Skip to main content

Prayer--More Powerful Than We Dream

Numbers 16:47-48 (The Message)
The Message (MSG)
Eugene H. Peterson
47-48 Aaron grabbed the censer, as directed by Moses, and ran into the midst of the congregation. The plague had already begun. He put burning incense into the censer and atoned for the people. He stood there between the living and the dead and stopped the plague.

Paul and I are still slowly digesting Watchman Nee's little book, Sit, Walk, Stand, a tiny bit at a time over breakfast each morning. We must seem like very slow readers, but we want to absorb this teacher/preacher's thoughts and consider them well.

We had just finished reading Watchman's words about the great legacy to the Church; the name of Jesus, in which we are invited to pray, when I read in the book of Numbers chapter 16, verses 47-48, the story of the plague that was judgement for the sins of the people and which was stopped when Aaron the priest, burned incense before the Lord and atoned for the people.

The image of Aaron, standing between the living and the dead was such a vivid picture of the ministry of prayer that we are called to if we follow Christ.

1 Peter 2:9 (New International Version)
9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

We believers are a royal priesthood, according to 1 Peter, and called to stand between the spiritually dead and the living and stop the plague of sin through prayer, which is symbolized by incense, rising to heaven.

Watchman's words on praying in the name of Jesus were sobering. He says that the authorization to use that name is "a fruit of obedience to God and of a resulting spiritual position known and maintained."

When God knows us because we show up daily to know him and be known of him, he can trust us with his name. We won't then be like the exorcists in Acts chapter 16 who tried to use the name of Jesus over some people in the grip of evil spirits, only to have the spirit call out, "Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?" I don't want to be written off by the forces of hell as a weak link, out of connection with the source of spiritual authority and power, one whom they need not worry about. I want to cause a stir because I carry Christ in me and with me.

The name of Jesus is backed by all the power of heaven. So I have renewed my commitment and efforts to pray as faithfully as I can for those God has given me to pray for.

About four weeks ago we started praying for some of our nephews. One of them is John, my brother's 20 year old son in England, who has been drinking heavily enough to be concerning since alcohol addiction is in our genes. On our weekly phone call just after we began to pray, Robert said, "John hasn't had a drink for a few days." Last weekend Robert said that it was now 3 weeks since he'd had a drink--and John said it's the longest he's gone without a drink since he was 14. Coincidence? Maybe; but I don't think so. I thank God for what he is doing in John's life.

God in his mercy and grace hears and answers even the weakest prayers when we least deserve it, but to engage fully in the unseen spiritual battles that rage all around us, we need to go deeper and closer to Jesus. He has given us his name to use.

Revelation 5:8 (American Standard Version)
8 And when he had taken the book, the four living creatures and the four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

Comments

Joyful Fox said…
Hi Belinda,

Your post is a often needed reminder of the power of prayer. Although we know the verse, "To pray without ceasing", in practise, I think, we all could stand to be more faithful.

I want to thank you for your faithful prayers on behalf of me and my family. I know when you are praying. My ease in a day and the changes in my character are wrought by them.

I am learning to pray more and think less. If I can turn more thoughts into prayers, what wonderful communion and intimacy I would have with my Heavenly Father.

Thanks again for that post.

Popular posts from this blog

Just Joy!

Our family has a standing date for Sunday dinner on the first Sunday of every month. Not that we don't see each other at any other time, but we all know that particular Sunday is pretty much for sure--and I look forward to it so much--the front door bursting open and our house being filled once more with the voices and vibrancy of six grandchildren and their parents. 

This week Spero, Brenda's new Australian Shepherd puppy came too, and met his extended family, leaving Molson at home to have a rest! He was duly adored by all of us.


He came with a dazzling array of toys and is proving a fast learner, already sitting on command and responding to Tori's training. I was so impressed at her technique of quickly rewarding a turnaround from any slight naughtiness with praise for "good sitting," or "good" any other desirable behaviour! 

Tippy had her hair cut stunningly and bravely short the day before; making a statement about who she is as a unique individual, o…

The Secret Adventures of Susan's Scottish Scarf

By Belinda (with a lot of help from Susan :))
I was saying goodnight to her at the front door this week when she told me. There was apparently more to the scarf around her neck than I knew. 
The scarf had been a gift from me for Susan's birthday on Tuesday December 18th. It had been her 60th; and that day I had treated her to lunch to celebrate. 
We met at a tiny restaurant, Port Soiree, in Schomberg,near her office. It was a restaurant neither of us had been to before and it turned out to be a gem, with artsy ambiance, amazing food, wonderful service and modest pricing. In other words, it was perfect!