A family tree can be very helpful in identifying common illnesses and sin patterns in a family and targeting those areas that may need concentrated prayer. A family tree is used to diagram family history so that you can see at a glance where problems are in each generation.
Pray before filling out the family tree. Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and direction in remembering family relationships and stories that have passed down through the generations.
Begin at the bottom of the tree; fill in your name and your spouse’s name, and any problems you have (if divorced, insert your previous spouse’s name, too). Do the same with your children, your parents and your brothers and sisters. Continue in this way up the family tree, as far as you can remember, indicating any patterns or problem areas in your family line. Some problems come down vertically, as from grandfather to father, some horizontally, from aunt to aunt or cousin to cousin.
Some problems will be obvious; others are known only to God. Do not worry about what you do not know. Jesus will reveal what you need to know, and what He reveals He will bring into healing. Great traumas may be healed through generational healing prayer without your knowing their exact cause. However, if you find that your family’s problems are not completely resolved after a healing prayer session or Holy Communion, continue to intercede about them. In some cases, it may be necessary for generational healing prayer to be repeated several times for one family line.
Go back at least four generations even if you do not know all the names. If possible, check with parents, grandparents and other relatives to get more details or clearer information.
Depict the family tree graphically. Click link for a sample family tree diagram. Resize for printing as needful.
Once you have finished constructing the family tree, look at possible patterns or problem areas within the family bloodlines. Below are some of the common areas of generational bondage or sin that may help jog your memory and make a more complete picture of your family line.
Remember to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal His truth. He may name something that is not listed below. It is essential to put down all areas revealed to you in order to break the patterns of generational sin.
You may wish to print out the following sections and fill them in as you can. You may find you have a much to write down, and then again maybe just a little. Allow God to direct you. He knows how to spotlight the areas which are of importance. May you be blessed and encouraged as you proceed.
Unusual or Violent Deaths
- committed or attempted suicide
- were murdered or died in tragic ways such as accidents, wars (including POWs and MIAs) or violence
- had an abortion or participated in/sponsored an abortion
- had repeated miscarriages
- died in a mental institution, nursing home or prison, especially those who felt lonely, unloved and/or abandoned
- were not given a Christian burial, including committal services or prayer, or who were unmourned
- were unnaturally grieved
- experienced untimely deaths (for example, a pattern of males dying at an early age)
Evidence of Occult Activity, Demonic or Oppressive Spirits
This is a partial listing. Identify evidence of:
- involvement in the occult (for example, witchcraft, astrology, spiritualism or divination)
- opening one’s self to powers of the spiritual realm, such as precognition or other psychic abilities
- severe trauma, with evidence of effects passed on through the family (for example, a drowning resulting in fear of water in other members, especially descendants)
- a blood covenant with Satan or involvement in satanic worship
- involvement with a witch or other persons involved in the occult
Habitual Patterns of Sin
These are numerous. Begin with sexual sins:
- homosexuality, lesbianism
- pornography (homosexual, heterosexual or child)
- sexual perversions such as bestiality
- sexual promiscuity
- sexual addictions
Be sure to list all sexual partners as well as any soul-ties you have with another. A soul-tie is an unhealthy connection with another person. You allow the person to control you in certain areas. You begin to lose your individuality and self-confidence. You let the person make decisions for you, or you base your decisions on what you think the person wants you to do. If the person is really good at manipulation, you will think that he or she is spiritually superlative and will let him or her tell you what God is saying to you. The longer the unhealthy relationship, the stronger the soul-tie.
This is extremely important. Even if a long-term relationship was not sexual, you may be tied spiritually, emotionally or mentally. If you are enjoined to another, you must be cut free from this relationship. Remember that Jesus does not separate us from a person if we are tied to him or her in ways that are holy and within God’s plan and will. He only cuts us free from the unholy or destructive part of the relationship. This is an especially important step when you are married or planning to marry. Your marriage bed should only include you, your spouse and God.
Other habitual sins include:
- abuse (physical, mental or emotional)
- racial prejudice
- religious prejudice
- unforgiveness or holding grudges
Destructive or Unhealthy Patterns of Relationships
Look for these traits in you or your family members:
- addictions (alcoholism, nicotine, drugs, food, gambling, etc.)
- abuse (emotional, mental or physical)
- bondage (domination)
- any person considered an outcast, reject or black sheep
Diseases and Predisposition to Illness
Again, here is a partial list of physical maladies. You may be aware of others. (Note that physical maladies be simply physical illness without a spiritual basis.)
- manic depressive disorders
- respiratory trouble
- mental retardation
- skin problems
- heart trouble
- mental disturbances
- high blood pressure
- nervous breakdowns
Historical Family Connections
This is broad-scale involvement in sin in which your family may have taken part.
- involvement with events of great sin, evil or trauma (for example, massacres, plagues, slavery, conquests)
- ethnic origin issues, negative traits, cultural evils, oppression, curses (e.g., European, Asian, African, Native American, etc)
List all non-Judeo/Christian religions in the family or ancestral history (including atheism, agnosticism, etc).
In Utero Wounding
Note any of the following:
- child conceived through lust or rape
- parent considering adoption or abandonment
- ambivalence or rejection from either parent
- fears/anxiety (for example, mother had difficulty carrying child to term)
- attempted/failed abortion
- loss of father
- life-threatening illness of the mother
- life-threatening illness of the baby
- mother had miscarriage(s) or abortion before you were conceived
As you meditate on all of these areas, ask the Lord where the problems that surface had their beginning. Offer them all to God for healing.
In conclusion, remember to:
Commit your family to the Lord.
Pray for protection.
Seek ministry for personal issues.
[Adapted from: Dearing, Norma. 2003. The healing touch. A guide to healing prayer. Grand Rapids, MI: Chosen Books. Pages 89-96. She acknowledges that the list of generational problems and the family tree on p. 96 are adapted from the Rev. Patricia A. Smith’s From Generation to Generation: A Manual for Healing. (Jacksonville, Fla.: Jehovah Rapha Press, 1996], 141-142, 199.]