The Authority of the Believer – 6

The Authority of the Believer – 6

Topic: Wednesday Evening Bible Study
Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet anytime

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When the believer prays, he needs to pray from a position of victory because he is seated with Christ in heavenly places, looking down on a defeated foe.

We are in the army of the Lord but we are an occupying force not a conquering force. 

Luke 19:13 KJV (13)  And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

The word “occupy” in the KJV translation means: “to occupy and carry on business”

An occupying army is there to enforce the victory that has already been one by our commander in chief.

That is why we should not magnify the battle; we should magnify the triumph!

Praying for those in Authority

1 Timothy 2:1-4 NKJV  Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,  (2)  for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.  (3)  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,  (4)  who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

As we pray for the leaders of nations, we can thwart and render inoperative the devil’s strategies on the earth and cause God’s purposes to prevail.

But praying for those in authority does not mean we are to pray that the politicians in our favorite party will be voted into office. We can’t judge by political party alone which candidate is best to fulfill the leadership position in our nation.

In other words, we don’t need to get involved with personalities in praying for our government; we just need to pray that the right candidate be elected into office.

God wants us to pray for those in authority in our nation so that there will be peace in our nation. Then we can preach the gospel undisturbed.

2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 AMPC  FURTHERMORE, BRETHREN, do pray for us, that the Word of the Lord may speed on (spread rapidly and run its course) and be glorified (extolled) and triumph, even as [it has done] with you,  (2)  And that we may be delivered from perverse (improper, unrighteous) and wicked (actively malicious) men, for not everybody has faith and is held by it.

As we direct our prayers to the Lord of the Harvest, we take our position on the earth as the triumphant Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, and Satan’s dominion over the lives of the lost begins to be weakened. That’s how we deliver people out of the bondage of the enemy. When we pray for those in authority in the cities and nations of the world, we weaken the effectiveness of Satan’s Kingdom in those cities and nations. When we pray, God can have His way in those countries instead of Satan.

As Christians, we have authority in Jesus’ Name to bind the power of the devil over the political scene of a nation. We have the right to demand that Satan take his hands off the government and the economic and social scene of a nation. We can bind every foul spirit that is affecting those areas and command them to stop in their maneuvers and cease and desist in their actions against us.

Satan’s strategies against on the earth can be stopped in every encounter, and God’s purposes can be fulfilled, as Christians stand in their place of authority in Christ on behalf of the nations of the world by praying for those in authority.

Matthew 18:18 CEV (18)  I promise you that God in heaven will allow whatever you allow on earth, but he will not allow anything you don’t allow.

Matthew 18:18 AMPC  Truly I tell you, whatever you forbid and declare to be improper and unlawful on earth must be what is already forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit and declare proper and lawful on earth must be what is already permitted in heaven.

The Devil Thinks He Can Delay the End

2 Corinthians 4:4 NKJV  whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

Matthew 24:14 NKJV  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

He is going to throw up every roadblock to try and thwart the preaching of the Gospel and delay the end. That is why he stirs up wars. It is more difficult to preach the gospel during a war.

When we pray, we give God permission to move and rule in the situation instead of Satan. When Christians stand in their place of delegated authority in prayer in Jesus’ Name, God will bring many into His Kingdom.

Before You Think Your Prayers Don’t Matter…

Genesis 18:22-25 NLT (22)  The other men turned and headed toward Sodom, but the LORD remained with Abraham. (23)  Abraham approached him and said, “Will you sweep away both the righteous and the wicked? (24)  Suppose you find fifty righteous people living there in the city—will you still sweep it away and not spare it for their sakes? (25)  Surely you wouldn’t do such a thing, destroying the righteous along with the wicked. Why, you would be treating the righteous and the wicked exactly the same! Surely you wouldn’t do that! Should not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?”

Abraham prayed for Sodom and Gomorrah and God spared the righteous because of his intercession. (Genesis 18:16-33). ONE MAN prayed, interceded, and God moved.

Daniel 10:1-3 NKJV (1)  In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar. The message was true, but the appointed time was long; and he understood the message, and had understanding of the vision. (2)  In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. (3)  I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

Daniel prayed and God heard his prayers and moved on behalf of God’s people. (Daniel 10:2,3,5,6,12-14). Ezekiel and Jeremiah had prophesied that God would deliver Israel out of Babylon. Daniel read those prophecies and began seeking God about what He had promised. 

Daniel prayed and Heaven moved because of his prayers.

Daniel 10:12 NKJV (12)  Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.

This shows us about the power of our words and prayer have in affecting the spiritual realm as God moves to answer our prayer in the natural realm.

It was not words that were spoken in Heaven that sent the angel to Daniel or put the angel of God to work. It was words spoken on earth praying in line with God’s Word that put the angel to work against the powers of darkness.

Psalms 103:20 NKJV (20)  Bless the LORD, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word.

Psalms 103:20 NLT (20)  Praise the LORD, you angels, you mighty ones who carry out his plans, listening for each of his commands.

We can’t dispel the devil and his demons from the earth or cast them into the abyss before the time of the final judgment (Rev. 20:3). But through scriptural prayer, we can keep the forces of darkness at bay so that the gospel can have free course and people’s hearts will be receptive to the Word of God.

