It’s opinion time: I hate the stereotype that we hear over and over, that intercessors are by nature a little “out there,” a little “flaky.” It is as though, in some people’s minds, we are not true intercessors unless we are weird. I would like to do my part in smashing this stereotype to smithereens!
Brothers and sisters, being a flake does not mean you are super-spiritual. Flakiness is not a virtue. It means you have problems, spiritual issues. If you are an ooky-spooky, woo-hoo intercessor, more than likely what is going on is that you just need to grow up spiritually.
There. Now that I’ve said it and given some of you major attacks of hyperventilation, let me explain.
In many years of being in contact with other intercessors, I have seen a lot of goofiness. I’ve noticed some patterns – one of which is, flakiness and a lack of solid grounding in the Bible go hand-in-hand. People who read the Bible regularly – the entire Bible, not just their favorite parts – tend to be much more stable Christians. When we read and heed the Word of God, we have a better handle on how God thinks and talks than if we don’t. We are not as likely to be speaking and praying weird things.
Another pattern with strange intercessors is an out-of-order home life. I can almost guarantee that a flaky intercessor lady is one who is out from under her husband’s covering. I sympathize with women whose husbands are not saved or are just not fireballs of the Faith. Sometimes that is not your fault, ladies. But what often happens is that the hunger a woman has for proper alignment with her husband gets filled up in other ways, if her man won’t take his rightful place. We women tend to take the spiritual leadership in our homes if our husbands don’t – and we snatch it quickly if they don’t get there fast! Sometimes they are not taking the lead because we didn’t give them a chance.
So, often a woman whose husband is not heading the home fills her need for spiritual satisfaction with misplaced affections – for prayer, for ministry in the Church, for the pastor. Being off-balance in our affections and priorities contributes to a false super-spirituality, strange ideas, and oddball behavior. When I have the opportunity to mentor, I suggest that women whose home life is not in order step back from ministry, not spend all their time at church gatherings if it leaves their husbands neglected, and love their guys into the Kingdom. Put your prayer affection on your husband, not your pastor. Do spend time in prayer with other ladies, but do it when your husband is not at home wishing you were there with him. If you get the home life right, the intercessory stuff will increase in power, and you will be a balanced person.
Men who are prayer warriors can have similar problems. Guys, don’t neglect the wife and kids while you go off and pray in the woods for two weeks at a time. Don’t put them down. Show your wife respect. Remember what 1 Peter 3:7 says: “Likewise, husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor to the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; so that your prayers are not hindered.”
Intercessors must be solidly plugged into a local church, if they are to stay balanced. This is true of people who do not have a ministry of prayer as well. However, because intercessors tend to be prophetic, when they are out from under the covering of a local church and pastor, their weirdness tends to hang out more visibly through the things they say about what God is speaking to them. Staying accountable to local church leadership and sitting under sound Bible teaching is essential to avoiding hearing, speaking, and doing goofy things. We will discuss this more in the post on pastor/intercessor relationships.
Next time: More on Avoiding Weirdness
Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual