Seven Indications of a Curse
Derek Prince
From Book: " Blessing or Curse, You Decide"

Chapter 5

Through  personal observations and experience, I compiled the following list of seven problems indicating that a curse is at work.  When I compared my list with that of Moses in Deuteronomy 28, I was impressed by the close correspondence between them.

1.Mental and or emotional breakdown
2.Repeated or chronic sicknesses (especially if hereditary)
3.Barrenness, a tendency to miscarry or related female problems
4.Breakdown of marriage and family alienation
5.Continuing financial insufficiency.
6.Being "accident-prone"
7.A history of suicides and unnatural or untimely deaths.

The presence of only one or two of these problems would not necessarily be sufficient, by itself, to establish conclusively the working of a curse. But when several of the problems are present, or when any one of them tends to recur repeatedly, the probability of a curse increases proportionately.  In the last resort, however, it is only the Holy Spirit who can provide an absolutely accurate "diagnoses".

1.Mental and / or emotional breakdown

The corresponding phrases from Deut. 28 are: madness, driven mad (28, 34);  confusion of heart or confusion of mind (20, 28);  a trembling heart or an anxious mind (65); anguish of soul or a despairing heart (65).

The areas affected are described as the heart, the soul or the mind.  In other words , the inner citadel of human personality has been breached by invading , hostile forces.  Such people no longer have full control over their own thoughts and emotions and reactions.  They may be "haunted"  by an inner specter continually taunting them: "You're losing controlThere's no hope for you.Your mother ended up in a mental institution, and you'll be next !"

I have been amazed to discover how many Christians are going through these inner struggles.  Often they are reluctant to acknowledge their problem to others  or even to themselves  for fear that this would be a denial of their faith.

Two key words are confusion and depression.  These almost invariably have their roots in some form of occult involvement.  Often there is demonic activity.  In most cases, however, it is necessary to deal with the occult involvement and to revoke the resulting curse, before the demons can be driven out.

2. Repeated or chronic sicknesses ( especially if hereditary )

The corresponding phrases from Deut. 28 are numerous:  plague or plagued with diseases (21); consumption or wasting disease (22); severe burning fever (22);  inflammation(22);
Incurable boils (27, 35); tumors (27); scabs or festering sores (27); incurable itch (27); blindness (28); extraordinary, fearful, prolonged plagues (59); serious and prolonged sicknesses or severe and lingering diseases (59); every other kind of sickness and plague (61).

This list does not necessarily indicate that every form of sickness or disease is the direct result of a curse.  There are , however, certain key words that occur:  plague, incurable, extraordinary, fearful, prolonged, lingering.  These serve as warning signals.  They create what might be called " the atmosphere of a curse".  They suggest evil, malevolent
forces at work.

There is another common medical term that is not explicitly used in Deuteronomy 28, but has a similar connotation.  It is malignant or malignancy.  The primary definition of malignant in Collins English Dictionary is "having or showing a desire to harm others".
Obviously this describes a person, rather than a mere condition.  Even more than the words in the previous paragraph, it suggests an evil, malevolent intelligence at work.  Our use of such a term indicates an unconscious recognition that we are dealing with factors that are not purely physical.

Another significant term used in reference to certain types of sickness is hereditary.  It describes a condition that passes down from generation to generation.  This is one of the commonest and most typical marks of a curse at work.  For this reason, whenever I am
asked to pray for someone who has a hereditary physical problem, I am always open to the possibility that I am confronting the effects of a curse.

At about the age of sixty a friend of mine, who is a pastor, developed a condition diagnosed as hemochromatosis, a disease that causes the patient to produce too much iron in the blood, especially storing it in the vital organs, namely the liver and heart.  His father had died of the same disease at age 67.   The doctor pronounced it hereditary, incurable and life-threatening.  Every week he had to have a phlebotomy ( old fashioned

After much prayer, especially by one of the prayer groups, my friend stood before his congregation in a Sunday morning service and made a simple , unemotional affirmation:
"In the name of Jesus, I release myself from every evil inheritance from my father."
    He was immediately and completely cured.  Five years have passed since then.  He has received no further treatment and there has been no recurrence of his problem.

In the foregoing comments, I have deliberately refrained from suggesting that any specific sickness is always, or necessarily, attributable to a curse.   In many of the sicknesses mentioned, it would be highly probable that a curse is at work, but , without further evidence, it would be wrong  to assert that this is necessarily so.  There is only one "expert" whose diagnosis is final, and that is the Holy Spirit.  We always need to be conscious of our dependence on HIM.

