What does intercession look and feel like?
Recently, as I sat praying, I found myself seeking the solace of a few simple facts. Facts that were simple and yet profound, facts that I could sink into and rest.
I thought of the utter hopelessness of the man in Romans 7. Once again, I identified myself with him. I was totally hopeless and helpless without Christ. I thanked God that in my hopeless state He delivered me from the shackles of death. Thanked Him that as I reckoned myself dead with and in Christ, that Christ now lives His life through me.[i]
I found additional comfort in the confidence that the Holy Spirit was given to me as counselor, comforter, strengthener, and helper.[ii] In the fact that I am a son of God and can expect to be led by the Spirit of God.[iii] That I can trust in His great ability and not in my ability. I could trust Him to show me, correct me, and empower me to any change He required.
I have an experiential revelation of these truths. I have a living relationship with a living God. These very truths set me free, empowered me, and allowed me to taste and see that the Lord is good. Everything else falls into line under this. I can roll all my cares on Him. Because He has accomplished everything for me, I can trust He will bring me through. He will lead me and cause me to fulfil that which He desires. I merely lay down my life as a living sacrifice in worship of Jesus Christ.[iv]
As I founded myself again on these truths, I recognized that I was seeking this solace for a reason. I became aware of the many thoughts around my mind. Doctrines, viewpoints, teachings, principles, supposed Bible imperatives, accusations of should and should not and so on.
I realized I was hearing the arguments and reasonings in the spiritual realm.[v] I was hearing the arguments and accusations of the various religious spirits. These arguments and accusations bring believers out of a living relationship with a living Lord. They ground us, leaving us struggling to obtain that which we already have. Left to ourselves we end up either hopeless or self-righteous and judgmental. We are left self-satisfied or self-loathing.
I concluded my prayer time where I had begun. I thanked the Lord for the wonder of His Spirit given to me as counselor. I thanked Him I could rest in this one thing. He would lead me and all I needed to do was walk in and by the Spirit.[vi]
I then picked up a book I was reading and much of what I read confirmed my stand. Below is a synopsis of what I read:
It said our work today should be so simple!
It spoke of Jesus’ command Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
The meaning of baptism is to immerse, to put people into something. Think about that scripture in the light of the meaning of baptize. Jesus is saying we are to immerse people into the Triune God. Our work is simple if we think in this regard. Regardless of what teaching or message we use, as long as people are put into the Triune God, that is sufficient.
It went on to say that Christianity performs a multitude of activities, but they keep people outside of God. They speak about the Triune God, but the end product is that people never get into Him. Our job today is just to bring people into God, to put people into God.
As I looked back on my time in prayer, all I could see was my personal immersion into the triune God. I thought of my time sinking myself, finding rest for my soul in His provision for me. Was I not immersing myself into the triune God? Was I not also hearing the work of the enemy of our souls echoing in the airways seeking to kill, steal, and destroy?
The faces of intercession is the title. The word intercession is defined as an interposing or pleading on behalf of another person. A prayer to God on behalf of another. Intercession of the type above is also spiritual warfare. It is fought on a personal level and then on a corporate level.
You may ask how my experience is intercession. I cannot prove that it is. Nevertheless, I have learned along the way, as well as from others who have more experience than I do. Ultimately, we must seek the Holy Spirit to understand what we are experiencing. Even if it is just personal to us, we certainly must resist, just as we would if it is intercession.
God is often gracious to confirm our experiences, especially in the early times. A good example of this happened when I was in Honduras last January. My husband and I went to visit our missionary daughter. My husband’s visit was in answer to my daughter’s 3-year prayer, and she was overjoyed. He stayed for 15 days and I was to stay for another 2 weeks. It was a great time with him there.
After he left I began to have strong thoughts and feelings that I was now in the way. It seemed to me that whatever I did was wrong, even though my daughter assured me that was not how she felt. She in fact dreaded my leaving, as she would be all alone again.
Nevertheless, the thoughts and feelings escalated over the next few days. I even contemplated changing my flight and going home. That was ridiculous, given the time left and the cost of a flight change. Then one morning I woke up with driving thoughts that I needed to leave! It was intense and emotionally unpleasant, so I called a fellow prayer warrior. While in prayer, I recognized that something wanted me out of Honduras, and it was not my daughter. Later that day I learned the source of all the pressure.
The woman who heads the ministry my daughter works with shared what she was battling. She has been laboring in Honduras for 20 years. She has overcome very difficult circumstances and situations. Now, however she was experiencing driving thoughts to leave Honduras. It was a constant driving pressure, along with all kinds of thoughts of being unnecessary and no longer needed. She said that very night she woke up feeling driven to pack her bags and leave the next day. It was so strong she was ready to walk away and leave the work and workers alone. The only problem was she was not getting a clear word from God.
I then understood that what I was experiencing was intercession on her behalf. It is like I bore up under some of the pressure load the enemy was pouring out, so that she could stand. The enemy wanted her out of Honduras!
Spiritual intercession can be difficult, and also difficult to recognize. We must trust the Holy Spirit to teach us to recognize if what we are experiencing is larger than us. Gaining knowledge through revelation and experience is important. I pray God give us all greater insight so we may cooperate with His Spirit, joining with Jesus in His mighty work of intercession.
Photo by Luke Roberts
[i] Gal 2:20
[ii] Jn 14:26 Amp
[iii] Rom 8:14
[iv] Rom 12:1
[v] 2 Cor 10:5 Amplified Version