14 September 2023
Miracle Prayer Night
We want to bless you! As the CfaN team, we want to pray with you for the miracle you’ve been waiting for. That’s why I’m inviting you to join CfaN’s Peter Vandenberg and 80 School of Evangelism students live online for our Miracle Prayer Night on Thursday 14 September.
Why are we calling it “Miracle Prayer Night”? Is that presumptuous? Do we, in fact, dare to assume that praying together will result in miracles? Yes, we do!
The only thing worse than prayerlessness is prayer without expectation. Unfortunately, many people think of prayer as being merely a religious exercise that appeases God’s need to be talked to. It is a kind of religious duty, like paying a bill that is due. When they pray, they feel better about themselves. When they don’t pray, they feel guilty. They seem to think that God keeps a stopwatch and records the minutes they put in, like the way a time clock keeps track of employees.
Jesus dismissed this mind-set about prayer when He said, “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:7-8).
So if praying long prayers with many words is not the key to receiving an answer – then what is? The answer is simple – faith!
The real enemy – Unbelief
In Matthew 17, we read that a certain man with a demon-possessed son had come to Jesus’ disciples for help, but when they could not cast out the evil spirits, they asked Jesus why they had been so unsuccessful. He said to them, “Because of your unbelief” (v.20).
This is a very clear and precise explanation that Jesus reiterated by going on to say, “for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you” (v.20).
The simplicity and clarity of this statement is often overshadowed by confusion at the next words out of Jesus’ mouth: “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (v.21).
It almost sounds as if Jesus had contradicted Himself. When asked why the disciples had not been able to exorcize the demon, He said it was because of unbelief. But now He seems to be saying that it is because they had not fasted and prayed enough. Which is it? The confusion comes when we fail to realize the moral of the story. At first glance, it may appear that the demon is the focal point of this account, but a closer look will reveal that the real antagonist in this story is not the demon, but the spirit of unbelief.
The disciples were concerned about the demon inside the boy, but Jesus was concerned about the unbelief inside His disciples. The disciples’ question was about casting out demons, but Jesus’ answer was about casting out doubt, because Jesus knew that once unbelief has been cast out, exorcizing demons would be a piece of cake.
Sometimes we have to pray long prayers and fast for many days before we get the victory, but it is not because our appeals coerce God into doing something, twisting His arm through many words. And it is not because we have finally earned the answer to our prayers by logging enough credit hours into our spiritual bank account. Much fasting and prayer may be necessary and useful in helping us to get the victory over our own stubborn flesh and cast out the spirit of unbelief that blocks God’s power from flowing through us. It is this kind of unbelief that goes out “but by prayer and fasting.” Any way you look at it, faith is the key to powerful prayer. This is the point that Jesus made in this story.
Casting out Unbelief
In Matthew 9:25, when Jairus’ daughter had died, Jesus had to send everyone out of the room before He could raise her from the dead. Why didn’t He allow all those scorning skeptics to see the miracle with their own eyes? Because He had to cast the unbelief out. Peter did the same thing in Acts 9:40: “But Peter sent them all out and knelt down and prayed, and turning to the body, he said, ‘Tabitha, arise.’ And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up.”
Jesus taught His disciples a lesson: Cast the spirit of unbelief out and nothing will be able to stand against you; demons, death, and even the most formidable mountains will obey your command.
The atmosphere of expectancy
In our great evangelistic meetings in Africa, the people come with a high level of spiritual hunger and expectancy of the miraculous power of God. They have heard the testimonies of all that God has done for others, and they believe that God will do the same for them. They know that God is going to show His power and glory in these great meetings, and they come in full expectation that they are going to be the recipients of those blessings.
It is this attitude that actually takes hold of the miraculous and causes the lightning of God’s glory to strike. They do not come hoping it is the will of God to reveal Himself – they already know it is! Because they already expect this, they pray from a position of bold confidence and expectancy.
When God hears that kind of prayer and sees that kind of action being demonstrated by desperately hungry people, He does reveal His awesome power in some of the most phenomenal ways.
Praying with faith and expectancy will always attract the presence and power of God just as the absence of these key elements will repel the presence and power of God. When God’s people pray in the firm conviction that it is God’s will to answer their prayers and reveal His glory, their expectation of His glory will bring its manifestation in their lives.
We must believe and expect God’s best blessings whenever we pray!
And that’s exactly what we’re going to do together in September. We’re expecting a powerful time of corporate prayer, joined by our 80 School of Evangelism students, who will be praying for every prayer request personally.
Miracle Prayer Night with Peter Vandenberg
Thursday 14 September
18h30 to 19h30
We look forward to serving you in intercession!
Together with you in the harvest,
Evangelist Daniel Kolenda