Topic: Wednesday Evening Bible Study
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Ground preparation
- Sowing Seed
- Watering the seed (Word and the Holy Spirit)
- 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!
Limitations to Our Authority
We have the authority to break the power of the devil over people’s lives in the Name of Jesus and make it easier for them to receive Christ. But they still have free choice and choose to accept Jesus or reject Him. Breaking the power of the devil over a person’s life then that person is unhindered from Satan’s influence so he can make a free decision for Christ.
We DO NOT have the Scripture for breaking the power of the devil over an entire city once and for all time, because a city is composed of people. People have free choice and they can choose who they will serve. But we can push back the influence of the devil in prayer so that the Word has an opportunity to prevail.
I can deal with the devil in my own life. I cannot deal with the devil in someone else’s life unless that person gives me permission and authority to do so. For example, I can handle my own finances, but I can’t handle your finances unless you give me that authority.
As long as a person’s own mentality and will are at work and he can control himself, he has a lot to do with his own deliverance.
If a person’s mentality is such that you can communicate with him, and he gives you permission, you can deal with evil spirits in his life. But if not, you cannot.
If a person’s mind is not functioning properly and he can’t give you permission, then you can help him if the Lord gives you a supernatural operation of a gift of the Spirit to deal with the evil spirit that is harassing him.
The same thing was true in Jesus’ ministry:
Mark 5:21-24 NKJV Now when Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a great multitude gathered to Him; and He was by the sea. (22) And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet (23) and begged Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” (24) So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.
Mark 5:35-43 NKJV While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” (36) As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” (37) And He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James. (38) Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly. (39) When He came in, He said to them, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.” (40) And they ridiculed Him. But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying. (41) Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” (42) Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement. (43) But He commanded them strictly that no one should know it, and said that something should be given her to eat.
Believers Can Yield to the World, the Flesh, or the Devil
- The World:
1 John 5:4-5 NKJV For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. (5) Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
John 16:33 NKJV These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
1 John 4:4 NKJV You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
- The Flesh
Romans 8:1-4 NKJV There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. (3) For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, (4) that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Galatians 5:16 NKJV I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
- The Devil
Colossians 2:15 NKJV Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
Hebrews 2:14 AMPC Since, therefore, [these His] children share in flesh and blood [in the physical nature of human beings], He [Himself] in a similar manner partook of the same [nature], that by [going through] death He might bring to nought and make of no effect him who had the power of death–that is, the devil–