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By Annette C. Agnello

The day started with the division commander's announcement, "You have a new assignment, grab your sword and report to Obed downstairs."

"Downstairs, sir," Jay cried in excitement, "To Earth, sir!"

Jay had always wanted an assignment to Earth then it hit him, "A sword, sir? Armed combat?"

"Yes. Armed." The commander chuckled, little wonder this one was kept heaven-side.

Jay never heard the laughter as he got his sword and started down. He met several others on the way and asked, "Do you know what our assignment is?"

"Guard duty, for one of the precious ones."

A child, Jay thought, how wonderful. They reached a church in the middle of rolling fields, with a view of the mountains and went inside straight through the roof. Jay had expected a child but found a woman in her late twenties. Obed was hiding her in his wings and facing down an ugly demon. The demon was seated at a jaunty angle on the head of an older woman, almost as though he were a hat placed at a rakish tilt.

As they arrived Obed uttered the single word, "Defend."

The angels fanned out standing shoulder to shoulder around the younger woman. They all faced out in a defensive posture, swords at the ready. Once the guard outnumbered the demon the woman turned and found a seat across the room.

"Why don't we attack?" Jay asked the angel next to him, nodding at the demon across the church. The demon was prancing on his perch atop the older woman's head.

"We cannot attack until we are asked."

"She didn't ask us to come?" Jay glanced over his shoulder at the lady they were sent to defend.

"The Captain of the Host Himself sent us," he replied, bowing slightly at the mention of the name.

"Our Lord Jesus sent us to defend her, without her even asking?"

"Not only that, she could see us for a moment."

"See us," gasped Jay. "That isn't supposed to happen."

"Read what she is writing."

"She's talking to Him! She's writing down answers, His answers! Is He really saying that to her? He's calling her, 'My daughter', and telling her about us. Who is she?"

"She is a wounded lamb the Shepherd is drawing close."

"What was so sorrowful to wound her so, that He would take such special care of her?"

"Need you ask?" he said gesturing to the demon across the room.

Jay had a lot to think about. The service started and there were many joyous people there. The wounded lady stood to worship strengthened by their presence. On the other side of the room the demon was hunkering down as if he wanted to hide, yet refusing to leave the older woman's head. He looked smaller and terribly uncomfortable, like a rat adrift on a piece of driftwood.

"What are their names?" Jay whispered.

"The young lady is Aimee, the older woman is Sadie, and the demon is Control."

"He is controlling her?" Jay pointed to Sadie.

"No, he is directing her control of the pastor and our charge."

"The pastor?" Jay asked as he listened to the sermon that was just beginning. "One little demon can control both Sadie and this man of God."

"Not exactly. He gave in to Sadie's request to kick this woman of God out of the prayer group. He never bothered asking if it was God's will. It wasn't!"

"Why did they want to get rid of her? She seems so fragile, why did the demon even notice her?"

"Look back at what happened," said Obed. "She is safe for the moment. Dennis, go with Jay. He is new at this and needs someone to lead the way back in time."

The pair traveled back in time and to the prayer room on the floor below. "This is several months ago; three days before they told her she was barred from the prayer room. It was the very last time she would be allowed to pray with them."

"Aimee has been in pain since then. Whenever she begins to recover, she comes under attack. At first she was afraid to pray and is still too deeply wounded to dare pray. Look, here they come."

"The pastor you saw had just finished teaching about the authority of the believer. Because of that, Aimee prayed her first prayer of authority."

Jay watched as Sadie took over; praying an angry, bitter prayer and barking out orders like a general. The demon riding her head was balancing carefully, totally unaffected as her prayer rolled out.

"What? How?" Jay sputtered. "Control looks almost like a band leader directing the words that should be destroying him."

"Sadie doesn't know he's there, but she imagines demons everywhere. She believes Aimee is the source of the demons she thinks she sees. She is blind to the truth."

When Aimee started to pray, it was a prayer of power prayed in Jesus' name. Aimee was sensing the demon and taking authority over it. Control slipped; losing his footing and hanging down over Sadie's face. Looking her in the eye, he snarled, "Stop this!"

Sadie stopped Aimee's prayer. Control scrambled back up to his perch as regally as a king mounting a throne. Aimee looked like a startled child knocked over by a strong gust of wind. "Come," said Dennis, "We need to move ahead three days."

Jay found himself riding in the back of Aimee's car. A tape was playing, "Can't Stop Praising'" and, "Lift Him Up" with her singing along. Was this joyous happy person really who they were guarding?

Aimee parked the car and almost danced into church, she headed directly to the prayer room. The pastor called her to come back upstairs to talk to him. He talked on and on but all she heard was, "you can't go and pray with them . . . your presence is impeding their purpose."

They watched Aimee crumple; she became broken, weak and wounded. She said, "I didn't do anything but pray. How could a prayer group object to that?"

At the same time, her thoughts were screaming out, "What did I do wrong? Why do they hate me? Oh, God, help me!"

Jay started toward Aimee to comfort her but Dennis stopped him, "This was months ago and Obed is on his way."

Weeks passed with the pastor counseling and trying to help her. In time he set up a meeting between Aimee and Sadie. Sadie had asked for it. Aimee was getting stronger and believed she could handle it. After all, the pastor would be there to protect her.

Jay was as horrified as she was when the pastor protected Sadie.

Then Obed was there waiting, hoping Aimee would issue the prayers to dispatch him. He kept his sword at the ready but the word was never given to use it because instead of helping her gain strength, the meeting was deepening Aimee's wounds. The meeting was in the hands of Control.

Aimee could say nothing, because the pastor had told her before the meeting not to say anything to hurt Sadie. That was a complete betrayal because Aimee had trusted him to protect her and he had chosen to protect Sadie. The few questions she asked were written off as already answered. Aimee began to go downhill and Obed could do nothing but watch.

Dennis and Jay returned to the present and resumed their place in the guard. Jay had a lot to think about. He was guarding someone who had been wounded by the leader of the prayer warriors a leader who was operating under a far different spirit than she believed. All this pain done because one little demon had wanted to stop someone who was on the verge of conquering him. That one vindictive demon had been able to neutralize the one person who had accidentally been close to driving him out.

The anger, unforgiveness and hatred, had tormented Aimee until the day she finally cried out, "God, I saw angels around me, protecting me. You said they would always be there. Let them protect me now."

That was all the angels needed. Swords sliced through the air making short work of their enemies. Than the guard took their place around Aimee as she drifted off into the first peaceful night's sleep in months.

No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent.
For He will give His angels charge concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways.
They will bear you up in their hands,
That you do not strike your foot against a stone.
No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent.
For He will give His angels charge concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways.
They will bear you up in their hands,
That you do not strike your foot against a stone.
(Psalm 91:10-12 NNAS)

Annette C. Agnello has been writing for 30 years. She accepted the Lord in 1976. She has a passion for studying the names of God and hopes to write a book on the topic someday. She currently live in Windsor, VA.
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