Recently the “Charlie Charlie Challenge” has surged on social media, leading youth and kids all around the nation to experiment with it. It’s essentially a makeshift Ouija board. Youth draw a quadrant on a sheet, place two intersecting pencils on top of each other, and then ask, “Charlie, Charlie, are you there?” They then proceed to ask subsequent questions and the top pencil moves to land on the correct answer in the quadrant (e.g., yes, no, etc.) Of course, most the time the top pencil does not move. But sometimes it does. And that’s because evil spirits are real and they’re more than happy to respond to invitations to afflict people.

Regardless of whether the pencil moves, engaging in this “game” presents significant spiritual risk to those who play it and others who are around or exposed to it (e.g., an entire school). It’s not that kids are being possessed by evil spirits (possession is the most extreme form of spiritual attack), but evil spirits can bring fear, depression, nightmares, accidents, sickness, etc. Their modus operandi is the same as Satan’s: to steal, kill, and destroy. Whether or not the pencil moves doesn’t change 1) that evil spirits are real, and 2) playing the game invites spiritual affliction.
This is the approach we’re taking and how we’ve counseled our children with respect to this “game”:
  • If they witness kids playing it, walk away or don’t engage (I don’t want them engaging in spiritual warfare on their own against this spirit)
  • If they can’t remove themselves, use the opportunity to segue the conversation into a spiritual discussion (e.g., “I believe that stuff’s real. There’s evil spirits and they work for Satan. Satan hurts us and pulls us away from God. He’s the reason we die. But God loved us so much He sent His Son Jesus to die in our place, and if we believe this and trust Jesus, our spirits won’t die but live forever.”)
  • They can pray to protect themselves and others; they can sing worship songs; and they can meditate on a Bible verse. (The Word of God is the Sword of the Spirit, so it’s their best protection)
  • We pray a prayer of protection over them before they leave: “In the name of Jesus Christ and by the power of His Blood and Cross, I bind up the power of any evil spirits and command them not to block these prayers. I bind up the powers of earth, air, water, fire, the netherworld and satanic forces of nature. I break any curses, hexes, or spells sent against you in Jesus’ name. I cancel the assignments of any evil spirits sent against you and send them to Jesus for Him to deal with them as He will. I silence all communication in the world of evil spirits as it pertains to these children. Lord, bless our enemies and lead them to repentance. Lord, forgive those who know not what they do. And Jesus, please protect these kids with your blood and send your angels to protect them. Amen.
  • We pray a prayer of cleansing over them when they return: Lord, the spiritual evil these kids encountered today is more than they can bear, so please cleanse them of any sadness, negativity, or despair that they’ve picked up. Cleanse them of temptations like anger, disobedience, or impatience and replace them with the fruit of your Spirit. If any evil spirits have attached themselves to, oppressed, or afflicted these kids in any way, I command you to depart now and go straight to Jesus Christ for Him to deal with you as He will. I cancel the assignments of fear, depression, jealousy, nightmares, and divination and declare them null and void, in Jesus’ name. Come, Holy Spirit, and fill these kids anew with your Light, Life, and Love. We praise You, Jesus. Amen. (Prayers adapted from Dr. Francis MacNutt’s prayer)

Please note — evil spirits aren’t anything to be afraid of. They rarely operate like we see in the movies. Instead, they bring things like sicknesses, diseases, poverty, depression, accidents and harm, confusion, and despair (and these things aren’t always caused by spirits). And it’s reasonable to think we’re encountering them all the time — we are behind “enemy” lines, if you will. So it’s kinda like a trash collector — after a day of work, it’s logical to think he’s got some trash on him and needs to wash up. Same thing’s true spiritually — if you’re exposed to spiritual garbage, you can wash up, and the Blood of Jesus washes us whiter than snow. And, He who is in us (Jesus) is greater than he who is in the world (Satan). So there’s something we can do about all this, and we *really* have no reason to fear.

If someone has played the “game” (or engaged in other spiritually dangerous activities like ouija boards, palm readers, or tarot cards), the prayer process is simple — thank Jesus for His love, grace, and healing; have the person ask Jesus to forgive them for playing (probably because they didn’t know); have the person uninvite the evil spirits (“any evil spirits that have attached themselves to, oppressed, or afflicted me in any way — I don’t want you here, you are not welcome here, and I command you to leave, in the name of Jesus Christ); and then you complete the prayer by following the Prayer for Cleansing up above.
Here are some articles written on this to give you more info. I don’t agree with the “it’s harmless” perspective of the Post article, but it provides helpful context for what the “game” is. (As Keyser Soze said, “the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist”)
I hope this helps!