Tag Archives: Pentecostal

Prophetic Leaning (Part 2)

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Gerald Sargent Foster, Racing, 1934, Smithsonian American Art Museum, License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

As I said in Part One, it is often wise to wait on making prophetic revelation public, so that we’re sure we have the whole of what God wants to say through us. Revelation and its understanding tend to come in pieces.

First, we need to weigh what we have heard or seen to make sure it is really coming from the Lord, not our own imaginations, fears, or hang-ups. Once we are certain we have received something from Him, our next step should be to seek Him for the correct interpretation and application. Interpretations and applications are higher steps in making prophecy useful to the Body of Christ. We can ask the Lord questions such as:

“What specific events or situations are you speaking of? Who is this meant for?”

When I first began releasing things I was hearing, I often blundered in believing my revelation was specifically for our local church. Sometimes what I said was not received favorably, because it did not always fit with the inner witness of our leaders. What I did not understand then was, more often than not, I was hearing about the American Church at large, not specifically our local fellowship. It was only when I saw a few well-known prophets saying the same things — sometimes down to the last word in a sentence or phrase — that I realized what was really going on. What a huge relief! I was not “off” in my hearing after all. I had merely misapplied who it was for.

A still more common mistake is to apply to others a word God is speaking to us personally, and only to us. We eagerly prophesy it for the local church, thinking it’s for everyone else. This tends to happen especially when it is a corrective word which our flesh isn’t keen on hearing and applying personally. Revelation certainly can have an application beyond ourselves, but we should make sure God intends that before releasing a personal word as a one-size-fits-all prophecy.

“What is the timing — now or later?”

This can be really hard to discern, even for seasoned prophets.

Several years ago, a respected national prophet released a dream he’d had about California, which depicted a coming destructive earthquake of massive proportions. He strongly exhorted God’s people to leave California immediately. Of course, this information and the resulting advice was very upsetting to many California believers.

Meanwhile, I was personally hearing that revival and awakening were coming to California. Abundant fruit for the kingdom of God would come forth from that state. There would be a great shift in the ideology of Californians. I was also hearing to pray for an end to the severe physical drought going on there, and that the spiritual drought would also come to an end by the “rains” of the Spirit being poured out on that state.

Now, this messes with my mind extremely, to be hearing the seeming opposite of what time-tested, well-known prophets are hearing! My inclination is to think, “Lee Ann, you are just plain nuts!” But I asked the Lord about it, since I felt such an urge to pray blessings in upon California. He responded, “He [the well-known prophet] is seeing into the long-term future, while you are praying into My purposes for the shorter term.” The light bulb went on. It was not about one or the other hearing wrongly; it was about timing.

Unprecedented rains did come a few months later, and they continue to come in abundance. Currently, there are also some early signs of revival breaking out in a few places. The fullness of what God wants to pour out on California is still in its beginning stages.

“What if I continue to not understand or be certain of my revelation?”

Sometimes a word or vision will press on us, but understanding continues to elude us. We’re in good company. The prophets in the Bible often could not grasp what they were seeing, either. Some Bible prophecies are still awaiting fulfillment. This is just the way God works!

God may show us what our revelation is about at a later date, if we give it time. Or, it could be that He wants us to get the input of other trusted prophetic people. While we may have the actual word, how to interpret it may be given to someone else. Still another person may receive divine insight about how to apply it. In the New Testament body of believers, we are meant to work together, assisting each other in the ministry of spiritual gifts. We generally do not receive the whole counsel of God by ourselves. Even collectively, we are not always given the entire picture. The apostle Paul said, “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. … For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:9, 12).

As we continue to seek the Lord, trusting Him to purify what we hear and see, we will gain clarity and keener discernment. God has chosen to make revelation and the understanding of it a process to draw us into greater dependence upon Him. Our nature conforms to His as we learn to submit our imperfect prophetic leanings into His care. It’s a beautiful journey together with Him.

Personal Prophecy

 

The Spirit-Filled Guide to Personal Prophecy

 

 

 

The Power of Your Prayer Language (Part 7)

We’ve talked about why the gift of tongues, as used in our private prayer language, is so vital to living a powerful Christian life.  It produces health in our bodies, thoughts, and emotions.  It is one of the weapons of our spiritual warfare, is the seventh piece of the armor mentioned in Ephesians 6, and enables us to pray perfect prayers according to God’s will.  It produces a communion between God and us that causes us to walk in greater faith, wisdom, understanding, and discernment.  And, combined with the interpretation of tongues, it helps us to hear God’s voice.

The question we might ask at this point is, “Why would I not want to pray in tongues?”

