Early Sunday morning as Carolyn and I were preparing for two services in two different churches the Spirit of God spoke profoundly to us. After a word of knowledge concerning a woman who was heavily oppressed mentally and physically, the Holy Spirit said, “It takes the faith of a corporate body to lift up such ones who are heavily oppressed. Even the angels participate in aiding such a one for it is the source of great power.”
“Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Lk. 15:10).
I know this verse applies to a sinner who comes to repentance, but the principle speaks volumes to us concerning the importance of the one and the faith and agreement of the local body to aid the suffering one or even unbelievers who may be in our midst.
“But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you. How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification” (1 Cor. 14:24-26).
The local body needs to have a revelation of how heaven moves for the one.
When a church comes into agreement for any member of the body who is sick, oppressed, or going through a severe trial it becomes a great source of power for them.
Carolyn was remembering when a man with a mask appeared outside of the place where she worked at as a single woman many years ago. This frightened her and fear gripped her. She went to the local assembly and asked for prayer and one of the pastors led the congregation in proclaiming the protection of Psalm 91 over her. It created such a force in the realm of the Spirit for Carolyn that she was able to go back to work without any fear.
We just returned from some meetings in one city where corporate prayer was made on behalf of the pastor’s wife. Her life appeared to be in disarray. Her business and health seemed to be failing. Fear and discouragement were setting in. Corporate prayer and power were released for her in the assembly. Love and encouragement were given. Soon God began to move on her behalf and manifested answers to her needs.
When Peter was thrust into prison by Herod the church gathered to pray constantly.
“Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church” (Acts 12:5).
What were the results of this united praying? The power of God was released and an angel was sent to deliver Peter from prison (vs. 6-11). When he realized he had gained his freedom he went to the house of Mary.
“So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying” (Acts 12:12).
The Church has got to learn to assemble in the power of the Spirit.
I heard one old timer tell the story of an epileptic boy for whom the church fasted and prayed two days for. When they came together in the corporate assembly the power of God was manifest and the boy was completely delivered.
God often spotlights an individual so the church can come into agreement and faith for their needs. So much more power is released where there is a spirit of unity and agreement. Most believers in the church today are not familiar with this kind of united power. It is the day where we must discern and judge these things spiritually. There are many examples of this in the Scriptures. Even when there is practice of sin in a known member of the local body the church has tremendous power and authority to deal with that one (1 Cor. 5).
“In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (vs. 4-5).
Here is another marvelous scripture containing prayer on behalf of Peter and John who were severely threatened for preaching and healing in the Name of Jesus:
“Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:29-31).
Corporate prayer released the power of God and filled them all with the Holy Spirit and shook the place where they assembled. This prayer had to do with preaching the gospel in boldness and power. Unless the spreading of the gospel and the advancement of the kingdom of God becomes the church’s primary motive, we’ll be limited in our prayers. Often we ask amiss to consume it on our own lusts (James 4:3). Seek ye first the kingdom of God (Mt. 6:33).
United prayer not only gives birth to corporate power, but also to revelation and instruction/direction from the Lord. For example, in Acts 13:1-3, five ministers were ministering to the Lord and fasting when the Holy Ghost spoke direction that changed the landscape of the early Church.
“Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.”
We’ve got to get into the classroom of the Holy Ghost and learn these things. Too many leaders and churches are following the production of the purveyors of the self-help, motivational, you-can-have-it-all, success in life, grow-your-church seminar founded on the mere wisdom of man which God has not chosen. instead of the power of God. This has caused a great glorying in the flesh that God resists (1 Cor. 1:26-29). Let us remember that the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men (v. 25).
Many of the things released in corporate meetings will be instructions and directions of the will of God for the local assembly. Often they will come from guest ministers who move in the Spirit and will speak the wisdom of God into that body. This operation has manifested in our own lives and ministry of late in nearly every place and church we’ve gone to. We will pray forth mysteries and ask God to reveal His will to a people.
For instance, recently in the state of Oregon at least one church came into the dealings of God and the stirrings of the Spirit that were birthed through prayer and the word of the Lord that came through our vessels. The pastors were so moved that they transcribed the utterances that came by the Spirit in the meetings we held there. This has happened a number of times where churches rehearse what the Lord said. That kind of honor and reverence and subsequent obedience to the word of the Lord will produce results in any assembly.
Any church with spiritual leadership can move in these profound and prolific things because of a lifestyle of prayer. In these dark times in our nation heaven on earth will manifest for those who are seeking the Lord right now. The Lord lifts up His voice to His army (Joel 2). Instructions, assignments, and deployments are coming for those who learn to pray and interpret mysteries. The power of God will be released in corporate prayer. All you need is two or three in faith and agreement for Jesus to be in our midst in power.
Let us call to attention and order our solemn assemblies and move into God’s mysteries and miracles for this day and hour.
“Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together…” (Heb. 10:25)