[Course 38 Index] [Prayer-School Index] [Prayer Mini-Series Index ] [Prev Lesson] [Next Lesson]

-- © GodSpeak International 2007 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

Author: John DeLaughter <john.godspeak@sbcglobal.net>
Editors: Teresa Seputis and Sue Spaulding

Prayer-School Course #38

Praying To Obtain God's Best

By John DeLaughter

Lesson 11
Dealing With Our Emotions In A Godly Way

We started to talk about the difference between emotoins and faith in our last lesson. We learned that God created us with emotions, and that we don't want to turn off our emotions and become an unfeeling Mr. Spock from Star Trek. But at the same time, we don't want negative emotions to run rampant and get in the way of our faith.

The problem we face is that when God makes us wait on Him for an answer, our emotions may rise up and try to talk us out of standing on faith.

Emotions May Help Us To Uncover Something Important In Our Life

God may use an emotion to uncover something that'll help us survive the wait. In other words, God may use an emotion to uncover a need. That is why we need to ask God what the surfacing of an emotion means.

Do you find yourself feeling lonely while you wait? God may use that emotion to point out something. He may be saying, "Where are your intercessors?" Enlisting the knees of another plays a major role in successfully waiting on God to fulfill His promise. But what if the promise you are waiting for has alienated those who should form your support group? Spiritual things can sometimes separate people (1 Corinthians 2:14).

What should you do? God can bring people of prayer into your life, those whom He has appointed to pray for you. The folks that walk in that plane of the Spirit may be called in a variety of ways. God may place on them a supernatural burden that brings them to ask you about your situation.

There are three elements to successful team praying. Team members must be scouted out, they should meet certain qualifications, and they must believe in teamwork. First, ask God to scout out others for you. Once in the Sinai wilderness, Moses needed help to lead Israel (Numbers 11:11-30). God shifted the burden to seventy other elders so that Moses wouldn't have to bear the load alone.

God doesn't want you to carry the burden of waiting on God by yourself (Galatians 6: 2). Ask God to put praying people into your life. Such a person may be found right under your nose. Ask God for people who emotionally resonate with your problem. God can split your burden just like He divided the leadership responsibilities for Moses.

What should you look for in a faithful co-warrior? Numbers 11 gives some qualifications for co-prayer warriors. One, they should be spiritually mature, responsible people. Moses was told to choose people he knew to be elders of the Israel. An elder is one who takes care of himself, his own family, and others outside his household.

Two, the person must be willing to be led. Moses told the elders to assemble at a certain place and time, and he didn't worry about whether or not they would make it. The person must be willing to follow your lead in prayer; they should not dismiss a prayer request, even if they judge it insignificant.

Three, the person must be willing to be spiritually stretched. The Holy Spirit fell on the elders and they prophesied; that had never happened to them before. Your fellow prayer warrior must be willing for God to work through them in unexpected ways. The objective isn't spiritual manifestations; but God may use the person in that fashion anyway.

I remember in one instance where God gave me a prophecy for a family while a child was dedicated to the Lord at church. I wrote out the prophecy and passed it on to the grandmother, who was the Children's Pastor at my church. I thought I had done my part. After receiving the prophecy, we went over one part of the word which stated that people were going to come up along side her, like a submarine suddenly appearing (the prophecy had some nautical themes). She said she believed that God was indicating that He would raise up people to pray for her family. She then asked if I would pray for her family's situation.

Little did I know when I agreed to pray for her family, how long an intercessory assignment this would be. My point is this: If God were willing to do that for the Children's Pastor of the church, then why wouldn't He be willing to do it for you? Think of how lonely Elijah felt after the great victory on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18-19). In his discouragement, Elijah thought he alone carried a torch for God. Then God encouraged Elijah with the news that there were 7,000 others in Israel beside the prophet who were still loyal to Yahweh (1 Kings 19:18).

Lastly, chose a person of the same sex (Titus 2: 2-5). You are enlisting a prayer partner, not a life partner. Too many signals get crossed and good intentions are lost when the person is of the opposite sex. This is especially true when prayer begins with opposition to the dream from a spouse. Your life is complicated enough without adding more problems to the morass. The exception to the rule would be your mother or father, sister or brother, or a godly mother-in-law or father-in-law.

I want to re-emphasize God's promises over agreed-upon prayers before we move on. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 states that "Two are more powerful than one. Two people can open a shut door--or a veiled heart--faster than one. Two voices are louder than one. Two people possess twice the strength of one. Two people have more hours in the day than one. Two people bring different perspectives on what to pray. Two people possess two sets of ears to hear God's instructions on how to open the door. Two sets of eyes can see things that are missed by one set.

