Matthew 18:19. “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. For where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them.”
This is not the picture I had in mind when I went looking for an illustration for this post, but it certainly is evocative. Thank God our soldiers still have the courage to pray in public. Could be it takes more courage to do so these days than to actually go on patrol.
To get the context of this passage, you need to go back to this post and review the sense of binding and loosing, and that these verses have to do with the church and with the power of prayer.
The promise in these two verses today stands first of all in relationship to a brother who has been restored. United prayer is needed in order to bring about such restoration. It is not given exclusively to the pastor, elders, bishops or deacons; it is given to the church body to be united in prayer for the restoration of a brother who has erred.
The promise is not limited to this alone. We are told to ask touching anything, and we are assured that it shall be done when merely two or three are gathered to pray in unity.
How sad it is to me that churches all around the world are failing to see answered prayer because there is a lack of unified humility and dependence on God to perform that which He has promised. Rather than coming together to bow humbly before God and each other, we are instead angrily consumed with whatever disagreement is dividing us. Yes, we need to stand for biblical truth. We need to stay in line with God’s Word, with His holiness in every aspect of faith and conduct. And yet, part of His holiness contains mercy, grace and love. I think we forget.
The center to which the church is gathered is not a building, not a pastor, not a ministry, not a program. It is God. Without Him in the midst, nothing will be done that will stand the test of time. Prayer will not be answered. Souls will not be saved. There may be numeric growth in the church because of all those other things–building, pastor, ministry, program. But if Jesus Christ is not pre-eminent, then all the rest is dross.