“Truly I tell you, whatever you forbid and declare to be improper and unlawful on earth must be what is already forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit and declare proper and lawful on earth must be what is already permitted in heaven. Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and everything] they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven. For wherever two or three are gathered (drawn together as My followers) in (into) My name, there I AM in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:18-20 AMP
It was July 2002. I had just gotten back from a two week business trip that took me from San Antonio, Texas to Jacksonville, Florida. I’d traveled to be a part of several meetings and also to meet a large part of the team that supported my office back in Texas. That was all I’d come for; or so I thought.
Over a course of events, that I’ve not the time to go into detail with here, (those are really not necessary for the point of this post) something quite unexpected happened. In short, that trip was the catalyst that God used for relocating my husband and I from TX to FL in a matter of six weeks.
Through much prayer and watching how God was bringing things into alignment to make this happen, it seemed very clear to us that we were to move. Jobs lined up quickly. Moving expenses were covered. Other financial needs were met, over and above what would have been necessary to make the move a reality. Our house back in Texas landed safely in the hands of caring relatives who were looking for a place to rent. In other words, one thing after another gave us the clear impression that it was as if “the Red Sea” was being parted right in front of our eyes.
It was all quite exciting. Yet, more than the excitement, Steven and I yearned deeply for a confident assurance that this was God’s perfect will. We didn’t want to get so lost in the thrill and excitement of it all that we missed God. And we certainly didn’t want to pick our lives up and move to a new city if it wasn’t His perfect will for our lives. And we knew that if it was, He would make it clear. Not just to us, but He would use His body (other believers) to confirm it and come into agreement with us. And so one of the first things we did, was submit ourselves to believing friends and to those who were in spiritual authority over us. (Proverbs reminds us that in the multitude of counsellors there is safety Prov 11:14, Prov 15:22.)
Because we understood the power of agreement, when we approached our friends and leaders, we shared with them the opportunity that lay before us, as well as many of the details of what we had already seen God do so far. HOWEVER – and this is one of the keys to understanding how the power of agreement works – what we DID NOT DO was say, “It’s clear to us that this is what God wants us to do, and so now we need you to add your blessing to where we feel God is taking us.” That, my friends, is manipulation. That is not how the power of agreement works.
Instead, we asked them to seek God on our behalf. We asked them to listen to what the Spirit was saying to them. We wanted them to have personal revelation on this issue from heaven. And then, here’s the second big key, we quieted ourselves and trusted that God would speak. And of course, He did. With very specific words of confirmation and encouragement. And it was as if the compilation of those words all created a beautiful harmony. They were like pieces of a puzzle that fit together perfectly and that echoed with the blueprint that was in heaven for that chapter of our lives.
I can remember two couples specifically that joined in this level of prayer for us. (Which makes sense, because doesn’t 2 Corinthians 13:1 remind us that it is at the hand of two or three witnesses that God establishes a thing?) Once they heard from God, they were eligible “witnesses” to what the Spirit was saying. And therefore, they were able to add their blessing and prayers to ours.
The very definition of a witness is, an individual who, being present, personally sees or perceives a thing; a beholder, spectator. And as it is in our court of law, it’s the same in the spiritual sense. One who is able to perceive, know and give an account of what heaven is saying.
And when we have two or more people who have received confirmation of the same thing, it is then that we can operate in the power of agreement.
Let me give you another example.
I’m approached often by people asking for prayer. And to me, this is honestly one of the greatest honors of all the things I get to do; to share in a three-way conversation, if you will, with another person and heaven. But I want to talk about something that I see happen a great deal of the time. And I do this, not to try and dishonor or shame the people who have approached me in this way, but to use it as an example we can all learn from. It goes something like this: Someone will come up to me for prayer and upon asking them what they’re seeking God for, they’ll say something like, “I interviewed for a new job last week, and I’d like for you to come into agreement with me that I get that job. It’s a lot more money than what I’m currently getting paid and I feel like this is a God-opportunity for me.” Sounds great, right? Sounds like something I “should” come into agreement with, right? Here’s the truth. I don’t. At least not immediately. Let me explain.
I, as a follower of Jesus Christ, a born-again believer, have the presence of the Holy Spirit living on the inside of me. Therefore, my faith and my words carry power. In fact, they carry so much power that the Bible says, they carry the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21). And so I am to steward them. Jesus Himself said that He didn’t do, or say anything that He didn’t hear His Father in heaven saying or doing. (Let me pause to acknowledge that I by no means operate perfectly in this area, but Jesus is my example.) He also told the disciples that whatever they bound on earth must be what is already bound in heaven. And whatever they loosed on earth, must be what is already loosed in heaven. (The AMP Bible really helps us understand more clearly the essence of this passage.)
So for me, to add my faith to something that I’ve not first consulted the Spirit about, is to be a false witness. Even if it’s something that looks “good” on the surface. (Again, think of a false witness in the sense of someone appearing in court who wasn’t at the scene. Their testimony is invalid.)
Now, it very well may be that the job this person is asking for prayer about is the job God has for them. And if so, the Holy Spirit will give me a sense of confirmation about that and I will certainly add my faith to theirs. But if not, the best way I can come alongside my brother or sister is to pray that God would have His perfect will. That He would align him/her in a place that would not just supply financially, but that would be a job that releases this person into greater purpose and that allows them to use all the gifts and talents God has placed within them. Get the picture?
This is a great example of what it means to pray from heaven to earth – not from earth to heaven. I’ve so much more to say about this, so this is probably part 1 of a series. But I’d love to hear your comments and feedback – is this making sense so far?
Sustained by His grace,
-Linda G Riddle
Wow! I’m ashamed to say that this is something I never really put much thought to. My understanding of agreeing with someone in prayer was always that I was simply agreeing to pray for the same thing they were praying about- combining our faith.
What wisdom this is… to steward the power of the Holy Spirit within us and not just agree with everything. I just want to slap myself in the forehead now and say “DUHHH!!”
THANK YOU for this! This is great!
Thanks for commenting, Carrine. Trust me – I too went through several years before understanding what this meant. And I’m still learning!