Cloak of Peace

Searching for Home

I grew up in a family that had practiced Santeria, which is a form of witchcraft in the Puerto Rican community. My mother and my grandmother both practiced it, and for a time, I began to wonder if it was real and I dabbled in it myself. This was before I met Jesus, and I had no idea the ramifications Santeria could have later in life in terms of weighing me down and in some ways, keeping me confused with these practices I grew up in.

Later on in life, I came to know Jesus. About a year ago I started coming to City Beautiful Church, and as I dug into community here, close friends started to mention that it seemed like something heavy was weighing me down, and that maybe there was some inner healing I could walk through if I ever felt I knew what the source was. It’s true that I felt like something dark, even demonic, was trying to hold onto me. But I didn’t have a revelation about what it could be, until I attended the Beloved – Searching For Home weekend. That’s when things began to dramatically shift for me.

It was there at the Beloved weekend, as Ric spoke about generational inheritance and generational demons, that something within me stirred. I began to understand that Santeria was not good for me, and that my family’s agreement with it, along with my own personal dabbling, needed to be broken off of me. It was hindering my walk with the Lord and trying to hold me back from truly being in the light. I finally understood, finally saw, that my mother, mother’s mother, and her mother before that let these demons infest our lives. Those things led me to do the same, to dabble and agree with an ultimately evil path.

I decided I needed to pray with the team right then. I found Greg and explained what was going on, and he gathered the team to come alongside me and pray. They blessed me, anointed me in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, spoke life over me. Then we, together, disagreed with every darkness, every demonic entity and anything that would seek to attach itself to me, my family, the generations of the past and the generations to come. During this prayer time, someone spoke “your mother is going to receive this healing too!” and I was so excited and comforted at the thought. I felt a tremendous amount of emotions move through me as we prayed, until finally, joy. I could feel the blanket of Jesus cover me. He could finally begin his work in me without hindrance or opposition.

When Sunday evening came at church, with Jesus’ peace as a welcome cloak, I could feel the presence of God within me. I was empowered by the Spirit to speak truth to other people, and I did. I let Jesus do his work. Nothing was weighing me down. The cycle of darkness over my family was broken!

The miracle for me was evident that Sunday night as I lay in a deep sleep. I woke up with a start and I genuinely felt a dark presence in the room beginning to stir. Something was trying to threaten me again, so I prayed. I prayed for the blanket of Jesus, for His power to keep me protected against darkness. I felt Him in that moment. I felt how He protected me and it was glorious. I was able to say “NO” out loud to the dark presence, and then turn over peacefully and fall back asleep, safe in the arms of Christ. In this way, Beloved literally changed my life. I have found a new freedom!

Something tremedous happened at Beloved, something powerful and life-giving and I cherish it because it was so real to me. The Lord Jesus, through my friends at City Beautiful, took ahold of me and bathed me in the light, breaking off these dark chains that were trying to bind themselves to me. I have never felt more free from my past. From the things of my mother and her family and even her actions. Free from a faith full of evil. I pray for the continued healing of my mother as she dives more into Christ. I know that it will be more powerful yet for her when she can finally let those things go as well. Please pray for her if you feel lead.

Zory Rodriguez