Tag Archives: intercession

Just for Intercessors: Bearing the Stones (Part 12)

In Exodus 28:9-21 we read God’s instructions to Moses about two parts of the high priest’s apparel.  He was to bear two stones upon his shoulders, one on each side.  The names of six of the tribes of Israel were inscribed on one stone, and six on the other.  In addition, he was to wear a breastplate with twelve more stones attached, this time each stone inscribed with the name of one tribe.  As the high priest carried out his duties in the tabernacle, in a symbolic way he bore the people of Israel with him before the Lord.  Verse 12 says, “… Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD upon his two shoulders for a memorial.”  It was a symbolic type of what intercessors do when they carry others before the throne.

I had never thought about this until, one day, the Lord brought it to my attention.  My pastor and his wife were very much on my mind, even though I needed to pray about some other things right then.  I said, “Lord, You know that even when I am not specifically praying for them, I carry Pastor _______ and ________ into the throne room with me.  They’re always with me, and I want to constantly remind You of them.”  Immediately, the high priest bearing the stones with the engraved names upon his shoulders came to mind.  I then remembered that in my early days as an intercessor, a prophet had prayed for me that I would have strong shoulders to bear the weight of the intercessions I would someday carry.  For quite a few days after, whenever I went to prayer, I “saw” myself coming before the throne with the high priest’s stones upon my shoulders, and I understood how important my intercessions really are.

It was sometime down the road from that revelation that God spoke to me about the stones on the high priest’s breastplate, and that not only did I bear my pastor and his wife upon my shoulders, but upon my heart as well.  Having the priestly calling to bear those we are interceding for upon our hearts is the reason why we love the ones we pray for so dearly.

As an added thought on an entirely different line, I have an idea that the reason that Jesus said, “Pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44), was because He knew that we can’t help but love those we pray for.

This wraps up the Just for Intercessors series.  I hope that you have found something here that will be useful to you or that will confirm what you have already personally learned from the Lord.  If you have any questions, comments, or additional insights, I’d love to hear from you.

Previous: The Pastor Specialty (Part 11) 

NewIntMan100

Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual

 

 

Just for Intercessors: The Pastor Specialty (cont.) (Part 11)

If your specialty is praying for your pastor, he probably is aware of this.  In my case, I was asked to fill this position.  Perhaps it is a specialty that you have acquired on your own.  It’s good for your pastor to know, but you don’t have to announce it in an awkward fashion.  “Pastor So-and-So, I just want you to know that God has called me exclusively to intercede for you,” is going to make him feel you are a little weird.  A better approach might be to let him know from time to time that you are praying for him, show that you care by encouraging him and his wife, and communicate things you are hearing from the Lord that will be of help to him.  He’ll get the idea.  After establishing some relationship, it would be quite normal to ask if there are specific things you can pray into for him, and the same with his wife, as you build closer connections with her.  Their understanding of the heart you have for them, and the trust relationship that flows out of that, will be a gradual progression.

We’ve talked about interceding for them to hear clearly from the Lord and building a protective covering around them through prayer.  What are some other things that you can pray about for them?  Obviously, you will be interceding for specific requests that they communicate.  If you keep your eyes open, you will see many more.  Praying for a solid marriage and family life for them is very important.  So is asking God to give them wisdom and discernment to handle the many people and circumstances that come their way.  Much of what you pray will be given to you directly by the Holy Spirit.

I asked the Lord to take me into the war council room of heaven and show me His strategies on behalf of my pastor and church.  I also asked that He would show me the enemy’s strategies against them, so that I could ward those off in prayer.  Shortly after praying that, I began to receive revelation about future plans the Lord had for my pastor.   I began, as well, to know when the devil had specific plots afoot to derail important aspects of my pastor’s ministry, and my husband and I would then do the necessary spiritual warfare to thwart those plots.  Most of these things never get communicated until after I have seen them actually happen (or, in the case of demonic plans, until I see them thwarted), and many times not even then.

When I say that the Lord takes me into the war council room of heaven, I don’t mean that I have a vision of being there and seeing a room with all its details.  Some people may experience that, but I haven’t as yet.  I just know that God has shared vital strategic secrets with me.

I pray quite a bit for my pastor’s character.  He and his wife already carry themselves in exemplary integrity, but I know that my prayers can always lift them higher still.  It is more important to me that they be like Jesus in every situation than it is for their ministry to work out successfully.  Although success in their ministry is vital, I’m more concerned about who they are on the inside than what they accomplish in life.

I have heard teaching that we are never to pray for God to change our pastor.  This is true if we are praying out of criticalness toward him, or if we are annoyed with him because he is not doing what we want him to.  But if we cover the weaknesses we see in him with prayer, desiring for him to be the best person he can possibly be in Christ, there is nothing wrong with that!  It is all about what our motive is.  I am my pastor’s cheerleader before the heavenly throne, in a sense.  When I see him and his wife being like Jesus in the most difficult situations, I rejoice greatly, knowing that my prayers play a part in that.   I pray for their character out of deep love for them.

