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Prayer and Faith: How to Spiritually Cover Your Family

In 2016, at age 46, I made Jesus Lord and began to take care of my brokenness and hurts for the first time in my life. Even today, as the Lord reveals wounds or traumas from the past or as new ones occur, I am quick to run after healing. To resolve the majority of these issues, we must enter into the process of forgiving others while remaining sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in a lifestyle of repentance. 

I was a wounded father and was not able to father my children well, especially in their teenage years. Not surprisingly, I was a teenager when my first major life trauma occurred. I couldn’t give my children what I didn’t have. I discovered a wounded father is very limited in his ability to be a healthy father. I had not been discipled, so I did not disciple my children well. As a result, my daughters lacked godly teaching, protection, boundaries, identity, and role modeling in their peak developmental years. This changed as God progressively healed me, shifting my identity from an orphan to a son. As I began to relate to God as my Heavenly Father, I could model healthy fatherhood to my daughters. In the process, I discovered what providing a Godly covering over my home means. (To learn more about covering, read my previous blog on Spiritual Covering)

Sins of the Fathers

The Bible describes generational sin that comes down from the third and fourth generation. In the case of sexual sin, it’s passed down to the tenth generation. A mother and father can cleanse the generational iniquities and not pass them on to their children. Ideally, generational iniquity needs to be dealt with when your children are below the age of accountability (in Jewish tradition, this is between 12-14 years old). 

Tragically, my daughter Abbe was murdered before I was able to deal with my family’s generational issues. However, my remaining daughter, Bryn, is reaping the benefits of God’s healing work in our family. When we deal with traumas, generational iniquities, ungodly beliefs, soul ties, etc., based on the finished work of the cross and the power of the blood, we have less and less in common with the enemy, giving a curse no place to land.

“An undeserved curse will be powerless to harm you. It may flutter over you like a bird, but it will find no place to land.” –Proverbs 26:2, TPT

How do you deal with generational iniquity? 

  • Acknowledge and repent of any ongoing sin in your family line.
  • Take active steps to end sinful behavior if needed (getting accountability, going through inner healing, asking for forgiveness where necessary, going to counseling, etc.)
  • Get rid of any family physical objects that are spiritually unclean.
  • Break any curses known or unknown over your family and appropriate the blood of Jesus over your family line. Restoring the Foundation is a powerful ministry to address these and bring freedom to many areas. 
  • Bless your children! (See this blog on the importance of the father’s blessing and this blog on the mother’s blessing.) 

Fathering Like THE Father

The relationship we seek with our heavenly Father is the same relationship our children seek with us. We have the enormous privilege of representing the Father to our children. To represent our Father well, it is important to progress in healing, be open, vulnerable, authentic, and live a godly life. Being a good father is not about perfection; it’s about living a life in pursuit of God and growing in Christlikeness.  

Children need fathers, contrary to what the media says. Consider the following: 

When a father is involved, children are 2 times more likely to go to college, 80% less likely to go to jail, and 75% less likely to have a teen pregnancy. When a father is following the Lord, there is an 80% chance their children will also follow the Lord.

Meanwhile, children raised in “father-absent” homes “account for 71% of high school dropouts, 90% of homeless and runaway children, and 63% of youth suicides.” Less than 20% of children will follow the Lord when only the mother is following the Lord.

When I think of how my compromise as a father impacts my children and their children (and beyond), it provides a new reverence for holiness and purity. I now live a lifestyle that includes tearing down strongholds, removing ungodly beliefs, filling myself with the Word, and getting deliverance as I unlearn the ways of the world and learn the ways of His kingdom.  

The Head of the House = Servant of All

I know I can’t give my family (or others) what I don’t already have, so increasing freedom and wholeness are top priorities. As a man fears the Lord and delights in His ways, look at the incredible promises of God that unfold for his household! We can declare the many promises of God, knowing He is faithful to fulfill His Word, which will not return void but will accomplish His purposes! 

“Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!) Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who fears the Lord [with awe-inspired reverence and worships Him with obedience], Who delights greatly in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, And his righteousness endures forever.” –Psalms 112:1-2, AMP

Fathers are called to lead their households. In addition, fathers are the prophet, priest, and king of their families. As a prophet, we encourage, envision, and speak words of life to our children. As a priest, we get to intercede for our family and teach the Word of God. As a king, fathers are to lead, honor, protect, provide, govern, discipline, and provide clear and healthy boundaries. What does all this equal? Servant leadership. As leaders, fathers serve, carry burdens, and make sacrifices for the family.

