This last year God opened many new doors for me to go teach on spiritual warfare. I consider it a blessing–and an honor. (Please contact me at Steve@PrayerThoughts.com to schedule me in, and I don’t charge.)

One week was spent at a small church in North Texas. It had a membership of a little over 100, and was situated in a small community that focused on agriculture. The people were wonderful, friendly and responsive. I stayed with one of the church leaders at his home a few miles from town. He had a construction business, a horse farm, and lost of family. You could feel the love in their family, in this church, and even throughout the community. I really enjoyed my week there.

I taught the Bible class on Sunday morning: “How God Works By Covenant.”

I preached at their morning worship: “Spiritual War in a Physical World.”

I taught Sunday evening: “Satan’s Tackle Box & Prayers He Hates.”

Then I taught on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings: “Following God Through Tough Times & Difficult Circumstances,” “Demonic Harassment In Today’s World & Things That Hinder Your Prayers,” and “Thinking Like The Enemy.”

The response I’m getting everywhere I get to teach is astounding. It’s so much fun to feel like I’m right where God wants me and also to feel like I’m helping people; giving them hope.

After I returned home from this trip, I got a text message from a single mom that made my dad–and scared me for our children at the same time:

“Hey steve. This is Tammy. I wanted to tell you our long story.

“My son Paul just turned 8 two weeks ago and is so sweet. Sunday night after you spoke we came home and he and I were working on his pinewood derby car for cub scouts. He wanted a flame on the top of his car. I searched for one and then drew it for him and even cut it out (I did most of the work on it.) He did paint it, but that was all.

“My boyfriend told me that Paul should do it on his own, and I agreed so we decided to start over. I got Paul’s iPad out to search for flames again so he could do the work himself this time. There were a lot of tabs at the top and I started closing them out when I realized that several of them were porn websites.

“I asked Paul about them and he admitted that he had watched some. He had just done it, and had never been exposed to that kind of thing before this experience. I had no idea what to say or do. We both broke down crying and were so upset. He felt awful because he knew he was wrong and how upset I was. We prayed about it together and I told him about forgiveness, explaining that looking at that is wrong. God intended that to be between a husband and wife, not for the rest of the world to see. Also that it was fake.

“Monday I felt like I needed to delicately ask more questions about it. He had specifically said he had searched for them, so I asked him why did he did that. He told me it just popped in his head, and now he thinks that it was the devil who did that. I knew right then (because of listening to your lessons) that we had to do something right away.

“So Monday night we bought stakes and walked around the house with my mom and dad. We staked the property and prayed, casting the demons out and into the pits.

“Tuesday morning I woke up like a new person. I felt so refreshed and ready for the day. I knew there had been a spiritual change in our house and that god had won that battle. Little did I know that Paul was having the same kind of day. He was a different child. There was no whining when he was asked to do something and he was even did things that I didn’t asked–like wash dishes!

“I couldnt believe it (I really can though because it happened).

“Tuesday night we go to hear you again and Paul looked up at me when we got there and said ‘the devil is gone mom.’

“I asked him how he knew and he said he just felt it and he also felt so much better.

“We have been blessed by you being here. I know that gods timing was the key because had this come to light a week ago, I wouldn’t have had the faith to handle it the way we did. I believe it’s nothing short of God at work putting you here and allowing me to find the porn when I did. I am so grateful and thankful and excited and on fire for God. I just had to share with you!”

Thank you, Tammy, for sharing that with me. It made my day and reminded me why I’m doing this even though it isn’t easy and some are going to make fun of me. I choose to be a fool for Christ.

Steve Hemphill, author / inspirational speaker
“My Search for the Real Heaven”
(Also Available In Spanish)
“My Search for the Real Heaven Workbook”
“My Search for Prayers Satan Hates”
“What Are The Stakes?” (God Markers On the Land)

“Never stop praying.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT

God is still on the throne. And prayer still works. Never forget that.

We staked out the city of Longview on January 7th, 2017. The very next Thursday, on January 12th, there was an article in our local paper with some good news for our citizens. It was a press release from our local police department:

“The Longview Police Department has received the approval of the City Council to provide one officer to the East Texas Area Safe Streets Task Force. This Task Force is under the direction of the FBI. The mission of the Safe Street Task Force is to identify and target for prosecution criminal enterprise groups responsible for drug trafficking, money laundering, alien smuggling, crimes of violence such as murder, aggravated assault, robbery, and violent street gangs, as well as the apprehension of dangerous fugitives where there is, or may be, a federal investigative interest.”

I reposted the article on my FaceBook wall with this comment: “See, the stakes are already working.”

God’s Name is on the line; HIS Word now surrounds the city. Good things WILL happen… and are already happening…

I will venture to predict that crime rates will drop. Watch Longview and see God at work here. Watch the churches fill up (that’s what we prayed for). Watch the gangs disintegrate. Watch and see all the good things that will happen.

If you say, “I’m going to pray about that, but it won’t do any good,” then don’t pray, because it WON’T do any good. Jesus Himself couldn’t do many miracles where there was no faith. Over and over He told folks that their FAITH had made them well. How I wish you could see the power of God’s Word and how powerful your prayers are.

You can pray here and change something in Africa. You can pray now and change something in the future. You can pray if you are 8 or 88 or 108 years old. You can pray if you are deaf, dumb, and blind and on your death bed. PRAY, because it works and it matters.

“So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11 NLT

Lord, open our eyes to the power of prayer and the unstoppable power of Your Word. Remind us that You spoke the world into existence, and that as Your children we can speak Your Words of power to change our own reality. May it all be to Your glory. In Jesus Name…

Steve Hemphill, author / inspirational speaker
“My Search for the Real Heaven”
(Also Available In Spanish)
“My Search for the Real Heaven Workbook”
“My Search for Prayers Satan Hates”
“What Are The Stakes?” (God Markers On the Land)

Staking Longview Texas

Ray Coates is an active Christian minister and teacher. Although he isn’t a pastor, he helps tear down walls between groups and races. He speaks at all kinds of churches, often teaching classes on becoming debt-free. Everyone who knows Ray loves Ray. He is part of the Longview Clergy Coalition and also part of the Longview Area Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance. Dr. Glen Stone, lead pastor of Mobberly Baptist Church in Longview, got me connected with the local ministerial alliances. This is where I met Ray.

Ray had been trying for over two years to get the local pastors he was associated with to realize the importance of doing spiritual warfare. Nobody seemed to listen or understand. He decided to wait on God. Then I showed up.

I was invited to meet with two of the local groups that Ray is a part of, telling my story of the spiritual warfare stakes and explaining how I was now involved in spiritual warfare seminars. The next thing I knew, they had formed a Spiritual Warfare Committee for Longview, and I was being asked to help with it.

Ray coordinated beautifully, and I was the teacher for several area training sessions. The focus was on the power of God, of prayer, and of the Bible. Many different churches were involved, and word slowly got around that we were planning an event.

Everyone understood the need, since the crime rate has skyrocketed. (Sound familiar in your town, too?). Murder, rape, and robbery was way up, and gangs now infested our once-quiet city. Many live in fear. (Just the way Satan likes it.) We wanted to do something pro-active, Biblical, and personal.

There are 30 “gateways” or entrances into the city limits of Longview, TX, and we decided to put a spiritual warfare stake at each and every one.

Satan was doing everything he could to stop us. Some people planned to come, but simply forgot. Some who were very excited about this event were out of town. Some misunderstood the plan, showing up too late. Some had kids involved in special events. And to top it off, the weather turned cold–very cold. Would 19 degrees keep you away?

The plan was to meet at 9 a.m. and divide up into 30 teams. All the teams would leave at the same time and put out the stakes around Longview all at once. We didn’t want anyone to be alone, so that required at least 60 people–a monumental task when the weather had even turned against us. What happened? God delivered. Here is the group picture of the 80 who came!

Each team was given a packet containing a photo of the location including detailed directions and a red dot on the spot where the stake should be placed. There was also a page with all the verses printed for easy reference and sharing. Each group put the stake all the way in the ground–as far as a mallet can drive it, read the verses out loud, and prayed together. The prayer focused on protection for our city, the declaring that Jesus is Lord here, and an invitation for the Holy Spirit to fill Longview, preparing every unsaved person to receive Jesus and the gospel message.

Get ready, churches of Longview, because you might just be filled to the brim with visitors and new Christians!

Let’s watch and see what GOD does here now!

Steve Hemphill, author / inspirational speaker
“My Search for the Real Heaven”
(Also Available In Spanish)
“My Search for the Real Heaven Workbook”
“My Search for Prayers Satan Hates”
“What Are The Stakes?” (God Markers On the Land)

robbed-at-the-theatre

Writing On Spiritual Warfare Is Dangerous

“Be careful of false prophets. They come to you looking gentle like sheep, but they are really dangerous like wolves.” Matthew 7:15 NCV

As my first book, “My Search for the Real Heaven,” began to fill my speaking schedule I called my editor one day and said, “I think I know what I want to write about in my next book: ‘Spiritual Warfare.’” She encouraged me in this endeavor, and I didn’t think much more about it.

That was on a Friday. Our youngest son, Jay, had just left for college, leaving us in the category of “empty nesters.” Now I know that I lot of parents are excited by the exit from home of the youngest child, but we weren’t really happy about that. We really enjoyed our children as well as their friends. We had a game room built over the garage when the boys were small, because we wanted our house to be the fun place; we wanted our children’s friends to want to come over and encouraged them to invite them all the time. (That way, you always know who they’re with and what they’re doing, right?)

Anyway, Jay’s departure left us feeling a little lonely and dejected, so Mary Lynn and I decided that Friday to go to a funny movie together to get our mind off the fact that Spencer, Blake, and Jay were all gone from home now. We needed a little cheering up.
At this point in my life as an author, I still owned my technology company and was quite busy with work, family, and business, not the least of which was helping Jay get everything he needed ready to depart for college. Suffice it to say that although I had done several exciting book signings in the previous two weeks, I hadn’t had the time to run the cash deposit by the bank as I had intended that day. In fact, I forgot about it completely. There was about $5,000.00 in a bright blue bank bag in the back seat of my Jeep. …

While we were in the movie—trying to laugh in order to keep from crying about our empty nest—there was a police car patrolling the small parking lot. We also took comfort in the fact that we had parked just two cars down from the sidewalk leading a short distance to the entrance and that we had parked right under a security light. But it wasn’t enough.

Everything looked fine as we got back in the Jeep and buckled up, but horror took over when I turned my head to back safely out—the back window on the passenger side was gone. I froze. Then I looked down at the items still in the back seat: books, a Bible, some folders, and an expensive camera—all still there. That led me to the incorrect conclusion that the police car must have come along at just the right moment to scare away the offender before anything went missing. But it was not to be. As I quickly took inventory—in a mild state of shock—it dawned on me that the blue bank bag was nowhere to be found. Panic rose in my throat as I remembered how much was actually in the pouch, and the fact that I hadn’t made it to the bank that day.

Then it hit me—it wasn’t an accident that it occurred on the very day I had informed my editor what I wanted to write about now: spiritual warfare. Satan and his forces were not happy, and they were sending me a message. …

After the $5,000.00 loss, I initially contacted Billy’s agent who handled the details of our policy, asking about the possibility of reimbursement. I was quickly informed that cash wasn’t normally covered, since the amount was often difficult to prove, and that companies who dealt in cash had to purchase a special rider dealing with this sort of unusual and special circumstance.

Obviously, I was disappointed, but tried to tell myself that God was good, and that He would take care of me through this crisis, just as He had through so many others. But in the back of my mind I was hearing, “Wow. This is a terrible time to lose $5,000.00, with three boys in Christian college that year,” (Spencer was getting a Masters in Accounting at Abilene Christian University, while Blake and Jay were sophomore and freshman at Harding University, both as pre-dental students). “Just trust God,” I kept telling myself—over and over and over.

In desperation, I sent Billy a email detailing my dilemma and asking him to check on it for me if possible. I got a chuckle when he did so by sending an email to one of his employees to double-check the policy for me, and added, “Now be nice to Steve, because he send out those Prayer Thoughts each day that I enjoy so much about many Bible verses, so lightning might strike you if you don’t do the right thing for him.”

Basically I had given up hope on getting reimbursed when I got a phone call from one of the ladies at HHC. “Hi, Steve,” she began, “we pulled your policy and you did have the rider that covered cash, so how much do we owe you?”

I said, “5,000.00,” and it made my day. God is still on the throne, isn’t He!

This whole event led me to an important deduction: if I am going to write about spiritual warfare, I’m going to need some prayer warriors to pray for me on a regular basis.

“My dear children, you belong to God and have defeated them; because God’s Spirit, who is in you, is greater than the devil, who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 NCV

Lord, thank you for seeing that I was reimbursed for my stupidity during this transitional time in my life of service to You. Thank You for Your patience with me as I continue to learn and grow closer to You each day. When I am delivered from each new crisis, remind me that it’s You doing it. In Jesus Name, Amen.

“My Search for Prayers Satan Hates,” pages 19-25

Steve Hemphill, author / inspirational speaker
“My Search for the Real Heaven”
(Also Available In Spanish)
“My Search for the Real Heaven Workbook”
“My Search for Prayers Satan Hates”
“What Are The Stakes?” (God Markers On the Land)

pray for Sam

I hope you are still praying for Sam. I am.

He is getting help, and he seems better. But I’m sure he still need help–and prayer.

There were no drugs in his system. And they even tested for synthetic drugs.

Just a few days after the event at my house, Same sent me an apology. Here it is:

“Dear Mr. Hemphill,

First of all, I want to express how deeply sorry I am over the events which occurred at your home on Friday. I honestly do not remember most of what happened or why it happened. I know it sounds strange but I truly believe that some invisible force overpowered me to the point that I had zero ability to resist the power which led to major damage to your beautiful home.

The last few days have been extremely confusing and scary for me as I am sure they have been for you but I humbly ask for your forgiveness in this matter. I totally understand if you wish to never see me or speak to me again because I would feel that way if the roles were reversed. However, I truly want to continue being mentored by you. You helped ignite a passion for Christ inside my soul and for that I am eternally grateful. You, Steve, are the godliest man I have ever known and everyone who comes in contact with you feels the same way. I hope we can put this behind us and if there is anything you ever need from me, I am at your service. I can never repay or atone for the sins I committed against you last week.

