The Intercessor’s Companion Audio Book Is Here!

New from Full Gospel Family Publications:

The Intercessor’s Companion Audio Book

Mp3 Download or CD Set

IntCompCDMedThe Intercessor’s Companion is a topical listing of Scriptures to help you use the Word in obtaining answers to prayer. (I’ve also included encouraging commentary for each topic.)

The audio book version is a super way to encourage yourself and to build your faith as you press through to receive your answers. In the process of spending many hours recording and editing this 3-CD set, I personally felt like I had entered a higher realm spiritually — because “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). It’s true, friends! There is power in the spoken Word of God.

Those of you who already own The Intercessor’s Companion in e-book or print form will enjoy using the audio book as a complementary tool to the written book. And those of you who don’t yet have the written version? You can use the audio book all by itself — but you may find you like it so well that you’ll be eager to have it in written form as well!

Description of The Intercessor’s Companion

Purchase the audio book (mp3 download – $15.00 anywhere in the world; CD Set$25.00 in the U. S.)

Trouble Hearing God? This May Be Why.

ear trumpet

Sometimes when I ask intercessors what the Lord is speaking to them, they respond by telling me what they have read in an intercessor newsletter, at a prophetic website, or in a Christian issues op-ed column. Maybe it’s what they’ve seen on Christian TV or YouTube. They sincerely think that what they are sharing is what God is speaking to them, but in reality, they are only regurgitating the ideas and opinions of others. Some are consistently unable to relate what God is showing them personally.

I wondered why that was, so I inquired of the Lord, and this is what I felt He was showing me: Continual bombardment of our mind through the eye and ear gates dulls our spirit’s ability to recognize God’s still small voice.

The people I am speaking of are usually passionate Christians who are eager to learn all that they can about the Lord and what He is saying or doing in the earth today. They get multiple intercessor newsletters because they have a heart to pray into big things, and they want to keep on top of current events from a Christian perspective.  But their minds are in a constant swirl, forever trying to process and sort through the information overload being fed into them. And because their minds are constantly chewing on all the info they’ve consumed, it’s hard for them to slow down enough to hear what God is saying to them, deep down inside.

Now, I think most of us are prone to having difficulty with this. We’re smack-dab in the middle of the Information Revolution, after all. I’ve got an inquiring mind, and certainly want to learn all I can. And keeping up with what’s afoot in our world is important. But I find, for myself, that if I am going to hear God, I’ve got to discipline myself to severely limit the inflow from outside voices.

I’d much rather be able to hear from God firsthand than to hear it from someone else. Secondhand just isn’t quite as good. And, I’d much rather spend the majority of my intercession time following the Holy Spirit’s promptings than merely praying what somebody else tells thousands of people on their mailing list that we should all pray. (It isn’t wrong to pray directly from a newsletter; it just shouldn’t be the sum total of our intercessory prayer life.) We need one-on-one communication directly between our spirit and the Holy Spirit. It’s like the difference between fresh fruit and the canned stuff. Not the same. But if we only consume the canned version, we don’t even have a clue how good the fresh fruit is!

Shouldn’t we all listen to good teaching and preaching? Of course. Can’t God speak to us through prophets, preachers, intercessor leaders, and teachers? Yes. We need these wonderful people. I have a few really, really favorite teachers I love to listen to. I write books and this blog with the intention of  helping people grow in their Christian life, especially in their prayer and prophetic understanding. I would be SAD if y’all quit reading what I’ve got for you! But I’d be even sadder to find out anyone was reading my materials in place of spending precious time personally with the Lord in prayer and reading the Bible.  We need to spend time with Him, not only in reading or listening to what some fallible human has to say about Him.

So, how does one fix this and get into a place of hearing God firsthand? Start by slowing down and deliberately tuning out. Think of it as a detox. Maybe it’s going to mean deleting a few ministry e-mails without reading them. Maybe it will mean less time watching TBN or Daystar. Maybe it will mean setting aside a specific amount of time for watching/listening/reading every week and then not going over the predetermined limit.

Once you’ve got yourself slowed down by removing the brain circuitry overload, your spirit is going to be able to gradually take precedence over your mind. You can actually relax in prayer and take time to ask, “Lord what do You have to say today?” You can now fill those brain cells which used to be clogged up with thinking about all the stuff you read, saw, and heard with new thinking about something you read in the Bible, or God’s character, or just how beautiful Jesus really is. The new peace and quiet of mind makes it much easier for the Holy Spirit to be heard in your spirit, because you’ve removed the debris which has been getting in the way for so long.

That’s a good place to start, and from there, you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll start hearing God clearly for yourself on a regular basis.

Angels in Charge

Today, I’d like to share a story which illustrates God’s supernatural intervention on behalf of ordinary people who belong to Him.

My family and I were on our way to an eagerly anticipated revival service at our church. We stopped at a busy intersection with a particularly blind corner – a light pole on one side and a fence on the other. In order to see the traffic coming from both directions, it was necessary to pull a few feet past the stop sign.

As we waited our turn to cross the intersection, to my sudden alarm, a driver turning left onto the street where we were stopped cut his turn way too sharply. He had not noticed until it was too late that he was turning directly into the path of another vehicle, and he was making a last-second, desperate (but futile) attempt to avoid a collision. Of course, there was no time for us to back up and get out of his way. We just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The oncoming car did not have time to stop, and smacked the left-turner broadside, spinning him around. As they crashed and spun, I tensed and shut my eyes, fully expecting that we would be caught up in the accident as well.

It took a few seconds to realize that the impact never came. We had heard the squeal of the tires and the screech of tearing metal, and thought we were part of the collision. When I opened my eyes, one of the cars was resting just a few inches from our front bumper. My husband got out and walked about, looking for damage to our vehicle. We were completely untouched.

It was then that I noticed our position. Before the accident, our car had been nosed out in front of the stop sign. Now we were resting about fifteen or twenty feet behind it. We gazed at each other in amazement, realizing that we had just experienced God’s supernatural protection. If our car had remained where it had been, the driver’s side of our vehicle would have been struck with violent force, and we could have been hurt badly.

We realized that there was no logical explanation for our deliverance other than that God’s angels had moved in, picked us up, and put us down just far enough back to keep us out of harm’s way. Truly, we had experienced firsthand the promise in Psalm 91:11, 12: “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. They shall bear you up in their hands, so that you do not dash your foot against a stone.”

Do you have a story of God’s miraculous intervention in your life? Why not build the faith of others by sharing it as a comment?

What’s New?

Hi friends,

Smashwords HealingCoverI’m pleased to announce that I recently updated and expanded my booklet, God’s Word on Healing, to nearly twice its previous size. For those of you who bought it as an ebook in the past (or downloaded it during one of our free promotions), you can download the latest version free by returning to wherever you bought it from.  Some ebook sellers send a notification that there is a newer version available, some not. For those who have not yet purchased it, God’s Word on Healing retails for $.99. See the left-hand sidebar of Out of the Fire for some of the ebook retailers we distribute through.

Free Reading for 30 Days:

Have you tried reading ebooks via a subscription service? Ebook subscription services are intended for avid readers. The good news: Oyster Books ($9.95 / month) and Scribd ($8.99 / month) both offer a free trial month. (That means you can read my books free there for a month!)

Find our print books and audio materials at Full Gospel Family Publications. We offer free Media Mail shipping in the U.S. plus quantity discounts on many items. Many of our print books are also available at Amazon.

More good things to come soon!

Thank you so much for following the Out of the Fire blog and purchasing our materials. I enjoy interacting with you through your comments, FaceBook, Twitter, and the other ways we’ve connected. :-)

~ Lee Ann

 

Keys to Increasing in Discernment — Building Our Spiritual Senses (Part 10)

But strong meat belongs to those who are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Hebrews 5:14

Last time, I said that the five natural senses of seeing, hearing, touch/feeling, smelling, and tasting have corresponding senses in the spirit realm. We talked about spiritual seeing and hearing and how those manifest themselves. The other spiritual senses are less obvious, but they do exist, and as we use them, our discernment increases. The spiritual senses help us in the discerning of good and evil, of which “discerning of spirits” (1 Corinthians 12:10) is a part.

Have you ever heard someone say, “That idea just leaves a bad taste in my mouth”? They’re probably sensing something in the spirit. Psalm 34:8 says, “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man who trusts in Him.” That is a metaphorical expression, but there are times when the Lord’s nearness can be sensed very sweetly – almost to the point of “tasting” sweet.

People also commonly express that something just doesn’t smell right. They are not talking about physical odors, but about a situation they are uncomfortable with. Something doesn’t seem above-board. They are sensing that spiritually. Spiritual smell sometimes evidences in the natural, as well. When demonic presences are in the vicinity, occasionally there is an accompanying smell of sulfur, burning cinders, rotten fish, etc. On the other hand, I have personally been in worship settings where the delightful smell of apples, roses, or orange blossoms began to faintly fill the room. It wasn’t my nose playing tricks on me. Multiple people smelled it along with me. It was the Lord, making His Presence known.

