Some missionary friends on furlough visited with us a couple weeks ago. They spoke at our church about what it looks like to fully say “yes” to God. They asked us to consider what hold’s us back and to evaluate things that are happening in our lives that seem “bigger than us”. At the end of the service, they offered to pray with us.
I went forward for prayer, not knowing what to even say. I leaned in close to share my burden and receive the prayers offered on my behalf. My friend offered to meet me for some additional prayer, so we made plans for the following Sunday.
In that prayer session, she began with a question, “Do you know the difference between iniquity and sin?” I thought about it a minute and realized I really didn’t make much distinction. She shared that iniquity is the sin of our forefathers (and mothers), while sin is our own personal sin. She explained the generational hold that iniquities can have on future generations, particularly in four areas: sexual sin/abuse, addictions, unforgiveness, and fear. She helped expand my understanding in this area, and taught me to pray with authority over iniquities in a way that brought me significant encouragement and hope.
Satan is an antagonist. His evil schemes are aggressive in nature. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Iniquities create open doors in us and our children; places where he makes a power play for us. He is ruthless, fierce, and unrelenting. Iniquities left open lead to certain affliction and spiritual bondage. To varying degrees, we are all born into this spiritual reality because of the sin nature common to man. This is why we see patterns repeat generation after generation, despite our best efforts to repent of our own personal sin and live godly lives.
My friend instructed and led me in prayer specifically about these iniquities. I confessed anything that came to mind from my family background. I confessed it as sin and asked God to forgive us. We prayed for each family member and myself; asking God to break off all holds that the enemy has that are the result of these iniquities. We used language like, “We put the Cross of Christ before Robyn and we say no more – by the power of the blood of Jesus. We release Robyn from all binds of the enemy; he has no rightful place here anymore. Robyn belongs to the Lord Jesus. We plead the blood of Jesus over her. The enemy has to go in the name of Jesus Christ”.
She encouraged me to continue to pray this way over my children. I thought this was significant enough to share with everyone. If you or someone you love feels “held back” or stuck in patterns of sin, iniquities may be a real contributing factor. We are taught to “resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). This is true. We do have the power through Jesus Christ to resist, and he does flee for the time being. However, the devil will always return when he senses an opportunity. This issue of iniquities is different than his recurrent taunts and accusations. This is a matter of rights and ownership. If you belong to the Lord, Satan has no claim on you anymore, or the children you have committed to Him. We are bought back through His blood and sealed by the Holy Spirit. “And you were included in Christ when your heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14).
I thought of God’s keeping power last week, as I glanced down at my seven year old daughter in worship as we sang, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able, to keep that which I’ve committed, unto Him against that day”. I felt convicted of my need to rise to fight for her in the powerful name of Jesus.
Satan does not surrender his position without a fight, and he counts on us never realizing that we have the upper hand. His power plays are undone when we learn to power pray. Jesus has already fought and won our freedom on the Cross. It is time for us to make our own power move in prayer. This is the battleground where we advance forward to claim the fullness of life that is rightfully ours in Christ.
“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over ever power and authority (Colossians 2:10, 11).
“With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18)