United Prayer and Fasting
Prayer Wars Page VI
A Prayer Manual For
The International Prayer Network
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Bread Upon The Waters Ministry
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Our "Atom Bomb"
If, as said before, the Word of God is our Sword, then united prayer and fasting is our atom bomb. It is the most powerful spiritual weapon that God has given to us. Most Christians have no idea just how powerful a spiritual weapon united prayer and fasting can be. They have little if anything in the way of teaching or experience to inform them. Of course, they all believe, more or less, that "prayer changes things" and "there is power in prayer". But most Christians have no concrete understanding of just how much prayer can change things. They have no effective understanding of just how much power there really is in prayer. And especially not about mass prayer and fasting. The purpose of this page is to give the readers some idea of the power that they can wield by fasting and praying in unity; by Biblical example and by personal testimony.
The Biblical Basis
In Matthew 18:19 & 20, Jesus made a statement that is the key to understanding the Prayer Wars concept:
"Assuredly, I say to you that if any two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in My name, I am there in the midst of them."
The full significance of this has seldom been understood. As was said in the "Why Should We Pray" page, God has given us the Kingdom, in the sense of His authority to rule. We do our ruling through prayer, and it is in that sense we are kings, as in Revelation 1:6. It is because of this that we can get our prayers answered. We have authority with God. But as individuals, our authority is limited. Our full potential is only really unleashed when we pray in unity. We have unlimited power in prayer only when we pray in agreement with other Christians.
As stated in the BABEL RISING! page, humans are created in God's image collectively, if anything, more than individually. That is why our creativity increases dramatically when we act in unity. The same principle applies to prayer. As Christians, we are the Body of Christ. We achieve our full effectiveness as Christians when we act as a Body. And the way in which we can most overtly and directly do so is when we unite in prayer and fasting.
Agree With God
This agreement must also be agreement with God. You can't be praying against God's will and expect to have power in prayer. If you do pray against God's will, you better hope that your prayers don't get answered. When God grants a petition contrary to His will, as He sometimes does, He does it as chastisement. A terrible example of this is found in Numbers 11, where the people of Israel literally cried for meat, in a way that was blatant rejection of God's will (He had already provided manna). He sent the meat - and with it a plague!
Understand that the unity must be complete and real for this to take effect. The Christians who are praying can't just be agreeing with their lips; they must be agreeing with their hearts. There are several Biblical examples of cases where people united in prayer, often accompanied by fasting, in circumstances that make it clear that the agreement was from the heart, with dramatic results.
One of the examples is the story of Esther. Threatened with extermination as a result of Haman's plot, the Jews fasted in unity. Although for unknown reasons the Book of Esther doesn't say they prayed, we can assume they did, or perhaps God accepted their only fasting as prayer. Either way, the result was the Haman got hanged on his own gallows. Far from being exterminated, the Jews were allowed to exterminate their enemies. And to this day the Jews celebrate the Feast of Purim in remembrance of that miracle.
Another example was the miraculous release of Peter from prison, followed by the hideous death of Herod in Acts 12. Here, the fasting isn't mentioned, but it can be assumed, because the Scripture indicates that the Church held a prayer vigil for him. Herod had already killed James the Elder, brother of John, so there was no question about what he planned for Peter. So the Church prayed, and their commitment to it implies that they also fasted while they were praying. Peter was freed. Herod died. The deliverance granted was complete.
A third, and more important example, is Pentecost. Again, fasting isn't mentioned but may be assumed. We get a clue to this in the words in Acts 2:1, in the words, "They were all with one accord..." (NKJV). This is one of the places where the Bible does lose something in translation. The Greek word translated, "with one accord" is ¢omqumadon, transliterated "homothumadon" and its true meaning is far stronger than "with one accord". In fact, there are really no English words that fully express it, but "in the same passion" would be more like it. Since by Jewish reckoning, Pentecost began at sunset, it follows logically that on Pentecost morning the Christians had been together in prayer and fasting all night. With passionate agreement they had been seeking the gift the Lord had promised. And the Holy Spirit fell.
