Archive for the ‘intercession’ Category
In dealing with the subject of intercession, we’ve been mainly talking about how the Lord prays through us. But keep in mind also that Jesus is the ‘great intercessor’ who is always making intercession for us to the Father. (Heb.7:25)
Rom. 8:34 NIV – Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
Heb.9:24 AMP – He has entered into Heaven itself, now to appear in the very presence of God on our behalf.
Let’s look at just a couple of ways Jesus intercedes for us. He prays for us when we are being tested. Do you remember the night He was betrayed and led away to be crucified? Putting His own needs aside, he looked at Peter. Knowing Peter’s weakness, Jesus said to him, “Satan has desired to have you so that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith fail not.” (Luke 22:31,32)
Wow! When we face the hardest tests of our lives it’s beyond encouraging to know that Jesus Himself is praying for us! That’s enough right there to give us all the courage and faith necessary to make it.
The reason behind this is also life changing. He has this authority to be our High Priest and Intercessor because He became a man and went through everything we have to deal with here. He understands as no one else could. He’s been here and lived here. He was tested in all the same ways we are and yet (as an example of how we can live) He remained without sin. (Heb.4:15)
“It is plain that for this purpose [Christ] did not become an angel; He became a man, in actual fact a descendant of Abraham. It was imperative that He should be made like His brothers in nature, if He were to become a High Priest both compassionate and faithful in the things of God, and at the same time able to make atonement for the sins of the people. For by virtue of His own suffering under temptation He is able to help those who are exposed to temptation.” (Heb.2:16-18 Phillips Translation)
Yes, the Lord Himself intercedes for us when we are tempted. Here again, Jesus prayed for His disciples, ” I do not ask that You will take them out of the world, but that You will keep and protect them from the evil one.” John 17:15 AMP
He also intercedes for us when we have sinned … “If any man sin, we have an Advocate [an Intercessor] with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (I John 2:1) He knows how God’s judicial system works. He understands the justice of the Father. He is the Righteous Judge. ( 2 Tim.4:8) When He intercedes for us to the Father He is not saying, “Oh Father, please have mercy on them. You know how weak and foolish they are.” No. It’s a courtroom scene where the high courts of Heaven are set up. God’s legal system says that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. (Heb.9:22) Jesus, God’s son, is the One who shed His own blood for us. He stands there as an ever present reminder of that fact.
How can we lose! God has set things up in our favor over and over again. When we come up against things we cannot overcome, Christ Himself is interceding for us to the Father. And if we allow Him to, He also lives His life through us doing things that we can only do “in Him”. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. We are more than conquerors when we are in Him.
Having a bad day? Check out this passage of scripture and read it in several translations until it really hits you and becomes a part of you.
Romans 8:31-39 Amplified Bible (AMP)
31 What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?]
32 He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things?
33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect [when it is] God Who justifies [that is, Who puts us in right relation to Himself? Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen? Will God, Who acquits us?]
34 Who is there to condemn [us]? Will Christ Jesus (the Messiah), Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us?
35 Who shall ever separate us from Christ’s love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword?
36 Even as it is written, For Thy sake we are put to death all the day long; we are regarded and counted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.
38 For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers,
39 Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
For a visual on this, see the photo attached to the previous blog post. Have a wonderful day!
The hot wind coming from the Indian Ocean blew sand across the tent of meeting, stinging our faces. But along with the clouds of sand, there were spiritual clouds of glory that day as worshippers from around the world exalted Jesus as King. As the Holy Spirit began to give prophetic insight into how to pray for several different countries, the presence of God became thick and people began to intercede for their nations. In the midst of this, my husband looked toward the makeshift platform and saw Jesus standing high above the tent. His form stretched up into the sky and He was clothed in priestly garments. The light coming from Him was so bright that little could be seen of His face. Small orbs of light were spinning around Him, now touching, now lifting off of His glory. As intercession was made, the orbs of light were sent speeding out to the earth to all the countries and people who were being prayed for. Help and hope were on the way.
Don’t ever think that your situation is hopeless. Don’t ever think that God does not hear or that He does not care. Whether your problems are large or small, whether they concern just you or your whole nation, He hears every voice crying out to Him and sees every tear. In fact, your tears are so precious to Him that He keeps them in a bottle of remembrance! (Psa.56:8) Even your whisper for help resounds in His ears like a baby crying for its mother. He will not forget you and He will not forsake you. (Heb.13:5)
Once in an encounter with the Lord when I was feeling distraught and hopeless, He opened His hand to me. There, tattooed on His palm, was my name! I was shocked and undone. But without a word He had assured me of His great love for me and the fact that He would never forget. ( Isa.49:15,16)
Never give up. Keep praying! (1 Thess.5:17, Isa.62:6,7, Ps. 55:17, Lev. 6:13)
There is such a wide variety of creative intercession that the Lord allows us to enter when we ask Him to share His heart with us. If we are open, He will show us things we’ve never imagined. Such was the case with a prophetic experience I was taken into a few weeks ago.
Recently at our House of Prayer there was a wonderful presence of the Lord during the worship. I found myself entering deeply into His presence and dancing with Him for a long time. At last I heard the leader urging us to pray for the persecuted church in specific countries. There are times when the presence of Jesus is so sweet that I really don’t want to change gears and come out of that to do something else. So I made a conscious decision to stay in the Heavenly realms and pray ‘with Him’ from that place.
As we separated into smaller groups I saw, in the Spirit, a large group of people who were under attack for their faith. Jesus invited me to ‘stand in the gap’ with Him. He offered me His hand, also taking the hand of another person and many of us formed a circle around these people, facing outward to protect them.
As He called us deeper into intercession, I maintained my position in the Heavens and was now in the Throne Room. The phrase ‘souls under the altar’ keep running through my mind and I knew He was drawing my attention to them. Rev.6:9-11 says these are the ones who have been martyred for their faith in God. As if from far away I could faintly hear their cries. Then my eyes were opened to see a vast host of people from every tribe and nation who had all been slain for their faith in God.
Suddenly, perhaps because we were now praying for the persecuted church in Nigeria, another group began to rise out of the first one. These were Nigerians – tall, black skinned men in white flowing robes with their women in colorful dresses and head coverings, and their children … hundreds of children. Tears were flowing like rivers from their eyes as they cried out from the depths of their passion, “How long Oh God, will you not judge and avenge our blood from them that dwell on the earth?” (Rev.6:10)
But then as I listened, I began to hear other cries as well and prayers that were mixed with our own prayers for their nation. They were joining their voices with ours to pray for the persecuted church in Nigeria! They were crying out for those who were suffering for their faith and for those who will be martyred! They were praying for courage and strength for their brothers and sisters. They were bringing hope to them! I was undone.
I settled into my chair in our small group meeting and entered into the worship that was swirling around me. It was like catching a ride on a passing train with all the others. Gradually I became aware of a night sky and the feeling of flight. In the Spirit now, I seemed to be on a plane, leaning my head against a cold window pane. But suddenly I was aware of a cold wind as well. Now I realized that I was flying – but I was outside the plane looking in!
This had a different feel somehow than other prophetic experiences. There was more of a present reality sort of feeling, as though I was witnessing a particular place or set of circumstances here on earth. This was not a high-level, out of body experience but rather a prophetic impression which I had to fight to hold onto and keep believing and moving with it.
The plane was a large jet and this flight was very full. I saw the word United on the side and thought it might be a United Airlines fight. But a second look told me it was United Arab Emirates and most of the people on board were Middle Eastern.
Being somewhat new to this particular type of prophetic experience, I was unsure where I was or why I was there. But I felt I was there to pray and sensed that the plane was in some sort of danger. I prayed for safety and protection and that angels would be sent to help. Then I looked into the plane and saw many beautiful Arab children with their olive skin, black hair and big brown eyes. There were families on board with many children and babies and some pregnant women. I began to pray for them, not only for their safety but that God would reveal Himself to them, seal their future destinies for His Kingdom and bring them out of darkness. In the end I did sense a peace that the danger to the flight was past and everything would be alright.
When you make yourself available to the Lord for prophetic intercession, He can take you anywhere to pray for anyone. (See the other postings under Intercession for some exciting testimonies.) Though this was low on the scale of prophetic experiences, I mention it to show different ways He can speak to us. Some are such slight impressions that we can easily miss them or mistake them for our own thoughts at first. But if we keep pushing aside the distractions, focus on what we are seeing and keep asking for more … anything is possible with God.
Years ago in the 90s during the days of renewal, we were privileged to be near enough to Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship to be there often. I spent so much time resting in the Spirit on that carpet I feel as though I have permanent rug burn on my heart. It changed me forever and I am deeply grateful to the Lord.
I remember attending an intercessory prayer meeting there that absolutely blew me away. They met in a theatre type room that seated about 100 people and it was overflowing. After inviting the Holy Spirit, the leader laid out the plan for us and gave us time limits due to the size of the crowd. We would spend 10 minutes in quiet listening prayer to see what was on God’s heart. What did He have to say and what did He want us to pray about? We were each to write down what He showed us. Then the leader began to call for people to come forward individually to share what God had told them and pray into that.
By this time there was such a thick presence of God in the room that some people were sobbing and others were shaking so hard they could not even hold the microphone. Often someone else had to read their notes for them since they had crumpled to the floor. By the way, these were Catholics, Baptists, Charismatics – people from various denominations, cultures and nations learning how to be truly one in the Spirit. It was stunning.
As the notes were read, in the beginning some of it seemed random and I wondered where it was all going. But soon a pattern began to develop and it was obvious that the same Spirit was directing it all. Something that seemed not to make any sense would be put on hold for the moment. Then another person would share what he had received and it would fit perfectly with the first word and sometimes even bring more understanding. One person shared a fairly vague sense of danger for people in Congo. But later another person had seen a vision of a specific village bordering Congo with a refugee camp. The people there had been traumatized. They had little food and no clean drinking water. Now we could pray more specifically. On and on it went. It seemed as if the Lord had opened a huge jigsaw puzzle and showered it down on us, giving everyone a piece. If you only saw your piece it didn’t look like much or make any sense. But when all the pieces were put together the things He led us to pray about fit together beautifully. We only know things “in part”. We need each other. (1 Cor. 13:9)
Imagine the possibilities of that kind of prayer. Could this be the end of the boring prayer meeting? You know, the kind where it’s all about me and my little group, none of the prayers make it past the city limits and everyone is trying hard to stay awake. Even the angels are yawning at meetings like that because they don’t have much to do! Psalm 103:20 says that they “excel in strength and do His commandments, harkening to (listening with the intent to obey) the voice of His word.” While we do not command them or tell them what to do, they are also listening for the voice of His Word to come through our mouths! When we pray according to His Word and His will, the angels are sent to ‘do His commandments’ and bring answers to those prayers.
Let’s pray the Word of God and make declarations in agreement with His Word. Let’s ask Him how He feels about things and then pray His heart and His will into the matter. His prayers get answered!
For more on this type of prayer see http://www.maheshchavda.com and their weekly Watch of the Lord. I also recommend James Goll’s website, Encounters Network and Prayer Storm http://www.encountersnetwork.org.
Intercession, by it’s very nature, is not about us. If I am crying out to God regarding problems in my own life, that’s a valid form of prayer but it’s not intercession. If I am crying out to God regarding problems in someone else’s life or situations that I am not even affected by, that’s intercession. It’s always on behalf of others, not about me.
