Francis MacNutt

B. Childress
Nov 21 2008 08:00AM

Curse-like Judgments and Ties that Bind

In regard to the judgments, I (Francis MacNutt) am not sure we are always dealing with the demonic.  I am inclined to
believe that for the most part we are dealing with natural emotional forces and false mental impressions.  These are like
curses but on the human rather than demonic level.  (Yet some of these emotional bondages an be indwelt by demonic
forces that strive to make their deadly grip permanent.)

Curses on the Human Plane

We have all experienced the effects of other people's judgments and feelings (positive and negative toward us - their
love, hate or simply their apathy.

When I (Francis MacNutt) face an enthusiastic audience, they lift me up and fill me with a joyful, energetic desire to
share what I know with them.  Their response makes me want to speak to them, and I speak better than I would

When I face a hostile group, on the other hand, something in me withers and makes me want to disappear - or face up
to them and fight.  I go ahead and speak, of course, in spite of how I feel, but so much energy goes into the struggle
that my talk loses vitality and effectiveness.

You, too, must have experienced something similar.  There is no way to avoid it.  We are deeply affected by what others
think and feel about us.  If we were not, we would not be human.  These judgments are like blessings or curses directed
our way from the hearts and minds of others, especially relatives, friends, and fellow workers closest to us.

Jesus was affected by the reactions of people He tried to help, too.  He wondered what happened to the other nine
when only one leper out of ten healed came back to thank Him (Luke 17:17-18).  And He cried over Jerusalem because
the people did not recognize the time of His visitation (Matthew 23:37-39).  Jesus grew frustrated when the Pharisees
reproved the crowds for waving palm fronds and shouting, "Blessed is the king who comes" (Luke 19:38), and He
retorted, "If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out" (verse 40).

Jesus responded at times with sorrow, at other times with anger, to the false judgments directed at Him.

Judgments that Act Like Curses

Some judgments that others make about us have the same effect in our lives as curses, even though they are on the
human plane.

Judgments of Parents and Authority Figures

When we were little, our parents took on something of the authority of God, and we absorbed their judgments as if
these judgments were true (Psychologists call these judgments
parental injunctions).  Even when children rebel against
false parental judgments (Judgments like "You're stupid and will never amount to anything"), something deep down in
the child believes it.

These negative judgments - curses, really may slice into the child like a knife and remain for a lifetime, until Jesus frees
him and replaces the lie with a true estimate of who he truly is.  These distortions can destroy the child's self-esteem.  (It
is significant that shame, a feeling of basic worthlessness, is now seen as the root of all kinds of addiction.)  And this
"hole in the soul" usually results from the child's belief that he has been rejected by his parents.

I (Francis MacNutt) have counseled many people who have been badly wounded by similar negative or false judgments
uttered by sometimes well-meaning authority figures.  It is incredible how a single statement, sometimes made in jest,
can be absorbed into a child's very being.  Adults, too, if they are sensitive, can receive a harsh criticism and make it
their own, turning it into a festering wound.

Each person's story is different.  We need to be sensitive in listening and deciding how best to pray.  At times people
have forgotten a key incident in their lives or dismissed it as unimportant.

People can pick up on all kinds of judgments: "You're a bad boy!"  "You're ugly."  "It's too bad you're a girl {or boy}."  
"You'll never amount to anything."  "Why can't you do anything like your older brother [or sister]?"  "You act like a
fairy!"  These are among the thousands of statements that children hear, accept and proceed to live out. The power of
Jesus to break these false judgments is a key to healing the deep-seated self-hatred that burdens many people in our

Self-Imposed Vows

Sometimes it is not other people's mistaken views that curse us, but our own.  When painful events overtake us, we may
be tempted to avoid that part of life that has caused us so much pain.

If you have been hurt by having been deserted by someone you love, you may be tempted to say, "If it hurts this much,
I'm never going to love again." Or when things look dark and the joy of living disappears, you may groan, "I wish I were
dead."  When you live through an extended time of depression, you may even feel like driving your car into a telephone
pole and ending it all.  (If such a desire strikes you, take it back immediately and ask Jesus to counter this self-
destructive wish with a desire to live.)

Some years ago in Peru, our team prayed with a missionary, a Catholic sister, who had a common problem:  She was
slightly depressed and never experienced much joy about anything.  When we talked with her, we could find little wrong
in her life that had not been dealt with.  But the next day a member of our team, Barbara Shlemon, had a vision in which
she saw a girl about eleven years old holding a dog in her lap.  This suggested nothing in particular to Barbara, who
shared it with the sister and asked if it meant anything to her.  At once the sister thought of an incident she had not
remembered in years.

When she was about eleven, her best friend was her dog.  But because her pet was getting old and feeble, her parents
had it taken away and put to sleep.  For the adults this made sense, but for the eleven-year-old girl it was devastating.  
Her parents, the people  she most trusted, had killed her best friend.  Since loving her dog had caused so much pain,
she determined never, ever to trust or love again.

This vow shut down the flow of her life.  It was as if she had turned the faucet halfway down so that the water of life
flowed in a trickle.  She asked us to pray that Jesus would break that crippling childhood vow.  The next day she sent us
a joyful note: "Life breaks through!  Alleluia!"