3. Barrenness, a tendency to miscarry or related female problems.

The key phrase from Deut. 28 is:  "Cursed shall be the fruit of your body" or your womb (18).  This curse may affect any of the various organs or functions involved in procreation.  Ruth and I have ministered to hundreds of women whose infirmities came under the heading of "female problems".  These included: inability to conceive; a tendency to miscarry; failure to menstruate; irregular menstruation; debilitating menstrual cramps; frigidity; cysts, tumors or other growths or structural defects affecting any of the various organs connected with the reproductive process.  Quite often this kind of curse affects whole families, with the result that all, or almost all, the females in a family may be afflicted with problems of this kind. 

Ruth and I make it  a principle not to minister to such people without first instructing them on the nature and causes of curses, and then praying with them for release. In many cases this has produced healing and wholeness in the affected areas or functions.  Sometimes it proves sufficient to merely to revoke the curse, without any specific prayer for healing.

The following letter illustrates the results that can follow when the curse of barrenness is revoked.

      My husband and I had been married for twelve years and had not been able to
    have children .  Medical tests revealed that there was nothing physically wrong
    with us.
             On July 7, 1985, we attended a meeting in Amsterdam at which you were
           Speaking.  You taught on healing, and also reasons why people are not healed.
           As you began speaking on curses over families, the Lord spoke to my heart that this                was a problem in my family.  As you led everyone in a prayer for deliverance from any             curse over their lives, I felt a definite sense of release from bondage.
              When I came to the platform, you asked me to fetch my husband for prayer also.
          Then as you prayed for us, you pronounced that the curse over my life had been                         broken, and as Ruth laid hands on my womb, she spoke that I would be "neither
           barren or unfruitful " .  The  whole congregation was asked to stand and join in prayer              for us.  Following the meeting, my husband and I felt strongly that the Lord had heard               our prayers.

About two and a half years later, in another public meeting in England, this couple came up to show us the beautiful baby boy who was the manifestation of the blessing that had replaced the curse of barrenness over their lives.

The connection between menstrual problems and a curse is brought out in another letter,
Dated  Dec. 22, 1987, from a Christian lady in her thirties serving the Lord in Southeast Asia:

  In 1985 I borrowed a set of tapes that had been recorded in Singapore , among
        Which was the message by Derek Prince on "Blessings and Curses".  After listening to            this message one night in my room I stood in the darkness to say the
         Prayer on the end of the tape even though I was not aware of anything in particular.  I              just thought, If there is something, I want to be free from it.
         I didn't immediately become aware of any change, although something did happen, the              significance of which didn't strike me until later.  The Lord prompted me shortly after               this to make a note in my diary when I had my period.  This was something I had never             done before as I'd not had regular periods since the time they first began at age 13.                  Therefore there had been little point in keeping a record.  My periods in fact had been             so irregular that I'd even gone six or eight or ten months at a time without having one at           all.
         I'd been to doctors about this in my twenties and had been given medication (without                 result) and much unwise and ungodly advice.
         I had prayed about my condition but not too seriously  possibly because I was single                 but I had been told that I would experience a certain amount of discomfort and                           irregularity in my metabolism due to hormonal imbalance until this condition was                       corrected.
         On listening to the tape again a few months later, I was struck by Derek Prince's                      statement that "almost all, if not all, menstrual disorders are a result of a curse."  I                  realized as I reached for my diary and checked the dates that I'd been perfectly regular           (28 day cycles) since praying the prayer in August 1985.  I was amazed to realize I was             healed and that it had been the Lord who had prompted me to write down the dates of               my periods.
         As I reflected on my life, questioning where "the curse" could have come in, since no               curse can alight without a cause, I remembered how throughout my high school years                (ages 13-17) menstruation was generally referred to as "the curse" by me and my                    peers.  Surely that confirms that "death and life are in the power of the tongue"                        (Proverbs 19:21)
         Since that time in August '85 I have regularly kept a record and found my cycle to be                consistently 27-29 days.  Also my weight which previously fluctuated has remained                    stable.

It is important to notice that  like Miriam in chapter 2  this lady did not pray for physical healing. She simply released herself from a curse, and healing followed as a consequence.

In the area of the procreative functions there is another common indication of a curse at work: an infant born with the umbilical cord wrapped around it's neck  sometimes more than once.   Quite often, of course, this can result in a stillbirth  thus causing death where there should be a new life.

