Prayer, part 6
To-day I want to write more about INTERCESSION. When one intercedes, one does not pray for one’s own needs, but you place yourself in the gap for one or more persons. It can be for one person, but also for nations.
When you intercede, you pray to God or fight against the devil on behalf of the other person or persons or territories. When you intercede, you can pray in tongues or use understandable words. Who can be an intercessor? EVERYBODY. Do certain people have a special calling for interceding? YES. Both are true. We can all intercede on behalf of others, but cartain people are called to a ministry of interceding. Some Christian organizations and congregations have employed people for the purpose of praying. They have understood that without these intercessors they could not do what God had called them to do. Lots of churches have voluntary intercessions.
For how long does an intercessor pray? From five minutes to day and night. Many years ago I was especially used as an intercessor. That was my secret ministry. To-day I have a more visible ministry and I feel that I am an intercessior as a believer of Christ. I said that intercession is a secret ministry. You might pray day in and day out and no one comes up to you and thank you, but God sees every minute of your ministry and your reward will be great. I often hear about female intercessors. Are we more willing to be invisible? I was at a conference near the border of Tibet. I talked on prayer and asked those who had a special calling as intercessors to come to the front. Forty women came, but no man and there were lots of them at the conference. I do believe that God wants to change this.
I will share with you some of the experiences I had when I functioned as an intercessor. The Holy Spirit would quite often wake me up at night. Some times He would tell me exactly what I should pray for. Other times I prayed in tongues until the pressure for praying lifted. I remember one night when the Holy Spirit asked me to pray for a known politician. He was about taking his own life. This was confirmed when he wrote his biography. This man was not saved, but God loves everybody. Another time God asked me to pray for another politician. I should pray for his salvation. This one was seeking God right afterwards. Another night was used to save a little boy. He was run over by a car. I prayed all night while I was half asleep. God said in the morning: “It is fine now. You can stop.” The boy returned home the following day and I had to go out and see the living miracle, playing in the sand. I thanked God. It is important to give God the honor. He is the Healer. I was only standing before God and interceded on behalf of the boy and his family.
There were times when I could sense that I prayed for other countries and people. I could pray in tongues and I remember one time when I was convinced that I prayed for Russians. The Spirit knows where there is a need and He asks the people who are willing to pray. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE HEAD OF A WORLD WIDE ARMY ON THEIR KNEES. It is very exiting to be a part of this army. When we come to Heaven, we may listen to fantastic miracles and stories that have taken place because og our willingness to pray. I want to encourage you and say: “YOUR WORK AS AN INTERCESSOR IS NEVER DONE IN VAIN.” You put in an enormous effort and God really wants to tell you how thankful He is.
When you are an intercessor. you take the place of another and identify with the needs of others. You pray with an itensity as it should be your own life that was at stake. IT IS VERY UNSELFISH TO BE AN INTERCESSOR. We also have to identify with JESUS and the VICTORY that HE WON on the CROSS. We must be in Him and He in Us. Jesus, Himself is an intercessor. In John 17 we can read the prayer of Jesus, the prayer of a High Priest. He prays for His own. In the Old Testament the High Priest went before God and sacrificed on behalf of the people. Now we are all priests, all of us who are born again. In 1.Pet.2:5 we read that we are living stones, a spiritual house, a living priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. We are all priests and have a priestly ministry. The High Priest prayed on behalf of the people and so do we. DO YOU LOOK UPON YOURSELF AS A PRIEST? You might answer No and say that you do not have a theological education. Well, you do not have a position as a pastor in a congregation, but you are in Christ. A priest came before God on behalf of others, but he is also ministering to God by worshipping Him. When you worship, it is all about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Some people think that we sing to feel blessed, but that is a positive side effect and not the purpose. When we praise and worship, we direct our attention towards God. Since all believers are priests, we should all worship and we should all be intercessors. All priests should also minister to the people, but that is another theme.
I was once healed during praise and worship. The secret is that the anointing brakes the yoke and one forgets oneself during the worship. I all of a sudden discovered that I could lift my arm, something that I hadn’t done for a year.
Both praise and worship and praying can be written or free. It does not make any difference if we use our own words or those of others. It must be done in SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH.
I want to mention some intercessors from the Bible. Think about Moses. He came before the Lord again and again on behalf of the people. He prayed for them and asked for mercy. He was an intermidiator between God and the people. God gave Moses instructions concerning the people and Moses himself. It was then that Moses received the Ten Commandments. Moses was a leader with heavy burdens. In Ex. 17 we read that Johsua was sent out to fight against Amalek, but Moses, Hur and Aaron were on top of a hill. Moses held the rod of God in his hand. As long as he held the rod up, Israel prevailed, but when his hand went down, the enemy gained territory. Aaron and Hur had to keep his hands up until the victory was a fact. We also have to keep up the hands of somebody else until the battle is over.
Leaders are often in a storm and they are in the front during a war. We have to pray for them. They are more exposed than the people on the ground. This is true in the spiritual world as well as in the secular world. Therefore we can read in 1.Tim.1+2: “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” We, as Christians are told to pray for those who are in high places and we are responsible for the situation in the country. Our prayers should create peace and give us permission to live a godly life. We have a tendency to criticise those who are in authority, but the Bible tells us to pray for them, not once a year, but EVERY DAY. I remind myself, just as much as I remind you.
LET US PRAY FOR ALL LEADERS, BOTH IN THE SPIRITUAL AND SECULAR WORLD. LET US INFLUENCE THE SITUATION IN OUR COUNTRY AS WELL AS IN OUR LOCAL CHURCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!