The gift of intercession is something that God calls us, but at the same time we have to be willing. God started inviting her to intercession after she told God that she would do anything, anywhere for Him. In order to hear clearly from God we need to have clean hearts, so we need to ask Him to clean our hearts from anything that hinders us from giving ourselves to Him. Then God can entrust and share more with us, leading to more effective prayers. This is of primary importance to God: He will wait until our character is ready.
So what is intercession? “Prayer from God’s side is communication between Himself and His allies in enemy country. True prayer moves in a circle. It begins with the heart of God and sweeps down into the human heart, so intersecting the circle of earth, which is the battlefield of prayer, and then goes back again to its starting point, having accomplished its purpose on the downward swing” (p. 225, quoted from S.D. Gordon) The gift of intercession is for people to stand in the gap, people that God tells his heart to and they pray it back. Such people often spend hours praying and are actually energized by praying: Cindy truly loves the days she can spend entirely in prayer.
Usually intercessors have some sort of list of people that they pray for and either ask God what to pray for, or let the Holy Spirit direct their words. Sometimes God will bring someone to mind and/or provide specific details. Occasionally there will be something urgent that God needs an intercessor for. She tells many stories about intercessors that God brings an urgent need for, they pray for several hours and then feel that whatever it is has been accomplished. Afterwards, they find out that the pastor or missionary or whomever was in some dangerous situation from which they miraculously escaped at exactly the time they were being prayed for. This is usually known as “travail,” where the intercessor is fighting against something, or giving birth to something new through prayer. As the Spirit moves in them, the prayor may shout at enemies of the person/situation commanding them back, may physically hurt with their pain, may weep with their emotions, etc. It is the Holy Spirit speaking through them, not something we can do ourselves. At some point it will be accomplished and there will be a sense of deep peace.
Intercession can take different forms, as needed. One form of prayer is agreeing in prayer, where you agree with what God is doing. Another form is persistence until God makes it clear that the prayer is accomplished. The middle-of-the-night prayers tending to be supplication (“begging prayers”), generally in life-or-death situations. Two other kinds of prayer are binding and loosing: binding Satan from accomplishing his purposes and loosing captives into freedom.
One important form of intercession is corporate intercession. Cindy has many stories from the prayer rooms of major conferences where visa problems were resolved, disastrous weather averted, etc. One spectacular story about prayer was during the Battle of Britain in WWII: every evening at 9pm Britain and the Commonwealth would pray. When captured, downed Nazi pilots asked how they managed to field so many aircraft; one commander asked what the secret weapon they enabled at 9pm every night was. Corporate prayer is extremely powerful, and we need to use it to wage war against the powers and principalities which are constantly influencing the nations away from God. Jesus said that the gates of Hell would not withstand the church, but in order for that to happen, the church needs to actually go to the gates of Hell to besiege them. This happens through prayer. Praying against spirits of a city, for example, can only be done corporately (and only after fasting and repenting from corporate sin).
Prayer groups have a bad name in many circles, largely due not carrying out God’s design in prayer. Generally this happens because the members have not kept their hearts clean, and have bitterness towards someone, or have been proud that God reveals his secrets to them. This may lead the group to think that the pastor is missing God’s calling and leading the wrong way, which causes all kinds of problems. Much of this can be prevented by the prayer leader meeting regularly with the pastor and being on the same page as to the nature of the vision that God gave the church. Another danger if God warns of judgment and the intercessor(s) have bitterness towards that person/group, they might pray for the judgment and fail to see that God warns of judgment because He does not want it to happen. If God warns of judgment, he wants us to pray that the person would turn and repent and not be judged.
With her many years of experience, the last few chapters are many practical guidelines for leading prayer groups of all kinds.
I found this book to be quite informative, as it explained many areas of prayer I had not heard of, and provided a theological understanding for why all these strange manifestions of intercessors happen. Cindy writes not only from personal experience, of which she has much to draw on, but also out of understanding God’s ways. This means that she can explain the “why” of prayer, so that even weird things like experiencing other people’s pain make sense. She is very grounded in Scripture and tries to give the principles behind God’s ways. She is also able to identify why the bad things manifest themselves the way they do, which I found helpful in giving some idea of where the limits of God-led intercession is (generally when stops being about the other person is when it starts being bad).
Cindy does a good job of being both thorough with the material and very readable, and I recommend Possessing the Gates of the Enemy to anyone wondering what the gift of intercession looks like lived out.
Thorough, but not a dry intellectual, academic book. She covers all the major points in each topic, giving principles of prayer as well as practical advice. This definitely stands a chance at being a 100-year book.
- Chapter 1: The Call to Intercede
- God would wake Cindy up at 2 or 3 am. She would be wide
awake with no idea. Eventually she asked God why, and she felt
led to pray. She would pray whatever came to her. These
things were specific and detailed, and were confirmed by the people she prayed for.
