Prayer – Our authority in Christ

I believe that our authority as Christians only comes from Christ and our position in Christ through his death on the Cross and resurrection. When you become a Christian you are given authority in Christ.   You don’t have to be a Christian for x years to earn authority – it is a legal thing settled in the spiritual realm.  You become adopted children of God, raised up with Christ to sit in heavenly places and given an inheritance in Christ the minute you accept Christ as your saviour. Authority is not a feeling – it is a legal right – settled in the heavenly realms.

“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus” Ephesians 1 v 6-7

It is all about what Jesus achieved on the cross for us.

As a Christian you already have authority in prayer and the biggest breakthrough will be achieved in prayer when we understand and act on our authority and position in Christ. I think as Christians that too many times we ask God to do things for us when He has already given us the authority to implement His rule and reign on earth and we just need to exercise that authority in faith in prayer.

Settle it in your spirit and say to yourself “I have been given authority in Christ” Keep saying it in faith. God wants you to exercise the authority which you have in prayer which Christ has given to you.

Jesus said -Mark 16:17 “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Luke 10 19-“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

This scripture doesn’t mean rush off and start taking on massive demonic strongholds or go looking for demons to cast out– that would be presumptuous and dangerous. You need to make sure before you take on satanic forces directly that satan has no legal foothold in you, that you are not moving out from the covering of God’s grace, that you are prepared.  In my experience, you should only go into battles which God leads you into but:

It does mean that when the Holy Spirit reveals attacks from the enemy or the presence of the enemy we can confidently “submit to God, resist the devil and He will flee from you”  James 4:7

We only have authority because of Christ’s finished work at the cross when he took back authority from Satan.

I am sure that you have seen this example before as it is used in many Christian teachings on authority but it is good at getting the point across in a way that we can understand.

1.In Genesis Ch 1 v 26 & 28 God creates man, gives man free will and gives him DOMINION over the earth. i.e. the right and the responsibility of ruling and exercising authority over creation.   The right to subdue the earth under him. God GAVE that authority and dominion to man. God’s intention was to work with and through us to oversee His creation.

Imagine the scene – God hands over keys (representing authority) and sceptre (representing rule) on earth to man.

2.  Satan who has already been thrown out of heaven for rebellion sees that man has  been given dominion over the earth and deceives Eve into disobeying God.   She then induces Adam to disobey God. In disobeying God,  man (Adam) gives away the authority and rule that he had over the earth to Satan. Satan then legally had a position and the rule over this world and the keys to death & hell as sin brought curses and death. Jesus called him the “prince of this world” John 12:31

Imagine the scene – Adam hands keys to satan.

3. God has already put in place the plan of redemption – Hallelujah. Gen 3:16 he says to satan “And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and hers, he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel”. This is fulfilled when Jesus the son of God becomes man and dies on the cross to pay the ransom for sin and obtain redemption for us. Jesus said of satan before he went to the cross “ the prince of this world now stands condemned.” John 16:11

Imagine the scene – Jesus leaves the glory of heaven and his position and comes to earth.

4. Satan comes to tempt Jesus in the wilderness and offers him the kingdoms of the world and their glory. He said “All these things I will give you if you will fall down and worship me”.  Satan is able to offer Jesus earthly power because Adam had given it to him.   As the prince of the world he has a position which he can offer Christ.   You’ll notice in scripture that Jesus didn’t rebuke satan for lying.

Imagine the scene – satan offers Jesus conditional rulership – strings attached – but Jesus declines.  This was to ensure that when Jesus went to the Cross he was the spotless lamb of God.

“for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me” John 14:13 i.e. satan had nothing on Christ. He had refused all temptation. “ but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin.”   Hebrews 4:15

5. At the Cross Jesus defeated satan just when satan thought he had won. Satan didn’t kill Jesus, Jesus gave up his life for us. Colossians 2: 15 says “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. i.e. He stripped satan of authority at the cross and he took the keys back from satan of hell and death (Revelation 1:18)

Imagine the scene -Jesus takes back from satan the keys and the rulership

6. Jesus didn’t keep that authority for himself.  Hallelujah.  He put it into the hands of his church – us- so that we can in prayer and by the Word of God in daily life enforce the rule and reign of Christ over satan on this earth until He comes back. The inheritance we have in Christ is the Authority and Power (of the Holy Spirit) given to us when Jesus died and rose from the dead. Satan’s power over us has now been broken by Christ’s blood – we no longer fear death.