The Greatest Example
Perhaps the best example in the Bible of a "Prayer War" is the story of Jehoshaphat's victory in II Chronicles 20. This story is well known, but there are several factors that must be looked at in understanding why he got the answer he received. For one thing, when he heard about the invading armies, Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast and called a national prayer meeting first. He didn't even take the time to consider his options. He went straight to the Lord with united prayer and fasting. And here, or course, it is quite plain that both prayer and fasting happened. And more than that, everyone did it, and with agreement that, obviously, due to the circumstances, came from the heart. There is one other point: It was prayer in accordance with God's will. In fact, Jehoshaphat held God responsible for the situation on the basis of His Word. As we know, the Lord accepted the responsibility, with the words, "...the battle belongs to the Lord...". It is commonly said that Jehoshaphat won the battle without having to fight. In a matter of speaking, however, he did fight and win a battle. He fought and won a Prayer War!
Numbers Do Matter
One of the biggest lies relative to Christian Ministry that is bandied about by Christians is the idea the "numbers don't matter". You can't prove that from the Scriptures! There are multiple references that indicate that numbers do matter, and in fact matter very much. And numbers matter in particular when it comes to Christians praying in unity. The Bible makes it clear that prayers offered by Christians praying in unity are usually far more effective than prayers offered by individual Christians.
This is not to say that God does not sometimes give dramatic answers to the prayers of single Prayer Warriors. Of course, He does, as we know from the story of Elijah (I Kings 18:20-39). We know that his prayers brought a 3 1/2 year drought down on Israel, and then just as miraculously brought fire on the altar and ended the drought (I Kings 18). But answers of that scale coming in response to the prayers of a single person are rare. Large scale, dramatic answers are more frequently the result of many Christians praying in unity.
There is a little known Biblical principle that suggests that our power in prayer multiplies as our numbers increase. This principle, as shown in the Pentateuch, is applied to Israel at war with its enemies. The key verses are Leviticus 26:7 & 8, reinforced Deuteronomy 32:10
"Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight."
Note that a hundred putting ten thousand to flight requires five times the relative power of five chasing a hundred.
A principle of applying Old Testament doctrine to Christian living is that what applied to the Israelites materially in Old Testament times applies to Christians spiritually in New Testament times. So what applied to them in terms of material warfare applies to us in terms of spiritual warfare. Understand that when we pray, real warfare is going on in the spiritual realm. We can't see it, but it is happening.
Of course, because we can't see the warfare happening, we don't really understand just exactly what is happening. There is only one example in the entire Bible that gives us a clue. It is in the story of Daniel during his three week fast in Daniel 10, in verses 12-12 & 20-21. It seems that the Archangel Gabriel was trying to get through to him with the answer to his prayer, but the "prince of the kingdom of Persia", apparently a demonic power, was holding him back. In that case, Daniel's persistence brought the answer. We can assume that there are demonic powers working to hold back the answers to all our prayers. And the Old Testament principle suggests that we can drive those powers away when we pray in unity.
Applying this Old Testament spiritual principle to prayer, we find that if we multiply our numbers by 20, again, we multiply our relative power in prayer by five. This happens to be the beginning of what is called, in mathematics, a geometric or exponential progression. In such progressions, the final sums increase quickly as the multiplications are done. We wouldn't have to do the multiplication many times before our relative power in prayer would be greater than all the power of Satan. Consider the following table, which extends this just three more steps forward and one step back:
Notice that when 800,000 Christians pray in unity, each one has 2,500 times more relative power than he does when praying alone. Notice also that the final "Can Chase" number is greater than the present human population of the earth! This suggests that a mere 800,000 Christians fasting and praying in real unity, and living in obedience to God otherwise, could exercise spiritual control over this planet. In theory, this should be easy to achieve. There are supposed to be about 300,000,000 Born Again Christians in the world. Even a few thousand could really make a difference.
The Beginning Of "Prayer Wars"
The concept began to form in this writer's mind back in the mid 1970's, when he read a book entitled "Shaping History Through Prayer and Fasting" by Derek Prince. Incidentally, this book is still available from Derek Prince and costs only about $5.00. (Derek Prince also offers an excellent book on fasting.) It is recommended that every member of the Prayer Network get a copy and read it. The book presents a doctrine of mass prayer and fasting basically identical to what is said here. It also gives a number of testimonies of incidents when Derek Prince saw this principle work. When this writer read the book, he considered it the most anointed thing he had ever read outside the Bible. He thought the idea sounded right, but had no experience to confirm it. Then, in 1976, in the space of a few months, the Lord gave him two experiences that showed that this works.
