There are things that are planned for every Christian that the angels know, but they are hidden from each of us for the moment. I am amazed at the intricacy of God’s ways and how wonderful His thoughts are toward us. The psalmist wrote, “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You” (Ps. 139:17-18).
I remember the first time I encountered an angel. This event happened in the spring of 1982. I did not pray to see an angel, nor did I particularly want to see an angel. Previously, I had sensed that angels had come into my room while I was praying. I was fully aware of the awesomeness of the presence of angels. And I was, as well, fully cognizant of the fear of the Lord that is upon His angels. I therefore had no desire to see an angel.
I remember seeking the Lord diligently at the time. I was asking God to help me deal with the workload that I was encountering with my college work. I was asking the Lord to help me because I had given up everything to attend this college, and I had to keep a certain grade point average to stay in the program. I was in a darkened room. It is important to note that the door to my dorm room was double-locked with a dead bolt.
I remember that while I was pacing the floor, I would momentarily open my eyes so I would not run into something in the room. I would approach the closed and double-locked door in my dorm room and then turn and walk the other way toward the windows. I did this continually for hours while I was praying in the spirit. I wanted the revelation that was in my spirit by the Holy Spirit to come up into my understanding. I really did not care how long it took for the truth to come up. I desperately needed to hear from God.
As I pressed on through in prayer, I started to spiritually sense freedom in the spirit all around me, and I also was spiritually sensing freedom within my entire being. There are times when a person prays that one can feel the warfare going on around one’s being. Then, it can suddenly become obvious that a breakthrough has arrived. The very air clears and the person praying feels free, as if he or she is free to fully breathe once again. During this particular prayer time, suddenly, a huge surge of power hit me like a wave from the ocean. I fell to the floor in the middle of the room. I could not move, but somehow I was able to see the room with my spiritual eyes, not my physical eyes. It was as though I were suspended above my body. I could see a large angel standing in the doorway.
The door had physically opened! That was just not possible because, as I noted previously, that door was double-locked. I still was not mobilized as I watched the angel approach me. He bent down and grabbed me by the arm. He lifted me up, and I regained some of my strength. As I stood before him, I noticed his attire. From top to bottom, the angel wore a full Roman centurion’s uniform. He was very tall. He may have been about nine or ten feet tall, and he perhaps weighed eight hundred pounds.
He spoke with such authority as he began to address me. He said that he had come on behalf of the Most High God. He said, “I have been sent from the presence of the Most High to tell you that you must separate yourself unto God. There are individuals whom you have befriended from whom you are to separate yourself. No longer spend time with these people, for not only are they not in the will of God, but these people are about to be judged.”
While he was talking to me, I saw the individuals about whom he was speaking. The group consisted of a group of people about twelve in number who had befriended me. The angel started to talk to me about my calling, but then he was interrupted by the Holy Spirit. I could not hear what was being said to him by the Holy Spirit, but he held his hand up to motion for me to wait. He then told me that he was called immediately to another place. He asked me to go to the prayer room, which was down the hallway. He said that instead of his completing this message from the Most High God, the Holy Spirit would finish the message.
I objected to this situation. I was impressed with the awesomeness of this angel. He was standing within three feet of me. I wanted him to continue to talk to me. I was looking at him and was studying his armor, which was very intricate and beautiful. The power that came from this being was so amazing, and it was a natural reaction for me to want him to complete his message because no one would have wanted him to leave. I felt safe because of the authority that I sensed within this angel. He walked in such godly authority, and awareness of his authority within just made me boldly confident in the protection of God. I then said to the angel, “You are already here, so please, just finish the message.”
At this, the angel became very stern with me, sterner than he previously had been. He said, “I said go to the prayer room, and do it now!” At this, the angel turned and pointed to the prayer room door, which was down the hallway. Then, the angel walked quickly down the hallway. As he walked away, he disappeared into thin air!
Six months after this experience with the angel, those twelve or so individuals were all expelled from college for misconduct. If I had not listened to the angel’s warning from that evening, I would have been implicated as being part of their group, and I also would have been expelled. The angel was sent to help me understand a situation that I could not possibly have personally foreseen at the time that the angel revealed it to me. The angel also knew completely what would happen to these individuals in the next six months. God’s foreknowledge had been revealed to me, and that angel was sent to warn me.
This situation reveals one purpose of angels, and that is that they are sent to help Christians do the will of God. I often wondered why the angel did not visit the others who were expelled to warn them about their misconduct. However, it seems as though he came to answer a prayer that I was praying in the spirit. I was praying in the spirit without knowing that through my prayers God would respond and would be sure to give me helpful information concerning my future. The information that the angel revealed assisted me in my life. This situation clearly demonstrates one reason why it is so vitally important to pray in the spirit as often as one possibly can. I have had several visitations of angels after praying in the spirit for long periods of time. It seems that praying in the spirit and angel activity are tied together.