Entries Tagged 'Prayer' ↓

Intercessory Prayer

20120726-132517.jpgLast week we got to sit with our intercessory prayer team and interview them, Late Show style. It’s one of those ministries that often cops a lot of flak for being out there on the Spiritual Edge, but that our senior pastors felt it important enough to highlight to our key team, means that we as a church are placing intercessory prayer exactly where it’s supposed to be – in the midst of it all.

I think the team did a brilliant job of bringing attention to what is such a necessary part of church life, without over-dramatising what can often be a very misunderstood ministry. Here’s a few of their responses I jotted down.

What’s the difference between praying for your pastors with your agenda vs God’s agenda

When we pray we don’t have an agenda because we genuinely want what God wants for them. You can come with with your own agenda, or what you think you should be praying for – and it might even be a good thing, but usually it’s not what God wants us to pray for. So we come with an open heart ready to allow God to show us what to pray for. It’s in that place that revelation happens.

How do you know what to pray for?
God places a burden in my heart. If I truly have the heart of the senior pastors, and Honour them, God will trust me to carry burdens for them. It’s as simple as that, and it means I can pray that “effective” prayer that gets straight to the heart of the matter.

How would you describe the ministry of being a watchman?
A watchman is a person that God trusts with a special revelation. It means being a friend of God. Because often it comes through the whispers and little hints that you can only get through closeness. It’s a real protection ministry that carries a heart to keep our pastors and our church safe. It carries a responsibility to expose the enemy’s plans.

What is the power of prayer and fasting?
It’s never about “God if I do this, then you will do that”
It’s about humbling yourself at the foot of the cross.
It allows more of him and less of me.
If you feel that God is bringing you to a point of breakthrough, a fast is often the tool that breaks through that final barrier because a greater authority and anointing comes at those times.
The higher the calling, the deeper the foundation needs to go.

Nia: And, Fasting is food. Every time the bible talks about fasting it’s about food.

Who can come to an intercessory prayer meeting?
If you carry the heart and the vision of the house then this ministry might be for you. But unity is SO important to what we do that if your vision is for something else, or some other ministry, then it won’t work. It might not be that the vision you have is a bad thing, it might be exactly what God has called you to – but what we’re praying for is in support of the vision of this house, which has been entrusted to the hearts of our Senior Pastors, and so everything we do and say must be in alignment with that, because if it’s not, even if it’s some other ‘good’ thing, then the enemy will use whatever he can to get in and cause confusion and disunity.

What part of your role is about holding up our leaders’ arms?
we’re moving into a season where we need Aarons and Hurs at every level. What we do is vital to supporting our Senior Pastors, but the truth is that the full on ministry we do has a reality of weariness that we must be ready for. As a team we can all adopt a position where we hold up the arms of those who stand for us, and praying for them is one of the best ways we can do that.

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Why did Jesus teach us to pray in the first person plural?

Did you ever wonder why Jesus taught us to pray using phrases like; “Give us…”, “Lead us”, “Forgive us”?  Doesn’t it seem strange that, in what we would consider to be an intimate one-on-one moment with God, He would have us use words that quite clearly bring others into the moment.

Maybe that’s the problem.  You see I’ve always been taught that you pray on your own, in your prayer closet, on your knees, or out away from others because the idea is that you first need to achieve some sort of transcendent moment where you become acutely aware of only your presence and God’s.  And the times where you pray corporately, well that’s just to help those who don’t pray so well on their own.  but maybe there’s more to it than that.

Don’t get me wrong, Jesus showed us the intimate prayer life we’re supposed to have as well.  Garden of Gethsemane – case in point.  So I’m not discounting that.  But you see for Jesus he understood prayer from within the culture that He was raised in.  A culture that taught, and still teaches today, that when you pray, you’re praying with others.  When you worship, you worship with others.  When you hurt, others hurt with you.  And when you rejoice others join in on your Joy.  From a Jewish perspective there is no real separation between your relationship with God and the impact it has on the community you are a part of.

But today we’ve lost a part of that Community Awareness.  I don’t just mean being aware that there is a community around you, but an awareness that understands that when you sin the community is affected by sin, when you forgive the community forgives along with you, when you are lead into temptation the community is lead with you, and when God provides your ‘daily bread’, He does so for the whole community.

Perhaps the idea is that we don’t just include our community/family/friends/church/etc at the end of our prayer closet time like a shopping list of others to pray for before I can sign off with God.  But maybe, when we pray, we should be perceptibly aware that our lives have been inextricably interwoven into the lives of others, and that is how God sees us.  As a community.

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