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“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” (Matthew 6:9-10)
“…the righteous are as bold as a lion.” (Proverbs 28:1)
When things on earth are not up to God’s standard, such as the erosion of Christian values within society, oppressive governments that deny justice and basic human rights to its citizens or the Church sinking into greater depths of lukewarmness and division, many of us can get worn down by how seemingly large and relentless the onslaught of such things are against us, the relatively small group of God’s people who stand for righteousness.
When we lose our focus on our Almighty God, then we easily lose heart, surrender to the advancing evil and gradually succumb to the attitude that “this is just the way things are”. Inwardly, however, such surrender grates on us, for we long to see God’s kingdom come and his will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Our unbelief produces an attitude of passivity that eventually paralyzes us and our prayers. We become discouraged and depressed, and as a soldier in the Lord’s army, we come to a halt and stop advancing.
Depression is suppressed intercession.
In striking contrast to this is the spirit of an intercessor! Like Joshua and Caleb, an intercessor walks in accordance with an entirely different spirit–the Holy Spirit. Intercessors do not walk according to the ways of this world, in human reasoning and rationalization, but they walk in accordance with the mind of the Spirit. Their eyes are fixed on the omnipotent God, with whom nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). They know that God has already given them the Promised Land and that they only need to trust God and go up and take possession of it (Numbers 13- 14).
The intercessor has the spirit of a warrior, but not a warrior according to this world who depends on his own strength and skill for victory (Psalm 33:16-20). The prayer warrior knows that the Almighty God himself is the supreme warrior and that the power he wields when he is aroused assures manifest victory (Psalm 18, Revelation 19:11-21).
The prayer warrior ‘fights’ by petitioning God to arise and fight according to his own perfect will, out of his zeal for his own Namesake and for the establishment of his righteous kingdom on earth.
“May God arise, may his enemies be scattered; may his foes flee before him.” (Psalm 68:1)
“The LORD will march out like a mighty man, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies.” (Isaiah 42:13)
“The LORD looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him. He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak. According to what they have done, so will he repay wrath to his enemies and retribution to his foes…” (Isaiah 59:15-17)
Through the God-given gift of faith (1 Corinthians 12:9), the intercessor perseveres in prayer until God’s victory is manifest (See 1 Kings 18:41-46, Luke 18:1-8). In order to persevere in prayer we must steadfastly keep our eyes fixed on our omnipotent God and not look down at the seemingly impossible circumstances we are facing (Matthew 14:22-33).
“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God'” (Mark 10:27).
The intercessor has the spirit of David. He knows that Goliath (even as big as he is) has no right to defy God or the armies of Israel! (See 1 Samuel 17). And he knows the army of Israel does not have to keep putting up with his defiance day after day. Attitudes of unbelief, fear and surrender must not be found among the ranks of the armies of God! The Lord’s army must possess the believing spirit of David. Let us not keep putting up with the Goliaths of abortion, oppression, complacency, etc.
My drawing depicts an intercessor who, through prayer, sees God “turning back the tide”. Though the ocean is vast and powerful, and though its mighty waves relentlessly keep on coming one after another, the intercessor stands where the crest of the waves are beginning to turn backwards against the direction from which they are coming…This is just the start of the whole ocean turning backwards (1 Kings 18, especially vs. 41-46). In the sky, the light of God is breaking through and driving away the thick, oppressive clouds of spiritual darkness.
There is not an over abundance of intercessors in the Church today. Usually we can only find just one or two here or a handful there…….but it only takes one David who believes in his God to bring about a great and awesome victory for the entire army of Israel…May God raise up many more “Davids” of intercession!
Though I would not categorize myself as an intercessor, the imagery I have used in this drawing is what I have “seen” during two very powerful times of intercession. The imagery of the ocean turning backwards was a picture that came to me as I was interceding about something very personal and dear to me:
The Western evangelical Church needs something far greater than a revival; it needs another Reformation.
Back in the early 1500’s A.D. God raised up a man named Martin Luther (among others) and brought about a great Reformation in the Church. Though the control of the Roman Catholic Church was like a vast ocean over all of Europe, though its waves of corruption and oppression relentlessly kept beating down the masses, with one man God brought about a complete turning of the tide. The Protestant Reformation ushered in a great period of time where those who had formerly been enslaved to religious spirits and false ‘christian’ religion experienced true freedom in Christ.
Fifteen-hundred years prior to the Reformation, however, Christ and his disciples brought about the greatest turning of the tide in all of history. Many who had faithfully practiced a legalistic, ritualistic form of religion all their lives, as well as those who practiced pagan religions, encountered the living God and learned what it meant to worship the Father in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24).
The Western evangelical Church is in need of another great Reformation like these. Much of what is commonly labeled and adhered to as “Christianity” today is largely out of touch with the living God. The origin of this massive system of christian-like religion is man and not God. Likewise, it is also maintained and propagated by man and his worldly ways of thinking and working. It has a form of godliness (and much ungodliness) that denies the power of God (2 Timothy 3:5). It is not pure, raw, Biblical Christianity, which is the outworking of a vital union with the living and risen Christ.
With all my heart I believe and pray that God will bring about a massive Reformation to the Western evangelical Church in my day. Through the eyes of faith I can see God turning the hearts of his people back to himself and drawing us back into passionate, spiritual, truthful worship. I can see a time coming where God’s people will no longer practice, teach or tolerate “churchianity” neither will they be conformed to modern evangelical church culture but will return back to a pure, vital relationship with God. I see a people who are no longer united under this denomination or that name but who are truly united in the Holy Spirit, who are moved by the power of God’s love to lose their lives and carry his name and his gospel message of freedom and salvation to all nations. Yes, Lord, Amen!!!
This is what I am interceding for.
Who’s with me?
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: That if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him.” (1 John 5:14-15)
“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16 NKJV)
Listen to a beautiful song about praying our Father’s perfect will:
(See also, “The Intercessor” (Spiritual Warfare, Victory, Freedom and Healing Series), “Intercession: Praying The Perfect Will of God” (Spiritual Warfare, Victory, Freedom and Healing Series), “The Army of The Lord Advancing” (Spiritual Warfare, Victory, Freedom and Healing Series) and “John the Baptist Artworks Series”.)