(Unsplash/ Jilbert Ebrahimi)

Identificational repentance is repenting for my sins as well as the sins of my forefathers. Daniel did this and it brought release from captivity (Dan. 9:1-19).

Examples of Prayers of Identificational Repentance

"If they confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their treachery that they committed against Me ... then will I remember My covenant" (Lev. 26:40a, 42a).

"The offspring of Israel ... stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers" (Neh. 9:2).

"We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness and the iniquity of our fathers, for we have sinned against You" (Jer. 14:20).

We know that confession brings cleansing and release (1 John 1:9; 2 Chron. 7:14), and that hiding our sinfulness causes us to remain in bondage (Prov. 28:13).

Covenant Blessings and Curses Are Given in Deuteronomy 28

The first 14 verses reveal blessings, health, prosperity and life. The remainder of the chapter delineates curses, illness, poverty and death. You and I are walking in either the blessings or the curses.

Habitual sins of our forefathers resulted in iniquity, which has passed down several generations. Iniquity can be defined as a bent toward doing the same sin as our forefathers did.

"You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of them who hate Me" (Ex. 20:5).

To clarify, we are personally accountable for the guilt of our own sins, but an iniquity is a weakness—physically, mentally or emotionally—which is transmitted to future generations. We receive not only physical DNA from our parents but spiritual tendencies also. For example, alcoholism runs in family lines as well as the call to be a pastor of God's people.

Some have determined that 90 percent of disease has an emotional root. We agree that the sins of living in the emotions of fear, anger and stress do contribute to the illnesses we experience. But perhaps our illnesses are even deeper than emotions.

Since the Bible teaches that illness is rooted in generational iniquities, a large proportion of our illnesses may not be fueled just by our emotional state, but are actually curses passed down generationally. Therefore to deal with these curses, I need to repent for my sins and the sins of my forefathers.

If I sense I need to pray any prayer a second or third or fourth time to deepen it and receive full freedom, I do. Elijah prayed seven times in a row (1 Kings 18:42-45; James 5:17). I can certainly pray until I get my breakthrough.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hos. 4:6)

I have been living under covenant curses because I lacked the knowledge presented in this blog. It is obvious to me, at this point, that probably all our ancestors have brought covenant curses into our family lines, because this entire issue hinges on hearing God's voice and obeying it. This is stated five times in Deuteronomy 28 (verses 1, 2, 15, 45, and 62 in the KJV, NKJV, NASB and Young's Literal Translation).

For the last 500 years, Protestantism and Catholicism have taught that God is no longer speaking, so I can assume generational curses are probably flowing into all our lives.

Morning Devotional Prayer Exercise (Discern, Detect, Repent, Be Healed)

Taking the time to do a thorough housecleaning will be a wise investment of your daily devotional time and well worth the effort. You may spend several days or weeks with these cleansing encounters.

  1. Examine the categories of curses as delineated in Deut. 28:15-68 (see below).
  2. Check to see if any of these categories of curses are present in your life.
  3. Discern iniquities coming down through the family line: Ask, "In what areas do I have a bent to sin?" These are probably areas where iniquities have been passed down generationally.
  4. Pray and process the generational iniquities and resulting curses evident in your life using the prayer approach described below.

Categories of Curses for not Hearing and Obeying His Voice (Deut. 28)

  1. Physical: boils, tumors, scab, itch, consumption, fever, inflammation, severe burning fever, mildew, severe boils, prolonged plagues and sickness, failing eyes (verses 22, 27, 35, 59, 65)
  2. Mental: madness, bewilderment of heart, heart failing with fear, confusion, anguish of soul, fear day and night and resulting stressed organs (verses 28, 65, 66)
  3. Financial: drought, crop failure, business failure, starvation, not prospering, oppressed and plundered continually (verses 23, 29, 30, 38, 39, 53)
  4. Relationships: marital ruin, children lost, broken interpersonal relationships (verses 30, 32)
  5. Warfare: defeated before my enemies, taken captive, ruled over by evil people (verses 25, 33, 43)

Prayer: The prayer pattern I would use in repenting of my sins and the sins of my forefathers is found in Daniel 9:1-19. Read it now.

As I pray it, I am asking God to show me the sins in my ancestral line which have contributed to this infirmity/curse I am under. (Note: they will likely be sin tendencies which you battle against regularly.) I tune to flow and see what pictures and ideas come to mind, and I repent of those things, both in my life and in their lives. I look to see Jesus cleansing and removing the guilt and sin and granting a robe of righteousness which He puts on both them and me. I place the cross of Christ between them and me and command all generational iniquities and curses to halt at the cross and fall to the ground powerless at the foot of the cross. I watch and see this happening. I pray for the blessings of Calvary to cascade down upon me as a baby in my mother's womb. I see and feel this happening.

"Lord, guide me as I repent and break off generational iniquities. Let me see You in action, restoring and transforming. Thank you, Lord." Record below the words and pictures Jesus gives to you.

Mark Virkler, Ph.D., has authored more than 50 books in the areas of hearing God's voice and spiritual growth. He is the founder of Communion With God Ministries and Christian Leadership University (cluonline.com), where the voice of God is at the center of every learning experience. Mark has taught on developing intimacy with God and spiritual healing for 30-plus years on six continents. The message has been translated into over 40 languages, and he has helped to establish more than 250 church-centered Bible schools around the world.

This article originally appeared at cwgministries.org.

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