- A pastor she vaguely knew came to mind at 3:10am, she prayed for healing and for God to tell him that he was not alone. That Sunday, he came up to her and said that he had cancer, was in a lot of pain, asked God if he was really paying attention and God had told him that Cindy Jacobs was praying for him (at 3:10). Later he found out he had been healed.
- This started in a response to a prayer that she told God she would do anything, anywhere for him.
- She discovered that being an intercessor is caught, not taught. You hang around other people and get hungry for God to do that.
- God does not change his character or his nature, but he does change his mind. Many times God would tell her about impending judgment on someone, she would pray and the judgment would be averted and the person changed.
- Chapter 2: Generals of Intercession
- One day, she asked God why Satan was so effective even though he wasn’t omnipotent or omnipresent. God answered “strategy,” and called her to meet up with intercessors at major ministries. He gave her five points:
- No one ministry has all the revelation necessary to strategize over the nations
- It would take His Body coming together for the battle plans to be revealed
- When the ministers came together and each contributed his or her piece of the strategy, God would reveal his plans to us all
- The meetings would tear down barriers between ministries and we would have a united front to wage war.
- Those asked to be generals would be those Christians on staff with major ministries as prayer coordinators. (pp. 33-34)
- The meetings would be:
- Pray for sins of the nation since its beginning (e.g. slavery, treatment of the Indians, of Japanese-Americans during WWII, etc.)
- Use John 20:23 as pattern: if you forgive anyone their sins, they are forgiven. Examples of sins: prejudice, materialism, money, murder, idolatry
- After repenting, God would show which rulers of Satan’s kingdom should be called down from their high places and whose right to reign should be broken. (34)
- Jer 1:10: tear down, and then plant. So pray that the US would return to God
- God would adapt this pattern for each nation that he sent them to.
- Cindy’s husband’s rock-solid faith and support is what enabled this ministry to actually happen from the vision.
- Many ministries had been burned by intercession down wrongly before, but everyone came together in growing unity.
- One time in California, they prayed for the treatment of
Japanese-Americans in WWII. A pastor said “that’s why I can’t
reach the Japanese-Americans in my community,” and asked for
prayer. She thinks their prayers had an impact on a Senate vote
to give $20k tax-free to each Japanese-American sent to internment
camps. Similar stories for other cities.
- Chapter 3: The Clean Heart Principle
- Cindy’s father told her as a girl that God is a gentleman, he will only come in where he is invited. We need to ask him to clean our hearts of what hinders us from giving him full control of our lives.
- “An intercessor is one with whom God shares His secrets to cover in prayer. The cleaner our hearts, the more welcome we can make Him. Then the more He shares, the more effective our prayers will be.” (40)
- God is patient. He will create our character before he gives us our assignment.
- Joseph was prideful. He brought a bad report about some of his brothers, and later when he went out in the symbol of his father’s favor, the multicolored coat (symbolic of our favor with God), they lost it and sold him to slavery. His response to Potiphar’s wife is still prideful: “my master has given me charge of everything, how could I commit this great sin against God?” He failed the test, so he spent some time in prison. When two fellow prisoners had a dream, he interpreted it. He did give God credit, but revealed his pride in his request that they remember him and have him released. He failed again, so God sent him to re-take the class. When Pharoah needed his dream interpreted, Joseph simply says, “I cannot do it, but God can.” He gives Pharaoh recommendations on what to do, but never makes any request about himself. He passed the test, and Pharaoh chose him to be that man.
- “God is not in a hurry. He takes the time He needs to build His character in us. He will patiently and methodically clean up our wicked hearts so He can allow us to pray His purposes into human affairs. Most of us want everything to happen immediately, but God loves to marinade. He wants tender hearts in His living sacrifices.” (43)
- When our hearts are clean, God will entrust us with his
secrets. He will also “be working with us on the third step of
the clean heart principle: letting Him clean up not only the sins
of the heart, but the wounds of the heart.” (45) These
wounds reveal themselves in bitterness.
- God told her about impending judgment on a pastor who had hurt her. At first she started saying “yes!” but then God reminded her that he did not want the judgment to happen. She let God cleanse the hurt, then it was easy to forgive and pray for him. (He changed his ways and the judgment did not happen.)
- “Many intercessors are praying amiss by not knowing their own hearts. They pray things spoken to them by their woundedness rather than the desires of their heavenly Father.” (46)
- At the beginning she would go to people and tell them what God
had told her about them, but that offended them. “As intercessors
we are to cover the person or situation in prayer; it is God’s
job to convict and heal.” (46) If we need to confront sin,
only do it after soaking in prayer. The purpose of the
intercessor is to stand in the gap, to pray so that judgment would be
- “Our prayer as intercessors is, ‘Lord, hem me in both behind and before and create within me cleanness and wholeness of heart that I may be Your servant to stand in the gap.” (47)
- Chapter 4: The Enforcers
- A Muslim university for the purpose of spreading Islam was being constructed. Christians prayed that it would never be opened. One placed a Bible in the foundation. The group building it ran out of money and it was foreclosed. Mt. Vernon Bible College wanted to move and the president was led to the buildings (as well as the Christians who had prayed before that the buildings would be used for God’s glory). The bank gave a 70% discount, and the bank wiring the money also gave them a line of credit.