How Are We to Pray for Revival?

It is the Word of God that grows and prevails in people’s lives enabling them to overcome in any circumstance, or over any force of the devil in one’s life or even nation if it is planted in the ground and watered by the Word and the Holy Spirit in prayer.

A harvest doesn’t just happen for no reason and it doesn’t happen overnight.

The same principles for sowing and reaping a crop apply in both the natural and the spiritual realms.

The farmer prepares the ground and then plants the seed in the ground, and rain causes the seed to grow. Finally, the crops are ready to harvest.

The Bible calls people who are ready to receive the gospel a spiritual harvest.

Matthew 9:36-38 NKJV  But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.  (37)  Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.  (38)  Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

The Bible gives us instructions on how to pull people out of the kingdom of darkness and get a harvest of souls for the Kingdom of Light.

In the natural realm, a harvest is produced from seed. 

But before the seed can be planted, the ground has to be prepared. Then in order to produce a harvest, after the seed is planted, it also has to be watered. The same is true in the spiritual realm.

A person can pray for a crop all year long, but if he doesn’t get out and plant some seed in the ground, he will come up empty handed at harvest time.

There are four parts to this:

    1. Ground preparation
    2. Sowing Seed
    3. Watering the seed (Word and the Holy Spirit)
    4. Harvest the crop

James 5:7 NKJV  Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.

The early rain is what softened the soil so that seed could be sown and then the latter rain helped the plant to grow and produce a harvest.

Zechariah 10:1 NKJV  Ask the LORD for rain In the time of the latter rain. The LORD will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, Grass in the field for everyone.

Scripturally, we prepare the ground of people’s hearts through scriptural prayer and sowing the incorruptible seed of God’s Word.

1 Peter 1:23 NKJV  having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,

The Word has to be sown in people’s hearts through the preaching of the Word because it is the Word that brings light and illuminations to men’s hearts to set them from from the dominion of the devil.

The task of sowing the incorruptible Word of God and telling people about Jesus’ victory over the devil is the responsibility of every believer; not just preachers.

Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV  And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  (19)  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  (20)  teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Jesus did not say, “Go therefore and pray to pull down demonic strongholds in all nations…”

You are not going to be able to deal with the devil in nations any other way than by praying according to God’s Word and sowing the seed of God’s Word in the hearts of people.

When we do these things, then God brings forth the increase.

1 Corinthians 3:6 NLT  I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.

Preparing the Ground Through Prayer

The great revivalist Charles Finney gives us a great insight into these very principles.

Everywhere Finney went, there were great revivals in those cities. Sometimes, almost the entire city would get saved when he came and preached. It is a historical fact that 80% of Finney’s converts remained faithful to God in their Christian walk. The average among other revivals of the time was around 50%. Why the tremendous success? PRAYER.

Finney would plead his case before the Lord and refuse to not have revival in that city.

Father Nash, a man of great prayer, would go before Finney into a city and pray in the Spirit in intercession for the city. There is no record of him pulling down strongholds or fighting demons over those cities. He prayed in the authority of Jesus’ Name and claimed revival and souls.

Prayer that is in line with the Word of God prepares the ground of people’s hearts so that the Word can be planted and bear eternal fruit.

Note: Do not pray based on what the devil is or is not doing. Base your prayer on the Word of God.

The way we possess our cities and nation is through intercessory prayer and travail for the people of the city or nation.

The Holy Spirit will help us pray as we pray.

1 Corinthians 14:2 NKJV  For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.

1 Corinthians 14:14 NKJV  For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.

Romans 8:26-27 NKJV  Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  (27)  Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Winning a city does not mean that every person in the city will be saved because people still have free will. But prayers and intercession make it easier for people to yield to God and to desire to be saved.

God can only move in the earth as His people ask Him to move. God is longing for someone who will stand in the gap before Him and intercede for souls in every nation.

Ezekiel 22:30 NLT  “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one.

God did not say we had to go out and fight Satan, a defeated foe. The verse says that if God’s covenant children would ask Him to move on the earth, He would hear and answer their prayers.

Once we pray like that, then it is our responsibility to preach the Word of God so people can be saved and hear the Word on how they are delivered and free from Satan’s dominion and authority over them in Christ.

Mightily Grew the Word and Prevailed

Acts 19:1-2 NKJV  And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples  (2)  he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”

Acts 19:5-7 NKJV  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  (6)  And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.  (7)  Now the men were about twelve in all.

Acts 19:10-12 NKJV  And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.  (11)  Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul,  (12)  so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.

Acts 19:20 NKJV  So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.

Acts 19:20 NIV  In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.

Acts 19:20 NLT  So the message about the Lord spread widely and had a powerful effect.

If you want to see miracles happen, including people being set free from demonic influence and oppression, PREACH THE WORD!

Extra Scriptures:

Mark 4:22 NKJV (22)  For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light.

Ephesians 5:11-13 NKJV (11)  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. (12)  For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. (13)  But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 

Luke 12:1-3 NKJV (1)  In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. (2)  For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. (3)  Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops. 

Job 5:12-13 NKJV (12)  He frustrates the devices of the crafty, So that their hands cannot carry out their plans. (13)  He catches the wise in their own craftiness, And the counsel of the cunning comes quickly upon them.