The Nature and Cause of Generational Sin
One of the ways Satan harasses us is by sending evil influences through “doors” that are open in our spiritual hedge (refer to Job 1:10) due to sins committed by our ancestors. God tells us this is so in several scriptural passages (Ex. 20:5 and 34:7, Num. 14:18, Deut. 5:9, Jer. 32:18).
Few would argue with the existence of physical heredity—with the natural process of passing on genes and DNA to our sons and daughters, which results in the tendency of our offspring to possess some of the physical characteristics and nature of their parents and ancestors. (“body” reference) Few, also, would argue with the existence of hereditary pre-disposition of offspring for the mental problems of their parents (for example, depression, worry, anxiety, mental illness—“soul” reference). Likewise, there is a spiritual inheritance passed on when we are conceived. How do we know this?
Let’s look at a couple of examples from the Bible. (1) David took (raped) Bathsheba, (2 Sam 11:4), and later Amnon, David’s son rapes his sister Tamar. (2 Sam 13:14) David’s son Solomon had 1000 wives and concubines (1 Kings 11:3). (2) Abraham was a liar. Twice he lied about Sarah being his sister. (Gen 12:13 & Gen 20:2). Isaac lies to Abimelech, king of the Philistines, saying Rebekah was his sister. (Gen 26:7). Jacob and his mother Rebekah lied to Issac in order for Jacob to obtain the blessing. (Gen 27:19). Jacob’s ten sons lie to Jacob about Joseph’s death. (Gen 37:33)
Within the middle of verse five of Exodus 20 (the Ten Commandments), we find these words from God: “for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments” (Ex. 20:5-6). The root of original sin began in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. Notwithstanding the sin of Adam and Eve, they later walked with God and were obedient to Him. Adam and Eve passed on to their sons—through spiritual heritage—both the sins of rebellion and idolatry and the blessing of mercy (vs. 6).
Abel chose to be obedient and thereby received mercy. Cain chose to be rebellious and committed the sins of idolatry and murder. For this, Cain’s sons and daughters were cursed from then through now. This passing on of blessings or cursings (which began with Adam and Eve) continues to this day in the spiritual law of heredity.
Why is God so adamant about this? Let’s more thoroughly examine the Ten Commandments, first reviewing the verse where this particular law is recorded, following immediately after the first three commandments (which concern the sin of idolatry). Begin with vs. 2: “I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (Ex. 20:2). In this verse God reminds the Israelites that they belong to Him. He created them, freed them from the Egyptians, suffered with them through their exodus from Egypt and the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness because of their rebellion. The following verses state:
- “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
- “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.”
- “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;”
- “And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”
The first three commandments shown above address the sin of idolatry. It is no accident they are the first addressed in the list of all ten.
In his book Hard Core Idolatry, C. Peter Wager defines idolatry as “worshipping, serving, pledging allegiance to, doing acts of obeisance to, paying homage to, forming alliances with, making covenants with, seeking power from, or in any other way exalting any supernatural being other than God.” Idolatry, then, is all about worshiping things of the invisible world (spiritual principalities, powers, etc.); doing so often leads to special recognition of (or the worshipping of) tangible objects in the visible world (cars, houses, and clothes, as well as idols, statues, etc.). Idolatry is all about giving something else (such as our jobs, our finances, our children) the attention, place, and priority that God rightly deserves. Our loyalties should go to God first (His designs, purposes, laws, etc.); God and His righteousness should be given first priority in our lives.
While physical adultery is repulsive within God’s value system, spiritual adultery (which we identify as idolatry) is abominable. God hates sins of idolatry more than that of any other sins. He patiently struggled with the people of Israel and their sins of idolatry for 2500 years. And when most of the people living upon this earth chose “wickedness,” God drowned them all in the flood (except Noah and his family).
Even so, the Israelites didn’t learn from the lessons of the past. When Moses came down from the mountain with the original laws (Ten Commandments), Israel—under the leadership of Aaron—was found worshiping a golden calf idol, and 23,000 individuals were involved in sexual sins and orgies (1 Cor. 10:8).
When anyone commits a personal sin or a sin against another individual, or participates in some form of the occult, the sinful experience takes root in their spirit, opening a door in their spiritual hedge. And unless they repent of it (following God’s design), the sin becomes a focal point of their thoughts and behavior: the sin is kept secret (if possible) and is easily repeated. The person removes their focus from God and His design and places it instead on the sin, which is a representation of Satan and the kingdom of darkness.