1 John 3:8 says “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil”.

Romans 5:17 “For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ”.

Imagine the scene – Jesus puts the keys and rulership into the hands of the Christian – Amen.

There are things to remember with such authority. We do not rule by our own will but by God’s revealed will.   Rulership is also not over people – We don’t control people or seek to control them through prayer – that is manipulation and control which is clearly a sin. This authority and rulership is to be exercised over the works of the enemy. The bible is clear that we do not fight flesh and blood but evil forces.

Before the Cross satan’s name had an effect and meant something in the spirit realm. When Christ died on the cross he made a public spectacle of satan. When God raised Jesus up and gave him a name above all names – satan’s name in the spiritual realm was DEMOTED. The name satan means the opponent, the hater, the accuser, adversary, enemy, one who resists, obstructs and hinders whatever is good.   He is the hateful enemy opposed to everything of God.

When you come under attack from satan or evil/unclean spirits, as you surely will as a Christian, rebuke them in the name of Jesus, remind them of the blood of Christ and Christ’s victory at the cross.

Revelation 12:11 says that “they overcame him (satan) by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death”.

The battle is not between satan and God – that is no contest.   God is Omnipotent (all-powerful) satan is not. God is Omniscient (all-knowing) satan is not.   God is Omnipresent (everywhere) satan is not -he can only be in one place at a time.

The present battle is between us (the Church of Christ who satan hates) assisted by God’s angels against satan and his demonic spirits.

Christ gave us the victory at the Cross but it is only Christ’s church at the moment who can through prayer be used of God to bring His kingdom rule and reign to the earth. We know that satan still has influence in this world because he continues to influence the behaviour of people and this is shown clearly in the Word. Christ has not yet come back to rule and reign over the earth and until he does it is our job as Christians to keep praying –Matthew 6:10 May your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Le us pray for humility, to have the mind of Christ & an obedient heart. 

Philippians 2: 5-16  “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life–in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labour for nothing. 17

May we continue to develop JESUS’ Character –

He was humble – “But made himself of no reputation and took upon him the form of a servant”

He was selfless – “poured out his life an offering for all”

He was obedient – “and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross”. He said to His father “not my will but yours be done”

He was forgiving – “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”.

He was compassionate – “When He saw the crowds his heart moved with compassion”

 Let us pray for more revelation of Jesus, His victory on the cross & the power of His blood.

 An extract from the book: Nothing but the blood

We overcome satan when we testify personally to what the Word of God says the blood of Jesus does for us (Rev 12:11)

Through the blood of Jesus, I am redeemed out of the hand of the devil (Ephesians 1:7)

Through the blood of Jesus, all my sins are forgiven (1 John 1:9)

Through the blood of Jesus, I am continually being cleansed from all sin (1 John 1:17)

Through the blood of Jesus, I am justified, made righteous, just-as-if-I’d never sinned (Rom 5:9)

Through the blood of Jesus, I am sanctified, made holy, set apart to God (Heb 13:12)

Through the blood of Jesus, I have boldness to enter into the presence of God (Heb 10:19)

The blood of Jesus cries out continually to God in heaven on my behalf”   (Heb 12:24)Prayer – Is God hearing my prayers?

 

 

 

In whose name are we praying?

I believe that we can only approach God’s throne through the blood and in the name of JESUS CHRIST.

Jesus said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”

In Christ alone we can confidently come before God’s throne.

Hebrews 4:14 – Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Jesus also said: “but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father, in My name, he may give you” John 15:16

What does the name of Jesus Christ mean in terms of authority and power:

a) The name JESUS CHRIST means literally JESUS “THE ANOINTED ONE”.

The word Christ comes from “Christos” and “Christos” translates the Hebrew “Mashiyach” i.e. “Messiah”.  Jesus was the anointed one of God – The Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament.

We have lost a little in translation and can think Jesus Christ was his full name – a surname. The name Jesus Christ the anointed one denotes a TITLE and POSITION. In the Old Testament when someone was anointed it meant “to consecrate by applying Holy Oil to an individual”.   Jesus was the one anointed by God. The Old Testament pictures the Messiah as one who will put an end to sin and war and usher in universal righteousness and through his death will make vicarious atonement for the salvation of sinful people. Jesus is the Messiah; he claimed to be the Messiah (Matthew 23:63-64; Mark 14:61-62; Luke 22:67-70; Jn 4:25-26) and the claim was acknowledged by his disciples (Matthew 16:16; Mark 8:29; Luke 9:20; Acts 4:27; 10:38).

b) There is authority in His Name.

