Throughout scripture we read many accounts of God sending angels to help his people in times of need. There is an account in the book of Daniel where an angel appears to him, telling Daniel that his prayers had been heard some time previously. In Kings, we read the story of Elisha praying that the King’s eyes would be opened, and he saw the Lords angels camped around him, ready to help him. In the New Testament, we read of many encounters with angels. Angels appear to a variety of people to reassure them of Christs coming, of his purpose and plans. There were times when angels appeared and helped people in times of crisis. Such as the one who led Peter out of prison.
I for one believe in angels. I believe I have had two face to face encounters with angels over the years, perhaps even three. Once I picked up a hitch hiker with his swag. He looked like he was homeless and smelt like it. But, while driving he asked me to stop in the middle of no where. So I stopped and he got out, and when I drove off, he was no where to be seen. He had disappeared.
The second encounter was during a time when a mate and myself had been locked in the local tip. The gate man had drinking issues and forgot we were there, and he locked us in. We easily broke the lock on the gate and drove out, only to find a more securely locked gate across the road, which we couldn’t get out. My mate was really anxious and I said don’t worry, lets pray… and next thing I know, a tall well dressed council worker appears walking up the road towards us. When I say well dressed, I mean his council uniform was neatly pressed, like that of a military uniform…which is really odd when you consider it was late in the afternoon. Without saying much, he unlocked the gate for us. I told him I had broken the lock at the other gate and asked if he wanted my name to replace it… He replied no, it happens., that he would fix it and he continued to walk down the road towards the tip…Now this encounter was bizarre. I don’t know any council worker who doesn’t like to stop and chat, especially when you consider the circumstances we were in. And so I believe that it was an angelic encounter.
I totally believe in angels. I totally believe that God sends them to help us. But, I have seen a strange thing within Christian circles where people pray that God will send his angels. Or that we ask God to surround us with his angels. I find no example in the Scriptures that allow us to pray prayers like this. I see no example in Scriptures where anyone sought the Lord to send his angels; even when there were times God answered prayers through the sending of his angels.
This practice concerns me. It seems to me that through praying prayers like this, we are telling God how to go about his own business of how he wishes to answer our prayers. I believe it robs us of relationship with God, it whittles away our trusting him in, and for all things. And I can find no example in scripture where we should be praying like this.
What do you think?