THE POWER AND MIRACLE OF PRAYER
Part 15: The Unity of the Church & Prayer
(Matthew 18: 19-20)
In the name of God Master, of the Universe, Ruler of the earth
Writer’s Note: Beloved we come with the spirit of unity on our lips our hearts and mind. This unity of self will impact on the Church.
“There was once a man who knew not self but thought he knew other people. He thought the water at the well and at the Native Spring was his to keep and came up out of the ground by its own power. Meanwhile he saw John giving thanks to God the Creator for all things including the water that all the Brethren came to drink. He prayed for the Brethren and not just for self.”
Peace be unto you. To the Church and believing Christians everywhere. To those that believe in the Bible as the supreme authority that governs all of humankind. In this we give thanks to God the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit that leads and guides us the straightway.
Beloved we can gain the unity of the Church through Christ. Simply when one accepts Christ there is a Spirit of obedience. This Spirit will lead us toward unity of purpose and work. Meanwhile prayer compliments this on-going Spirit of unity. Follow us now to the New Testament Book of Matthew for our primary scripture. At Matthew 18 in verses 15-20 Jesus teaches us about church discipline and how to handle situations when a believer sins. But for our purposes we will refer to verses 19 and 20.
Matthew 18: 19-20: “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.”
Prior to this verse to lead up to our specific discussion Jesus in verses 15-17 notes that we to go to the brother who sins in private. If he does not listen we go with two witnesses. If he still refuses to listen we take this issue before the church. After that we take the following steps (1) reprove from fellowship (see I Corinthians 5: 2-13) (2) If they repent (see II Corinthians 2: 5-8) (3) Do not associate (see II Thessalonians 2: 14-15 and (4) After two warnings reject from fellowship (see Titus 3: 10).
A special function of the church was previously noted at verse 17 with this thought in mind Jesus reveals that the Apostles were given special attention merely because they were in the church first. (See I Corinthians 12: 28). Although the Apostles could perform their duties alone this verse requires at least two shall be present. Therefore this passage applies to the Disciples generally. Thus the reason two are mentioned is that this represents a unity of the church. Meanwhile the Lord wishes that they should come together in agreement regarding the laws of Christ. Thus they must seek the spiritual welfare of the brethren. (See I Corinthians 5: 4: and II Corinthians 2: 6).
There are also several companion scriptures that will help us capture the thought here. For the first part of this verse follow us to I Corinthians 1. At verses 10-17 Paul teaches about the need for harmony regarding the divisions in the church. We still preach this same message as there is but one church. However many have come to distort the true word of God and have many people believing that they can make (design, alter, adjust etc.) God and the Church any way that they find suitable for their wants and desires. However we remind all the saints God works on our needs and our wants and our desires come by His will.
I Corinthians 1: 10: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no division among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
As Paul addresses divisions in the church he speaks toward sentiment and not bodily division. However this sentiment causes strife and contention. The mind is the center of reason thus his hope is that the judgment concluded from the conclusions of the mind would be in unity of thought and purpose. Now for a note on the second part of the verse found at Matthew 18: 19 follow us over to I John 3: 22 and 5: 14. Here we will find a general theme of love of God.
I John 3: 22: “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.”
I John 5: 14: “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:”
Keeping the commandments of God is a way to receive God’s blessings. This also includes our responsibility to study the Bible and refer to the scriptures for what is right in the eyes of God. However we find as we continue our sojourn that many of the brethren are lost in the various church houses. Sadly many in the last days of life as we only liveth so long reject the scriptures. Thus we find often that many do not know that believers are required and justified in faith by study of the scriptures. Meanwhile many that are registered as preachers and teachers also fall by the wayside as they reject study and set no example for the pew members. However some come with the Bible although they willfully seek to distort the scriptures and have many lost brethren believing things of man and not of God. Here again the brethren have the responsibility for self to read for themselves. With God first and prayer you can see Truth. But many place something else before God this will prevent and hamper the Holy Spirit that has been graciously sent to lead and guide us the straightway.
We also note that we have to be responsible in our requests. God will not hear an unscriptural prayer. We must not requests things that are outside His will.
Matthew 18: 20: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, then am I in the midst of them.”
As we come together in the name of Christ there is power. We can also come together and pray. The authority and glory must be given to Christ in the Church (see Ephesians 3: 21). We also note that Jesus will always be present in spirit when two or more assemble in His name according to verse 19 and II Corinthians 2: 10. Follow us now to our last scripture that reveals several things for our specific discussion and some interesting observations for your thought and mediation. The events of Acts 20 reflect on Paul’s ministry in Macedonia. Look with us at verse 7.
Acts 20: 7: “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
The coming together of the disciples was not for a common meal. This is the Lord’s Supper. It is also noted here that whenever a church service is held preaching is also present thus the precedent is set as we witness Paul establishing the church. We also note that we are not to carry the Lord’s Supper from house to house. Thus it is supposed to be held in a formal religious gathering place. Communion is for the church. Those at home, in the hospitals etc. will not miss a blessing without communion. It is what is in your heart. You cannot eat nor drink your way to Heaven.
Peace and Golden Paradise, Carl A. Patton a willing slave and servant of Almighty God and Christ Jesus writing for the FreedomJournal Press a God Fearing Free Press 29 July 2009 in the year of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.
All rights reserved by FreedomJournal Press 2009.