Recently, I asked the Lord for more understanding about what my authority over the evil spirits who seek to ruin my nation is based on. I knew I had authority in my own life. But in the past, when I would go to prayer for the nation, the fact that God will honor other people’s free will, if they choose to yield to darkness, kept tripping me up regarding my authority in prayer for the nation.
I know that principalities, powers and rulers of the darkness of this world are able to rule over people who are yet in spiritual darkness. We don’t have Scripture for breaking the power of the devil over an entire nation once and for all time, because a nation is composed of people who have free will to choose whether they serve God or Satan. I also know, of course, that in every nation many people choose to serve Satan and to continually yield to him.
I know that these principalities, powers and rulers of the darkness of this world keep ruling on earth because they are given permission to do so through unbelievers who yield to them or even through ignorant and disobedient believers.
As I sought God regarding this, He began giving me some answers--truths in the Word of God in order to build my faith regarding the extent of my God-given authority in the affairs of the nation. He began dealing with me about I Timothy 2:1-2 where we’re instructed to pray for those in governmental authority.
I Timothy 2:1-2
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; THAT WE may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
The Greek says these places of authority are stations of eminence or places of influence over the masses.
The Basis of our Authority in National Affairs
As I meditated on these verses, the Lord began to show me that since He instructed the church to pray for those in authority, our authority as a believer at the throne of grace does reach these offices of government. Otherwise, God would be instructing us to do something (pray) that doesn’t really have any effect on the political realm. I don’t believe He would do that. Do you?
That means our authority at the throne of grace DOES extend to these places of influence. Otherwise, why would God instruct us to pray concerning those in governmental positions? Therefore, through prayer, we can push back the forces of darkness that seek to influence those in political office.
Second, we are told in these verses what it is that SPECIFICALLY gives us authority to pray for those in our government. GENERALLY speaking, the basis for our authority in the affairs of our nation is the fact that God originally gave Adam dominion over the whole earth, which Jesus restored to the church in the plan of redemption.
But, what is it that SPECIFICALLY gives you and I authority in the affairs of our nation? It’s the fact that God authorized the church to carry out its mission of preaching the gospel and what those in government do affects the mission of the church.
Any governmental official, any governmental office or policy that opposes what we’ve been commissioned and authorized to do has no authority from heaven to stop us. If the decisions they make affect the church, we have authority in that situation and are to exercise that authority in prayer.
In these verses, God is telling us to pray for those in authority…THAT WE. “We” means the church. The decisions and policies those in authority make affect us in the church, as we carry out our assignment to preach the gospel. Therefore, we have authority over what affects us, and we are told to pray for them and exercise that authority in prayer at the throne of grace.
We have understood this principle of how far our authority extends on an individual basis. We know we don’t necessarily have authority to cast the devil out of any particular individual who wants to yield to an evil spirit in his own personal life.
But, we have also learned that if that spirit they are yielding to is seeking to operate THROUGH that person to hinder, harass or impede US as an individual believer, we now have authority to stop that which Satan is doing. The person the evil spirit is using won’t necessarily be freed from that spirit because we exercised our authority, but that spirit won’t be able to operate THROUGH them to affect us.
The same is true concerning the spirits that seek to operate through those in places of governmental authority. When the decisions those in authority make affect my life or my quiet and peaceful spread of the gospel, I now have authority over those spirits trying to hinder me or the free course of the gospel. And, so do you!
It’s all About the Mission of the Church
Let’s read the next verses in I Timothy 2, and we’ll see further what I mean.
I Timothy 2:3
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
When the KJV says, “THIS is good and acceptable in the sight of God,” I used to think He was referring to us living a quiet and peaceable life, which of course, also pleases the Lord. We are His family, and He wants us to be able to live in peace in our nation.
But, the AMPC brings out that what He is pleased with is the church praying for those in places of authority.
I Timothy 2:3 (AMPC)
For such [praying] is good and right, and [it is] pleasing and acceptable to God our Savior,
He’s saying that praying for our government, or, more specifically, praying so that the forces of darkness are thwarted from using positions of authority against the mission of the church is what is pleasing to God.
