Turning Up The Heat


                                 Phil Scovell

               In early 2002, the Lord  began speaking to me about quitting
          my job and going full time into  some sort of ministry.  Although
          I  knew it  had  something  to do  with  intercessory prayer  and
          something  to do with what some might  call counseling, I did not
          have the complete  picture.  Additionally, I in no  way wanted to
          quit my  job, nor did I want to live by faith, or at least what I
          perceived faith to be.  The definition of living by faith,  in my
          mind, was having a  servant's heart.  This meant,  of course, you
          lived on as little as possible and nearly starved.  I'd been that
          route before and in no way wanted to return to such a life style.
          So, in short, I  tried my best not  to think about what  the Lord
          was telling me.  Besides,  I rationalized, it probably wasn't God
          speaking to me any way.

               As strange as  it may seem, somebody started  turning up the
          spiritual heat on me.  By that  I mean, I began noticing I had  a
          hunger  for God  which  went  beyond anything  I  had ever  known
          before.  This  concerned me a little  because I had no  idea what
          that might be all  about.  Furthermore, I felt  my emotions being
          cycled  through  unsettling  events which  I  found  I could  not

               About this time,  I turned 50 years of age.  40 was fine but
          50 was bad  and for many reasons.  The biggest problem turning 50
          for me was  that I  looked back on  my life  and couldn't find  a
          single thing I  had done  that was  worth anything of  value.   I
          overlooked the 100 people who had  gotten saved in the meetings I
          had  preached back in  the 70's as  I travelled and  the over 400
          Christians who came forward  to get their lives  straightened out
          with the Lord.   I overlooked all the people I personally had led
          to Christ, too.  I overlooked the time I was an  assistant pastor
          and all  the blessings  I had  experienced in  that ministry.   I
          overlook the 3 children I had  raised, the home the Lord gave  me
          when  I was  broke,  the church  I  had  pastored, and  even  the
          blessing of my  grandchildren.  When you are  being deceived, the
          good things,  the important  things, and  the  Godly things  make
          little difference.   I  felt the pressure  building but  tried to
          ignore it.  I called upon friends to pray and they did, but I had
          no one at  church to call upon that might understand; not even my
          own pastor.

               Finally, the first week of June that year, I became horribly
          ill with a terrible summer  time cold and my resistance faltered.
          Suddenly,  and without  warning, anxiety  attacks  rushed in  and
          rolled over me like a title  wave or a steam roller flattening  a
          road.  Demons came from everywhere.  I heard voices.  I knew they
          were demonic but try  telling your family doctor that one and see
          if he lets you  out of the building.  Try telling  your pastor or
          your Christian  friends, or  even your own  family, and  see what
          happens.  I literally stopped eating.  I did not eat  for 5 days.
          I did not  sleep for 4  nights.   I could not  sleep because  the
          demons literally awakened me with in 2  or 3 minutes  of dropping
          off to sleep.   Just as I  would begin drifting into  sleep, they
          would make pops and cracks and  clicks in my ears and startle  me
          awake.  Sometimes  my name would be  shouted or I would  hear any
          varieties of sound that would cause me to jerk awake.

               One  night  I did  sleep but  only  because I  took  so many
          sleeping pills, I knew it would put me  out.  No, I wasn't in any
          danger and I wasn't interested in killing myself.   I sure wanted
          to die, though.  In fact,  over the next 4 or 5 months,  I begged
          God to kill me.  I  felt as if I were barely in my own  body.  It
          felt  as if ants were crawling all over  my skin much of the time
          and I felt  so light headed and  dizzy, I could hardly  walk from
          one  room  to the  other  without  holding  on to  furniture  for

               One day,  during those  5 days,  I was sitting  on my  front
          porch  listening  to the  radio,  trying  to  keep my  mind  from
          thinking about demons, failure, fear,  and mental illness, and  I
          got  up to go into the house for  a small drink of water.  I knew
          if  I  didn't drink  something  once and  awhile,  I'd be  in big
          trouble.   I stood up, walked to the  front door, and passed out;
          dropping my 350 dollar radio on the concrete  front porch.  I was
          only out for a few seconds, I think, but when I came to, I had no
          idea were  I was.   I thought  I had  just awakened  from another
          demonic nightmare.   We live  on a  very busy street  and I  kept
          hearing all this loud rushing noise.  I started calling my wife's
          name, as I so often did when awaking from night fears,  trying to
          figure out  where I was.  My blindness,  which I had been from 11
          years  of age,  was more  frightening  at that  moment than  ever
          before.  Finally, the noise of the traffic  registered in my mind
          and I realized I  was laying on my back on the  front porch but I
          still didn't  know where.   I  felt  around me,  because my  legs
          weren't working  right yet,  and felt the  wooden milk box  and I
          realized I was by the front  door.  I began pounding on  the door
          because I knew  someone would hear me.  Before anyone came to the
          door, I  was able  to get up,  find my radio,  and walk  into the
          house on rubbery legs.   My youngest son came in  about that time
          with my wife, Sandy.  He said I was white as a sheet.  We took my
          blood pressure and it was  fine.  I was a lot  more careful after

               I could tell you many more stories like this but  the bottom
          line is this.  The Lord was turning up the heat, turning down the
          light, and the  darkness was growing thicker all around me.  Why?
          Because I  was not listening to His voice.   Does this sound like
          God?  Not to  most people but that is only  because we generally,
          thanks to  the weak and  watered down preaching  we have  all had
          over the years, stop being afraid of the God of the  universe who
          doesn't hesitate to use  force when He wants things done.  Either
          get on board God's bus or get off because He is rolling.

