The Pharaohs of Egypt were considered to be Gods. They had sovereignty over all the people of Egypt. When a Pharaoh declared a law or a ruling whether right or wrong, it would be done. A person or a nation that has jurisdiction, rule, supremacy, dominion, power, ascendancy, control or influence over others has “sovereignty” over them.
Thutmose II was probably the Pharaoh in Egypt when Joseph was second in charge. It is not clear who was Pharaoh when God called Moses to set the Israelite slaves free. When Jacob moved his family to Egypt as protection from years of drought and suffering, they were just a few hundred in number. Over the years, the Israelites prospered and multiplied to the degree their population became a threat to Egypt. A succeeding Pharaoh, who did not know Joseph or how his godly wisdom protected Egypt from starvation, decided he needed to take strict measures to ensure they could not overthrow his kingdom or sovereignty. In order to control this substantial group of people who were in the country and not natural born Egyptians, Pharaoh chose to enslave the Israelites. Pharaoh used his sovereignty in Egypt to solve an imagined threat to his nation and his leadership. The oppression of slavery kept the Jewish people weak and wanton for 400 years although they continued to multiply. It was a diabolical way of controlling them but Pharaoh was about to learn he was not sovereign in all the earth, and he would soon have an encounter with the One who was.
The Lord enlisted Moses, a mere man, to demonstrate to Pharaoh His power and sovereignty over the earth. He instructed Moses, “Behold, I make you as God to Pharaoh [to declare My will and purpose to him]”. He continued, “You shall speak all that I command you…The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord when I stretch forth My hand upon Egypt and bring out the Israelites from among them.” The results were amazing, “And the Lord did according to the word of Moses”. (See Exodus 7).
Jesus’ ministry on earth was a clear demonstration of the sovereignty of God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). He had/has sovereignty over: demons, nations, the earth, life, death and eternity. He also judged Satan. “About judgment, because the ruler (evil genius, prince) of this world [Satan] is judged and condemned and sentence already is passed upon him.” John 16:11. The only reason so much evil is happening in the earth is because mankind still has free will choice. Our choices affect not only ourselves, but everyone else on earth. What we say or do gives authority to either Satan’s kingdom of darkness or God’s kingdom of light. When we are totally aligned with the Lord, we are able to pray sovereign prayers which bring heaven to earth!
The time for Jesus to die on the cross and be resurrected was approaching. He was leaving His disciples with instructions in order to prepare them for His departure. Jesus taught His disciples how to pray. He instructed them, “I tell you that My Father will grant you whatever you ask in My Name [as presenting all that I AM]. Up to this time you have not asked a [single] thing in My Name [as presenting all that I AM]; but now ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy (gladness, delight) may be full and complete.” John 16:23b-24.
Jesus continued by praying not only for His disciples, but for those of us who would believe in Him throughout the generations. (See John 17:19-26). He prayed that we would be one with each other and with the Father as He is one with the Father. “That they all may be one, [just] as You, Father, are in Me and I in you, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe and be convinced that You have sent Me. I have given to them the glory and honor which You have given Me, that they may be one [even] as We are one; I in them and You in Me, in order that they may become one and perfectly united, that the world may know and [definitely] recognize that You sent Me and that You have loved them [even] as You have loved Me…I have made Your Name known to them and revealed Your character and Your very Self, and I will continue to make [You] known, that the love which You have bestowed upon Me may be in them [felt in their hearts] and that I [Myself] may be in them.”
When we become one with Christ as He is one with the Father, our prayers will become sovereign prayers. When our will is surrendered to our Lord as His will was completely surrendered to God, including death on the cross, we will be one with Him. Jesus will reveal to us the character and will of the Father as we surrender our lives to Him. When we know the character and will of the Father, our prayers in His name will be upheld by His sovereign power.
