Corporately Praying The Word (continued)
The following excerpt taken from the Book of Gold Cord by Amy Carmichael (page 76) illustrates this for us:
"A friend, writing of Bishop Wescott, says this beautiful thing about him: "In the presence of the unseen he met all life, and you could not surprise him out of it. In this atmosphere he worked and breathed. Not only God Himself, but the cloud of witnesses, the communion of the unseen body of Christ, were more real to him than the things seen."
And the same friend tells a story of how the Bishop's chaplain, finding him struggling late and minutely one night over the draft of a service for a humble country church, reminded him that the congregation would not be critical. "They are accustomed to anything," he said. With a gentle, surprised smile, such as Elisha's might have been in Dothan, the Bishop looked up from his desk and said, "You forget: who are 'the congregation'? We are only an infinitesimal part of it."
[May we explain that this is in no way referring to mysticism or mediums or spiritualists in any form, but this except is referring to the "cloud of witnesses" who have found that to die is to "gain Christ"; it is referring to those who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ and as a result are in Christ the same as we are, even though they have already passed into the next age.]
And may we add one more thought to this, could not this also explain, in part, that untraceable scripture in Ephesians 3:10 and 11:
"To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be made known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the Eternal Purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord".
Beloved, "the prophets who prophesied of the grace [divine blessing] which was intended for you (for us), searched and inquired earnestly about this salvation ... the sufferings of Christ and the glories that should follow ... unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us, they did minister these things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into" (1 Peter 1:10-12). As the Church His Body moves in the good of that which God has revealed through His Word by the Holy Spirit of His Eternal Purpose in Christ, the heavenly hosts, the ministering servants of God, are being instructed as to our great salvation.
Let us also remember that we are in a battle against the spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies - against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness. It is the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, accompanied by prayer in the Spirit, that is the effective weapon in this unseen realm; and as the Church moves in the good of God's Word, the enemies of God are being instructed as to their place, however unwillingly, as Christ's footstool.
(continued with # 27)