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-- © GodSpeak International 2001 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

Rodney Hogue <RodHogue@aol.com> http://www.restorationdepot.org
Teresa Seputis <ts@godspeak.net> http://www.godspeak.net
Editors: Teresa Seputis & Bob Hawley
Transcriber: Nichole Marshall

Prayer-School Course #17

Getting In God's Order

Lesson Ten

Why All of This Applies to Intercession

By Teresa Seputis

You might be asking yourself why we have spent the past nine lessons trying to understand and fit into God's order, since this is a forum dedicated to prayer and intercession. However, this topic is relevant to intercessors, in fact, it is a vital area for them. If you want to be effective in prayer and intercession (e.g., if you want to have your prayers answered), then you need to understand and obey God's ground rules. We cannot be effective intercessors unless we are in right relationship with God and we are doing things His way.

There are many reasons that intercessors need to be in the center of God's order. Here are a few of them.

Our Personal Walk With God

We started this teaching series by looking at God's call and plan for our lives, and how we can understand what it is. God has a wonderful plan for you, and you will be happier and more content when you are cooperating with Him in it. This is because God custom made you (your personality, your skills and your abilities) with that plan in mind. He made you to feel fulfilled when you are in the center of His perfect plan for you. And your prayer life will be more effective when you are in the center of His will and plan for you.

It is part of God's plan for all of His children to worship Him and to regularly spend time drawing close to Him. It is one of those five broad scope purposes God has for all of His children. (Lessons 1 and 2 discuss this.) But it is even more crucial for an intercessor to spend time in His presence and to draw near to Him. We intercede from this place of intimacy with God. We draw near to Him and wait on Him to find out what is on God's heart so that we know what to pray and how to pray for it. The more you know Him, the easier it will be to hear and see what the Father is doing. Effective intercession arises from that place of intimacy with God.

And relationships are also crucial for intercessors. (They are another of those five broad scope purposes God has for His church.) They apply to us as intercessors because God expects us to come together in unity and pray in one accord. I know that at times it can be tempting to crawl into our prayer closets and shut out everyone except God. But God does not want us isolated. He wants us to be in good and close relationship with others. That is why He said, "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them" (Matt 18:20). In other words, our right relationship with other believers ushers in His presence. He also said, "I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven" (Mat 18:19). Now, it takes relationship for two or three to come together in agreement. God wants His intercessors to have healthy relationships with others, and He increases our prayer authority when we do that. He does not want us to become isolated, where we become easy prey for enemy attack.

Because of this, it is a good idea to have some prayer partners or an overseer, whom you can pray with and be accountable to. You can run things by them any time that you have questions on your intercession assignments. They will help you to sort out when you are on target and they will help you to refocus if you wander a bit off track. They can pray for you and war on your behalf should the enemy counterattack you for your prayer activity.

Spiritual maturity is another must for intercessors. Maturity is a natural outgrowth of spending time with God in worship and intimacy. As we spend time with Him and submit to Him, the Holy Spirit transforms us to be more and more like Him. We need to be continuously growing and maturing in Him as we carry out our intercessory assignments, or something is seriously wrong. It is a natural part of the process for intercessors to grow closer to Him, to mature in Him, to learn to die to self and to begin to resemble Jesus more and more. The closer we get to Him, the more we become like Him. If we are not growing and maturing in God, then something is seriously wrong, and we need to stop our intercession and examine our prayer life with Him.

Authority and Intercession

We saw that our own authority arises out of our being correctly submitted to the authority that God places over us (Lessons 5-7). Of course, Jesus is our head, He is the top authority over each one of us. We must be in submission to Him and committed to obey Him if we want to see His authority operate in our prayer lives.

As intercessors, we want to hear from God, pray what He shows us and watch our prayers become a reality as He answers them. For instance, we desire to pray for the sick and see them healed. We desire to break the enemy's oppression off of people and to see God's kingdom advance. But prayers along these lines are effective only if we pray in Jesus' authority. How do we get that authority? We get it by submitting ourselves to His authority, and by being committed to obey Him. We must live by the guidelines He has already laid down for us in the Bible. In John 15:14, Jesus said that He expects us to obey Him because we love Him. In other words, we willingly submit to His authority because of our relationship with Him.

