Many books had been written in history about the everyday men and women that received answers to their prayers that are considered as prayer heroes today, but what many of us fail to understand that it took them years of submitting under the hand of Abba Father where they had to cultivate a dynamic prayer life in His presence.
This type of prayer life takes sometimes years to cultivate and uncountable hours in the presence ofAbba Father in the holy of holies where huge amount of sacrifices needs to be made.
This is not a “fast delivery” prayer where you pray now and Abba deliver immediately. It is long
strenuous hours wherein you have to trust Abba Father with all of your heart. Even when you receive no positive answers from heaven, the time spend in Abba’s presence will for certain force you to grow towards maturity in the Lord Jesus Christ while you learn endurance and patience.
The Word calls it waiting upon the Lord. Especially the Book of Psalms describes the term waiting upon the Lord with clarity. There are quite a few but this is my favorite verse:
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret-it leads only to evil. For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.” Psalm 37v7-9 NIV
For most of us this is a difficult instruction. For to wait on the Lord for all practically sake means that we need to wait on the Lord before we act or do anything out of our ourselves. It is only through the impulse of the Holy Spirit that we can act in any situation that we bring into the throne before Abba Father.
It is in these prayer scenarios where we learn patience and endurance; and as it is with all thingslearning patience and endurance form us into spiritual giants. Paul describes it beautifully in this manner:
“If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.”2 Corinthians 1:6 NIV
The end result of waiting is remarkable as the believer in Christ Jesus is conveying the fruit of passing the test of endurance towards others around him/her. This kind of fruit brings new converts towards a relationship with Abba Father as well as encourages others to stand firm in their faith as they go through their own trials and difficulties.
The lesson of unity in the Body of Christ is once again of importance here. When we as believers of Christ goes through a tough time where we are waiting upon Abba Father to get our prayers answered other believers in Christ Jesus are also suffering with us in our trials and vice versa when other believers in Christ Jesus goes through trials and difficulties.
We cannot stay disconnected in this process of learning endurance and patience. We as believers are so uniquely linked in tune with each other through the blood of Christ Jesus and through the Holy Spirit that it is unavoidable what happen to the one believer in Christ Jesus will have an effect on the whole Body of Christ.
This spiritual fundamental truth is no truer in intercession. If believers in Christ Jesus unite inintercessory prayer miracles happen in any given situation, even if the given situation looks hopeless and beyond rescuing.
Countless members of the Body of Christ can tell testimony upon testimony of the helping hand of God in their lives as a result of God’s people praying in unison. Let’s look at it this way: TOGETHER WE RISE TO THE TOP AND DIVIDED WE FALL.
It is therefore the enemy’s mission to use whatever weapon he can to stop God’s people from praying together in unison prayer for he knows if God’s people pray together there is nothing what God cannot do in that given situation. Jesus Christ prayed the following in His last prayer towards His Abba Father before He was betrayed by Judas Iscariot in Gethsemane:
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one. I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. John 17v 20-23 NIV
MINISTRY OF UNITY
Unity is the fruit of continues prayer and standing on the authority in Jesus Name. In the above scripture Jesus revealed to us a little secret of long time success in intercession as well as in other ministries making up the Body of Christ:
BECAUSE ABBA FATHER, JESUS CHRIST AND THE HOLY SPIRIT OPERATES IN UNISON IN THE SPIRITUAL REALM THE BODY OF CHRIST CAN ONLY BE FUNCTIONING EFFECTIVELY WHEN IT OPERATES IN UNISON AS WELL.
It is well illustrated in the English proverb: A Family that prays together stays together.
As it can be expected unity in the Body of Christ is not not exactly promoted from the pulpit nor is it flexing its muscles in operating in unison in your everyday practicalities of life where believers in Christ Jesus should be living testimonies among the unbelievers.
This should be a concern for every believer who truly worships God with spirit and truth, for a dividing Church is a compromising church. The reality is that it in only in operating through unity that the Body of Christ can be immune against the teachings and values of false prophets and teachers.
A practical illustration of this comes from the Book of Galatians when Paul faced opposition from the false Jewish teachers that went among the church of that time and proclaimed that in order to get saved as an Gentile you need to get circumcised. This created havoc in the circle of the Gentile believers as Paul proclaimed the true gospel of salvation of grace through Christ Jesus alone.
Sadly even Peter succumb to the false Jewish teachers, so much so that Paul had to confront him in the true gospel of grace, because when Peter lost his focus because of the fear of man other Jewish believers soon followed his example, even Barbabas.( Galatians 2)
For Paul this was a matter of life and death; for he understood if the Body of Christ do not stand together in unity in the grace of Jesus Christ , everything that Jesus Christ did for us and stand for gets nullify by the same group of people He gave His life for.
