The Effect of Prayer in the Heavenlies

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

— 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NKJV)

One of the most basic mandates for the Christian is to pray for the government. God intends His church to exercise a decisive influence for good in the affairs of the nations.

The Effect of Prayer in the Heavenlies

The great obstacle to a real movement of the Spirit of God lies in the realm of the invisible. This was vividly illustrated some years ago in Argentina.

A missionary by the name of Miller went to Argentina with all sorts of plans for carrying out God’s work. But God shut him up in a little mud church for more than a month and all he had to do was pray. He prayed until the spiritual powers controlling Argentina were brought into subjection.

In that very strongly Roman Catholic country God miraculously opened the way for the largest stadium in the whole country to be taken over by a little insignificant American preacher whom nobody knew. At the end of a month, 200,000 people were gathering daily to listen to his message. This is one of the most remarkable moves of God recorded in church history and was the result of binding the unseen forces.

Another Old Testament example of spiritual powers is found in the tenth chapter of Daniel. Daniel set himself to pray for twenty-one days with special earnestness for divine intervention on behalf of his people. At the end of this period, an angel came with a revelation that was the answer to his prayers. The angel told Daniel: “From the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I come because of your words.

Daniel prayed for twenty-one days, yet his prayer was heard the first day. Why did he have to wait twenty-one days for the answer? In verse 13 the angel went on to give the reason: “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me.

This “prince of the kingdom of Persia” was not a human being. These events did not take place on the human plane. It was an angel who brought the message, and it was an angel who opposed the angelic messenger. Another angel, Michael, came to the assistance of the first angel. This was a spiritual warfare of angels in the heavenlies.

Notice, it was what happened on earth that decided the course of events in heaven. This is a tremendous truth. Nothing happened until Daniel started to pray. It was Daniel’s prayers that got the angel through, not the angel that got Daniel through. Daniel got the angel through! If only God’s people would see that the issues are settled by us. They are not even settled by the angels.


Father, I acknowledge the responsibility and power that You have given me in the spiritual battle that is raging. Please help me to discharge this responsibility by relying on Your Word and Spirit, and on the basis of the victory that Jesus won on the cross of Calvary. In His name I pray, Amen.

These messages are taken from Derek Prince's book, Praying for the Government, available in our webshop here. For further study, we also recommend his book, Spiritual Warfare, available here.