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-- © GodSpeak International 2004 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

Author: Teresa Seputis <ts@godspeak.net>
Editor: Elvi Glass

Prayer-School Course #28

Bits and Pieces
Miscellaneous Teachings & Testimonies
On Subjects Relevant To Intercessors

By Teresa Seputis

Lesson 5
Determining Prayer Direction

Discerning How to Pray

There are times when an intercessor knows he/she has been called to pray for someone and even had been given divine insight into the situation the person is facing (danger, fear, trials, etc). Yet, when the intercessor goes to stand in the gap for that person, the intercessor feels totally ineffective, almost as though their prayers were bouncing off of a stone wall. This is frustrating to an intercessor. When God gives them a prayer assignment and divine insight into the situation, they expect to be able to pray effectively.

If you ever encounter this type of situation, where you know you've been called to an assignment but can't seem to make progress on it, you may need to "check in" with God for more information on how to pray.

The next time the intercessory anointing/intensity is on you, ask God to show you HOW He would like you to pray for your assignment. If you are called to break off demonic holds, then a petition prayer will not work. On the other hand, if you are busy doing spiritual warfare on the person's behalf when the real problem is a deep wounding that God wants to heal, then warfare won't help much either. Ask God exactly what He wants to do in the person and what prayer methods He wants you to use to pray His will into reality here on earth. He may surprise you with something that is a totally different approach than what you expect.

Let me share the experience I had many years ago where I learned to ask how to pray as well as what to pray about. The Lord put an intensity on me to pray for a friend of mine who has an international inner-healing and deliverance ministry. The Lord showed me that my friend, Chuck, was feeling depressed and discouraged and had been under a cloud of despair for about a month. If I just jumped in and started praying based on that revelation, I would have probably bound spirits of discouragement or petitioned the Lord to give him a fresh spark of hope and joy. But for some reason, I did not just jump in. So I asked the Lord to show me how to pray effectively for Chuck.

The Lord told me that Chuck needed to worship to break this off, but he was not at a place where he could do so at the moment. So the Lord asked me to worship Him on Chuck's behalf. That sounded really strange to me when God first told me that. I figured that I'd heard wrong and double- checked my hearing. I did not have a concept in my personal theology to worship God on another person's behalf.

However, that turned out to be one of the most fun intercessory assignments I've had. I put on very joyful praise music and worshipped the Lord, every so often reminding God that I was doing so on Chuck's behalf. I ended up dancing around the room (fortunately no one but me was home) and jumping for joy and laughing and being overcome with the Lord's goodness. After a couple of hours, I knew that whatever had to be accomplished in the Spirit had occurred and I was done. It was 5:00 PM on Saturday afternoon. I worshipped a little longer simply because I wanted to worship the Lord on my own behalf as well as on Chuck's behalf.

Two days later, I telephoned Chuck and asked him about it. Sure enough, he had been under a deep depression and lethargy for about a month. But he said that I didn't need to pray for him about it because it had recently lifted. So I asked Chuck when it lifted and he said late Saturday afternoon, about 5:00 PM or so.

Who would have ever guessed that praise and worship on someone's behalf could possibly be an effective form of intercession! Yet it was how God told me to pray and IT WORKED! That was the experience that taught me to ask God how to pray for an assignment after He'd already shown me what to pray for.

If you ask for prayer direction, and don't get any, you might want to consider whether or not this prayer assignment is really from the Lord. When people find out that you are an intercessor (or even just someone who likes to pray, they will tend to load you down with prayer requests). The effects of this can be rather devastating on many intercessors... it can get you so bogged down that you don't want to pray anymore. In short, if you take on prayer assignments the Lord has not given to you, it may interfere with the ones He has given you, and may also overwhelm you or make you feel flustered.

If you are not getting anywhere with a prayer assignment, then check in with the Lord and make sure that this is really an assignment He has given you. If it is, He will certainly give you clear direction on how to pray for it. If it is NOT an assignment He has given you, then you should not be trying to cover it in prayer!

Attacks In The Natural May Mirror Things In The Spirit

Some time ago I noticed that often physical "attacks" that come against someone seem to mirror the spiritual gifts God has given them or be an indicator of what He is doing in the spirit. Of course, this is just a guideline, and CERTAINLY NOT ALWAYS the case. But it is frequently the case.

Let me give you a few examples. A while ago a woman came and asked me to pray for her feet. Out of a clear blue sky about three years prior, she started having all sorts of physical pain. The doctors were not sure of what was causing it and of how to treat it, but felt it was some type of bone deterioration in her feet. She shared how this started right after she'd done a foot washing of an inmate in a prison. She felt it was a spiritual attack -- that she'd somehow picked up a demon during the foot washing and needed a deliverance.

As I listened to her story, I kept hearing the verse "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of them who bring good news." I asked her if she felt she had an evangelistic gifting/calling and she said most definitely. So, instead of using a deliverance type of prayer strategy, I simply blessed her feet and blessed/released the gift of evangelism that the Lord had put in her. As I prayed, the passion she had for lost souls began to resurface in her. Her focus changed from her physical problem (constant chronic pain in her feet) to things of God's heart, particularly God's passion to reach the lost. The Holy Spirit was on her for about 1/2 hour. When He lifted, the pain was gone and she had recommitted to the Lord to walk out her evangelistic calling.

Another time someone who was hard of hearing in one ear came to me for prayer. As I prayed for their physical healing, I kept hearing God say that the problem was not physical but spiritual. The man had been given a prophetic gifting and Satan was attacking him in the area of his physical ears to mirror God's wanting to open his spiritual ears. I stopped praying and asked him if God had been stirring him in the prophetic. The man replied yes, but that it was "tricky" for him to discern God's voice from his imagination. So he often did not deliver words when he got them, for fear that he might be wrong. Oftentimes God would show him something about a person and shortly afterwards, that thing would become public knowledge. I stopped praying for physical healing and started blessing/calling forth the prophetic gift that the Lord had given him. As I prayed, the ringing in his bad ear stopped and he could hear better than before we started praying. It was not a total healing, but a noticeable physical improvement.

I have noticed that a lot of intercessors have various types of back problems. If someone who is an intercessor comes to me with a back problem, I spend more time blessing their intercessory gift than praying for the back. God usually heals their back when that happens.

About two years ago, I had a rash of painful ear infections -- no sooner would one be "treated" than another would occur. My poor doctor could not figure it out and ran some tests that did not tell him much. I did not think about it at the time, but an interesting thing was going on in my life at that time. This was when the Lord was beginning to do a prophetic impartation in me, and was starting to establish me in it. The ear infections mysteriously stopped after about 3 months. Looking back, it was that 3 month period where I was really being established in this gifting and just starting to move out in using it.

I believe there is a principle that the enemy will sometimes attack in the natural what God is doing in the spirit. This is NOT to say that every time there is a physical problem the enemy is attacking something in the spirit. But sometimes he is. So, I sometimes find it helpful when praying for people to ask them what their gifting/calling is and then to (silently) ask the Lord if this attack is the enemy's resistance in the natural of what He is doing in the spirit with the person. If God seems to be saying "yes" to that question, then my prayer strategy is usually to spend more time and energy blessing what God is doing in the spirit with this person than physical healing prayer -- though I throw that in briefly too, just to make sure the person I'm praying for feels I'm addressing their prayer concern.

This is NOT to say that I pray for all physical healings this way -- just that it is a strategy the Lord has added to my "arsenal". In any given prayer situation, we need to ask God which strategy to use for the ministry situation at hand.) But, I do tend to see a high percentage of physical healings when the Lord tells me to go ahead and use this strategy.

So when you are praying for someone for a physical healing, consider asking the Lord if this is an attack in the natural against what He is doing in the spirit. If God says "yes," try blessing the gifting that the enemy is attacking.

-- © GodSpeak International 2004 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from copyright@godspeak.org --

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