nightmares
(iStock Photo/Maria Pavlova)

You have the spiritual authority to stop the enemy from harassing your children. Here’s how to take them from victim to victor.

When our daughter, Kendall, was 2 years old, my husband and I were awakened early one morning by her screams. I noticed the clock read 3 a.m. as we jumped out of bed and rushed to her room.

We were able to calm her, but only after we laid her in our bed between us. The same thing happened again the next night.

This behavior was itself disturbing enough, but it was made worse because it was not normal for Kendall. She had always been content and slept through the night since the age of 5 weeks. Something was going on in her sleep.

I called our pastor to discuss what had happened.

“Your daughter is seeing in the spirit realm,” he explained.

“Seeing in the spirit realm?” I asked, perplexed.

Many times children see in the spirit, he said, but are taught erroneously by well-meaning parents that what they’re seeing isn’t real. He told us if Kendall woke up afraid again to ask her if she had seen something.

“If so, ask her if what she is seeing is good or bad,” he instructed. “If she answers, ‘good,’ she could be seeing an angel—even that can be scary when a child first experiences this.

“If she answers, ‘bad,’ you need to pray and demand in Jesus’ name that it leave her room. Then pray and ask God to send His angels.”

That night Greg and I had difficulty sleeping. I felt righteous anger rise up. I did not like the thought of a demon trying to frighten my baby!

Again, at 3 a.m., she woke up screaming. We walked nervously into her room—this was a first for us too!

She ran to us as we entered her room. We quizzed her as directed by our pastor: “Honey, are you seeing something?”

“Yes,” she nervously answered.

“Is it good or bad?”

“It is bad! Bad!” she said fearfully.

We prayed and commanded the evil spirit to leave.

“Sweetie, is it gone?”

“Yes,” she replied.

We asked the Lord to send His angels to protect her. Kendall smiled and exclaimed, “A pretty angel!” We placed her back in bed. She peacefully drifted to sleep. We left the room awed.

The next night, she woke up screaming again.

We asked her the same questions as before and received the same answers. But as we prayed this time, we placed Kendall between the two of us. We instructed her to command that spirit to leave in Jesus’ name, and then she asked God to send His angels.

Our 2-year-old daughter prayed as instructed. When she did, that demon obeyed her command and God sent His angels.

Since then Kendall has been sensitive to the Spirit, and has understood her authority in Jesus and the scriptural truth of resisting the enemy. As for my husband and I, we learned a truth from this that applies to all of us who are parenting and walking in the Spirit: We can instruct our children to defend themselves against evil.

The Unseen Is Real
Paul explains in 2 Corinthians 4:18 that what we see in the natural world will fade away, but the unseen realm is eternal. With Kendall, we learned the reality of this truth.

Often our children are afraid of the dark, fearful of the monster or bad person who visits at night. If these young ones are seeing in the spirit, they know what they are seeing is real.

It is important for us to tell our children we believe them when they say they are seeing something, even when we don’t see it. When we tell them that what they are seeing is not real, we are training them to shut down their anointing as seers.

Paul illustrates in 1 Corinthians 12:16-27 that we all function in different roles in the body of Christ. Some operate as feet or hands. Some are eyes or ears. In my experience the children who begin seeing, hearing or dreaming in the Spirit are those whom the Lord has gifted in prophecy, intercession and discernment.

The fact is, the enemy will never play fair. He wants to stop us from understanding our identity in Christ and operating in our gifting and calling. Those who are called to see and hear will be spiritually attacked in those areas in an attempt to bring fear, discouragement and a crippling halt to the gifting the Lord has given them.

Maybe you have a child who has encountered nighttime visits and is afraid. Here are a few things you can do to stop the fear and restore peace in your home.

1) Take Inventory
What is in your home? I ask this because the first thing you must do is to ensure that you are not glorifying the enemy in your house. If you have objects of a demonic nature, they will be a red-carpet invitation to spiritual activity. The demonic world will attach itself to inanimate objects to gain entry into our lives.

Does your child play games that are violent in nature? Is he or she reading books or playing games about witchcraft or vampires? What type of music, movies and entertainment are present? Are there magazines with sexual overtones or pornographic material? Does the child’s clothing or jewelry contain demonic symbols? Are there horror movies or objects of idolatry?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, the correct response is to repent for allowing these items into your home. Then destroy them and pray, commanding all darkness to go.

Greg and I ministered to a 9-year-old named Lisa. She was having repeated nightmares. A snake would appear and bite her in the stomach. From the first encounter, Lisa suffered chronic stomach pain. The mother had taken her to the doctor, who found no medical explanation for the child’s pain.

The Lord led me to inquire about Lisa’s salvation. Even though she attended church, she was not a Christian. We shared the gospel message, and Lisa was saved. A strong peace came over her. But she soon said, “Miss Becca, my stomach still hurts really bad.” We knew there was still a deliverance concern.

Based on prophetic insight, we asked the mom if Lisa had watched scary movies. The mother said she was not allowed to, but added: “My husband has a bookshelf full of them. He watches them. ”

We explained that having the movies in the home was an open door to demonic harassment, even if Lisa didn’t watch them. We broke the assignment of death and witchcraft off Lisa. Relieved she exclaimed: “The pain just left. My stomach does not hurt!”