100 Hours of Prayer For America
In the summer of 1976 the Democratic Party held its national convention at Madison Square Garden in New York City. For those not familiar with American politics, the Democratic Party is one of our two biggest national political parties. The national conventions, held every four years by both major parties, are the meetings in which the candidates for President of the United States for the Fall election are chosen. That was the year that Jimmy Carter was nominated to be the Democratic candidate. Again, for those not familiar with it, Madison Square Garden is the best known indoor sports arena in the United States.
The NYPD feared that there would be riots like those that happened in connection with the Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1968. Those riots where the worst incidents of political violence in the United States since the Second World War. So the Police took all sorts of measures to try to see that they kept tight control of everything that happened in the area.
A few months before the Convention, the dynamic young pastor of an on-fire church in New York City got the idea to have a public, 100 hour prayer meeting outside Madison Square Garden while the Convention was going on. His church was not able to get permission to do it right outside the Garden, but permission was obtained to use a spot just across 7th Avenue. On that site, the church (including yours truly) built a beautiful pavilion which was topped by a banner reading "100 Hours of Prayer For America". Then, during the whole time that the Convention was in progress, Christians (again including yours truly) sat in full view of the public and prayed in four hour shifts around the clock. Several of us got to share our testimonies on TV news. A number of people got saved, and the church picked up a number of new members. But that was just icing on the cake.
The most obvious and publicly significant result was that the violence the police feared never happened. Instead, during the time the Convention was going on, a supernatural peace fell on New York City that was so tangible that even the secular press noticed it. The crime rate for the whole city dropped during that time. For 4 days, New York City experienced a mini-millennium. There has never been anything like it since. It's just too bad that the "100 Hours..." event could not have been turned into a long-term movement at the time. If it had been, we might now be living in a much different world.
The "Moon" Rally At Yankee Stadium
For those not familiar with it, there is a pseudo-Christian cult in the United States called the Unification Church. It's founder was a false christ, a Korean who calls himself Rev. Sun Myung Moon, and his followers are popularly referred to as "Moonies". In the 1970's this cult was making a very high-profile effort to convert the entire United States, and New York City in particular, to belief in Rev. Moon. The peak of this effort was a rally that was held at Yankee Stadium in August, 1976. It was Rev. Moon's plan and expectation that the success of the rally would give the Unification Church spiritual dominance of the Greater New York area.
The rally was the most heavily promoted event in the history of the City. There were posters put up advertising the rally everywhere that it was possible to do so. You could not go anywhere on the streets of New York City without being offered free tickets to the rally. The promotion was so heavy that even the secular mass media, which is usually jaded to big promotions in New York, issued public complaints about it because it was becoming such a nuisance. It was clearly Moon's plan to get so many people to come that he would absolutely overflow the Stadium.
Meanwhile, there were a number of Christian activists (again, including yours truly) who took action against the "Moon" rally. We organized an ad hoc group called "Christians United For Jesus As Lord" and made plans to oppose the "Moonies". We held seminars to train people to witness to Moonies. We had literature printed up that was deliberately designed to resemble Moonie literature, with the intention of making it easier to get people to accept it. (See Matthew 10:16.) The literature contrasted Moon's teachings unfavorably with those of Jesus, to show that Moon was not teaching the true Gospel. We made careful plans to surround the Stadium with Christians handing out the literature, to the point that it would be impossible for anyone to get into the Stadium without it being offered to them. Because we thought that Moon would overflow the Stadium, we planned a Gospel concert to be staged in a park across the street from the Stadium while the rally was going on. And last but not least, we got over 2000 Christians to pledge to pray in support for our campaign.
One other thing we briefly considered was doing something to overtly disrupt the rally. But a message was given to us by prophetic utterance to the effect that we could get ourselves a bad name if we did that, and that we should leave the physical disruption to the Lord. The idea was dropped. And, wow, did the Lord do some physical disruption!
The rally was supposed to start at 7:00 PM. But about 5:00 PM, a brief thunderstorm came over the City. It soaked the city and the Stadium and then cleared off quickly. It caused us no problem with carrying out our plans, but, wow, did it mess up the Moonies! As stated, they had planned to overflow the Stadium. The thunderstorm dropped the attendance from the expected overflow to only about a third of the Stadium's capacity. Many of them were people who had been bussed in from outside the City by the Moonies, and who had no last-minute choice but to be there. Some of them were us, Christians (again, including yours truly) who had gone inside to pray. But that wasn't all. God had even more disruption planned.
