A couple of weeks ago, I read an article by Francis Frangipane called, What Are You Becoming? I have been pondering the thoughts he presented in it ever since. He commented at length on the anger which is consuming not only the world, but the Church as well. He pointed out that even anger over injustice, if not handled correctly, can lead us into bondage. One thought in particular I cannot get away from:
“We must turn indignation into intercession.”
What happens as we bring anger — even justifiable, “righteous” anger — before the Lord in intercession?
Intercession sometimes starts out raw, where we share with the Lord our own opinions and emotions on a given subject. Ideally, we should wait upon the Lord until we can pray by the leading of His Spirit. However, we are not always ideal people, are we. All of us have moments when we charge into prayer from the perspective of our own rampaging souls.
However, as we continue to pour out our thoughts and emotions before the Lord, the Holy Spirit gradually and subtly shifts our prayers — and us. He softens us, quiets us, and changes how we perceive whatever we are praying into. And He takes our intercession in hand and adjusts it into right paths. This is especially true if we intermingle praying in our prayer language with praying from our understanding.
Jesus understood the power of intercession in breaking bondage off the ones who are praying. This is one reason He exhorted His disciples, “Bless those who curse you, … and pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). When we decide, in obedience, to pray for those who hurt us and make us angry, although we may not start out well, the Holy Spirit will be faithful to take over and “lead us in [prayer] paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3).
When I was young in the Lord, we were repeatedly taught at our church that “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2) was specifically talking about reading the Bible. So much was this interpretation instilled in us, that, until very recent years, I actually thought the verse mentioned Bible reading — even though I had read it dozens of times. But it doesn’t. Although absorbing the living Word of God is vital to having our minds renewed, God has other means as well. One of them is engaging in prayer, including intercession. Whether it is by the Word or prayer, the Lord transforms and renews us through interaction between our spirit and His Spirit.
So, let the Lord renew your mind on any given topic by taking it to Him in intercession and letting Him adjust how you pray. He can give you immediate revelation of how to tackle the issue differently, but usually it’s a process which takes time.
As we “turn indignation into intercession” several things happen:
1.) God convicts us of where we are at fault — spiritual blindness, hypocrisy, offense, bitterness, pride, and other bad attitudes — so that we can repent.
2.) He gives us unique revelation which we could not have thought of on our own about how to pray and what actions to adopt to bring solutions to problems.
3.) He gives us a prophetic voice (as opposed to an opinion) to speak into the situations which we have been interceding about. We are able to bring “salt” and “light” into the conversations we engage in.
4.) He conforms us into the image of Jesus. We become unoffendable pillars of righteousness. We are set free from self and the anger which self generates.
I’ve addressed how intercession can be a pathway to freedom from anger. What other bondages can it set us free from? What is God speaking to you? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts.