In the 1950s (relatively early in my ministry) I was pastor of a church in London, England. During that time, we regularly saw people saved and healed, and baptized in the Holy Spirit. Still, in the midst of these blessings I had a problem of recurrent fits of depression that would come over me like a dark, heavy cloud. When this cloud was hanging over me, I projected this pressure onto the people who were near me—particularly my own family.
I struggled against this by every means in my power that I knew of. I prayed. I fasted. I made resolutions. I got up early to pray. I stayed up late to pray. I did everything that I knew to do and it got no better. In fact, the more I prayed and fasted, the worse it got. One day I had come to the end of my solutions when a phrase in Isaiah 61:3 – 3—“The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” captured my attention.
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. Isaiah 61:3
I suddenly realized that I was dealing with a spirit—a personality that studied me, knew my weaknesses, knew how and when to attack me. I was not dealing with mental or psychological conditions merely in myself. I then understood why the pressure got worse the more I wanted to serve the Lord: because the mission of this spirit was to hinder me in my service for God. This personality knew just how and when to apply the pressure.
Recognizing the identity of my enemy was a tremendous step forward. I searched the Scriptures and found a verse that I believed would bring me the solution to my problem. Joel 2:32 says:
It shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered. Joel 2:32
I put Isaiah 61:3 and Joel 2:32 together and prayed a very specific prayer: “God, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ—according to Your Word—I’m asking you to deliver me from this spirit of heaviness.” And when I prayed that specific, scriptural prayer I was delivered. The pressure was lifted.
I subsequently learned that it is one thing to be delivered; it is another thing altogether to stay delivered. God began to show me that He had set my mind free from this demonic pressure, and it was now up to me to reeducate my mind—to cultivate a totally different outlook and way of thinking. Before I was delivered, I was not able to do it. After I was delivered, it was my responsibility to do it.
Wear Your Helmet
In fighting this battle to keep my deliverance from depression, I became aware that the problem area in my life above others was the area of my mind. The devil was continually reaching me through my mind. I happen to have had the privilege of a very sophisticated education. I have discovered that the more highly refined and cultivated a person’s mind is, the more vulnerable it is to Satan. The more you trust in your mind, the more Satan is able to use it against you.
I learned that it was up to me to teach my mind and my thoughts that they were the servant, not the master. When I came to see that I needed protection for my mind, I remembered that in Ephesians 6:14–18 there are six items of equipment—the girdle of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit—which all are made effective through the weapon of prayer.
Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, Ephesians 6:14–18
As I studied that list, I noticed the one piece of equipment that is obviously designed to protect the mind: the helmet of salvation. The helmet covers the head, which is typically associated with the thought-life. I saw that God had provided me with protection for my mind.
I knew I had salvation. But I wondered if that meant that I automatically have the helmet of salvation. Or is there more to it than that? In my Bible, the cross-reference to Ephesians 6:17 was I Thessalonians 5:8, which says:
But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. I Thessalonians 5:8
The helmet is called the hope of salvation. Hope. I realized how little thought or study I had ever given to the place of hope in the life of the believer. The Holy Spirit led me from Scripture to Scripture through the New Testament showing me that my whole spiritual experience was unbalanced and incomplete without a proper understanding of the place of hope as the protection of my mind.
In I Corinthians 13:13, Paul says: And now abide faith, hope, love, these three…
In the context of the chapter, it is clear that these are the three continuing (abiding) realities of spiritual experience in the Christian life. Other things, Paul says, are temporary. They have a purpose, and when their purpose is fulfilled, they will no longer be needed. But he says the abiding three realities of spiritual experience are faith, hope, and love.
I studied further and learned that there is a scriptural difference between faith and hope. They are located in different areas of the human personality. Biblical faith relates to the present from the realm of the heart. Hope relates to the future from the realm of the mind.
The protection of the believer’s mind is the helmet of hope. Therefore, I believe every Christian must be an optimist. For a Christian to be a pessimist is—in effect—a denial of his faith. Hope provides a confident expectation of good.
My mind – which had been captivated by the spirit of heaviness—was now liberated. And God showed me that my mind was liberated but I would now have to retrain it to keep it free. He was not going to retrain it for me. That was my responsibility. I had to cultivate a totally different outlook—different attitudes, different reactions, different mental patterns. Romans 8:28 is just one of many verses supporting my belief that every believer should be an optimist:
We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
If you love God and if you are sincerely seeking to walk in His purposes, then all things work together for good to you. And if all things are working together for good, there can be no reason for pessimism. Every situation is an occasion for optimism. The key is to train our minds to embrace this truth and live by it.
Hope is one of the most beautiful themes in the Bible. Romans 4:18 tells us about Abraham when he received the promise of God about the birth of his son, Isaac, long after it was physically possible for either him or his wife.
Against hope (he) believed in hope. Romans 4:18
Abraham believed and, as a result, he hoped. Believing was first. Hoping was secondary—or the product of the faith. And Hebrews 11:1 says it even more clearly:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not (yet) seen. Hebrews 11:1
Faith is the underlying bedrock of assurance on which hope is supported. Faith produces hope. Both are legitimate, but we must have them in the right place—they are designed to operate in the right relationship. You simply cannot survive without hope. In Romans 15:13, Paul says:
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
God is not merely the God of peace, the God of joy, the God of righteousness and the God of power. He is also the God of hope. So, when you are filled with joy and peace through believing (faith), the result will be that you will overflow in hope. By way of contrast, in Ephesians 2:12 Paul offers a picture of those who do not have hope:
…That at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the Commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. Ephesians 2:12
Paul says that the lost are without three things: without Christ, without God, without hope. When you are without hope, you are without Christ and without God. Hope is that integral to our salvation.
In Colossians 1:27, speaking this time about the unfathomable mystery of the gospel, Paul writes about the believers:
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery…which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27
The whole of the gospel centers in this great and wonderful revelation that was kept secret from all the prophets and sages and great men of past generations. And the amazing part is that this mystery is now revealed to humble believers like you and me: that Christ is actually in us, and that Christ in us is our actual hope of glory.
The glory is in the future. The one who has Christ within has hope for that future—a glorious, radiant, confident expectation of eternal glory with Almighty God. That’s what you have when you have Christ in you.
In Hebrews 6:18–20, the writer emphasizes the tremendous basis that we have for our faith in Christ:
…That by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 6:18–20
Our hope is an anchor of the soul, steadfast and sure. It’s an anchor that actually passes out of time into eternity and fastens within the veil in the great Rock of Ages—Jesus Christ, our High Priest and our forerunner.
A boat needs an anchor because it floats on the unstable, impermanent element of water. The anchor is passed from the boat, through the unstable element of water, into the stable element of rock. Then it is stabilized and made secure. When you pass your anchor through the water (time) into the rock (eternity), you can be secure.
When you invest yourself in your relationship with Jesus, you are casting your anchor into that Rock of Ages. And all the storms and hurricanes that blow will never detach you from that Rock. The way that we anchor into it is through hope.
It is up to us to train our minds to hope. In my life, the difference was like night and day. It didn’t come in five minutes, though; it took more than five years. But it’s been worth every bit of training that I’ve put into it. Deliverance will set you free to do your share. But it’s your responsibility to contend for your deliverance. And for many of us (if not most of us), the mind is the most vulnerable point.
Take the helmet of salvation – the helmet of hope. Put it on. Cover your mind. Protect your thoughts; bring them under control and in line with the Word of God. And experience the glorious results.
Derek Prince Ministries
P.O. Box 19501 Charlotte, NC 28219 www.derekprince.org
May I have a PDF of this article sent to my email please?
More Grace sir!
Thank you so very much!
Would like to receive a PDF of this article by Derek Prince/You Gotta Have Hope.
Larry – I sent it to you. God bless you. Rex
And then I took your email address off the comment for your privacy.
Hello and thank you so much for your post. I have been fighting depression for most of my life. I have had many psychiatrists, medications, therapy and yet…it is still with me!! My eyes are open and I am awake. I have just begun my relationship with God and everybody’s journey is different. But, I am very grateful for the information about this spirit of heaviness!! I will pray and put on the whole armor of God. Please say a little prayer for me. I truly need all the help I can get and I would be forever grateful!! Thank you and God bless!!
I just said a prayer for you. For the last several weeks, I have been suffering from depression and I just found this website. It is such a blessing. I was doing many things to try to manage my stress, fears and doubts, things like meditation, affirmations and yoga, but none of them seemed to be working. Once I found this website, I realized that the most important thing that I had been forgetting was to include God in my life. I began speaking the Scriptures out of my mouth and also to say the suggested prayer: “God, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, according to Your Word, I’m asking you to deliver me from this spirit of heaviness (depression) in Jesus’ Name”. I feel better already knowing I’m back on the right path. I hope that you, too, find your path to God and Jesus Christ and a better life.