What about the sense of touch and/or feeling? Many times we believers talk of having received a “touch of the Lord.” During a time of corporate prayer, I once felt a hand firmly pressed upon my heart for several minutes. I had my eyes closed, and at first I thought someone had decided to pray for me with the laying on of hands and had done so inappropriately. I opened my eyes to find that there was no one touching me. It was either the Lord or one of His angels. The sensation continued long after I had opened my eyes. Perhaps He was imparting something to me in that moment. That was a case of the spiritual sense of touch crossing over into the natural.

We can “feel” in the spirit what is going on with other people. We may sense the Presence of the Lord when a person who has a close relationship with Him walks by us. I tend to experience this as a slight feeling of fire or warm oil while I am around the person. I have sometimes felt an almost tangible darkness around people who were in some kind of spiritual bondage.

The tangible Presence of the Lord often feels like a weighty blanket over us – a thickness-in-the-air sensation. It will sometimes be felt as though rivers of love, or warm oil, are washing over us. This is most common when the Body is gathered together in deep worship, but we can experience it individually as well, perhaps while in personal prayer and worship.

We may have a goose-bumpy sensation when spiritual activity, either good or bad, is going on around us. When angelic activity increases, often in corporate worship settings, a cool, refreshing breeze which has nothing to do with the heating/air conditioning system sometimes manifests. Some have theorized that it might be due to the movement of angel wings. Perhaps it is the “wind” of the Holy Spirit Himself.

On the other hand, an evil presence will sometimes manifest itself as a very cold or hot sensation which is not at all pleasant. We do not need to fear the negative manifestations; they help us to discern the spirits so that we can take whatever action is necessary.

Ask the Lord to heighten your spiritual senses, and expect Him to answer your prayer. As you eagerly anticipate Him doing so, keeping alert in your spirit, you will begin to see your spiritual senses come alive and grow more acute.

Ask the Lord to give you wisdom to rightly apply what you are sensing in the spirit realm. He may be alerting you for prayer purposes, so that you understand more fully how to help others, or for your own personal safety or guidance. When it comes to sensing the Lord’s nearness through any of the five spiritual senses, He may be revealing Himself to strengthen and encourage you, build your faith, or simply to let you know how much He loves you.

I hope this series has been useful to you! I’d be glad to answer any of your questions to the best of my ability, to hear your stories, or to receive your feedback.  :-)

Keys to Increasing in Discernment Intro
Previous: Building Our Spiritual Senses (Part 9) 

Keys to Increasing in Discernment — Building Our Spiritual Senses (Part 9)

I briefly mentioned in Part 5 of this series that there is a thin veil between the five physical senses and their corresponding five spiritual senses, and that it is easy to slip back and forth between the two. You can see, hear, taste, feel, and smell things with your natural senses. You can do all of those with your spiritual senses, too. Seeing and hearing are the dominant ones, but the other senses are also available to us. “Discerning of spirits,” one of the nine manifestations of the Holy Spirit, mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:7-10, evidences itself through the spiritual senses.

In these last two posts of our discernment series, I’d like to give some examples of how we can increase in discernment, especially in our ability to discern good and evil, by using our spiritual senses, according to Hebrews 5:14: “But strong meat belongs to those who are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

How do we exercise, and thereby increase, our discerning muscles? By faith, we need to expect God to communicate to us through our spiritual senses and then deliberately pay attention when He does.

You see with your eyes. There will also be times when you will “see” inwardly, in your mind’s eye. (It is really your spirit’s eye, but it seems to be in the mind.) For example, someone’s face flashes into your consciousness. That is seeing in the spirit, and it is not the time to think, “Huh! I wonder why she just came to mind? I haven’t thought of her in weeks,” and then shrug it off. When a face flashes before you, that is a vision. It is the Holy Spirit giving you a hint to pray for that person.

Seeing in the spirit is usually brief. If you don’t get the message, God may repeat the same picture for you, but don’t expect it to hang there for a minute at a time. It could, but typically doesn’t. That’s why you have to be paying attention, and then act on the information you’ve been given. It might not be a face. God may direct you to go to a certain place in the same way. Or He may release to you a new idea or new understanding about something. You can receive lots of revelation through these brief visions.

There may be times when your spiritual seeing will cross over into your natural sight, so that you see something “open-eyed.” Open-eyed seeing does not usually mean that the natural objects within your vision disappear (although it can happen that way). What you see in the spirit is simply superimposed over the top of what is in your natural environment. Again, this experience is usually very brief, so you have to train yourself to expect such things and to pay attention.