There are two sources available for us to know the will and character of God. They are the written Word of God (logos, Bible) and the revealed Word of God by the Holy Spirit (rhema). The (rehma) Word will not contradict the (logos) Word or Character of the Lord. The Bible clearly and succinctly makes known the character of God and the character of Satan. We know from the Word of God that Satan is a liar, a thief, a destroyer, a murderer, one who oppresses, controls, deceives and enslaves people and one who is directly opposed to God. His goal is to possess and destroy people whom God loves. We know he is the source of pride and he rebelled against the rule of God. We know that the devil’s kingdom has set itself against everything that God’s kingdom represents. Their kingdoms are diametrically opposed to one another.
By the Word of God, we know that the Lord is: Creator, Life, Joy, Truth, Good (Kind), Gentle (Meek), Love, Patient, Faithful, Righteous, Holy, Just, Merciful, Resurrection, Light, Sovereign, All-Powerful, All-Knowing, and Everywhere (Omnipresent) to name a few. He is the Door to the Father, the Way in which to walk, and the Savior of all who believe in Him. He is Deliverer who sets the devil’s captives free and much, much more.
There are some truths we know about Jesus’ ministry from reading the four Gospels which empower us to pray “Sovereign Prayers”:
1) He came to seek and to save the lost and desires that none should perish. John 3:16-17, Luke 19:9-11. Knowing this truth, we can pray for the unsaved and expect God to change their hearts because His will is that they not perish! We can confidently pray and fast for their salvation and keep persisting in prayer until we see it come to pass.
2) It is God’s will to heal. Everyone that came to Jesus for healing was healed. He did not reject anyone who cried out for healing. A man with leprosy approached Jesus and asked “Lord, if you are willing, You can make me clean”, and Jesus replied, “I am willing. Be cleansed.” Matthew 8:2. We can pray for the sick and fully expect that they will be healed. Mark 16:18, Matthew 10:5-6.
3) Everyone who was demon possessed was delivered and set free. Even though Jesus was sent to the Jews first, He willingly delivered the Canaanite woman’s daughter who was possessed by demons. We have been given the authority to cast out demons in His name. Mark 16:17, Matthew 10:5-6, Luke 10:1-24.
4) The Holy Spirit Who dwells in us prays through us. We can pray the will of God through the help of the Holy Spirit. Mark 16:17, Ephesians 6:18. Romans 8:27 says, “And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God’s will.”
5) We can pray (declare) His written Word (Bible verses) over ourselves and others, which is His will, and God will answer our prayers. Isaiah 55:11, “So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
6) We can pray against premature death over others. It is clear in the Bible that the enemy has a plan to kill, steal from and destroy our lives. We also know that God created us with specific plans and purposes that are good and not evil. Jeremiah 29:11. Psalm 139:16 and Job 14:5 reveal that the Lord has already ordained the days of our lives on earth. We can come into agreement with God’s sovereignty over our lives and the length of our days which He ordained for us. We can also disagree with the plans of the enemy to shorten our days or change God’s ordained plans for us.
7) We can pray God’s will and sovereignty over the nations! We know that it is the Lord who raises up kings and pulls them down. The nations are to be Jesus’ inheritance. Psalm 2:8 “Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations as Your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth as Your possession.” People of all nations will fill heaven but it is our responsibility to pray for them to hear and know about Jesus. We can pray for godly leadership over nations. The Bible says that when the leader, ruler or king is righteous, the people are blessed. Proverbs 29:2 affirms, “When the [uncom-promisingly] righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked man rules, the people groan and sigh.
The Lord is calling us to become much bolder in our prayers. He also desires for us to become more focused on His will and purposes for ourselves and others. We have been given the authority to pray and proclaim that His will in heaven come to pass on earth. The enemy only has the authority we allow him to have in our lives. We can eliminate his authority by coming into agreement with the Lord’s sovereignty over our lives, our family, our church and our nation as we walk in righteousness and godliness.
When our heart (soul: mind, will and emotions) becomes one with His, He will show us His plans and purposes and we will join with him in intercession. He promised to answer all our prayers that are prayed according to His will and in His name. By acknowledging His sovereignty over our lives and our world, our prayers will move mountains, transform hearts, fill leaders and change nations. We will see more of heaven and less of “hell” on the earth when all our prayers are “Sovereign Prayers”!