When I was a teenager, a local Christian band sang a song with a country swing that went like this: “Touchin’ and agreein’ as You commanded us, oh Lord. Believin’ and receivin’, all gathered in one accord.” I can’t remember the rest of the lyrics, but for some reason the catchy tune from decades ago has invaded my brain and won’t go away. So, I pulled out my Bible to see where “touching and agreeing” came from and find out if it really was a command.
In Matthew 18:19, the New International Version uses the phrase “agree about anything” rather than “as touching anything” like King James. The New King James Version says “that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”
From a literal standpoint, the words “about” and “concerning” are more accurate, but I love the poetry of the King James in light of the context. The verse right before Matthew 18:19 talks about binding and loosing, and the verse right after it talks about two or three gathering in the name of Jesus. Binding and loosing Touching and agreeing. Gathering and praying. What a beautiful picture that brings to my mind!
I don’t see a command in Matthew 18:18-20, but I do see a promise. Praying with another person about the concerns that weigh upon us not only brings unity around the circle of prayer, it also unites us with Jesus, who has promised to be in our midst as we agree in prayer. So, here’s what I want you to do. Find a friend or two this week and tell them about what’s concerning you. Then join your hands and bow your heads. Bind up every wicked scheme of hell and loosen every spiritual blessing from heaven. Jesus will enter into your midst and open His hand to you, and you’ll discover the truth in this week’s declaration.
Did you know that you can also hear me in a much longer format than this podcast? I received my quarterly royalty statement from Audible last week, and it reminded me that I have an audiobook that you might not know about. I read something like 200 pages as I narrate my book Longing to Belong: Discovering the Joy of Acceptance. So, if you enjoy the sound of my voice, I think you’ll really enjoy listening to me read my book to you. That book—Longing to Belong—was the catalyst for this podcast, and it’s filled with declarations of truth worth repeating. And I hope you’ll repeat them because your tongue has power. Use it for good.
Link to Audible: Longing to Belong by Shawna Marie Bryant – Audiobook – Audible.com
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This week’s scripture: Matthew 18:18-20