However it occurred, a person has allowed something else to take priority within their heart. God’s way is no longer being upheld in their heart. The sinner begins to “follow other gods,” just as when Eve knowingly sought the forbidden fruit. God considers this to be idolatry, and thus the law of spiritual heredity comes into effect.
This unrepentant sin becomes a generational curse, and many authors and intercessors use this incidence to describe heredity sin. To understand more completely how these iniquities continue from generation to generation, study (alongside the study of this section) the section on “Healing from Curses.” Suffice it to say, we can exhaust all our efforts trying desperately to get healed, when what prevents our healing is a curse—the root of generational sin which was sown decades ago. This effort is like trying to fight off the enemy with both hands tied behind our backs. Generational sin provokes at least four of God’s laws, as identified below.
God’s Law of Blessings and Curses: Deuteronomy 28 talks about both blessings and cursing. In Deuteronomy 28:1-2, God says that those who hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord to observe and do all His commandments will be blessed with the blessings listed in vs. 3-14. But for those who do not hearken unto His voice or observe to do all his commandments, He promises the curses listed in vs. 15-48 and 58-61. (See also Deut. 27:15-26.)
God’s Law of Sowing and Reaping: “For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap,” (Gal. 6:7). When our ancestors faced adverse situations and circumstances, or when they experienced trials, troubles, and temptations, some remained in close communion with God and turned to Him for help; they repented of their sins, asked for blessings for their trials and troubles, and prayed for healing of the hurts and wounds which occurred. They planted “good seed,” and those born in later generations were able to reap love, joy, happiness, and blessings from the right choices of those ancestors.
Others of our ancestors reacted differently when also faced with trials, troubles, temptations, or adverse situations. They became hurt, wounded, abused, or devastated by them, and they did not turn to God for help. Instead, they turned away from God in unforgiveness, responding in anger, resentment, revenge, disobedience, etc. Some tried to solve their own problems. Some continued to harbor their ungodly feelings of anger and hatred, and they lost sight of God’s purposes for them. When they did forgive others, they entered God’s grace and were forgiven. When they did not forgive and repent, they fell back under the Old Testament law of an eye for an eye.
Because of these open gates, evil spirits attached themselves to these evil deeds and then were able to pass on to subsequent generations. These evil spirits then sowed seeds of lust, rejection, abuse, Satan worship, and any number of other kinds of evil, and when those deeds were participated in, the generations that followed reaped the ensuing curses of emotional, spiritual, and physical illness, which also reaped continued personal and social estrangement. These later generations reaped curses and evil spirits (and the resulting dysfunctional lifestyles) for themselves and their future families, oftentimes filled with bitter, addictive, and/or incestuous relationships. And this state of affairs becomes progressively worse as each generation advances unhealed. Is it any wonder our society is in the alarmingly ill health (in body, mind, and spirit) that we find ourselves in today?
Not realizing that present-day emotional, spiritual, and physical problems may have had their beginning generations earlier (with a traumatic event or a grievous sin), many individuals are now reaping a harvest of depression, anxiousness, and fear, as well as various physical problems. Christians in this current generation wonder why (in their spiritual walk) they cannot hear or see God, as well as why they seem to be having such a struggle.
God’s Law of Binding and Loosing: “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mat. 16:19). When our ancestors committed sin, they bound all future generations with the effects or results of this sin. Only Jesus Christ can loose these bands.
Some seekers wonder whether or not the origin of their heredity sin began further back than four generations. This prospect is questioned particularly in African Americans—whose ancestors were slaves, as well as Native American Indians or those from certain nationalities (such as Japan and Germany).
Some reason that if the sin is beyond the stated “four” generations, the offspring automatically are released from under the curse, thinking the curse is repeated for only four generations and then ceases. This is not so. For every generation that is unrepentant, the first generation sequence begins again. The curse repeats itself over and over again until repentance occurs. Once the children repent, they then fall under v 6And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”
Exodus 20:5 uses the word iniquity. There is much confusion about the difference between the terms sin and iniquity. There are 16 Greek & Hebrew words that are translated into English as “iniquity”. In some scripture verses, it means “gross sin”. In this scripture reference it means the effect or consequences of sin on others. Simply put, sin is the cause, and the iniquity is the result of the sin on others. Ezek 18 makes it very plain that children are not responsible for the sins of their parents. However, if a parent commits a sin (such as occult involvement or sexual sin), it produces a curse. The parent committed the sin, but the curse causes a generational iniquity or weakness which is passed down within the family line. Poor health habits, or acquiring venereal disease during pregnancy, can produce physical deformity in the baby.
