Moving from general prayers into intercessory prayer engagement that shapes reality.
This last week has been busy for me in the spiritual realm. Three times I have been called into the gap as an intercessor.
The first had to do with launching a process of seeking God’s “prophetic invitations” for PRMI to cooperate with Him in advancing the Kingdom of God over the next ten years.
The second concerned working on a possible major gift for building the Community of the Cross buildings and establishing the financial base for doing missions.
The third had to do with the Health Care Reform Bill.
Each of these invitations to intercession has been deeply personal and also put me right in the midst of a major spiritual struggle. So I came into the weekend battered and exhausted.
The details of these engagements really would not be of much interest to you, but what is of interest, actually of urgent necessity, is that all of us must be aware of those invitations that the Holy Spirit may give us to engage in the work of intercession. This requires that we be praying and alert to the Holy Spirit taking us deeper in prayer.
There is a wonderful and terrible responsibility here! God is sovereign but He has chosen to work through us and to make our prayers matter. If we do not respond when He calls us into prayer there may be some urgent Kingdom work that God intended but which without our prayers He did not accomplish.
For instance, with this process of setting up this potential gift there were all sorts of things happening that threatened to derail the whole thing. Satan seemed to be looking anywhere he could and to use any means available to block what could be a major blessing to PRMI and to the Kingdom of God. (I am not at liberty to share details at this point.) Well that day, even though I had many things to do, suddenly there came the strong urging from the Holy Spirit that the one thing that was most important for me to do was to go up the mountain and pray. I really struggled with this, and ended up apparently “wasting” the day walking around the land praying in the Spirit.
But I knew that I was there with the gift of faith holding the doors open so that the Lord could at that decisive moment do His work. Often we may never know what exactly was accomplished as it may be entirely in the spiritual realm, but this time I did find out later that evening that a crisis had been averted and that everything had stayed on track.
So how do you know when God is calling you into this sort of intercession? This is a question I asked myself. Let me offer some suggestions to help us all be able to step into the gap.
First we have to acknowledge that God will speak to each of us in different ways.
Some see visions, some have a quiet nudging, others just a knowing. For others it will be through a rational evaluation of circumstances or a word of Scripture, etc. Each of us needs to learn the ways that the Holy Spirit speaks to us.
Second, invitations to deeper intercession will often come within one’s sphere of activity where one has been given spiritual authority.
Building the Community of the Cross and seeking discernment for PRMI are specifically within my sphere of activity and the place where I have a spiritual authority. The call to pray for the health care reform bill comes as I am a citizen of the United States and have been given the mandate to pray for our leaders.
Often the Lord will teach us this work of intercession in the “sphere of activity” and the area of authority that is closest to us: our own families. What father or mother has not had the experience of being on high alert and being called to pray for their son or daughter during a time of crisis or danger? As we step in and learn to pray for those we love this may be the training school of prayer for further engagements in the realm of the spirit.
What do you do when you find yourself in the midst of this intercessory prayer work? We will deal with that in another article. It is important now, however, to focus on the invitations. Ask the Holy Spirit to call you into His work. And expect Him to give you and invitation to “step into the gap!”
I am convinced of one thing – that in shaping the future, the protection from evil, and advancing the Kingdom of God, our saying yes when God calls us to join Him is the way that He has chosen to work out His purposes on earth.