- David Defries
Angels and Prayer
The main thrust of this was inspired by a sermon I listened to by Kris Vallotton, but has been more fleshed out as I've processed it over with God. I believe it bears repeating and is a direct challenge to us for this season.
In a teaching moment with His disciples, Jesus takes a child and tells them that they must become like little children to enter the Kingdom of God. He ends it of by saying "See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven." (italics mine, Matt 18:10) It seems to me from the phrase "their angels" that this implies that an angel is assigned to each child, if not each person in the world. It makes no distinction between righteous or unrighteous, Jew or Gentile, worthy or unworthy… just a casual statement that these children's angels always see God's face and that we need to respect the power that those angels have.
In Acts 12 the early church in Jerusalem is facing adversity. The apostle James is killed and Peter imprisoned for the sake of the gospel. The church gathers together to pray for Peter and he is miraculously freed by an angel. Once outside the prison, Peter decides to go visit the church and show them that he is free and the servant girl, Rhoda, is so excited when she sees Peter in front of the house that she forgets to let him in and runs upstairs to tell the rest of the church. Their response was less than enthusiastic: "15 They said to her, “You are out of your mind.” But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, “It is his angel!” (italics mine, Acts 12:15)
The church, who was in the middle of a prayer meeting for Peter, had more faith to believe that his angel would show up than Peter in the flesh. Again, this implies a familiarity with angels being assigned to people and familiarity with angels showing up with an assignment due to prayer activity by the church.
In Daniel chapter 10, Daniel prays and fast for three weeks, inquiring to the Lord what the future for his people is. At the end of the 3 weeks an angel comes and visits Daniel and says, "from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. 13 The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia". (Dan 10:12-13) Basically, an angel was assigned to provide Daniel with the answers he was looking for on the first day of his fasting and prayer, but the demon that controlled Persia prevented it from being carried out. Michael, one of the three archangels (an archangel is a chief amongst the angels), is then assigned to help out the first angel to deliver the message… because of Daniel's prayer. The chapter ends with the angel saying that he is heading back into the fight against the demon of Persia and the angel makes the statement "there is none who contends by my side against these except Michael, your prince." (italics mine, Dan 10:21)
Again, this heavily implies that Michael is assigned to Daniel to carry out God's plans, but that Michael is empowered, released, and assigned by Daniel's prayers. What this also implies is that, out of the entire remnant of believing Jews, Daniel was the only one praying and thereby releasing his angel to the fight against the demonic forces controlling the region.
So what's the point? The point is that God has given an angel to attend you, ready to be sent out on mission. That angel is assigned and empowered by your prayer, according to God's will. How many of our angels are sitting idle, twiddling their thumbs with nothing to do because we haven't bothered to pray? Do we look at a situation like COVID-19 and passively and meekly accept it or do we get on our knees and pray that God destroys the virus? Do we see the fear and confusion in our society and feel powerless or do we pray and release peace, wisdom, and other fruits of the Kingdom of God? Are we in a time like Daniel's where there is only one person praying and therefore only one angel released to fight the forces of darkness affecting our country?
I must confess that I've been entirely too passive with my prayer life during this entire crisis, to my shame. Over the past several weeks I've heard prophetic word after prophetic word calling the church to stop being passive, to wake up and get engaged. I've personally heard God calling me to greater depths of prayer and time spent with Him. We have stated in RockHaven Church time and again that prayer is the boiler room of the church, the place where there is power to drive things forward. Are you praying? Are you engaged with the fight that God is calling you to fight? Are you releasing the angelic on assignment that will destroy the works of the devil and bring about the Kingdom of God?
It's time for us to pray.