We need to understand the authority in Jesus’ Name when we pray – particularly in the spiritual realm when dealing with demonic influences.  We can bring all situations under the name of Jesus because He is superior.

The Bible says:  “Therefore God has highly exalted him (i.e. lifted him up, an exaltation to the highest position, a super exalted position of honour and glory) and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” Philippians 2: 9

Jesus said “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth –” Matt 28 v 18

“when He (God) raised Him (Christ) from the dead and seated Him (Christ) at His (God’s) right hand in the heavenly places FAR ABOVE all principality (rule) and power (authority) and might (power) and dominion and every name that is named not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He (God) put all things under His (Christ’s) feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all”. Ephesians Ch 1 20-23

There is authority and power in the name of Jesus Christ.   If we recognise this when we pray then we will pray with more authority, understanding,  faith and boldness.   Satan has tried to demote the name of Jesus and it is now used by many people in a blasphemous way. We need to use His name in the correct way when we pray.    We will see results and situations change as prayers are answered.

 In Revelation 19 v11-16 we get a further revelation of Christ and the authority and power which is his:

“Now I saw heaven opened and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called FAITHFUL and TRUE and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes were like flames of fire and on His Head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called THE WORD OF GOD

v 16 And He had on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS

c) There is power in His name:

Smith Wigglesworth used to say that all things were possible through the name of Jesus Christ.   He had a testimony of the power in Jesus’ name when it came to raising a sick man called Lazarus.   Lazarus was an old miner in Wales.   Smith Wigglesworth had been told by God to go and raise Lazarus up.  He sent a postcard to him telling him he was coming to do it.   What faith.  However, when Smith arrived he was told by people not to bother and that the moment he saw Lazarus he would be ready to give up and go home because Lazarus was just a mass of bones with skin stretched over them with no life hardly left in him.   Instead of giving up and going home (like most of us would have done I’m sure) that night Smith went and found seven more men and women of faith to fast with him and pray for Lazarus and then they all went to the house the next day. This is what Smith says in his book happened when they circled the bed and kept repeating the name of Jesus:

“We all knelt down and whispered that one word, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” The power of God fell and then it lifted. Five times the power of God fell and then it remained. But Lazarus on the bed was unmoved. Two years previously someone had tried to raise him up and the devil had used his lack of success as a means of discouraging Lazarus.  I said “I don’t care what the devil says; if God says he will raise you up it must be so. Forget everything else except what God says about Jesus.

The sixth time the power fell and the sick man’s lips began moving and the tears began to fall.  I said to him “The power of God is here, it is yours to accept it”. He said “I have been bitter in my heart and I know I have grieved the Spirit of God. Here I am helpless. I cannot lift my hands, nor even a spoon to my mouth”. I said “Repent, and God will hear you”. He repented and cried out “Oh God, let this be to Thy glory”. As he said this the virtue of the Lord went right through him. I have asked the Lord to never let me tell this story except at it was for I realise that God can never bless exaggerations. As we again said, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, the bed shook, and the man shook…. I sat and watched that man get up and dress himself. The news soon went abroad that Lazarus had been raised up and many came to hear his testimony. God brought salvation to many. All this came through the name of Jesus, through faith in His name, the faith that is by Him gave this sick man perfect soundness in the presence of them all”

Peter said to the crippled man “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength, and he went into the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.     Acts 3 1-16

When we pray let us ask the Holy Spirit for more revelation of the authority and power that there is in the name of Jesus Christ and teach us how to use His name in prayer effectively. The name of Jesus is a weapon of spiritual warfare and evil/unclean spirits recognise and have to submit to the authority of the name of Jesus.

Let us read portions of scripture which uplift the name of Jesus and meditate/memorise them.  Revelation ch 19, Ephesians ch1 or Colossians 1 & 2 which are on the pre-eminence of Christ.

Let us lift up the name of Jesus as we pray and in our worship – Singing songs which exalt the name of Jesus.

Let us not be afraid to speak out the name of Jesus and bring the problem or whatever it is you are praying about under and in subjection to Jesus and His name.  Prayer – Is God hearing my prayers?