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We are going to look at some of the various ways that God uses to intercede through us. We will also discuss some of the barriers that we encounter when we intercede prophetically.
No matter how prophetic intercession is expressed, it is important to remember that God needs to be in control. There is always the temptation to compare the way God expresses Himself in others with the way He expresses Himself through us. When we see God use somebody in a way we like, we may be tempted to imitate his style. When we do this, we create competition. God loves variety and He loves to work through us individually. He does not want His children to compete with each other. We each need to look to God instead of to each other. When we do that, we give God room to express Himself through us the way He wants to.
I am going to give you some examples of what prophetic intercession might look like. Please understand that there are not any hard/fast formulas for this. There are many ways that prophetic intercession can be expressed, and one way is not better than another.
God will communicate with us in a way we understand best. For example, if we like to sing, He will express Himself through us through song. When this happens He will drop words into our songs or when we sing in tongues, we will notice the tongues change. If we like to dance, His expressions may come through our dance. We may start out with a worship dance and end up with a warfare dance. Or he may just surprise us with a completely new style.
Every time I think I am close to having God figured out, He proves me wrong. I am glad God loves variety and wants to express that variety through us.
Often God will express Himself in a way that does not make sense to us. One example of this is the gift of tongues. When we speak in tongues, we don't understand what we are saying unless God gives us the interpretation. Does that mean we should stop speaking in tongues because we don't understand? Far from it. 1 Cor. 14:2 states: "For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit" Even though we don't understand, we continue speaking by faith. We don't stop speaking in tongues because we don't understand.
The same applies to prophetic expressions. Spiritual things do not make sense to our natural man. Our flesh will always try to resist what God wants to do. The only way we can understand spiritual things is with the help of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:12 states: "We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God that we may understand what God has freely given us." Also it is written in 1 Cor. 2:14: "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned."
As we can see, the only way we can understand what comes from God is by His Spirit. Often God wants to express Himself through us in a way that is uncomfortable to us. When this happens, we are tempted to resist God's prompting because we may think we make them up. Other times we don't want to embarrass ourselves.
A few years ago, I was part of a prophetic home group. The neat thing about being a part of this group was that it was a safe place where we were able to spread our spiritual wings. It was safe to make mistakes. We usually started the meeting with worship. After the worship we turned the meeting completely over to the Holy Spirit. While I was dancing and singing quietly during worship, I felt God's presence strongly around me. As I started yielding to the Holy Spirit I noticed that my dancing and singing changed. I am one of those people who would much rather just hide in the corner and worship quietly, but the compelling was so strong that I yielded to the Spirit's leading. I started singing in tongues. It sounded like an Asian language. Everybody else got quiet and watched me dance and sing. I remember thinking that I should stop because I thought I looked very foolish. I was embarrassed because everybody was looking. Everything in me wanted to stop, but I continued anyway. When I was done dancing a lady who was visiting told the group that God had talked to her about going to China as a missionary. She was waiting for a confirmation from God. She was sitting on the couch crying when she explained that she had seen the exact dance before in China. She also was familiar with the song I sang. She told us that while she was listening she wondered whether I would manage to reach the pitch required to sing this kind of song. Apparently, I had reached the pitch because God was in charge. I am not a singer in the natural and I have no idea about pitches. God expressed Himself through me that day to give her the confirmation she needed to move to China.
I didn't understand what I was doing. It didn't make sense to me, but God knew. I knew that God wanted to express something through me. I continued in faith no matter how ridiculous it may have looked. I hope this encourages you to continue in what God wants to do through you no matter what it looks like. It really doesn't matter what the world thinks. To the world we are fools already. As Paul points out in 1 Cor. 4:10: "We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ!"
What does matter is what God thinks. And He delights in His children who trust Him with the gifts He has given them.
The Bible tells us the story of David in 2 Samuel 6: 14-16 where he gave himself completely to the Lord regardless of what anybody thought. "David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the Lord with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets. As the ark of the Lord was entering the city of David, Michal, daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart."
Michal despised him because she didn't consider David's behavior as appropriate for a king. However, God was pleased with David. God loved the way David expressed his love and adoration for Him.
When we conduct prophetic intercession, we may not fully understand what we are doing. We may even look foolish. But when the Holy Spirit is in charge, we can trust that much will be accomplished. For instance, God often directs me to shoot arrows into specific directions. Following His instruction, I lift my arm as if I am holding a bow and then motion with my hands as if I am shooting an arrow. Even though it looks foolish in the naturea, I believe that an actual arrow is being shot in the spiritual.
Our warfare is conducted in the heavenlies. God's children and angels often war together and the angels are reinforced and activated by our prayers and intercession. When we war we can expect resistance.
An example of the kind of resistance we can expect is outlined in the book of Daniel. Daniel mourned for three weeks because of Israel's transgressions. It wasn't until the end of three weeks that he received an answer to his prayer. Daniel was visited by an angel. Daniel 10:11-13, "He said, 'Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have been sent to you.' And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling. Then he continued, 'Do not be afraid Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me 21 days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me because I was detained there with the king of Persia.' "
We can expect resistance when we pray, especially when the Holy Spirit is leading us. One way the enemy is often successful is by convincing us that what we are doing is not of God. Another way is by telling us that we look foolish when God is expressing Himself through us in an unfamiliar way.
As we build a relationship with God and become more sensitive to His workings in our lives, we are able to recognize what is the Lord and what is not. When we are not sure, it is always good to check with God even if it is a quick prayer like, "God, is that you?"