The Orphan Spirit–dealing with rejection

I asked my friend to put me on the prayer list because I never feel like I belong anywhere. Now, this was at my bible study group where I have been attending for 3 or 4 years and they are the greatest bunch of ladies you could ever meet. But there was still something inside telling me I didn’t belong.

Someone must have prayed (!) because God started leading me to all kinds of information about the “orphan spirit.” Long story short: When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, their link as children of God was broken. They were now servants of the earth, condemned to work hard to farm the land.

Jesus reversed the curse, and told us that we are now His “friends” and that He was going back to the Father who loves us. ( John 14)   Paul tells us in Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

If we don’t know that we are adopted by God, we certainly don’t feel like it or act like it.

I wanted to take all this info (research) and put it into my own words, but I am short of time these days, so I am just going to “Info Dump” what I have found so far. I hope it will help someone else like it has helped me. I also hope I will be able to rewrite it another day…


This section is by David Hino:

An orphan spirit is person who lacks emotional identity and seeks to earn his identity through his/her efforts.  Their symptoms include a critical spirit, being defensive, unable to take correction, feeling abandoned and blames others.

(Haven’t we all met someone like that? –me)

The apostle Paul admonishes the church in Galatia who have the orphan spirit for they try to earn their sense of value through their works.  (Galatians 3:1-5)  With the orphan spirit, they have become resistant to the work of the Holy Spirit.  Ever wonder why some Christians are resistant to the work of the Holy Spirit?  Maybe it is not a theology issue, maybe it is more an orphan spirit that needs to be healed.

The ancient Roman concept of adoption is quite different from our concept of adoption.  The Romans adopted adult children.  Romans were not looking for babies who were helpless and left without parents.  The Romans were looking for mature young men who usually had two living parents.  These adopted children would inherit their new father’s social standing, wealth and political power.  An adopted son would have all the rights as child born in a family.

(I wish this was the custom in the USA, but it’s not so let’s move on —me)

Romans 8.15 declares, “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

Ephesians 1.5, states, “He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,”

God has a Roman understanding of adoption. When God adopts us He breaks off the orphan spirit and brings us into a new social standing, wealth, and power.  God adopts us not because we are unworthy but because we are worthy.  Too many Christians do not understand the unlimited resources from God at our disposal and live as orphans.

We live in this dichotomy.  The moment we realize that we have nothing before God and all our efforts mean little, then God says we have everything and our efforts mean so much.  On the other hand, when we believe that our efforts change the mind of God, then He says, “When did it become all about you and not about me?”

Are you fully adopted by God?  Are you free from the orphan spirit?  Do you hear the words that God declares over you, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” (Matthew 3:17)  Are you ready to embrace the full inheritance that the Father in heaven has for you now on earth?  Adopted children know their emotional identity, walk in their God given destiny and embrace the eternal resources that God has for them.


 This is from a fellow blogger on wordpress:

By Grace =

A prayer for someone else:

I plead the Blood of Jesus upon (insert name) and I bind every spirit of an orphan from their lives.  I loose and release the Holy Spirit to hover over them to bring healing and deliverance.   Lord, you are their Father and I pray that they will receive the spirit of adoption (Romans 8:15) and that they will call You, “Abba”.  Lord I pray that healing will come to every area of their hearts.  Where their heart has become stony, I pray that you would make it a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19). Lord, I ask that you will bring committed spiritual fathers into their lives to cover them in prayer, to give them direction and to love them.  God, please help this spiritual father to have the mind and heart of Christ.  In Jesus name, Amen.


When praying for spiritual orphans, it is very likely that you are one of the only people praying for them.  They have very little spiritual covering because they constantly reject it.  Keep praying for them even when you do not see results.  Most of these individuals do love Jesus but they have been deeply hurt and are functioning out of woundedness that has allowed the enemy a foothold.