4.  Breakdown of marriage and family alienation

One effect of the curse in this area is described in Deuteronomy 28:41: " You shall beget sons and daughters, but they shall not be yours; for they shall go into captivity."  Countless parents in the present generation have experienced this curse.  They have seen their sons and daughters taken captive by a rebellious subculture devoted to drugs, sex, satanic music and every form of the occult.

     In Malachi 4:5-6 the prophet paints a grim picture of conditions in the world just before this age closes:
     "Behold , I will send you Elijah the prophet
       Before the coming of the great  and dreadful day of the Lord
       And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,
       And the hearts of the children to their fathers,
       Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse. "

Malachi depicts an evil force at work, alienating parents from children and producing a breakdown of family relationships.  Unless God intervenes, he warns, this curse that is destroying family life will be extended to the whole earth, bringing disaster in its train.

Malachi has put his finger on the most urgent social problem of our contemporary  culture.  We need to see it as the outworking of a curse, which is responsible for the agonies of strife-torn homes, broken marriages and disintegrated families.  Perhaps the most accurate word to describe the force responsible for these results is alienation.  It comes between husbands and wives, parents and children, brothers and sisters, and all others who should be united by the bonds of family.  Its goal is the destruction of the family.

Nevertheless for those who will accept God's counsel, the situation is not hopeless. There is a remedy.  First we must face the fact that a curse is at work.  Then we must take the steps indicated by Scripture to revoke the curse and release its captives.  I have seen families transformed and restored by these means.

5.  Continuing financial insufficiency

Two related phrases from Deuteronomy 28 are: "Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl" or trough (17); "You shall not prosper in your ways" or you will be unsuccessful in everything you do (29).

The full outworking  of this curse , however, is most graphically presented in verses 47-48;    " Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy  and gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things, therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of all things."

Moses here presents two opposite alternatives.  Verse 47 describes God's will for His obedient people: to "serve the Lord you God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things." The NIV renders this: to "serve the Lord your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity." 

Verse 48 describes the curse that will come on God's people if they are disobedient: to
"serve your enemies, whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of all things. "  Combine all four elements into one situation, and the result can be defined in a single phrase: absolute poverty.

Taken together, verses 47 and 48 point to a simple conclusion: prosperity is a blessing and poverty is a curse.

Over the centuries, however, a tradition has developed within the Christian Church that poverty is a blessing.  Certainly God has great compassion on the poor, and Christians should have the same attitude and be willing to make great personal sacrifices on their behalf.  But scripture never suggests that God inflicts poverty as a blessing upon His believing people.

In this respect, the revelation of the New Testament harmonizes with that of the Old.  In 2 Corinthians 9:8 Paul sums up the abundance of God's provision for Christians. 
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all  sufficiency in all things, have an abundance for every good work.
In this one terse sentence Paul doubles and redoubles his words to emphasize the generosity of God's provision for His people.  The word abound or abundance occurs twice.  The word all- or its' equivalent  occurs five times: all grace.alwaysall sufficiency in all things.every good work.  Such is the measure of God's provision.
It transcends mere sufficiency and lifts us to a level of abundance, where we have something  over and above our own needs and can minister to the needs of others.

It would be unscriptural, however, to interpret poverty and abundance by the materialistic standards of contemporary Western civilization.  In John 6:38 Jesus revealed the motivation of His life on earth: "For  I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me."   The motivation of the disciple must be the same as that of the Master: to do God's will. 

It is from this perspective that "poverty" and "abundance" must be defined.  Poverty is having less than all you need to do God's will in your life.  The greater the gap between what you need and what you have, the greater the degree of poverty.   Abundance, on the  other hand, is having all you need to do God's will  and something over to give to others.  God's abundance is not provided for us to squander on carnal self-indulgence, but for every good work, that is sharing with others the blessings of grace that have enriched our own lives.

When poverty and abundance are interpreted in this way, it follows that there is  no absolute standard that can be applied to all Christians.  The standard for each believer must be determined in relation to the will of God for his or her life.

These conclusions about poverty and abundance need to be further qualified in two ways.  First we must recognize that faith to appropriate God's abundance is certain to be tested.  There may be periods when we have to content ourselves with the barest sufficiency.  Such periods , however, should be temporary.  Once our motives have been purified and our faith has stood the test, God will release His abundance in the measure that He can trust us to use for His glory.

Second, we must recognize also that there is a higher level of wealth than just the material.  When Moses turned his back on the wealth and luxury of Egypt an settled in a remote corner of a desert, the writer of Hebrews says that he esteemed " the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt" (Hebrews 11:26).  Moses did not settle for poverty, He exchanged material riches for riches of a higher order.

