“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