A prayer for yourself:

Jesus, please forgive me for embracing the attitudes, actions and heart of an orphan.  Your heart and desire for me is that I am a healthy part of a spiritual family.  I break all soul ties I have formed with an orphan spirit in Jesus name.  I bind my body, heart and spirit to God’s will and purpose for me, in Jesus name.  Lord, I ask that you would heal my mind and my heart from the spirits of abandonment, rejection and fatherlessness.  God please help me to have the heart of a son and please help me to turn my heart toward my spiritual father.  Lord, please help me to pray for and support the spiritual fathers you have placed in my life.  Please help me to model the attitude and heart that Jesus had toward You as He walked this earth.  Lord, please reveal to me all areas in my life that have been wounded.  Please heal those areas and make me whole.  Lord I ask that you would help me to forgive everyone who I looked to as a spiritual father or leader who wounded me or failed me.  Lord, please help me to commit to a church and spiritual father.  In Jesus Name, Amen.


 This is from the website :

“The orphan spirit causes one to live life as if he does not have a safe and
secure place in the Father’s heart. He feels he has no place of affirmation, protection,
comfort, belonging, or affection. Self-oriented, lonely, and inwardly isolated, he has no
one from whom to draw Godly inheritance. Therefore, he has to strive, achieve,
compete, and earn everything he gets in life. It easily leads to a life of anxiety, fears,
and frustration.” –Jack Frost

The term “orphan spirit”, has deep meaning, for everyone.  God created us to belong.  He created us to be treasured.  He created us to need and long for human touch.  He created us to both receive love and to give love.

There are many reasons why we might be living with an orphan spirit, even as Believers.  Maybe we didn’t feel treasured by someone important to us.  Maybe we didn’t receive proper physical touch.  Maybe we were abused.  Maybe we didn’t develop authentic, deep, meaningful relationships with our loved ones?  Maybe we didn’t receive unconditional love.  Maybe we actually got all of those things, but we’ve been living with an orphan spirit without even realizing it and it’s become a way of life for us.  A habit.

Habits that may cause us to search for acceptance, significance, and identity in all the wrong places.  We may seek the approval and praise of man.  We may feel a deep need to be recognized for our service, for the things we do.  We may have critical spirits and place blame on others.  We may be jealous of others.

We may be strong Believers with a heart for serving Him, yet our motives are from the heart of an orphan instead of from the heart of sonship.

— —

This is from

Romans 8:16 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,(ESV)

In this marvelous passage from Romans 8 Paul is talking about the role of the Holy Spirit in bringing us into an experience of Sonship. His Spirit talks to our spirit and tells us that we are His sons. We belong. We are connected. We are safe and secure. We are loved and valued for who we are. We are all longing for this kind of connection. We were made for it. A human spirit that doesn’t experientially know this kind of Father to Son connection is what some refer to as an “orphan” spirit, a spirit that is fatherless. I believe the orphan spirit is rampant in our generation.

God wants to heal the orphan spirit. The Holy Spirit wants to talk to your spirit. Picture your spirit like a branch attached to a vine (see John 15), receiving from the vine everything you need. The Holy Spirit wants to impart love to you, belonging, security, identity, provision, and value – everything a good father gives to his children.



The Difference Between the Orphan Spirit and a Spirit of Sonship   by Joseph Mattera


Ever since Adam and Eve were alienated from God the Father in the Garden of Eden, an orphan spirit has permeated the earth, causing untold damage! (By “orphan,” I am referring to a sense of abandonment, loneliness, alienation and isolation.) Almost immediately after the fall in Eden, the fruit of this orphan spirit resulted in jealousy, culminating in Cain murdering his brother Abel because God the Father didn’t receive Cain’s offering. To make matters worse, in contemporary society, with the breakup of the nuclear family, large amounts of people are not only alienated from God but are brought up without the loving care and security of their biological fathers.

I believe all of the emotional, physical and spiritual ills of society can be traced to humans feeling alienated from God and their biological fathers. Orphaned men have a hard time connecting to their spouses, their children, those in spiritual authority and their supervisors, and they have a hard time accepting and loving themselves. There are presently millions of incarcerated men who are acting out lives of violence and rebellion because their earthly fathers abandoned them. There are churches filled with pastors and leaders who use people and destroy relationships because they are driven to succeed, and it’s due to their need for a father’s affirmation—which is a hole too large for ministry success or performance to fill.

