Intercessor... Who Me?
I haven’t always known how to pray. Even though, growing up the Pastor’s kid, it was always assumed I was confident to pray out loud. It may sound like an oxymoron, but the truth is I got so frustrated one day, I prayed and asked God to teach me to pray. This was after encountering the Lord and experiencing His baptism in water and the baptism of the Holy Spirit at a very young age. I prayed this prayer after growing up a Pastor’s Kid, going through Bible college, and leading a youth group with my husband as a young married couple. Of course, I prayed growing up and I learned what the Bible said about prayer, I listened to sermons on the topic and even went to classes on prayer. But then, on an average day, in 1996, the Lord told me He wanted to teach me how to pray. My prayer life has never been the same since! I began studying scriptures and taking notes on all that He was teaching me, and immediately put into practice these things with the people I was training in worship and dance.
I want to share with you what I experienced on my journey to learn to pray, and the insights God taught me on how to pray with the impact of His great love. I went from feeling uncomfortable when praying to feeling the overflowing compassion of God’s heart and desires as I prayed. The very fact that I have something to share is a demonstration that God, indeed, is still in the business of answering prayer!
It is interesting how the term “opposites attract”, describes the story of so many marriages. This was absolutely true for me and my husband. Those who knew us back when we first met were undoubtedly scratching their heads, wondering how the boisterous young man and reserved young woman came together. My husband has a way of being in the center of what is happening, and when he enters a room, his presence announces his arrival. I am the opposite, I tend to observe what is going on and then contemplate my involvement. We are both expressive, spontaneous and willing to step out and take a risk. But these play out in different ways; he is more reactionary and I am deliberate. I believe God enjoys our differences, and wants us to as well. This is true for each of us in the body of Christ. We each have unique qualities, style, and gifting that will come into play as we walk in the way He leads us as we discover the good things He has planned in advance for us to do. This is my story of discovering how God would want to use my uniqueness to carry out His purpose.
In 1991, when my husband and I traveled to Portugal with my parents, the Lord spoke to me in a special way. We were there to visit churches where my dad was ministering and get a taste of overseas missions. As we prepared to return home, a group of people prayed over us. These were long-time, family friends who had come together from different parts of the world to meet in Portugal at a church's celebration. They spoke many words over us that have come to pass. One of the words, was that together, Lee and I would lead a procession of praise, drawing others into God's love and joy. Less than one year later, Lee and I became involved with the March for Jesus, leading people in worship at the park and the procession of praise to the State Capitol Building. God used this time to teach me how to share what He had given me, instead of keeping it to myself.
We participated in the March for Jesus for 8 years, bringing people from churches all over the Boise Valley together to sing praise and worship God in one accord . Lee brought singers and musicians from numerous churches together to form one team, and lead participants in corporate worship before the procession to the Capital steps. I trained women and children from the local area to worship God with dance, using the tambourine, streamers, flags and choreography to come together as a team for the event. Only God could have arranged the details leading us into that place. It was during these times of leading others into joyful celebration and reverent worship that my heart was transformed and a new style of prayer and intercession was birthed into my heart.
Many people doubt they can or will be used of God for other people. They don’t envision themselves as intercessors. Others honestly admit that they are not compassionate by nature, nor do they feel drawn to help the hurts or meet the needs of others. I never had felt the need to fast or pray for other people. But, I had asked God to teach me to pray. He answered my prayer by giving me new desires; I began to feel God’s compassion and desire for others. Once God began to initiate intercession, I no longer struggled or had to muster up my own desire to pray. When I focus my mind and my spirit on God in a song of praise, an exchange happens; I release everything weighing on my mind to God, and instead, receive a glimpse of His heart and desire. My heart might not be particularly drawn to intercede for a person or situation, but the Bible tells us that the compassion of the Lord never fails. It never ends! The Lord’s never ending compassion comes into my heart and inspires me to pray for others. If your only desire is to be a worshipper, then make it a practice to sing songs of praise to God and focus on your heart on Him. All you have to do is simply be open to God’s heart, and He will be the one to lead you to worship and prayer on behalf of others. Your worship will make you a partner with Him in bringing His plans and purposes to pass on this earth, sometimes in your life, and sometimes in the lives of other people.
Dwell on Psalm 37:4 this week. Apprehend any unhealthy desire you have, take it to the cross and yield it to God. Ask the Lord to increase your desire to seek Him this week; Ask Him to plant His desires in your heart. Meditate on what taking delight in the Lord means, and how you can delight in Him.
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 - NIV
Just rest in Him this week. In your personal worship time, tell the Lord you are open if there is anything He wants to show you, and then relax and worship Him. If something or someone comes into your mind, simply speak out a prayer and then continue worshipping. If you have a hard time sitting still, then you don’t need to stop everything to go sit in a chair to do this. You can do this when you’re getting ready in the morning, doing dishes, driving your car, riding your bike or even walking. So, you can see why closing your eyes isn’t necessary either. You do not have to pray, worship or spend time interacting with the Lord the same way or in the same style as anyone else. God made us each different and I believe He really enjoys the variety. Be released to be whom He made you to be, and make your time with Him an adventure this week!
Next Monday I will share what happened next on my prayer journey and what I heard Him tell me to do, as I delighted in Him in worship and prayed Psalm 37:4 over myself. I would love to hear what God does with each of you this week also. I invite you to come back and comment or send me a message.