I am a prayer warrior. As a matter of fact my name, Geraldine, means warrior with a spear! I have been an intercessor for many over the years and even had the privilege to travel with Intercessors International to Ludenscheid, Germany to work with a team of intercessors for a European Vineyard Worship Conference. I am continually called upon to pray for people, places and things!
It is generally my pleasure to pray for those who contact me with their needs and sometimes their wants. However, there is one area where I find it very difficult to pray as I am asked. That occurs when someone contacts me repeatedly yet fails to follow through on the counsel or advice given.
Because of the way Father has trained Roger and me in prayer ministry, I can usually see root issues that need to be dealt with in the caller. I try to gently make suggestions, share specifics of what Father is saying regarding the situation, give a scripture that handles the problem or more specifically I can share my personal experience. It is this last scenario that holds the most power from Holy Spirit as I share what has worked for me. “A man with experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.” Rev. Jerry Gibson, Retired Pastor.
For that person who repeatedly asks for prayer during their crises, I say, ‘first things first.’ Have you sought the Lord in your own behalf? Have you gotten on your knees and really pursued Him for answers? Have you spent time in soaking worship as you seek His face and yearn to hear His voice? Have you written down what He says in answers to your specific questions and followed His direction? Have you done these things before you reach out to someone else to pray for you?
Lastly, a pattern that I often see in folks who don’t do their own seeking, is that when you offer them what the Lord may be saying in a situation, that they never take the advice seriously and they just wait for the next crisis to call you and ask you to pray for them again. Often their response is that they have already done or are currently doing what you are suggesting. These folks seem to know it all… already! What I believe they are missing is that even though they may have dealt with the issue at hand in the past, Father may be wanting to bring further healing in the same area…going deeper than He has in the past. This is very often the case. We have found over the years in prayer ministry and personally in our own lives that He will re-visit an issue or situation in a person many times before the root issue is finally dealt with and cut off.
Please be aware that I am not suggesting here that reaching out for prayer is wrong. It is NOT. What I am saying is that if we start with ‘first things first’ by pursuing Father, Son and Holy Spirit for ourselves we are showing a level of maturity in Him. Like the song says, “I must tell Jesus all of my trials. I must tell Jesus for I cannot bear my burdens alone. If I but ask Him, He will deliver.” We must practice going to the Lord first with our cares, sorrows and burdens BEFORE we ask for prayer from someone else. First things first. Go to Him on behalf of yourself and THEN ask a seasoned intercessor to pray in your behalf. If you do that, be willing to follow their counsel and any wisdom they get from Father for you. Learn all you can by each encounter so that you will be prepared to minister the same to whoever comes to you for prayer in the future!
True intercession is an art. Seasoned intercessors hear from the Lord. Learn their importance in the Body of Christ, but don’t use them for your personal gain. They have paid a great price to serve the Lord in this capacity. Grow from your encounters with them. Bless them often by asking how you can pray for them!