Monday, January 27, 2020

Intercession and Authority (1)

Authority works both ways. We need to understand the authority that we have in Jesus, but we must also understand the limits of authority, because people and organisations that have taken it, or been given authority on earth by people submitting to them.

Authority is more important than numbers for effective prayer. Here is another important principle.

We can only give God permission to act on earth
in situations where we have authority
Every Christian has different levels of authority in various spheres of activity. This affects their authority in prayer.

Christian parents have authority in their family, so they can give God permission to work in their family. Employers have authority over in their business, so they can give God authority to work there. Managers have authority over their staff, so they can give God authority to work in their lives. A king has authority in his a kingdom, so he can give God permission to work in his kingdom. Elders have authority over people in their care, so they can give God authority to act in their lives.

When people ask us to pray for them, they are giving us authority in their lives. This gives us authority to speak to God on their behalf. Hannah had submitted to Eli, so he had authority to agree with her prayers. If she had not submitted to him, his agreement may not have meant anything.

Two or three people with earthly authority over a situation will be more effective than hundreds who have no authority. This is a reason why Christians should take up positions of authority that are offered to them. Being given authority in the world gives a Christian wider and broader authority in prayer.

Much of the prayer for cities and nations is wasted, because the people who are praying do not have much authority over the political systems they are praying for. If the rulers of a city are not Christians, they are by default, continuously giving the forces of evil authority to act in their city or nation. Christians can bind these political-spirits and government-spirits and command them to leave the city, but they do not need to depart, if they have been invited to be there by leaders of the city, because the leaders have more authority in the city than the people praying.

Christians should be careful about submitting to political authorities, because when we submit to them, we are vulnerable to the political-spirits that control them. If we are standing to together in unity with other Christians, that may not be a problem, but if we are isolated from spiritual support, we might come under attack. (From Prayer and Authority).

Intercession is only effective in situations where we have authority on earth. Being seated at the right hand of God, in Jesus, does not give us the ability to make people do things that they do not want to do. If it did, Christians would already control the world. Our prayers will not be effective for people whom we do not have authority over, because they have more authority in their lives than we do. Intercessors cannot change the behaviour of a king, president or prime minister unless that king, president or prime minister has submitted to them.

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