Category Archives: intercessors

Getting Our Eyes in the Right Place

Higher perspectiveThis is a time when possessing spiritual understanding is a key factor for effective intercession and maintaining our inner peace. What is really happening around us, and what does God want to do about it?

A few days ago, I dozed off during prayer and had a split-second dream. It was very simple, and most of the revelation I gained was by looking into it further and inquiring of the Lord. Here’s how it went:

I saw a handful of pebbles being tossed into a mud puddle.

Not much to go on there! But I know that when I doze off in prayer, the quickie dreams I have are usually from the Lord, so I thought upon the dream and asked Him for understanding. Pretty soon, I was seeing more:

I could tell I was on a downward incline, looking toward the mud puddle. I now realized the pebbles had been tossed from behind me, but I didn’t see the person who tossed them. 

As I asked the Lord for the interpretation, He said, “I’m trying to get your attention. I’m back here. I’m behind you.” I then remembered that before I dozed off I had been praying about some very serious national events taking place, as well as troubling personal concerns. As I continued to ponder the dream, I realized that the mud puddle represented all those cares I had been bringing before the Lord. I had been looking downward, into the muck, instead of having my eyes fastened on Jesus, Who was above me on the slope. He was letting me know that He was there with me, behind the scenes, and that I needed to get my attention back on Him.

By throwing the pebbles into the mud puddle, He was also indicating that He was tossing His input into the mess I was praying about. Now, that’s a lot of revelation to get out of what started with, “I saw a handful of pebbles being tossed into a mud puddle.” The key was peering into what I had seen and patiently inquiring of the Lord what it all meant. He supplied the rest.

I have drawn on that dream in the days which have followed, reminding myself to look up toward the Lord, rather than focusing on the current muck we’re dealing with.

There are many voices harping insistently at us to focus on the circumstances, but we must put our hands over our ears and quit listening to them. Some of those bombarding voices are from the news media. Personally, I do not waste much time watching or reading editorial news. Most of it is not in sync with the Spirit of God, so why bother?

There are also certain prophets who have a tendency to release fear, doubt, and outright panic into God’s people — and that bothers me. The basic message goes like this:

“All this terrible stuff that is happening is the work of the devil.” [Yep! So far, so good.] “PRAY, saints, PRAY! Because if you don’t pray hard enough and long enough, the devil is going to WIN and we will LOSE!” [Translate that, God will lose.]

The message is not one of victory, but of fear. It dishonors the Lord by implying that God and the enemy are equally capable of winning the conflict. It also places all the burden — and blame — upon intercessors’ shoulders. Sadly, we’re buying into it. But the truth still remains: the battle is the Lord’s. We must not forget that. Ever.

Yes, pray. But don’t pray out of the panic these misguided prophets or your favorite news commentator are trying to create in you. Ask the Lord to give you His counsel, and pray what He says. We all need to calm down a bit so that we can hear Him.

Also remember that no matter what the current crisis is, the Lord is throwing His input into it, just like He was casting the pebbles into the mud puddle in my dream. Don’t look down the slope at the problems. Look up, behind you, where the Lord is standing, unruffled by what we see in the natural. Why? Because He knows what He is going to do about it.

Yes, the devil is unleashing havoc, but the Lord of Hosts is pulling the strings behind the scenes. He strategically uses what the enemy intends for evil to bring about righteous changes. This is God’s pattern, and we can look to Him with confidence that He will accomplish His purposes as we pray.

Do pray diligently. Just do it from the place of knowing Father’s heart, asking for His clarity of discernment. And do it without fear, knowing He is in control, and there are many of us out here praying along with you.

He will have His way.

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intercessor handbook

 

 

The Intercessor Manual,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

intercessor questions

 

 

Your Intercession Questions Answered,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

Praying from a Place of Weakness

Do you ever come before the Lord feeling like the puniest pray-er on the face of the earth? Sometimes we get the impression from prayer teachers that it is a shameful thing not to be a muscle-bound intercessor — because we’re prayer warriors, right?

Additionally, we’re frequently taught that we should never pray “up” from the place of earth toward the Lord, because He’s already delegated His authority to us. We are seated together with Christ in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6), so we’re supposed to use our authority to legislate down into the earth from that position. Always decree downward, never plead upward, right?

Yet, I think if we’re honest, most of us experience times of frailty, when we don’t know where to begin, much less how to carry our prayer to a successful outcome. We’re not feelin’ our warrior status, and we’re certainly not sensing that throne solidly beneath us, are we!

It’s OK. You don’t have to give yourself an “F” in Prayer 101. There are many facets of prayer. Legislating downward from your heavenly throne place is one. Praying from earth upward is another. Both are biblical. In fact, until we’ve learned to pray upward, we’ll never be much good at legislating downward. Let me explain.

God does not scorn our weakness, “for He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14). Weak or strong, He answers us, for it’s about His goodness and our relationship with Him, not our ability. He sometimes deliberately puts us in a place of acutely knowing our frailty to help us recognize our deep need for Him. This is why He said, “God … gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:5-7).

When we come before the Lord confessing our weakness and inability, reaching upward in our helpless state to Him, that is powerful prayer, because it fixes our attention in the right place — on the Lord. Indeed, it is the message of Psalm 121:1, 2: “I will lift up my eyes to the hills, where my help comes from. My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.”

God uses these times of weakness to bring us into yieldedness, where we submit to His limitless sovereignty and trust Him there. He teaches us to know Him as “He with Whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:13) and “He Who ought to be feared” (Psalm 76:11).

The Lord doesn’t leave us in the place of weakness, though. As we pray through our doubts, fears, confusion, and need for Him, inch by inch we gain His strength and eternal perspective. He takes us into “building up ourselves on our most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit” (Jude 20), which is, I believe, about using our prayer language. We get to the place where we see our situation as He sees it, so that we can, in the right moment, speak into it from our position of being seated together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

Don’t beat yourself up when you feel your prayers are weak. Use your weak times to lean into the Lord for His strength. For His strength is made perfect in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9), and He receives glory.

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intercessor handbook

 

 

The Intercessor Manual

 

 

 

Bible verses for prayer

 

 

The Intercessor’s Companion

 

 

 

intercession questions

 

 

Your Intercession Questions Answered

 

 

 

Knowing God’s Heart in Troubling Times

Annie OakleyIn recent weeks, I have been seeking the Lord for greater sensitivity to Him. I’ve been asking for an opening up of my spiritual senses (especially my seeing capacity), so that I can understand His heavenly perspective and be able to better discern what is of the Lord and what is not. I’d like to share with you what He has been speaking to me as an outflow of that prayer.

“The seers will see and know how to pray.” It’s interesting to me that the Lord singled out the seers, since the hearing gift is more dominant  in my life. Those of us who are primarily hearers or feelers (those who perceive God’s direction more by a deep knowing inside than by either hearing or seeing) can also draw on the Spirit’s promptings for prayer direction. But I also know that when I see something, it nails it more concisely for me. I am more sure of what I am receiving. Seeing is not superior to the other spiritual senses, but I believe God does want all of us to see more than we do. We should not be content with only using some of our spiritual senses. Therefore, I will be pursuing Him for more seeing.

intercessor handbookThe Lord mentioned that we would know how to pray by what we see. Seeing, hearing, and other forms of receiving are not just so we can have something spectacular to talk about. They are given for specific purposes, and a big one is so that we can pray accurately and receive answers. This is why I used Annie Oakley’s picture on the front of my book, The Intercessor Manual. Annie was a sharpshooter, and that should be our goal in prayer as well — to hit our targets as quickly and cleanly as possible.

Probably all of us still have moments when we aren’t sure how to pray, when we take some stabs in the dark. Because He knows our frailties and our limited understanding, God still answers many of those petitions, but the more we gain sharpshooter intercession skills, the less time we spend needlessly wearing ourselves out as we try to find our way in prayer. Honing our skills comes through listening to the Lord, which brings me to the next point.

God wants us to watch His body language carefully and respond to His slightest gesture. By that I mean being acutely aware of His smallest whispers, nudgings, and promptings. Psalm 123:2 illustrates this for us: “Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden to the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until He has mercy upon us.”

It takes a lot of practice for a servant to know his or her master’s body language well. He learns by watching, by studying, until he can almost get inside his master’s head, so to speak. He knows what that twitch of the eyebrow, a certain glance of the eye, or an ever-so-slight sigh means. With the Lord, we can only accomplish this intimate knowledge by investing time in being with Him — by carefully reading and meditating upon His Word, and by waiting quietly in prayer. There are no shortcuts, special techniques, or three-point methods to speed up the process. This is about  “dwelling in the secret place of the Most High and abiding under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1). It is costly to our flesh!

At this time, the Lord is looking to see who will be faithful. For many of us, our faithfulness will be measured by how we use our time — especially during this coronavirus lock-down season. If we’re forced to be at home more, will we use our extra hours indulging in recreational pursuits to relieve boredom, or will we heed His wooing to come away into the secret place of quietly waiting on Him? Will we pursue knowing His heart?

Extra time on our hands is not everyone’s story. Perhaps you have family at home who are not usually there all day with you. For you, faithfulness to the Lord might be measured in your patient and loving service to your children or spouse. If that is where you are at, be wholeheartedly faithful in caring for them. This is priceless in the Lord’s eyes too!

Each of us has specific opportunities to either ignore or follow the Lord’s promptings moment by moment. May we make the right choices, thereby pleasing and honoring our Father.

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God’s Wisdom and You (Part 2)

spiritual wisdomDaniel answered and said, “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever: for wisdom and might are His. He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings, and sets up kings.

He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who know understanding; He reveals the deep and secret things. He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him.

I thank You, and praise You, O God of my fathers, Who has given me wisdom and might, and has made known to me now what we desired of You….”
— Daniel 2:20-23

In our last post, we began looking at what this passage teaches us about living prophetically. We talked about God’s desire to transfer to us the wisdom and might He possesses. We also saw that God is the changer of times and seasons in our lives and how being aware of that helps us to flourish. Let’s continue.

He gives wisdom and understanding to those who already have it.

Remember the parable Jesus told of the ten pounds, in Luke 19:11-26? A rich man entrusted equal amounts of money to each of ten servants, intending that they would gain more through investing. They accomplished varying levels of increase, but one man did nothing with the money he had been given. He just hid it. His master was angry, and gave a surprising directive:

He said to those who stood by, “Take from him the pound, and give it to him who has ten pounds.”

The other servants objected, “Lord, he already has ten pounds!”  

The master answered, “I say to you, that to everyone who has shall be given; and he who has not, even what he has shall be taken away from him” (verses 24-26).

Things work a lot differently in God’s kingdom than we might expect. The Lord wants to give more to those who appreciate what He has already given them. If you are a child of God, you have an open offer of wisdom from Him. He promises it to us in many places in the Bible. If you value wisdom, you will seek Him for more — because we never have all we could have. He will gladly give it, for “… He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

If you don’t value wisdom, you’ll be lackadaisical about seeking it — and your contentment to stay at your present level will hinder you from receiving all the wisdom and understanding God really desired for you to have (which is much more than you currently possess). We can never have too much wisdom, so go after the Lord for more. He’ll be happy to give it to you.

He reveals the deep and secret things to those who want to know.

This goes along with our previous point. God’s secrets aren’t reserved for a few hotshot prophets. He will share them with anyone who is serious about being His friend — whoever takes time to read His Word and ask Him about it; whoever inquires, “”What’s on Your heart, Lord? I want to know Your concerns. What do You want to talk about?” (and then listens for His response).

“… His secret is with the righteous.”Proverbs 3:32

“The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him…”Psalm 25:14

You are righteous in Christ. You qualify to hear His secrets. He loves sharing them with you.

He knows what’s going on in darkness, and light dwells with Him.

In context, “He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him” is continuing to speak of God drawing out the deep and secret things and revealing them to us. However, I see an additional application we can make.

