Having ministered deliverance for many years, I have seen that oppression is one of the characteristic ways that Satan and his demons seek to influence people. The apostle Peter summarized the ministry of Jesus like this: “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38, emphasis added).
The devil is a cruel oppressor who does not have the capacity for love or mercy. He only comes to steal, kill, and destroy, even though he will often first appear in a deceptive way to lure people into his trap. The more of a stronghold he gets in a person’s life, the more he shows himself to be the cruel task-master that he truly is.
The word oppress means to exercise harsh control over. Evil spirits seek to weigh people down with heavy burdens—to dominate and harshly control them. One demon in particular that functions this way is the spirit of heaviness.
In Isaiah 61:3 we read that the Christ will come to give us a “garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” A spirit of heaviness is an evil spirit that seeks to oppress us with depression, hopelessness, and despair. It wants to push us down with burdens and place a dark cloud over our lives. I have addressed this spirit on many occasions in individuals and in corporate deliverance services, and seen people powerfully set free.
While depression can be psychological and chemical in nature, it can also be spiritual. The late Derek Prince learned this firsthand when the Lord delivered him from the spirit of heaviness. After struggling with depression for many years, the Holy Spirit revealed to him the demonic nature of this battle and he was set free. How many others are fighting against this oppressive spirit without realizing it?
A spirit of heaviness can gain access to a person’s life through a variety of ways. It can be our own sin and rebellion that opens the door. It can also come into our lives through experiencing various types of trauma or abuse. Perhaps it is a generational issue that passed through the family line. No matter how it gained entrance, know that Jesus came to set you free from this cruel oppressor.
If you find yourself battling a dark cloud of hopelessness, despair, and depression, you may be oppressed by an unseen enemy called the spirit of heaviness. If this is you, know that Jesus wants to set you free.
Submit your life to God afresh in repentance and surrender to Him. Then take time to pray this prayer, focusing on Jesus and allowing the Holy Spirit to minister to you.
Heavenly Father, I thank You that it is Your desire to heal broken hearts and set captives free. I come to You in the name of Jesus and ask for the Holy Spirit to minister to me on the inside. Fill my heart with Your love. I receive Your love for me in a new way, and let go of pain, disappointment, and despair. I ask to be fully released from any demonic oppression that has come into my life.
I submit my life to You and acknowledge Jesus as the Lord of my life. In the name of Jesus, I command the spirit of heaviness to come out of me right now. I rebuke any spirit related to depression, hopelessness, and despair, and command these spirits to go from my life in Jesus’ name.
I ask for my heart to be healed and restored, and I receive Your perfect peace. I ask for the oil of joy to be my portion. I put on the garment of praise, worshipping and honoring You. I receive freedom from all oppression, in the name of Jesus!
Setting Captives Free is filled with biblical teaching on the topic of demons and deliverance, powerful testimonies of those who have been set free, and practical prayers that you can use for yourself or others in need of deliverance. Make sure to get your copy!