ASK LISA – AUTHORITY OVER BAD DREAMS

When I woke my son up one morning, he was pretty upset about his scary dream. We always talk about how fear does not come from the Lord. We talk about taking authority and telling fear it is not welcome here. But this time, he said, “I prayed to God not to have a scary dream, and then I did anyway.” I tried to explain, but I’d love some guidance with a better response my six-year-old could connect with. Any thoughts?

When I woke my son up one morning, he was pretty upset about his scary dream. We always talk about how fear does not come from the Lord. We talk about taking authority and telling fear it is not welcome here. But this time, he said, “I prayed to God not to have a scary dream, and then I did anyway.” I tried to explain, but I’d love some guidance with a better response my six-year-old could connect with. Any thoughts?

First, I really commend you for paying attention to this. His experience with Jesus doesn’t line up with what you are teaching him. Clearly, we know the issue is not Jesus’ lack of care or power, so we don’t want to leave our children believing He is powerless. Fear is rampant right now, and scores of children are encountering this on a whole new level. I have dedicated one of our SOAR magazines to this issue to arm parents with greater tools because it is deeply affecting so many at this hour. I would bring him into his room during the day (not before bedtime) and explain to him that this is his domain (he may understand it better in the context of it being like his city, and he is the mayor). He has authority over what he allows in or keeps out. Make it fun by asking if he would like to store all of the candy bars in the world in his closet. What about the garbage? Would he like to store that under his bed? He manages his space, and you are helping him to see that. Then help him to see that his body is also his to manage. He controls how to use his arms and legs but also has authority over his mind. Tell him when he goes to bed at night that he can put his hands over his mind and say, “Mind, I give you permission to dream with Jesus while I sleep.” Ask him if he wants to have scary dreams. Of course, he will say no. Then empower him to take authority over the bad dreams, just like he does his arms and legs. “I take authority over my mind and do not allow (give permission) to the bad and scary dreams to speak to me while I sleep, in Jesus’ name.” Role-play. He is young enough that you can literally have him jump in bed and practice praying that prayer. Keep encouraging him, “Whose room is this?” “Whose mind is this?” It is SUPER important that we help our children to understand that this is NOT our superhero powers but by the power and authority of Christ alone. When we attempt to walk in our own power, especially against the darkness, we can actually leave ourselves more vulnerable. The blood of Jesus is what defeated the enemy, not our might or strength. I would go into his room (best to do this with both mom and dad) and simply take authority over the spirit of fear. I like to pray, “Spirit of fear, I see you, and you are exposed (fear likes to operate covertly in the dark, and this is like saying, ‘you are caught’). I command you to leave in Jesus’ name. You may not speak to _____’s mind, eyes, ears, the words he speaks out, or the words he speaks to himself. No more interrupting his peace, sleep, or connection with Jesus. Holy Spirit, I invite You to come and fill his mind, eyes, ears, and words with Your power, love, confidence, and peace. In Jesus’ name.”

**I like to cover each body part where the enemy likes to influence. Ex. a shadow of a stuffed animal is on the wall, but the spirit of fear will put a filter over their eyes, making them ‘see’ a monster. Or they hear a noise, and a filter is over their ears, making it sound like a scream. We live in a fallen world, and the spirit of fear is something every believer will encounter. I would go back to your son and ask if he remembers the scary dream, which he will, and then ask if he is willing to ask where Jesus was. “Jesus, would You please show me where You were when I was afraid?” This is super important because it helps him see that, yes, he encountered something unpleasant, but Jesus was there. It will help him to see that he can always be confident Jesus is with him IN the storm. When he has to do brave things in the near future, you can remind him that Jesus is there. So, what the enemy meant to frighten, God used to teach your son that His Son is always there, even in the scary moments.

Please note: the scary dreams (fear) must obey the command to leave in Jesus’ name. There is no war or battle. It must obey; however, sometimes, there are reasons why it is there that must be dealt with. Picture flies in the house. He can swat flies all day only to find another batch of them in the morning. They are attracted to the bag of trash. Remove the trash, and you no longer have a fly problem. The flies are the bad dreams, prayers are the fly swatter, but sometimes they keep coming back because there is a ‘bag of trash’ drawing it in. Ask Holy Spirit to show you (and He will). When we pray, “Fear is not welcome here” yet usher it in ourselves in another area, that prayer is actually not true. Sometimes this could be unconfessed sin, watching unrighteous movies, being entertained by wicked things, cursing, practicing witchcraft (yes, even for Christians), etc. We can’t be ushering in porn, cursing, anxiety, fear, etc., in our own hearts and then expecting our children not to be affected. Part of their covering is our obedience and walking in righteousness. Why? Because when we ourselves partner with demonic spirits, it has a legal right to roam the halls of our homes. Repent of anything Jesus brings to your mind that needs to be dealt with. We had a situation when Lauren was still in a crib and would wake up soaking wet with fear. I kept taking authority over it, but it would return every night. I finally asked Jesus to show me where it was coming from (because I knew I had authority over it), and He showed me a PBS TV show I would let them watch. There was a ‘green man’ who showed up in her dreams at night. I repented for unknowingly allowing her to be entertained by it, took authority over it again, and it never returned (and we never watched it again). Lastly, if your son is a born-again believer, this is also part of his spiritual training, learning to walk in authority and use the tools of heaven against the darkness on earth. If he has not yet made a choice to accept Jesus, then I would use it as a teachable moment letting him know that God saw so many people were feeling afraid – just like his dream – so He sent His Son to adopt them into His family so that He could keep them under His wing.

Authority SOAR Magazine – Let the Children Fly

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