They recruited thirty-one people who promised to fast and pray one day a week for the new church. Dionne’s day was the 11th of the month.

As she prayed on one of her designated days, she suddenly felt that the Holy Spirit was warning her about a demonic plot to sneak a deceptive and disruptive person into the baby church - someone who could do great damage.

Dionne remembered a special spiritual warfare prayer called “Paint the Dragon Red,” and she immediately began to pray it for the new church. She prayed fervently, asking that God would expose and thwart the plots of the enemy.

Two weeks later, she had a conversation with the church planter’s wife. “Dionne, the weirdest thing happened. A nice young man recently started attending our pre-launch Bible study. He seemed so knowledgeable – ideal leadership material. But at our meeting last week he began spouting all kinds of bizarre heresy and gibberish. We were all shocked. Of course he can’t be a leader here! In fact, he left in a huff. Please pray.”

Dionne explained that this strange episode with the young man was already an answer to pray. As she described the intercession God had led her to do, they rejoiced together and praised God for protecting the new church.

The “Painting the Dragon Red” prayer comes from Leanne Payne’s book Listening Prayer. The author describes a time when she and her ministry team faced spiritual attack. Confusion, deception, and disorientation rattled and divided her team, and she suspected demonic warfare.

Ms. Payne began to think about how our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Lions take advantage of their camouflage to sneak up on prey. But what would happen if they were suddenly painted bright red, for everyone to see?

She began to pray a bold prayer, asking God to "paint red" the dragons that crouch in the camouflage of messy interpersonal relationships and spiritual confusion. Dionne and I have been praying this prayer for many years:

“Pray that:
1. The eyes of all who surround these people will be opened to see the situation as it really is;
2. Their associates will be given ways to speak truth and light into the situation (and be protected themselves);
3. Any demonic power within these people or situations manifest itself and that it be clearly discerned and seen by all;
4. What can be salvaged (in this situation and in the lives of your enemies) be saved, humbled and blessed by the Spirit of God.”

Leanne Payne cautions that if circumstances warrant this warfare prayer, that we pray in deep humility, simultaneously imploring God to “Have mercy on me, a sinner.”

Adapted from the book Daily Encouragement for the Church Planting Journey, which you can find at Amazon. (Just click the title). The devotionals from the book are also available online at