The only way to break this orphan spirit is for people to be filled with a sense of the Father’s love for them in Christ, which then enables them to become mature sons who serve God out of knowledge of His undeserved grace instead of trying to earn the Father’s love through performance.

The orphan spirit is perhaps the greatest curse on the earth today. It will take spiritual parents with great spiritual depth and authority to break and reverse this curse to perpetuate a generational blessing. Only when a person is healed of fatherlessness through the love of God is theorphan spirit broken so they can begin the process of entering mature sonship. Sonship is so important that all creation is presently crying out for the manifestation of the mature sons of God (Rom. 8:19)!

The following 11 traits contrast the orphan spirit from the spirit of sonship:

  1. The orphan spirit operates out of insecurity and jealousy.The spirit of sonship functions out of love and acceptance.

Those with an orphan spirit are constantly battling jealousy and insecurity, since security originates in a secure relationship with our parents. Those with an orphan spirit are so insecure, they even have a hard time hearing a biological or spiritual father praise their siblings or co-laborers. But those with the spirit of sonship are so secure in the Father’s love and favor that they’re content to serve in any capacity needed, whether or not they are in charge or celebrated in the process.

  1. The orphan spirit is jealous of the success of his brothers. The mature son is committed to the success of his brothers.

Those with an orphan spirit are happy when their brother fails because it makes them feel good about themselves. On the other hand, those with the spirit of sonship joyfully commit themselves to serve, celebrate and help their brothers succeed, since they don’t work for human accolades but out of a deep sense of the love and affirmation of Father God.

  1. The orphan spirit serves God to earn the Father’s love. The mature son serves God out of a sense of divine acceptance and favor.

Along these lines, those with an orphan spirit are constantly striving and trying to earn the Father’s love through accomplishment in ministry or career. Those with a spirit of sonship already know they are accepted in Christ and serve others out of the abundance of this acceptance.

  1. The orphan spirit tries to medicate its deep internal alienation through physical stimulation. The mature son walks in the joy and presence of the Lord for comfort.

Those with an orphan spirit are constantly trying to push down their sense of alienation, loneliness and lack of self-worth through constant work, going from one relationship to the next, physical gratification and a life of narcissism and self-indulgence. However, the more they indulge, the more addicted they become and the larger the hole in their heart becomes because only the love of the Father can fill the deep emotional needs they have.

Those walking in sonship bask in the presence and love of God and practice the joy of the Lord continually as their source of strength because they understand that grounding their security and self-life in anything other than God is like trying to build a house on sinking sand.

  1. The orphan spirit is driven by the need for success. The Spirit leads the mature son into his calling and mission.

Many attempt to accomplish great things to satisfy the deep yearning in their hearts for their father’s approval. This results in them being driven to succeed instead of being led by the Spirit. Even many leaders get their churches into huge debt to build huge buildings, driving the people around them because they are blinded by their own innate feelings of inadequacy. They think they can feel good about themselves with great accomplishments.

Only those with a strong sense of sonship will allow the Lord to direct them and bring opportunities to them without trying to drum up their own success.

  1. The orphan spirit uses people as objects to fulfill goals. Mature sons serve people to bless the kingdom.

Those with an orphan spirit tend to use people as objects to accomplish their goals. Whenever we objectify people, we manipulate them with words threats, and anything necessary to have our way and control them. Mature people who walk in sonship don’t use people; they serve and release people to fulfill their destiny in Christ.

  1. The orphan spirit repels children. The spirit of sonship attracts children.

Leaders and parents with an orphan spirit are constantly in turmoil, fighting and striving for their own way, which gives their spiritual children the sense that their leader is in competition with them instead of loving them. This results in repelling spiritual and biological children, which can forfeit influence over the next generation! Those who walk in sonship walk in the Father’s anointing and draw children toward them because their children hear the voice of a shepherd who cares for them.

  1. The orphan spirit has anger and fits of rage. The spirit of sonship rests in the Father’s ability to control and guide the future.