In closing, please accept my apology and please don’t forsake me as your pupil in Christ. That is too difficult for me to bear because I truly love you as a brother in Christ.

Humbly your friend,

Sam”

I forgave him. And have been at Bible studies with him since that time. I have hugged him. And I have prayed for him.

But don’t think for a minute that this is not a real war; that Satan and his angels are real; and that they aren’t after you and me.

It’s probably not best for me to be too close to him, since he has a tendency to think too highly of me. I’m just a servant of Jesus who is trying to act like Jesus and bring others to Jesus.

One of my favorite quotes from Charles Spurgeon is a little know one: “If you are a Christian, you are either a missionary or an impostor.”

How about you? I HOPE you are a missionary. And I hope you are helping fund the mission. One day at a time.

Steve Hemphill, author / inspirational speaker
“My Search for the Real Heaven”
(Also Available In Spanish)
“My Search for the Real Heaven Workbook”
“My Search for Prayers Satan Hates”
“What Are The Stakes?”

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 8.53.15 AM

I have been putting off writing this story. I had lots of other stories to share–exciting successes of folks all over the country who have shared their fears and problems with me and applied my biblical concepts in their lives. It’s really fun to feel like you are truly helping people.

This is different. Personal. Sobering. Please bear with me as I do my best to share this. I see it as a wake up call for me–and for you.

Sam (not his real name) grew up in a good Christian home with love and family. He had a successful father, a loving mother, and a sister. They went to church and did good things in their home town. The perfect American childhood, wanting for nothing, enjoying the love of family, and being actively involved in community.

Like most kids, Sam questioned some of the concepts his Pastor taught and recognized the hypocrites sitting near them in church. But he went to a good, Christian college and focused on his major–and the parties on campus. All this to say that he was a very typical millennial.

More and more, Sam became disjointed from church life. And more and more he saw discrepancies between the “Christian” lifestyle and the double-standard that seem to constantly rear it’s ugly head. One friend told him she was in her church choir and attended church services three times a week.

“So you are a Christian?” Sam asked her.

“No,” was the girl’s response. “I just go to church and sing in the choir.”

Sam was more confused than ever.

Then one of his favorite fishing buddies told him on one of their regular bass runs, “I’m gay.” This buddy of Sam’s was a very active Christian in his denomination.

Sam’s confusion escalated. “I’m not a Bible scholar,” he began, “but that’s just not right.”

These conversations–and others like them–caused Sam to think all Christians are a strange mixture of weirdness and confusion; laking focus, purpose, or even the ability to be in touch with the real world today.

This was where Sam was in his life when we met and began to study the Bible together. The first session was over four hours long. He felt so encouraged and changed. But he was fighting a past and a long list of connections to sin–including porn and other things. We must always remember that those things give Satan a right to be in your life.

We had studied together and texted back and forth for weeks. He had been to my home for a Bible study more than once. But this time he snapped.

His anger erupted, and he came at me, wrapping his arms around me in a tight squeeze. I have never felt that kind up strength up close. Although he was about my size (I’m 5′ 9″), he felt superhuman. As he wrapped his arms around me, I said out loud, “Get back in the Name of Jesus; leave me alone by the blood of Jesus.”

He let me go and went to the kitchen sink. He turned on the water and started throwing handfuls at me. But then he began to grab pots and pans and kitchen utensils, hurling them right at me–and I was only 10 feet away. Nothing at all ever hit me. Things flew by me on both sides, but I didn’t get a scratch. I picked up my cell phone and walked outside, dialing 911 for the first time in my life. As I talked to the 911 operator, I heard crash after crash inside my home. He flipped a baby grand piano by himself–it has taken about seven of us to set it up. He threw my furniture through large windows along the back of my home, he smashed our furniture. Glass was broken into such small pieces that it was a fine white powdery dust on the mantle and in the fabric of the carpet and couches.

Words can’t describe the scene when he was done. It was like living a nightmare. Family photos smashed and torn, keepsakes and nicknacks in pieces around the room. Memories seems to lie there among the ruins. But I was safe and “stuff” can be replaced. My worry was Sam. He needed prayers and help.

I looked at the timer on the phone call to 911 later. He did all that destruction in less than five minutes.

One of the police officers saw the mess and asked, “He did all this?”

“Yes.”

“What were you doing?”

“We were having a Bible study.”

Lord, please bless Sam with what he needs most of all. Help his family through the difficult task of helping Sam get better. Give them the professional help they need. And give Sam a heart willing to do what’s necessary to change and become more like Jesus. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Please pray for Sam. And please pray for me. In the war against Satan, ALL Christians are participants. Some are active; some are dormant. Everyone is supposed to be a missionary, sharing Jesus with those we meet. C.S. Lewis once said, “Every Christian is a missionary or an impostor.” Are you a missionary or an impostor?