I would like to encourage those of my readers who have not yet received their prayer language to press God for it until you do receive it.  It is not that He is unwilling to give it to us; it is that some of us have a harder time than others in pressing past our own issues to get to the point of yielding.  Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “… He [God] is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him,”  and Psalm 84:11 promises, “… No good thing will he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”  As the saying goes, anything worth having is worth fighting for.  Great men of God, such as John G. Lake and Smith Wigglesworth, have struggled to receive their prayer language, yet they refused to give up until they received the promise, and they were not disappointed.

(Note: Since first writing this article, I have learned more about how to aid people in receiving their prayer language easily. Please see my article, How to Easily be Baptized in the Spirit with Tongues.)

For those of you who already have your prayer language, may I encourage you to use it abundantly?  You can train yourself into the habit of praying in tongues (in a whisper, if you like) while you work around the house, drive your car, and do other everyday tasks.  After awhile, it becomes so natural to pray in your prayer language, that you do not consciously make a decision to do it, and you may have been praying for some time before you become aware of it.  It enables us to be in constant communion with the Lord throughout our day.  It’s one of the ways to bring ourselves closer to Paul’s command to “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Paul commented, “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than you all” (1 Corinthians 14:18).  If the prayer language was important to Paul, it should be treasured and nurtured by us, too.

Previous: The Power of Your Prayer Language (Part 6) 

 

NewIntMan100

Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual

Out of the Fire Ministries

 

 

The Power of Your Prayer Language (Part 6)

There is a cry inside most of us to hear God speak to us.  He wants to fulfill this longing.  One of the names by which He reveals Himself is “He Who Speaks” (Isaiah 52:6).  But a lot of people still struggle with learning to hear and know God’s voice.  One of the best ways to hear accurately from God is by praying in tongues and then receiving the interpretation.  I discovered this technique a few years ago, and it has truly enhanced my ability to hear God and to know how to pray.  Here’s how it works for me:

I pray a lot in tongues.  When I pray, I often switch back and forth between my prayer language and English.  I have learned to pay close attention to what I pray in English in between praying in tongues, because often it is something I would not know to pray in my natural mind.  It is actually an interpretation of what I have already been covering in my prayer language; it is fresh revelation from the Spirit Himself.  Interpretation may come as a phrase we pray out loud, a Scripture verse, a thought on how to pray, a word of knowledge, or even a picture or vision.

For instance, once while praying for a pastor-friend in tongues, I clearly heard the thought in my mind, “praying for the unexpected.”  I did not understand what it was about, but I continued to pray along the lines of preparing him for something unexpected.  About three weeks down the road, he experienced some very unpleasant circumstances that he had not foreseen.  But the way was prepared before him in intercessory prayer so that he could handle the event when it happened.

Another time I was praying for a loved one who was going through difficulties, and I was very concerned about receiving a good outcome for him.  The words, “God who performs all things for him” flowed out in English in the middle of my prayer language.  It was the Holy Spirit’s reminder of a Scripture verse, Psalm 57:2“I will cry unto God most high; unto God who performs all things for me.”  The Holy Spirit was using my prayer language to pray that God would take care of his need, and by interpreting the prayer for me, He was also assuring me that everything was going to be all right.

At still another time I was praying for my pastor for his upcoming sermon.  After praying in tongues for a bit, I was startled to hear myself speak in English, “God, help him with his sermon on brokenness.”  He had not informed me what his sermon was to be about, but it turned out to be exactly that.  God was interpreting my prayer language and giving me a word of knowledge.

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14:13-15, “… let him who speaks in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.  For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.  What then?  I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also….”  Those of us who are Pentecostal or Charismatic understand that when a message is given publicly in tongues, an interpretation should be given.  However, few of us were ever taught that this is a normal part of using our prayer language privately as well.

If you have trouble hearing the voice of God, try asking Him to interpret for you what you are saying in your prayer language.  In addition, because we are communing with God on a spirit-to-Spirit level when we pray in tongues, it opens us up to revelation of other sorts.  You will find that you are more prone to having godly, creative ideas flow in your thoughts when you have been praying in tongues.  You may receive visions.  Your understanding and wisdom will increase.

I’ll have a few more thoughts on the power of our prayer language in the next post, and then we’ll be done.

Previous: The Power of Your Prayer Language (Part 5)
Next: The Power of Your Prayer Lanugage (Part 7) 

NewIntMan100

Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual

Out of the Fire Ministries

 

The Power of Your Prayer Language (Part 5)

In my last post, I mentioned some ways that our prayer language is a powerful spiritual weapon:

1.)  It renews our mind, a major battleground where spiritual warfare goes on, so that we think like Jesus thinks.  This enables us to recognize when the enemy is injecting  “foreign” thoughts, so that we can take them captive and get rid of them quickly.

2.)  It builds our faith, according to Jude 20.  We take on the faith of God as we interact deeply with Him in our prayer language.

3.)  It enables us to pray rightly, with accuracy, because it is actually the Holy Spirit within us breathing the prayers, according to Romans 8:26, 27.

4.)  It helps us to hear God clearly, so that we can be effective in our warfare.  (I will talk about this in greater detail in my next post.)

Because the devil knows what a powerful weapon our prayer language is, he tries to stop it in any way he can.  Doubt is his main tactic.  He almost always tries to convince the newly baptized-in-the-Spirit person that nothing really happened, so that he or she will not attempt to pray in tongues again.

Sometimes people doubt their prayer language is real, because it sounds funny or halting.  However, there are known languages in which a halting hesitancy is part of the language.  There are languages that have very few syllables, in which the majority of the communication is done through voice inflection alone.  There is even a language which is entirely made up of clicking sounds in the throat.  Never belittle your prayer tongue, no matter how odd it may seem to you!

The devil will also attempt to use cessationist teaching, which says that the gifts of the Spirit mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12 (including healing and miracles) are not for today, to cause people either to doubt the prayer language they already have, or to avoid seeking to receive it in the first place.

You may find that doubts attack you about your prayer language’s effectiveness while you are in the midst of using it.  This is the time to press through, past your mind, and use your prayer language in faith anyway.  When I am praying for my pastor, especially when I am backing him up in prayer while he is preaching or laying hands on the sick, I almost always experience a doubt battle in my mind over whether my prayers in tongues are doing anything.  I press through and continue to pray in the Spirit anyway.  I do not listen to the doubts in my mind.  This is merely the enemy’s attempt to get me to stop praying.

The devil fears what happens in the spirit realm when we pray in tongues.

Next time we will talk about how our prayer language enhances our ability to hear God’s voice.

Previous: The Power of Your Prayer Language (Part 4)
Next: The Power of Your Prayer Language (Part 6) 

NewIntMan100

Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual

Out of the Fire Ministries

 

 

The Power of Your Prayer Language (Part 4)

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds), casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

God has given us many weapons with which to war against the enemy of our souls – the Word of God, the blood of Jesus, the name of Jesus, our faith, the word of our testimony, heavenly revelation, and worship, for starters.  One of the most powerful weapons of our warfare is our prayer language.

For most of us, Ephesians 6:10-18 is a familiar passage about spiritual warfare.  We have been taught consistently about six pieces of the armor – the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, the shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, and the sword of the spirit.  There are actually seven pieces to the armor, but the seventh is rarely mentioned.  Take another look at verse 18: “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit ….”  I personally believe that this seventh piece of our armor, “praying in the Spirit,” refers to our prayer language.

Let’s examine how praying in tongues becomes a mighty weapon of our warfare:

We talked last time about how praying in tongues gets rid of our “stinking thinking.”  As we pray in the Spirit, it helps to bring our thoughts into obedient lining up with how Christ would think, and it helps us to recognize imaginations of the mind that are not in keeping with His Word so that we refuse to indulge them (2 Corinthians 10:5).  The mind is a huge battlefield – probably the devil’s favorite arena of combat.  If he can get us messed up in our minds, he can render us ineffective in every area of our Christian lives.  A mind paralyzed by fear, doubt, confusion, hatred, bitterness, unforgiveness, unbelief, etc. makes for a Christian who does nothing to advance God’s kingdom.  The renewed mind, on the other hand, makes us strong for the battle, and as we discovered in Part 3, praying in tongues paves the way for that renewed mind.

Praying in tongues builds our faith.  Jude 20 says, “…building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.”  This is referring to praying in tongues.  Our faith is naturally built through communication with God, because He is a God of faith.  Praying in tongues is an avenue we use to deeply interact with Him and thereby take on the faith of God.

Praying in tongues enables us to pray rightly, with pinpoint accuracy.  Many situations that need to be bathed in prayer are complicated.  We do not always have the necessary details at our disposal, or the wisdom to know what to do with those details if we did have them, but the Holy Spirit does.  Romans 8:26, 27 tells us, “Likewise the Spirit also helps our weaknesses: for we don’t know what we should pray for as we ought to, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  And He Who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”  As we use our prayer language, we are praying perfect spirit-to-Spirit prayers, not limited to the understanding of our natural minds.  We are praying words given to us by the Holy Spirit, Who understands the ins and outs of every situation, and Who understands the will of Father God.

We will talk some more about the prayer language as a weapon of our warfare next time.