Those with an orphan spirit have issues with uncontrollable anger, fits of rage and other forms of manipulation because they feel they must control others and their circumstances in order to fulfill their goals. This is because they lack the trust necessary in their heavenly Father to guide and control their future.

Those walking in sonship walk in the Father’s rest and have ceased from their own works so the Father can have His way in their lives.

  1. The orphan spirit is always in competition with others. The spirit of sonship is always blessing others.

Those with an orphan spirit are always trying to outdo others in their church, family, business or denomination because they receive their identity through being better than everyone else. Those who walk in sonship are constantly seeing how they can bless others, since they already have the affirmation of God in their souls. They want to freely share His love with others.

  1. The orphan spirit lacks self-esteem. The spirit of sonship walks in the love and acceptance of Father God.

Those with an orphan spirit have a hard time loving and accepting themselves. Those walking in sonship are filled with a sense of divine love and acceptance that enables them to walk confidently in the joy of the Lord in spite of the fact that all humans are sinners and fall short of the glory of God.

  1. The orphan spirit receives its primary identity through material possessions, physical appearance and activities. The spirit of sonship is grounded in sonship and the Father’s affirmation.

Those with an orphan spirit never have enough career success, material possessions, pleasure or illicit relationships to satisfy the hole in their heart related to their identity. Consequently, they are constantly striving to gain satisfaction through the use of various things or people in their lives. In many cases, even their form of dress—including an inordinate amount of tattoos, skin piercings and hairdos—can be their way of standing out as unique in a cry for attention due to a lack of self-esteem and fatherly affirmation.

Those who walk in sonship are so grounded in their divine Father’s affirmation that they can be satisfied serving in the background and can celebrate the success and attention others receive. The void in their soul has already been filled with the unconditional love of the Father.

In conclusion, the greatest gift known to humankind is to accept, receive and walk in the love of the Father, who so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that we may not perish or waste our lives away but experience the abundant life that only our divine Father can give.

This article originally appeared on

Joseph Mattera has been in full-time ministry since 1980 and is currently the presiding bishop of Christ Covenant Coalition and the overseeingbBishop of Resurrection Church in New York, a multiethnic congregation of 40 nationalities. He has hosted his own radio show, Light Your City, and a weekly cable television program, The Ekklesia. He is the author of four theological books on the kingdom of God, entitledRuling in the Gates (2003), Kingdom Revolution (2009), Kingdom Awakening (2010) and Walk in Generational Blessings (2012).



I hope this info helps you or someone you know. I realize it is not my funniest post, and there are no pictures of Bailey today, but I felt it was needed.



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12 thoughts on “The Orphan Spirit–dealing with rejection

  1. I glanced at this post last night but knew I wanted to savor it for the morning when I was awake before everyone else. I’m so glad you shared this! I’d never heard of the orphan spirit but just the other day I was driving and prayed God would send people into my life who could explain to me why some people feel on the inside with God and some others (like me, too!) feel on the outside even though we believe intellectually that we are God’s loved children.

    It’s funny because the series of books I’m writing about Buck Crenshaw is totally about the orphan spirit! I often ask God to use my writing for his glory but never know exactly how he’ll do it. Buck feels abandoned by his earthly father but marries a girl with the adopted spirit (funny she’s actually a worldly orphan). Buck can’t understand her serene confidence and is at once repelled and attracted to her. All along he bitterly shakes his fist at God thinking he must perform and drives himself crazy.

    This post has revealed the theme of my books! God uses such chance things to speak to us! It’s shocking.

    From one orphan spirit to another–thank you so much!



    1. Adrienne, thanks so much for your comments. I felt I needed to just get the info out there asap. I had intended to write it up pretty in my own words, but as you know we are renting and are looking for a house. My life is unsettled (which God is using to help me understand unsettled people!!–so glad nothing is wasted in God’s economy) — so it’s hard for me to sit down and write like I would like. Other than an occasional pic of Bailey, or our tales of flooding, it’s been tough to blog!!! I’m glad this info can help you in your book!!!!



  2. Amen, amen, and amen! Awesome post. God is calling His sons right now to walk into the destiny that He has planned for them… but we have to be healed and “die to self”. God bless you, my sister!!


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