Messages From The EP
PREVAILING THROUGH THE POWER OF PRAYER
2023 ANNUAL UFCCM THEME MESSAGE
Bishop Henry A. Tindal, Sr., EP
Matthew 16:18 "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
These are the words of our Lord Jesus to his disciples, and pointedly or specifically to Simon Peter. With these words Jesus revealed to his disciples that within the eternal mind of God, a new people were going to come into existence. Every person who would become a member of this New People would be unlike any other person who has ever lived in that they would become a part of a living community called, The Church. The Church would not come into existence until The Day of Pentecost. The Church would be composed of the two ethnic divisions of mankind, namely the Jew and the Gentile, out of which would come a New Ethnic Division of mankind, called The Church.
The Church is the third of three divisions of the human race. In God's sight the only divisions of humanity are The Jew, The Gentile, and The Church. Jesus made it clear that he would be the builder of this new people, called the Church. Every person who has received Jesus in their life as their savior is a part of the Church.
You are the church. The church is not the building where you worship. You are the building blocks upon which Jesus is building his Church. Jesus told Peter in the passage which we have read from Matthew 16:18,
- He would build his church upon a rock, not a man.
- He would use the kind of faith demonstrated by Peter when he acknowledged to Jesus that, thou art the Christ, the son of the Living God. Peter demonstrated ROCK SOLID FAITH!
- The gates of hell would not have the ascendancy or mastery or the upper hand, over his Church. The gates of hell would not prevail against his church. Jesus did not say that the gates of hell would not come against the church, but that the gates of hell would not prevail.
The clear implication is that you are the church, and the gates of hell are going to come against you. Satan wants to destroy the church! He wants to destroy you! Since the birth of the Church on the Day of Pentecost, Satan has designed, developed, and consistently deploy a massive supply of weaponry, filled with devices specifically designed to destroy every individual in the church. Yet over 2000 years after the Birth of the Church on the Day of Pentecost, the church is yet a living people called out from the world, baptized by the Spirit into the Body of Christ through faith in Jesus and set apart from the world. The Church has prevailed, is prevailing and will prevail until Jesus returns in the rapture to take His Church out of this world.
Just as Jesus promised, the gates of hell has not prevailed against the Church. But the church has prevailed and is prevailing against the gates of hell.
The question before us is, How does the church prevail or more accurately, HOW DO I PREVAIL WHEN THE GATES OF HELL COME AGAINST ME?
The answer is, YOU PREVAIL AND YOU ARE PREVAILING THROUGH THE POWER OF PRAYER!
The word prevail IS USED IN ONE FORM OR ANOTHER 75 times in the scriptures. As a verb the word means, prove more powerful than opposing forces; be victorious. to be very powerful: to gain the victory: to have the upper hand: to have greater influence or effect: to overcome: to be in force: to succeed. The word prevail can also mean to successfully persuade someone of something.
In the theme PREVAILING THROUGH THE POWER OF PRAYER, The Lord wants you to be reminded that through the Power of Prayer, you can be victorious, have the upper hand, overcome, dominate, and succeed in all aspects of your life regardless of the gates of hell opposing you on every hand.
To have a victorious life in Christ you MUST have a prayer life. Jesus was asked by his disciples on one occasion, why they were unable to cast out the devil from a child violently possessed. Jesus said Matthew 17:20-21, this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. Faith alone is ignored by the devil! In fact James said in James 2:19, the devils also believe and tremble. The Bible is filled with the accounts and exploits of those who manifested miraculous victories, but every one of them is connected to a life of prayer.
- Jacob wrestled with an angel all night and prevailed, but he had spent time in prayer, seeking God's direction and protection before going to meet his brother Esau.
- Daniel spent time boldly praying in spite of a plot to have him thrown into a den of Lions.
- The three Hebrew young men prayed before telling Nebuchadnezzar, it may be that the God we serve will not deliver us, from your hand or the fiery furnace, but we still will not bow down
- Jesus spent long hours in prayer and went forty days without eating.
- Peter was thrown in jail, condemned to be executed but the saints prayed. Look at Acts 12:1-17
- Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. 2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) 4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. 5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. 6 And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. 7 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. 8 And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. 9 And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. 10 When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him. 11 And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. 12And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying. 13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda. 14 And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. 15 And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. 16 But Peter continued knocking and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished. 17 But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.
PRAYER ALLOWS THE BELIEVER TO POSITION HIMSELF TO BECOME A CONDUIT THROUGH WHICH THE HOLY SPIRIT IS ABLE TO PERFORM GOD'S WIL AND POWER THROUGHOUT THE EARTH