We may sometimes find ourselves in an awkward position where we are expected to participate in funeral rituals that idolise the dead, worship false gods, or even invite spirits to accompany the dead to their “resting place.” We may even be asked to bow before images of the dead, their coffins, or memorial sites. By choosing to revere and pray for those who are no longer on earth, we subject our bodies, temples of the Holy Spirit, to idolatry and grieve the Spirit of God. Here is a prayer to cleanse ourselves from the spiritual defilements of our bodies and spirits from taking part in pagan funerals and memorials for the dead.
2 Corinthians 7:1 NIV Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
A prayer to cleanse ourselves from pagan funeral rituals or memorials
“Dear Heavenly Father,
I confess I felt obliged to participate in rituals for the dead that are displeasing to You. By doing so, I have grieved the Holy Spirit and defiled my own spirit. Today, I come before You to ask for Your forgiveness and for You to please wash me clean.
Psalm 51:4 ESV Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.
I repent of the ungodly rituals I took part in, such as (please name them e.g. bowing before the coffin or urn, touching the dead body, superstitious practices to prevent the dead from returning to haunt the living, actions to help the dead find their way to heaven instead of hell, calling upon deities, angels, or saints to bless the dead, sending gifts to the dead, etc.)
Exodus 20:4-5 NIV “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,
2 Corinthians 6:15-17 ESV What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you,
There were also ungodly forms of “prayers” involving (please name them e.g. chanting of various religious scriptures by monks and priests, calling upon false gods, saints, spirits for help, asking You to be lenient on the dead, etc.) I repent of being part of this, even if I did not say the prayers myself. Please cleanse me from being associated with such ungodly acts.
In addition, I repent for eating food offered for spirits of the dead.
1 Corinthians 10:19-21 ESV What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.
I also repent for speaking to the deceased person and turning to him/her for comfort and wisdom; this is a form of idolatry. I will speak only to one spirit and that is the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit.
Isaiah 8:19 NLT Someone may say to you, “Let’s ask the mediums and those who consult the spirits of the dead. With their whisperings and mutterings, they will tell us what to do.” But shouldn’t people ask God for guidance? Should the living seek guidance from the dead?
I turn away from the false belief that the dead can come back as ghosts or are able to help us.
Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 NLT The living at least know they will die, but the dead know nothing. They have no further reward, nor are they remembered. Whatever they did in their lifetime—loving, hating, envying—is all long gone. They no longer play a part in anything here on earth.
I confess that I have insulted You, oh Lord, if I have contributed money to hire mediums or spirits or pay for these pagan rituals, or taken back talismans or objects as “protection” from spirits and ghosts. I, and all that I have, belongs to You, and I repent of this insult. You are my Provider and my Protector, and I won’t allow anything to come in between us again. Please forgive me for following such foolish man-made superstitions.
Exodus 34:14 NLT You must worship no other gods, for the LORD, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
In the name of Jesus, I cut all ungodly spiritual ties with all pagan monks, mediums, or spiritists, as well as the funeral home and burial places.
Leviticus 19:31 NLT “Do not defile yourselves by turning to mediums or to those who consult the spirits of the dead. I am the LORD your God.
Holy Spirit, please teach me how to minister to the grieving family, and bless them in their time of need; whether emotionally, logistically, financially, and so forth. Please show me how I can bring comfort in practical and heartfelt ways, without having to participate in pagan customs and rituals.
James 1:27 ESV Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ESV Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
Thank you, Father, for Your never-ending grace, patience, and forgiveness.
In Jesus’ name, amen.”
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