Recently, I was upset about a wacky teaching an influential prophet was disseminating. (Praying for the American Church is a major focus of mine, so when I see error going on, it really bothers me.) But the Lord reminded me from Daniel 2:22 that He is very aware of what is going on, and I can leave it to Him. I don’t have to get worked up about the dark things. Instead, He wants me to fasten my attention on Him, to lift my eyes to where He is, in the light. In due time, He will take care of it, just as He says about the tares and wheat in Matthew 13:24-30. I can pray for the Church to be delivered from deception, but I should do it from the place of gazing on the Lord of light, not fuming about the stuff of darkness. It changed my perspective, for sure!

If we’re going to be overcomers in our tumultuous times, we must refuse to focus on the darkness around us, get our eyes on the Lord, and have confidence that He is on top of things.

Let’s sum up the lessons we can learn from Daniel 2:20-23:

1. Believe that the Lord delights to impart His wisdom and understanding to you. Seek Him for more of it.

2. Ask Him to share His deep secrets with you, because He wants to.

3. Don’t focus on the darkness. Instead, keep your eyes on Jesus, in the light.

4. When life seems to be shifting uncomfortably, remember that He is the One Who changes times and seasons. Stay close to Him, and move with Him.

By doing these things, we stay safe in His care while growing in His wisdom and knowledge.

prophetic teaching

 

Growing in the Prophetic,
Audio Teaching by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

 

prophetic gift

 

The Spirit-Filled Guide to Personal Prophecy,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

Prophetic Eagles

prophetic eaglesLast time, we talked about attaining the “higher ground” of the Spirit.

Prophetic intercessors have often been compared to eagles, with good reason. Eagles habitually live in high places, with some preferring to nest on high cliffs. When on the hunt, their keen eyesight allows them to spot their prey up to three miles away. They have an entirely different view of the world than the ground-bound creatures do.

If we stay close to the Lord, “in the secret place of the Most High” (Psalm 91:1), like the eagle, we live in a safe place, above the fears and cares of earth. “For in the time of trouble, He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock” (Psalm 27:5). We have confidence in the Lord, our Refuge and Protector. We know He has everything under control, even when it doesn’t look like it.

When we invest time in inquiring of the Lord about the difficulties we pray into, He gives us His aerial perspective — eagle-eye vision. In the spirit, we see things others cannot. Holy Spirit also sometimes gives us insider information about future events (seeing out ahead like the eagle), so that we can pray and prophetically declare into existence God’s plan in a given situation. “God … calls those things which are not as though they were” (Romans 4:17), and He invites us to do this with Him.

Seeing from our eagle perspective helps us recognize the spiritual war going on behind the perplexing events of earth. We keep in mind the truth of Ephesians 6:12: “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Unfortunately, it is easy for prophetic intercessors to descend from our natural habitat on the heights and become earth-bound. This happens because, in one way or another, we get our eyes diverted from Jesus. We then find ourselves becoming heavily burdened by the things we see and hear with our natural senses. We lose our confidence in the Lord and start placing our trust in men or manmade things, such as the economy or political parties. We grow spiritually nearsighted, seeing only through the lens of what some “experts” say is happening or could happen. While eagles are by nature fearless, at this point we have become more like nervous chickens.

It takes vigilance to stay on higher ground (or to return there, if we have descended from it). I’ve noticed that Psalm 91:1 says we are to dwell in the secret place of the Most High — not just visit now and then.

Colossians 3:1-4 is part of the antidote to earth-bound thinking. It reminds us that the troubles of this present time are a mere blip on the radar screen of our glorious eternity:

“If you, then, are risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For you are dead [to the temporal things of this world], and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is our life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with Him in glory.”

The apostle Paul also commented, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). We need to continually remind ourselves that, very soon, eternity with Jesus will be ours. If we look forward expectantly to His return, hope flows in our hearts; we keep our higher ground perspective.

Let me leave you with this thought to ponder:
Which kind of Christian would you like to be? A chicken, who can’t see beyond the dirt of the earth it scratches in? Or an eagle, who soars in the realm of heaven, seeing from God’s viewpoint? Let’s fly higher.

prophetic training

 

Growing in the Prophetic,
Audio set by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

personal prophecy

 

The Spirit-Filled Guide to Personal Prophecy,
by Lee Ann Rubsam