Praying for others..

Recently, the Lord has encouraged me to pray this prayer, which is in Colossians chapter One verses 9-14. The Word of God is powerful and if you are interceding for others then this prayer could be a good starting point for you too.

“For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” Amen

May God make His face to shine upon you today and grant you His favour. Bless you.

Joseph Hero of the Faith (7)

We’ve been looking at Joseph’s character over the last series of posts, which had so much to encourage and teach us about Godly character as disciples of Jesus, but today’s question is Why Egypt? Why was it necessary for the action to take place in Egypt.

Jacobs’ family lived in Canaan. They were shepherds with livestock who moved their flocks around in search of pasture. Their environment and pastures were suitable for that but not for large scale agriculture. The famine that was coming was going to be devastating on an unprecedented scale and preparation was key.

It was not uncommon to have famines in those times. We read in the bible that there had been several famines already. In Abraham & Isaac’s time they had been forced to travel to foreign lands to buy food. This famine was going to be different though. 7 years was a long period of famine. It was going to affect a large number of people.

Where was a fertile place that could produce enough food to sustain the people and surrounding nations over seven long years with planning and preparation. Egypt was the answer. It was a natural resource.

The river Nile regularly flooded and the delta region around the Nile with its mud flats was rich in minerals and natural fertiliser. It was an extremely fertile region and capable of producing great harvests. A land of abundance.

Joseph was found and placed in the place where the resources were. God put those resources in his hands to be a blessing to many.

Has God given you a vision or mission field but at the moment you just don’t see how it’s going to be possible because you don’t have the resources currently. If God has given you the vision then He will provide. He is Jehovah Jireh. The Lord who provides. God knows where the resources are and can make them available to you for His glory and His purposes. God will provide according to His riches in glory.

God can provide not only the resources to make the vision come to pass but can also direct your paths to the place that is ready to receive. Your mission field. The place of harvest. God can take you to a place which is fertile and ready to receive God’s Word. You might already be right in that fertile place. A place where the soil of men’s hearts, through the work of the Spirit of God, been turned from stone into flesh, softened and ready to receive the Good News of Jesus.

Prepared in prayer with tears of intercession for men’s souls. Brother Alan posted recently the passionate plea of John Knox “ Give me Scotland, or I die”. What passion in prayer for the lost. You can read that post here John Knox

The Nile valley was so fertile that any seed which was sown didn’t need to be ploughed into the ground. The ground was so softened by the regular floods it was ready to receive the seed and the seed could immediately take root and grow.

The fields by my home ploughed ready for the seed

The Lord will show us those people whose hearts are prepared ready to receive the Gospel of Jesus. They are out there desperate and thirsty for the gospel. Jesus told His followers that the harvest was great. There are people who are open and desperate to hear the Good News of Jesus.

Then He (Jesus) said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Luke 10:2

One of the greatest lies the enemy would have us believe is that people are not interested in what Christians have to say. They are interested. People are hungry for the Truth and are looking for it in all sorts of places. Be encouraged and bold that the Lord will direct your steps to share with those who are open and ready to receive.

If the ground is hard and not ready to receive then the seed is going to wither and die. Have you seen what happens when a heavy rain storm falls on hard ground. The water can’t penetrate the ground quickly enough and there is flash flooding. The ground was not prepared ready to receive the rain let alone the seed. It doesn’t penetrate the soil but runs off.

We don’t want run off.

We don’t want our words to run off like that water but we want them to penetrate and water the soil of men’s hearts. Ploughed soil is ready to receive. Ground that is broken up is ready to receive the rain. Little raindrops from heaven. Little words sent in due season.

If the soil is not ready to receive then it needs to be prepared. If those around you currently are hard hearted to the gospel message then we can intercede in prayer for them before God’s throne for the Holy Spirit to minister to their minds and hearts. For those hearts of stone to be turned to hearts of flesh. We can cry out for them to God. May our cries reach the ears of our Father in Heaven who sent His son to seek and save that which was lost.

If you are like me then I’m sure you have experienced rejection by people who were just not ready to receive you. It can be discouraging and cause us to hold back in future. I am learning that I need to recognise the conditions and discern when to sow and when to reap. To be led by the Holy Spirit and move on if the conditions are not ready yet.

Jesus told those that He sent out to minister that if there was no Peace in the house i.e the place was not ready to receive them – then their peace would return to them. If the disciples were not received then they were to shake the dust from their feet and move on.

And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.
Matthew 10:14

Even though those disciples must have encountered some of the rejection that Jesus warned them about, they still returned with joy to tell Jesus the things they had accomplished in His name.

We will do likewise. We will rejoice over those who receive Christ and come into the Kingdom of God.

Those who sow in tears Shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, Bearing seed for sowing, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, Bringing his sheaves with him.
Psalm 126:5-6

The seed sprouting in the fields

Gateways of Influence

The Lord has been stirring my heart, and also others I fellowship with, to begin to intercede and pray for our area more intensely at this time. As we have met corporately to pray, we have been reminded of scriptures the Lord has given us for our area and prophetic words released for this region. One of the bible verses we have been reminded of and prayed through is Psalm 24. This is a post I wrote a few years ago about these verses.

Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah

Psalm 24:7-10

Psalm 24 encourages us to open the gate and let the King of Glory, that is Jesus, come in.  The one who is strong and mighty and mighty in battle.   

Historically, Gates of a city were important places of influence and decision making. The elders gathered at the gates of the city to discuss and make decisions.

Gates are opened to allow access or shut to refuse entry. This can be for protection and safety. Whoever enters through the gate brings their influence and authority with them.

We all have gateways into our lives and minds.  Every day we make decisions to permit or refuse things to operate in our lives and indwell our thoughts whether for good or bad.

There are gateways for influence in my home, my family, my work place, my town, my region and I want them to be opened for Christ and closed to evil influences. 

Not just a little bit open for Jesus but flung wide open.   

I encourage you to make a decision to swing wide the gate and let the King of Glory come into your situation whatever it is and wherever He needs to be.  Trust Jesus to help you overcome and strengthen you by the same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead and brings freedom.

I believe there is power in prayer when believers come together in unity from different churches to pray about the gateways of influence in their town. The local churches in our area did this for a season as God led us to pray at various gateways within the town.    We saw incredible answers to prayer and signs.

At one prayer gathering, we stood on a bridge over the river Stour which flows into and through our town.   As we prayed, one of our group felt that we should all join hands and sing the words of the song “Swing wide the gate and let the King Come in” which is based on the verses in Psalm 24.

As we sang the two people in the middle of the chain would break hands and walk apart as a prophetic sign that we were opening the gate over our town to the Lord.  

As we did this and moved apart we looked down and an actual wooden gate was floating in the river and floated right underneath the bridge.    We couldn’t believe our eyes at the time.   

The fact that a whole gate was floating down the river and that it passed just at that exact time we broke apart we believe was a heavenly sign from God.  God had heard our prayers for our town and was showing us that the gate was opened.  

We are trusting God to bring that river of His presence into and to overflow through us in Christ Jesus, his body of believers, so that we can proclaim the good news of the gospel of Jesus the King, bring His healing and restoring power to not only our town, but our region and nation.    I encourage you to pray and believe for the same.

Have a blessed day.

Prayer Walking

I don’t know whether you have ever been on a prayer walk or if not, have ever thought about doing one. If you haven’t and it’s new to you then I would encourage you to give it a go. I have found them a great opportunity to get out and about and see my local community where I live and work with fresh eyes. It’s an opportunity to ask God to show us what He sees so that our prayers can help to bring about transformation and change as He wants – His Kingdom to come.

It’s always amazing the things God shows us when we start to look with His eyes – I often have things drawn to my attention which I have never noticed before – I may have walked past them many times without even noticing them but then God draws my attention to them and I really see. Whilst, I may overlook things God never does – His eyes are even on the sparrow.

You can do a prayer walk on your own, in pairs or as part of a larger group. In my experience it is good to go in pairs because you can pray in agreement and also “bounce” things off each other as the Holy Spirit brings inspiration. However, I often prayer walk on my own and really enjoy it. Now that the lock down restrictions are easing at home, we will soon be able to go out and pray in groups again so perhaps, you might join a prayer walk around your local community or even start one. Spring is here – the season of new beginnings so perhaps this could be a new thing for you or you could be inspired to give it a go.

