Thursday, June 27, 2019

Preparing for Intercession

VIDEO: Preparing for Intercession

When intercession is done for family members or friends, you will need to prepare for what is to come. Unlike interceding for strangers, when family or friends are involved we remain part of the process that is initiated with our prayer. Even if we are not leading the prayer, there will be an important part for us to play in order to receive fruit (good results) from a prayer of intercession. 

On occasion, Agape Christian Fellowship has seen the hearts of kids instantly open up after their parents remove the charges from the enemy giving generational curses a place. Unfortunately, this is rare. People have free will so their hearts must be ready to turn to God. More often than not, change takes time: it is a journey, not a magic pill. 

If God has placed others on your heart, you need to be prepared to be used by God. 

In order to be used by God, most of us need to prepare ourselves and examine our walk before we pray. There are three things we need to have ready when asking for intercession for friends or family. If these are not in place, we need to work on getting them into place as quickly as possible: 

  • How to receive guidance from God. 
  • We need to have a level of maturity and be growing in knowing God and His ways. 
  • We must have the fruit of God’s Spirit in our life. 

Even if you do not need to work on all three of these, there may be at least one that will need improvement for your part in intercession. I hope you will take a close look and decide if there is a need for any of these in your life to help those closest to you, to deepen their relationship with God. 

1. Receive from God 

When God begins moving into the lives of our loved ones, we are part of the process, whether we like it or not. We need to know: 

  • When to speak  
  • When to remain silent 
  • What to do  
  • What not to do 

In order to operate in this way, we need to RECEIVE instructions from the Holy Spirit. He is our Counselor, our Guide. He will show us what to do and when to do it. When to remain silent is the most important thing we can do. Good words spoken at the wrong time can push people away from God instead of drawing them to Him. The Bible tells us: 

...married women, be submissive to your own husbands… so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives… (1 Peter 3:1 AMPC) 

Being “submissive” to men does not come naturally to women. One of the things placed upon Eve when she and Adam were removed from the garden was this: 

...And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you. (Genesis 3:16 NLT) 

Because of this curse, it comes quite naturally to women to want to be dominant in the relationship. For centuries, women have failed miserably at the mission assigned in First Peter 3 because, in order to help our husbands in their walk with God, we forget that we must fight that curse which causes us to try and dominate the relationship and be submissive. This takes great faith. We must trust that even if our husbands are not following God, the Lord will still lead through them. In the free book, “Angels Believe in You,” I give examples from my life where I had to submit to my husband’s will and trust God to change his mind if He wanted me to do something differently. 

A big part of submitting to our husbands is watching our words. My heart is greatly grieved when I see a woman tear her husband to shreds with a sharp tongue! Peter makes it clear, it is by our actions, not our words, that our husbands may come to know God. Knowing what to say and when to say it, is not only important for helping our husbands come closer to God but our children and friends as well. 

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it... (Ephesians 5:25 AKJV) 

Godly men have a responsibility to their wives. Ask yourself these questions about how Christ loves the church? 

1. Did He demand respect and honor by declaring Himself king and forcing submission? 

    • No, He came to be a servant to all. 

even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28 ESV) 

2. Did He give harsh rebukes and criticism? 

    • No, Jesus first loved us, and because of this, we love Him.  

We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19 ESV) 

  • The only time Jesus was harsh was when He was zealous for God’s House. 

And said to them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not My Father's house a house of merchandise. And His disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of Your house has eaten Me up. (John 2:16-17 AKJV) 

  • Did Jesus ever force anyone to believe in Him and acknowledge Him as Savior? 
    • No, He loved, spoke what God said for Him to speak, performed signs, wonders, and miracles, which allowed the Father to draw people to the knowledge that He is the Son of God. 

And Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it to you, but My Father which is in Heaven. (Matthew 16:17 AKJV) 

As the godly leader of a household, you must treat your wife the way Christ treated the Church with love, respect, kindness, and let the Father draw your wife to God. Husbands could benefit from spending more time with their wives and finding ways to show they care. Men must also listen to the Holy Spirit about what their wives are ready to hear! 

Putting your foot down if they disrespect God is okay, but we, as Christians should be ones who are hard to offend for our own sakes. There is also a proper way to raise our kids. Most of us know the saying, “spare the rod and spoil the child,” but few know the scripture it is based on: 

Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. (Proverbs 13:24 ESV) 

This means that discipline is necessary, even when it is difficult to do at times. We should also consider this scripture: 

And, you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4 AKJV) 

We must know what battles to fight with our kids — when to discipline and when only a discussion is needed. In order to know what to speak and when, we must listen to our Counselor, Teacher and Guide, the Holy Spirit. What if we are not hearing from Him? 

The Lord has given our ministry two helpful tools to help you hear more from the Holy Spirit. The first is the book, “Why Doesn’t God Speak to Me?” This may help you understand how the Holy Spirit is speaking to you and guiding you. For practical examples, “Angels Believe in You” is Lynn Hardy’s testimony where she describes how the Holy Spirit began guiding her. Both are free (including shipping) at Agape-CF or under Free Materials. 

Our prayer team would also be glad to pray for you according to the revelation of grace and mercy received at Passover. The material in the first class in the free CoH Academy will give you the scriptural backing for the prayer: after completing the class, feel free to sign up for prayer with our team members: 

2. Growing in God 

When those close to us are being drawn to God, they may have some questions that need answers. We need to know more about God and His ways so we have the necessary knowledge to help those around us. Reading God’s word also strengthens our spirit, which will help us hear more from God. 

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby… (1 Peter 2:2 AKJV) 

When we read God’s Word it will feed our spirits and help us grow. That is why so many scriptures are in each article and each class at the Academy. As we learn God’s ways, it is important to remove any sin that the Holy Spirit reveals. Even if we have embraced the way our parents, church, or ancestors have always done something, once we find out that it is wrong, it is important to remove it from our lives. The New Testament is full of encouragement for us to stop sinning: 

Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness? (Romans 6:16 AKJV) 

When we sin, we are placing ourselves in Satan’s hands. We have seen the truth of this in visions during trips to the Courts of Heaven. Christians are seen as shackled, blindfolded, hooded, or even worse. It is the sin in our lives that gives the enemy the right to affect us like this. Taking Jesus as Lord will get us into Heaven, but to be free of the enemy we must stop obeying Satan. 

How can you help someone come closer to God if you are being attacked or blinded by the enemy? Growing in God is important if we are to help others come to know Him and see our loved ones set free! 

The classes at the Academy abound with information that we have gained from thousands of visits to the Courts with hundreds of people. As we saw five out of ten people attacked by the enemy because of one particular sin, we created a class about it. We hope you will consider learning what the Holy Spirit has revealed in the Courts of Heaven! 

3. Fruit from God 

Attaining a deeper relationship with God for your family and friends’ journey may not be smooth and easy. The enemy may attack them, which in turn may cause them to speak harshly to you. This is not only an excellent opportunity for you to develop the “fruit of the Spirit,” it is vitally necessary to keep you from sabotaging God’s work! 

The fruit of the Spirit includes: 

  • Love 
  • Joy (gladness) 
  • Peace 
  • Patience (an even temper, forbearance) 
  • Kindness 
  • Goodness (benevolence) 
  • Faithfulness 
  • Gentleness (meekness, humility) 
  • Self-control (self-restraint, continence) 

(1 Corinthians 13:3) 

Love is listed first and it is the primary fruit from which all fruit flows. Only God can help us love others as He loves us. This is the foundation of our Christian faith. When helping those around you move closer to God, all of these are important, but a few are required: 

  • Patience 
  • Gentleness 
  • Self-control 

We must have patience so that God can have His full work in the lives of those around us. Even if it doesn’t look bright and cheery, if it looks dark and dangerous, we must be patient and KNOW that God has this! 

But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. (Luke 8:15 AKJV) 

It takes patience to see the fruit (good results) from prayers of intercession. There may be times when those close to us will be rude and even abrasive and outright attack us for our beliefs. If we don’t have this fruit of the Spirit, we will need to quickly develop it. 

  • If we are impatient, we could push them to take steps they are not ready for, which may cause them to rebel against the progress they have already made. 
  • If we haven’t developed gentleness and we respond in pride instead of humility, it could give the enemy an opening to push them farther from God. 
  • If we are not self-controlled, we could lose our temper and say horrible things, which may turn into a stumbling block for those we care about. 

An example will help to better explain why FRUIT is so important. I have interceded for my husband who was baptized a few years back. However, because of the intercession last year, he finally was able to step forward at church and fully give his life to the Lord. It has been quite the walk since then. Last week was a perfect example of how vital these steps of preparation are. (Numbers that follow indicate the preparation steps): 

My husband, Tony, and I were driving across town while I was re-reading a prophecy that was coming to pass in the world. He looked greatly annoyed. I asked if he was upset with me about something, and he insisted he was fine. 

