While we are in the midst of pressing in for a prayer breakthrough, the going is tough. Sometimes it seems as though we are beating our heads against a wall. There may be a sensation of the path before us being extremely dark, and we may feel very alone. This is due to the spiritual opposition that is being waged against us.
Persevering for breakthrough can be emotional and exhausting. Prevailing prayer affects our souls and bodies, as well as our spirit-man. Our whole person becomes focused on the desired end.
So how do we make it through? Following are some means that I use, when prayer is intense and the breakthrough is difficult:
1.) Power praying — short bursts of effective energy — When the burden gets too heavy for me, I pray for shorter periods of time, frequently throughout the day. I pray for approximately half an hour, then do something else that is mindless, continuing to pray in tongues while doing the mindless task. I keep coming back to the knockdown intense prayer, but I don’t stay at it too long if it gets too much for me. I may take time out completely to refresh for a few hours, if possible.
Smith Wigglesworth once said, “I don’t often spend more than half an hour in prayer at one time, but I never go more than half an hour without praying.” This was not always Wigglesworth’s mode of prayer. He knew how to spend continuous, concentrated hours in intercession, but he also knew how to utilize punctuated prayer when time constraints or circumstances dictated. The Wigglesworth half-hour-on-and-half-hour-off model works when pressing through to prayer victory.
When you can sustain long intercession, go for it. If it’s getting too much for you, power praying for short periods might be the answer for you.
2.) Different methods work for different people. — Quarter horses are the fastest breed on earth when it comes to running the quarter mile. They are bred for short bursts of speed. Thoroughbreds are meant for speed in longer runs, and Morgans are small, sturdy equines designed for hard work and endurance that lasts all day. Intercessors are a little like horse breeds, if you will. We’re not all built the same, not all designed to pray the same. We need to find what works best for us.
I have a friend who does not think of herself as an intercessor, and it is because she cannot do the long-haul Morgan horse kind of praying that I tend to do. But her ability to obtain breakthrough as a sprinter is phenomenal. In truth, her “sprints” are not all that short. She sometimes prays throughout the night over a particular concern, and God answers. I, on the other hand, have not ever prayed through the night over a burden. I’m more likely to pound heaven for days, weeks, or even months to receive my answer. Both of us get breakthroughs, but we do it in different ways, and we fill different types of needs.
3.) Enlisting the help of others — We’re probably all familiar with Matthew 18:19, 20, “… If two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Heaven’s math is different than earth’s, and when Christians unite in prayer, a multiplication of power takes place in the heavenlies to bring the desired answer. Just as fasting increases prayer power (Mark 9:29 — “…This kind [of demon] can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting”), uniting corporately increases power.
But what about when breakthrough for a need is meant to be your own battle? What about those extremely confidential burdens that you can’t take to others? When I am overwhelmed, but the need is confidential, I alert another trusted intercessor to intercede for ME so that I can get the breakthrough. I have a friend who fills this role for me on occasion, and I have been prayer support for a different intercessor friend in like manner.
Choose someone whom you know you can trust to be faithful and persevering on your behalf — someone who has the maturity to not ask questions about the need. She understands that she is praying for you to get breakthrough; she is not praying for the need itself. When the breakthrough has been achieved, or you sense that the burden is lifting, alert your helper that she no longer needs to intercede on your behalf about that particular issue.
Next time: More tips for making it through
Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual