Word released on March 16, 2023:
I am very passionate about helping you grow in your understanding of prayer and about all of us, together, praying for America. Over the past couple of weeks, I've been teaching about spiritual authority and power. Here are some summary statements:
• Where rule or control of the earth is concerned, power has never been the issue. God's power is immeasurable and insurmountable. Authority, the right to rule, is the issue.
• Adam, whose name means "man" or "human," was given authority over the earth. Through sin, he/we lost this authority to satan. Jesus, the last Adam, recaptured it. ALL authority is now His, both in Heaven AND on Earth.
• Christ has delegated His authority on Earth to the Church, His Ekklesia. With this authority, we petition the Father and release the power of Holy Spirit into the earth to 1) enforce Christ's victory and 2) possess our inheritance in Christ. As we do so, the amount of power needed for breakthrough is sometimes released all at once. Other times, we must release it incrementally until a sufficient amount has been released. This is why we must persevere in prayer.
• We release the power of Holy Spirit through prayer, speaking God's Word, preaching or declaring truth, touching someone for the purpose of prayer, Spirit-led decrees and more – all in Christ's name or authority.
Today, I want to look at prayer for people's salvation and for revival. Some Believers ask, "If we truly have been delegated the authority of Christ, with keys to lock and unlock, open and close, bind and loose; if we have been given dominion the government of Hell can't overcome – along with Holy Spirit's power to back that up – why does it sometimes take years for these two things to be accomplished? When we pray for our nation, decree God's words and promises over it, repent of our corporate sins, etc., why doesn't satan have to cease his actions immediately, and God send revival or salvation quickly?" Understanding the answers to these questions will help ward off "hope deferred" (Proverbs 13:12) and keep you from losing heart (Galatians 6:9).
Shared Authority and the Impact of a Praying Church
When praying for the restoration of a nation, which would include revival, God has to work on several fronts. Though we, the Church, have been given Christ's authority to bind and loose demonic powers, we have not been given the right to exercise authority or control over the wills of other people. In America, all citizens share the right to choose our government leaders, who then make decisions and laws that determine our course. This authority is a shared authority. In the natural realm, I have no more authority than the humanist, secularist, a member of another religion, or atheist. I cannot silence or "bind" them or their beliefs with my spiritual authority.
If – through spiritual decline, compromise, ungodly leaders and educators, and a lukewarm Church – the backsliding/spiritual decay of a nation becomes significant enough, the shared authority tips the scales toward sin, darkness and unbiblical ideals. National, corporate sins, such as laws legalizing abortion or same-sex marriage, bring national, corporate curses upon the nation. Laws that push God away, such as removing prayer from schools, also bring curses. (Photo via Public Domain Pictures)
As Believers (and unbelievers) awaken – usually through difficulties and desperation – and begin to pray for revival and the healing of the nation, it is not as simple as God saying, "Okay. Now that you've asked, I'll just send it tomorrow." His response is to stir up more people to pray and repent for the nation. As this continues, it brings cleansing, which strengthens the presence and activities of Holy Spirit in the land, and weakens the hold and influence of demonic powers. Laws begin to change, our prayers and decrees become even more impactful. More evil is exposed and judged by the Lord. All of this works in a concerted fashion to prepare a nation for revival...if the praying Church continues to pray and war spiritually, releasing God's power and life.
Honoring Humankind's Free Will
Also, changing hearts and minds to bring people to a revelation of the truth of Christ and the Gospel takes time. God will not force Himself on people. He won't force them to change, repent of sin, or receive His salvation. Humankind's "free will," as it is often called, is truly a profound freedom. The phrase is not in Scripture, but the principle is clearly taught (Matthew 10:32-33; 23:37; Luke 18:17; John 3:16; Romans 10:11,13; Revelation 22:17; and many others). All the evil that has ever existed in the world is due to humankind's free will – the right to choose. Yes, there are consequences to all decisions; some are reaped now, others after death. Nevertheless, the freedom to choose whether or not to obey and follow God has been given to humans, and He honors that right. When individuals have chosen to follow other gods, when they reject Christ, rather than believing in Him, God will not force them to change their minds.
Removing the Veil
HOWEVER, this does not mean God can't or won't do anything to change the minds and hearts of unbelievers. It is not His will that any perish (2 Peter 3:9), and there are things He can do to change the will of unbelievers. These things take time.
Deception, for example, though usually orchestrated by demons, involves much more than a demonic control that can be cast out or broken off of people. The deception strengthens into beliefs and mindsets in individuals and societies. They usually form over periods of time and eventually lodge deeply into the souls of people and cultures, becoming part of what Scripture calls a veil over the spiritual eyes of unbelievers. This veil blinds them to Christ and the Gospel. Until this veil is removed, they cannot understand and believe the Gospel. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 speaks of this veil:
"And even if our Gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."
It takes time and sustained spiritual warfare to remove this veil. Later in Corinthians, Paul refers to it as a stronghold or fortress (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). He breaks down the stronghold into three categories: 1) imaginations, philosophies and beliefs (Greek: logismos [Strongs 3053]); 2) a root of pride that came into humankind's nature at the Fall (Greek: hupsoma [Strongs 5313]); 3) the various thoughts and schemes satan implements continually (Greek: noema [Strongs 3540]). Unbelievers have no personal ability to demolish the stronghold and/or lift the veil off of themselves. Our spiritual warfare for them can do so, however. Listen to these encouraging verses from the New Living Translation, and also from The Living Bible:
"We are human, but we don't wage war as humans do. We use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NLT) (Photo via Pxfuel)
"It is true that I am an ordinary, weak human being, but I don't use human plans and methods to win my battles. I use God's mighty weapons, not those made by men, to knock down the devil's strongholds. These weapons can break down every proud argument against God and every wall that can be built to keep men from finding him. With these weapons, I can capture rebels and bring them back to God and change them into men whose hearts' desire is obedience to Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 TLB)
Things We Can Pray When Interceding for Unbelievers
I will teach on intercession and spiritual warfare for unbelievers' salvation in the near future, but here are some things we can ask God for as we intercede for them. Ask Him to:
• Orchestrate circumstances to steer them toward Him
• Release His truth to them through various methods and human laborers
• Use any difficulties or losses they experience to open their heart to change
• Release His power to perform "signs and wonders" in their life and/or presence
• Speak to and deal with them internally
We must not grow weary in "our prayers" for revival and give up. The divine power they release is what God uses to turn a nation. Our identificational repentance cleanses; our appeals bring grace and mercy; our Spirit-led decrees bind satanic activities and schemes. He is using us to save our nation and usher in worldwide harvest/revival. We are fighting a good fight. We will not waver; we will not fail.
Pray with Me
Father, we in America have been blessed beyond words. Those who understand Your ways know this is because we have partnered with You, and because our founders established us as a nation "under God." Foolish, deceived and wicked people are determined to change this. They are among the Psalm 2 company that rage against You, declaring through their words and actions that You will NOT rule over them.
You make clear in that same Psalm that those who conspire against You have only two choices: kiss (worship and submit to) Your Son, or experience Your iron rod of judgment. Give mercy where You can, Supreme Judge of all the earth, but remove from power the wicked who will not submit to You. Do so before they destroy this nation You raised up. You have and continue to expose their wickedness and lunacy; let the light become even brighter. And save America with a mighty revival – an unprecedented, shockingly powerful, sweeping outpouring of Your Holy Spirit. Break strongholds in individuals, but also break national strongholds. Free America from our national immorality, our national pride and rebellion, and our national deceptions. Send fire to cleanse and also to fill us with passion for You. Make us Your voice once again.
We bind every evil spirit that opposes this, in the authority of Jesus, amen.
Our decree: We decree that strongholds of darkness are being broken over America, in the mighty name of Jesus. (To watch the full word, click here.)
Whatever you do, don't miss another ELIJAH LIST email! Subscribe at this link: elijahlist.com/subscribe.
Dutch Sheets Ministries
Dutch Sheets¬†is an internationally recognized author, gifted teacher, and conference speaker. He travels extensively, challenging believers for passionate prayer and societal reformation. Seeing America experience a sweeping revival and return to its Godly heritage is Dutch's greatest passion. Dutch has written over 23 books, many of which have been translated into over 30 languages. His international bestseller, Intercessory Prayer, has sold over 1 million copies worldwide. Dutch has pastored, taught in several colleges and seminaries, and served on the board of directors of numerous organizations. He is fondly known to many as Papa Dutch. Treasuring time spent with their family and grandchildren. Dutch and Ceci, his wife of 40 plus years, enjoy quiet walks in the woods, reading, and playing a little golf. They make their home in beautiful South Carolina.
To receive more words like this in YOUR inbox, subscribe FREE to the Elijah List at this link: elijahlist.com/subscribe.
Find us on:
* Facebook click here
* XAPiT click here