All of a sudden, the car filled with the smell of cat urine. “Tony, did we just drive by something weird? Do you smell cat pee?” I asked. Tony shrugged, “I don’t smell anything.” 

Since I had received messages from the Holy Spirit before about demonic activity by this type of smell (1), I wasn’t surprised when a gentle nudge from the Holy Spirit had me put my phone away. I prodded a bit, “You really seem irritated about something…” 

He sighed, “I’m just frustrated with that car of yours. I tested the radiator for an exhaust leak and it came back positive. That means I have to change the head gasket again!” 

“Is there anything else it could be?” I asked. 

Tony grumbled, “The only way for exhaust fumes to get into the radiator is the head gasket. It shouldn’t have to be done so soon after the last time!” 

“Oh, I’m sorry, Honey,” I said, “I didn’t know the situation was so serious. I haven’t even prayed about it.” 

“Yes, you have!” His tone was loud and demanding, “You have been praying for a new car for years and where is it?!! Don’t EVEN say that you haven’t prayed about this!” 

I put a stranglehold on my temper (3) which wanted to shout back at him that this is why I don’t volunteer to pray for you more, because of THIS attitude. Taking a deep breath, I tried to calmly explain by saying, “That isn’t the type of praying for a car I was talking about. I also pray for God to help keep this car going until His provision comes. That is what I was talking about praying for.” I continued by stating, “I would have asked God, ‘why is this car having issues when we don’t have a new one yet’?” 

“You have still prayed about the car and you just said you didn’t.” He insisted. “And now you want me to do nothing on Sunday. Well, I’ve been doing nothing and nothing gets done! Now I have this car to fix and when will I have time if I keep taking Sundays off?”  

Remembering that the Holy Spirit had revealed that the enemy was here and trying to cause me to be offended, so I ignored his jab and looked at the real issue. I remained silent for a few minutes, focusing on only saying what the Holy Spirit wanted. “So then it isn’t only the car, it is about doing what the Bible says and honoring God on the Sabbath?” I asked. 

Tony growled, “I’ve been trying for the last two weeks, and look where it’s gotten me!” 

I didn’t say anything for a good five minutes as I just waited on the Holy Spirit for guidance. Finally, as we pulled into Taco Time for some fast food, I said, “I don’t want to sound like Yoda, but, Honey, with God there is no trying… there is only do or do not. Either you are going to do it God’s way and rest on Sundays so He can work in your life or you are in charge of your life and will work on Sundays.” 

Tony nodded but didn’t say a word. He had time to think about it as we placed our order. While we waited for the food and I sat across from him, I took both of his hands in mine and stated, “Honey, you are the smartest, most capable, and talented man I know. You are able to fix anything and accomplish anything you set your mind to. Because of this, it is hard for you to ask for help, to admit that you need help, and realize that there are things you cannot do. 

“Maybe God is just waiting for you to take your hands off things and say to Him, “I NEED your help. I CANNOT do this on my own! God cannot work on something that you are determined to control. You are honoring God and giving the work to Him by taking a rest once a week. Maybe the enemy is trying to get you to pick things back up by not honoring the Sabbath, this way he can keep God from helping you.” 

He had tears in his eyes as I finished speaking, just as the food arrived. I didn’t speak of the matter again. I gave the Holy Spirit time to work on Tony’s heart. 

The next week, Tony took another look at the car. He told me the issue wasn’t as bad as he thought. 

To help my husband quickly overcome this test from God, I needed to be prepared. 

  • If I hadn’t received the warning, I might not have been ready for the battle. It was a spiritual battle.  
  • If I hadn’t learned about the Sabbath and how we should still try to honor it unless there is some deep need, I may not have spotted the real point of the attack. 
  • If the Holy Spirit had not helped me develop fruit, pride may have caused me to respond to Tony’s jabs about prayer and I may not have had the kindness to let the Holy Spirit speak to him and encourage him through me. 

This is why it is critical that you are prepared to intercede for those close to you. When they begin walking toward God, you can either be a hindrance or a help. They may never know how much you have done for them until they get to Heaven, but once there, they will know. Until then, we must do what our Lord has commanded us to do: 

If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (Matthew 16:24 AKJV) 

A cross is a heavy burden, a sacrifice. It starts with learning about God and His ways and doing what He says. It begins at home with the ones we love. If we cannot show God’s love to the people closest to us, then we have not yet developed the fruit of the Spirit to the point where we can be used by God. In 1 Timothy Chapter 3, God shows us that in order to be a leader in God’s church, we must have the fruit of it shown in our home life. 

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