Exploring Prayer With
By Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
Chapter 48 — Prayer and the Unseen World
Daniel 10:12,13, "Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia."
Daniel had prayed a prayer. God had granted his request and had given the answer to an angel. That angel started his journey toward Daniel with thee answer to Daniel's prayer. He was intercepted by the prince of the kingdom of Persia who fought against the angel and attempted to prevent him from delivering God's answer to Daniel. Michael, the archangel, was summoned to the conflict. He prevailed over the prince of the kingdom of Persia and freed the angel to take God's answer to His servant, Daniel. The answer was 21 days late, however, for the conflict in the unseen world lasted for this amount of time. The cause for this delay was a spiritual battle in the unseen world.
There are many reasons for seeming delays in God answering our prayers. In some instances, God may be preparing the answer for us. For example, suppose a young man feels it is the will of God that he have a certain young lady to be his wife. He may pray and ask God to give him this young lady. God may be perfectly pleased for him to have her, but she may not be ready for marriage yet. There may be a work that God must do with her before He sends the answer to the young man.
Sometimes God delays an answer because the person praying is not ready for the answer. For example, it may be that the young man who desires the young lady is not ready for marriage yet. He may have to be prepared for the answer before it can come.
Sometimes the Christian asks, and God may put his name on the answer, but He may keep it for awhile because for some reason a delay is necessary. God, Who knows when the time is right for the answer, send it when He knows it is best. This is the reason that God can say that we can believe that we HAVE received them. Mark 11:23,24, "For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."
Now while I am waiting for the answer that God has set aside for me, I am to keep on praying. Elijah knew that rain would come, but he prayed seven times. So even while we are waiting for the answer, we keep on praying.
Now the question comes, "Who is this prince of the kingdom of Persia who interfered with the angel as he was taking the answer from God to Daniel?" In order to understand this, we must examine Ezekiel 18:1-10, "The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God: Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee: With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures: By thy great wisdom and by thy traffick hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God; Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas. Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, I am God? but thou shalt be a man, and no God, in the hand of him that slayeth thee. Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD." Notice especially that there is mentioned here the "PRINCE OF TYRUS." Notice in verse 2 that this Prince of Tyrus is a man. "Yet thou art a man." It is important to remember that we have hear a Prince of Tyrus who is a man.
We now must look to Ezekiel 28:11-19, "Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more." In these verses we have mention of the king of Tyre, or Tyrus. We have already met the PRINCE of Tyrus; now we meet the KING of Tyrus. We have already found that the prince of Tyrus was a man. Now we must find who is the king of Tyrus. There are several things said about him:
He is full of wisdom. Verse 12.
He is attractive, full of beauty. Verse 12.
He has been in the garden of Eden. Verse 13.
He has an anointed cherub (angel). Verse 14.
He was once perfect. Verse 15.
He sinned. Verse 15.
He was cast out of Heaven. Verse 16.
Who is this king of Tyrus? It is Satan himself. Satan was once full of wisdom and beauty. He was also in the garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. He was perfect until he sinned. He was once an anointed cherub. He was one of the three archangels, Michael and Gabriel being the other two. He had under his dominion one-third of the angels. Then there was war in Heaven as he tried to unseat God. Because of this, he was cast out of Heaven. So this king of Tyrus is the Devil!
The important thing to notice here is that there were two rulers of Tyrus—there was an earthly ruler who was a man and who could be seen; there was an unseen ruler who could not be seen who was Satan. Here we find that a nation has a seen ruler who is the king, prime minister or president; then there is an unseen ruler also who rules the visible ruler.
This all came about because of man's in in the garden of Eden. Satan is the god of this world. II Corinthians 4:4, "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." It is noteworthy how this came about.
God made the earth. Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."
The world then, is His. Psalm 24:1, "The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein."
God gave Adam dominion over the earth. Genesis 1:26,27, "And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created He them." Psalm 8:6, "Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet." Adam was then, in a sense, the god of this world.
Satan came to Adam in the garden and Adam, in a sense, sold his lease to Satan. Notice Luke 4:5,6, "And the Devil, taking Him up into an high mountain, shewed unto Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the Devil said unto Him, All this power will I give Thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it." Notice especially in verse 6 the words of Satan, "For that is delivered unto me." The world was delivered to Satan. This is why he is the god of this world. It was delivered unto him by Adam, who had been given dominion over it by God. So Adam sold his lease.
Someday, praise God, Adam's lease will run out, and Jesus will become King and God of this world! Revelation 21:3-6, "And I heard a great voice out of Heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And He said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely." Until then, God's will is not done on earth. For example, God is not willing that any should perish, but men do perish. II Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
In what we call the Lord's prayer, we are admonished to pray, "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven." This points to the kingdom when Jesus shall reign on earth for a thousand years and God's will will be done, even as it is done now in Heaven.
