Intervention and Prayer: Matthew 18:18-20
“18) Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. 19) “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. 20) For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”” Matthew‬ ‭18‬:‭18‬-‭20‬ ‭
Jesus now brings prayer into the mix of reconciling a brother or sister caught in a trespass. We often make the mistake of separating these three verses on prayer from the context.
In the two paragraphs before and the one following these three verses, Jesus was talking about reconciling someone who has been caught up in sin or who is straying from God.
Let’s be honest, these verses are often quoted when attendance is small at prayer meetings or a Bible Study. Though it is true that small gatherings do not hinder God from doing big things, this context is talking about when two or three go to a straying brother or sister in an attempt to turn them back to God.
I believe it includes the concept of confidentiality. God wants these encounters to be small, private and confidential. It is there that Jesus promises to work and pull down sinful strongholds.
All such attempts at reconciliation need to be bathed in prayer. Be biblical, it is the Holy Spirit and not a judgmental critic Who convicts of sin. (Please read John 16:7-10) If you approach someone as judge and jury, bent on accusations and condemnation, you will cause more damage than good.
The situation may be anchored in a misunderstanding, or worse, you might be acting on hearsay. Invite the Holy Spirit to reveal hidden things and invite truth to reign.
Approaching these encounters in the flesh with presuppositions of guilt and accusation is wrong and sinful. The end result will most likely be disastrous and explosive.
Either way, the enemy needs to be bound in prayer and the encounter needs to be covered with the blood of Jesus. The praying should be limited to the team of two or three involved in the intervention. This praying is not for the church prayer-gossip chain as happens so often in dysfunctional churches.
When approached with a humble attitude and earnest prayer, Jesus promises to show up and amazing things can happen during times of intervention. Misunderstandings can be cleared up, grievances can be set aside, confession and repentance of sin can take place, the enemy can be bound, physical infirmities can be healed (James 5:13-17), strongholds can be pulled down, forgiveness can be extended, reconciliation can happen and fellowship can be restored. These can be powerful encounters that shake both heaven and earth.
Many times during these encounters, the Holy Spirit convicts all present of sin and humility will be needed by all. These small and confidential encounters contain the seeds for revival and awakening. They can inspire deeper prayer meetings, Bible studies and growing movements of God in the weeks and months following. These have the potential to ignite a deep and genuine moving of the Holy Spirit.
For those of you who have attended one of my Freedom Quest Workshops or studied the workbook, you will see the application to the Ten Steps to Freedom in this context of Scripture. Identify and pulling down “the seven basic strongholds” removes the hinderances to spiritual growth and can fuel the fires of a deep walk with God. The stories of what God is doing are multiplying fast. Jesus wants to set His people free from sinful bondage and fill them with the power of the Holy Spirit.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global