Jesus Delivers Children

The Gospel of Mark proclaims to us very good news: Jesus delivers children! There are 2 stories demonstrating this; the Syrophonenician Woman with the possessed daughter (Mark 7:24-30), and the story of the father with a deaf, mute, and demon possessed son (Mark 9:14-29). In them, we find both hope and instruction for getting our children delivered from the unclean spirits that torment them, and through them, our families.

After many years of searching for deliverance for my daughter, God’s Spirit spoke to mine:

"When Jesus delivered these children, it was one parent coming to Him asking Him to deliver his/her child. He did. It’s that simple."

The lightbulb came on! This completely revolutionized the way I thought about children’s deliverance. Afterward, it seemed so obvious that I didn’t understand why I (and so many others) hadn’t gotten it before. Deliverance for children is not complicated! As with so many things, we tend to make them complicated and difficult. Before ascending to the Father, Jesus said that His followers would lay hands on the sick and they would recover and would cast out demons in His Name. Simple. He said nothing about studying and training for years, nor about individuals being specifically called to "deliverance ministry." His statement was for ALL of His followers, and He taught and demonstrated it as basic Christianity.

I love that Jesus used the metaphor of bread when He was talking about casting the demon out of the Syrophoenician woman’s daughter. Bread is a common, simple, daily staple of life. I believe the metaphor was intentional and teaches us that that’s how deliverance should be - common, simple, and exercised frequently. I’m not talking about making demons the focus of our lives, nor suggesting that everything negative is the result of demonic oppression. However, neither should we ignore the existence of demons and their effects on our lives - thus allowing them to run rampant, especially effecting our vulnerable children.

Please note:

In both of these examples, neither the children nor the parents had to renounce, repent, nor forgive first. Neither did the parent have to figure out where the "open gate" or "ancestral curse" was. The parent (not the child) just had to persistently and humbly pursue and trust Jesus for their child's deliverance. End of story. Boom. How freeing is that???

This website is part of my attempt to encourage Christian parents of hurting children that there is HOPE, and to help them as they minister to and disciple their children. If you’re the parent or guardian of a traumatized, disabled, neurodiverse, or otherwise at-risk child, I pray that you will find help and hope here.

Bread and Wheat

Common Questions about Child Deliverance

January 18, 20247 min read

Almost every time I speak with people about deliverance for children, they ask me 2 questions:

  1. What is the nature of parental spiritual authority?  Ie. At what age does that cease; and, if you’re not the biological parent (or legal parent or guardian), but you are raising the child, does that still apply?

  2. What about the possibility of a child getting delivered, but then having an "empty house" and 7 more unclean spirits come back to oppress him?

Parental Spiritual Authority & Deliverance

In a nutshell, I believe that as long as you are the one tasked with raising the child and they are still in your home and have not reached maturity to the point that they can take care of themselves and make their own decisions - supporting themselves, etc, you do have spiritual authority “over” them, regardless of legal age or status. (This is not about overriding their free will. It is just about being able to do spiritual warfare on their behalf).

My understanding of the spiritual authority that God gives us (in general) is that it is for doing things - serving people - ministering to them.

Matthew 20:25-28 (NLT)

“But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them.  But among you it will be different.  Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave.  For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

1 Peter 5:2-3 (NLT)

“Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you.  Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly - not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.  Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example.”

Biblical Authority - We are given authority over people in order to serve them. It is not a legalistic thing. God provides parents/guardians for children. He knows that they are not mature enough to make good decisions and to fight spiritual battles. Therefore, parents/guardians are in their lives to nurture them, disciple them, protect them and provide for them. Since parents/guardians have that responsibility in their children’s lives, God gives them power and authority to do the job. My understanding therefore, is that as long as you are the one doing that job (raising/discipling children), you have spiritual authority “over” them - in that you can fight spiritual battles on their behalf and you can instruct them and discipline them, etc.

This is not about a specific age (ie. reaching legal maturity of 18), nor of a specific legal status (ie. being a legal guardian or legal parent). It’s just about doing the job and being given (from Heaven) the tools to do it.

While I believe there is a special spiritual authority that parents have over their children, I would also like to note that Jesus never asked people for permission to cast demons out of them. Jesus was not and does not interfere with people’s free will. When it comes to deliverance, it’s about exercising authority over the demons, not about exercising authority over people. People (including children) have free willDemons do not. 

Exercising your spiritual authority is typically a growth process. King David first slew a tiger. Then he slew a bear. Then he slew Goliath. Then he slew thousands. His confidence grew as he practiced his faith.

I remember back when my first son was little and I had been doing child care for a couple of years.  One day a neighbor came over asking me for help because their direct neighbor’s pit bull had gotten out of its yard. I marched over there and looked at the dog and told it to get back in the yard. It immediately did and I closed and locked the fence. I had to laugh at myself afterwards because I realized that the years I had spent supervising children had given me the confidence to tell the dog what to do and he obeyed! 

Take the opportunities God gives you to exercise your spiritual authority to help others. Your faith and confidence will grow!

Deliverance and Those Additional 7 Unclean Spirits

Many people worry that if a child gets delivered from a demon, they will be vulnerable to the possibility of 7 worse unclean spirits coming after them. This is due to a misunderstanding both of parental/guardian spiritual authority and the cause of the additional unclean spirits risk, in my opinion. To understand the issue of the additional unclean spirits, It’s important to look at the context of Jesus’ teaching about it.

Matt 12:41-45 (NLT)

41 “The people of Nineveh will stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for they repented of their sins at the preaching of Jonah. Now someone greater than Jonah is here—but you refuse to repent. 42 The queen of Sheba will also stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for she came from a distant land to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Now someone greater than Solomon is here—but you refuse to listen.

43 “When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and in order. 45 Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before. That will be the experience of this evil generation.”

Jesus is talking to what He called an “evil generation.” Jesus was rebuking them because they had experienced greater miracles and heard greater teaching then previous generations, but still refused to listen to or put their faith in Him. Therefore, their judgment would be worse. In the same way, once a person has experienced the miracle of deliverance, they too need to put their faith in the One who delivered them, or their consequences would be worse then someone who had never gotten delivered in the first place. (There are numerous other passages in the Bible that explain that every one will be held accountable according to what they were given).

1)  Jesus was not concerned about this issue (did not give the parents warnings) when He cast the demons out of the Syrophoenician woman’s daughter and the father’s deaf/mute son. I believe that’s because He knew that the parents DID already have faith in Him, and their faith only increased when they experienced the miracle of their children’s deliverances. In other words, their houses were no longer “empty.” They were filled with faith in Jesus, so not only couldn’t the cast out unclean spirit return, neither could 7 more join it.

2)  As the parent/guardian, you still have that spiritual authority - that position of being the spiritual gatekeeper in your child’s life - so you can still keep unclean spirits out. That doesn’t change after you expelled the first unclean spirit. You don’t suddenly lose that authority.

3)  This passage does highlight the importance of “filling the house” so that it is no longer empty (and able to be re-inhabited). The context is of filling the house with faith in Jesus. I believe that it is also important to pray for your child to have the opposite of what was cast out (if it doesn’t happen automatically). For example, if a suicidal spirit was cast out, then pray for God to fill the child with hope and abundant life. If a lying spirit was cast out, pray that the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth. It is a Biblical principle to exchange the negative with a positive. E.g. Isaiah says that God will give you the oil of joy for the spirit of mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. There are many many more examples like these throughout the Bible. God gives the exchange - Light instead of darkness, Love instead of fear, clean garments instead of filthy rags, etc. God never leaves us empty. He is our Shepherd and we do not lack!

I have noticed that when my daughter and I deal with an unclean spirit, the opposite always happens for her right afterwards - without us ever having to ask for it. However, if your child is not participating with you in the deliverance, I recommend that you go ahead and pray for the opposite spirit for them.

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