Steve Hemphill, author / inspirational speaker
“My Search for the Real Heaven”
(Also Available In Spanish)
“My Search for the Real Heaven Workbook”
“My Search for Prayers Satan Hates”
“What Are The Stakes?”

haiti_map

“A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, ‘Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.’” Matthew 15:22 NLT

I was recently invited to speak at a men’s conference designed to encourage those dedicated to serving in church leadership. There were about two hundred in attendance from two states and about fifty churches. It was a great honor. I was one of only two speakers on the program of this all-day event. I spent the first session sharing the exciting things I found in the Bible about heaven, which led to my first book, “My Search for the Real Heaven,” and the second on thoughts from my newest release, “ My Search for Prayers Satan Hates.”

In all my travels I have never charged anyone a speaking fee. Don’t get me wrong—I don’t turn down money. I have bills like everyone else. But I have never charged, and I never know when I accept an invitation to come speak whether they are going to pay me or not, or even whether they will help with expenses. I just made the decision long ago to simply trust that God will take care of that stuff. I just ask if I can set up a table with my resource materials in the back and make them available to anyone interested. It always seems to work out. It’s all about faith, right?

It was no different at this event. I had a small table set up in the foyer, and went there to greet folks after I was finished. I love people, and was busy meeting many of them in the lobby when a tall, shy-acting man slipped up quietly and stood patiently nearby. When I had a short break he slipped up and introduced himself, asking to speak privately when the event was over. I readily agreed, and instructed him to hang around so we could be alone for a visit. He did.

“I need to tell you about my daughter,” he began. “We have three children that we home school, and she is the oldest. She is ten years old now, but she was only seven when her personality suddenly changed—for the worse. She started saying things that were mean, ugly, even sinister. She might say to her brother, ‘I’m going to take a knife and cut you,’ and to her sister, ‘I’m going to burn you.’ She even said, “I’m going to kill you.” We were all shocked since she had never talked like that. And where were these evil ideas coming from? We home school!”

“We sat her down and began to question her,” he continued. “It took time, patience, and focused questioning, but she finally said something about those words coming from ‘Legba.’ Who is ‘Legba,’ we asked, and she finally explained that Legba was the one who came and sat at the foot of her bed every night, watching her while she slept. Obviously, we were shocked and terrified to hear this. It was demonic. We didn’t know who to tell—or much less—what to do. Would people think we were crazy?”

They were desperate. And they felt infinitely unqualified to remedy the situation. They finally decided to share the problem with their minister. He was very kind and understanding, and had just read my book on demons, prayer, and spiritual warfare, “My Search for Prayers Satan Hates.” So they laid hands on the girl and prayed about this whole situation.

“Things definitely got better,” he told me. That had been three years ago when the little girl was about seven. “But there still times we have been worried.”

“How are things now,” I asked. “OK,” he said, but there are still problems, and it seems to have been getting a little worse lately. I love your idea of staking out the property with tent stakes covered in Bible verses, but I don’t have any money to buy them.”

“Here,” I said handing him a set, “they are free to you. Let me know how it goes.”

He thanked me and we parted.

The next morning after I spoke in a Bible class and in their worship service I met his wife and the little girl. The girl came up while her mother and I were talking and rudely interrupted with some petty complaint. Her mother—in a rather irritated fashion—reminded her that she was the mom and that she was busy talking. The girl obeyed, but was obviously angry about something.

I thought a lot about this girl and Legba on my return home. Children are innocent. Children trust. And children are inquisitive. I wondered what the girl thought when she saw someone (or something) at the foot of her bed the first time. How do children usually respond? She might sit up and say, “What’s your name?” And she probably did. And how might the demons respond in an effort to gain her trust? “My name is Legba, what’s your name?”

I went on home Sunday afternoon, and went to bed early after such an eventful weekend. I was very tired.

But I awoke suddenly in the middle of the night and sat up in bed. I had been dreaming and realized that I needed to call the little girl’s father and get him to ask her three questions. I didn’t hear an audible voice, and I wasn’t at all afraid. I can’t explain it. I just knew I had to get him to do that.

The one other time this had happened in my life I had been praying about how to put my heaven book together, deciding on the chapter titles and the order the information should be presented in. I felt completely unqualified to organize and write a book, so I prayed for God to help me get things in the right order. One night at three in the morning I woke up. It was like I was listening to a recording of a long list of very specific things. I listened, it finished, and I started to doze off. It started over. I listened again, it finished again, and I started to doze again. When it began the third time, I realized I needed to get up and write it down. It was a list of the titles of the chapters and the order I needed to put them.

I realized in this case that I needed to call the man the next day and get him to ask his daughter three specific questions. But I was very sleepy and very tired from the weekend trip, so, although I had never done this before, I said, “Lord, I’m really tired. I promise I’ll do this tomorrow if you will just remind me, OK?” Looking back, I can’t believe I did that to the Lord of the universe, but I did. I talk to Him now like He’s my best friend. Then I lay back down in the bed and went to sleep.

The next morning when I awoke, I had no memory of the dream. I ate breakfast and went straight to the hospital because a friend was having surgery. I prayed with them and then sat in the waiting room with the family and friends waiting for the report from the doctor. I was there most of the morning, and my friend’s prognosis was excellent. (Prayer still works.)

When I finally sat down at my computer it was about noon. I had no sooner sat down before I remembered my dream and felt a sense of urgency to call the father and get him to ask the girl three questions. I reached for a blank piece of paper and said out loud, “What were the questions?”

I had just gotten my pen and paper ready and uttered those words and the three questions immediately came to me:

1. Did Legba touch her?
2. Did Legba give her anything?
3. Did Legba introduce her to anyone?

I got the father’s number from the minister at his church. It was a little after noon when I dialed their home phone number. He picked up on the first ring.

“I had a dream last night,” I quickly explained. “God gave me three very specific questions you need to ask your daughter. Please get a pen to write them down word for word.” He did, and said they would ask her immediately and call me right back.

Five minutes later my phone rang and it was the dad. “We asked her the questions just as you instructed,” he began. “Legba didn’t ever touch her or give her anything, but when we asked if he introduced to her anyone she said, ‘Yes. All his friends.’”

“That’s not good,” I said, “she’s talking about other demons.”

“That’s not all,” the father continued, “she also said that Legba invited her to go with him to ‘Funland.’”

“What’s ‘Funland,’” we asked.

“I don’t know,” the girl responded, “I never went. But I thought it was something like an amusement park.”

Then we asked her, “Honey, do you remember when the preacher came over and prayed with you about all this?”

“Yes,” she quickly said, “And after that prayer Legba couldn’t talk anymore. He still came and sat at the foot of my bed every night to watch me sleep, but he couldn’t speak.”

“Did he ever leave?,” the dad asked.

“Yes,” answered the girl. “One night I realized that since he couldn’t talk to me anymore he was going to start talking to my little sister in the other bed. That made me mad, so I sat up and said, ‘No. Leave my sister alone. You need to go now.’ And that’s when he finally left.”

Notice that the demon left when the little girl got angry and told him to go.

After hearing this additional information, I knew they needed to ask the girl one more question. “Write this down,” I told the father. “There’s one more question you need to ask her. Be sure to word it exactly as I relate it to you: Is there a magic word or secret way she can always go to Funland?”

“I’ll call you right back,” came the fatherly reply.

Five minutes later he called right back.

“We asked her exactly as you instructed: ‘Is there a magic word or secret way you can always go to Funland?’”

When we asked her this question she looked down at the floor for a very long time. We waited patiently, giving her space, but determined to get the answer. Finally she looked up and said with fear on her face, “Yes, Daddy, but I’m not allowed to tell you.”

Why would a 10-year-old girl tell her own parents she was “Not allowed” to tell them something. I realized immediately that the demon had threatened her in some specific way. He instructed her that it was a well-guarded secret and that if she revealed it he would do something harmful to her, her sister, or her family. It was the only thing that made sense.

Somewhere in this discussion the father let me know that the girl had become interested in being baptized.

“Good,” I said. “Tell her you can’t be baptized and hold one hand up out of the water. It’s all or nothing with God. If you don’t get this out of her now, it could haunt her for the rest of her life.”

At last report, their preacher had helped this family by meeting with the little girl and trying to get her to come clean so to speak. Whatever the demon had threatened was causing this girl to hide something from her own parents.

As a follow up note, I shared this story with a pastor I knew well. The next day he texted me the link to a web site dedicated to the worship of Legba. It stated that Legba was a demon in charge of “openings, doorways, communication, and tricks.” It also said he, “Makes things happen in all sorts of humorous, unexpected, impossible sorts of ways.” It informed of his “colors:” “white in Rada and red in Petro.” It invited you to decorate his altar with red and white candles. It went on to describe specific acts of worship to Legba that involved pennies and chicken sacrifices. Let me tell you, folks: evil is real. Very real. And evil is after our children.

Lord, I praise You as the giver of dreams and solver of problems and lover of little of children. Please deliver this girl and her family from evil. Help her family and support group have the right things to say at the right moment so this won’t haunt her the rest of her life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible-Based Thoughts Based On This Event:
Demons can invade a Christian’s own home.
Demons can sometimes target innocent children.
Demons can communicate with innocent children.
Demons can use threats to control innocent children.
Demons strategize, leaving a way allowing their return.
Innocent children can effectively command a demon to leave.
Demons can have their communication bound through prayer.

“What Are The Stakes?” by Steve Hemphill – Pages 127 – 136

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I was speaking to a non-denominational church in Oklahoma. I taught on spiritual warfare and the Spiritual Warfare Stakes.

During my lesson, I noticed an older woman (perhaps in her 70s) softly crying on the second row. There were tears running down her cheeks.

I expressed to the group that I was uncomfortable sharing these stories, since they didn’t jive well with my very conservative background. I’m the LAST guy they should be hearing miracle stories from.

