How many of us really feel like the countless stories of Jesus casting out demons really apply to our daily life? It is truly outside the understanding and experience of many of us, but for the Dong people, stories like the one in Luke 8 is much more of a reality.
It is easy for us to read right past yet another story of Jesus casting out a demon, yet there is a wealth of information in each one. For us who seek to pray with understanding for the Dong people, these stories make up an excellent training course in the spiritual realm which can inform us of some aspects of the slavery and trickery under which the Dong people live.
In some areas, Dong women do not walk alone on the mountain trails at night for fear of being physically attacked by the spirits. And that is not just some local ghost story; it is quite real. In another area, it is widely believed that a new building (tower, bridge, stage, or even home) will take the life of one of the first users or performers and that soul will serve as the protective spirit of that building.
The Dong people will likely be very interested in verses like these: demon possession, authority over spirits, and freedom from spirits. Not only does the Bible speak of the problems they face in everyday life, but the Bible tells of one who has the authority to finally overcome that evil, deathly power.
We should pray for the Dong people as they read and hear passages like this one. Let us pray not only that they will see and believe the authority Jesus has over all powers, but like the man freed from possession, may the Dong use this freedom to follow the way of Christ and tell of his marvelous deeds.