Possessing the Gates of the Enemy

               by Cindy Jacobs
                             Chosen Books, Grand Rapids, MI

The Language of Intercession, pages 108/111


Loosing in prayer is a type of intercession that sets the captive free from the hands of the enemy. Let me give you an example from an intercessory team and end with an examination of the techniques used in the example.

The intercessory team at the Lausanne 11 Congress on World Evangelization, held in July 1989 in Manila, was gathered for a prayer watch. Prayer warriors like Robert Birch, Ben Jennings of the Great Commission Prayer Crusade and Joy Dawson prayed along with other mighty prayer giants gathered there who, with swords honed from years of warfare, cut quickly through Satan's devices. There were several requests about which we were praying when a special one came through for a missionary named Bruce Olson. To understand the importance of this request, it is important to know the scope of what God has done through Bruce Olson.

Bruce Olson is a missionary to the Motilone Indians in Colombia. His life has been a well-known encouragement to those God calls to the missionary field. He had gone to the field at the age of nineteen with no prior experience as a missionary but with a deep call from God. His first attempts at reaching the Indians almost cost him his life as the Motilones had the dubious distinction of killing everyone who came near them.

After years of reaching out to the Indians, learning their language and refusing to give up, Bruce had seen many of the Indians come to the Lord; he has also brought much good by introducing methods of farming, health care and education.

The knowledge of his prior sacrifice was in our hearts as we listened to the request: Bruce Olson had been captured nine months before by enemy guerrillas who wanted to use him against the Indians. The guerrillas had issued a statement that Bruce Olson would be killed.

We received this request with a sense of gravity. We knew that it was not an idle threat, as others had already been killed by the group. We were also aware that Bruce was ready to meet the Lord, but this did not seem like God's time for him to go home. As we went to prayer each of us sensed that the Lord wanted to stop the guerrillas and use Bruce further in ministry. The enemy had to be halted and the captive loosed.

It was Wednesday afternoon, July 12, 1989. Joy Dawson was asked to lead the group in prayer for Bruce. Joy is a general's general in God's army and has a no-nonsense approach to intercession. She is a petite, lovely former New Zealander with expressive green eyes. Joy stood and waited on God before praying anything. During those moments I felt that God was poised for action and that we were about to participate in it.

She started by praising and thanking God for His sovereign and complete control over the situation. Following this, she committed Bruce into the hands of God and declared her trust in Him that He was acting on Bruce's behalf. She then asked God to do something to bring the maximum glory to the Lord Jesus in this situation with Bruce and his captors, and released faith that this prayer would be answered.

Next she asked God to dispense ministering angels to Bruce and to keep his mind in perfect peace.

Joy stood in the gap between Bruce Olson and satanic forces. The intercessors were in agreement as she began to war in the heavenlies with the authority that comes from knowing she had a right given by the heavenly Commander-in-Chief to do so.

She wielded the sword of the Spirit boldly by binding the forces of darkness operating against Bruce Olson according to Matthew 18:18 - "Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven." She then declared the shed blood of the Lord Jesus as the grounds for Satan's total defeat and she exercised faith in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ loosing Bruce Olson from all of the enemy's power and plans. She concluded by praising God for His almighty power and plans that were in operation.

I did not hear the story of Bruce Olson's release until after returning home from Manila, when I received a Christian magazine that carried a story about him. As I read the article and saw the date of his release, I was deeply touched to find that it occurred exactly one week after the intercession that took place in the prayer room in Manila. We know that many, many people had been praying those nine months for his release but felt that the intercession on that particular day helped to loose a captive to fulfill the destiny of God upon his life.

This is also an example of using both binding and loosing in order to accomplish the desired answer. The intercession first prohibited or forbade the guerrillas from killing Bruce Olson, who was then permitted or allowed to go free through the prayer.

A loosing prayer can have the following effects:

1. It can actually cause the physical release of a captive as in the case of Bruce Olson.
2. It can release a person from sickness or disease as in the case of the woman whom Satan had bound with an infirmity.
3. It can loose or declare the will of God to be done in a certain situation.
4. It can loose God to move in and change situations. The Word of God says, for instance, that He has chosen to move into needs that we have presented in prayer: "He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor" (Isaiah 59:16); "You do not have because you do not ask" (James 4:2).
To sum up binding and loosing, we could say the following:
1. Binding stops the enemy's attacks.

2. Loosing releases or permits God's will to enter the situation because God has willed that His purposes be carried out by asking in prayer.

I hope these scriptural precedents and examples help you better understand the language of intercession and think through its application. Let's look now at another misunderstood aspect of intercessory prayer, one that may seem to depart from rational thinking because it calls on our emotions.

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