It’s not as daunting or difficult as it might sound and it’s not just for those we may consider the “prayer warriors” or the “super spiritual people” – it’s for us – the ordinary followers of Jesus, the everyday folk, that He enables by His power to do extraordinary things through Him. Most of us probably already go out regularly for walks and with a prayer walk you are just being purposeful. Before you set out simply ask God to show you things that He wants you to see and pray into them.

One way to help get you started, if you are a bit unsure of what to pray initially, is to simply ask God for His blessing and favour on your community. e.g if your walk takes you past your local school you can take a moment to ask God to bless the school, the children and the teachers. Thank God for the school and for the gift of education. If you already know of particular needs in that school or specific issues then you can bring them to God and ask for his help.

What changes would you like to see in your local community?- How would you like to shape it for God. Jesus went out and about doing good and one of the ways that we can do good is to pray. When we go out we take God’s presence with us. We can be instruments to bring about change for good.

I am convinced that God will use you in amazing ways in your prayer walks. I have always been encouraged when I experience and see God at work during these times. The Lord has been reminding me this week about prayer walks and prayer drives I have been on in the past. It’s good to testify about these things and so in due course, I will add a page to my site with some testimonies of the things we have seen and experienced on our walks.

I just want to finish by encouraging you with this quick story. On one of the first prayer walks that I went on with a friend, I asked the Lord before we went if there was someone he wanted us to meet. If so, could he put them in our path. As we were walking around our community and praying, we met two police officers. They stopped us and asked us what we were doing. We clearly looked like suspicious characters 🤣. We explained and they were amazed that we cared enough about the local estate that we were out walking and praying. We asked if there was anything that we could pray about and they told us about some general issues on that particular estate with drugs, robberies, violence etc.

We then asked if we could thank God and pray for them. They agreed and we just said a very quick simple prayer. We just thanked God for them and blessed them. They were genuinely surprised that we were thanking God for them and the work they did. They were more used to people avoiding them and at times hostility and abuse. I believe God will take those little acts and seeds of faith and do something incredible.

Don’t worry if you don’t feel that you could pray for someone you meet on the street. Don’t let that put you off or get you anxious. You don’t have to do that as part of prayer walking. Most of the time no-one will realise that you are even praying as you walk. You may even surprise yourself one day as God gives you a new boldness and takes you along new paths of His presence.

I hope you are encouraged today to step out on your local streets and into your local parks and pray as the Lord leads you x bless you in Jesus name.

A day of trouble

This post follows on from the post which I did recently called the Time of Separation.

The Lord has been speaking to me about a Day of trouble which draws near. A trouble such that the world has not yet known. God’s Prophets have foretold of a day referred to as the Day of the Lord. The great and terrible Day of the Lord. The Prophets have pointed us towards this day. Jesus, God’s Son also spoke of this day.

I believe the Lord wants us to have a greater understanding and wisdom about the Day of the Lord and to pray about this day especially for those who do not believe or have any understanding of this day which will come. There are people who have never heard about this day. It’s to warn them as it will be a day of great trouble for those who do not know Jesus as Lord. I pray that those who don’t yet know God will be brought into His Kingdom and become His Children through faith in Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World. That people will cry out to God for His mercy and to save them. May their hearts be softened and ready to receive the truth about Jesus.

“I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, even among the survivors whom the Lord calls.”
Joel 2:30-32

As believers, we can be comforted and strengthened as we have nothing to fear. Jesus has already delivered us from darkness and translated us into the Kingdom of God’s grace and truth. He is with us through everything. All honour and blessings now belongs to Jesus to give to us as He chooses. Jesus is faithful and true.

Jesus will rule the nations one day with a rod of iron and many at that time will not like it. The lovers of self who will not want to humble themselves and come under His rod of authority. Jesus will not tolerate wickedness, injustice, spiritual adultery, falseness, hypocrisy or anything which is unholy or impure. He will rule with justice but not all will want such justice because it will stop their wicked deeds.

The poor and oppressed will rejoice because their salvation has drawn near and is at hand. All those of a pure heart and clean hands will approach His throne in boldness and with nothing to fear. Their conscience is pure and they will rejoice over the Day of the Lord. It comes as a thief in the night when no-one expects it. I hear the Lord say -Oh foolish man, you see the stars in the sky and you cannot interpret the signs you see. I will open up your eyes and shine a light for true revelation.

Blessed be the name of the Lord Most High forever and ever. Amen. Glory, glory, glory for the King of Kings. A banner will be lifted up above all the nations of the earth. The Lion of Judah has roared. He is the roaring lion. Hear Him roar. Amen.

Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming. It is close at hand — a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness. Like dawn spreading across the mountains a large and mighty army comes, such as never was in ancient times nor ever will be in ages to come.”
Joel 2:1-2

The day of the Lord is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.”
Obadiah 1:15

“Woe to you who long for the day of the Lord! Why do you long for the day of the Lord ? That day will be darkness, not light. It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him. Will not the day of the Lord be darkness, not light— pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?”
Amos 5:18-20

“The great day of the Lord is near — near and coming quickly. The cry on the day of the Lord is bitter; the Mighty Warrior shouts his battle cry. That day will be a day of wrath— a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness — a day of trumpet and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the corner towers.”
Zephaniah 1:14-16

“Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. On that day there will be neither sunlight nor cold, frosty darkness. It will be a unique day—a day known only to the Lord —with no distinction between day and night. When evening comes, there will be light. On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter. The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.”
Zechariah 14:3-9

“Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire, ” says the Lord Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves. Then you will trample on the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty. “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel. “See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”
Malachi 4:1-6

Jesus said 24 “But in those days, following that distress, “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25 the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ 26 “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens. 28 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. 34 It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. 35 “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”
Mark 13:24-37

“Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter —asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”
2 Thessalonians 2:1-4

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
2 Peter 3:10

The Lion of Judah roars over the nations

The alarm goes again…

In late October I shared about my heavenly awakening in the night by the sound of a loud alarm clock.

I was awoken again this morning at 4.00 a.m by the same sound.

I believe the Lord is calling His people to pray in these days and to call out to Him with an urgency.

God wants to give us His heavenly perspective on what is happening and reveal the enemies strategies in this hour so that we can pray with wisdom and understanding as the Holy Spirit leads us.

We have been warned many times about deception in these days. The enemy has a great strategy of deception at work. His lies must be exposed.

We are living in unprecedented times but God has called us ..that’s you and me ….and appointed us for these days. We are the Esthers, the Daniels, the Josephs for these days.

We may feel weak and insignificant but in God we are mighty and powerful. When we humble ourselves before God and call on our Heavenly Father then we become more than conquerors in His name.

All of heaven is cheering us on and encouraging us not to give up but to remain faithful to Him that has called us.

All nations have been impacted by COVID 19. The scale of international debt is incredible and that will come with a heavy price to pay. There are economies of the world which have been decimated by this disease and the full impact is yet to be felt. The UK as a nation is now in so much debt.

America, Britain and Europe are all in the midst of turmoil with the presidential election and Brexit happening. We need Gods’ help in these days. Who is there to turn to except Him for He alone has the words of eternal life.

In October the Lord said that many are confused about what is happening. We have seen this following the U.S. election result but God is still sovereign. His word does not return void but accomplishes what it was sent forth to do. Gods word is powerful.

There is fertile ground for deception and much deception, lies and false news is being spread. Many are searching for truth and the Lord says if you Seek Him you will Find Him as He is the Truth, the Way and the Life.

Let us pray and encourage each other to pray. Blessings to you this day in Jesus precious name.

Mercy, righteousness and justice in the nations

This morning the Lord spoke these words to me –

“I am looking – I am looking down from heaven over the earth and I am looking for a people who will execute judgement and righteousness in their lands.   People who will stand in the gap for their nations and who will cry out with a voice to heaven for mercy on those who are wicked and who are doing wicked things.

Let the voice of those who are righteous cry out at this time.  Let there be a cry that goes up from the day to the night before the throne of heaven.  Let there be mourning and crying for the wickedness of the earth is great.   The poor are oppressed, the strangers are treated harshly, the needy are exploited, there is no justice for the righteous, the innocent are killed and slaughtered all day long.

Who will stand up and cry out for those?   Who will take their side?   Who will rise up for justice and righteousness in their lands?  The pillars of justice and righteousness are to be re-established in the nations.  Woe to those nations who oppress the poor and needy.  Woe to those nations who mistreat the vulnerable & do not offer shelter to the foreigner and those who have no homes.  Woe to the selfish & the proud.

