The Power of Prayer
through the Word of God (17)
Angels Are Ministering Spirits
Angles are ministering spirits that are sent to minister for those who are heirs of salvation. The word "to minister" means to wait on or to serve. I used to think that Hebrews 1:14 said that the angels would minister to those who were heirs of salvation. But, actually, it says angels minister for the heirs of salvation. That means that angels Ė ministering spirits Ė wait on or serve those who are heirs of salvation. If you go into a restaurant, a waitress waits on you and serves you. This is an illustration the Lord once gave me while I was praying in the Spirit.
Jesus also said if Christians, those who are heirs of salvation, would learn to read and study the Bible, they could put their angels to work for them according to Godís Word.
Jesus said the angel of the Lord told Philip to go to Gaza (Acts 8:26). And the angel of the Lord appeared to Paul when he was on board a ship (Acts 27:23). The Lord had been talking to me about prosperity when He told me this.
So, the Lord tells us to say, "Ministering spirits, go and cause the money to come in Jesusí Name." Iíve been doing this ever since and it has been working because there is authority in the Name of Jesus Ė authority that the Church has yet to fully utilise!
Pray Specifically When Praying for People
Once you get the revelation of prayer, life will be so different for you. If youíre praying for souls, stand on Godís Word until you see the answer. Prayer is the life of the Church. I challenge you as a Christian to give yourself to prayer. I believe we are only in the beginning of the prayer conquest Ė ( the great prayer fight of faith) that is to end this dispensation. I believe that.
Learn the secret of intercessory prayer Ė praying for the lost and backsliden. Pray for men and women by name. Donít just lump them together and put them into a group. Donít just pray that God will save souls; actually, praying like that is not scriptural because God has already done that through Jesusí redemption at the Cross. Claim peopleís salvation and pray for the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to them (Matt. 9:38; Luke 10:2). Claim a harvest of souls in specific countries. Pray for people by name if you can. Call out their names to God and claim their souls in the Name of Jesus.
I Kenneth Haginís book he also tell a story that "In the last church I pastored, we had a unique prayer meeting. I told my congregation that when they came to church the following Thursday night, I wanted them to write on a piece of paper the name of the person they most wanted to get saved.
If it was a couple, they were to write down both names. If the person had never been saved, they were to put a small letter "s" beside the name. If the person was a backslider, they were supposed to leave the space beside the name blank. They were to bring this piece of paper with them on Thursday night.
We didnít have very many severe winters in east Texas, but a "norther" (a strong north wind or storm) blew in that week and it rained and then the rain turned into snow and sleet. By Thursday there were four or five inches of snow and sleet on the ground.
The highway department was encouraging people to stay off the streets unless it was an emergency, so I didnít expect anyone to come. It was hazardous to get out on the roads, and there was no equipment to remove the sleet. Nonetheless nineteen people came to church that night. A couple of families lived close enough they could walk to church.
We took all the names and put them in the offering plate, mixed the names up, and then passed the plate around so each one could take out a name. I drew one and spoke out the name, then asked everyone to stand. Then I quoted Godís Word: "Ö if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heave" (Matt. 18:19).
As I drew out each name, I told the people I was going to pray for that particular person to be saved during the meeting. (I had asked people not to put in the names of those who lived far away. I was wanting people to be saved during the meeting, although we were concerned about and would pray for other folks later).
I asked everyone to listen intently to what I was about to pray and then to agree with it. I asked that no one pray out loud except me so people could hear me well enough to agree with me. When I finished my prayer, the people agreed with it out loud. I told them to lift their hands and thank God that the person we had just prayed for was saved.
Then I told the people not to pray for that person anymore; but if they thought about it, they should say that the matter was already settled and the prayer was answered, and they should thank God for the answer. We went right down through the list of names, praying for each one by name. Sometimes just one person would pray out loud, and other times we would all join in and pray together.
All but two of the people for whom we prayed that night got saved during that meeting! I never had that much success in praying for souls in my life. I began to see the power in the prayer of agreement, and I began to get a hold of a few prayer secrets".
In the same book he continues.
"This happened in 1948. In 1954 at a camp meeting where I was preaching, I saw a woman who had been in my church. Her husband had not been saved but was one for whom we had prayed that night at church. (All the others for whom we had prayed, had gotten saved within a monthís time except for the two I mentioned. Those two were saved before a year was out. We had a one-hundred-percent batting average on that prayer meeting!)
After the camp meeting service, the woman and her husband came up to talk to me. The husband said he wanted to hug my neck because he was my brother now. I told him I had heard he had gotten saved.
He had gotten saved the next year after that prayer meeting in 1949. Then his wife spoke up and said she had told her pastor at the church where they were now attending about that prayer meeting, and that pastor said he had never heard of anything like it! I was glad to see those folks and to know that our prayers worked because they were based securely on Godís Word".
So pray for men and women by name. Donít just group them together. Also, pray for ministers; donít criticise them. God knows that itís hard for ministers in this day to stand before their congregations without suffering persecution.
Itís sometimes hard to face the criticism that those in the ministry face. The same spirit thatís in the world will try to creep into the local church, and come against Christian folks.