I just found this article. It was a blessing to me and so was your comment. I am saying a prayer for you., that the God of hope will fill you with joy, and that the Holy Spirit will help you to put on and keep on the helmet of Salvation. I was sitting here asking myself why I keep falling into depression ruts. I used to do the same as you — trying so hard to “fight the attack” only to find myself collapsing even further. But He gives us more and more grace.
I have renewed hope today, and partly because I realize other Christians have struggled with depression— I am not alone . I pray you are blessed.
I will keep you in my prayers xoxo thank you
Glory Praise Thanksgiving to God Almighty! He makes a way where there seems to be no way Alleluia JESUS IS WAY TRUTH LIFE!!Our HOPE of GLORY! God Bless you Derek for optimism I Am Free in CHRIST JESUS AMEN!
It was the holy spirit that brought me to this page today and I am grateful. The spirit of heaviness has been taking over my mind and spirit and I felt so defenseless, even though I was praying and talking to GOD, my mind was filling with doubt that I was not loved, not worthy, no good, and that the enemy would continue to trample over me and my children, fear and anxiety started to take over. The Devil is attacking me and I was finding the more I was praying and trying to fight the worst it got. I understand it was getting worst because I was trying to break free. I know it will not happen over night, but I understand more clearly, I need to Armour my mind and protect my spirit. Thank you for this.. God Bless and say a prayer for me all who may read this.. xoxo
Thanks for the insight and inspirational words. I’m fighting for my life with depressing thoughts of suicide again. Please pray for me.
Any help on praying for another for healing would be appreciation. Chronic pain. Headaches. Anxiety.
Again, I thank you. This and some of your other articles were exactly what I needed to read. I’ve been deep in depression for years. I was hospitalized a month ago and they were thinking of sending me back. I truly believe the Lord led me to your site tonight. Thank you for sharing your words.
God bless you Heather. We love you. Rex
God bless you all.i believe I did not just stumble upon this site,but its Gods design to use this site to build up faith in me,faith mechanic,even your comments are enlightening.God bless you and everyone who contribute to make this site what it is.
Oscar – Thank you and God bless you. Keep putting God’s word into your heart. You will soon see the wonderful results. We love you. Rex
Thanks for the enouragements. My depressions is generation.
A real blessing to read about how God can heal depression. In the name of jesus christ our saviour I hv commanded the evil spirit of depression to leave me and it works. Wow! I keep praying and meditating as I realize I need to to remain delivered. Depression is an evil and frightening force which entered my mind at 17 yrs of age. I’m now 54. It was mostly responsible for my failed marriage but I tke responsibility for the stress I put my x wife and 2 stepsons through.
Thanks for sharing Steve.
And God bless you too Andrew. We sure love you. Rex
Steve – Wonderful! Keep putting the scriptures into you and speaking them out. Stay ahead of the curve on evil. Have an attitude of appreciation for all God can do and praise Him all the time. Don’t dwell on the disappointments and things lost in the past. God can restore. We are a people with no past, expecting a great future, and living one day at a time. We love you. Send me an note or email anytime. Rex
I want to experience freedom from this heaviness and despair. I will have to read this over and over and ruminate on the Bible verses. I do agree that it is the mind that must be controlled. I’m praying for the strength to do that. Can’t do it on my own. I’m so very weary.
This was a great post from Rex. I first saw it back in January of this year. I, like you, have to read and reread to get the fullness of the thought that was written – to be able to grasp the “completeness of the writing”. Let me encourage you – do not give up. The evil powers of this world revel at the thought, but our God is greater. Please, continue to prepare your heart – by that I mean – have that time during the day where you can set cares aside and have time with Him. When you do, the tempter will try and bombard you with “other things” to take you off point – don’t go there. Just start all over again, from the beginning (wherever you started your devotions at whether it was in prayer, meditation – whatever – just start again at the beginning). Do that until you know you have gained control – and I believe you will because you seek Him. Learn His promises. Learn the “Laws He has put in place that He will not go back on”. This is our strength, it is your strength. He honors His word. He will honor His word. His word is Truth! Praise You God. Thank you Jesus. Thank you Holy Spirit.
Andrew – Like I said to Margaret, this is so good on so many levels. You get It. Keep on getting it. We love you. Rex
Margaret – Andrew’s reply is so good on so many levels. In a sense, you will have to ‘enforce’ your deliverance through the word of God. Fight for it with everything you have. Do all he says and more so.
Start at some of our most recent posts and go backward and read anything that jumps out at you. Sometimes, God is trying to find out how bad do we want it. We love you and are praying for you.