Since there are two rulers of a nation, the seen and the unseen, such as the prince of Tyrus and the king of Tyrus, the affairs of nations, then, are controlled by the unseen world. Our battle then is not against flesh and blood (the prince of Tyrus), but against rulers of darkness, principalities, etc. (king of Tyrus). Ephesians 6:12, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." We have two enemies—flesh and blood, and principalities and rulers of darkness.
Because our battle is not against flesh and blood, God has given us weapons of war with which to fight our real enemy which is the king of Tyrus, or the unseen ruler. For those weapons notice Ephesians 6:11-19, "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel."
Our weapons are listed in the above verses. There are several of them, such as truth, the Word of God, prayer, soul winning (our feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace), salvation, etc. One of the tragedies of our day is that preachers and churches are often spending too much time fighting the prince of Tyrus (the seen ruler) by political involvement, the ballot box, political clout, etc. Now this is not wrong, for we ought to fight the battle for that which is seen, but many times more important than that is fighting the unseen power with the spiritual weapons aforementioned. The church of Jesus Christ needs to get back to the old-fashioned methods of fighting the unseen world. The Devil is after our nation. We must fight the seen powers, but with much more vigor and time and effort, we must fight the unseen powers. If America is ever saved, she will be saved by the praying minority as we launch the weapons of prayer, Bible study, faith, soul winning, etc. against the king of Tyrus.
Satan is after your child. How tragic it is that most of us spend so much time fighting off the visible powers from our children and not enough time on our knees using spiritual weapons against the unseen powers that are dedicated to their ruin! There was a day when old-fashioned moms and dads fed their children on the Word of God, prayed them to Jesus in the prayer closet, and the unseen powers were defeated!
All across America several years ago churches began to grow. Soul winning, prayer, Bible study and Bible reading were weapons launched against the unseen powers. A great movement was begun. Great churches were built. The greatest soul-winning churches in the history of Christianity covered this country. Because of this, multiplied thousands came to Christ, which gave us more church members, which gave us more votes, which gave us more clout. Bear in mind, however, that we got this clout and these votes by soul winning and by using spiritual weapons. Because of this, conservative men were elected to office. We became amazed at our power and, no doubt, got impressed with it. Therefore, because of our attack on the unseen rulers, we saw some of the seen rulers change. So we erroneously started spending more time fighting the seen and less time fighting the unseen. The battles were won because of soul winning, Bible study and prayer. Now we have substituted excessive political endeavor at the expense of the spiritual weapons. It is not surprising then that the next election found us seeing a great wave of liberals coming back into office. What we did with the spiritual weapons fighting the unseen world, we undid with the carnal weapons fighting the seen world. What America needs is to get back to building great churches! America needs to get back to the prayer closet, back to soul winning, back to old-fashioned Bible preaching! Our nation will not be saved in the halls of Congress; our nation will be saved in the halls of prayer. Our nation will not be saved because of power with men; it will be saved because of power with God! We are more than conquerors through Him, that loved us, but we have to fight with spiritual weapons!
This author is not advocating political isolation. I think it is splendid for Christians to be involved in the election process, but not at the expense of the old-fashioned use of old-fashioned methods that strike at the foundation of the battlements of Hell and against which the unseen powers cannot stand.
Several years ago a group of young people moved in a building near the First Baptist Church of Hammond and started living a communal type of life, which included various kinds of immorality. It was a reproach to the entire neighborhood. Naturally, the neighbors, including the First Baptist Church, were infuriated. Members of this group would pass out literature which included dirty four-letter words. They would do this right across the street from our church. We, along with merchants in the area, resolved to have this institution closed. The mistake we made, however, was launching our main attack against the prince instead of the king. We gave most of our effort in fighting the visible power instead of the invisible power. We contacted the mayor, and though he sincerely wanted to close down the place, he was unable to do so. Then we contacted the city council, then the health commission, and then other visible leaders. All of our efforts failed. The efforts of downtown businessmen ended likewise in failure. The place continued in operation. It seemed that our only hope was prayer, soul winning and other spiritual weapons.
One day during a church staff meeting I looked through the window of a door leading to the hallway of our educational building and saw the operator of the organization motion for me to come to him. I went out in the hallway. He was weeping. His hippie-like appearance was clothed in repentance. He told me that he wanted to be saved. He had watched us and had observed what the First Baptist Church did for others and began to realize the harm that he and his group were doing. He told me that he was about to die and that he had to get saved! In just a few minutes he was a child of God. The next Sunday morning with a neat haircut, a clean shirt, a fresh shave, shined shoes, neatly pressed trousers and an attractive tie, he walked down the isle of First Baptist Church of Hammond professing his faith in Christ. The next week the institution across the street was closed! The methods by which it was closed were those that were used against unseen powers, rulers of darkness and principalities. All efforts to have it closed by the use of carnal methods against the visible prince failed, while the use of spiritual weapons against the invisible king succeeded, for the king was in control of the prince!
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