|This article is authored by Dick Leggatt, President of Derek Prince Ministries – USA and comprises his June 12, 2013 Newsletter.|
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Is there a shadow over your life? Is there a lurking presence that has prevented you from being the person God wants you to be? Do you battle a pervasive sense of futility that your life will never get better or brighter? Are you ready to free yourself from this malevolent force?
In a number of his teaching messages, Derek Prince identified that “dark shadow” this way: “ A curse is like a dark shadow from the past.” This was a major theme of Derek’s teaching, bringing enlightenment and liberation to many people. That’s the topic we are going to address in this letter.
So fasten your safety belt! Your life may be about to take a turn for the better.
Overcoming Generational Curses
My background is almost entirely Scottish. With the exception of only a few people in my ancestry, most of my relatives have had roots in Scotland. Certainly there is much to be proud of in that heritage — the Scots are wonderful people. But there are also some lengthy dark shadows linked to my background as a Scot that my wife and I have dealt with for years — including anger issues, family Freemasonry involvement, superstitions, financial issues (like penury and a poverty mindset), negative speech and more.
When Derek Prince’s classic book, Blessing or Curse: You Can Choose, was released in 1990, Cindi and I began to read it together — out loud. In so doing, we started a process of dealing with and eliminating the influence of curses upon our lives, many of them rooted in my heritage. That work continues to this day, and the result has been incredibly positive and worthwhile.
Even as recently as last month, Cindi reminded me of this continuing task as she was listening to a CD message by Derek on the exchange at the cross. Here is the quote she passed along to me that Derek had related in his teaching:
“The essential feature of both curse and blessing in the Bible is that they go on from generation to generation to generation unless something happens to cut them off. So, we have dealt with people whose problems went back hundreds of years.
I don’t know whether there are any Scottish people here tonight. (Don’t put your hands up if there are.) But I have learned that the Scots were a nation of cursers. Not in the sense of swearing, but in cursing one another.
Ruth and I have dealt in the last few years with two families who had curses pronounced on them in the 1600s that were still at work in those families. One was in Scotland; the other was in Australia.”
Freedom from Futility
This quote renewed my awareness that rooting out curses in our lives is a deep and continuing task. It takes ongoing vigilance to recognize those “dark shadows” and deal with them through the power of Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross. That applies whether you are Scottish, German, Angolan, Venezuelan, Chinese, Italian or any other nationality.
Cindi’s reminder was recently confirmed as I read a book by John Piper entitled, The Passion of Jesus Christ. In the author’s list of fifty reasons why Jesus suffered and died, I came to Number 28: “To Free Us from the Futility of Our Ancestry.” The Scripture cited at the beginning of this chapter is 1 Peter 1:18–19 (esv): “You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” (The New American Standard Bible translates “futile ways” as “your futile way of life.”)
John Piper expands it to say, “…it is referring to an empty, meaningless, unprofitable way of living that ends with destruction. It says that these ‘futile ways’ are connected with our ancestors.” And what is the result? “There is a sense of fatalism that we are bound to live with the curse or the wounds from our ancestry. The future seems futile and void of happiness.”
Can you identify with this? How many people do you know who fall into the general category Piper describes: “A secular president of a successful company may be driven by unconscious forces from his background that ruin his marriage and children”? But the author’s conclusion is absolutely victorious: “When Christ died, God had a view to the relationship between us and our ancestors. He meant to free us from the futility we inherited from them. That is one of the great reasons Christ died. No hex can hold against you… the ransom is infinitely liberating. No bondage can stand against it.”
Release from the Curse
This theme of release from the futility of generational curses was one that Derek often dealt with. The reason for his focus might be explained by the following quote from him: “The nature of blessing and curses is a vast subject. I never realized how vast it was until I got involved in it. I would also say that the lessons that I’ve learned in this context, in which I’ve preached around the world, have made a more powerful impact on the people that I’ve preached to than any other message that God has ever given me. It is a life-changing revelation, when you can receive it.”
Rather than try to summarize Derek’s teaching on this vital topic by selecting a single quote from one of his teachings, I thought it might be best simply to place in your hands the prayer from one of those sessions in which he led people into liberation from generational curses. Before we voice that prayer together, let me ask a few questions.