Why is this pleasing to God? Keep reading and He tells us.
I Timothy 2:4
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
It’s the mission of the church to spread the gospel and get people saved as well as bring them into the knowledge of the truth—which means disciple them.
So, we’re told to pray for kings and all that are in authority THAT WE--we’re praying for those in authority for the benefit of the church and its mission. The church is the real target of this kind of praying, not those in places of authority per se. He’ll bless them, sometimes in spite of themselves, for our sake.
God is telling us to pray for those in governmental authority because it affects how many people get saved. He wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. And, He’s going to use us to make that happen. It all has to do with the mission of the church!
You Have a Supply to the Nation
Why is it pleasing to God that we pray for those in authority? Because, we have standing before God in prayer about what happens down here--they don’t. We have the authority to push back the forces of darkness that come to steal, kill and destroy a nation and free it from the devil’s power--they don’t. We have a supply to the nation that nobody else has, and God is pleased when He finds someone who will give Him access to those in places of authority.
No one other than the church has authority over the devil. No one else has the Word of truth or a renewed mind — right thinking about things. And, our nation desperately needs some right thinking right now!
No one else has the Word of God—wisdom and answers for tough problems or tough questions. No one else has the power to get wealth that blesses a nation economically. No one else has the anointing to destroy yokes. Only the church has these things! And, we’re called to bless our nation with what we have.
The Target of the Spirit Realm
You see, in the spirit realm, both God and the devil have made places of influence over the masses their target. Whichever force in the spirit realm is dominating these offices is the force that has the most access to the masses. But, the real target of the spirit realm—whether God or Satan—is the church which God is focused on using and the enemy is opposing. The church is how God blesses the world around us.
In Acts 9, we read that Saul opposed the church and was doing it through the authority of a governmental office (Acts 9:1-2). But, I’ll guarantee you that what happened on the road to Damascus was because the church prayed.
There’s not any man in any office or operating in any human authority who is outside the reach of God dealing with him, if we’ll take our place in prayer before the throne of grace. By taking our place in prayer, we will not be subject to the ungodly minds, plans or policies that wicked and unreasonable men devise. Like Saul, they will be stopped in their tracks!
Prayer Holds Satan Back
II Thessalonians 3:1-2
Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.
Notice the Spirit connects the Word of God having free course in a nation to the body of Christ being delivered from wicked and unreasonable men—through prayer. In other words, the devil seeks to use these wicked and unreasonable men in governmental offices (or other places of influence such as media, education, etc.) to try to hinder our freedom to preach the Word. Satan seeks to hinder the free course of the gospel, but prayer holds Satan back from what he seeks to do.
If these places of influence are Satan’s target in the spirit realm, they should be the target of every believer’s prayer life as well. Why? So the Word can be preached without the hindrance of wicked men in places of authority.
God will intervene in what Satan is trying to do through positions of influence, if we’ll pray. But, He’ll do so on behalf of the church, not necessarily on behalf of the citizens of the nation.
Prayer Gives God Access
Our prayer life is not our approval of the one in the office or his policies. It’s God's invitation to work through that office on behalf of the church, and it gives Him access to do so. We’re not actually praying for the office directly. We’re only praying for the office indirectly because it’s a channel through which God will help the church in its mission.
If our minds are on the fact that we don’t like a person in a particular office, we’ll not be able to pray effectively because we’ll be in the flesh--miffed and offended rather than in faith. Offense and faith never go together.
If we take the mindset that it’s fine with us if the one we don’t like in the office fails and therefore don’t pray, we’re being unscriptural. Your prayer life is not adding to the success of a man; it’s adding to the success and mission of the church. And, it’s holding back the forces of darkness that seek to use that office.
You’re adding to the success of the office even if God didn’t raise up the man in the office. Also, your prayers can remove one from his office and set up another who will be more favorable to the mission of the church.
Written By: Jay Eberly // September 7, 2021
© 2021 Jay Eberly Ministries. All rights reserved.
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