Thank you for posting this article. The spirit of heaviness is working hard to invade my soul and this prayer is helping me conquer it! I am sharing my testimony and trying to serve as a women’s leader at church and the enemy is attacking me relentlessly. I pray for deliverance for me and all others suffering. My Hope is in Jesus Christ, I am the child of the most high God, I am redeemed by the blood of Jesus!!! I rebuke you, Satan, in the name of Jesus!
I received baptism in the Holy Spirit after a period of intense prayer during which I was being sifted by Satan. After weeks of prayer, individual who I presume were trying to cast spells on me would be blinded and shield their eyes from me. This also happened to some preacher from a big church which claims faith healing. I was scared, confused and beside myself, this site together with other prayers helped me to overcome. Many miracles of protection and a show of God’s presence in my life occurred. My faith in the majesty of God and his power over all other powers has been rock solid ever since.
I learned on this site that I must have faith that God protects me at all times, with this growing faith, I have had far fewer attacks but I still see God protecting me by inflicting a burning sensation in the eyes of what I presume are occult workers. At times people would almost faint by just holding my hand to greet me. Faith has grown and so has the protection I receive.
Now I am working on growing my faith to hear the personal word of God towards me and to receive in my financial and health areas. I had a stomach bug recently. Shamefully, I could not pray the sickness away, I eventually had to go buy medicines. I feel ashamed that I have been unable to develop the faith to pray a prayer of faith for healing and provisions for my needs. I keep trying, I wish someone could help me learn how to accomplish this. There is definitely something missing.
Pray for me.
Regard and thank you very much for the initial training in faith i received here. I received the baptism in the Holy Spirit by following your teachings with no Full Gospel Church to help. At the time I know none.
God Bless all writers who so willing share; thank you. For the most I by the grace of OrFarhter, have overcome my battle with depression
Question; however, in reading this article I replaced depression with insomnia, do you that’s a proper and productive approach to tackle insomnia ?
I don’t think I have insomnia but I will tell you this. I can go to bed and after about 3 to 4 hours of sleep I find myself waking up (I can almost set a clock to it). I throw my legs over the bed, grab my glasses and head downstairs. I don’t turn on the lights, I just head for my computer (that gives me enough light) and read/meditate and allow The Holy Spirit to talk to me. I receive much revelation knowledge in these quiet times. My mind has been at rest, my body has been at rest, I believe it is a good time because pressures of life aren’t as pressing in these early hours (for me). I don’t know your schedule but this works for me. I am so glad for this private and quiet time. You certainly need to have something to “feed” on and hope,faith,prayer is an excellent place to look for topics to read and study and let God speak to you and He will speak, just listen to your heart. He will quicken to your heart the truth as you read it. He loves you and wants all that is best for you. Praise God! I should mention, I do go back to bed after a certain time of fellowshipping with God in this manner. I’m thankful my wife is understanding in this. I am very thankful for this time I have to allow Him to direct me. Again, Praise God! Andy
Well, one of the main foundations of Christianity is laid upon the hope we have in God through Christ. The hope is the very element that holds us, it’s what motivates us to persevere in face of adversity, and it’s the very thing that we’re relying on a regular basis because of the fact that one day what we’ve used to hope for will become a reality.
I read this last night, and, I found HOPE ! I suffer from the spirit of depression, and, anxiety. I have prayed many times to be delivered, and, many days it felt like I had been, only to see, a few days later, to have it return with a vengeance !
After reading the article, I realized I needed to put on my helmet, and, in doing so, bring every thought into the obedience of Christ Jesus. Hallelujah ! Thank you so much ! Love this site !
CHRIST VERSUS SATAN
If you’re in a conversation
you’re going to start
hearing Satan screaming
from the depths of Hell
to get your attention
fixed back on him
and away from Christ.
Not until we Christians
absorbed in the
will we ever be
free from Satan’s
lies and deceptions.
God’s Joyful Servant
Thanks for the LIGHT in this article. Because without LIGHT theres no direction. i have now understand the true difference between FAITH & HOPE. THANKS SO MUCH
Augustine – Realizing that God’s light is all around us is a great truth. Isn’t it a shame that the light of God can be all around us and yet some cannot see it. Hope is that way. It is always there, but it must be seen to be enjoyed and received. God bless you. We love you in Jesus Name. Rex
I’m up early this Sunday morning. Checked my email and found I had something to read from you, Rex. I found revelation knowledge in this article. This material – these words of Truth in this article were “heart” awakening. I will need to read over this more to allow my being to capture all that is here. Thank you for this post.
Andrew – That is wonderful my friend. The Word of God is Spirit and Life, and health to all your flesh. It is food for your heart. God is your portion and He is talking to you. Be blessed in Jesus Name. Rex