               I thought  I had pretty good reasons  for not doing what the
          Lord was  telling me  to do.   First, I had  no idea what  He was
          talking about.  Second, I figured, no matter what it might  be, I
          wasn't spiritually capable of doing it.  Third, I was a loser.  I
          pointed to things like my blindness, my children, and a whole lot
          of other  things, to prove  my case.   Fourth, I knew I  wasn't a
          good enough  Christian to do what the Lord had asked me to do for
          Him.  I  know that sounds stupid  but when you are  deceived, God
          doesn't make a bit of sense.

               I went to  the doctor several times, got  on medication, but
          it help  minimally.  I would have done  anything at this stage to
          stop the 24  hour a day  anxiety attacks.   I began writing  many
          people I knew via email and telling them how crazy I  was and all
          that was happening.  I told friends via the telephone.   I called
          all my family members.   I told all  my own kids who  were adults
          and  married.  I left no one out.   I knew if I did not reach out
          beyond  where I was, I  wasn't going to make  it and even then, I
          still thought I wouldn't survive.

               what about  crying?   did I  do any  of that?   Yes,  by the
          buckets full and that  didn't help much either.  I  was unable to
          work due to the anxiety and panic attacks.  I was unable to sleep
          with  drugs and  the day  time drugs helped  so very  little, I'm
          still not sure why I bothered.

               One day, about a month after this all began, I cried  out to
          God in  prayer and said,  "Lord, you know where  these people are
          that you  want me to meet.  Either bring them to me or take me to
          them because I am helpless."  It couldn't have been more  than 24
          hours later that the Lord answered my prayer.

               sitting  in the  Christian therapist's office for the  first
          time, I told him  that I was raised in a  fine Christian home, my
          father had  been  a  preacher, and  I  had nothing  wrong  in  my
          childhood because  I grew  up happy.   I then  poured out  all my
          current  problems.   When  I  finished, he  said,  "Phil, I  have
          learned that psychology  doesn't work."   My heart  sank.  I  had
          read perhaps  fifty books on  psychology in my life  and knew all
          the behavioral  techniques and  everything else  that went  along
          with it so I figured this was  going to be the method to bring me
          back to a  half way  functional life.   I  mean, this  guy was  a
          therapist  and he  was a Christian.   So at  the  very  least,  I
          figured  a  little  of  the Bible  would  be  mixed  in  with the
          psychology.  Now, this guy  is telling me that psychology doesn't
          work?  Then he  continued by telling me, "But  prayer will work."
          He explained to  me about a form  of prayer ministry  which would
          completely heal me and would allow me to walk in maintenance free
          victory.  Hearing  these words, fear gripped  me.  I figured  I'd
          just walked into a New  Age cult of some  sort.  I was  desperate
          enough to keep listening.  Besides, I had paid 130 dollars  and I
          figured I would hear him out even if he was a crackpot.

               Half  way through his  explanation, I stopped  him and said.
          "Wait just  a minute.  Do you  know what an intercessor  is?"  He
          said he  did.   I told  him that  I was an  intercessor and  this
          sounded exactly  like what  the Lord had  been trying to  tell me
          about.  Furthermore, I told him  that this sounded exactly like a
          highly focused  form of  intercessory prayer.   He agreed  it was
          exactly that.  I was dumbfounded.   I could feel in my heart  and
          in my spirit that this was exactly what the Lord had been talking
          to me about for over a year.  Yet I could not fully understand it
          at this point.

               Over the next seven months, we met for prayer sessions about
          eight or nine times.  Each prayer session lasted from  90 minutes
          to 3 hours.   The  Lord did  amazing things for  me during  these
          prayer sessions  and yet no  psychological counseling  techniques
          were ever used.   "Not once?"  Not one time.  We prayed together,
          waited upon the Lord, and healing occurred over and over again in
          multiple places in my life.   Time and time again, the Lord  took
          me to  wounded and painful places in my  life, many of which were
          in fact in my childhood, and  spoke His truth to me.  I  heard no
          audible  voices nor  saw  any mystical  visions  nor any  angelic
          manifestations.  I was healed, however, over and over through the
          ministry of the Holy Spirit.

               Less  than  a  year  after the  anxiety  and  panic  attacks
          started, and the  voices awakened me at night, I was praying with
          others and watching the Lord heal them.  The anxiety attacks were
          gone, the panic attacks were gone, and the voices were gone.

               In recent months, the Lord has led me to an area of ministry
          related   to  working  with  the  sexually  abused  and  multiple
          personality disorders  as well  as  many other  disorders.   "You
          mean, these are Christians?"   They are, indeed, Christians  just
          like  you, who are  deeply wounded and  who have  been carrying a
          heavy burden of  deep pain around most  of their life.   Yet God,
          through  intercessory prayer, moves  into their life,  shows them
          where  the lies are,  and speaks His  truth to them  and they are
          miraculously set free.  He can, and will, do the same for you.

               If  you would like to read  more about this, please click on
          my booklet  called "The Deceitfulness Of Sin"  found elsewhere on
          this website.
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