We rejoiced in her freedom and gave instructions to the mother to repent for entertaining these movies and destroy them, and to command all darkness to leave and dedicate the home to God. Even the husband wanted nothing to do with the movies any longer.


2) Teach About Authority
When the demonic spirit tried to return to Kendall, we were prepared due to our pastor’s counsel. Remember, however, we encouraged Kendall to pray with us, releasing her voice and authority. We did not tell her to shout, but to pray out loud with an expectant faith that the command would be obeyed.

raying this way trains the child in understanding the authority he or she walks in, as well as God’s faithfulness. This sets the foundation for how this young one will continue to respond, especially to spiritual issues, throughout their life.

I must be clear: We did not have our daughter command darkness regularly. We stood with her when fear was taking advantage of her, and together we took authority. 

But focusing on darkness too much becomes an open door for torment in the child’s life.

3) Dedicate Your Home
This is one topic all believers should know about. When we purchase homes or move into new dwellings, we need to dedicate the home, the land and the property to God. When there has been repeated sin released on the land or in the home, the demonic doors will remain open. The dark realm will take advantage even under new owners or residents. To rid the home of this dark presence will require prayer.

How can you know if your home or land is defiled? Some of the symptoms include sudden chronic illness; recurrent nightmares; insomnia or unusual sleepiness; behavioral problems; relational problems (fighting, poor communication); lack of peace; disturbed children; unexplained illness or bondage; ghosts or demonic apparitions; the movement of physical objects by a demonic presence; foul, unexplainable odors; difficulty breathing; continual nausea and headaches; financial difficulties.

If you believe your home needs to be cleansed and are saying, “It is time to pray,” then take these steps:

» Repent to the Lord for all defilement from previous homeowners. Repentance breaks the back of the enemy as it places all sin under the blood of Jesus.

» Pray aloud, commanding all spirits of darkness to leave. Pray with your eyes open. We do not want to show respect where it is not due!

» Dedicate your home to the Lord.

Here is a sample prayer you can use: “Lord, as the [owners/residents] of this house, we thank You for the gift You have given us. Because You are in us and are greater than he who is in the world, as 1 John 4:4 states, we say in agreement that all demonic spirits inhabiting this home and property must go now in Jesus’ name. You will no longer harass our family. You have been given your eviction notice. We say you will not return to this home or land.”

Follow this with a prayer of dedication, such as this: “Lord, we desire holiness as You are holy. We bring our home before You, dedicating it to You and Your purposes. May Your peace, love, and joy fill our dwelling. Where there has been demonic activity, we welcome the activity of Your angels. We say, ‘As for me and our house, we will serve the Lord.’ Amen.”

4) Pray for Protection
After Kendall overcame her nighttime visitations, I added requests to her bedtime prayers. I prayed: “Lord, I thank You for a consuming wall of fire to be around Kendall. I ask that You send Your angels.” In response, Kendall began to teach me. She’d let me know God’s angel was always there and didn’t leave. She even told me that an angel was always with my husband and me too!

5) Pray During the Night
One practice that benefits children who are tormented is to pray over them while they sleep. Do this in a whisper. It is important to understand that when we address darkness it must be done in an audible voice with eyes open. We never close our eyes to darkness. This would show respect where respect is not due.

Demons do not have the supernatural power to know what we are praying in our minds and spirits. Therefore, pray aloud. Here is a sample prayer using the name “Ben” as the example: “Father, thank You for Ben and Your love for him; for the precious gift and joy he is. Holy Spirit, I ask that Your presence fill this room. Let Your peace envelop Ben. We call for an anointing for deliverance to be present and that Ben will be set free from harassing assignments of darkness. In Jesus’ name, I command all spirits of darkness to get off Ben. You are not welcome here, and I break your power and cut off all evil plots. Get out of our home “Go now!”

Then release our heavenly Father’s plan: “Father, thank You that everywhere Ben’s spiritual house has been swept clean, You come and fill him up to overflowing with Your Spirit. Where there has been fear, we speak boldness, courage and a sound mind. Where there have been scary dreams, we speak life and good dreams of Jesus, His angels and Your love. Where there have been perverse dreams, we speak purity. Where rejection has tried to steal Ben’s identity, we speak Your security and love. Lord, seal the work that has been done by the blood of the Lamb. Amen.”

Because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, we can live free from fear and oppression: “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves” (Col. 1:12-13, NIV). Our Lord delivered us from the tyrannical dominion of darkness and drew us to Himself—a transference from a dark tyranny to a well-ordered sovereignty. Jesus, the mighty conqueror, snatched us out of one condition and positioned us in another. We are now part of His kingdom. What a wonderful position!

Stand up to the enemy and exercise your rights as a child of the King. Soon you will begin to see changes in your situation.


Rebecca Greenwood is president of Christian Harvest International and conducts seminars and conferences to teach scriptural truths such as intercession, spiritual warfare, deliverance and prophecy. She and her husband, Greg, have three daughters: Kendall, Rebecca and Katie. Her latest book is Let Our Children Go (Charisma House).

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