Discerning How to Pray

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-- © GodSpeak International 1996 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

Discerning How to Pray (July 18,1996)

by Teresa Seputis

There are times when an intercessor knows s/he 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... after they have been given an 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" for more information.

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 somthing that is a totally different approach than what you expect.

Let me share the experience (about 4 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/deliverance ministry. The Lord showed me that my friend, Chuck, was feeling depressed and discouraged and had been under a cloud of dispair 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. Instead, I asked the Lord to show me how to pray effectively for this.

The Lord said that Chuck needed to worship to break this off, but 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.

It 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 Him 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 cuz 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 lathargy 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 devistating 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 interfer 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!

Many blessings!

- teresa

-- © GodSpeak International 1996 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

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