How Intercessors Can Bless The Church And Its Leadership.
If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you feel compelled to pray for the body of Christ. You see needs and have compassion for God’s people. You have been given a great trust and have the potential to do a great amount of good for the body of Christ. You are on the front lines, and often see things before they impact the rest of the body. As you pray, the trajectory of the spiritual realm shifts. Thank you for the sacrifices that you make. There is a cost to intercession, and you are VERY much appreciated. I want to share with you some things that I hope it will make your path a little smoother.
Pay attention to your expectations. You are called to serve a church whose people, like ourselves, are in the process of sanctification. If you expect perfection, you may find yourself jumping from church to church. God will reveal things to you for the purpose of prayer, not criticism or gossip. God has entrusted revelation to you. Use it with wisdom. If there is one thing that will take out an intercessor faster than anything, it is impure judgment. Judgment becomes tainted whenever we don’t see ourselves or others accurately. If we tolerate any pride, self-righteousness, criticism, or hypocrisy in our hearts it will result in impure judgment. This can also happen if we put leaders on a pedestal. (idolatrous judgment) Let’s deal with it quickly if we start to go there.
Another expectation that intercessors can be tempted with is to think that church leaders are supposed to be at every prayer meeting. While prayer is one responsibility of leaders, it is NOT their only one. Let’s bless them to carry out their MANY responsibilities. If you have felt offended when leaders didn’t feel compelled to pray as much as you do, let it go! They have different marching orders than we do.
Effective intercessors honor the leadership of the house. I cannot state this strongly enough. This is easy enough to do when we agree with everything our leaders are doing. If you’re part of a body of believers, eventually there’ll probably be something that the leaders do that you disagree with. What do you do in this situation? First, pray into your concerns. Pray for God to protect His church. He is, after all, the head of His Church. He is well able to protect it. Secondly, ask God to unify His body by giving us His perspective. Sometimes God allows these differences as a test of honor. Will you honor the leadership even when you think they’re missing it? There may be times when you feel like you’re supposed to speak into an issue. If, after prayer, you still feel like you’re supposed to talk to the leadership, do so with respect. Respect looks like humility, kindness, and a clear message. Once you’ve done this, your job is done. Let it lay. Trust God. Resist fear of what will happen if you’re concerns aren’t addressed the way you think they should be. Stay under the protective covering of those in authority in the church.
One role of intercessors is to discern the spiritual climate. This means you will receive revelation about what is happening in the spiritual realm. You might receive this revelation through hearing, seeing, knowing or feeling. However you receive revelation, pay attention. Resist the temptation to personalize the spiritual environment, especially if you receive revelation through your emotions. For more on discernment and the spiritual gift of the discerning of spirits, visit my blog post: https://walkwhole.com/?s=discernment The spiritual gift of the discerning of spirits is given for a reason. If you are discerning something, it means that you have been given the ability to bring about change. This comes through prayer, declarations, speaking prophetic words and through speaking scripture.
Healthy intercessors treat what they discern like a hot potato. It’s all too easy for intercessors to carry around the burden of what we discern longer than necessary. The sooner we bring our concerns to God, the sooner the burden will lift. If it doesn’t lift immediately, continue to press in through prayer. It will lift. Sometimes quickly, sometimes only with persistence. Stand in the authority Christ has given you. Don’t back down unnecessarily. Scripture says we wrestle not with flesh and blood. It’s called wrestling because intercession can take time. James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Worship is a form of intercession. The spiritual climate shifts when we worship. Whenever you don’t feel like you know how to pray, worship. Turn on some worship music. Thank God for any of His attributes that you know.
Effective intercessors keep their spiritual armor on at all times. We need it everyday. If this concept is new to you, it will be well worth your time to do a study on it. Intercessors who understand how, in practical terms, to wear the armor will avoid taking a lot of hits from the enemy. For more info. on this, go to http://www.walkwhole.com and search for “The armor of God” under categories.
Intercessors shift the spiritual environment when we use our sword. In Ephesians 6:17, the word of God is referred to as the sword of the Spirit. Speaking the word is a powerful spiritual weapon. We use specific scriptures to accomplish deliverance on behalf of the body of Christ. For example, if you are discerning the spirit of slumber operating during a church service, a fitting scripture would be, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” (Isaiah 40:29)
Agreement in prayer with other intercessors will lift the burdens you carry. If you feel like you are being worn down or crushed by what you are discerning, corporate prayer is a powerful tool. It multiplies our efforts. It’s very encouraging when what we discern is confirmed by other intercessors. If your sleep at night is being interrupted to the point that you feel sleep deprived, consider praying with another intercessor. At one point my sleep was being interrupted multiple times a night. I was feeling worn down by it, but when I invited other intercessors to join me in prayer, I began to sleep through the night.
Thank you for all you do for the Church. It is often an unseen service to God’s people. Know that you are appreciated and that even when no one else sees you, God always does.