But prophetic intercession is still another category which is more strategic and powerful. It involves asking the Lord to direct your thoughts and lead you into praying what’s on His heart. He will give you information you do not have or show you pictures or visions of people and places you have no knowledge of. It can be anything … anywhere! And when He shows you, He can also take you there in the Spirit in prayer. When you arrive, there will often be angelic help, seen or unseen, to assist you in bringing His answer to the people and situations there.
Always remember this. In the Spirit you can fly! You will never see an eagle sneaking around in a forest trying to catch his prey that can easily outrun him. You will never see him surrounded by wolves. That’s ridiculous. He doesn’t go there or operate from that level. He operates from a higher realm where he can see with great accuracy. He can fly. So can you. (Isa.40:31)
There are many stories of prophetic intercession and people being transported in the Spirit for that purpose. Another one of my favorites comes from John Paul Jackson who is a well known prophetic voice in the USA. (www.streamsministries.com) He tells of travelling and preaching in Europe several years ago when he became very ill. He was so ill that he had to cancel some of the meetings and eventually ended up in hospital. He had been crying out to God for healing so that he could continue ministering. He was growing weary in his faith when suddenly at the side of his bed a little old man appeared. The man was small in stature and had dark weathered skin. He said nothing but simply laid his hands on John Paul’s chest and began to pray. John Paul said that fire seemed to shoot through his body and he was instantly healed. In that same instant the man disappeared before his eyes.
Knowing that angels can change their appearance and take on different forms, John Paul began to thank the Lord for sending His angel to bring healing to him.
At this, the Lord spoke to him and said “No, that wasn’t My angel.”
Shocked, John Paul cautiously asked “Well then … what was it?”
In answer to the question, the Lord took him into a vision where he clearly saw this same little old man in his small hut in a Mexican village. The man was on his knees in prayer asking God to use him.
“Oh God,” he prayed, “I’m very old now and I live in such a small village. I want to work for You but I have no opportunity. Please won’t You use me somehow to help someone?”
Apparently the Lord took him at his word. He was transported in prayer all the way to Europe to lay hands on one of God’s servants who needed healing, then taken back home again. Consider the possibilities! But this is not about a free travel package. We don’t get to choose the place or the circumstances. It comes out of a desire to know God in a deeper way and work to build His Kingdom. And it must ONLY be done through the Holy Spirit by those who know the Lord personally. There are other spirits that would counterfit and deceive and eventually destroy people. Jesus said “He who does not enter by the door of the sheepfold , but climbs up some other way is a thief and a robber … I am the door.” (John 10:1-10).
For those who are His, seated with Him in Heavenly places, there are truly no limits in prayer! (Eph.2:6)
For Prophetic Intercession parts 1 and 2 see the category “intercession” on this blog.
As we become more intimate with the Lord He allows us the privilege of seeing how He feels about things … what causes Him joy and what grieves His heart. There are times when He allows us to feel a very small part of the emotion that He is experiencing. (Phil.3:10) As mortals, any more than that would likely destroy us. Even just a glimpse of His true emotion can be overwhelming.
In Jesus earthly ministry, He tells us that He only did what He saw the Father doing. (John 5:19) Now He invites us to work with Him the same way. When we pray, “What is on Your heart today, Lord?” it may be something close to our hearts already, or it may be completely unknown to us. But He invites us to partner with Him … to see what He is seeing, feel what He is feeling and even do what He is doing.
Psalm 115:16 says “The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, but the earth He has given to the sons of men.” This is why God will not do things on earth unless we pray. He has given authority over the earth to mankind and we must ask Him to intervene. He expects us to use our authority here. When we ask for His help in prayer He responds.
Prophetic intercession can take many forms. As stated in the previous post – in its most basic form it is simply being open to hear God’s heart and pray or act as He instructs us. Here is one of my favorite testimonies of this kind of prayer:
A small group of intercessors in North America were praying in the leaders home. Suddenly they were all taken away in the Spirit although their bodies remained there. They found themselves in a prison cell in China where a frail, elderly Chinese man had been beaten for preaching the Gospel. They washed his feet, dressed his wounds, prayed for him and encouraged him. He thought they were angels but they assured him they were not. Just as suddenly, their spirits were carried back to the living room they had just left. Still in shock, some began to say “Did you just see what I saw?” The leader wisely cautioned them to say nothing but to each write down what they had seen. Comparing notes verified that they had all been on the same journey together.
There are many who have been on such journeys in prayer. Sometimes God not only uses us to intercede for people we don’t even know but He takes us there as well. He may also use us to minister healing or deliverance to them. Many times His angels have been sent there to work with us. Realizing this can change your view of prayer from boring to dynamite. It can turn your prayer room into an airport waiting lounge as you open your hearts to go where He sends you.
If this sounds too much like the occult, remember that everything the enemy has to offer is a cheap counterfeit of God’s realities. There were many in the Bible who were taken away in the Spirit – Paul, Phillip, John, Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Enoch … If it could happen to them, it can and does happen to us today. We are covered by the blood of Jesus. Many things were stolen from us and are waiting to be reclaimed.
Sometimes when you are praying for people or places, God will give you a vision of something that happened in their past. This will give insight for how to pray now … what healing needs to happen and perhaps what curses need to be broken. What you are praying for was in the Father’s heart long before He alerted you to it. He wants it more than you do. And He enlists your help to carry out His will. (For more teaching on the subject of prayer and intercession, see Mike Bickle’s website at http://www.mikebickle.org. Mike is the founder and head of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, USA)
Prophetic intercession is not just limited to the prayer room. Learn to read the newspaper or online news from a standpoint of intercession, declaring the Word of God instead of the current circumstances. Lay your hands on the screen and rebuke the storms and hurricanes. Pray peace and safety over those in dangerous circumstances. Declare the plans of the enemy to be uncovered so that lost children are returned to safety and wars are stopped.
When we pray what is in the Lord’s heart, what is His will – 1 John 5:14,15 tells us that He gives us what we ask of Him. If this is new for you, try it and see what happens!
Because of our intimacy with the Lord we have access into His heart. He begins to share things with us that we could not have seen before.
It was the time of the last Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia. Since we lived near there, our city had offered our large recreation complex to the athletes for practice several days a week, even advertising their schedules and inviting the public to watch.
In a room above the ice rink about one hundred of us crowded near the large window to watch the figure skaters from several different countries. During the first time period they were all on the ice together and I enjoyed watching the international warm-up session. Next came the time for each pair of skaters to do their routine. The atmosphere in the room began to change.
The Russians were first. The warm-up jackets came off and the bright red and black costumes stood out starkly against the ice. Then the music started … the epic, classical tragic music of Russia. It was like a knife stabbing my heart and with a shock I realized there were tears streaming down my face that I could not prevent. For a moment all I could do was cry as I watched the drama of a land and a people crying out for deliverance from generations of bondage. I began to feel God’s heart for them.
Suddenly I realized the opportunity the Lord was providing me. Here were the top, choice representatives in sports from many nations right here in my home town and I was close enough to see their faces! I could not go there but He had sent them to me. Listening for the Lord’s heart for them now, I began to pray as if I was down on the ice laying my hands on them. Through my tears I silently prayed that God would reveal Himself to them so clearly and that they would respond to His love. I prayed for their families, their future children and their nation as they danced out their history before me.
This is only a very small and low level experience on the ladder of intercession. Prophetic intercession in its basic form is simply being willing to hear what is in God’s heart and pray or act on what He shows us. Sometimes He asks us to partner with Him in bringing healing, salvation or freedom to the captives. Many have had experiences of being taken away in the Spirit to different locations in the earth realm to pray and actually help people there.
In the next post I will continue this subject and move deeper into it. But for now, allow the Lord to show you once again … there are no limits in Him. In the Spirit you can fly!
Scripture references: Isa. 40:31, 2 Cor.12:2-4, Rev. 4:1,2, Acts 8:38-40, 1 Thes.5:17, James 5:16