Spiritual sin produces immediate spiritual sickness in the person who committed it, and it produces the iniquity of physical sickness and/or deformity in the generations that follow. Let there be no mistake, the forgiveness of our sins has already been provided for by the death of Jesus on the cross. We are not accountable for the sins of previous generations, but God did not promise we would also escape the consequences of their sins without divine intervention. In fact, He said that they would be “upon the children unto the third and fourth generation” (Ex. 20:5 and 34:7, Num. 14:18, Deut. 5:9.
God’s Law of Multiplication: “But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold” (Mat. 13:8). Whatever we sow will multiply. If we plant an apple seed, we reap a tree full of apples. If we plant (in a good year) a bushel of wheat seed, it will produce 30 bushels at harvest time. If we plant thorns, thorns will multiply. Consider the following modern-day examples of how this law applies.
A study was done by the State of New York’s Welfare Department on Mag (a woman who lived in the early 1900’s), an immigrant who became a prostitute. Over the course of 70 years they traced 1,200 of Mag‘s descendants and found the following: 280 were state-supported paupers, 148 were jailed criminals. The cost to the state (using 1903 currency rates) was $1,308,000.
A study was done on 1,200 descendents of the Jukes family. Max was an atheist who married a godless woman and had some 560 descendents; 310 died as paupers, 150 became criminals, 7 were murderers and 100 were known to be drunkards. More than half the women were prostitutes. The cost to the government was $1.5 million dollars using 19th century currency rates.
Now consider Jonathan Edwards who lived during the time of Max Jukes. He was a Christian who married a godly woman. Of his 1,394 descendants, 295 graduated from college, 13 became college presidents and 65 became professors. Three were elected U.S. senators, 3 were elected state governors, and others were ministers to foreign countries. Thirty were judges, 100 were lawyers, and one was the dean of a medical school. Seventy-five became officers in the army and navy. One hundred were well-known missionaries, preachers, and authors. Another 80 held some form of public office. One was Comptroller of the U.S. Treasury and another became Vice President of the U.S. And all this was at no cost to the government.
Consider Andrew Murray, who was a South African missionary. He had 11 children: 5 became ministers, 4 became minister’s wives, 10 grandsons became ministers, and 13 grandsons became foreign missionaries.
A study done by Dr. D. H. Scott revealed a 237% greater risk of having a child with physical and emotional handicaps if the mother is in a stormy relationship or has a troublesome marriage during pregnancy.
Father Marshall Lowell—an Episcopal priest—was a member of a family that had a repeated pattern of one male per generation dying at alternating ages: one died at age 42, the next died at age 65, the next at age 42 again, and so on. He prayed to God to break the curse and survived.
A study done in 1978 at Loyola University found that some patients attempted suicide every year on the same date. They found that the date coincided with the dates on which their mothers had tired to abort them. Even the method which they used in attempting suicide corresponded to the method that had been tried in the attempted abortion.
Molly—a healthy and intelligent women of 30—developed what she described as a new and ridiculous phobia, a fear of traveling anywhere near water. It was discovered that an uncle who had drowned in the Titanic disaster was never “committed to the Lord.” There was never an opportunity for closure (as in a funeral); when closure was accomplished, the fear was completely removed.
Margaret was 73 years old when her “attacks” began—violent outbursts of temper and unprovoked aggression. Her mother (who had died four years previously at age 96) had behaved in a similar way. In addition, it was discovered that for the past six generations, the eldest female in the family had shown signs of similarly disturbed behavior. It was also discovered that this behavior began about 150 years earlier with a murder which took place in the family. Thereafter, within the family line, the eldest daughter had always become an alcoholic, exhibiting similar behavior. Margaret was healed through prayer.
A young schoolmaster had recurring nightmares. In each one, he was standing on the brink of a “black abyss.” It was discovered that when he was two years old, his father had died on the deck of a submarine, as it was sunk during the war. After prayer, the nightmares never returned.
Alletah Nagako—an African woman, at age 33—had a 1.5″ high “horn” that had been growing on top of her head over the course of the previous four years. She discovered she had a great, great grandfather who was a witchdoctor—who also had a horn on his head.
Author Noel Gibson has discovered what he calls heredity alcoholism, which can cause any of another six addictions to manifest without the addict being interested in alcohol. Addictions can skip a generation before taking control again. The other addictions are drugs, nicotine, gambling, excessive exercise, food, and excessive spending (Freedom in Christ, page 233).
Consider the Following Modern-Day Research
- Children who had grandmothers who smoked are twice as likely to become addicted as those in the general population, even if their mother did not smoke.
- Children have twice the risk of committing adultery in their marriage if their mother or father committed adultery, even if they did not know about their parent’s unfaithfulness.
- Children of divorced parents have ten times the suicide rate.
- Female children of divorce have a divorce rate 5 times the national average.
- Male children of divorce have a divorce rate 3 times the national average.
- Children of alcoholics are 3-5 times more likely to become alcoholics; their EEG and hormones are different than children of non-alcoholic parents. They can consume more alcohol without getting drunk.
- There is a 237% greater risk of having a child with physical and emotional handicaps if the mother is in a stormy relationship or unsettled marriage during pregnancy.
- 80% of those in prison or who’ve become prostitutes were sexually abused as children.
- 22% of all children are sexually abused.
Biblical Examples of Generational Sin
- Abraham deceived two kings, claiming Sarah as his “sister.” Later, Rebekah (the daughter of Abraham’s brother and the mother of Jacob) plots with her son (Jacob) to deceive his brother, Isaac. It is later recorded that she dies having no additional children; barrenness was a disgraceful curse in Israel (Gen. 27).
- Because two people of Mose’s family sinned in murmuring against him, the families of Korah, Dathan, and Abiran died, plus an additional 250 men (Num. 16:35).
- The children of Achan died with their father because of his sin (Josh. 7:1-26).
- Eli’s neglect of correcting his sons’ disrespectful behavior caused a curse to be placed on his descendants (1 Sam. 3:13-14 and 2:32-33).
- The Lord visits anger on the head of the people of Judah two generations after Manasseh, even though Manasseh repented and Josiah proved to be the most righteous king ever (2 Ki. 23:26-27).
- Jeroboam’s idolatry cursed both his sons and his nation (1 Ki. 14:9-11).
- King David admitted, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Ps. 51:5). He was a descendant of Rahab, the harlot (Mat. 1:5-6) and struggled with adultery and polygamy all his life. His son Amnon lusted after and committed incest with his sister. Solomon, David’s son, had 600 wives and concubines (some of which were from Egypt) which brought idols and false gods back into Israel.
- Joshua was deceived and made a treaty of peace with the Gibeonites (Josh. 9:7); 430 years later David prays and asks God why there is a famine. God tells David it is because Saul broke the treaty of peace and killed many of the Gibeonites (2 Sam. 21:1-6). David acknowledges the sin of Saul and the Gibeonites require seven sons of Saul to be hanged as atonement in order that the famine can be lifted.
- When crucifying Jesus, the Jewish crowd said, “His blood be on us, and on our children” (Mat. 27:25). The Jewish people have suffered persecution every since.
- Jesus told the lawyers, “That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation” (Luke 11:50).
Sin can travel through generations within religious or political groups, as well as through families (Mat. 23:29-36). In vs. 31 we find,”… ye are the children of them which killed the prophets,” and in vs. 35, “upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar,” and in vs. 36, “Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.”
Other Scriptures Dealing with the Hereditary Nature and/or Judgment of Ancestral Sin Include:
- Lev. 26:39-40
- Num. 14:18
- 1 Ki. 22:52
- 2 Ki. 5:27
- 2 Ki. 23:26-27
- Neh. 9:2
- Ps. 106:6
- Jer. 2:9
- Jer. 3:25
- Jer. 14:7 and 20
- Lam. 5:7
- Dan. 9:1-20
- Mic. 7:6
- Mat. 27:25
- Luke 19:42-44
- Luke 11:47-52
- Luke 23:28
- John 5:25
- John 9:2
- 1 Pet 3:19
- Pet 4:6
Healing Prayer for Inherited Sin
The Good News
The Good News is that when a person in the present generation turns to Jesus for help, His healing and forgiving love is able to flow freely back through all previous generations to heal the source of the problem, thus rendering the “iniquity” or consequence harmless. He is able to loose us from our previous bondage and to reverse the results of the sowing of bad seed.
When the seeker turns to God and asks for healing of the current problems, God brings His power and light, His life and forgiveness into all the hurting places within the family line. The painful experiences of the past are cut off, allowing healing and wholeness to be experienced by present-day family members. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Gal. 3:13-14). Jesus died not only for our sins and curses but also for those curses heaped upon our children.
