Prayer and the Activity of Angels

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By Joseph Campbell, DMin

There is much talk today about the activity of angels. There are television shows and movies depicting angels in various roles. These roles may or may not be biblical. This article will seek to highlight from the Scriptures some of the roles that prayer plays in angelic activity.

Angels and Deliverance

The account in Acts 12 : 1-19 tells of Simon Peter’s supernatural deliverance from prison. Herod had placed Peter in prison under maximum security, intending to kill him, just as he had done to James. However, the church prayed fervently and continuously. In response to the church’s prayers, God sent Hi angel and set Peter free. This story teaches us that God will dispatch His angels to intervene in situations which we fervently and continuously bring before Him in prayer. He will open door when all doors are closed.

Angels and Warfare

Isaiah 37:10 ff contains the account of Judah facing certain defeat by the advancing Assyrian army. Hezekiah , Judah ‘s king, prayed earnestly to God and because he prayed (Isaiah 37: 21, 36) God sent His angel and killed 185,000 Assyrians. This massacre resulted in the Assyrians’ retreat and in Judah ‘s deliverance. This story illustrates that there are times when God waits for us to pray to Him about difficulties before He dispatches His angel to defeat our enemies.

Another record of angels involved in warfare is in Dan. 10: 1-21. On this occasion, the warfare was spiritual but just as real as in the case of Hezekiah. Daniel decided to deny himself of certain foods and to persevere in prayer until he gained understanding concerning the future of his people. God sent an angel with the answer to Daniel’s prayer from the first day that he prayed. However, the angel was hindered by the Prince of Persia (a satanic angel) for three weeks. The Scriptures suggest that the messenger angel was able to eventually come to Daniel because of his unceasing prayer – this prayer precluded Michael the archangel coming to the rescue of the messenger angel.

Daniel’s experience shows us two things. First, that angels are often sent with answers to our prayers. This is consistent with Heb 1:13-14 , which states that angels are ministering spirits, sent to minister to the heirs of salvation. Second, that our persistence in prayer is sometimes linked to the angels of God encountering and successfully nullifying the efforts and activities of satanic beings. Daniel’s experience ought to encourage the church of God to persevere in prayer until God’s will is established in situations around us. God’s angels are at work while we pray.

Personal Strengthening

There are at least two times in the life of Jesus when angels came and strengthened Him after a period of intense prayer. One occasion was at the end of his forty days of fasting and temptation in the desert (Matt 4:11 ). The other occasion was in the garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:39 – 46) when he was facing His imminent suffering and death. On both occasions Jesus was physically and emotionally drained after a time of intense prayer. The Scriptures imply that, on both occasions, God the Father sent angels to strengthen Jesus in response to His prayers. These encounters of Jesus indicate that Christians may experience the ministry of angels after an intense time of prayer which leaves them physically and emotionally tired.

Conclusion

There is much to be learned about the role of angels. Nevertheless, it is clear from the Bible that the prayers of Christians can and does have an impact on angelic activity. Often, God waits on our prayers before sending His angels to accomplish His purposes.

Speak Your Mind


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