He said to Peter when he confronted him:
“For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing. (Galatians 2: 19-21 NIV)
This scripture is regularly quoted by every believer and rightly so, but if it is understood in the context in which he answered Peter it gets a whole new meaning, making it much more meaningful for us in our daily walk in unity with other believers. For unfortunately the Body of Christ of today has caught the same virus; the virus of displacement.
Especially today where the New Age movement, the humanitarian movement and the modern science groups starts to influence the Body of Christ with its false teachings contrary to the teachings of Christ Jesus. The sad truth is that we are failing miserably; for if we cannot even unite in prayer and love each other despite our differences, how can we unite in standing for the fundamental truths and values of our faith?
The time is now that we need to wake up from our sleep before we as the Church of Christ totally are ravaged by this virus of displacement. We must repent of our ways doing and our ways of compromised thinking when it comes to the Kingdom Principles of Christ Jesus.
Time is not on our side as the circumstances around the world are clearly telling us. Paul stood up for unity and the fundamental principles of God’s Kingdom that did not make him popular among his own people, so much so that it cost him his life at the end. But because of his perseverance he left behind a group of believers that carried the torch of unity and truth to the next generations making it possible for us to carry the same legacy to our next generations.
UNITY: THE FRUIT OF INTERCESSION
Not all is lost though. As end time prophecy progresses we see a revolution taking place. Many believers in the Body of Christ are questioning the teachings and the ways of the modern church. They are truly seeking the presence of Abba Father and are doing their own homework in searching for the truth in God’s Word. They are taking any teaching at face value until they tested it for themselves by testing it with the truth in God’s Word.
The beautiful thing about this is that in some way the Spirit is connecting these believers together in spirit and in truth. As believers discover the truth for themselves they no longer stay believers but they become disciples of the Son of God who gave His life for them. And in doing so they start to connect with other disciples around the globe no matter the denomination or the nation they originate from.
Paul described this unity in this way:
“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit-just as you were called to one hope when you were called –one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4: 3-6) NIV
This kind of unity did not just happen on its own. It took years of faithful intercessors and it still takes faithful, obedient intercessors to make this unity happen. What is interesting though is that together with this new found unity comes the preparing of the Bride of Christ Jesus.
For all who stand in this unity has several traits in common which is universal in every disciple which make out the Bride of Christ Jesus:
These character traits of the disciples of the Bride of Christ tell the whole story of the Body of Christ. For they that processes these traits are on fire for their Bridegroom and living a mediocre lifestyle of compromise is just beneath their lifestyle they are aiming for. For them it is everything or nothing.
The sad reality is that your compromising believer in Christ Jesus does not always appreciate this kind of radical faith. Ironically it is the Bride of Christ who is getting blamed for the disunity in the Body of Christ by the compromising church. The viewpoint of the compromising church is that in order for total unity to take place new ways of thinking needs to be adapted as well as new ways of doing things.
It is when the Bride of Christ dares to stand for the truth of their Bridegroom and not to compromise on God’s Word that the “unity” gets disrupted. This viewpoint cannot be farther from the truth. It is by adopting a compromising lifestyle that the unity between believers of Christ gets disrupted.
For unity between disciples of Christ Jesus is only upheld through the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit can only be present where the full obedience to God’s Word and the principles is being practiced. Never in disobedience as the compromising church is claiming.
Abba Father feel so strongly about the matter of the choice between obedience of disobedience that He made the following statement to the nation of Israel:
“Now that I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so that we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask,” Who will cross the sea, to get it and proclaim it to us so that we may obey it? No, the word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so that you may obey it? See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments ,decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. “(Deuteronomy 30v11-16) NIV
The formula of God’s kingdom is simple: You obey God and you shall sow life and prosperity or disobey God you shall sow death and destruction. For a little while disobedience may bring in the rewards, but as I have written before satan has a way of leaving his subjects in the mud and mire once he sees that they are in trouble.
Especially now with the Body of Christ starting to adopt the false teachings he is bringing in through his instruments of choice. It may look promising but the Bride of Christ knows the dangers lurking around the bushes. Unfortunately the realization will come too late for many who choose to turn their backs against Christ Jesus and all that He stands for.
Blessingly it is also true that those who remain faithful until the end shall see the goodness of their Abba Father in their lives. Although they will go through fire sometimes they shall still see how He will carry them through it and provide in all their needs in the most wonderful ways.
In short they shall sow life and prosperity.
INTERCESSION AND THE WORD OF GOD
I have put the emphases in this booklet on the importance of obeying God’s Word and the importance of the intercessor to make obedience a lifestyle not merely just because it is the correct thing to do. Also I have written how the obedient lifestyle and answered prayer is inseparable from each other. They cannot simply coexist without the other.
In this segment we will look at the Word of God as a tool of in the hands of the intercessor. The first aspect of the Word of God we need to establish is under which authority does the intercessor operates when he or she use the Word of God as a tool in spiritual warfare. The second aspect to consider is; why is it of vital importance for the intercessor to use the Word of God as a tool?
For by understanding these two aspects regarding the Word of God the intercessor can be moreeffective in spiritual warfare as well as growing in maturity in his or her ministry as an intercessor. Now let us explore these two aspects in detail.
AUTHORITY OF THE WORD OF GOD
Contrary to the belief of most unbelievers the Bible is not merely a history book or a book of moral value. It is the words of the Living God; the Alpha and the Omega and the Beginning and the End.
It is also the light for our path and the guide given to us from our Heavenly Father to sustain and teach us. In other words for the disciple of Jesus Christ the Bible is everything. Why?
IN SHORT THE WORD OF GOD IS JESUS CHRIST AND JESUS CHRIST IS THE WORD.
John confirmed the above truth in this way:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. “(John 1:1-4 NIV)
Paul confirmed this further in his letter to the Colossians:
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” (Colossians 1: 15-20 NIV)
Through these two above scriptures it is determined that Jesus Christ is the Word and that all things were created by him and for him and that God his Father put all earthly and heavenly things under His authority. To make this written statement easier to understand I will use a practical example out of the Bible itself.
In Genesis 1 Abba Father created the heavens and the earth by speaking everything into existence. (I am referring to “And God said” throughout Genesis 1). In other words God created everything through Christ Jesus, His Son, Who is the Word, making the statement made by Paul in Colossians 1 more understandable when he said:” all things were created by him and for him”.
This is a profound statement as the universe and all in it (including earth and everything on or in it) is subjected to His authority alone; not only because through Him it was created and are sustained by Him every day ,but also because the Almighty God, His Father decided that it will be so.
In Psalm 2v 7 and 8 it is written prophetically:
“I will proclaim the decree of the Lord: He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.” NIV
Without making it too complex I shall rephrase the practical implications for intercessors this way:
BECAUSE ABBA FATHER PUT EVERYTHING UNDER HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST AUTHORITY WE HAVE AS CHILDREN OF GOD SHARE IN THIS AUTHORITY THROUGH THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST, GIVING US AS INTERCESSORS AUTHORITY TO USE THE WORD OF GOD IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE.
Matthew 28:18-20 “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” NIV
WORD OF GOD: THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT
The second aspect regarding the Word of God we will dig into is the importance of using the Word of God in spiritual warfare. I can give you many obvious reasons but yet again it will not make any sense to you to discussed it in detail unless we cover the basic groundwork first. So here it goes.
Ephesians 6v 17 describes the Word of God as the Sword of the Spirit as part of the armor we need to armed ourselves with every day for spiritual warfare. So in other words the Word of God is not only a tool but a mighty weapon in the believers hands.
In modern terms we can say that the Word of God is a rifle in the believers’ hands. Let’s face it in the end times we are living in now we cannot help but use aggressive action in our fight against the enemy.
We are facing attacks from the enemy in the most strangest of circumstances making it impossible for us not to react accordingly. How then must we use the Word of God in our war against the enemy?
The same way God our Heavenly Father created the universe, by speaking the Word. Because Jesus Christ is the Word and every authority has been given to Him on the earth and in heaven we ought to operate in the same authority just by speaking over our circumstances through prayer.
For by speaking the Word we are speaking life into the situation and not death. Jesus said to His disciples: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” (John 14v6).
In practical terms we are speaking Jesus Christ into the situation. One practical way of doing it (which I learnt at a woman’s camp) it this:
You take your prayer request to God and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the Scripture you must pray in that given situation. Then you pray that given Scripture personally. Let me illustrate:
Let’s say my prayer request is for the safety of a friend of mine and the Holy Spirit lead me to Psalm 91v1-2 my prayer will be this:
“(My friends name) who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
(My friends name) will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.”
By employing this method you are not only engage in spiritual warfare but you are also spending time in God’s Word, getting to know Him more intimately, thus making it possible for you to grow as an intercessor and getting your thoughts transformed at the same time.
Now that we have covered the basic groundwork regarding the reason we must employ the Word of God in our spiritual warfare, I will make this last note regarding the matter:
Psalm 119v 89-90 says:
“Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures.” NIV
For me personally it clearly underwrites on point and that is; no matter how we swing it the Word of God is the only Scriptural authority we can base our faith on as disciples of Jesus Christ as it is the only scriptural authority that stood the test of time before the creation of the universe until now. It determines our way we live our daily lives as well how we perceived our circumstances and choices we have to make every day.
Abba Father, Jesus Christ (His Son) and the Holy Spirit together with the Word of God are the only dependable authority in this day and age. And especially for the intercessor it is not always the how and what, but the Who that makes all the difference in his/her life.