Because of the low turn out, the Moonies were desperate to get people into the Stadium. So they ordered the Stadium guards to let in anyone who wanted to come in, whether they had tickets or not. This, unfortunately for the Moonies, included street gangs from the South Bronx. They didn't like the Moonies any better than we did, but they had a different way of expressing it. Meanwhile, the Moonies had been bossing the Stadium guards around in a way that was rude and disrespectful. So when the gangs started beating up and mugging the Moonies, and throwing smoke bombs onto the Stadium field, the guards just looked the other way. The event ended with the police coming in like an army and clearing the place out.
Meanwhile, our literature distribution and the concert in the park had been carried out as planned. But at the end, we had a confrontation with a street gang that had been tampering with our wiring. This climaxed with a face-off in which a bunch of unarmed Christians (once again, including yours truly - he had left the Stadium when he saw what the gangs were doing) standing toe - to - toe with a gang of hoodlums armed with knives, clubs and chains. For a few seconds, the situation was very tense. Then, with no violence having occurred, the gang just suddenly turned en masse and walked away. A few moments later, the Police swept through the park in force and the crisis was over.
It is this writer's understanding that several Moonies were killed that night. A few Christians were hurt, but only one seriously, and none were killed. The rally was such a disaster for the Moonies that they have never tried anything like that in the New York area again, and only once since anywhere else that this writer knows of, and that too was a flop. This writer has been told by ex-Moonies that Rev. Moon calls that rally his crucifixion. It doomed the Unification Church's efforts to do a spiritual takeover on the United States. The cult survives, but with a much lower profile, and has become more of a business than a religion.
One thing that really impressed this writer while he was at the rally was a spiritual, but very concrete perception that he received to the effect that there was a spiritual battle going on there, and God was right there fighting along with us. This was a perception impossible to describe in words but nevertheless so real and tangible that it stopped just short of being a vision. This was spiritual warfare on a scale of tangibility that this writer had never seen before and has not seen since. It was a vivid demonstration of the power that is available to Christians when they act, and especially pray, in unity.
This writer has since realized that this was in fact an unusual outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Unlike what we usually think of as an outpouring of the Spirit, the purpose of this one was to stop sin, particularly the large-scale deception that the rally represented. The same kind of thing happened in several of the Biblical examples described above; an outpouring of the Holy Spirit to stop serious sin.
The unfortunate thing is that after the rally, the movement fell apart. No one seemed to be interested in keeping it going. If it had, we could probably have completely destroyed the Unification Church. And then maybe we could have turned our efforts to other targets. We could have had real "Prayer Wars" then, and maybe we could have brought about the real revival that people keep talking about but that still hasn't happened.
The word above is something you may never heard, but it is a valid, and widely recognized Christian theological term. The word "imprecatory" is derived from "imprecation", which is a synonym for "curse". It is the word for prayer that attacks and seeks to destroy its object. It is, in fact, the Christian equivalent of putting a curse on something. There are many Biblical examples of it, especially in the Book of Psalms. The prayer that was offered in relation to the Moon Rally was in part imprecatory prayer. It is highly effective prayer for stopping evil, and for that reason is something that every Christian should learn to do. It will bring about the kind of outpouring of the Holy Spirit mentioned above.
But understand one thing about it: This kind of prayer must never be done with the intent of harming anyone. The furthest we can go in that direction as Christians is to pray for justice. In some cases, such as the death of Herod in Acts 12, the destruction of a person or people may well be the result, but we must not consciously seek it (See Luke 9:54-56). We can and should pray for the end of the evil we are attacking, and pray for the forgiveness, and salvation, of those who are involved in it. That's what we did against the Moonies.
In this Prayer Network, we should pray against all the teaching that is setting Christians up for a terrible surprise, and pray for the Christians who are doing it to repent. We should pray that Christians will be open to receiving the Message of this Ministry.
It is assumed that some of the readers will want to put the principles thus presented into practice. Further guidelines for this will be presented in the following page,
Group Prayer and Fasting
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Contact Author, William D. Brehm