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What is a generational curse? A generational curse is God’s recompense or return in the life of a person and their descendants as a result of iniquity. A curse is a legal entry or doorway for demons. It is a habitual sin in the life of someone in the generations before you. Habitual sin causes transgressions to become iniquity. Iniquity is a well-worn path. Iniquity is found 215 times in the Old Testament and it means to bend, make crooked, or pervert. This iniquity becomes a curse and is passed down when the sin is not repented of and broken up to four generations.

Proverb 26:2 “Like the sparrow in her wandering, like the swallow in her flying, so the causeless curse shall not alight.”

A curse does not just happen to fall on you for no reason. There is a cause for a curse and it is iniquity in the previous generations.

Exodus 20:5 (AMP) “You shall not worship them nor serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and fourth generations…”

Lamentations 5:7 “Our fathers have sinned and we have borne their iniquity.”

Sin becomes iniquity when it is habitually practiced and not broken or repented of. Iniquity is sin practiced that becomes ingrained behavior. That habitual sin and ingrained behavior must be broken (the cycle broken). There must be a dramatic change for the “sin of the fathers” not to be passed down.

This is how a generational curse operates:

Deuteronomy 28:45 (AMP) “All these curses shall come upon you and shall pursue you and overtake you till you are destroyed…”

First it comes upon you, then the sin eventually over- takes you with the intent of holding you in bondage until it destroys your life.


When a man or woman commits a sin – continues in that sin habitually – doesn’t repent or get free from the sin…then – it is passed down. There must be a dramatic change for it not to be passed down.

Generational curses are not automatically broken. They are broken intentionally through determined, sincere repentance followed by a dramatic change of behavior.

The extreme fear in my life had been passed down to me by my father. He was a good, solid, Christian man who had died when I was 23. By the way, he was saved, spirit-filled, and living in obedience to God. This was my condition as well. I found myself at the age of 35 completely bound by fear. I was in love with Jesus, Spirit-filled, a pastor’s wife, and was walking in obedience. How could fear have such a hold on someone like that? It is because the devil’s stronghold is in the soul, not the spirit. The soul is the mind, will, and emotions. Most churches, denominations, and pastors have no idea that they themselves and their people need deliverance.

Isaiah 5:13 (AMPC) states: “Therefore, My people go into captivity (to their enemies) without knowing it.”

Ask yourselves these eight questions to expose a curse operating in your family:

  1. Do you recognize a pattern of failure?
  2. Is there a history of premature death or suicide in your family?
  3. Do you exhibit a high level of anger?
  4. Have you experienced a high incidence of accidents that are unusual in nature?
  5. Is there a history of abuse (physical, emotional, or sexual)?
  6. Is there a history of chronic illness, including long-term health problems?
  7. Is there a history of mental illness that seems to have progressed through generations?
  8. Are any of these personality behaviors prevalent: control; manipulation; addiction; co-dependency; depression; unforgiveness; or social isolation?

With each spirit, you should break generational curses from both mother’s and father’s sides of the family.

Sample prayer:

I break the generational curse off of _____________ in Jesus’ name. I apply the blood of Jesus to the blood line and break of the curse of ___________ in Jesus’ name. I close the door and seal it with the blood of Jesus. I declare Galatians 3:13 over him/her, that Jesus hung on a tree to become a curse and to pay for the curse for them. I decree and declare that he/she is blessed, not cursed.


We must get mad at the devil and turn from all sin, disobedience, and unholiness in our lives! The blood of Jesus is available to us to be set free from every sin, iniquity, or curse. We must apply the blood of Jesus specifically and turn from that sin. Then there will be a dramatic change in us and the curse will not be passed down to our children.

We are Abraham’s offspring and we are blessed. The blessings are passed down 1000 generations of those who love Him. We are set free to set others free. He who the Son sets free is free indeed! Curses need not dominate or affect our lives since Jesus became a curse for us. That provision from the cross must be appropriated. Just as salvation is appropriated through verbal repentance, curses are broken through verbal repentance as well. Repentance means to turn around and walk in the opposite direction.


Deborah Berteau, wife of Pastor Glen Berteau, have been in ministry 40 years. Together, they pastor The House in Modesto, CA., a church of 9,000. Her passion and in-depth study of prayer, fasting, intercession, and breaking generational curses have resulted in House of Prayer service with 1,000 attending weekly. Her legacy is seeded in her three children and five grandchildren, who are all in full time ministry.

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