Cruel Donations, Forced Oaths and Confronting The Religious Spirit: A Historical Perspective on Intercessory Prayer for Native America


Historical References and Anniversaries

September 27, 1850 – Donation Land Act.

The Great Divide: Resettlement and the New Economy: Oregon Donation Land Law

Definition of ‘donation’ (Merriam Webster): the act or an instance of donating: as (a) the making of a gift especially to a charity or public institution (b) a free contribution: gift.

In the KJV donations are referred to as ‘alms’ in the New Testament meaning compassionateness and beneficence toward the poor. However, the Donation Act was far from demonstrating compassion and benevolence. It took lands from the indigenous people and gave it to settlers. In a spiritual sense, it very well could have opened the door to manipulative and abusive ‘acts’ in the name of charitable giving. It certainly tainted the original intent of the word and has potentially made the subject of ‘donations’ a stumbling block in North America among indigenous peoples.

Scriptural References

Deuteronomy 15:7 & 9; Deuteronomy 24:15; Psalm 112:9; Proverbs 19:17, 22:9 & 16, 28:27; Matthew 6:1-4; Luke 11:41; Luke 12:33; Acts 3:2, 3, 10; Acts 9:36; Acts 10:2, 3, 31; Acts 24:17.

Prayer Regarding Cruel Donations

“Father, Creator of Compassion, since the dawn of time, You in Your perfect wisdom taught Your people to give freely to one another. Through time charitable gifts have become known as ‘donations’. You prompt us to give. You show us to whom and when and how much. Your Word tells us that our gifts to the poor are our acts of righteousness. Yet, we have discovered that the ruling authorities established a deceptive legal contract, calling it the Donation Land Act, in which lands belonging to indigenous peoples were wrongfully taken away and given to immigrant settlers. In so doing, they broke covenants, they defiled the land, they corrupted the original intent of the charitable giving of donations, and perverted righteousness. Yahweh, there are no words for the sorrow this brings to my heart. It is no wonder mankind uses ‘donations’ for selfish gain and no wonder that people striving to do Your work on Turtle Island struggle financially. We join together in prayer and we seek Your face and Your direction in how to pray. Restore the true purpose of giving and receiving donations. Remove the fingers of corruption, greed, selfish ambition, pride, jealousy, fear, theft and poverty from the word ‘donation’ and acts of charity. Merciful Creator, as Your people become aware of these great atrocities, we pray that You will shower Your broken and contrite people with grace and mercy. We pray that You, Justice and You, Mercy, will manifest a redemption and renewal of donations and charitable giving that will glorify Your name and accomplish Your will in North America. We pray that You will heal the hearts and lives of Your indigenous people who have suffered because of the curses attached to donations. Deliver them according to Your perfect will and mighty power. We pray that Your immigrant peoples in North America will be delivered from feeding and nurturing the curses attached to donations. We pray that You will completely cleanse all things natural and supernatural relating to donations, according to Your perfect will. Amen.”


Historical References and Anniversaries

September 9, 1598 – Forcing Pueblos to swear oaths to foreign gods and governments.

Excavations in a 17th Century Jumano Pueblo Gran Quivira

Sanctuaries of Spanish New Mexico – Scroll to Page 12.;;doc.view=print

September 8, 1883 – Sitting Bull’s Speech – Calling It What It Is Translated Otherwise. It is reported that Sitting Bull is asked to memorize a speech in English and speak it in a ceremony. Instead of the scripted English speech, he tells the audience, in his language, of the injustices of the ruling government and how he feels about it. The translator covers it up. This represents a bunch of issues by both parties.

PBS Frontier House

Old West Facts and Trivia

Comedian Mike Donovan

The Scripture talks about oaths, vows, promises, covenants, treaties and to sware / swear. As you look up all of these references, you will find that they are all used in different ways and with different meanings. I spent most of my time looking into the use of the word ‘oath’.

In the Old Testament there are 3 Hebrew words translated as ‘oath’. One means something sworn; one means to seven oneself, to swear, and / or to complete; and one means imprecation, adjure and invocation with a sense of a curse. In the New Testament there were several Greek words translated as ‘oath’. One means to declare or vow under penalty of a curse; one means to restraint, fence or limit (from a word meaning ‘boundary’); another means to put on oath or make swear; and the other an asseveration on oath.

When you read all of the Scriptures pertaining to ‘oath’ you will find references to oaths with curses, oaths as witnesses, oaths before the Lord, becoming aware of one’s oath, guilty of taking oaths, oaths under duress, foolish oaths, oaths to God, the Lord’s oath, despising oaths, false oaths, promises with oaths, sealed with oaths, and Jesus instructing people not to make oaths. Oaths are a big deal because mankind brings a lot of things upon his head by making oaths. Truly Yahweh is the only One who can make and keep an oath.