Where God gives a specific ministry, He also gives anointing and authority to carry that ministry out.  For those of you with the calling to intercede for your pastor, God provides a deeper level of authority to receive answers to prayer on your pastor’s behalf than He does for someone who does not possess that calling.  Know that what you do is vital to the Kingdom of God, and that your prayers do make a difference.  You can press heaven to obtain the answers you need and have confidence that God is serious about answering you.

Next time, we’ll conclude this series by talking about the priestly function of the intercessor.

Previous: The Pastor Specialty (Part 10)
Next: Bearing the Stones (Part 12) 

NewIntMan100

Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual

Out of the Fire Ministries

 

Just for Intercessors: The Pastor Specialty (cont.) (Part 10)

We talked last time about dangers and heartaches that can be avoided in having a prayer ministry focused on your pastor.  Today we will talk about what the pastor-intercessor’s job is.  Primarily, we break through hindrances and provide protective prayer covering for our pastor.

The Lord gave me a vision once of using a machete to cut through a jungle.  He showed me that, in interceding for my pastor and his wife, I was removing spiritual obstacles so that they could hear clearly from the Lord.  Since then, I have made it a priority to pray for them to do the hearing from God, rather than for me to do the hearing for them.  Sure, sometimes I hear things that need to be communicated, but for decisions that they must make, I pray that they will get the revelation – and I trust that decisions based on their hearing will be the right ones, because that’s what I’ve been asking for.  I don’t expect to get the opposite of what I pray for!  Once they have made a decision, I occasionally tell them if I received a similar word.  This is not to build up my credibility; it is to encourage them by providing confirmation.

There are times in their decision-making process when I am hearing cautions, and when that happens, I pray that God would protect my pastor from doing the wrong thing. I don’t pray against the course he is choosing, but I ask God to make sure he or the church are not hurt by it.  I pray that God would rearrange circumstances so that if the chosen course of action is not correct, my pastor will change his mind.  But it is always from an attitude of, “God, I want my pastor to be safe.  If this isn’t the way to go, please show him.”  A prayer like that is not in opposition to the pastor’s plans, and it doesn’t insist on having things go a certain way.  I have seen this type of prayer answered with great blessing time and again!

Most of the revelation I receive for my pastor and his wife is about how to pray for them, rather than information I must share with them.

Prayer covering is the other major thrust of the intercessor for his or her pastor.  Pastors who are moving forward in the plans God has for them and their congregations are targets for spiritual attack.  Satan doesn’t like it when God’s plans are implemented, and he will do everything he can to thwart them.  We intercessors can build a protective covering around our pastors through our prayers, to help shield them from the enemy.

I pray a lot of Scripture over my pastor.  I like to use the promises in Psalm 91 to pray protection over him and his wife.  I pray the blood of Jesus over them as a covering.  Sometimes God shows me specific dangers or entrapments that they face – physical, spiritual, and from manipulative people.  These must be prayed out carefully, according to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  There are many situations that I really don’t have the wisdom to pray into properly in my own understanding, and praying in tongues supplies what I lack.  The bulk of my praying for my pastor and his wife is done in my prayer language.

What types of attack do we protect our pastors from?  Physical health, people relationships, and church finances are areas of demonic harassment and hindrance.  Rumors and misunderstandings come against them, people try to control them, circumstances bring turmoil.  Discouragement, frustration, and stress are major thrusts of the devil against our pastors.  Keeping the pastor from having enough time in prayer and the Word through unexpected interruptions is a favorite ploy of the enemy.  The intercessor who specializes in praying for his or her pastor provides a bulwark of protection for him through prayer.

More next time.

Previous: The Pastor Specialty (Part 9)
Next: The Pastor Specialty (Part 11) 

NewIntMan100

Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual

Out of the Fire Ministries

 

Just for Intercessors: The Pastor Specialty (Part 9)

I mentioned early in this series that some intercessors pray about a variety of topics, much like a doctor who is a general practitioner treats a variety of health conditions.  But just as some doctors hone in on a particular field of medicine, some intercessors are specialists who focus almost entirely on one prayer interest.  The next few posts will be geared toward the intercessor whose specialty is praying for his or her pastor.

This has been my specialty for many years now, so it is dear to my heart.  It is a much-needed ministry, filled with many joys, but also having its peculiar set of difficulties.   The intercessor-to-pastor calling is not for wimps.  It takes unswerving loyalty, humility, laying aside of self, and total commitment coupled with unconditional love that only Christ can give.  And, it takes trust on both sides.

A basic truth of intercession is that whatever or whoever we pray for, we love.  For this reason, if the pastor-intercessor is a woman praying for a man, we’ve got some special areas of danger that we have to guard against.  I love my pastor very deeply, but I also love his wife.  I look at them as one entity, and I pray often for their marriage to be the very best that it can be.  I pray much for her needs as well as his.  This has come about quite naturally as our relationship has deepened through the years, but I also recognize that it is a must-have safeguard for intercessors, so that our affections do not slip into places where they should not be.  I have an extremely solid love relationship with my husband.  There is no one as wonderful as my Paul!  We work as a team to pray for our pastor and his wife, although I am a more intense intercessor than Paul is.  I tell him about all of their needs and everything that I am currently praying through for them.  I never meet one-on-one with my pastor; my husband is there with me.

If your husband is not taking his place as the spiritual head of the family or if there are other marital relationship weaknesses, praying for your pastor as your intercessory specialty is not wise.  It would be far better to focus your prayers on your husband, until he becomes the dearest person on earth to you.  That is an awesome prayer specialty, too!

What about the intercessor who is a single woman?  By God’s mercy and grace this has worked in some instances, but I would not recommend it, for the same reasons already mentioned.  Too much care must be taken to guard the heart.  (Older grannies, go right ahead and pray for that young pastor.  We’re not talking about you!)

Because people are imperfect, and because the devil likes to use our imperfections to destroy relationships, there are some commitments we have to make in our hearts before a crisis develops.  There was a day when God began to tell me that the opportunity for offense would come between my pastor and me, and that I needed to decide in my heart beforehand that I would not allow offenses against him to take root inside, no matter what.  They came, and they still come now and then.  I have given opportunity for offense, too, along the way.  Hurts happen in any relationship that goes deeper than a surface level.  It’s not that anyone is bad; it’s about expectations, in most cases.  By making a gut-level commitment beforehand that I would not accept offense, and keeping a consciousness of that commitment in my heart, I have been able to overcome difficulties.

My husband and I are also committed to keeping conversations between us and our pastor or his wife confidential.  Very few things that they say to us make it to other ears, even the seemingly innocent things.  If you don’t mention anything that has been said, you don’t have to remember what you dropped to others and what you didn’t.  Sometimes things pastors say are more personal to them than we realize, and the careless spilling of those things to others can be very hurtful.  By not talking about our conversations with them, we avoid providing the potential for gossip, misunderstanding, and jealousy in others.  Our commitment to confidentiality helps build trust between us and them.

More next time.

Previous: Pastor and Intercessor (cont.) (Part 8)
Next: The Pastor Specialty (cont.) (Part 10) 

NewIntMan100

Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual

Out of the Fire Ministries

 

Just for Intercessors: Pastor and Intercessor (cont.) (Part 8)

Last time we talked about the road rules for delivering revelatory words to your pastor:

1.)  When you have communicated your revelation, your job is done.
2.)  It is the pastor’s job to discern your word and do with it as he thinks best.
3.)  The pastor gets the vision and makes decisions for the church, not the intercessors.

I hear the stories over and over – prophets and intercessors thinking that just because they had a word, the pastor must do what they say.  I’ve got news for you: the Kingdom of Heaven does not revolve around you!  Your word could be wrong, believe it or not.  It could be right, but for a later time.  It could be a mixture of right-on prophecy and imperfect interpretation of how it is to be implemented.

Let’s even suppose that you have heard something of a directional nature for your pastor, and that it is completely accurate.  (Directional words should be rare.  Because revelation on vision is the pastor’s domain, he also gets most of the details of direction to implement that.)  Let’s suppose he IS spiritually obtuse and is totally missing the boat by dismissing what you have said.  He is still the shepherd of his congregation, and you are not.  God will honor his position of authority, and if you buck it, you are out of line with God.  God has more grace and mercy toward your pastor than you do, and He knows exactly how to get the message across in His way and time.

Always remember that intercessors do not guide the church.  We are a support for our pastors.  We feed information to them, but it is their job to process that information.  If your pastor messes up, it’s not your problem.  Just keep on supporting him.

It is not your place to pray against the pastor’s vision, even if you think it is totally wrong.  It is not even your place to pray that God would give the pastor a change of heart, or make him more spiritual, so that he can see it the way you do.  The appropriate thing to do is lay your pride and opinion aside and align yourself with your pastor and his vision.

Having said that, there are situations where aligning oneself with a particular vision is not possible, whether for moral reasons or because one’s heart-cry is just not being satisfied under that vision.  For example, perhaps you are a Spirit-filled believer, but your pastor and church family are not open to the gifts of the Spirit.  Or you are distressed over doctrinal differences between you and your pastor.  If you cannot peaceably and lovingly live and align yourself with your pastor’s vision, the kindest thing you can do for your church is to go elsewhere, no matter who is right or wrong.  If you are not in unity, you are only hindering that body of believers from moving forward by staying.

Perhaps your heart is pure in the whole matter, and you have tried your best to make it work, but you just cannot be happy.  There is room in God’s heart for you to find a new church home with people likeminded with your inclinations.  Do seek the Lord’s guidance before making a change, asking Him to search your heart for sinful attitudes, but know that it is not a crime to leave a church behind.  Sometimes it is best for all parties concerned.

Next time:  When interceding for your pastor is your specialty.

Previous: Pastor and Intercessor (Part 7)
Next: The Pastor Specialty (Part 9) 

NewIntMan100

Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual

Out of the Fire Ministries