“…If two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask,
it shall be done for them by my father who is in heaven”
(Matthew 18:19; ESV)
What is an Ekklesia? It is the Greek word for Church, and in its most embryonic expression, it is the gathering of at least two believers around the manifest presence of Jesus with authority to bind and release for God’s will to be done in their sphere of influence. That’s the very heart of prayer. We pray according to the will of God and the will of God is done.
The scriptural basis for that gives us great reassurance. Matthew 18:18-20 says, “Truly I say to you that whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. Again, I say to you that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by my father who is in heaven, for where two or three have gathered in my name, I am there in their midst.”
This passage reveals there are three steps we are to take so that God can deliver on three promises.
|1. When two or three gather in His name…||…Jesus comes.|
|2. Anything they pray for on earth…||…is done by their Father in heaven.|
|3. When they bind and release…||…they are empowered!|
What a promise the passage begins with: if we call on the name of the Lord, He will come. Pause and contemplate that fact: when you go to prayer, the Lord says, “I will come.” Where is He coming from? From the right hand of the Father. What is He doing there? He is interceding for you.
And how tremendous the second promise is, that anything we ask in the name of Jesus, the Father will do it! But the question is, why is it that we don’t get 100% of our prayers answered as Jesus promised? And why is it that we bind and we release on earth, but it doesn’t remain bound and released?
I asked the Lord about that one day, and He said to me, “Ed, you rush too quickly to pray, to request things, but you don’t honor Jesus who is coming to be with you.”
Then the figure of the Queen of England came to mind. If she were to come through the front door, what would I do? She would get my undivided attention. I would greet her and say to her, “Your wish is my command, Your Majesty.” And God instantly reminded me that His Son is much greater than the Queen of England!
That changed my life! Ever since, when I begin to pray with my wife or with a prayer partner, we take time welcoming the Lord Jesus. We use 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves [first] and [then] pray….” You see, I was rushing to prayer. Take time to welcome the Lord Jesus, to humble yourself, to offer yourself to do His command. Then, seek His face. And when you have His face in full view, then He says, “Turn from your wicked ways.” Oh, how majestic is the love and the grace of God that He lets us look into His face when ours is still so emaciated with sin and pain!
Then and only then, God says, “I will hear from heaven, I will forgive their sins, and I will heal the land.”
Pay attention to that passage. We call on the name of the Lord, and at that moment we come under His Lordship. We humble ourselves, we adore Him, we worship Him, and then we begin to pray. And we seek His face first, and we turn from our old ways. And when we take time to do that, the mind of Christ begins to impregnate our minds.
If you welcome Jesus and you listen to Him, you will begin to think His thoughts. And at that moment we are renewed in the spirit of our mind––not just on the soul side of our mind, but also on the spirit side, we begin to receive what comes from God. At that moment, we begin to pray the prayers that Jesus has been praying at the right hand of the Father. When we do that, 100% of those prayers are answered, and we are able to bear fruit, much fruit, and fruit that remains.
Points for Prayer:
Meditate on Matthew 18:18-20 and 2 Chronicles 7:14.
Begin to pray as indicated, not rushing to ask, but inviting and dwelling in His Presence in your midst.
Listen before you speak. You will begin to hear the prayers God wants to answer for your nation.
By Ed Silvoso
Founder and President, Transform Our World