An amazing story is told in Daniel Chapter 10 about the prophet Daniel's perseverance in prayer. As Daniel prayed over a period of 21 days, the Scriptures tell us there was raging conflict in the second heavens as the enemy tried to resist the answer to Daniel's prayer.
Many people view prayer from the perspective of Daniel the intercessor's story, and in our prayer lives, we at times can feel like we are slugging it out with 'second heavens' warfare, not realizing that we, as New Testament believers, have an advantage that not even Daniel had.
The BIG NEWS is that, as new covenant believers, we have been given a whole different level of access before what the Scriptures call the Throne of Grace, and have been told we can come boldly before that third heaven throne room to obtain mercy and grace to help whenever we need to. (Hebrews 4:16)
We need to realize certain kinds of prayer such as petition and intercession best occur, not on a battlefield, but in a court room and directly pertain to the setting and processes that occur before the Courts of Heaven, and can literally be viewed as legal transactions before the Judge of all the universe.
The protocol of heaven is a court room
Protocol in a court room is different than the battlefield. To many times we haven't bothered to get legal things in place first, so that we can get break-through instead of backlash.
With that in mind lets look at this well known parable about prayer from Luke 18:1-8
“Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’”
Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily.”
Three interesting things we learn from this.
- Jesus puts prayer into the context of a judicial system.
- No where in this parable does this woman address her adversary.
Not that we don't EVER address the enemy in spiritual warfare, but that was not mentioned here. Our greatest success is totally caught up in getting a verdict from the Judge. Not us doing something to the adversary. A verdict from the judge will incapacitate the adversary.
3. Will not God avenge His elect, speedily?
Suddenly it is not about spending MORE time in prayer, it is about keys for breakthrough. No longer “if we just pray more, strive more. Etc.” We don't need to strive more, we need to know these important keys to breakthrough by knowing protocols of the court of heaven. We need to understand that once we get legal things in place we can win on the battlefield. We need to understand that we have a right to stand in the courtroom of heaven and get verdicts from the Lord and set them in motion.
So let's look at the principle parties in any courtroom: (including the courts of heaven)
The Judge: God is the judge. “There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?... Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!” James 4:11; 5:9
The Judge is in place
“I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire; A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, And the books were opened.” Dan 7:9-10
The Mediators = attorneys (they argue for or against something)
Mediator is a court function. Scripture tells us we have two mediators at work in our situation - the Accuser vs the Intercessor. It further tells us that the Accuser brings accusations day and night. On the other hand we have Jesus our intercessor who is“ the mediator of the new covenant.” So both accusation and intercession is going on before the Judge.
The Importance of Witnesses
2 Corinthians 13:1-3 tells us about the principle of two or three witnesses. “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.” (see also Matthew 18:16)
Satan is continuously accusing us before God, and Jesus is continuously interceding for us. We know these two voices in the heavens are looking for agreement (a witness) on Earth. God is looking for agreement on earth. And so is Satan, the accuser of the brethren.
Jesus our Intercessor:
“Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” Romans 8:33-35
“Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25
So we see Jesus, after he rose from the dead, sitting at the right hand of the Father, making continuous intercession for us. Satan, on the other hand, is accusing us before God day and night. (ref. Revelations 12:10) We see Jesus interceding and declaring blessing for us, while Satan is accusing and declaring cursing upon us.
The question then is, who will prevail? The answer depends on which we will agree with. Which voice in heaven will get a witness on earth? When we discover the weaknesses of others, which we all do sooner or later; the question we must ask ourselves is will we cooperate with the Great Intercessor and become intercessors, or will we inadvertently side with the devil and become accusers of the brethren?
A Witness on Earth
The tragedy is that, way to often we are bearing witness to the Accuser’s accusations against our brethren, rather than Christ’s intercession for us. When we do this we can actually find ourselves reinforcing the devil’s witness against our fellow saints by helping him do his job.
The will of God is being heralded at the throne of God, and the question is, "Will He get a witness on earth who agrees with Jesus' intercession?" Will we agree with God and loose His will, or will we give witness to the accuser? It is certainly important then, that we pray and join with Jesus the intercessor, to give Him a witness on earth.
The final good news is that we are not alone in giving heaven a witness. Hebrews 12:22-24 “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God,... to God the Judge of all, ... to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.”
“Blood that speaks better things than the blood of Able.” The blood speaks! We see a voice is crying out for a verdict from heaven based on the blood of Able. But the Blood of Christ speaks even better things. It speaks of forgiveness, atonement and the new covenant. In fact, without the blood we have no basis to come before the throne to begin with. But as we come into agreement with what His blood is saying about us we realize the blood is what legally releases the provisions of the new covenant.
Much more could be written about coming before the Throne of Grace and navigating the Courts of Heaven. The point is, in light of these things, when we do, we can be bold and confident, just like the importuning widow in Luke 18, that the Judge of all the earth will answer speedily.
“For we do not have a High Priest (mediator) who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16
“And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him,...? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily.” Luke 18:7-8