[Course 31 Index] [Prayer-School Index] [Prayer Mini-Series Index ] [Prev Lesson] [Next Lesson]

-- © GodSpeak International 2005 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

Author: Teresa Seputis <ts@godspeak.net>

Prayer-School Course #31

Thoughts From Teresa

By Teresa Seputis

Lesson 11
The Power Of Blessing And Cursing

Sometimes we don't realize how much spiritual power can be released in what we say and in what we pray. And God will hold us accountable for the things that come out of our mouth.

Personally, I am not looking forward to that day because before God got a hold of me and transformed my life, I used to gripe and complain a lot. Yes, I was a believer. I belonged to Jesus. But I had not yet learned to give Him Lordship in many areas of my life and I said all sorts of terrible things about people. It was not gossip and slander. It was complaining about various people -- something they did to me, something they said to me, a habit they had that annoyed me, etc. Sometimes I would criticize them to others and sometimes I would just complain to God about them in prayer. And that was sin.

There will be a day when I have to stand before Jesus and He will hold me accountable for that behavior. I am not looking forward to that day, because I know I won't have any valid excuse to offer Him. I know that His death and resurrection has paid for all of my sins; those sins are covered, so I won't be condemned for them. But I will have to give an account of myself and my behavior to the Lord, and I am not looking forward to that day. About the only positive thing I can say about that past wrong behavior is that I try very hard not to do it any more, now that I am aware of how repugnant it is to the Lord.

God really does take that kind of thing seriously, which is why Jesus said in the Sermon On The Mount: "But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire" (Matthew 5:22).

How many have you walked away from someone muttering "Idiot!" under your breath? Did you know that Matthew 5:22 is talking about things like that? We are not to curse others. This is what Jesus wants from us: "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you" (Matthew 5:44). And in Romans 12:14, we are commanded, "Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse."

Did you know that our prayers can sometimes be a curse that the enemy will try to empower against the person we are "praying for?" I once heard a testimony that powerfully illustrates this point. This lady had a necklace that her mother had given her in her will. As a child she had always adored her mother's necklace and once her mother died, the necklace took on additional value. It wasn't just a pretty necklace any more, it was a reminder of her mother. One day she work the necklace to church and the clasp came open and the necklace fell off while she was ministering at the alter. After she realized it was missing, she looked diligently for it and asked her friends if they'd seen it, etc. No one had.

A few weeks later, a lady who had been saved while on parole from jail wore the necklace at church. She assumed the parolee had found it on the floor where it had fallen off. She went to her and her to give the necklace back, sharing how it was her dead mother's and had sentimental value. The parolee said that was not possible, that she'd had her necklace for years and years. She as so upset that the parolee would not give the necklace back and she began to feel that it had been stolen from her. She started going to God and crying out to God for vengeance. She would pray something along the lines of, "Lord, I know vengeance belongs to You. Would you please rise up on my behalf and punish on this lady who has stolen my mother's precious necklace?"

Shortly after that, the parolee fell sick with some type of serious disease. The lady felt God had heard her prayer and was punishing this parolee for her sake. The following winter, she pulled her heavy red coat out of the closet, the one that matched the necklace so nicely, the one she had not worn since the day that the necklace was stolen. She reached in the pockets to fish out the mothballs. To her surprise and dismay, she found the necklace in the pocket. Apparently someone had seen it fall off at church when she was ministering at the altar, and that person had slipped it in her coat pocket (laying on her seat) it would not be lost.

She realized that she'd wrongly accused this parolee and remembered the prayers she had prayed (crying out for God's judgment against her). She realized that the enemy had empowered her prayers against this parolee as a curse and that was a contributing factor to why she became so seriously ill. She was filled with shame and remorse for having prayed that way.

At times our prayers can become the unwitting tools of the devil. He loves to ease drop on prayers and empower wrongful prayers as curses whenever he can get away with it. That is why Romans 12:14 tells us "bless and do not curse." And the apostle James addresses the topic in James 3:8-10, where he says, "8But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so."

God wants us to bless and not to curse. Why? Because there is spiritual power for harm released when we curse. And God said that we don't have authority to release this power, judgment belongs to Him and it is His prerogative to decide if He will punish or forgive each offense.

There is also great spiritual power released in blessing. Look at Genesis 27. That is the story of Isaac and Esau and Jacob. All of their lives, Esau, the firstborn, was a "manly man" and his father's delight. Meanwhile Jacob was more of a "Momma's boy." Basically they were a divided family, Rebekah adored Jacob and Isaac adored Esau. One day Isaac decided that he might not live much longer, so it was time to pass on the family blessing to his son. He naturally choose to bless the older son, the firstborn, who also happened to be his favorite. Isaac sent him out to go hunt some game and make a meal and then he would bless his boy. But Rebekah overheard the conversation. She plotted with Jacob to deceive Isaac and steal the firstborn's blessing. Jacob even disguised himself as his older brother by putting animal skins over his hands and neck to make him seem hairy. When his father asked him point blank if he was Esau in verse 24, and he lied and said he was. Talk about deceit and trickery!

Then Isaac released the blessing in verses 27 to 29. When he did this, something was released in the spirit and it had an impact on Jacob. Even though it was done in response to trickery and deceit, the blessing (once released) had power to impact Jacob's life. The story says that Esau came in just after Jacob left, expecting to receive his blessing. Look at verse 33: "Then Isaac trembled exceedingly, and said, 'Who? Where is the one who hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it before you came, and I have blessed him--and indeed he shall be blessed.'"

Isaac fully intended to bless Esau, not Jacob. He was tricked and deceived. You would think that he would be able to pull back the blessing and release it to the person who it was originally intended for. But Jacob said that was not possible. Once a blessing has been spoken, a spiritual power is released and it will have the desired effect in the person's life. In other words, there is great power in blessing. That is why Jesus commanded us to bless in the sermon on the Mount -- God wants us to release that type of power for good through our spoken words and prayers.

If you are an intercessor, then God has given you a special authority in prayer. He wants you to use that authority to do ONLY His will, just as Jesus did only what He saw His Father doing. You have to be very careful that you do not pray soulish or wrongful prayers, even at those times when someone has hurt you or wronged you or made you angry. You can take your hurt or anger to God and show it to Him. He will bind up your wounds and heal you and give you His peace. But do be careful that you don't make inappropriate requests of God towards this person while praying. Jesus has told us that He desires us to forgive from the bottom of our hearts, just as He has forgiven us. So we know that it is not God's will for us to pray for vengeance (which we often call "justice" in our prayers). Even Stephen released forgiveness (not vengeance) when he was murdered for his faith (Acts 7:60). It is up to God to decide if He will forgive or punish. It is not our call.

We need to be mindful of the authority that God has released to us in prayer. We need to be careful to use it only the way that He wants it used. Our goal and passion must be to be like Jesus, who was consumed with doing God's will. Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing. And when we pray and even when we talk, we need to only do and say what we see the Father doing. As a general guideline, don't curse or ask God to punish someone for what they did to you. Instead, release blessings and forgiveness. There is much power in that type of prayer.

-- © GodSpeak International 2005 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from copyright@godspeak.org --

[Course 31 Index] [Prayer-School Index] [Mini-Series Index ] [Prev Lesson] [Next Lesson]