In studying with Strong’s Concordance, I found some interesting Hebrew and Greek meanings attached to the English words used in the Scripture. The words ‘sware’, ‘swear’, and ‘sworn’ are most closely related to ‘oath’ and are often interchanged. However, ‘sworn’ also includes some specifics to the power and authority of the Lord and when ‘the Lord has sworn’ that can not be attributed to mankind.

A ‘vow’ is a promise to God, a wish, a petition to God and / or a prayer. A ‘promise’ is anything spoken, a pledge, something professed, an announcement, self committal, acknowledgement, agreement, covenant, assent and / or a promise of old. A ‘covenant’ involves a contract, disposition, to stand, to place jointly, to consent or concur. A ‘treatise’ is something said.

All of that being presented, an ‘oath’ in Scripture can have elements of a promise, a vow, or a covenant, but is also different, in that it is often attached to a curse or consequence. I’m sure there is a lot more, but our English language is really limited. We are hugely at a disadvantage not knowing the width and depth of the differences expressed in the use of the Hebrew language. One thing I am certain, it is all covered under Jesus’ instruction that we should let our ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and our ‘no’ be ‘no’.

Through time, the people claiming and or walking in the power and authority of Christ, have made a mess of the natural and supernatural through speaking and forcing oaths, vows, promises, covenants and treaties, as well as the knowingly and unknowingly breaking of the before mentioned. There are also huge consequences to be dealt with as these matters are ‘revealed’ and ‘understood’. We as prayer warriors, as we acknowledge these matters, must pray with humility and wisdom. In many respects, I believe that this is at the heart of the immigrant and indigenous issues of today.

Scriptural References

Genesis 26:27-31; Exodus 22:10-15; Leviticus 5:4; Numbers 30; Deuteronomy 7:8; Deuteronomy 29:12,14; Joshua 2:17,20; Joshua 9; Judges 21:5; 1 Samuel 14:26-28; 2 Samuel 21:7; 1 Kings 2:43; 1 Kings 8:26-61; 1 Kings 18:10; 2 Kings 11:4; 1 Chronicles 16:16; 2 Chronicles 6:22; 2 Chronicles 15:12-15; Nehemiah 5:12; Nehemiah 10; Psalm 105:9; Ecclesiastes 8:2; Ecclesiastes 9; Jeremiah 11:5; Ezekiel 16:58-63; Ezekiel 17:13-19; Ezekiel 21:23, Daniel 9:11; Zechariah 8:17; Matthew 5:33-37; Matthew 14:7; Matthew 26:72, Luke 1:73; Acts 2:30; Acts 23:21, Hebrews 6:11-18; Hebrews 7:13-28; James 5:12.

Prayer Regarding Forced Oaths

“Yahweh, You have taught us the power of the spoken word. Yet, we fail to grasp the enormity of it. You have not failed. It is by Your design that we only see but a small piece of the big picture. For in Your infinite wisdom and knowledge, You know we are still striving to be good stewards of the little we do know and possess. How many times have You warned us to be slow in making oaths. Yet, how often do we demand commitment and affirmation from one another, instead of keeping our eyes on You. How often do we knowingly and unknowingly make oaths and coerce others into doing the same? Your word is clear, Jesus said we should let our ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and our ‘no’ be ‘no’. Your word warns us of the curses and consequences attached to broken oaths. In fact, how many times do we as people speak out loud the curse, as a threat, to those we are trying to manipulate and control. Father, forgive us. We truly do not know what we are doing. Even in the Church and in the name of Your Son, our Savior, Jesus, we goad people into oaths. How many times have we used alter calls, commitments of faith, church memberships, statements of faith and scripted prayers to lead people into oaths that they do not understand. Your word is clear, in their lack of knowledge and in their sin, the consequences fall on us!! However, in their understanding, they are suddenly faced with their consequences, often dazed and confused in the overwhelming revelation. Father, Your people have forced indigenous peoples into all sorts of oaths, vows, promises, covenants and treaties through the years. Your immigrant people sinned greatly in doing so. They have suffered in many ways, not even knowing why. Likewise, Your indigenous peoples carry the burdens of the curses and consequences of past oaths and vows to You and governments the moment they come to faith and are made aware. In a time when they should feel the freedom and liberty of walking in Christ, they are bound by the heavy weight of the past. Generational, historical, genocide and post traumatic stress are entangled in the consequences of making and breaking oaths. For when Your indigenous people made a vow under duress and then abandoned their vow, they were / are faced with the heavy weight of revelation and sorrow, at their new awakening to You. Yet, through our believing and turning to Christ, we are delivered from the consequences of sin and death. Great and Mighty All-Knowing Master of All, make all the crooked paths straight. Deliver Your peoples from the entanglements of past claiming of oaths and demanding of oaths that have led to sin and despair. Awaken Your Church that they will refrain from the practice of leading Your sheep into oaths and vows. For You made the original oath and vow through Your Son Jesus. You are able to keep Your vow. Our only burden is to believe and obey. Father, lift the curse that is over North American indigenous peoples through forced, foolish and false vows. Father, lift the curse that is over the North American immigrant peoples through enforcing foolish and false vows. Father, change the practice of discipleship and evangelism in North America so that it no longer promotes sin and failure through forcing people into oaths. Father, heal and deliver Your Church and nurture a healthy spreading of the Gospel according to Your perfect will. Thank You Faithful One. Amen”