How to Pray for these Judgments and Vows

Praying to break these judgments and vows is relatively simple.

If a person has received someone else's false judgment and accepted it into his being:

    1)  First ask him to forgive the person who uttered it.

    2)  Then, like breaking a curse, say something like, "In the name of Jesus Christ and by the sword of the Spirit, I
    cut you free from this false judgment of ___________________ and declare it null and void.

    3)  If you sense that some demonic force is hooking into this false judgment (such as a spirit of rejection),
    command the spirit to leave.

If the person needs to be freed of a vow he has pronounced on himself (These self-imposed vows are usually not
carefully thought out or written down they may even be simple, unspoken decisions that the person has made.):

    1)  Ask him to explicitly repent of ___________.

    2)  Break the vow: "In the name of Jesus Christ I break this vow of __________ and declare it null and void, no
    longer able to influence you.  By the sword of the Spirit I cut you free from this vow and all its effects."

    3)  Again, if you discern the presence of any evil spirits, command them to leave.

    4)  Finally, and most important, ask Jesus to restore the part of the person's life that was most wounded by the
    judgment or vow.  If he ever said, "I want to die," ask Jesus to pour His life and health into him.  If he was told he
    was ugly, pray for God to open his eyes to the beauty of his creation, and perhaps read with him pertinent
    sections of Scripture, like Psalm 139.  Pray to replace everything negative that has been part of his life with
    whatever is life-giving, noble and beautiful in the life of Jesus.

It is amazing how often Jesus appears to a person in a vision and takes over the prayer in a most creative way and does
exactly those things that break the false judgment.

Harmful Spiritual Identifications

We are all familiar with overly dependent relationships (co-dependence) that can harm people spiritually and

Spiritual and Psychological Ties

Perhaps the most easily recognizable example of harmful spiritual identification is an adult man who is still overly
dependent on his mother.  So common is it that we even have a term for it:
Mama's boy.  What was beautiful and
appropriate at the age of eight becomes distorted at the age of 38.  He (and she, too)has never cut the apron strings.  
Part of this overly dependent relationship occurs on the human, psychological plane.  The man needs to grow up and
take steps to change the relationship into a more adult, mature, independent one.

It is possible for daughters to over-identify with either their fathers or their mothers; and occasionally, sons with their
fathers.  These are only a few of the psychological ties that need to change as a person matures.

Yet in some mysterious way, there can also be a spiritual tie that needs to be severed through prayer.  My dear friend
the Reverend Tommy Tyson is sometimes enabled to see, while he is praying with a person, the face or figure of
another person superimposed, crowding into the person's space.  When this happens, he questions the person to see if
there is some spiritual or psychological bondage that needs to be cut.

A dependent relationship need not be just with one of our parents.  There are many kinds of relationships, especially
sexual ones, that may crowd out a person's rightful independence and they need to be cut loose through prayer.

Sexual Ties

The best example of this is the spiritual identification that seems to take place when two people engage in sex together.  
Something more takes place than the mere joining of two bodies; some kind of spiritual bonding happens as well.

    "Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ?  shall I then take the members of Christ, and make
    them the members of an harlot?  God forbid.  what?  know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body?
    for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.  But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit."   I Corinthians 6:15-17

Paul does not say exactly what kind of union takes place when a man becomes one flesh with a prostitute, but he seems
to teach that something takes place in the spiritual realm.  We know for a certainty that the union of a man and woman
is special since it symbolizes the union of Christ and His Church.  It is not just a joining of bodies but of spirits.

Again, Tommy Tyson was the first I ever heard speak about the need to break sexual-spiritual ties.  While we were
speaking in Bolivia in 1970, a missionary asked how to answer teenagers regarding what is wrong with premarital sex.  
Tommy responded that whenever anyone engages in a full sexual relationship, a permanent bond is set up that remains
until it is broken-not by the couple's breaking up, but by something like a prayer for deliverance.  If a man has had a
sexual relationship with six women before he marries, he brings six people besides himself into the marriage bed and
spiritual confusion is brought into that marriage from the beginning. (Women usually seem to have a deeper
appreciation of these relationships than men, and sense these spiritual dimensions more profoundly.)  If this is true, it
helps explain why so many marriages break up in an age of promiscuity.

It is an excellent idea for pastors to pray (in a private setting) for a kind of deliverance for each partner entering a
marriage.  Ideally confession, repentance, and forgiveness precede being set free from an entangling past life.

Praying for someone to be set free from undue physical, psychological or spiritual bondage is relatively easy.  Simply
form a prayer under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, asking Jesus to sever each previous sexual liaison.  You might pray
like this for one of the partners planning to marry: "In the name of Jesus Christ, I set you free from any physical,
psychological or spiritual bond that remains within you, caused by your past sexual relationships."  Then pray to bless
and set free those past lovers.  Last of all pray that the person (or couple) receive the gift of loving faithfully, and be
filled with the love of Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit to live out their commitment together in great joy.


Deliverance from Evil Spirits, by Francis MacNutt, Copyright 1995, Chosen Books.