“I know I’m weird. Everybody knows I’m weird. I can’t help it. Intercessors are just weird.” Eyes bugged out wildly, the lady had her face in mine, about six inches from my nose. I resisted the urge to flee and attempted to keep smiling while she volunteered this tidbit of information out of the blue.
She was odd, but it wasn’t because she was an intercessor. Intercessors do not have to be cockeyed and bizarre. There are nine gifts of the Spirit mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12, but the Gift of Weirdness is not one of them. I checked before writing this, just to make sure.
Maybe it is an attention-seeking thing, because prayer is not always a visible ministry and we develop a craving for recognition now and then. Maybe it is because we have been told by others that intercessors are weird, and we’ve come to believe we have to fit the mold. Maybe some of us use the intercessor cloak as an excuse to act outlandishly, so that no one will call us to account for our odd behavior. Friends, it isn’t necessary.
Intercessors and prophets are closely related. Many prophets are intercessors, and many intercessors are prophetically inclined. Prophetic intercessors often see things symbolically, and sometimes we are led to enhance our prayer with symbolic gestures or phraseology. Some of us occasionally experience intense “travailing” in prayer, which can include odd noises – groaning in the spirit. Intercessors understand these things among ourselves, but usually it is best left within the prayer circle, not carried out into the church world at large. And this is not even what I mean by acting weird!
I have observed that when intercessors pray or prophesy publicly with their eyes rolled up into their sockets, screaming or gasping heavily at the end of each sentence, flopping and stomping on the floor because their prophecy or prayer is so exciting, that the pastor, try as he might to look impassive, is not usually having a fun time with the whole situation. And then we wonder why he doesn’t “receive” our word. Could it be because the delivery of it is just plain bizarre? Act like that, honey, and I’m not going to receive your word either — not now, not next week when you are behaving semi-normally!
I’m not sure where these prophecy-enhancing theatrics first came from. I have my suspicions that somebody saw somebody else doing an unusual maneuver and thought it was the spiritual thing to do. It’s not. You can pray or prophesy without the shenanigans. There are times that people do shake under the anointing of the Holy Spirit and it is legitimate. But it’s not necessary to go into convulsions just because you are hearing how to pray or have a word from the Lord. (Most of us can tell the difference between when God is shaking you up and you are simply doing it in the flesh anyway.) Just say your piece as calmly as you can, so that everyone can understand you. 1 Corinthians 14:32 tells us, “And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” That means that when you are under God’s anointing and are thrilled with what He’s showing you, you can control yourself. We want the attention to be on what God is saying, rather than on us, don’t we? At least, I hope so!
Now, I’ve been having a little fun with you. Those were pretty extreme examples I just gave of how goofy it can get. The point is, we can control ourselves, behave normally, and be one wowsers of an intercessor. The most powerful intercessors do not need to draw attention to themselves. They radiate God’s glory and authority, without even being conscious of it. They don’t need to announce their prayer exploits to the world. They carry a “presence” with them of power, peace, and joy that is weighty. They don’t have to make a stink to get others to listen to them. People automatically want to hear what they have to say, because they sense manna from the throne room will come from their lips.
That’s not weird. That’s awesome.
Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual