The Power of Prayer for Deliverance

August 24, 2008 · Print This Article

The Power of Prayer for Deliverance
Part 1 — Expect The Unexpected

The Word

Texts: Exodus 13:17-18, 20, Exodus 14:1-3, 9-10, 13-16, 21-31

Not a myth or legend

Apart from the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and His resurrection, there is no single episode in the Bible that is more referred to than the deliverance of Israel through the Red Sea and the subsequent drowning of the Egyptians. This mighty conquest not only reflected on the fact that they had been set free, but that their past was removed totally behind them, no longer to pursue them with success.

This great story has unfortunately, through modernistic doubt and speculation of unbelief, been reduced to a myth or a legend in the minds of some. But we are dealing with an historic event reported exactly as it took place, a demonstration of the manifested power of Father God, reported and referred to throughout the Bible. It demonstrates the power of God toward people who will come to and call upon Him.

The significance of this event, heralded time and time again in the praises of God’s people, is that God would not teach His people to praise on the basis of myth or legend. Numerous times in the Psalms the invitation to praise God is based on this episode of deliverance, and it is reviewed in the historical Books of the Bible. In Hebrews 11:29, this episode is cited in the same category of people of faith who believed God as Abel, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses—people who walked by faith and not by sight. We’re dealing with a real event here people.

His power to sever us from the past

The Lord is calling us to consider His power to sever us from the past. We are “learning to live again” as people formerly enslaved to ourselves, to sin and to bondage. This requires first Breaking The Defeatus Mentality, and rising to tell the Pharaoh in your life, “That’s the last straw.” Second, it requires, as Covey would say, “ Putting First Things First”, the lesson that was wrapped up in the Passover. It was more than simply a tradition being instituted; the Lord was establishing a whole new set of priorities. Then, there must come a time when the things of the past are severed.

In Exodus 14:30, the Lord tells them, “The Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.” Again no more forever doesn’t leave anything up for grabs—it means “severing the past forever.” There are three things we can expect when looking to see the past severed:

  1. Expect a surprising way
  2. Expect the enemy’s pursuit
  3. Expect an incredible deliverance

Expect the unexpected way

For there to come the severing of the past, expect to walk a pathway that is unpredictable. If you look at a map, the children of Israel began to head in the obvious northeast direction toward Canaan. They went a short distance, but then the Lord said, Turn right so they headed south. You can imagine people checking the stars and which way the wind was blowing, and sensing they ought to be going a different way. But Moses said, The Lord wants us to go this way.

How did they know which way to go? They were led by one of the grandest phenomena in all of history—the glory cloud. The presence of God appeared as a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night.

The Lord speaks to them (Exodus13:17), saying that the direction they are headed in will lead them to encounter the Philistines, and they’re not yet ready for battle. God does not want them to go that way because He is concerned that they not face more than they can bear. In 1 Corinthians 10:13 the Bible promises of God’s faithfulness to never allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear; that He will make a way of escape.

In this case, the Lord’s way of escape was a route that didn’t make sense. In fact, the Lord says that this will lead Pharaoh to think they are mixed up, “bewildered by the land,” and that it will be easy for his troops to overtake them (Exodus 14:3).

The Lord, in essence, is saying is that it is easier for Him to work a miracle way out to get you where He wants you, than for you to tolerate the heat of circumstances trying to get there the way that seems smartest to you. So the first thing we need to do to sever the past is to get our compassed changed to one that follows the glory of God instead of the rationale of man.

His ways are not our ways

One of the hardest things to describe to intelligent people is that God is not irrational, but He does not function according to man’s rationale either. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9). God is constantly full of surprises, but it will test your faith to walk the way He calls you. God does not call us to doing foolish things. As peculiar as things may be that God does at times, they will always be confirmable by spiritual people who can bear witness that it is the Holy Spirit.

I raise that observation because any time we talk about the fact that the Lord leads in peculiar ways, you run the risk of that marginal fringe who use it as a justification for some stupid, foolish thing that leads to a path of destruction. But what concerns me even more than that one percent lunatic fringe of people who do stupid things and don’t seek the confirming counsel of eldership and mature people in Christ, is the fact that there is something more like a 25 percent slice of the Body of Christ who control their lives only by human rationale, and don’t bother to seek the mind of the Spirit.

The reason they never sever the past is because their minds are tied into a human order of things. They bow at the shrine of the human intellect rather than recognizing that God has given that intellect not to mock it or deny it, but to bring it under the rule of His Spirit, who transcends the wisdom of human intellect.

Most of the things the Lord does are deducible and you can reason with them. But when you come to one of those in which He says, This way, not that way and your spirit tells you, Go for it, and you get confirmation of others who walk in the wisdom of God, learn to let go because it’s the key to being severed from the past, and along the way you will have God’s protective presence. Sometimes when you’re using human reason, you end up facing a battle you’re not ready for. That’s why God told them not to take the obvious route to Philistia; He wanted them to go a way that looked like they were lost in the desert.

He bears us “on eagles’ wings”

In Exodus 19:4, the Lord hearkens back to this episode, saying: “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.” When human reason fears you’re headed for disaster, God says He is bearing you “on eagles’ wings.”

The expression “eagles’ wings” is not just a tender, poetic idea. It has to do with the way eagles teach their young to fly. The eaglets don’t want to leave the nest, and the adult eagle will knock them out into a free fall. The eaglet starts flapping and fumbling his wings, and then the parent bird will sweep underneath him and bear the little one up. The eagle then flies the little one up and lets it go again so it can learn to flap some more. Then it comes and bears it up again until that eaglet gains the confidence and ability to fly. The Lord who calls us to learn to walk in His way, says that in the same way, He’ll protect us and bear us up along the way, if we will only pray and call upon Him.



One Response to “The Power of Prayer for Deliverance”

  1. Rahil on October 21st, 2015 5:00 am

    I agree. That leads to a kind of fatalism, when seiotmmes we’re supposed to keep knocking, look for a window, or even break down the closed doors. It can also be an excuse. Gravity, entropy, ongoing unseen opposition sigh. I’m beginnning to see that once I accept the fact that resistance is something I’ll wake up to, and go to sleep to, every day in the spiritual as well as the natural, it helps me to approach life more wisely, creatively and hopefully more proactively. What about you?

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