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-- © GodSpeak International 1999 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

Author: Teresa Seputis <ts@godspeak.net>
Editor: Paul Cummins

Prayer-School Course #5

A Spiritual Checkup For Intercessors

Lesson 10

Helpful Spiritual Disciplines
By Teresa Seputis

We have spent the last 9 weeks running through a spiritual checkup. We have looked at things like our heart motives (e.g., do we want to be an effective intercessor?), building relationship with God, allowing God to speak to us about personal areas of our lives or to supercede our intercession agenda with His agenda, learning to hear His voice and be spirit-led, committing to His Lordship in every area or our lives (even our finances), worship (even when we don't feel like it), fasting, and overcoming condemnation and enemy ploys to get us to disqualify ourselves.

Now, for the final lesson, I would like to share a Spiritual discipline to help tie this all together and make it practical in our day to day lives.

I would like to offer this on two levels:

Spiritual Discipline For Our Personal Walk With God

Early each the morning, pray and invite God to orchestrate (e.g., plan) your day for you and to make you aware of His leading and direction in it. Throughout the day, try to pay special attention to details, asking God and yourself if "this" or "that" is God's hand. Feel free to pray frequently, asking God what He is doing and how you can do it with Him.

At night, before you go to bed, put aside some quiet time and ask God to review your day with you. Ask Him to point out those cases where you heard His voice (and review whether or not you obeyed Him and what your attitude was when you heard Him ... e.g., did you obey gladly or obey grudgingly or did you decide you were not going to do what He asked?)

Ask God to reveal to you the times throughout the day (if any) where you missed His voice all together. If there were any, ask Him how you can be more sensitive to hearing Him next time, what types of queues to listen for, and ask Him to alert you next time you "miss Him".

During this review time with God, begin ask yourself (and the Lord) questions like:

The point of asking all these questions is to look for patterns that might help you more easily identify when God is speaking to you or leading you.

This exercise (or spiritual discipline) is powerful, even when done for only one day, but it is effective when done repeatedly for a long period of time.. like every day for a month.

Spiritual Discipline To Fine-Tune Our Prayer/Intercession Life

You have to be feeling a bit "brave" for this exercise, as it has a tendency to turn your prayer life upside down. The goal is to have our prayer life be spirit-led, to make us confident in the prayer assignments He has given us, to identify those prayer targets we are carrying that God has not assigned to us, and to make us aware of prayer assignments that we've been missing.

The first step is to sit down and prayerfully compose a list of all your regular prayer targets.. things you pray for on a regular or ongoing basis. This may include specific people (such as I pray regularly for my prayer partner Lucy). It may include specific ministries, such as your local church or maybe GodSpeak International. It may include places, such as South Africa or Turkey. (These may be "permanent" long-term assignments, or they may be short term assignments that you are currently carrying.) It may include people you know, specific prayer requests that have been given to you, things you read in the newspaper or saw on the news that sparked your heart. It may include abstract things like a release of God's power and glory over the church or it may be very specific and measurable, such as that the murder rate of Oakland would go down. It may be for people's benefit (such as Lord make Aunt Sue strong in God and a woman of faith) or it may be for a specific need (Lord, Bret's sinuses need healing) or it may for a people group (Lord break financial oppression off of the people in Mitchel's Plain and release financial liberty among them), or it be direct spiritual warfare (taking authority and addressing spirits as God leads, etc).

The next step .. to be done at a different time than step 1 was done, like maybe the next day or later that week, is to sit down and prayerfully go over this list with God. Ask God how He feels about each prayer target.. what His heart is on it. Some of His answers may surprise you.. For instance, I had been praying regularly for my husband's salvation after God had already promised it to me. Yet I continued to petition for it. He told me to stop praying so frequently about that (though an occasional reminder was ok) and to trust Him to do what He has already promised. He said I was wasting prayer energy on something He'd already granted even though I hadn't seen the manifestation of His answer yet, and that I was to put that "prayer energy" into other areas that He had assigned to me. It was actually very "freeing" to not be reasonable to pray for Ed's salvation every day, but to trust Him for it. By the way, the Lord has since raised up several intercessors who He has assigned (on and off) to pray for Ed's salvation. Every time I hear of someone God has raised up like that, it gives me more confidence in His faithfulness to keep His promises.

I found that I was not putting enough prayer out in certain areas, like praying for a friend's family. Shortly after that, the family suffered all sorts of attack and I found an increased energy and intensity to pray for them.. so far most of the family have come through their crisis ok, but there is still need for more prayer in this area.

