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Healing Line

Healing Line

Freedom Through Healing the Generations

by the Reverend Patricia Smith
Fall 1996

And when a great crowd came together and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell along the path, and was trodden under foot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew, and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but for others they are in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, that they may not believe and be saved. And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy; but these have no root, they believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. And as for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience.

Luke 8:4–15

So often those who are engaged in a prayer ministry have people come to them with hurts so deep that nothing they do seems to help. I believe that these tough cases are like the people Jesus spoke of in the Parable of the Sower in Luke 8:4–15. In some the soil of their inner being is packed down so hard that the word cannot take root in it. The hurts they have received during their lifetimes have become like thorns and weeds that choke and strangle any attempts to grow spiritually. The "cares and riches and pleasures of life" overwhelm them and they cannot know peace, no matter how hard they try. They are a perfect example of those who I have found can be helped through generational healing. As we do healing of generations we are "preparing the good soil," plowing the hard path, taking out the rocks, and brambles, and weeds, so that those who hear the word may "hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience."

I began to do healing of generations because as I prayed with people for healing of memories I found that some who came to me with great problems were not being brought into complete healing. These were usually people who had come from extremely dysfunctional homes with very hurting, abusive parents. I began to see that healing the hurting memories of these people was not enough. Their inner pain was only helped as I celebrated a Eucharist (Communion, Mass, Lord's Supper) for their generational lines and asked Jesus to send his healing love back into the hurts coming down through the generations.

As I did this, I would ask Jesus to show me how to bring healing to their family systems. I knew this would only be accomplished as the person I was working with was able to acknowledge the pain coming down through the family line and begin to work it through with the help of Jesus. The healing would only come as Jesus revealed to the victim why the perpetrator had acted in such an abusive manner. With this deep inner knowledge, that only the Holy Spirit can give, would come an ability to forgive the perpetrator of the abuse. At first forgiveness was on the level of the will. The person who had been hurt would forgive the abuser as an act of his or her will. After more healing prayer, however, most people would be able to forgive from the heart. So we would go into prayer asking Jesus to heal a specific hurting memory in this person's life and when He had brought it into healing, we would then ask the Lord to show us why the perpetrator had acted in this way. What had caused this person to be so abusive? As we asked this question Jesus would show us either a great hurt that had happened to the perpetrator, or the Lord would take us back many years to a great trauma that had occurred to his or her forebearers. This trauma had in some way been passed down from one generation to another, until it affected the present generation. Now that a person in the present generation had turned to Jesus for help, his healing and forgiving love was able to flow freely back through all of the generations to heal the source of the hurt.

When I first began to do healing of generations, I had no idea of what was happening, or of what I was supposed to do with what I was experiencing. The first experience of praying for past generations I had was with a young man who came to me for prayer for the healing of a very serious emotional problem. Although I had received training in pastoral counseling, I didn't feel I had the ability to even begin to counsel this man. So I explained to him that I didn't know how to help him with his pain, but that I would pray for him and ask for God's healing touch on his life. As I did this a picture began to form in my mind of a man and a woman. They were dressed in clothes that made them look like German peasants from the last century. The most distinctive thing about them was that they were dressed completely in black and were surrounded by darkness. As I prayed I began to feel that they were ancestors of the man I was praying for and that they had been very heavily involved in occult practices.

Somehow the effects of that involvement had been passed down through the generations and were now directly connected to this man's problem. As I prayed softly in spirit for more knowledge, I began to feel that I should ask the Lord to forgive these people, so I asked the Lord to forgive them and to release them and their descendants from any bondage they were in due to their disobedience to God's laws. As I did this I saw these two people begin to change. The darkness around them began to lift, and the black clothes they were wearing began changing to white. I saw them kneel down in front of Jesus and ask his forgiveness for their sinfulness. I then saw Jesus put his hands on them in a gesture of forgiveness. The entire scene turned to one of dazzling light.

As this happened the man I was praying with gave a deep sigh and said that he felt as though a heavy weight had just been lifted from his shoulders. He looked up at me with his face shining and said, "I know I am healed. I can feel the love of Jesus filling me right now." He then went on to tell me that his mother had been heavily involved in occult practices all of her life and that when he was a child she had abused him badly. The Lord led us to understand that the sinful actions of these ancestors was the reason for her problems, too.

Since that day I have seen people healed of all kinds of emotional, spiritual, and even physical problems through the prayer called the healing of generations. The most exciting thing about healing of generations is that it works! It is a very powerful form of intercessory prayer. Within a short time after praying for a family's generational line there is usually some clearly observable change in one or more family members. It is exciting to have someone call me up shortly after a healing session to tell me of the change that they have observed. It is thrilling to see hope come back into the life of one who has been caught up in the throes of a hurting, closed family system.

There are many wonderful examples of this in the case histories of the people who have come to me for help. But, as you can see from the above incident, when I first began to do healing of generations I really didn't know what was going on. Despite the fruits I saw I wondered if it was okay to pray in this way. I began to pray for confirmation that this new way of interceding was truly of God. Not long afterwards, a young woman came to me for prayer. It was shortly before the Christmas holidays. She was very upset. Her words to me were: "I can't stand to spend another holiday with my mother because she has never been a mother to me. She has been on alcohol and drugs for twenty–five years and she has never tried to get help."

We asked Jesus to show us what was causing her mother's behavior. He showed us generations of addictive, abusive behavior in her family, culminating in the abuse her mother received from her own alcoholic parents. Then Jesus showed us a vision of her mother as a neglected little girl, being physically and emotionally abused by her own mother and father. As we prayed for this hurting child, we saw Jesus go to her and hold her in his arms. We could see that his unconditional, healing love continued to flow into her until she was completely transformed.

Two weeks later my friend received a phone call from her mother. These were her exact words: "I must talk to you. I want to ask your forgiveness. I have never been a mother to you. I have been on alcohol and drugs for the last twenty–five years, and I have just started going to a counselor for help."

Uncanny, isn't it? The mother used the exact wording that the daughter had used when telling me of the problem. The Lord knew that we needed confirmation that this ministry was of Him and He gave it to us in this way. I can cite healing after healing that occurred in just about the same way. All of them were objectively verifiable. Not every one was as much on the target as this mother's words were, but there was a noticeable difference in the behavior of one or more of the family members after the prayers for healing of generations were done.

This is the way it is with healing of generations. There is no way to really explain how this kind of healing takes place. It is a mystical experience. It is pure grace from beginning to end. It is the act of a generous Father, taking place through the loving presence of his Son, Jesus Christ, as one person prays for another, empowered by the Holy Spirit. It begins when a person seeks help with a desire to be healed of his or her own hurt and break the bondage of the family's past, relying on Jesus to do this. When such a person becomes an intercessor for the other members of the family and turns to our Lord for healing He is always there for them.

I firmly believe that today God is preparing the soil of his Church by showing us how to take the rocks, and brambles, and thorns out of the hearts and souls of our families through the ministry called the healing of generations. He is doing this from his compassionate heart, because he has had enough of seeing the suffering of His people, of hearing their cries for help! He is doing this because he loves us and wants us to be whole, and because he wishes to prepare us for the service of his kingdom! Jesus is preparing the soil. He is freeing his people so that they may live joyful, Christ–centered lives. He is healing them so that they may "bring forth fruit in a good and patient heart."

Fall 1996 Issue