Q. What is binding and loosing? Is it appropriate for Christians to pray for binding and loosing? If not then what is the proper way?
A. The concept of binding and loosing comes from Matt. 16:19 and is repeated in Matt 18:18. It comes from Jewish legal terminology where something bound was forbidden and something loosed was authorized. In Matt. 16:19 it was used in reference to the disciples’ authority regarding the Kingdom. Having the Keys to the Kingdom meant Peter, and by implication the others, could in effect open it to believers and close it to unbelievers on the Lord’s behalf. They did this by preaching the gospel, so when a person heard the gospel and asked to be saved, they had the authority to promise them entry into the Kingdom.
In Matt 18:18 there was a second, related application. This one has to do with church discipline. If a person refuses to acknowledge his sin and be reconciled to a brother, the church has the authority to treat him or her like an unbeliever. The phrase “like an unbeliever” doesn’t mean the church can revoke a person’s salvation, but that after all the other steps have been followed can suspend the person from the rights of fellowship until there’s reconciliation.
The Bible never refers to binding and loosing in the context of spiritual warfare. While believers do have authority over evil spirits in the Lord’s name (Luke 10:17), it doesn’t come from these verses, and to use “binding and loosing” in this context is a misapplication of Scripture. Paul demonstrated the proper way to deal with evil spirits in others when he said, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her.” (Acts 16:18) And in personal matters James 4:7 says, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” 2 Cor. 10:3-5 also outlines personal application.