A Guide To Intercessory Prayer
by Rev. Richard W. LaFountain

The Difference Between "Power" and "Authority"
There is a difference you know. A very important difference too Imight add. There are people, well meaning sincere Christian people,who fail to see that truth clearly and that failure leads to manyerrors in doctrine and practice.Authority is one thing and power isquite another.

POWER: in the Greek is the word "dunamis" from which we get our wordfor dynamite. It means energetic power, explosive power, or ademostrative power.

AUTHORITY: on the other hand is a completely different word in theGreek "exousia". It is a shame that in English we make no suchdistinction. Even in the translations which should have known betteruse the translation of the two words interchangeably even arbitrarilyso that the truth conveyed in the original language is lost. Authoritymeans right, privilege given to someone by another. It refers not topower but to position!

A policeman cannot say that he has power (dunamis) to stop traffic. He would have to be incredibly strong to stop even the smallest of cars by his own strength. Though he has not the physical or personal strength to stop traffic he is given authority under the law to commandeer traffic. He can literally stop traffic by his power (exousia), that is his right and authority.

To be sure we do not have power (dunamis) over Satan. We can never by our effort or energy stop him. Yet we have been given authority (exousia) over him in Jesus name and by virtue of the testimony that we belong to Jesus. "And they overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony." Rev. 12:11

When we are given the promise of salvation in John 1:12 we are promised power (exousia) to become the sons of God. Does that mean that we are given some special power, strength, or "dynamo" by which we can muscle our way into becoming a son of God? No! Never! What we are given, according to the Greek, is "authority" to be called the sons of God. That means that we are given the right, honor, or privilege to be called sons of God.

Do you see the difference? It is then a very important difference for every believer to recognize and learn. Let's learn then what is our "authority" as believers, and what are our "powers"

It scares me to hear some believers claiming that we have no right to deal with the devil and quote Jude to prove we have not authority. They say, since Michael, the archangel, "dared not bring against Satan a railing accusation but said 'The Lord rebuke you." So we dare not bring any railing accusations or commands against the devil. This is not a passage that explains our authority, or limits to our authority. What it does show us is that Michael understood the difference between his "power" (dunamis) and his "authority." (exousia)