After the lesson, this lady came straight up to me.

“Thank you for having the courage to share this,” she began. “This is real. The enemy is real. Over 40 years ago, when my son was only 11, he started having night terrors, bad dreams, or demonic dreams, whatever you want to call them. They went on for weeks. It was at the same time every night. The procedure was the exact same every single night. He would wake up at the exact same time on the clock screaming and crying out for me. I would jump up, run to his room, scoop him into my arms, and–though he was already 11 years old and his feet almost drug the floor, I would rock him and softly sing church music.”

This reminded me immediately of Saul’s harassment from evil spirits. When they would come on him, David would be called to come and sing praise songs–some of the psalms–until the evil spirits departed.

“When the evil spirit from God troubled Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then the evil spirit would leave him, and Saul would feel better.” 1 Samuel 16:23 NCV

“Once my son settled down and began to relax in my arms,” the woman continued, “I would take him back to his bed to tuck him in, and then return to my bed.”

“This went on for weeks, and he began to be afraid to go to sleep. So one night, after I had him settled him down and tucked in, instead of returning to my own bed, I went back to the rocker to pray.”

“Lord,” I began, “We can’t keep this up. Please tell me what to do. …”

“After saying these words,” she said, “I looked up from my rocker and saw a large, black demon with piercing red eyes sitting on our dining table staring right at me, and I immediately knew what to do. I went and got some oil, and I put it on every entrance to our home–every window and every door–praying as I went for the protection I knew we needed from God against the enemy and his forces.”

“My son never had another bad dream.”

Steve Hemphill, author / inspirational speaker
“My Search for the Real Heaven”
(Also Available In Spanish)
“My Search for the Real Heaven Workbook”
“My Search for Prayers Satan Hates”
“What Are The Stakes?” (God Markers On the Land)

Demonic Dreams

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Demonic Nightmares

”When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none.” Matthew 12:43 NLT

Honestly, because of my very conservative Christian background, I went home and thought, “How am I going to write this story and not look weird to all of my friends?”

I got a call one day from a teacher. “Is it true,” she began, “that your next book is about demons and prayer and spiritual warfare?”

‘Yes,” I replied, “Why?”

“Then I’ve got to come talk to you right now,” she continued. “Can I come over?”

“Sure. Come on over.”

When she arrived, you could almost see the fear in her bloodshot eyes. We sat in the living room and her story came spilling out.

She had been on a mission trip with her church to a foreign country. After she returned, she had demonic nightmares. This had never occurred before in her life. They were very real, extremely frightening, and gave her the feeling of being violated in every possible way. She woke up in terrified a cold sweat and remembered every awful detail. Then she was too frightened to go back to sleep. In the low light in her room when she awoke, she could see figures in the darkness—not clearly, but absolutely present and demonic. She couldn’t feel safe in her home anymore, and was exhausted from the lack of sleep. “What should I do?” she demanded.

Much later I discovered that Job 4:13-17 revealed a demonic encounter that was exactly what she had described:

“It came to me in a disturbing vision at night, when people are in a deep sleep. Fear gripped me, and my bones trembled. A spirit swept past my face, and my hair stood on end. The spirit stopped, but I couldn’t see its shape. There was a form before my eyes. In the silence I heard a voice say, ‘Can a mortal be innocent before God? Can anyone be pure before the Creator?’” Job 4:13-17 NLT

Keep in mind that Satan is called the accuser:

“The accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accused them day and night before our God, has been thrown down.” Revelation 12:10

So here we have an “Accusing” by a demonic entity.

I really didn’t know what to suggest, but could feel her desperation, and my mind raced through everything I knew, looking for some tidbit that might help. Without really thinking, I asked, “Did you bring anything back with you?”

She thought for a moment and then answered, “Two things. A brochure about one of the local gods worshipped there, and a letter from a lady I studied the Bible with.”

“What did the letter say,” I inquired.

She hesitated, then answered, “Well,” she began, “It said, ‘Thanks for coming, but Buddha is the true God, Your God is not the true God.”

“OK,” I replied, “I have two suggestions for you if you’re willing.”

“I’ll do anything,” she answered, “At this point, I’m scared to go to sleep.”

“First,” I began, “Burn the brochure about the local god. And, burn the letter from the woman.”

“Second,” I continued, “stake out your place.” Since she lived in an apartment, and didn’t own the property, I encouraged her to stand the stakes in the four most remote corners. She complied. Then she prayed for God to make her home a place of peace, privacy, and safety from all evil in the Name of Jesus Christ.

The nightly episodes of terror abruptly stopped. Problem solved by the Word of God.

Lord thank You for the power of Your word and your promises. Thank You for protecting and providing. Please make my home a place of peace and safety just like You did for her. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible-Based Thoughts Based On This Event:
Demons can act today just as they did in ancient times.
Demons may attach themselves to literature on demonic gods.
Demons can be persistent, returning to the same place night after night.
Demons may attach to seemingly innocent items that can be given to you.
God’s Word can protect you from continual nocturnal demonic harassment.