This is the time to offer mercy and to help those in need.  If you turn your back on those in need then why should my Father in heaven pour out blessings upon you.   The treasures of heaven are stored up for such a time as this.   Do not ask with a selfish heart for yourselves for there is more than enough for all.   Did anyone in My house ever beg for bread.   I am the bread of life and there is an abundance in My hand.

Search your hearts.    When did you help those in need or are you just concerned for your own needs?  Are you just interested in your own kingdoms and to build your own kingdom or are you looking to build My kingdom.

Lo – you need to wake up and listen to Me.   The shout has gone out from My throne – Wake up you sleepers and rise from the dead and I will give you light.   Now is the day – Take hold of today for you do not know what tomorrow will bring.    Amen.

backlit cemetery christianity clouds
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Beware of a false peace

God reminded me today of this picture and word he gave me many months ago and so I am reposting it today. The current Covid 19 situation came to mind. Is this a warning from God not to think all is over or getting better but to remain vigilant and keep our eyes on Him. Are we in a time of a false peace and need to prepare for the rest of the storm to pass over.

Perfect peace is found in God and not in our circumstances or situation which is changeable.  Today as I was worshipping God,  I saw a picture of a big storm, a hurricane.  As the hurricane passed over there was “peace” at the eye of the storm.  However,  people know from experience that this peace is a “false peace” because the rest of the storm is still to pass over.   In whatever our circumstances, we could be deceived into thinking a temporary lull is the answer to our prayers and relax.   We may not then be prepared for the rest of the storm.   I sense God is warning us not to be deceived by a false peace but to remain watchful and seek Him.  To fix our eyes on Him.  To continue to pray and intercede as the Holy Spirit leads us.  Seek Him in all situations for Godly wisdom and discernment so that we continue to press in and do not relax our prayers.   Keep pressing in.

eye of the storm image from outer space
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Intercessory Prayer

Intercession “Hyperentynchano” means simply to “ask God on behalf of others”

We do this when we pray for each other.   It is scriptural that fellow believes should pray for one another.

Ephesians 6:18 “and always keep on praying for all the saints”   James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

Jesus interceded often for his disciples. He told Peter that he had interceded on his behalf:   But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail” Luke 22:32

In Jesus’ prayer in John Ch 17 we see that Jesus prayed not just for himself but for his disciples: 9 “I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me”

and then for all who would follow Him: 20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message” – that’s us Hallelujah.

Paul interceded and prayed often for the early church so that they would grow in Christ and be strengthened.

Ephesians 1:17 “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”

1 Thess 3: 12 “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 13 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones”

Galatians 1:3 “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”

Philippians 1:9 “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God”.

Colossians 1:9 “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light”.

Paul also recognised that he needed prayer and asked the believers to pray for him:

Ephesians 6:19 “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should”.

Romans 15:30 “I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. 31 Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there, 32 so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed”.

The lessons for us are:

1.We need to pray for one another so that we can be strengthened in faith and grow in Christ.   If you are not linked with anyone in prayer then I encourage you to seek a prayer partner or to become part of a prayer triplet.

2.We must not be too proud to acknowledge that we need support in prayer from each other. This is particularly true for those in leadership in the church. You need prayer support.

II  Intercession – also means to “plead on behalf of another” to“mediate” or “intercede” or be the go-between for others with God in prayer who are not in a position to represent themselves.

i.e when we pray to God on behalf of someone who is not saved or someone who knows God but has broken fellowship through sin, a community, a town, a nation etc.   We come before God’s throne on their behalf to pray that God’s love, mercy & His plans & purposes will be established in their lives

i.e“Your kingdom come, Your Will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” Matt 6:10

Paul said:  1Timothy 2:1 “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone– 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

It is scriptural to pray for those in our nations who are in power and the political leaders whether you agree with them or not.

B             WHY DOES GOD REQUIRE INTERCESSORS?

In previous posts I have said that in order for God to hear our prayers we need to be in right standing with God and praying through the person of Jesus Christ. We have also seen that the Holy Spirit guides and helps us in our prayers and makes intercession “according to the will of God”.

We are therefore called to stand on behalf of those who are currently through their sin and disobedience removed from God and to repent on their behalf and pray for God’s mercy to be poured out upon them.

In prayer we want to break down spiritual strongholds to help people come to a place of repentance and reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ. Our nations will be judged for their sin one day before the throne of God and also those who have not received Christ Jesus and his redemption. We can intercede in prayer for people, the nations etc for God’s mercy to be poured out and people’s hearts to be softened towards God.

This type of prayer is sometimes referred to as “standing in the gap”. i.e. in prayer we “stand in the gap” before God on the person, group, communities’, nation’s behalf. They are not in relationship with God because of sin/disobedience but we “bridge the gap” because of our position in Christ to God and can in prayer appear on their behalf before God’s throne.

Imagine a courtroom – the judge is God, the prisoner (sinner) is in the dock, his lawyer (representative) on his behalf (us) speaks to the judge and pleads in mitigation for the mercy of the judge.

God said: Ezekiel 22:30 “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.

God was actively looking for an intercessor for the people. God is actively looking for intercessors today to stand in the gap for the unsaved & the godless nations.

In Scripture there are many examples of the ministry of intercession:

1.ABRAHAM

Abraham interceded with God for the people of Sodom & Gomorrah. Genesis 18 23-32.

God revealed His plan to Abraham to destroy Sodom & Gomorrah because of the great wickedness carried out there. Abraham started to intercede on the people’s behalf – first asking God whether he intended to destroy the righteous along with the wicked or whether the Lord would save the city if there were 50 righteous people. He then went on to keep pressing his case until he got God to agree to show mercy if there were 10 righteous people. If there had been 10 righteous people then God would not have destroyed the city. Unfortunately, there were not even 10 righteous people in the place.

Abraham did not manipulate or twist God’s arm but in fact the passage shows that God wants to be merciful and He is a merciful God.   Abraham showed his compassion for the people and was prepared to intercede on their behalf even when in reality they were so wicked we would have said they deserved destruction. However, God is looking for that same compassionate heart in us when we intercede for others.

We have all been saved “by grace” God does not want us to be self-righteous but to be compassionate in intercession.

2.MOSES was a great intercessor for the people of Israel when they sinned and God’s anger was stirred up against them to destroy them. Moses interceded when they had made the golden calf (EX 32 11-14).

Psalm 106:23 “So he said he would destroy them had not Moses, his chosen one,stood in the breach before him to keep his wrath from destroying them”.

Moses also interceded on behalf of Pharaoh for the various plagues to be ended (Exodus ch 8-10) for the Israelites, during the battle with the Amalekites (Ex 17:11-14), after the Israelites had made the golden calf (Ex 32:11-14, 31-34; Dt 9:18-29; 10:10; Ps 106:23), after the murmuring of the people (Ex 33:15-17), when the fire of the Lord consumed the people (Nu 11:1-2), when the people murmured on account of the report of the spies (Nu 14:11-20), that the poisonous snakes might be taken away (Nu 21:4-9); that Miriam’s leprosy might be healed (Nu 12:13); on behalf of Aaron, on account of his sin in making the golden calf (Dt 9:20).

3.SAMUEL – Samuel was also raised up as an intercessor for the people of Israel to lead them back to God.

Psalm 99:6 “Samuel was among those who called on his name; they called on the LORD, and he answered them”

Jeremiah 15:1 Then the LORD said to me: “Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people. Send them away from my presence! Let them go!”

4. JESUS

Jesus’ greatest act of intercession for us was when he went to the Cross for us. He reconciled us to God. Jesus is now seated in heaven and is our high priest who constantly makes intercession for us.

Heb 7:25 “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them”.

Romans 8:34 “Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us”

5.  CHRISTIANS – I believe intercession is for every believer.

1 Peter 2:5 “you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”.

“intercessory prayer” fulfills “spiritual sacrifices” You make a sacrifice to stand in the gap for someone.

Matthew 5: 44 ” But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”.

I pray that God will reveal His heart for intercession for others and for His love & compassion for the lost & nations to be revealed to you.

Interceding for others.

 i) Be prepared – As in previous posts allow the Holy Spirit to search you and confess any sin in your life. It is the prayers of a “righteous” man which avail much.

ii) Put on your spiritual armour (Ephesians ch 6) – The belt of truth, helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, feet shod with the gospel of peace, shield of faith, sword of the spirit and then the garment of praise & worship and cloak of humility. See end notes for “The Warrior’s Prayer”

iii)   Know God’s heart for sinners and the nation – God wants to pour out His love & mercy on people but He abhors sin itself and wants people to turn to righteousness.

iv) Allow the Holy Spirit to make intercession through you

Romans 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit also helps us in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 “ Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is because He makes intercession for the Saints according to the will of God”

Ask God to reveal His heart to you about the state of your nation. God is a compassionate and loving God and so be prepared that you might cry, groan, labour in effort and have to keep pushing through etc in prayer when God reveals His heart to you.   These prayers are especially powerful and they birth breakthroughs in the spiritual realm.

v) Pray with faith – Prayerful intercession can turn a nation back to God!!!! Do we believe it?

vi) In prayerful intercession the Holy Spirit may lead you to address the work of satan directly and to take up the authority and victory which Christ secured at the Cross.

vii)          Be prepared to spend periods of time in this type of intercessory prayer. The Holy Spirit may burden you for a season to pray for a particular situation e.g. the church, local schools, government,  towns, nations etc . It may be weeks, months, years etc.

Interceding for an unsaved relation, friend, loved one etc.

What to know before you pray:  2 Corinthians 4:4 “The god of this age (satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God”.

But

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

So, in prayer we take up the authority we have in Christ to bind up and release the person from satan’s influence over their mind and release them to come to knowledge of Christ.

Example Prayer:

[ name person[s] you are praying for], We call you forth into the Kingdom of God.  Satan, we bind your influence over the mind of [name person[s]] now and everything which sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we release[ name person[s]] in Jesus’ name to come to revelation and knowledge of Jesus Christ as Saviour.

We bind you spirits [name specific strongholds which Holy Spirit reveals e.g. pride, strife, unbelief, rebellion, idolatory, fear etc] which are blinding [name person[s]]’s mind to the truth of the gospel and their need of salvation.   We bind you now in the name of Jesus Christ and by the power of the blood of Jesus and the authority of His name and We speak release to [name person[s]] mind now.

We release [name person] from Satan’s influence and his bondage now in the name of Jesus.   Holy Spirit we ask you to bring revelation of Jesus Christ to [name person[s]] mind, to soften their heart and to open their eyes to the truth. Amen.

In prayer we have authority over spirits and not people. We are speaking to the spirits blinding their mind (the barriers to the person hearing & receiving the gospel) so that they have the free will to choose Christ as saviour. We are not seeking to manipulate them into accepting Christ but rather to bind up the opposition so that they are free to make a choice.

A PRAYER FOR THE NATION taken from KINGDOM FAITH MINISTERIES

WE DECLARE that Jesus has defeated the devil by the Cross, having disarmed all principalities and powers. He was raised from the dead and is now seated in heavenly places, far above all principalities and powers, might & dominion and every name that is named.

WE BELIEVE we have been raised up with Him and are seated together with Him now in the heavenly places, far above all influence and power of the enemy, in his freedom and victory. We are united with Him.   His life has become our life. His peace: our peace. His righteousness: our righteousness. His victory: our victory. As He is so are we in this world.

AS HIS BODY together in this place we have God given authority.   The right to exercise power, to rule over all the power of the enemy. Representing the will of the Lord Jesus Christ we now act upon this right. We command every spirit of fear, destruction, murder, hatred & rebellion to be bound in the name of Jesus. We resist you, your power and influence over our nation.

WE RAISE up the victory of the Cross and declare the power of the blood of Jesus to deliver this nation from evil. We loose this victory over the people of our nation by faith in the name of Jesus.

WE PRAY FOR:

-The peace of God to fill our cities, town, villages, streets & homes.

-That the Holy Spirit to minister healing and comfort those who mourn.

-the government, police & transport authorities, the doctors, nurses, & carers of sick, emergency services. We pray for God’s kingdom purposes to rule & reign through them, for there to be wisdom in ruling, morality, truth, no corruption in government, justice, truth, mercy, godliness, ethical responsibilities and a regard for the value of human life.

-Those who are investigating crimes – that God will lead them to those who are responsible and expose the deeds of darkness

WE UNITE together in His name and pray for the revelation of Jesus Christ to come to every people group in our nation for God is not willing that any man should perish, but all should come to repentance. WE BELIEVE as we stand together and act upon what Jesus has done on the Cross that the kingdom of heaven advances and will advance daily. God will grace us to continue to stand enforcing His victory until that final day when Christ returns.  Amen.Prayer – Let’s be inspired