What Are Invisible Friends?
Did you have invisible friends when you were a child — playmates only you could see? Concerned parents occasionally approach me about this topic. What are “invisible friends”? Are they dangerous? Is this a sign of a prophetic gift? What should parents do when their children insist these people are real? Though I am not the final authority on the topic, I do have some ideas based on Scripture and personal experience.
When it comes to their children having invisible friends, many Christian parents assume the worst. It’s a familiar spirit! It’s a spirit guide! That could very well be true, but remember: For every counterfeit, there is an original. In other words, there is a strong possibility that when children play with invisible friends, they are really seeing and interacting with angels — and often, they are aware of that.
What do angels look like?
The Bible says that we won’t always be able to tell the difference between humans and angels:
"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels."
— Hebrews 13:2
It would be very difficult for us to “unwittingly” entertain angels if they looked like angels. We would know exactly what they were if they were glowing or had six-foot wingspans. Instead, based on this Scripture, we can assume that sometimes, angels look just like you and me. They may appear to us as painters, mathematicians or doctors; they may look African, Irish or Hispanic. They may even look like children.
The night Diane and I brought Micah home from the hospital, I was visited by two angels: a 7-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy. I didn’t immediately understand they were angels, because they were unlike any angels I had seen before. They began to tell me different things about Micah, and I asked them, “How do you know that?”
“Because we’re angels sent from the throne of God,” they replied.
“You’re not angels,” I said. “I know what angels are like. They’re bigger than you. They’re adult-sized. Some of them are really huge, and some of them are really muscular, and some of them are really fast, and you’re not any of that. You’re just a 7-year-old little girl and a 10-year-old little boy.”
“You haven’t seen everything,” they answered.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, you don’t know that many of us choose to take the form of a child when we are assigned to that child. Your children talk to us, because we take a form that doesn’t threaten them but allows them to become what God created them to become. We’re here to help them, not to prove we’re anything. Here’s another one of us now!”
A little boy approached, and the girl said, “Tell him what’s going on.”
“I was there,” the second boy told me. “I saw them up in the throne room, and I saw God giving them the assignment to watch over your son Micah. What they tell you, you need to do, because I saw God giving them the command.”
What should parents do?
As time progresses, I think we will discover again and again that we “haven’t seen everything” yet. In the meantime, if your children are playing with invisible friends, talk to them about it. Find out how they feel when they’re playing with them. Do they feel happy? Peaceful? Scared? If your children show any hesitancy, rephrase your questions and ask again. In most cases, their answers will reveal to you exactly who sent these invisible playmates.
Remember that in biblical times, it was common knowledge that angels sometimes take the visage of the people they protect; why else would the Christians meeting in Mary’s house have thought it was Peter’s angel at the door (Acts 12:12–15)? I remember being a child and talking to angels who looked like my friends, but I knew they were angels. They told me what they were, but I also just knew. Your children will likely “just know” as well.
Be open to the possibility that God is communicating to your children via people, objects or animals (remember Balaam’s donkey) only they can see. If you raise your children in the way God has set before them, they will see and know things that are humanly impossible for them to see and know. They will be able to interact with Heaven, as God intended all of us to do. They will have eyes to see.
If you would like a copy of John Paul's notes taken from an earlier ISD Live episode where he taught on Angels, just CLICK HERE.For more information on this subject, check out The Interaction Between Heaven and Earth, or our Living the Spiritual Life Course.