Prayer: Angels

Prayer: Angels

This morning, we continue on our journey learning about prayer, which is simply communicating with God.

Last week, we learned that because of the unchanging character and nature of God, He will essentially change His mind in response to our prayers.  Our prayers affect God.

This week, we’ll see how our prayers affect the heavenly realm!

Acts 1:14

14 They all (about 120 v. 15) joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

Acts 2:1-11

1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Who spoke in other tongues?  All of them

Who enabled them to do it?  The Holy Spirit

Who was doing the speaking?  They were speaking, but by the Holy Spirit as the source, not from their mind

Check out 1 Corinthians 12-14 and Acts 10/19 for more on this topic

5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”

As they were joined together in prayer, something significant changed!  A prophecy from Joel 2 and a promise of Jesus happened to all of the followers of Jesus.  They were filled with the Holy Spirit and they spoke in many different languages of men declaring the wonders of God.  Just a few minutes later, that chaotic and brand new encounter lead to the salvation of thousands of people!

The Spirit of God was poured out into people.  When the heavenly and the natural met, there were physical evidences of it!  In 1 Kings 8 when the ark of the covenant was brought into the temple and placed in the Holy of Holies, the Presence of God came and filled the whole temple with a glory cloud.  When the Presence of God came and filled the temples of flesh, there was a sound of a blowing violent wind, there were tongues of fire that separated and rested on each of them, and they spoke in many different languages.

What did Solomon request before the physical Presence of God at the dedication of that first temple?  That God would fulfill His promises and hear the prayers of His people, which was the primary purposes of the temple.  A dedicated place for the Presence of God to dwell on the earth and for prayer to the Lord.  It was a place where Heaven and earth, the spiritual and natural, were to meet.

Now, thanks to Jesus, the Old Covenant is fulfilled and we live under a New Covenant with God which is the reality of which the old foreshadowed and was a copy of.  Now the place where Heaven and earth meet, the place where the spiritual and natural collide, the place where prayer is to occur is within the new temple that Joel prophesied about. 

Where is this New Testament/New Covenant temple located? Right there in your seat!

1 Corinthians 3:16

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

God has chosen our bodies as the place for the indwelling of His Presence.  God has chosen us as priestly intercessors between Heaven and earth through prayer.

1 Peter 2:9-10

9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Revelation 1:5-6

5 … To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.

When we pray, we affect the heavenly realms!

Ephesians 6:12-20

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

… after putting on the whole armor of God, what are we to do? PRAY! …

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

When we pray, there is an interaction that takes place within spiritual forces in the heavenly realms.  Just a few examples of this are:

Daniel 9/10

While Daniel was interceding in prayer for the forgiveness of his sin and the sin of his people, an angel was sent to him.  That angel was resisted by the Prince of Persia, who was one of the rulers, authorities, or forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Michael, an archangel of God, had to come and rescue the angel so that it could bring an explanation and understanding to a vision that Daniel had.

Luke 1

While worshippers were praying in the temple, an angel named Gabriel came to Zechariah to bring a message of good news about a long-awaited son that he and Elizabeth were going to have.

Judges 13

Manoah prayed and God sent an angel to he and his wife regarding the birth of their son, Samson. 

Genesis 21

God heard the crying of Ismael, who Hagar had left in the bushes of the desert to die after having ran out of water.  He sent an angel to deliver a prophetic promise to her and to provide water for the both of them.

Numbers 20/Exodus

God heard the prayers of His people in Egypt and sent an angel to deliver and guide them through the desert into the promised land.

Judges 6

When God’s people prayed as they were being oppressed by the Midianites, God sent an angel to Gideon to deliver them.

2 Samuel 24/1 Chronicles 21

When an angel of the Lord was destroying the promised land with a plague, David prayed and God stopped the angel just before it destroyed Jerusalem.

Isaiah 37

Hezekiah prayed for God’s deliverance from the Assyrian kings.  God sent an angel to kill 185,000 from the Assyrian camp.

Mark 9

Jesus cast out a deaf and mute spirit and said that some kinds of spirits can only be driven out by prayer and fasting.

Daniel 6

Daniel chose to kneel down and pray toward Jerusalem just as he did three times every day.  However, it was now illegal do to so.  He was thrown into a lion’s den, but God sent an angel to shut the mouths of the lions and deliver him from them.

Acts 12

King Herod was persecuting the church and had just killed James by sword.  He seized and imprisoned Peter.  The church prayed fervently.  God sent an angel to release Peter from prison and lead him to Mary’s house to the very place where they were still praying for him.

These are just a few examples of the many cases when people prayed and the heavenly realm was engaged in response to those prayers.  Most commonly, God sent angels to accomplish His will.  What are angels, though? 

Prayer: Change
Great I am