In this Discerning the Times article, we address the nature of prophecy and intercession in the context of the recent US election.
Blessing on everyone. Sorry I have been very silent over the last weeks. Frankly, after I came out of some very intensive prayer engagements, which began before the US Election in November 2020 and concluded at the end of January in 2021, I struggled for guidance about what needs presenting over Discerning the Times.
I have now gained enough perspective to provide some lessons that we learned from the prayer engagements. I am also receiving and discerning guidance about our role in advancing God’s Kingdom into the future.
Before moving forward, however, there is one issue that we must deal with: it is that many prophecies were made that people understood as predictions that Donald J. Trump was going to receive a second term. Predictions that, as of February 18th, have not come to pass.
This has raised some important issues of the nature of prophecy and the discernment of prophecy. The prayer engagements leading up to and after the election that the PRMI intercessors and I were called into provide some important lessons for the connection between prophecy and intercession and how the Lord uses both to shape history according to His Kingdom plans.
So, this Discerning the Times’ topic is: Prophecy and intercession – the invitation to shape God’s history.
In the following video, Bishop Ben Torrey and I grapple with these questions. Keep in mind that we enter the mystery and wonder of how God includes us in His Kingdom as Friends and Coworkers as we deal with this topic.
To supplement this video teaching, I offer the following observations: This is not a transcript but some reflections on the topic by Ben Torrey and me.
The Guidance that I did Receive about How to Pray for the 2020 Election.
In the months leading up to the election, the only clear guidance I was getting was to persistently pray that President Donald J. Trump would not dethrone God. If he did, the Lord would not be able to use him for His Kingdom purposes. This was based on the prayer guide which I sent out in October 2020. 1
About two weeks before the November 3rd election, I was at the COC praying with another intercessor. Together we were seeking guidance. I felt the Lord clearly speak to me that he intended to give Trump four more years to accomplish three critical works that are in accord with the advancement of the Kingdom of God and fulfillment of the Great Commission of making disciples of all nations:
- Securing the Peace of Jerusalem,
- Defeating the anti-Christ ideology of Marxism that is taking over American Government and Society, and
- Healing America and the world of the economic ravages of COVID-19 and pushing back the progress of totalitarian ideologies made during the pandemic.
The Lord proceeded to tell me that He was calling me to mobilize prayer to accomplish His intentions through the President because all the powers of hell were going to come against the fulfillment of those intentions.
An Invitation from the Lord
As I experienced this as an invitation from the Lord calling me, and those intercessors within PRMI’s sphere, into an all-out prayer battle for His intentions to be fulfilled against major demonic and human opposition. There was no certainty that this would happen at all. There was just the awesome and terrible weight of responsibility that I had to do my part as an intercessor and a leader of intercessors.
Together the Lord called us to pray for the outcome that the Lord had revealed was on His heart. This outcome was not so much to pray in four more years as accomplishing the three Kingdom objectives, which would be the purpose of President Trump being in office.
When this guidance came to me, I shared it first with the other intercessor, kneeling with me in prayer, then wrote it down and sent it out to a small group of intercessors on the DTT core discernment team.
As I wrote this in the intensity of the moment, the discernment team said that the passion of the call of intercession upon me obscured the conditional nature of the guidance.
Some people may have misunderstood this as a prediction, but that is fortune-telling and not Holy Spirit-led prophecy which is a call to intercession to pray into reality God’s heart.
So after going through a discernment process with the team, I rewrote the DTT, which the core discernment team approved. It was then sent out to the whole mailing list of about 5000 intercessors. I am intensely aware of how easy it is to be deceived, so I always submit any guidance that I receive to a rigorous discernment process before it is made public. Without their help and wise counsel, I know that I could easily be deceived and fall into error.
The Context For Receiving Prophetic Guidance is one Place of Intercession
To understand and evaluate this guidance that I did receive, I first need to give you the context. Receiving specific guidance like this regarding how to pray did not come randomly or out of the blue.
Instead, this is taking place out of the dynamic relationship that the Lord called me to as His friend and coworker into what I call a “place of intercession.” This is that special context of anointing and calling where the intercessor may experience what the prophet Amos experienced,
For the Lord Adonai, will do nothing, unless He has revealed His counsel to His servants the prophets. (8) A lion has roared, who will not fear? My Lord Adonai has spoken, who shall not prophesy?Amos 3:7-8 TLV
It is also in this “place of intercession” where, in a dynamic relationship with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one enters the extraordinary dynamic described by Jesus that He invites us into:
“Amen, amen I tell you, he who puts his trust in Me, the works that I do he will do; and greater than these he will do, because I am going to the Father. (13) And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (14) If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”John 14:12-14 TLV
While prophecy may sometimes have predictive aspects, it is the Father’s invitation to us as His friends and coworkers to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to accomplish His Kingdom plans on earth.
I had experienced the Lord revealing to me His intentions to advance the Kingdom of God many times since February of 2016 when I accepted the call into my “place of intercession.” This included praying for God’s intentions to be fulfilled through Donald J. Trump.
I never experienced these revelations as predictions of the future. But always as invitations to join with God in praying in His intentions for the future. Over these last five years, I have reported them to you over Discerning the Times both as calls into prayer and for equipping you for the work of prayer.
The Dynamic of Intercession
I have taught extensively on this dynamic of intercession in the Dunamis Project and in the book with Doug McMurray, “Prayer that Shapes the Future.” For understanding this concept of one’s “place of intercession” please read my book entitled “Called Beyond Politics to History-Shaping Prayer”. It may help you most if you review the three short videos that I did where I describe the concept of “your place of intercession.” It especially included the call to pray for first Candidate, then President, and now Former President Donald J. Trump.
Please review that teaching to understand the context for my receiving this guidance about the election and how it relates to our cooperating with the Holy Spirit to shape History according to God’s Kingdom purposes.
Prophecy and Intercession
However, let’s focus on the question at hand, the nature of prophecy, and the relationship with intercession. Often teaching on prophecy, will focus on the following: I Corinthians 14:3 NET. But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouragement, and consolation. And on Revelation 19:10 NET. “…Worship God, for the testimony about Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
There are instances in the Old and New Testament where prophecy will reveal events that do indeed come to pass. For example in Acts 11:27-28 TLV:
Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them, named Agabus, stood up and predicted through the Ruach that there was going to be a great famine over all the world. (This took place during the reign of Claudius.)Acts 11:27-28 TLV
This was predictive of the famine, which did indeed happen. But in this prophecy, there is the invitation to work with the Holy Spirit to fulfill the Father’s intentions. In this case, it was not to pray to prevent the famine; instead, the Lord calls the disciples to prepare offerings for those other followers of Christ who were affected by the famine. (Acts 11:29-30.)
The Dynamic of Prophecy
Ben Torrey in the video provides some excellent observations to help us better understand the dynamic of prophecy. The following is from Ben:
When the Lord reveals His intentions to the prophet, the fulfillment of those intentions involves both the faith and obedience of the prophet as well as the faith and obedience of others. This is illustrated by the prophetic word that Elisha brought to Joash:
“The story is in 2 Kings, Chapter 13 beginning at verse 14. Elisha is on the point of death. Joash, King of Israel, comes to him in despair that his spiritual father was about to die while they, Israel, were at the mercy of the Syrians. Elisha commands him to do a prophetic act and joins in doing it. He tells Joash to take a bow and shoot an arrow to the east, towards Syria.
He said, “Open the window toward the east,” and he opened it. Then Elisha said, “Shoot!” And he shot. And he said, “The LORD’S arrow of victory, even the arrow of victory over Aram; for you will defeat the Arameans at Aphek until you have destroyed them.” (2 Kings 13:17)
A prophetic act with a clear predictive interpretation, “you will defeat the Arameans… until you have destroyed them.” That was clearly God’s intent—that the Syrians, who were oppressing His people, Israel, be utterly destroyed. What an exciting word! Then Elisha went on to command Joash to perform another prophetic act, one that would seal the prophecy.
Then he said, “Take the arrows,” and he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground,” and he struck it three times and stopped. So the man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck five or six times, then you would have struck Aram until you would have destroyed it. But now you shall strike Aram only three times.” (2 Kings 13:18-19)
We see that the prophetic word while appearing to be predictive, was actually contingent upon the actions of the participant, the one by whom God wanted to work. God’s intent was that Syria be destroyed and never bother Israel again, but the outcome of that prophetic word, that word of God’s intention, depended on the actions of the man Joash.
As it was, for whatever reason—lack of personal conviction, fear, lack of passion, we don’t know for sure—Joash did not follow through as Elisha hoped he would, leaving open the possibility that God’s complete intent and plan be thwarted. God did use Joash to keep Syria at bay during his reign.
Verse 25 informs us that Joash defeated the king of Syria three times and recovered cities that the Syrians had taken from Israel. Still, Syria was not totally defeated and continued to threaten Israel, yes, even to this day. (If only Joash had hit the ground with his arrows five or six times! How much grief Israel and others, including Christians in the Middle East, would have been spared.) – Ben Torrey
This example illustrates how human actions have a role in the fulfillment or thwarting of God’s intentions because the Lord, while sovereign and omnipotent, has chosen to work through and with us.
Cooperating with the Holy Spirit
All of this has to do with how God has chosen to work in the world. He calls and empowers us to work with Him as His friends and coworkers. This involves the dynamic of cooperating with the Holy Spirit. God welcomes us into this dynamic through receiving the Baptism with the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised us in Acts 1:4-8.
The purpose of Discerning the Times is to help us as friends and coworkers of Jesus to join with the Lord in praying Thy Kingdom Come, which includes defeating Satan’s schemes and advancing the Kingdom, and making disciples of all nations.
We shall keep wrestling with this question of the connection between Prophecy, Intercession, and the call for us to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in advancing the Kingdom of Jesus Christ on earth.
Share With Your Friends
- I wrote up this call to pray for President Trump using three symbolic images of our being a nation under God in a booklet entitled, A Godly Defense of the Nation. It was widely disturbed over the DTT Network and through Charisma media. https://discernwith.us/praying-in-a-prophetic-vision-for-america#more-13639