Devotions for the Praying Heart
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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. Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and everything] they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven.
Matthew 18:18 – 19 Amp

To function as an army of prayer, Christians must pray not just individually but corporately as well. It’s only when we come together as the Church that we can operate in our full authority. It’s only when we unite in prayer that we can with maximum effectiveness forbid on earth what is forbidden in heaven, and permit on earth what is permitted in heaven.

Notice, God isn’t the one who binds and looses on earth. We’re the ones who do it. Since He has given man authority on the earth, He won’t just come barging in to execute His will. He won’t personally and independently deal with the powers of darkness that oppose Him here. He has given that responsibility to the Church.

He has made us co-laborers with Him. It’s our job to bind here on earth what He says should be bound—things like demonic plans and influences. It’s our job to loose what He says should be loosed—the plans and powers of righteousness.

We have been commissioned and given the authority to do that. And when we don’t use our authority, Satan gains ground he should never have.

We can see a wonderful Old Testament picture of how our spiritual authority works in Exodus 17. There we see the wicked men of Amalek attacking the Israelites. As the Israelite men went into the valley to fight them, Moses along with Aaron and Hur climbed the hilltop above the battle. Moses held in his hand the rod of God, which was the symbol of the divine authority that had been delegated to him.

And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. (Exodus 17:11-13)

According to those verses, what happened down in the valley with Joshua and his fighting men depended completely on what happened on the hilltop. When divine authority was exerted through the lifting up of the rod, the enemy was defeated. When divine authority was laid down, the enemy gained the advantage.

Exactly the same thing is true today. When the Church exerts her God-given authority in prayer and faith, the powers of darkness retreat and lose ground. When the Church fails to exert her authority, the spirit of lawlessness advances and gains an advantage.

Clearly in these days of encroaching darkness, we must keep our rod lifted high!

Scripture Reading: Exodus 17:8 – 16

Source: Devotions for the Praying Heart by Lynne Hammond.
Excerpt permission granted by Lynne Hammond Ministries

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