You have your usual hotel room routine and like every other time, you open up the mini bar(even if you don't intend to use it), check out the bathroom and the freebies on the shelf, leaf through the free stationery provided on the desk, open and close the wardrobe, turn on the TV and kick back on your bed. All pretty standard stuff.
Now think about this – the stuff that goes on beneath the surface of the hotel room of your 'dream' holiday. I'm not talking about the orgies of Pitbull 'hotel room' lyrics or the business man who's definitely enjoyed the multichannel facility on the TV remote control – or the drunken couple who've christened the bathroom.
If you are like me you may well have never given a thought to the concept of walking into enemy ground as soon as you are given your room key. With hundreds of people passing through that one room each year, it has likely been exposed to all kinds of immorality, which in turn literally opens up that door to create a stronghold for the enemy.
The spiritual strongholds that have set up camp in your hotel room, and never check out –picture that…
After three flights, and 15 hours travel, I arrived into the Bali humidity for a winter break to be a bridesmaid. One dress fitting later, I had some precious time with the bride, before everyone else arrived. Over dinner, we chatted about the craziness of the little Indonesian island. Bali is clearly an incredible place, yet there was an undercurrent where things just seemed to go wrong, particularly to Westerners who'd move there. People would get sick, apartments wouldn't work out, jobs would be difficult and accidents would happen just like that whether it would be infected reef cuts while surfing or having a motorbike crash. My friend seemed to accept that most people's story of moving to Bali seemed to follow a similar pattern.
Getting back to my hotel later, I didn't give one thought or prayer to the room or my surroundings. With the earlier conversation still spinning in my head (and a pretty hefty electric shock via the plug socket and my travel adapter),I unpacked a few things, brushed my teeth and set my alarm and drifted off to sleep.
And with that, I dreamed wild dreams, the dreams where you know something is wrong. At the exact moment I felt something physically come onto my body in my dream, I woke up with a start. I knew something wasn't right. I walked into the bathroom, and peered back at my own middle-of-the-night reflection. My eyes were yellow, my face looked odd. It was a one off experience I don't ever want to happen again.
What I hadn't done was claim my legal spiritual authority over the room – as author Chuck D. Pierce writes, 'a simple prayer can expel the demons and keep them from attacking us while we occupy that room.' By 'co-incidence' I had his book, Protecting Your Home from Spiritual Darkness with me in my suitcase. Through tired eyes I read through the book's section on hotel rooms, realizing that I had walked straight into that hotel without releasing any of my God-given authority or even vaguely thinking of praying a prayer of covering over that space.
So what do we do when we are vying against demons for a space we will stay in that we haven't been in before? Of course, a hotel room is just one example where a space has been used for many other things and so demonic forces may have come and set up shop, unwilling to be shifted out easily. Most people will have sensed something when they walk into a place that 'doesn't feel quite right' – sometimes it's obvious and sometimes less so.
We pray a simple prayer according to Chuck D. Pierce – one that will expel demons from attacking us.
That night, I shouted out loud, breaking off any strongholds that had been allowed to develop there –I was so angry of the audacity of the enemy. I read Chuck D.Pierce's words, asking 'God to forgive any sins of abuse, idolatry, bloodshed, immorality, covenant breaking, occult activity', and I asked the Holy Spirit to reveal anything else that I'd missed.
Following his advice to pay special attention to the artwork and pictures, I went outside the next morning and prayed against the Hindu blessing stapled above my door. While I might enjoy mixing with different cultures and religions on my travels, I felt prompted to break off anything that had been prayed over my room that was then an open invite to demonic forces in my room. I didn't want to be sharing my space with anything else.
After the initial night of craziness I felt a fresh covering and a lightness and it made me wonder why I'd been so unaware of praying something so simple (and obvious?) in the past. It was a prayer that attested to the God-given authority that I had over anything negative and demonic in that place and my friend's room also.
Whether it's at home or overseas, next time I stay in a hotel room, I'll be much more aware – and I'll declare God's dominion over that place before I open the mini bar.
Footnote: References taken from Protecting your home from Spiritual Darkness: 10 steps to help you clean your house, place Jesus in Authority and Make Your Home a Safe Place, by Chuck D. Pierce and Rebecca Wagner Sytsema, published by Regal Books.
Originally from The Lake District in the UK, Amanda works in Publishing in Auckland and is passionate about seeing Christians bring salt and light into the media, arts and creative industries. She is also working on fighting her FOMO and doing less. Amanda wrote this article from London when on holidays.
Amanda Robinson's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/amanda-robinson.html