For team members to be effective, they must believe in teamwork. How can two walk together unless they agree? Get someone to agree with you on praying through a door. Experience the power of team praying as expressed in Matthew 18:19: "...Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by my Father Who is in heaven."

Be Honest About Your Feelings

God may use our honesty with Him to prevent demonic infestations. In other words, God wants us to be open with Him about our emotions. Many Christians discount their feelings, deny them, or suppress them out of conscious awareness.

We must be careful not to conceal our feelings from God. First, we can't hide them from God. Second, when we try to hide our emotions from God, we hide them from ourselves. Once our feelings are out of sight, we may forget them; but they can take on a life of their own.

My household regularly sends care boxes to the Philippines. Sweets, such as chocolates, often find their way into the shipments. Candy bars are treasured overseas, because they are expensive. My wife, to keep the sweets out of the hands of the chocoholic in our household, hides them for later transport. Sometimes the boxes sit in the house awhile, awaiting the funds to pay the packaging company. In the interim, my wife may think she forgot where she hid the chocolates...but they have not disappeared, because I (the chocoholic) have devoured them!

But if my wife has truly forgotten where she hid them (and I haven't found them), all she has to do is look for an ant trail, and she'll uncover the missing chocolates. But at that juncture, the creepy crawlies have made the sweets unfit for human consumption.

Do you see any correlations between creepy crawlies and demons? Do demons trash our forgotten treasures? God doesn't want us to create uninvited infestations into our lives by hiding our disappointments from Him. Read Psalms, Job, and Jeremiah. Rather than a saccharin version of Christianity, one that candy coats reality, we see real people experiencing real problems. They share their innermost frustrations with God, even when He's the object of that annoyance.

Amazingly, God seems big enough to handle our feelings. The Lord even commends people like Job for expressing his emotions (Job 42:7-17). Our feelings and emotions are important to God; He created the emotional side of our beings.

This teaching should not be construed as a validation of living in a chronic state of discouragement; nor should the module be taken to condemn anyone suffering with depression. Chronic feelings of discouragement may result from a chemical imbalance, an unbalanced relationship, or demonic attacks. Such feelings should be treated, based upon their cause.

How does this honesty with God square with the "Word of Faith" and "Positive Confession" theology? I don't claim to be an expert in that set of doctrines. I'll relate this to waiting on God for an answer to prayer and the emotions we experience at that point.

God wants access to all of you. You can't quadrant off a part of yourself that you or the enemy's lie deems as unacceptable to God. In time, the enemy camouflages his position, and the hidden lines become bars. We feel stuck and in need of liberation. The devil loves to leave Christians jailed when they've almost reached the open door. Now, two doors must be opened: the door to the person's cell, and the door to the person's destiny. Many can't see the door to their own cell; so when the door to their destiny opens, they can't understand why they can't walk through it. The door of their stockade stops them cold.

All analogies break down at some point. But here's what I've found: Talk with God about your feelings. Set up a chair in a room where you can be by yourself and won't be interrupted. Share your disappointments and discouragements with Him, as though He is right there (He probably is). That action fulfills 1 Peter 5:7, where we are told to: "Cast all your anxieties upon Him, because He cares for you."

The word "cast" there may also be translated as "roll." Roll the burdens (or feelings) you've gained while waiting on God to His shoulders. Those concerns are normal, or God wouldn't have included this passage in His Word. If you read the words immediately processing that passage and immediately following it, you'll find it's talking about waiting on God (verse 6), the demons that stalk us as we wait on God (verse 8), and our weapons available to combat the enemy (verses 10-11).

The "same experience of suffering experienced by your brethren" is a fancy way to describe the overcoming testimonies found in the Word of God and given by brothers and sisters who've had victory in a similar situation in the present generation. If we resist the devil without rolling our burdens on God, we're going to find ourselves behind bars of our own making.

You can resist the devil with a positive confession or "word of faith." Jesus used memorized Bible passages against Satan. But in my opinion, memorizing Scripture doesn't eliminate or replace the need to roll your concerns on the Lord.

In our next module, we'll examine the controversial subject of "doubt" and an intercessor's waiting on God.

-- © GodSpeak International 2007 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from copyright@godspeak.org --

[Course 38 Index] [Prayer-School Index] [Mini-Series Index ] [Prev Lesson] [Next Lesson]