A while back we noted how in Daniel 10 the prophet prayed; the Lord heard, yet Satan utilized his evil minions to hinder the work of God. No one could possibly have known by looking at the Persian court that a great spiritual struggle was underway. But when inspiration pulls back the curtain, that is precisely what we see – angels and demons battling it out while human leaders are obliviously unaware. Don’t you know that if you and I could see the invisible, we would be amazed?
Have you ever wondered what your connection to angels is? And what about if, or how, our prayers impact this heavenly warfare? In This Present Darkness author, Frank Peretti implies our prayers somehow give strength to weary angels to aid them in their combat. Looking at the text in Daniel 10 I cannot help but think the same thing. Then we have the words of the apostle Paul who says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”(Eph. 6:12) Through the human activities of prayer and obedience, we engage in this invisible warfare. While human beings are accountable and responsible, we must not overlook the underlying spiritual powers at work in the cosmos.
So back to the question: What is our connection to angels? Or to put it another way and to be more specific: Do I have a “guardian angel”? Being raised Catholic, I was taught and believed just that. There aren’t many verses that specifically speak to this topic; however, a couple seemingly addresses such. First, there is the passage in Matthew 18 in which Jesus, having called a child into His midst, said, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” (10) While the text clearly suggests angels watch on behalf of believers, it falls short of teaching each Christian has an angel that is personally assigned to them.
Another passage of interest concerns comments made in regard to Peter’s appearance after being unexpectedly freed from prison. Peter, being released by an angel of the Lord, went to find his brethren. Once at the house of Mary he knocked at the door of the gateway. Rhoda, a young servant, saw him and in her excitement left him outside and rushed to tell the church. Upon hearing such they said, “You are out of your mind.”When she insisted that it was indeed Peter, they said, “It is his angel.” (Acts 12:15) That’s interesting. Concerning this text, in an article entitled: 6 Scriptures that Support the Existence of Guardian Angels, Wesley Baines suggests: “This is indicative of the common belief of the Jews at the time, that every Israelite had a guardian angel assigned to them, and that this angel often appeared as the person they protected.” While I would agree that such is indicative of the Jew’s commonly held belief at that time, the question remains, what does Scripture teach?
There are other passages that touch upon the angelic help of believers that stick out in my mind. First, remember that wonderful scene in 2 Kings 6? The mighty army of Syria had surrounded the Israelites in a city called Dothan. The situation appeared to be totally hopeless. When Elisha’s servant saw the armies of the enemy on every hand, in fear he cried out, “What shall we do?” (v. 15) Elisha answered with words that seemed to make no earthly sense: “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha asked the Lord to open the eyes of his servant; he looked and saw that the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (v. 17) Wow! What a wonderful message for God’s people of all ages.
If peradventure someone were to suggest that such help was merely an isolated situation or an Old Testament phenomenon, the New Testament affirms angelic involvement continues. The unknown Hebrews writer states that angels are “ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation” (1:14) Honestly, if it’s one angel per person (which I don’t think Scripture substantiates) or a vast host of such watching over God’s people collectively, practically speaking does it really matter? I believe, whether we have one or many, we’re in good hands! May God help us to remember, “those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” So be strong and bold in the Lord!
You are loved!