Prayer and the Supernatural Realm

by Greg Laurie on Apr 9, 2024
But he said, ‘No, don’t worship me. I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers the prophets, as well as all who obey what is written in this book. Worship only God!’
—Revelation 22:9

If an angel were to appear to you right now, no doubt you would be overwhelmed. In fact, you might even be tempted to fall down and worship him. This happened to the apostle John when, in Revelation 22, he saw an angel who gave him a message.

John wrote, “I, John, am the one who heard and saw all these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me. But he said, ‘No, don’t worship me. I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers the prophets, as well as all who obey what is written in this book. Worship only God!’ ” (Revelation 22:8–9 NLT).

Notice what this angel said: “Worship only God!” In other words, “Keep your priorities straight, John. Don’t worship me. I am but the messenger. Worship God.”

If an awe-inspiring angel were to appear before us, we would be inclined to believe just about anything he said. But let’s keep in mind that the Bible says even “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14 NLT).

Not only do holy angels exist, but fallen angels exist as well. And a fallen angel can appear as an angel of light with a message that contradicts what the Bible teaches.

This is why the apostle Paul wrote, “Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you” (Galatians 1:8 NLT).

In the Old Testament, we find a fascinating story that gives us insight into the way angels work. The prophet Daniel was praying, and the Bible tells us that God heard his prayer and dispatched an angel with a special message for him. But this angel was engaged in combat with a demon power for twenty-one days.

The angel was unable to get through to Daniel with God’s message. But the angel went on to tell Daniel that one of the archangels, Michael, came to his aid (see Daniel 10:12–14 NLT).

This indicates that in the angelic realm, both holy and unholy, there are rankings. Ephesians 6 points out, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” (verse 12 NLT).

For example, the Bible refers to Michael as an archangel. Then there is Gabriel, who also may be a high-ranking angel because God sent him with a specific message for Joseph and Mary about the arrival of the Messiah.

Daniel’s story teaches us that delays are not necessarily denials. So, the next time you ask God to do something for you, and it doesn’t happen as quickly as you would like, don’t assume it means that God is saying no. Who knows what’s going on in the supernatural realm? Who knows what’s taking place behind the scenes on your behalf?

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