Previous: The Power of Your Prayer Language (Part 3)
Next: The Power of Your Prayer Language (Part 5) 

NewIntMan100

Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual

Out of the Fire Ministries

 

 

The Power of Your Prayer Language (Part 3)

Last time we talked a little about the personal benefits that come with praying in tongues, especially to our physical bodies.  Today, I’d like to address what it does for our minds and emotions (our soul).

When our spirit-man becomes strong, through being in communion with the Holy Spirit, our mind follows suit.  Our spirit, soul, and body are very integrally connected with each other.  Doctors have known for a long time that people with spiritual problems often develop mental or physical illnesses, while those who are spiritually healthy tend to be mentally and physically well also.  It is the principle set forth in 3 John 2: Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

Romans 12:2 tells us, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind ….”  Communicating spirit-to-Spirit with God through our prayer language is one of the best ways to renew our minds.  We tend to think like those with whom we spend time in intimate communication.  Praying in our prayer language – especially if we train ourselves to do it a lot – will lead us into taking on the thought processes of God.  It renews our mind to think like God thinks.  The more we pray in tongues, the less our thinking will be stinking.

The lining up of our mind with our spirit through praying in tongues brings us peace and helps us respond more kindly to people.  I stumbled upon this truth rather accidentally a few decades ago while working at an office job that was extremely stressful.  I found that when I quietly prayed throughout my workday in my prayer language, I was more tranquil, lighthearted, able to cope with difficult situations and equally difficult people, and more grace-filled to be kind in my responses to those around me.  It was the influence of the Holy Spirit continually flowing through me, as I prayed in tongues.  (I was discreet about praying under my breath, and not when it would have been observable by others.  It would not have been a good witness if people had seen me constantly muttering to myself, as though I had lost my marbles!)

Praying in tongues gives us orderliness of mind.  God is an orderly Being.  As we commune with Him, and thereby become like Him, we become orderly as well.  If you have trouble with confusion in your mind, praying in tongues will bring order to your thoughts.  “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace …” (1 Corinthians 14:33).

I’m discovering a pattern as I talk with Christians who struggle with fear, doubt, unbelief, confusion, and negative thoughts about themselves and others.  If I ask, “Do you pray in tongues much?” the answer is consistently, “no.” Do yourself a favor: use your prayer language to kill the “stinking thinking.”

Next time: Why your prayer language is a spiritual weapon.

Previous: The Power of Your Prayer Language (Part 2)
Next: The Power of Your Prayer Language (Part 4) 

NewIntMan100

Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual

Out of the Fire Ministries

 

The Power of Your Prayer Language (Part 2)

One of the reasons that the gift of tongues is often opposed in our day is because we cannot easily see why it is necessary.  For some people, it is a pride issue: “I must be able to understand it, or I will not accept it.”  Yet, in 1 Corinthians 2:14, Paul tells us, “The natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God – for they are foolishness unto him.  Neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

There are many things about God and the way He deals with man that we cannot understand with our natural mind, yet we accept them.  Why should it be any different with the gift of tongues?  Our natural minds do not understand how salvation works, how the Trinity exists, how God can have no beginning, or how resurrection of the dead into glorified bodies could possibly ever occur – yet these are basic tenets of the Christian faith that believers do not question.

Part of the problem is our natural-man desire to have control over ourselves and our circumstances.  It is generally a struggle for us to yield ourselves into the hands of the Holy Spirit, if we are afraid that He will do something in our lives that will make us look foolish.  We need to trust Him more than that.  If we can get past the I-must-have-complete-control issue, and let God do what He wants in our lives, yielding to tongues does not have to be a big deal.  Besides, speaking in tongues is not something that happens to us without us having any say in it.  Once we have received the initial infilling of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, we use this gift of our own volition: we can begin when we choose, and end when we choose.  People who already speak in tongues understand this, but I am explaining it for those who are not already baptized in the Holy Spirit.

So what good is praying in tongues?  Let’s start with the personal benefits and move outward from ourselves.  It has been proven scientifically that speaking in the prayer language affects the body.  Brain waves measurably change as a person speaks in tongues.  Chemicals that are beneficial to the body are released.  When we pray in tongues, spirit-to-Spirit communion that bypasses the mind is going on.  The Holy Spirit is life-giving. Touching Him from deep within brings life and health to our beings at every level – body, soul, and spirit.  Paul comments in 1 Corinthians 14:2, “For he who speaks in an unknown tongue speaks not to men, but to God.”  For the believer, encounters with Him are always positive in nature.

Next time we will talk about what praying in tongues does for the mind.  This is powerful, and I hope you will be intrigued enough to come back for it.

Previous:  The Power of Your Prayer Language (Part 1)
Next: The Power of Your Prayer Language (Part 3) 

NewIntMan100

Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual

Out of the Fire Ministries