We cannot explain exactly how the healing of generational influences takes place any more than we can explain how the death of Jesus on the cross atones for our sins, or why confession and repentance takes away the tools Satan can use against us, or why fasting is so beneficial. These are mysteries provided to us through the grace of God.
We do know that in heaven there is no time. God can go back to any experience at any time in the life of someone of a previous generation—to bring healing, just as He can for those in the present generation through inner healing. He can cause us to revisit any experience. He doesn’t change the situation but He brings about change in our response to it, in order to allow his love, grace, mercy, and healing to flow into it.
Biblical Prayers for Release from Generational Sin
The ability (within our own lifetime) to identify and repent for the sins of our forefathers is somewhat of a new thought to most Christians. And what about praying (repenting) for the sins of those who have already died—which may be required in order for us to be healed? Praying for the sins of those who have already died is termed identificational repentance—praying in repentance for our forefathers in order that we may be set free. Consider these scriptural precedents:
- Ezra and the Israelites pray for forgiveness for the sins of their fathers (Neh. 1:6 and 9:5-15).
- David prays that former iniquities will not be remembered (Ps. 79:8).
- David prays and confesses the sins of his fathers (Ps. 106:6).
- David repents for the sins of Saul, in killing the Gibeonites (2 Sam. 21:1-5).
- Jeremiah acknowledges the wickedness and iniquity of the forefathers of Israel (Jer. 3:25, 14:7 and 20, and 32:18).
- Daniel confesses his sin and the sin of the kings and people of Israel (Dan. 9:1-20).
- Nehemiah prays for the sins of Israel (Neh. 1:4-11 and 9:1-4).
Praying for healing for heredity sin requires three steps:
- First, we must identify the sins and the curses.
- Second, we must pray prayers of identificational repentance asking God to forgive those who originally sinned.
- Third, we must pray asking God to release us from these generational curses in order to set us free.
Identifying Generational Sins and Iniquities
There are two ways to identify generational sins and iniquities affecting your spiritual walk with God. One way is to have someone who has the gift of discerning of spirits and who has experience in this area to pray for you. Many times these intercessors can discern the names of the sins and the generations in which they occurred. However, intercessors with this gift and experience are rare. Even if they are available, the use of a genogram will assist them greatly.
In the absence of such gifted persons, the use of a genogram and the following steps may help you identify the generational sins of your forefathers. Sometimes you will have clues with regard to what these sins are through the manifestation (or signs) of the sins in your life (for example, rejection, lust, promiscuity, low self-esteem, pornography, control issues, etc.). To identify these generational sins, follow these steps:
- Follow the genogram associated with this section. Place the names of ancestors where noted as far back as you can remember. If needed ask your still-living ancestors for assistance.
- Use the three checklists below to identify specific ancestors who were involved in the behavioral patterns, as designated. Write their sins on the genogram next to their names. Some of the problems are obvious and others are known only to God and can only be revealed with the help of the Holy Spirit. Don’t worry about what you don’t know. Jesus will reveal what you need to know, and what He reveals, He will bring into healing.
- Look for patterns that emerge through the generational lines. Sometimes the curse affects only one ancestor within a generation—sometimes all of the ancestors. Sometimes the curse will skip one or more generations and then return. Some problems (curses) come down vertically (as from grandfather to father) while some come down horizontally (from aunt to aunt or cousin to cousin).
- Work through the previous sections of this study to remove—by identification, repentance, and forgiveness—all the known sins in your life.
- If possible, secure the assistance of an intercessor experienced in prayer for generational influences. If none is available, offer the list at a Eucharist.
Checklist #1—Identify any of the following spiritual problems which occurred:
Occult activity: consult the lists regarding this topic in the section on “Healing from the Occult.”
An unusual, violent or untimely death: an accidental or sudden, unresolved grief; murder, attempted murder, (committed) suicide, or the pattern in the male line of the family, of dying at an early age
The uncommitted dead: those who died without a proper burial or without being committed (entrusted) to the Lord; those who died in wars, who were lost at sea, aborted, miscarried, born as a still birth, etc.; likewise, those who died in a mental institution, a nursing home, or a prison; those who were not given a Christian burial, including a committal or memorial service or prayer, or who were (for whatever reason) buried but un-mourned.
- adultery and/or fornication
- homosexuality or lesbianism
- sexual perversions, such as bestiality
- sexual promiscuity
- sexual addictions
- unusual sexual practices involving bondage, pain, etc.
Abuse: sexual, physical, verbal, or emotional
Addictive behaviors: excessive exercise, spending or work addictions; drug, food, gambling, sexual, alcohol, or nicotine addictions, etc.
Repetitive sins: lying, cheating, stealing, gossiping, criticizing, etc.
Possession or soul bondage: being previously dependent upon and now tied to someone who is dead (for example, one parent who was dominate and the other submissive)
Destructive or abnormal patterns of relationships: divorce, abandonment, someone attracted to individuals with problems or troubles
Historical family trauma: massacres, plagues, slavery, conquests, ethnic-origin issues (relating to the history of their race)
Religious history: non-Judeo and non-Christian religions, particularly Eastern religions
In-utero wounding: Research shows some children have memories recorded in their subconscious experiences, from conception (most can remember as early as the fourth month of pregnancy). Examples follow:
- a child conceived in lust or rape
- a parent who followed through with—or considered—adoption or
- a mother who had a miscarriage (or miscarriages) or abortion before the seeker was conceived
- fears and/or anxieties (as in the mother having difficulty carrying the child to full term)
Young childhood trauma and/or rejection experienced through:
- ambivalence or rejection from either parent
- loss of their father or their mother
- a life-threatening illness of the mother or father
- a life-threatening illness of the baby
- a father or mother who abandoned the family
- a child who was adopted or sent to live with other relatives
- any unnatural fear(s) of either the parents or other relatives
Rejection and lack of self-worth: The most common ways the roots of past generational sins are manifest is through rejection, self-rejection, fear of rejection, lack of self-worth and depression—all of which share many of the following characteristics (refer additionally to the section on “Healing from Rejection”):
- a withdrawn personality
- a tendency to please
- agony within
- the development of a façade
- hunger or starvation for love
- insecurities, inferiorities
- feelings of unworthiness
- feelings of abandonment
- no lasting relationships
- can’t accept or give love
- internal hurt and pain
- they don’t know who they are
- can’t accept the love of others
- a propensity to earn acceptance
- have a propensity toward pro-miscuous love or affection
- by being good or hard-working
Identify what you consider to be “patterns of sin” within your family tree (add others as you identify them):
- holding grudges
- having a temper
- exhibiting cold love
Identify health problems that seem to be prominent within your family (again, feel free to add to this listing):
- heart problems
- mental illness
- skin problems
- nervous breakdowns
- respiratory trouble
- mental disorders
- psychological problems
- high blood pressure
Prayer for Healing of Generational Sins and Iniquities
Generational sins and iniquities of the Old Testament are replicated in the incurable diseases of today. The Good News is that because Jesus bore our sins and our iniquities, we can be set free. Despite this fact, we still have to appropriate the power of the Cross, sometimes in very specific ways in order to receive the desired freedom (Acts 19:18-19, Eph. 4:28). In prayer the seeker should:
- Affirm your belief in what Christ did for you on the cross; thank Him for the blessing of grace, the forgiveness of sin, the blood of Jesus, and the oil of the Holy Spirit.
- Reaffirm your baptismal vows; accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and ask Him to come into your heart anew. Promise to follow and obey Him as your Lord.
- Repent of any sins of idolatry (known or unknown).
- Ask God to show you where the original sin (the root cause) began. Ask him to let you “see” the experience and those involved in it.
- Confess the sin of your ancestors: “I confess the sin of my ancestors, my parents, and my own sin of _________” (repeat this for each generational sin).
- Forgive the original sinner (they may not have known the significance of what they were doing)—as Jesus asked for forgiveness for His offenders while on the cross (Luke 23:34).
- Extend forgiveness to the original sinner on behalf of all other family members. “I chose to forgive and release __________ for the sin and the consequences of _________ (name the sin), in my life and in the lives of my predecessors.”
- Ask God to forgive you for any present or past fruits of this sin within your own life or within the life of immediate family members: “I ask you to forgive me, Lord, for this sin—for yielding to it and for the resulting curses imposed upon me and members of my family.”
- Intercede before God for the sinner and ask that he (or she) be forgiven (again, as Jesus did—and continues to do for us). If the Lord has shown you a mental picture of those who committed the original heredity sin, ask that Jesus come into the mental picture. Continue praying until you see them come to Jesus in submission or until their clothing or countenance changes from dark to light or you see them kneel before Jesus asking for forgiveness.
- Ask (if possible) that they be allowed to come to an understanding knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, when they choose to do so.
- If there are any uncommitted deceased predecessors within your family line, mourn for them, and pray for God to receive them in love; and commit them to the Lord, asking Him to receive them. Pray for those who’ve grieved over these lost ones that they may be comforted in knowing these individuals are now with the Lord. Pray they, too, will release these deceased to God.
- Pray the prayers in the section on “Healing from Curses” in order to break any curses that may have developed. Then bless the one who initiated the curse.
- Renounce any occult influence in the name of Jesus Christ.
- Pray that the cross of Jesus be placed between the sin and the rest of the family (past and present) and that the sin be covered by the blood of Jesus.
- Pray that the seeker and all within the family line are loosed from this sin and the resulting iniquities.
- Pray to be used as a conduit of His love and power so all those in the family line may be freed from any bondage, pain, or sin.
- Send forgiveness back to those in past generations on behalf of all family members, living or dead.
- Ask for forgiveness for any way in which we may have given in to the temptations of the sin—in the same way that past generations were tempted.
- Review the information on blood covenants in the section on “Healing from Curses.” Pray to the Lord asking Him to break all blood oaths or witchcraft curses upon any individuals within your generational line.
- Pray that all the children of present family members also be loosed.
- Give thanks to God for these healings.
Move on to the next generational influence (the behavior) which God wants to heal. You will need to repeat the above process for each separate evil influence. It may take some time but will be well worth the effort.
Bible teacher Paul Cox has had success in praying against any number of generational sins using Isaiah 59—which speaks of spider webs and viper eggs (associated with gossip and slander), of critical judgment, envy, strife, holding offenses, accusation, and jealousy. Paul and a group of other individuals have developed a prayer for generational and chronic spiritual, emotional, and physical disorders for the release (from the generational line) of the following: lying, denying God, speaking accusations against God, conceiving and uttering falsehoods from the heart, speaking oppression and revolt, entering into witchcraft, bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, and slander, along with every form of malice. He says the prayer is very effective.
Space does not permit a discussion of Isaiah 59 or the prayer (which is several pages long), but if you desire a copy of his prayer, contact the author of this material and he will be happy to e-mail you a copy of it.
Prayer for Breaking Generational Occult Curses
I come before you today wishing to be made clean and loosed from this generational curses of sexual idolatry, fantasy and lust and any generational curses. I renounce all contact and influences with anything occult or Satanic now and in my heritage. I cancel all Satan’s claims against me in accordance with Deut 7:26 and II Cor 6:14-15. I recognize and repent for the breaking of the following Commandments by my ancestors.
Exo 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Exo 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
Exo 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
Exo 20:13 Thou shalt not kill.
Exo 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
I recognize the worship of false gods in my generational heritage is like a weed planted in life that links me to satanic forces loosed in previous generations by those that willingly violated these commandments and others. This weed has a long root going straight down through future generations and represents the evil and continuing influences of my ancestors who worshiped false Gods. It is like spiritual adultery.
I cut this root in the name of Jesus in accordance with Matt 15:13 which says, Every plant which my Heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.
In the name of Jesus, I ask you now to release me from every curse over my life according to Gal 3:13 which says. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
I repent of the sin of rebellion of my ancestors which according to I Sam 15:23 is as the sin of witchcraft. This is an expression of their rebellion against God to manipulate, intimidate and dominate other Christians.
Lord, even as your son Jesus Christ pleaded repentance for me as He bled on the cross and died, I plead forgiveness and repentance for my ancestors that have committed these terrible sins. I ask that through the blood of Jesus, their effect on my life may be nullified. I forgive them for what they have done, and hope that someday in some way they can come to the knowledge and conviction of these sins and accept repentance and forgiveness for themselves.
I bless all those in my ancestral line that have caused curses to come upon me in accordance with Luke 6:28 which commands me to: Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
I confess my faith in Christ Jesus and His sacrifice on my behalf in accordance with (Heb 3:1, Heb 11:6, Mark 9:23, Matt 17:19-21).
(Repeat the following three times.)
Lord Jesus Christ, I confess that I have sinned against You, and I ask that You forgive me for all my sins. I believe with all my heart that You are the Son of God. You left Your throne of glory in heaven and became a man. You lived in this world and were tempted in all things like as are we, yet without sin. Then, You went to the cross and laid down Your life. Your precious blood was poured out for my redemption. You rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. You are coming again in all Your glory. I give my life to You and ask that You come into my heart in the fullest measure possible, that I may live with You eternally. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
In the name of Jesus, I renounce all forms of idolatry, all objects used in represent false Gods, and all of the works of Satan in satanic worship.
I break any contracts in blood or in words that any of my ancestors may have made with Satan. I renounce and break any dedication of children in my generational line to Satan that may have affected me and kept me from worshiping and serving Christ as I desire.
In the name of the Father, Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost, I break every spiritual seal that covers me and protects any evil spirits and curses in my life from being broken. I am set free by the sword of the Holy Spirit.
I renounce the satanic rituals of mocking the communion rite, of sacrificing of animals and people, of sexual violations, rape, fornication, adultery, and sexual orgies, and the betrayal of love and trust.
I renounce all emotionally, physically and sexually abusive acts that took place during satanic rituals in my ancestry, the mocking of Christian feasts, the fertility feasts arising out of ancient pagan rites, all sacrificial rituals and ceremonies that mock the death of Jesus on the cross, of black mass or communion where unholy substances are used for emblems and unholy objects or naked humans are used as worship centers.
I renounce the mocking of the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus by killing animals or innocent human beings, the acts of ritual murder and torture, of perverted sexual practices and sexual ritual abuse to glorify lust and desecration of the human body and Jesus’ command to love.
I renounce the process Satan has used to pervert memories of their victims so that real religious ceremonies and experiences inevitably bring back lustful imaginings. I understand that fascination from which the word fantasy is derived in the Latin is actually the verb “to bewitch”. I renounce all impure thoughts and fantasies and desire only good thoughts to come into my mine.
I renounce, and come against in the name of Jesus Christ, the evil spirit of Obsession, and the spirit of Amadeus (lust). I renounce and reject the evil spirit of Succubus that may have caused unholy thoughts, dreams, or fantasies. I renounce any representation of evil images that may have come from my contact with games such as Dungeons and Dragons.
Satan, I take back all the spiritual ground that may have been given to you by my ancestors or myself. You have no right to my life and no power over me. I belong to God and will serve Him and Him only. By the authority of my Lord Jesus Christ, I break the power of every evil curse that has come upon me. I command every demon of curse to leave me now. All Generational curses, witchcraft curse spirits, inherited curse of sexual idolatry, fantasy and lust must go now in the name of Jesus Christ. AMEN
Healing Power of the Eucharist
After offering prayers for generational influences, the completed genogram should be released (offered) at a Eucharist service (or the sacrament of Communion), which presents one of the most significant ways the Lord brings healing.
Jesus’ death was the single most powerful moment within all of history. At that moment, Satan was defeated for all time. Through the cross, we appropriate all of the benefits of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection—to heal all ancestral woundedness.
As the emblems are shared during the Eucharist, the supernatural power of the risen Lord is available to heal the hurt and the sin that has long-plagued the family line; the bondage—which may have been in the family line for centuries—is finally broken. Sins are forgiven and people are set free from their hurts, emotions, and memories. When we repeat the Lord’s Prayer as a part of this sacrament, we state, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven … deliver us from evil,” asking God to free both the living and the dead from all bondage to the evil one.
Within the Eucharist, we are asking that, through His blood (represented by the Communion wine), Jesus Christ cleanse the bloodlines (of the living and the dead) of all that blocks physical and spiritual life, especially by breaking any hereditary seals and curses and by casting out any evil spirits. (Consider other suggestions within the section on “Healing Power of Communion.”)
The seeker is strongly advised to read the material in the books listed below by McAll and Smith regarding the power of this sacrament in healing generational influences.
- Kenneth McAll, Healing the Family Tree (Sheldon Press, London, 1982). ISBN 0-85969-532-8. (Presently out of print but available as a used book at Amazon.com.)
- Kenneth McAll, A Guide to Healing the Family Tree (Queenship Pub., 1996). ISBN 1-882972-64-3.
- Patricia Smith, From Generation to Generation (Jehova Rapha Press, PO Box 14780, Jacksonville, FL 33238-1470, 1996). ISBN 1-888871-24-5.
- John Hampsch, Healing Your Family Tree (Our Sunday Visitor, Huntington, Indiana 46750, Library of Congress, 1989). ISBN 087973437X.
- Noel and Phyl Gibson, Evicting Demonic Intruders (New Wine Press, 1993): 99-120. ISBN 1-874367-09-4.
- Noel Gibson, Freedom in Christ (New Wine Press): 233. ISBN 1874367531.
- http://claretiantapeministry.org/ (healing your family tree)