You hear sounds with your physical ears. You can also hear God speak to you on the inside – what we often call an “inner voice.” New Agers talk about hearing the inner voice of self – or even of a channeling spirit. That’s not what I mean at all. If you are a follower of Jesus, you have the Holy Spirit dwelling within you. He’s there to help you and be your intimate Friend. As that Friend and Helper, He speaks to you. But many of us don’t expect Him to, so we’re not tuned in as we ought to be. Cultivate listening for Him, and don’t shrug it off when you hear something on the inside that is out of your ordinary thought process.

Spiritual hearing can cross over into our natural hearing. When that happens, you hear an audible voice, which is actually supernatural in nature. Audible spiritual hearing is not confined to words. It may be a sound of some other sort. I’ve been awakened out of sleep more than once by an alarm clock or kitchen timer that was not really ringing in the natural. The Lord then spoke to me in the inner voice things such as, “Do you know what time it is?” or “It’s time to wake up.” He didn’t mean what time of day it was according to the clock, or that I needed to get up to make it somewhere on time. He was talking about needing to be aware of where the world is at on His last days’ timeline and how to respond accordingly. Some people hear trumpet blasts. God can use any sound He wants to get His point across.

We’ll continue on the subject of building up our spiritual senses for one more post, and then we’ll be done.

Keys to Increasing in Discernment Intro
Previous: Applying It to Prayer, Continued (Part 8)  
Next : Building Our Spiritual Senses, Continued (Part 10)

Keys to Increasing in Discernment — Applying It to Prayer (Part 8)

Last time, we started examining some heart-searching questions which will help us to discern whether we are praying according to the Spirit or from a soulish perspective. I said that 1 Corinthians 13:1-7, the charitable love passage, is a standard to help us recognize the difference between the two. Let’s continue on with our list.

4.) What emotions or attitudes are motivating my prayers? As I already mentioned, self-ambition and a desire for personal comfort can muddy our prayers. Fear is probably the biggest single emotion that leads us into soulish praying, while love is the greatest motivator of genuine spiritual prayers. Are your prayers lining up with the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22, 23? If so, you will do all right.

5.) Am I praying by revelation or by my opinion? For those of us who are by nature strong-minded people, it’s not always easy to tell at first. Some of us automatically assume that if we feel strongly about something, we must be moving in the counsel of God.

The good news is that by deliberately practicing discernment – by asking God for His viewpoint and listening for the subtle promptings of His Spirit – we will, over time, learn to distinguish between our personal opinions and the convictions or revelation of the Lord.

Plug into a prayer group where you feel you can safely submit your ideas to others who desire along with you to pray according to the Holy Spirit’s direction. This can be a huge help in increasing your prayer discernment. Be willing to ask what the others think about praying a certain way, and then yield to their counsel. It takes a while to get comfortable enough praying with other intercessors to allow them to help you in discerning, but it is worth the effort and the risk. In addition to building your discerning skills, you will grow in humility – a most desirable goal.

We can and should pray against the actions of destructive people (terrorists, for example), but we pray for the people themselves. One of the ways I personally pray against terrorist threats is by asking the Lord to gut sleeper cells by revealing Himself, even supernaturally through dreams and visions, to the terrorists within those cells. Thousands of Muslims throughout the world have already come to know Jesus through visitations from angels and even Jesus Himself, so why not deliberately ask for such occurrences for terrorists?

You may be thinking, “But evil people sometimes need to be prayed against!” Yes, and I’m not trying to be a mamby-pamby about this or make a rule set in stone. I prayed, along with many of you, that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden would be “taken out.” Just be careful to use those prayers wisely and sparingly, and feel your way through how to pray into those particular situations with the constant help of the Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “For the word of God is quick [living] and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” This verse implies that the soul and spirit are so closely knit that we need supernatural help in discerning between them. Thank God for His Word, which assists us in doing so, as the Holy Spirit applies it to our hearts!

This is why measuring our hearts by 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 helps to keep our prayers in line with God’s heart. Everything in prayer must be filtered through charitable love!

You can be totally right in your revelation, but totally wrong in what you do with it. This is because it is easy for us to crisscross back and forth between spirit and soul without being aware of it. But if we will practice measuring everything by the Word and asking for the Holy Spirit’s aid in discernment, we will find ourselves more frequently praying from a right spiritual perspective and less frequently stepping over into the flesh with our prayers.

Next time, we will talk about how to strengthen our spiritual senses.

Keys to Increasing in Discernment Intro
Previous: Applying It to Prayer (Part 7) 
Next: Building Our Spiritual Senses (Part 9)