Mission Harvest © 2011 William J. Brannan
One of the great messages of Scripture is that there is always hope for the oppressed. Sometimes it may seem like the problems we are facing in our lives or as a society are too great to be dealt with, yet nothing is impossible with God. All throughout the Bible, people faced impossible situations yet prevailed through the power of God. The secret to their success was prayer. Prayer causes the power of God to be manifested upon earth.
In chapter 11 of the book of Hebrews, we read of many great heroes of faith. The list of their exploits is both inspiring and humbling. The impact of such believers is summed up well:
"And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection." (Hebrews 11:32-35, NKJV)
In this great list of accomplishments, there are a few that are easily overlooked, yet, are imperative for us today. By faith these believers:
1. Subdued Kingdoms
2. Worked righteousness.
3. Quenched the violence of fire.
4. Turned back armies of aliens.
Such things are very practical blessings for society. The implication is that their impact was felt at national levels, and this is exactly what we need today. If I were to rewrite this list for today it might include things like:
1. They quenched the fire of economic distress.
2. They subdued national discontent.
3. They overthrew corruption in high places.
4. They worked the blessing of righteousness into society.
The greatest hero of faith is Jesus. He overcame all sin and evil when He died on the cross. It is very important for us to realize that no man has ever overcome evil or sin in the world. It has always only ever been God. All of the great heroes of faith, every miracle in the Bible, every great deliverance has always been the handiwork of God…working through men. When Moses tried to deliver Israel from slavery in Egypt, he failed miserably, but when God anointed him to deliver Israel from bondage he succeeded. The Bible is filled with that same pattern over and over again of men and women doing great things because they were anointed by God.
Something else that is important for us to realize is that Jesus, although He was God incarnate, laid down His divinity and become completely a man. When he ministered in the gospels, it was only in the power of the Holy Spirit. He didn't minister out of the power of His own divinity. This is why He never had a public ministry nor did he work a miracle until He was anointed with the Holy Spirit at His baptism. The reason that this is so important for us to realize is because the same Holy Spirit that anointed Jesus for ministry is available to us today. When a person is anointed by the Holy Spirit, it is God who works through them mightily to overthrow evil and set people free. This is a key to bringing true liberty and transformation on the Earth.
Therefore, it is important to understand how the power of the Holy Spirit works through people. The answer is simple. It is through prayer. Study Scripture from cover to cover and you will discover the secret behind every great miracle and deliverance is prayer. The best example is found in the life of Jesus himself. You will notice in the gospels that He was always going off to a solitary place to pray. He often prayed long before anybody else was even awake. Even His victory over sin on the cross was first won through prayer in the garden of Gethsemane. The whole secret of the incredible ministry of Jesus is summed up in Hebrews:
"Who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear." (Hebrews 5:7, NKJV)
Jesus was preeminently a man of prayer. The NT church which had such a powerful impact upon the world was preeminently a house of prayer for all nations. Jesus told us that His disciples would do greater works than He did because of the Holy Spirit which would be poured out after He ascended into heaven and sat down on His throne in heaven. He now reigns as King, and through the power of the Holy Spirit His victory over sin and evil can be manifested today, but only when the church prays.
The good news for all of the poor and oppressed is that there is power available to bring salvation. It is promised by the very word of God but is conditioned upon to prayer. To get a picture of the incredible possibilities of prayer, all one has to do is read the Bible. Therefore, one of the keys to overcoming evil in our generation and seeing society blessed it to restore the spirit of prayer to the church.