I found that I was praying for certain things out of obligation, rather than because God told me to. I had allowed a person to pressure me into agreeing to pray for them about something because I was afraid of hurting their feelings. To my surprise, God was not at all pleased with my prayers in this area. He would prefer I don't do that since I was not assigned to that area. And there had been some assignments I'd missed all together because I had been too busy with the "obligation" prayers.

Talk to God about each of your prayer targets.

Do this several days in a row.

God may not say much to you about some of them, and that is ok. But, you will notice that God will repeatedly tell you YES or NO regarding certain assignments.. the ones that He repeatedly says NO to, cross them off your list for a few days and see what happens. The ones that He repeatedly says YES to, this is where to put the majority of your prayer focus.

Ask God to teach you not only what to pray, but how to pray for it. Be very open to His leading. Allow Him to move you in new areas.

Now, the last step is to ask God to make you aware, each time a new potential prayer target comes into your prayer life, as to how it comes in, whether or not it is an assignment from God for you to pray about. I am not talking about the one-time prayers, but rather the requests and targets that you feel led to "pray through."

Ask God to show you what type of intercessor assignments He has called you to. C. Peter Wagner has identified four types of intercessors, and many have found his categories very helpful. If you know what types of prayer assignments the Lord typically gives to you, it will make you more effective. Because you can concentrate on your area of expertise and not waste time on things you have not been called/gifted to pray for. Briefly, here are the four categories:

General Intercessors... these are people God empowers to pray for specific
prayer requests. Typically they are ones who will take on a specific prayer requests and thoroughly pray it through .. until the request is answered or God says "stop praying". This type of intercessor often keeps a prayer list and often keeps a prayer journal with dates, requests and the date and way the request was answered.

Personal Intercessors... these people seem to be assigned to cover specific
individuals. They are often in some type of relationship with this person, but sometimes they don't know them personally. They will often pray for many different aspects regarding this person, and may be open to taking requests from the person, but will have difficulty praying for requests/individuals who they don't feel God has assigned them to. Personal Intercessors may feel called to cover all aspects of a ministry (such as GodSpeak International) instead of just specific individuals.

Strategic Intercessors... these people tend to get specific short term
prayer assignments from God. These can vary from covering an individual to covering an event to covering specific requests. Assignments can last from a few days to a few months. Often these assignments come directly from God, complete with some from of supernatural revelation, and not from formal prayer request lists. Strategic intercessors usually cannot pray prayer lists, and cannot commit to praying through specific prayer requests that their friends and acquaintances may bring them. In fact, many strategic intercessors tend to dread "praying lists".

Warfare Intercessors... these people seem to be called in to direct spiritual
warfare, direct engagements with the enemy under direction from God. This can vary from personal deliverance to taking on stronger demonic principalities. They often have the gift of discernment and supernatural revelation from God regarding enemy activity/plans. These intercessors seem to move under a divine protection, suffering relatively little spiritual counter-attack for the warfare they engage in. However, if someone not assigned to this type of warfare were to do the same activities, they will often get wiped out bigtime..

By prayerfully paying attention to the types of prayer assignments the Lord gives you and how they arrive, you can begin to get an understanding of what type of intercessor God has called you to be. Some people find they fall into two or even three categories. But knowing these categories and where you fit in them can be quite helpful. For instances, if you are a general intercessor (my favorite type to have on prayer lists), then you will be very good at latching onto a request God has quickened to you and praying it through. You will also be good at discerning when God says it is time to stop praying for it. You will like to have prayer requests and prayer needs made known to you, and you will find vague abstract prayer requests rather frustrating. You will love to receive feedback of how God answers your prayers, and you will be used to getting lots of feedback of God answering prayer.

On the other hand, if you are a strategic intercessor, prayer requests and prayer lists will drive you crazy, making you feel frustrated and confined. You would rather be given general info on a situation and go wait before God and for His instructions on how to pray for it.

Now back to how this applies to the spiritual discipline... The reason this information is pertinent is because you are now asking the Lord to help you identify what type of intercessor you are and what type of style you work most effectively in. Invite God to show you clearly what style of prayer He has gifted you in and called you to, and then ask Him to begin to orchestrate more opportunities for you to move in the element He created you to be effective in. At the same time, ask Him to show you the areas (if any) where you are being pressured by man (instead of assigned by God) to pray, and ask Him to quickly identify to you when you are taking on a prayer assignment that is not of Him.

Remember, the Goal is to prayerfully review your prayer life with God, and to fine-tune it so that your prayers are even more spirit led and even more effective.

I hope this teaching series has been a blessing to you...

[Please Note:
This is intended as a discussion series. Please feel free to send your discussion (comments or questions) to prayer-school@godspeak.net. We will have online discussion each week. These discussions will NOT be put on the course WWW page.]

-- © GodSpeak International 1999 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

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