None of these things are overly difficult as we appropriate the victory of Jesus to every area of our lives. After I made God my number one and gave Him my full yes, the resources and people I needed to help me heal began to enter into my life. It has been an incredible ongoing process. 

Prayer Covering

The prayers of a mother and father are powerful, especially as they are declared in unity over their children and family. Praying together as a family with your children is also important to make prayer part of their daily lives, activating the family Ekklesia (more on this later). I particularly like to pray Psalm 91 for covering. 

Establishing a set time and topics to pray about (gratitude is a great place to start) is great for helping establish a rhythm of prayer. I didn’t do this when my girls were little, so establishing a regular prayer life was an uphill battle for many years. Praying together at meal times or incorporating a weekly blessing could also become part of your family routine.

It has also been a massive blessing and privilege to be connected to the body of Christ. Being in relationship with the family of believers allows for prayer over each other, our families, and all that God has for us, including our leaders and nation. Prayer is a critical source of ongoing covering and shifting the atmosphere for Earth to be as it is in heaven. We are designed to love one another, need one another, be interdependent, to be in relationship, and carry one another in prayer. Fight for your family and stand firm on the powerful promises of God!

Fight for Your Family Through Prayer

Prayer is essential for protection and enforcing victory against the enemy’s schemes. When a mother and father come to agreement in prayer (and in unity within the marriage), the authority they have in the Spirit to war over their family is unmatched. Even as a single father joined in prayer with the saints, I have seen God perform miracles in my daughter Bryn’s life. 

I often need to remind myself that God’s timing is not always my timing. God sees in whole, and I see in part. Though Bryn has been rescued from the depths of darkness and knows intimately what it looks like to have a relationship with the Lord, a war still rages on for her life. I pray almost as much for her now as I did before she became a Christian. The power of prayer is undeniable, and as Job 22:28 states, “You will also decide and decree a thing, and it will be established for you; And the light [of God’s favor] will shine upon your ways” (AMP).  

God’s Word will not return void (Isaiah 55:11) but will accomplish everything it is sent to do. As we declare God’s Word, we stand in faith, which is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1) God loves our families more than we could ever imagine. He is faithful, infinitely good, and more than able to complete what He starts. 

Living From a Position of Faith

Part of covering our families comes from living in a position of faith, even when our circumstances aren’t what we expect. Suppose we allow ourselves to be moved into self-pity or victimization when life gets hard. In that case, the covering we provide will be impacted, allowing unbelief to set in through agreement with the enemy. 

Paul was chosen by God to be the apostle and the covering to the Gentiles, and Peter was chosen by God to be the apostle and covering to the Jews. Paul went through intense persecution, jail, beatings, stoning, and imprisonment, yet he held on to the faith, and, as a result, his covering over the Gentiles remained intact. The anointing Paul carried was by the grace of God, and his job was to steward it well. 

If we look at Hebrews 11, many of the men and women listed died, not seeing what they had held faith for come to pass. They are called “heroes of the faith,” as their faith for the “not yet” accomplished much for the kingdom of God in the Spirit and future generations. Of course, Jesus is the ultimate hero of the faith! What first appeared to His disciples as a total defeat in His death was the greatest victory in the history of the world, not apparent until His resurrection! 

It is imperative that fathers as household leaders be the heroes of the faith for their children. Not only does this maintain the spiritual covering, but their walk of faith greatly impacts their children and many others.  

Submit and Stand

It is important to be diligent and intentional in constructing our lives in the Lord! As I have discovered, once I know better, I do better. As leaders and fathers, it is important to be submitted and accountable to the authority of your spiritual father and the shepherd/leader of your church, who will provide covering, discernment, soul care, and correction. I am very thankful for the mentoring of mature believers in the ways of the kingdom.

As fathers, we must stand and fight for our families in perseverance and obedience! 

As parents, we get to be the heroes for our families and set the stage for future generations. Remember that Jesus is love, and love is heroic. 

Pray for the Grace to Cover

Positioning ourselves in grace is important as the enemy works subtly, stealthily, and deceitfully, making every effort to mislead us from His grace to religious responses. I now often pray. “Lord, I ask for the grace to stay in Your grace!” I encourage you to do the same! It’s His grace that will enable us to be healed, be set free from sin, break generational sin patterns and curses, and it’s His grace that allows us to bless our children and be a covering over our families, protecting them from harm. 

If you look at how far gone my situation was and see where my daughter Bryn and I are today, it is clear there is hope for all. Thank you, Jesus! God is faithful!