After all it is the Who (Jesus Christ) after all which makes it possible for us to have eternal abundant life here on earth as well as in heaven.
JESUS CHRIST: THE PATHWAY TO ETERNAL LIFE
I cannot write about intercession and not write about Jesus Christ our Savior. After all He is the reason we can discuss the topic of intercession after all. In the last segment we talked about Jesus Christ as the Person to Whom His Father has given Him all authority on earth as well as in heaven as well as how He is the Word of God through everything was created.
In this segment I want to make the discussion about Jesus Christ more personal. For as every intercessor knows Christianity is about the relationship itself and not primarily about keeping the moral code written in God’s Word.
Our Bridegroom wants a personal relationship with His Bride, not only as a body but also with each individual. And it is here where many are missing the point.
As I have already discussed in the segment regarding the topic of grace you cannot get a kick into heaven by your good works or by you good behavior. Unfortunately you do not get eternal life through a parole board, it is by choice.
John 1: 11-13 tells us why:
“He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” NIV
The keyword here is the word believe. Faith is nothing more than the choice to believe and then to act on that belief. In this case the child of God made the choice to belief in faith the atonement of sin He established through his blood on the cross, His resurrection from death and that He ascended up to heaven to sit on the right hand of His Heavenly Father.
The upmost reason why the Heavenly Father use this method of salvation is mainly because when He He created us as human beings He gave us the power of freedom of choice. He does not want us to have a relationship with Him out of force but out of love.
God is love and it is through a loving relationship with His children that He wants to love and cherish us.
This freedom of choice must be exercised wisely for it determines the destiny of our lives. And especially when it comes to the matter of salvation :for it is only in this life that we can make the choice where we will spend eternity.
Heaven and hell is a reality no matter how we look at it. The most important thing to understand is that is not the will or desire of the loving Heavenly Father of one us to spend eternity in hell, for it is the place He created for satan and his fallen angels after all.
Yet by not accepting and believing Jesus Christ His Son you are denying the blood sacrifice He made for you on the cross. There is no other way to heaven but through the cross.
“This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is nodifference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished.” (Roman 3: 22-24 NIV)
There is no better demonstration of the Heavenly Father’s love us as the cross, for now we can enter His presence without fear through His Son Jesus Christ. For the intercessor this is the key to the effectiveness of his or her ministry.
Through their right standing with the Heavenly Father they can enter His presence to bring their prayer requests to His throne of grace .Intercessors also acknowledge the responsibility of entering the presence of the Heavenly Father.
On their shoulders lies the most important ministry in the Body of Christ for it is only through prayer that God’s hand can be released on the earth, especially in the salvation of the world.
For it is through the intercessor’s prayer the Holy Spirit move with great power to convince the unbeliever for his or her need for salvation. Again salvation can only be achieved through intercession to move the Holy Spirit through power. It is not found in a 10 step program or human designed agendas.
For it is only through the Holy Spirit that people accept and receive salvation.
ROLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN INTERCESSION
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14: 25 NIV)
“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.” John 16:13-15 NIV
The role of the Holy Spirit in intercession according to the two above quoted scriptures is counseling, teaching and guidance into all truth. Without the Holy Spirit intercession cannot and may not take place; for as the intercessor enter into the throne room of grace the Holy Spirit empower the intercessor to intercede with authority as well as lead the intercessor in what to intercede for.
And as the intercessor move in obedience together with the Holy Spirit, miracles and wonders is taking place that brings honor and glory to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
HONOR AND GLORY TO CHRIST JESUS
After all things have been said and written about intercession we always come back to the same old truth: INTERCESSION IS ALL ABOUT JESUS CHRIST, NOT ABOUT ANYONE OR ANYTHING ELSE.
If the intercessor can acknowledge and keep to this basic principle of intercession, everything else of intercession shall fall into place as the intercessor move in obedience to the leading and teaching of the Holy Spirit.
Intercession must bring glory to Jesus Christ and His Heavenly Father. That must be the intercessors only desire as he or she moves into the presence of the Almighty God. Intercession cannot take place in a heart attitude of selfish gain; intercession is too much of a difficult task that takes every ounce of patience and endurance of the intercessor.
Intercession also has its precious rewards that make the task of intercession worthwhile. The time spend the Heavenly Father’s presence as well as the fruit that comes forth from persevering in intercession are way more valuable than all the gold and silver on earth.
As Jesus Christ put it:
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (John 15:7-8 NIV)
May we as the Body of Christ give intercession the place it deserves in the Kingdom order where it belongs. Not only for the benefit of a struggling Church but also for the benefit of bringing back the glory with Whom it belongs.
At the end of the day it must be our only motivation, no matter what we choose to do.
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