By Gena Barnhill @BarnhillGena
Any involvement with the occult can allow the enemy to negatively influence us and our families. Sometimes we step into the area of the occult not understanding the possible negative ramifications. Other times, people knowingly seek the occult to gain information about the future or for power and domination.
Occult practices could include reading horoscopes, visiting fortune tellers, séances, playing with the Ouija board, and using Tarot cards, to name a few. Individuals involved in occult practices have cast spells or curses to seek revenge or to manipulate others. Although this practice may seem far-fetched in our western culture, it does happen. I was surprised to learn that a close friend’s mother cast spells on others, including her children. These spells and curses continued to negatively impact her children into adulthood.How Do Occult Spirits Affect Us? The A-B-C Series on Ancestral Influences #occult #prayer #spiritualwarfare Click To Tweet
When I grew up in the Sixties, a popular Christmas gift was the Ouija Board, also known as talking board or spirit board. This game included a board marked with letters of the alphabet, numbers, and the words “yes,” “no,” and “good-bye.” Participants asked questions and placed their fingers on a plastic or wooden object that moved around the board to spell out the answers. My parents bought this game for my brother and me as a joint Christmas gift.
Playing with the Ouija Board seemed like innocent fun at that time, and no one recognized that this naïve curiosity could open the door to darkness. Fortunately, my brother and I only used the Ouija Board a couple of times. Later, as an adult, when I learned this could open the door to negative spirits, I renounced it, asked the Lord for forgiveness, and requested Jesus to close this door. I felt a sense of peace afterward.
In my teens, my friends and I read our horoscopes for fun. Again, we had no idea this practice was not wise. The horoscopes in the newspaper naturally piqued our interest in learning each day’s prediction. As with the Ouija Board, I later renounced this.
Each of these practices seeks information about the future through means other than asking the Lord. The enemy loves to take advantage of this and have us seek power and authority through him rather than through God. The devil tried to coerce Jesus into following him by promising him all the kingdoms of the world. (See Matthew 4: 1-11.) As believers in Jesus, we have power and authority in our Lord. We need to recognize this power and authority and exercise it by leaning to him for direction in all areas of our lives.
Involvement in false belief systems, cults, secret societies, and contact with unholy objects are other avenues the enemy uses to access a person’s life.
New Age teachings are an example of a false belief system based on partial truths. These teachings can be compelling because they use some Christian terms and refer to Jesus. They do not describe the same Jesus portrayed in the Bible. Jesus is referred to as an esteemed spiritual teacher, but not as the Son of God. The deception comes when they emphasize the person’s spiritual authority comes from within the individual. Christians believe their power and authority are based on the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Thus, a Christian’s identity is rooted in Christ, not in the belief in their divinity.
Cults have deceived and misled people throughout history. Charismatic leaders, such as Reverend Jim Jones, David Koresh, and Marshall Applewhite, used false teachings and manipulation to control and exploit their followers. Their doctrines did not line up with the character of God.
Membership in secret societies is another way darkness can enter a person’s life, and members can come under the authority of false teaching. These organizations and associations have appealed to people who found their identity and connection with others through membership in these exclusive groups.
One well-known organization active today that requires initiation rituals and has its members swear to secrecy is the Freemasons. We have known individuals who claimed they only received business contracts because they were Masons. Former Masons have written about Freemasonry’s deception that begins when the candidate is initiated and continues throughout all degrees attained.
My husband and I have prayed to break curses associated with Freemasonry with people whose parents or ancestors were Freemasons. They suffered as a result of covenants and agreements their ancestors made years before, which manifested in their current lives in physical ailments, as well as intense fear. Some people did not personally know their ancestor, who was a Freemason. In the prayer session, they renounced the oaths and curses associated with the various degrees of Freemasonry.
Contact with unholy things, including various types of media and objects, can allow darkness access to operate in our lives. Exposure to pornography, horror movies, and violence can invite spirits of fear, lust, or aggression.
My family may have unknowingly been exposed to unholy objects when my brother brought home souvenirs from his overseas naval career travels. One time, he gave our mother a set of shields and some other items from a trip to Africa. My mother hung them on the wall in her family room. We were unaware of the impact of evil forces at that time.
Many years later, when my mother removed the shields and other souvenirs, she said she noticed a definite peace in her home that had been absent for some time. She asked me if I thought the presence of the shields had caused the perceived tension. Although not all items from Africa may have had occult attachments, my mother’s souvenir shields may have carried some negative influences.*
When we are aware of occult influences in our lives, we can reject and renounce them and ask for forgiveness for any part we may have played in holding on to these effects. If a generational pattern is identified, we can pray against these negative ancestral influences, forgive our ancestors and ourselves for yielding to their influences, and then declare the words below from Simple Effective Prayer: A Model for Inner Healing:
I completely sever all contact with the occult, and I break the power of (Name the specific form(s) of the occult here) over my life and the lives of my current family and future generations, based on the finished work of Christ on the cross.**
Then we ask for blessings from the Holy Spirit in place of these negative occult influences and request an infilling of the Lord’s truth, peace, and power.
Now it is your turn. What evidence of occult influences have you seen?
Be sure to share your thoughts in our Facebook Group Healing Prayer Discussion.
We are all stronger when we learn from each other—looking forward to your input.
*Content in this blog is from Freedom from Brokenness-Lessons Learned through Inner Healing Prayer (Birmingham, AL: Brookstone Publishing Group, 2022), 35-39.
**This is an excerpt from Simple Effective Prayer: A Model for Inner Healing (Birmingham, AL: Brookstone Publishing Group, 2022), 26.