One of the subjects that Yahweh put on my heart for prayer is regarding the religious spirit that is often allowed / released in our prayers. One of the areas non-indigenous people ‘project’ through religious prayers is in the area of the power and authority of indigenous people. Often indigenous peoples’ power and authority in Yeshua is ignored, under appreciated, de-valued and un-recognized by Believers. Instead a different view of what that power and authority ‘should be’ is released through prayer.

However, we see in history that Yahweh arranged opportunities between indigenous peoples of North America and peoples from other countries numerous times. Religious and racial pride often got in the way of His will being accomplished to the fullest. Remember the concept of oaths, vows, promises, treaties, covenants and the spoken word as we pray regarding the religious spirit and pre-conceived notions.

Historical References and Anniversaries

September 17, 1966 – North American Indigenous Delegates meet with Others.

Phil Konstantin writes in “This Day In North American Indian History” that there was a gathering of representatives of 17 tribes and people from all over the world. Many were seeking a sign and some felt it was answered by a meteor.

The Bolide of September 17, 1966 – Seen in Ontario, Canada

Photoelectric Timing of The Fireball of September 17, 1966 – Seen in PA, USA

Meteor FAQs – Can science take the power out of miracles and signs?

This article says that there was a meteor shower in November 1966 and that September is a common time to see meteors.

Interesting Baha’i Connection in 1966 – Could the 9/17/66 meeting of world delegates included the Baha’i? See why they had a successful ministry among indigenous people.

There is a line in the article that reads: “Unlike the spread of Christianity within Indian country in the United States, the Bahá‘í Faith has never been associated with a fortification of colonial occupation, Euro-American assimilation, or forced conversions of Native Americans. Indeed in 1960 Hand of the Cause Rúhíyyih Khánum asked for forgiveness for the injustices her race had done and praised their great past.”

September 25, 1975 – Phil Konstantin writes in “This Day In North American Indian History” that an “Indian” prayer was offered in the US Senate for the first time.

September 1500-1900s – Contact with Foreign Immigrants

As I’ve looked through Phil Konstantin’s “This Day In North American Indian History”, I noted that September had many dates of North American indigenous people having encounters with representatives from other countries – Dutch, French, English, Spanish and for the first time, on September 22, 1784, Russian.


1996 – Inaugural World Christian Gathering of Indigenous People

2011 – WCGIP Auckland New Zealand

Prayer Regarding Confronting the Religious Spirit.

