When Two or More are Gathered...in PRAYER

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About Tim Chaffey

I do not think any of us can understand exactly why it is God waits till Christians pray before he begins to do what he has intended all along, and even announced that he will do, but the fact remains, indisputably, that that is what he does. He waits till someone prays before he moves. We read that when Daniel, as an old man, read in the account of Jeremiah that the Babylonian captivity was about to reach its close, having run the predicted course of seventy years, that Daniel was moved to pray mightily that God would send back into the land the captives of Israel.

But those captives did not begin to return until Daniel prayed! The principle is also recorded for us in the Epistle of James. James said, "You have not because you ask not," James It is that simple.

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God waits until we ask before he moves. In our United States Government, as you all know, there are certain powers which we could call powers of binding and loosing, which are granted to the President and to him alone.

Only the President, for instance, can sign treaties with foreign powers, and thus bind this nation to another nation. There is no other individual in our government who is authorized to affix his signature to a treaty and to cause it to take effect. Only the President can loose the atomic might of this nation.

So important is this matter of deciding when to send our great missiles screaming into space that the power to do so has been delegated to one man only, the President of the United States. Further, only the President can pardon certain criminals and loose them from the penalty which the law demands.

He alone can do this. The whole nation might, under certain circumstances, desire the President to act in such a way as this, and might exert tremendous moral force upon the man who is in the office to act, but until the President acts there is nothing that can be done. Jesus is telling us here that God has granted powers of binding and loosing to every believer, and until we act upon them, nothing happens.

There are powers of binding and loosing given to us, and in the realm of our personal lives they are almost absolute.

God has said that we have power to bind every form of evil in our own lives. There is nothing that needs to have dominion over us. By grace we have power to bind every evil force, every contrary authority, within us. In the tenth chapter of Second Corinthians, Paul indicates that our warfare is not against flesh and blood but is along spiritual lines. We are warring against evil authorities and powers in high places.

We have power to bring them under control in our own lives as we reckon ourselves dead unto sin and alive unto God. Furthermore, we have power to loose the full flood of the Spirit's resources in our own lives. There is not one of us that has any excuse for not being all that God intends us to be, not one.

Someone has well said that we are as victorious as we want to be. No matter what you have been, no matter how weak, how failing, how faltering, you have been exactly as victorious as you have wanted to be, for there is granted to us power in Jesus Christ to bind every contrary force, every evil motive in our life, and to loose the flood of the Spirit's power through us -- and not only in our lives, but in others as well. This is the meaning of intercessory prayer.

Others can be helped tremendously by another person praying for them, to either stand or fall, as the case may be. I have often seen young people in their early Christian experience drifting into a condition of apathy and indifference, unconcerned about spiritual values, gradually drifting into coarseness of life, wrong habits, degenerating moral principles, and then, suddenly, they begin to change, almost overnight. Their attitude shifts degrees out of phase with what it was before.

They begin to take an interest in spiritual matters again and to grow spiritually. A new light comes into their face and eyes; there is a new attitude; they are totally different. I have never seen that happen but that sooner or later it has been discovered that someone has become concerned about that young person, and begun to pray. They may never mention it to anyone else, but there comes a total change in the atmosphere around that person for whom they pray. That is why Paul says, "Pray for me, that the word of God may speed on and triumph as it did among you. As we look at these words about binding and loosing, we can see that though we do not understand all about them, nevertheless it is apparent that prayer is authority: an authority which operates in mystery.

It is the link to that invisible world which is the control center of all human life. We stand on the frontier between two worlds when we pray. Therefore, as James says, "the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man has great effect," James KJV. Now not only is it true that prayer is an authority that works in mystery, but it is also an authority which is expressed in unity. This is the charter for the prayer meeting. One Christian praying alone is of great effect, but what about where two or more gather together? It is here evident that there is an amazing arithmetic about prayer.

In Deuteronomy, Moses told the people of Israel,. That is a strange ratio, isn't it? If it were straight arithmetic we would say one should chase a thousand, two should chase two thousand, but when two Christians get together there is a geometric increase in the effect they have. Two shall put ten thousand to flight.

Praying Together | Matthew | graphnighbartaimeo.tk

From the earliest days, the church has felt the need to gather together in prayer. They could hardly believe it, but it was true. Here is corporate prayer. What is the purpose of prayer like this? Jesus says it is that we might agree together. Words, you know, are fascinating things, and there are at least eight words in the Greek New Testament that are translated agree.

Why the Context "Where Two or Three Are Gathered" (Matthew 18:20) is So Important

One of them means literally "to stand together. This is the way we usually take this verse. We take it to mean that if I want something, then I find someone else who wants the same thing, and we agree to pray, and God therefore must honor our prayer and must do our will. But that is not what this means. There is another word that is used here which means "to sound together, to harmonize. The harmony is already there, it is simply brought out as you strike the right notes. So this verse pictures two Christians coming together; one says what is on his heart, what he believes God wants him to pray for, and where they find they agree, where they harmonize, where they sound together, those are the areas where they can fully expect God to work.

There are areas where God says, "It shall be done. It shall be done! This is why I like to hear "Amens" at prayer meetings. I am old-fashioned enough to enjoy hearing a good "Amen" now and then. After all, it is exactly what the Scriptures suggest. When one person is leading in prayer everyone else is listening, or ought to be, and where they find something to which they feel a responsive chord, they say "Amen," either silently or vocally.

What they are saying is, "I agree, this is what God has said to me too.

Matthew 18:20 "For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there..."

This is where prayer finds its authority. Our Board of Elders has long since learned that the mind of the Spirit is determined when the ten men meeting together are brought into a sense of unity. When they feel there is unity, then they feel they have discovered what God wants. This is what Jesus is saying. And then the last thing. Don't miss the force of that little introductory word, for : "For, where two or three are gathered together in my name.

I confess that I do not fully understand how it is that a single man or woman or boy or girl, praying on the basis of the binding and loosing powers granted to him by God can move such mighty forces that prayer frequently engages. But it is only, of course, because it is not merely a man praying, but Christ is in him and he is praying. It is the fact that indwelling each Christian is One who has said, "All power in heaven and on earth is given unto me," Matthew Therefore when a Christian prays, it is not just one man praying, it is Christ praying through him.