So pray; donít criticise. Criticism wonít get the job done. Praying will. Pray for Christian workers as well. And as you pray for others, the dew of heaven will fall upon your own soul. Praise God, thatís the truth!
Godís Word Does Not Fail
When we come to God according to Godís Word, Godís Word does not fail. Jesus said if two of us would agree on earth as touching anything we ask, it would be done (Matt. 18:19). Did Jesus say it, or did He not say it?
Jesus didnít say it might be done. He didnít say there was a possibility that it could be done. He didnít say if it was the will of God, it would be done. He said it would be done. Of course, you wonít get any results unless youíre praying according to His will.
In another part in Kenneth Haginís book he tells this story.
Years ago when I first went out into field ministry, I was preaching in west Texas. The meeting ran for six weeks, right up until Christmas time. The pastor had said to me, "Brother Hagin, how are you scheduled?" I told him I was supposed to start another meeting right before Christmas. He asked me stay longer.
The pastor said the church made a big payment every year in December on their property. They did it then because most of the people in the church were farmers and they always had more income at harvest time.
Every Sunday night in December, they took up an offering for the property and he said if I did stay, they would have to take up an offering on the mortgage first, and then they would take up my offering. The pastor said he knew I would be needing extra money for Christmas, but he couldnít give me any more than I had been getting. He also said it was doubtful the meeting would run as good as it had been running.
But he finally said that if I did stay, he would at least guarantee me as much as I had been getting. So I told him I would stay on those conditions, I told him to go ahead and take the special offering first, and then they could take my offering separately. I told him I would do the believing, and he could do the acting in faith by taking up the offering, and we would receive the needed money.
Then I wrote to my wife, and I told her I was going to stay longer. I told her that on the next Sunday afternoon I wanted her to open her Bible to Matthew 18:19, and I would do the same thing where I was. I told her to lay her hands on the Bible and say, "Lord, my husband and I claim so much money," and I would do the same where I was. We claimed fifty percent more than I had been getting previously because we needed extra money for Christmas and for the time following the Christmas holidays.
The Sunday night the pastor received the offering, I got three dollars more than we had agreed on. The next week, I wrote to my wife and asked her to pray again on the following Sunday afternoon as she had before. We claimed the same amount that week and received $1.49 above what we had asked for.
Then on the last Sunday night before Christmas, the church sponsored a Christmas program, and afterwards I preached my message. They took up an offering for me, and later at the parsonage the pastor asked me how much I had received that week. I told him I didnít know. He said the ushers probably forgot to count it.
We found the offering plates and money hadnít been counted, so we took it over to the parsonage and started counting it. The pastor had half of it and I had the other half. We totalled it up, and he said that I didnít get as much that week Ė the offering was about $20 short.
But my wife and I had already claimed the entire amount, so I told him it had to be there. I told him that my wife and I had agreed on Matthew 18:19 for a certain amount, and that if our prayer based on Godís Word didnít work, then I would have to go to every church where I had preached on the subject and tell them that Jesus is a liar and the Bible isnít so. Iím just that honest.
He does not imply that youíre to expect the blessings of God to just fall on you like ripe cherries off a tree, because there are some times when youíre going to have to stand your ground in faith on Godís Word. You have to stand your ground against the devil.
Anyway, the pastor said to him that they must have missed it. But Kenneth told him that he didnít miss it because Godís Word never fails! So they counted the offering again.
If a bank is out of balance, theyíre going to have to find out where the shortage is. Even if theyíre just a little bit off, theyíll spend time and money trying to figure out where the shortage is because that kind of accuracy is important.
Then suddenly he remembered that this preacherís wife had bought a Bible from him and had paid him for it before church. She had given him an envelope which he had put in his pocket, and he had forgotten about it. She had included $7.50 for the Bible (which was the wholesale price), plus a personal offering for him. She didnít want to record it through the church treasure as it was a personal offering.
In the envelope was a $25 offering. So he told the pastor he had a $25 offering someone had handed me. After counting that offering, he had about $5 above what his wife and he had claimed. He knew the money had to be there because Godís Word works!
Stand your ground on Godís Word and declare that it has to be according to the Word. Look the storm in the face like Paul did when he was on that ship. As Paul stood his ground, an angel of the Lord appeared to him and told him their lives would be spared (Acts 27:1-25). Jesusí Word is more sure than the word of an angel. Godís written Word is even more sure than the word of an angel.
Look the storm in the face in the Name of Jesus! Look contradictory circumstances in the face and say as Paul did, "ÖI believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me" (Acts 27:25). Youíll find out that the devils and demons will limp away in defeat in their attempt to oppose you, and the answer will come. Stand your ground because God hears and answers prayer!
Continue to grow in your fellowship with the Heavenly Father. You can also learn to allow the Word of God to abide in you so you can pray according to Godís will, and your prayers will be answered. Then Jesusí words in (John 16:24) will be fulfilled in your life: Your Joy will become full!
Best Greetings to all of you, brothers in Christ, may God bless you much as you continue to walk, the walk of faith in Jesus' Name. Praise and Glory be to God.
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