In the same way today, there is the kind of Christian who renounces material wealth deliberately in order to serve God in a situation where wealth would be an encumbrance.  Often this is a  prerequisite for identifying with the poor and oppressed  of the earth.  In
Proverbs 13:7  Solomon contrasts such a person with one whose only wealth is material:
There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing;
And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.
There are also many Christians in our day who are enduring affliction and persecution for Christ's sake. They may be deprived of everything that could be described as material wealth, but in its place they are heirs to wealth of a higher order.

Nevertheless, this does not alter the basic nature of persistent material poverty.  Where this is not the direct  outcome of commitment to Christ, it is normally a mark of a curse, whether it affects an individual, a family or a larger social group.

6.Being "accident-prone"

This phrase describes a person who is unnaturally prone to personal accidents.  Deuteronomy 28 contains no specific mention of this, although it is hinted at in the phrase " you shall gropeas a blind man gropes in the darkness" ( 29).

One characteristic effect of this curse might be seen in what are called "freak" accidents. The girl described in chapter 2, who had broken the same leg three times in eighteen months, would be an obvious example.

To take another example, some people are good drivers, yet they have an abnormally high number of automobile accidents.  In most cases, perhaps, it may be the fault of
"the other driver".  Nevertheless, the accidents still happen.  A typical comment that identifies this kind of person would be:  "Why does it always happen to me ?"

Here are further examples, chosen more or less at random, of types of accidents that might indicate a curse at work:
Breaking an ankle through stepping off a curb:  breaking a tooth on a soft piece of fruit; shutting a car door on a finger (here again, it may be the "other person"); slipping on a stair and falling headlong down a whole flight, with multiple injuries; swallowing a fish bone and choking on it; an insect in the eye causing some rare infection;  being struck in the face by a stone thrown up a passing car; a surgeon's error on the  operating table resulting in permanent disabilitythe list could be endless.

It almost seems that there is an invisible, malicious force working against such people.  At critical moments, it trips them, or causes them to stumble, or impels them to make a rash, unpremeditated move.  Typically, such a person will exclaim, " I don't know what made me do that !"  A remark of this kind is very revealing.  It indicates that the person is aware that his actions are not entirely under his own control, but are affected by a nameless influence he cannot identify and against which he has no way of protecting himself.

The recognition of this type of problem is not purely subjective.  It can be determined by statistical analysis.  Some insurance companies use this kind of analysis to identify people who would be unusually high risks for insurance.  They set their premiums accordingly.

7.A history of suicides and unnatural or untimely deaths

The references to unnatural or untimely death in Deuteronomy 28 are too numerous to itemize.  A curse that takes this form affects not just a single individual but a larger social unit, such as a family or tribe.  Normally , too, it continues from one generation to another.  Many different cultures have recognized a force at work in human history that pursues the members of a family or a clan relentlessly until it finally destroys them.
The ancient Greeks gave it the status of a "goddess", whom they named Nemesis.
Other cultures have used different terminologies.  Beneath the pagan overtones is an objective reality.

Quite often people who are affected by this type of curse experience a strong foreboding.
They sense something dark and evil in the road ahead, but they do not know how to avoid it.  A typical comment might be: "Well, it happened to my father, and I suppose I'm next on the list."

One common symptom of a curse of this kind is that people set dates for their own deaths. " I know I'll never live to see forty-five," they may say.  Or, "All the men in my family die young ".  They imply, if they do not actually say, that this will be their fate, too.  They have a kind of negative faith that embraces death, but refuses life.

The above list of seven indications of a curse is by no means exhaustive. Others could be added.  You have probably read far enough by now, however, to take stock of your situation.

Various reactions are possible. You may, for example, no longer have any doubt about the nature of your problem.   You have clearly identified one or more indications of a curse that applies to your life or to that of your family.

Alternatively, you may have an uneasy sense that a curse is at work, but you cannot pinpoint the precise form that it takes.  You feel like the kind of person described in chapter 1.  You have sensed the dark shadow from the past, but you do not know its source.  Or you have seen that long, evil arm at work in various situations, but it operates
Behind a veil that you have not been able to tear aside.
In either case, you will be asking yourself: How could such a thing happen to me ?  What is the source of my problem ?

Personal note:  One thing you can do is ask the Holy Spirit to unravel it for you and show you the root of the curse. He is faithful to do so if we ask and are patient for Him to answer us.