Early Sunday morning as my wife 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 tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents" (Luke 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 there comes in one who does not believe or one unlearned, he is convinced by all and judged by all. 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, brothers? When you come together, every one of you has a psalm, a teaching, a tongue, a revelation, and 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.
My wife 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.
"So Peter was kept in prison. But the church prayed to God without ceasing for him" (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 Mary's house.
"Realizing this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John, whose other name 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 as a final measure to root out the leaven in their midst (1 Cor. 5).
"In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. When you are assembled, along with my spirit, in the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 deliver him to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that the spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord Jesus" (vv. 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 that Your servants may speak Your word with great boldness, by stretching out Your hand to heal and that signs and wonders may be performed in the name of Your holy Son Jesus.' When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and 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 first the kingdom of God (Matt. 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.
"In the church that was in Antioch there were 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 worshipped the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, 'Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.' Then after fasting and praying, they laid their hands on them and sent them off" (Acts 13:1-3).
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.
"Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together" (Heb. 10:25).
Bert Farias' books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and turning away from the truth we are seeing in our day. Cleansing the Temple is his most recent release. You can follow him personally on Facebook, his Facebook ministry page, or Twitter.
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