But it is not enough just to submit to Jesus, we must also submit to the authorities who Jesus has placed over His church. We are not in a vacuum in our relationship with God; we have joined and fit together with other believers to work together to accomplish His purposes. God did not throw us together in random groups. He intentionally and purposefully joined and fit us into fellowships, into churches. And it is through His church that He releases His power and authority into our lives. He has placed leadership in the church to give it order and to enable it to better meet His plans and purposes. When we are in right relationship with the leadership that Jesus has placed in His church, we are submitting to His authority. Think of it in military terms -- you can't be an effective soldier if you are not under the chain of command over you.

This submission to God and right relationship to authority becomes a "covering," or a protection, from which we can pray and intercede effectively. It is also a protection for us to be joined together and in right relationship with each other. And it also is the vehicle through which God releases His power and authority in our lives. He set it up this way: You can't operate in God's authority unless you are under His authority. You won't have power and authority in your prayer life if you are not in right relationship with the authorities God has placed over you. If you want to be truly effective in your prayer, you must be truly in submission to the Lord.

No Holes In Our Armor

"Holes in our armor" refer to those areas where we are vulnerable to enemy attack because we are out of God's will and order. These holes are the place where we are not quite right with God and the enemy can come along and clobber us in them. Some of these holes are obvious to us. For instance, we know that we should not engage in spiritual warfare when we are in blatant sin in some area of our life. We know that unholiness leaves us wide open to enemy counterattack. We tend to keep ourselves pure sexually, abstain from obvious sins like stealing and lying. We try to walk in righteousness before God. But if we are not obeying all of His fundamental principles, then we have some holes in our armor that we may not be aware of. And the enemy can come in and attack us in these areas over and over again until we get into the center of God's order.

One of these areas is finances. In fact, it is a very big area. If our finances are not in order with God, the enemy will try to lay claim to them. If we are in a place were we engage the enemy (either directly or indirectly) by prayer, we had better be tithing. We had better be giving God our first fruits. We need to be showing God that He is the most important thing to us. We spend our money on that which we consider important. Are you showing God, through your finances, that He is important to you?

There is another reason why we want to have our finances right with God. Jesus explained it in Luke 16:10-11. He said, "He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?" What are the "true riches?" Are they money? No, because mammon is money. and God is saying He uses your faithfulness in mammon (e.g., finances) to determine whether or not He can trust you with what is really important. So, what is really important to God? What does He consider true riches?

The answer is that God considers "true riches" to be His power and authority, which are be used to do what He is doing with Him. True riches are highly effective prayers. True riches are power and anointing when you pray for the sick, so that you see them get healed and get up out of their wheelchairs.

There is another "hole" that we might not be aware of and that we must guard against. That hole is allowing unforgiveness or bitterness to creep into our hearts and thinking. Jesus said that we must forgive others from the bottom of our heart or God will turn us over to the tormentors (Matt 18:34-25). What do the tormentors do? They kill, steal, destroy and make you miserable. Is enemy counterattack doing this in your life? If so, you need to stop to examine you heart before God and identify and deal with any unforgiveness or bitterness you may be harboring. I am not trying to say that if you are under enemy attack, this means you have unforgiveness in your heart. You can be under attack for other reasons. We know that Jesus walked in perfect holiness and forgiveness, but Satan attacked Him. Jesus was building up God's kingdom, which was tearing down Satan's kingdom. Jesus' activities attacked Satan's kingdom, so Satan fought back. I am not saying that if you are under attack, you have unforgiveness to deal with. But what I am saying is that if you are under attack, to examine your heart before God. If there is any unforgiveness that might be giving the enemy an open door to torment you, slam that door closed. We need to learn to walk in right relationship with others and we need to walk in forgiveness. If we don't do that, we are turning ourselves over to the enemy to be tormented.

I will to deal more with the subject of holes in our armor and enemy counterattack in our next lesson.

-- © GodSpeak International 2001 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from copyright@godspeak.org --

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