Prey for the Devil (2022), which at first, was titled The Devil’s Light (2022) and was scheduled to be released 25 February, is yet another story inspired by a demon. This one is about a woman named Ann Kraja who becomes a nun and a nurse at the St. Michael the Archangel School of Exorcism, and while there, it is discovered that she is able to exorcise the possessed in her own unique way, quite different from the tradition and formal rite of exorcism.
The first thing to be said is that Catholics have it wrong about Michael the archangel and about the saints. The Bible describes Michael as “a great prince” (ref. Daniel 12:1), as “an archangel” (ref. Jude 1:9), and even as the “captain of the host of the LORD” (ref. Joshua 5:14, Revelation 12:7). So, it should not be “Saint Michael the Archangel”, for Michael is an angel and not a saint.
A “saint” is a man who will be “born again” and given “wings as eagles” on the day of the LORD.
After the day of the LORD, a saint will serve as a soldier of Christ, in one of the two armies of God – the other one being the army of angels led by the archangel Michael.
And the armies [plural] which were in heaven followed him upon white horses clothed in fine linen, white and clean.Revelation 19:14
At the time of the Apostle Paul, who was himself a saint (ref. Ephesians 3:8), many were aware of this important doctrine of Christianity. Nowadays, no denomination has a correct understanding of the concept of a saint.
I am sure the things that I have been saying about the saints must sound completely new.
Nevertheless, in these last days, the saints are front and center. The Bible prophesies that when the Devil is cast out of heaven and on to the earth along with his angels, the Devil will “make war with the saints” (ref. Revelation 13:7, Daniel 7:21).
And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them…Revelation 13:7
To put it another way, at the time of the end, the saints will be, in effect, prey for the Devil.
In Prey for the Devil (2022), the protagonist Ann Kraja, is an allusion to a saint. In one part of the movie, she even says: “My mother talked about hearing that voice inside. She said the voice didn’t really want her. It wanted me. Because I was one of God’s chosen soldiers.” (ref. 1).
So, in the story, the protagonist serves God and engages in spiritual battle against the Devil, but at first she is the one who is hunted as prey.
Demons afflict her mother and then her child, in an attempt to get to her.
Yea, and all that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.2 Timothy 3:12
Concerning the persecution and suffering of the saints, never forget that the Son of man himself suffered and was crucified for the sake of the Resurrection (ref. Isaiah 53:5).
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.John 15:18-20
Without the Resurrection of the Son of man, there would be no Christianity. Indeed, the cross of Jesus Christ is glorious because it is through God’s power to resurrect the dead that the Devil will be defeated!
Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.John 10:17-18
And so, to those who suffer for the cause of Christianity, the Bible says, rejoice.
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.1 Peter 4:12-13
In much of the world at this time of the end, the persecution will not only be spiritual but inevitably also political.
Now, notice that the name “Ann” means “grace”, and “Kraja” is close to the Slavic word kraj which means “end”. For that matter, “Natalie” is Latin for “birth of the Lord”.
Here, also, the demon is saying that his side now knows that every saint of God has been named by God in a meaningful way.
In Isaiah 40:26, the Bible reads, “he calleth them all by names”.
To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath bringeth out their host [army] by number: he calleth them all [the saints] by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.Isaiah 40:26
Furthermore, every saint succeeds in what he is supposed to do: “not one faileth”.
As for why the protagonist in Prey for the Devil (2022) is female, that is explained by the biblical metaphor of the bride of Christ (ref. Revelation 19:7-8).
Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.Revelation 19:7-8
Though some viewers might have thought that the show was about the first female exorcist in 7 centuries, the story is actually alluding to the metaphor of the bride of Christ.
On matters spiritual, a woman is not to teach nor to usurp authority over the man (ref. 1 Timothy 2:12), because Eve was the one who was first deceived and in transgression.
Now, in the movie, the school of exorcism discovers that evil has some sort of obsession with Ann Kraja. So the school lets her sit in a lecture and witness an exorcism. She develops her own ideas about how to overcome evil, quite different from the formal Roman rite of exorcism.
It should be said that when a priest performs the rite of exorcism, essentially, he is praying to God and his angels for help. And then, when that prayer is heard, an angel such as the archangel Michael comes and chases away the demon. The demon flees because the angel is stronger, and I guess the demon is afraid of being captured and taken to the prison of hell ahead of time.
For if God spared not the angels that sinned [to sin is to disobey God], but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;2 Peter 2:4
Normally prayer alone works, but today, with tens of millions of demons roaming about, and because the fourth beast is to have the power of iron, the Bible advises that each person must himself or herself resist the Devil.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.James 4:7
This is also the message of Ephesians 6:10-18, that one should put on the whole armour of God.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; And above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;Ephesians 6:11-18
In other words, if you become more Christian, the Devil will not be able to get to you, and take you down.
If a demon cannot trick you into doing something evil, that will cause you to be damned by God, then he will flee from you. He will move on, because he will not want to waste more time on you.
So, if you do not “let him in”, a phrase that is repeated again and again in the trailer of Prey for the Devil (2022), then you will win and the Devil will not.
Not letting him in, foremost, means being sober and vigilant. Intoxicants such as alcohol, mind-altering drugs such as anti-depressants and anti-psychotics, and narcotics including opioids, morphine and other painkillers should be avoided. Not to mention marijuana and methamphetamine. It might surprise you that even an ordinary off-the-shelf painkiller from a pharmacy or a supermarket can give the Devil a foothold.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:1 Peter 5:8
The movie makes a big deal about guilt and shame. Maybe these things led to alcohol or anti-depressants for the characters in question.
But even if your brain has been physically weakened and so the Devil can now speak to you in a clear voice, or put thoughts into your head, or make you dream a message while you sleep, why would you obey him? If some crazy, illegal or evil idea comes into your head seemingly out of nowhere, or a bad thought keeps recurring, it does not mean you must carry it out.
Not letting him in further entails not seeking unnecessary trouble. Right now, there is no shortage of mindless zombies eager to do the Devil’s work. So, if a dispute arises for some reason, ignore it or forgive. The whole thing might be a set up.
… forgive… Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.2 Corinthians 2:10-11
There is time enough after the day of the LORD to set things right if needs be.
The foremost objective, at this difficult time when the Devil’s power and reach are greatest, should be to protect your own soul.
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.Matthew 24:21
The tribulation is essentially a test, or a time of trial or temptation. This test will separate the chaff from the wheat: distinguish the fake from the righteous.
Forget what you might have heard about a pre-trib rapture. The pre-trib rapture is a doctrine of demons. Christians and Jews are already facing tribulation right now.
Anyway, this thing that the character Ann Kraja realises in Prey for the Devil (2022) is not some novel alternative to a formal exorcism, but rather it is precisely the approach that the Bible recommends for these last days, when there is an extraordinary number of demons about. Prayer is still necessary (ref. Ephesians 6:18) but it is not enough.
By that I mean this: suppose an angel comes and chases away a demon during a rite of exorcism; but then what happens when that angel goes somewhere else, and another demon resumes the possession or affliction?
In my opinion, the protagonist Ann Kraja understands all this and the priests of the school of exorcism do not because unlike them she is a “saint”. And as a saint, a future soldier of Christ, the mystery of the will of God has been made manifest to her, even the methods by which demons can be overcome.
Whereof I [Paul speaking to the Colossians] am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:Colossians 1:25-26
He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.Revelation 3:5-6
Critics did not like Prey for the Devil (2022). Several remarked that for the exorcism genre, it was all rather cliche. I disagree. I do not recall that there has ever been an exorcism movie where a possessed person essentially exorcises himself or herself. In The Rite (2011) and also in The Pope’s Exorcist (2023), when the priest that has been performing exorcisms becomes possessed by a demon, another priest must take his place and rescue him. Granted, Ann Kraja’s colleague was present at the end, and he did recite some of the rite, but it was incomplete.
Again, Ann Kraja’s unique ability to fight the demon on her own speaks to the point that she is supposed to be a saint. Of course, one must understand what a saint is to not miss this thing that the story is trying to say.
The Bible is clear that once a saint is born again – resurrected or translated on the day of Christ – he will have the power of God to destroy at will a demon (ref. 1 Corinthians 6:2-3, Revelation 2:28).
Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?… Know ye not that we [Paul speaking] shall judge angels?…1 Corinthians 6:2-3
In this way, a saint will go from prey to hunter.
Notice in the end, she goes into the water and probably drowned, only to resuscitate – an allusion to death and resurrection. The demon was defeated only after she was, in a way, born again. Maybe an angel was involved; maybe not.
For now, a saint, by definition, is someone sanctified, meaning “set apart” from the world for God’s purpose.
No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.2 Timothy 2:4
In the original Greek, the expression “saints” reads “holy ones”.
It is debatable whether, as a saint, the character Ann Kraja was already holy or not. The apostles and early Christians were holy after Pentecost. They were given the power of the Holy Spirit and were able to cast out demons at will.
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.Luke 10:19-20
My own understanding is that in these last days, except for the chosen ones of the Jews who are to be holy and remain human, a saint will only receive power when he is born again on the day of Christ. The elect among the Jews, male and female, both adults and children – all also described as “saints” in the Bible – will receive the Holy Spirit towards the end, before Jesus Christ returns to establish the kingdom of God (ref. Zechariah 12:10, Joel 2:28-29). Christians, however, must wait a little longer.
Logically, if a Christian saint were already holy, he would be infallible all the time. Also, if a saint were already powerful in these last days, the Devil and the Antichrist would not be able to war against him.
I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;Daniel 7:21
As far as the character of Ann Kraja goes, if she were already holy, then she should have been able to cast out the demon that afflicted her mother. More than that, the demon should not have been able to possess her at the end, prompting the need for her self-exorcism.
As for how she managed to prevail after she convinced the demon to leave her daughter and possess her instead, that is left to the imagination of the audience. Here, I suppose the storyteller claims fictive licence, and the purpose is to impress the point that she is a saint (ref. 2).
One final thought, it is not a clever thing for someone to ask a demon to leave the victim and possess himself or herself instead. Another recent movie that tries to trick the audience with this idea is The Pope’s Exorcist (2023). As I see it, letting the Devil in for whatever reason is still letting him in.
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.Matthew 10:37
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.Matthew 10:34-36
He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.Matthew 10:39
1. “Prey for the Devil (2022) Trailer 1”, youtube.com/watch?v=u_jJiZ2oZgs
2. “Prey for the Devil (2022) Trailer 2”, youtube.com/watch?v=OkEnG6inG4c