“Yahweh, Creator of Freedom and Liberty, Creativity and Beauty, Your ways are wonderful and beyond measure and understanding. You love us unconditionally. Your grace and mercy abound forever. We are continually amazed at how You desire to hold us and work through us in our faults and shortcomings. Yet, in Your eyes, we are perfect, created in Your image. Father, You have made Your desire known that we should pray regarding religious spirits, preconceived notions and finite expectations that have historically hindered and bound our prayers for the indigenous peoples of North America. You have revealed, that even us, Your intercessors, have allowed these things in our hearts, minds and prayers. You have revealed how we manipulatively pray for specific outcomes regarding deliverance, provision, healing, reconciliation, prosperity, wisdom, discernment, knowledge, and power out of our limited experiences and understanding, based on our interpretations and expectations. Father, forgive us, for praying our will. Father, teach us to pray Your will. Teach us to take our eyes off of our expectations and perceptions and put them on You as we pray. Father, throughout history, the dominant immigrant population has forced indigenous peoples to assimilate to Euro-America culture and faith. As Christians from outside the indigenous culture, we still knowingly and unknowingly force Your indigenous people into assimilation through our prayers and discipleship. Father, forgive us. Have mercy on us. Father, forgive us for the human expectations we put on indigenous people when we pray for their deliverance, according to how we see it. Forgive us for the human expectations we put on indigenous people when we pray for their prosperity, according to how we see it. Forgive us for putting human expectations on indigenous people when we pray for their healing, according to how we think it should appear. Father, help us to pray in such a way that our own expectations are submitted to You and held captive, so that as we pray, we are praying for the release and manifestation of Your will, Your perfect plan, Your diverse, just and innumerable expectations. Father, for years Your Church, through its people and leadership, have mapped out how evangelism should look worldwide. We, as the immigrant peoples, have told the indigenous peoples how they should witness, evangelize, and reach the nations according to our ways, customs and understanding. Father, forgive us. Father, we see how other religions have been able to reach the indigenous peoples because of their understanding and practice of respect, honor and deep sense of social justice for mankind. How is it that we, as immigrant Christian peoples, through the generations became so disconnected from the key message of the gospel, “love”. You are Love, yet those of us called by Your name lack understanding of Love. We lack understating of You. In our confessions and pursuit of understanding, Father, reveal Yourself to us and teach us how to pray in a way that fully releases You to manifest answers and interventions and that fully equips us to let go of our own limited expectations and preconceived notions, according to Your perfect will. Father, we pray that according to your will, in the name of Your Son Jesus and by the power of Your Holy Spirit, that our prayers will be fully submitted to You and be effectual in every way. Father, release Your indigenous people from the bonds put on them through our short sighted prayers. Father, make manifest every answer to prayer that has been previously hindered by prayers molded in our will. Father, we submit every prayer to You and Your authority, that You will mold them and shape them and release them in Your power to accomplish Your will. Remove all hindrances of the past and make manifest Your victories and promises. Remove the shackles of the religious spirit that has bound our prayers and set our prayers free to accomplish all that You have purposed in Jesus’ name. Father, specifically, we respond to Your prompting that we refrain from binding indigenous believers with our expectations of what their witness should look like and what the manifestations of Your deliverance in their lives should look like and what their ministry and evangelism should look like and what their outreach should look like. We acknowledge that You have been calling them to international ministry since the beginning. Father, forgive us for being so short sighted that we would think it was our idea and that only now are indigenous people equipped to reach the nations. Forgive us for yielding to pride, arrogance and control. Father, release Your indigenous people to be exactly who You want them to be as ambassadors of Christ throughout the world. Amen”

Rev. Jeny Running Brook Covill
First Nations Monday

(Note: This is a study that was originally prepared in September 2012 in partnership with NIAP Prayer Shield)

Books Used in this 12 Month Study

The Holy Bible in the following translations: KJV, NIV, Amplified, NASB, CEV and The Scriptures.

“Church History in Plain Language” by Bruce L. Shelley

“Encyclopedia of Native American Wars & Warfare”. General Editors William B. Kessel, Ph.D. and Robert Wooster, Ph.D.

“This Day In North American Indian History” by Phil Konstantin

As with the First Nations Monday prayer and Scripture studies, I like to study with 5 translations. As you go through these studies, I encourage you to do the same. “The Scriptures” is a translation that includes the original Hebrew names and has the books in chronological order. The Contemporary English Version (CEV) is a translation that is written for ‘oral tradition’ peoples and it flows well while reading it aloud. The Amplified version is one where meanings of words and phrases are ‘amplified’ for better understanding. The King James Version (KJV) is the translation that works well with Strong’s Concordance. The Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) is a great companion version that I find gives great insight.


First Nations Version Project
A retelling of the Sacred Scriptures for Native Americans and all English speaking Indigenous peoples.

Cherokee Bible Project – ONLINE – New Testament

Cherokee Bible Project – ONLINE – Old Testament

Cherokee Bible Project Titles in Book form:
(A joint mission of the Cherokee Bible Project and Four Rivers Native American Church)
Genesis in Cherokee
Haggai in Cherokee
Jonah in Cherokee
100 Days Of Indigenous Wisdom
Cherokee New Testament
New Cherokee Hymnal
Matthew’s Gospel in Cherokee
Mark’s Gospel in Cherokee
Luke’s Gospel in Cherokee
John’s Gospel in Cherokee
The Acts of the Apostles in Cherokee
ROMANS in Cherokee
JAMES to JUDE in Cherokee
John’s Revelation in Cherokee
Pastoral Epistles in Cherokee (coming)
General Epistles in Cherokee (coming)

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