Derek Prince - What'll Happen When You're Not Forgiving
This is an excerpt from: Invisible Barriers To Healing
Now, we're going on with the next barrier which is closely related. It's an attitude of unforgiveness to other people. This is terribly common in the body of Christ. I want to show you what Jesus said in Mark 11:25. Mark 11:25. And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. All right. This is when we are in the attitude of prayer. Jesus says before you start to pray, check. Is there anybody you've got something against? Why does He says that? Because if you pray with resentment and unforgiveness in your heart, those things are a barrier to the answer to your prayer.
So, Jesus says if you want a clear communication channel with God and openness to receive what you pray for, before you pray if there's anything in your heart against anyone, that leaves out nothing and no one. Forgive, then pray. I want to tell you that forgiving is not an emotion, it's a decision. It's a decision of the will. I've explained to people sometimes it's like having IOUs from somebody else. Forgiving is tearing up the IOUs. That's what it is. I was teaching once in a place and I was speaking particularly to wives who had been mistreated or abandoned by their husbands. And I pointed out that even though they might have been very wrongly treated they had to have an attitude of forgiveness toward the husband.
And I said to some such imaginary wifes: You may have in your hand a handful of IOUs from your husband to you. I owe you love, I owe your support. I owe you care, I owe you provision in many areas which he hasn't provided. Those IOUs are legal, they're absolutely legal. You can hold onto them. But before you decide to do that remember that God up in heaven has in His hand a lot of IOUs from you to Him. And God says in so many words: Let's do a deal. You tear up your IOUs and I'll tear up mine. But you hold onto yours and I'll hold onto mine. Well, in one of the parables the proportion that Jesus gave is somebody owes you $17, you owe God 6 million.
So, you know, forgiving people isn't being super-spiritual it's enlightened self interest. I mean, anybody that won't let $17 go for the sake of being forgiven 6 million just hasn't any business sense, that's all. So, I said, If you want God to tear up His IOUs from you you tear up your IOUs whether it's from your husband or your parents or whoever it may be. I just finished preaching and I didn't quite know what I was going to do next. And down the middle aisle came a very smartly dressed young lady, I would say about 30 years old, very sophisticated and self possessed. She marched right up to me, looked me full in the face and she was radiant. She said, Mr. Prince, I just want to tell you that while you were preaching I got rid of about $30,000 worth of IOUs, turned around and walked out. She got it, she didn't need counseling and prayer, she'd done the right thing.
So, we're going to take a few moments now to deal with resentment and unforgiveness in our hearts. This is the way we'll do it. We'll just take a few moments and I'm going to pray for the Holy Spirit to show you if there's some hidden root of bitterness in you. If there's a root of bitterness and it springs up it will defile many. And then you're going to make a decision to tear up those IOU's. Many of you young people may feel that your parents haven't treated you right. Unfortunately, that's very true in many circumstances. Let tell you that the first commandment that carries a promise with it, is honor your father and mother.
So, again, it's a question of enlightened self interest. You don't have to agree with everything they do, but you have to have an attitude of respect toward them. I have never known a Christian truly blessed in God who had a wrong attitude to his parents, never. It is an essential requirement for the blessing of God. I'm not speaking only about a wrong attitude to parents or spouses but those are some of the commonest. I'm going to pray now and ask the Holy Spirit to show us if there are areas of unforgiveness in our hearts and lives. Then I'm going to lead you after a few moments in a prayer of forgiveness. Holy Spirit, we ask you now in Jesus' name to speak to the heart of each one here. Show us if there are areas of bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness. and make us willing to forgive. Now the Holy Spirit may give you a specific name or names or a specific situation.
Now I want you to say this prayer: Lord, if there has been any resentment in my heart any unforgiveness any bitterness I renounce it now. I lay it down. If anyone has ever harmed me or wronged me I forgive them now as I would have God forgive me. Lord, I forgive them in your name, Lord Jesus and I believe you forgive me. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus' name.