Demonic Nightmares Returned

”When an evil spirit comes out of a person, it travels through dry places, looking for a place to rest, but it doesn’t find it. So the spirit says, ‘I will go back to the house I left.’” Matthew 12:43-44 NCV

The most comfortable place for a demonic spirit, I have learned, is the place where it’s already been. A familiar spirit desires greatly to go back where it has been. Which also coincides with the fact that bad habits are hard to break. There’s a definite connection between the human tendency to relapse and the spiritual being to revisit familiar territory and continue to entice you to experience and enjoy evil.

The lady I just described who had experienced her terrifying nightmares coming to an end called me back one day. “The nightmares are back,” she began in a panic. What did I do wrong?”

“Tell me about them,” I inquired. She did, and it was much the same as before. Same verbiage. Same fear. Same panic. The exact same desperation was in her voice. She had lay in her bed with every light on, trembling with panic, waiting for morning to dawn so she could call me and ask what to do.

My first thought found voice: “Did you have any visitors in your home yesterday?” I asked.

There was a moment of silence—like it hadn’t dawned on her that another human could bring a demon into her personal, protected territory.

“Yes,” she said very softly; as if the event was replaying in her mind like a familiar movie, “Just one,” she concluded.

When she didn’t continue with any details, I asked gently, “Who was it?”

“A man I’ve been seeing.” She spoke this softly, too, as if she really knew deep down that this man might not be of the highest character. But lonely people don’t always use wisdom as they search for a companion, do they?

Not wanting to get too personal, but sensing that this individual was the root of her new problem, I gently asked, “Was there any physical contact?”

“Yes.”

“That’s the problem,” I responded. “You invited evil in by inviting a person in who is personally involved in evil. And your physical contact with him—however innocent it might have been—also invited the unseen evil on him right into your place of safety. And it’s not safe right now.

“What do I do?”

“Sever contact with the man,” I suggested, “and clean up the house again, just like you did before. Ask God to forgive you and to give you discernment for this in the future.”

All this she did, plus she added an additional set of stakes, a prayer sticker on her car, and prayers stickers on every window and door.

Early the next morning I texted her. “How did you sleep?”

“Great,” she quickly replied. “It worked.” Then she thanked me. Then I thanked God, the Great Protector.

Lord sometimes I return to the evil thing I thought I had learned to avoid. Forgive me—again. Cleanse me from the inside out—again. And help me to do better in the future. Fill me with Your Spirit, and lead me closer to You each day. I don’t want anything in my life to separate me from You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible-Based Thoughts Based On This Event:
Demons sometimes go right back to where they just came from.
Demons that have been expelled for a time are still near, hoping to return.
Demons can attach themselves to people who are actively participating in evil.
Demons attached to evil people who penetrate and invade the defenses
of a protected person can then remain inside those defenses.
Demons can be expelled a second time (after re-invasion).

“What Are The Stakes?” (God Markers On The Land), by Steve Hemphill – Pages 17 – 20

New Stakes

A friend called me one day. He had discovered I was writing on Spiritual Warfare.

“I heard your next book is on spiritual warfare and prayer,” he began. “I have a friend who is not a Christian,” he continued. “He has a spiritual warfare issue going on. Would you talk to him? It might be a chance to bring him to Christ.”

“Sure,” I responded, and he set up the meeting.

“I have demons on my property.”

I didn’t know how to help with that. Raised in a very conservative church group, I had no experience in this area. I didn’t know if they were real demons or imagined ones, but they were real to Bill. That was evident because of his next statement.

“I’m getting ready to commit suicide,” he continued, “but I wanted to talk to you first.”

Talk about pressure. …

Now I HAD to come up with something, so I began to pray as Bill continued to talk. “Lord, he’s not a Christian, and he’s talking about suicide. Tell me what to say. How do I stop this?”

Deuteronomy 6 popped into my mind immediately after praying.

“You must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9 New Living Translation

Doors and gates protect. God’s Word protects better.

We put Bible verses on tent stakes and hammered them all the way into the ground on the four corners of his property. He claimed that the atmosphere changed. I know his attitude changed. He and his wife became Christians the next week, naming Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and putting Him on in baptism.

Honestly, my first thought (because of my conservative background) was, “How am I going to write this story without looking weird to all of my friends?”

This led to other “stake stories.” But I’ll share them in future posts.

But now I understood why atheists, agnostics, and satanists want the ten commandments removed: they are a symbol of God’s authority and power on the land. They can’t STAND that. Because they know that God’s Word is STILL powerful.

The entire story and connected events are related in “My Search for Prayers Satan Hates,” and in “What Are The Stakes?” by Steve Hemphill. The subtitle of “What Are The Stakes?” is “God Markers On The Land.”