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A portrait of Derek Prince in black and white
Part 4 of 5: Father God

By Derek Prince

You're listening to a Derek Prince Legacy Radio podcast.


Derek reveals the fourth result from knowing the God as Father. This is our motivation to serve Him. Jesus’ motivation was to please the Father, and that must be a priority in our lives as well. Derek once was success-driven, and relates some early experiences that failed to bring fulfillment. It was after knowing God as a Father that he experienced a desire to please.

Father God


Finally knowing the Father provides motivation for serving Him. I think this is often neglected. Jesus said about His own relationship with the Father in John 8:29.

“And he who sent Me is with Me.[that’s the Father] The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.”

What was the motivation of Jesus’ service? Was it success? Was it popularity? It was to please the Father. And I believe it’s so important in the Body of Christ that that motive is restored. Because frankly one of the main problems in the Church today is competition between ministers and ministries. Do I have the biggest mailing list? Do the most people attend my meetings? Am I on the most television stations or whatever it may be? People think that success provides security. It doesn’t. In fact, the more successful you are the more insecure you are because you might lose it. Somebody might have a bigger mailing list or draw a larger crowd or be on more television stations, and then where will your security be? See. Security comes out of your motive. “My motive,” Jesus says, “is to please my Father.” And I really have found in my life, since this experience came to me it’s changed my motivation.

I was as a child and a boy very success oriented. And it so happened I was very successful. I was always head of the class. I obtained a scholarship to Eton. From Eton I obtained a scholarship to King’s College Cambridge. King’s College Cambridge I became the senior student and at a very early age, age twenty-four, I was elected to a Fellowship. So I know what success is. But success didn’t give me security. Then I became—I mean you’ll have to understand I was a “Hippie” before my time, before there were any Hippies. So I became a Conscientious Objector, which is pretty difficult since my father was a Colonel and my grandfather was a Major General and my uncle was a Brigadier. For me to be a Conscientious Objector was not in the family tradition.

But I went before the Tribunal and the Vice Provost at Kings was the man conducting the Tribunal. He said are you willing to serve in a non-combatant unit. I said, “Fine, as long as I don’t have to kill people.” So that’s how I ended up in the Royal Army Medical Corps. I have to say it was really not the kind of career that suited me. But I got saved, you see. As long as I was walking around in my Fellows gown, walking over the grass, and drinking in the Fellow’s lounge, I didn’t need God too much. But when all that was stripped away from me, and I became by a freak of promotion a Local-Acting-Unpaid-Lance-Corporal, people asked me sometimes what is a Local-Acting-Unpaid-Lance-Corporal, and if you haven’t been in the British Army you can’t see all those dashes. L-A-U- and so on. Well I said to people it’s like being as near as you can to being a worm without being a worm. And that’s when I got saved. And God radically and totally transformed me.

Well I have to tell you that promotion comes with salvation. So I got promoted, contrary to all Army regulations, because I’d been a Conscientious Objector. I was promoted to be a Corporal. I went on a certain course, and with my background it really wasn’t a problem to me to stand on parade ground and shout at people and tell them what to do. I mean, it was second nature. So I passed the course, and when I came back I found on orders I was promoted to be a Corporal. You see salvation brings promotion. So the commanding officer who was a doctor from Northern Ireland, Col. Dan McVicker, sent for me to tell me about my promotion. I mean, if you haven’t been in the British Army there are things you cannot understand. He said to me, “Good morning, Corporal Prince.” I said, “Good morning, Sir.” He said, “How’s the cooking going?” Well that was a totally unexpected question. But, when you’ve been in the army a few months you learn discretion. You don’t commit yourself. So I gave him a non-committal answer. I said, “It seems about the same as usual, Sir.” Which in my judgment was awful. He said, “Didn’t you know you’re the Corporal Cook of this unit?” I said, “No, Sir. No one ever told me.” “Well,” he said, “we wanted to promote you and there was no vacancy for a Corporal except for a cook, so we made you Corporal Cook.”

By the mercy of God I never did any cooking because… But you see, that was when I met the Lord, when I was as near to being a worm as you can be without being one. But I still had this drive for success. I was very much a success-oriented person. I didn’t esteem success the way the world… I didn’t expect to be promoted as an officer, but I expected to succeed in the ministry. And actually God brought me to a place of almost total despair. I was a pastor. Some of you know I used to hold meetings at Speakers Corner Marble Arch three days every week. And we saw people saved. We saw people healed. We saw people baptized in the Holy Spirit when that was very, very rare.

But I had this awful problem of depression. And there was this thing that said to me, “Others may succeed, but you can’t.” And so God brought me right down, and then He showed me this demon of a spirit of heaviness. And I called upon the Lord and I was delivered from it. But God had to let me come right down before He would lift me up.

But even then I was always, in a way, conscious of success. And in some ways I became successful. But success doesn’t bring security. In fact, the more successful you are the more you’re threatened by other people’s success. And don’t tell me that’s not a problem in the Body of Christ because I know it is. “This is my church. I’m the pastor. This is our movement. We’re the biggest. Etc.” I’m not saying that critically. I’m just saying it’s not the way to security. Security is very simple. It’s knowing God as your Father and making it your aim to please Him. There is no situation in which you cannot be motivated by that.

You may be in a traffic jam, you may be late for an appointment, you may be stewing there in the road, you’ve clenched your fists and you’re all tense, and then you say to yourself, “What am I doing here” I’m here to please my Father.” It doesn’t matter what the circumstances are, it’s my reactions that matter. Am I reacting in a way that’s pleasing to my Father.

Now I haven’t mastered that but I’m a lot nearer to it than I was.

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