Is something stirring within you right now? Do you sense that the Lord is placing His finger on an area of your life that has lain dormant? Are you recognizing some “dark shadow” or linkage with your ancestors that may be affecting you now? Have you been battling some unseen spiritual obstacle that has brought futility to your life, your family and your career? Are you ready to recognize it now, and deal with it through prayer?
The Curse Ends Here and Now
You may have Scottish roots like mine. Or your background and heritage may be even more challenging. The truth is that every people group has similar “futile ways of life” inherited from our forefathers. Regardless of your heritage, it’s time to declare: “The curse ends HERE and NOW!” Are you ready to pray the prayer of release that Derek has offered to us? Let’s do so together right now:
Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that You are the Son of God and the only way to God. That You died on the cross for my sins and rose again from the dead. That on the cross You were made sin with my sinfulness that I might be made righteous with Your righteousness. And also that You were made a curse with any curse that might come upon me.
Now, Lord, I come to You for deliverance from any such curse. I repent of any sins that have caused it to come, whether by me or by my ancestors. I receive Your forgiveness. I take my stand now against the devil and all his pressures, and everything he wants to do against me. In the name of Jesus, I resist him. I refuse to submit any longer to him.
In the name of Jesus, I now release myself from any curse over my life. Because of what Jesus did for me, in His name I release myself and I receive the release now by faith with thankfulness.
Lord, I thank You now. I praise You now. I believe You’re faithful. I believe You are doing what I’ve asked You to do. All I can do, Lord, is thank You and praise You, commit my life to You — that from now on, Your blessing may rest upon me. Thank You, Lord Jesus. Thank You.
That prayer you just prayed is the doorway to a new life of freedom. No wonder that after Derek led this group in that prayer, he encouraged them to take a little time to thank and praise the Lord, receiving what He had done for them with thanksgiving. I would recommend that you do the same. Why not take a few minutes right now to thank the Lord for the liberation He has brought to you from the dark shadows and generational curses of your past?
One more word of encouragement from the conclusion of this teaching by Derek. He ended by saying these words to those with whom he had just prayed: “Don’t be disappointed if there are still a few remaining problems. Just know that you’ve set your face toward the light, and you’re progressing in the right direction. May God bless you!”
My wife and I could testify that the fight against the “futile way of life from our forefathers” has continued for a number of years — always with new revelation and forward progress. Our encouragement to you would be to keep fighting and keep winning victory after victory. The powerful step you have just taken in prayer is the primary action of liberation, and you can certainly rejoice in it.
May We Help?
Having taken this first major step, your life has just shifted in a very positive direction away from the futility you may have been facing. As Derek reminded us, what you have begun is an ongoing battle, and we want to be of assistance to you to maximize your progress.
One resource we want to offer you is an exciting departure from what we usually provide. Instead of an audio message by Derek Prince, we are pleased to offer “Breaking Generational Curses,” a video teaching that encapsulates Derek’s life-changing teaching on blessings and curses. It will provide wonderful reinforcement for the theme of this letter and the step of faith you have taken in prayer. (Click here to proceed to the viewing page.)
We offer this video resource as our way of thanking you for your response to this letter. It is also our way of expressing gratitude for the wonderful generosity of your prayers for us and the financial help you regularly send our way. Because of the favor and blessing showered upon us by God’s faithful people, we are in a strong position to touch the lives of all who come to us for help and encouragement — not only in the United States, but all around the world. Thank you for your vital role in the work that extends from DPM–USA.
Now it is time for you to step out boldly in the new-found freedom you have experienced and walk in a new level of victory. If by chance the enemy tries to convince you that you are still under his influence, remind him of the freedom you have declared and appropriated through the prayer you uttered in this letter.
And remind him of one other truth: that through the blood of Jesus, poured out on the cross, “The curse ends here!”
Materials used by kind permission of Derek Prince Ministries.
P.S. Thank you for the step of faith you have taken in this letter. Your life has changed forever as a result of what you have prayed. Please make sure to reinforce the action you have taken by viewing “Breaking Generational Curses.” Thank you again for your prayers and financial gifts. We are so grateful to you!