- Britain and the Commonwealth prayed every night at 9 pm during the Battle of Britain in WWII. Although they were badly outnumbered, Britain still won. Downed Nazi pilots asked where all the planes had come from. A Nazi intelligence officer told about a secret weapon that they had observed being activated at 9 pm every evening (this “weapon” seemed to have the effect of mirages that confused the German pilots).
- Satan wanted the dominion and power that Adam and Eve had been given, so he strategized it out of them. Thus man lost his dominion and Satan got it.
- God does not act against our wills, so he leads people to pray.
- In fact, it was in Gethsemane that Jesus prayed that God’s will would be done on the cross; it was his prayers that enabled the cross.
- Chapter 5: The Ministry of Intercession
- All Christians are called to intercede, but some are called to intercession, a call to stand in the gap. Intercessors tend to spend many hours interceding, while normal Christian intercession is done while focusing on other more dominant gifts.
- Not all prayer is intercession. Intercession has two parts:
- Asking for divine intervention
- Destroying the works of Satan (standing in the gap (Eze 22:30), destroying Satan’s spiritual strategies)
- Note that Satan is not stupid, as some people think. We are repeatedly warned to be on our guard (2 Cor 2:11, Eph 6:11, 12)
- Intercessors are like watchmen: they see the harm about to come and pray against it
- How to develop as a watchman:
- Sign up: tell God you are willing
- Keep your heart pure so that you can properly discern areas for which God wants you to pray (65)
- Develop a God-consciousness in your life; you are “on call”
- Ask God to teach you the proper time and place to sound the alarm (65) Many things that God tells us should not be shared.
- Ask for confirmation that you have heard the need correctly. (65)
- If you are sure you are praying accurately, then you need to ask God whether or not to tell the person what you have learned (66)
- If you are to tell the person, then pray that God will prepare [their] heart to be receptive (66)
- Many times we will not say anything to the person, and let God speak to them. If God tells them, they won’t be embarrassed, rejected, or wounded.
- If you need to sound an alarm about a danger in the local church body, speak to someone in spiritual leadership, and then leave it in their hands.
- Don’t be afraid to pray strange prayers, or if prayers for random people come out.
- One intercessor woke up in the middle of the night with a burden to pray for Hayseed Stephens, an evangelist in Indonesia, whose preaching had led a whole brothel, as well as leaders of local drug and gambling rings, to Christ. The Muslim villagers were upset, and hundreds of them surrounded the house where he was praying. He cried out to God for help, and God woke up Naomi DuPuis in Texas. After that, Hayseed felt great peace and walked through the crowd which parted “like the red sea.”
- “The spirit of prayer that comes upon nations and people actually constitutes the birth pangs of revival.” (68) Jeremiah Lamphier passed out ads for a prayer meeting in New York City in 1857. After waiting 30 minutes, six men came. Next week, twenty. Soon after, they were meeting daily, and within six months, 10,000 businessmen were meeting every day for prayer.
- Chapter 6: The Gift of Intercession
- The Bible doesn’t directly talk about a gift of intercession, but it falls under the gift of helps, as a spiritual help.
- The Bible does reference many people who act as intercessors: Anna (Luke 2:37), Aaron and Hur (Ex 17:12), Daniel
- Intercessors tend to really enjoy praying. Cindy describes the days where she has the whole day free to turn off the phone and put a sign on the door saying “Praying, do not disturb” are “pure bliss.”
- Intercessors will sometimes fast and pray for many days (e.g.
Daniel, also Vinita Copeland who prayed for three days with for a
spiritual daugher with no food and little sleep).
- People with the gift of intercession are usually given a focus
from God for their prayers. Some have a certain ministry, pastor,
country (or often, all countries). God may or may not change the
focus over time.
- Intercessors usually give many hours of their free time to prayer. Even though it is work, they see it as refreshing.
- Intercessors usually have some method, system, or discipline, but they are often quite different. Some pray quietly in a closet, some are loud, some sing, some pray of pictures people started sending, etc. Some ask God at the beginning what the prayer assignment for the day is.
- Flexibility is good. Cindy might start off with worship, find herself praying for Romania, and a few hours later resume worship.
- God often pre-empts the things for which she prays daily
- When we pray for what God has told us to instead of our concerns, God sends other people to pray for our concerns!
- Some ways God reveals who to pray for:
- Something reminds you of someone else and you realize you
should pray for that reminded-of person (ex. you see someone who looks
like someone else)
- If our thoughts turn to someone we have not seen in years
- Thinking over and over about someone in our church.
- When God leads Cindy to pray for someone, she asks what to pray for and usually gets a scripture.
- Dreams are another way. Spiritual dreams are different from normal dreams, they are vivid, usually you remember them well (although it’s a good idea to write them down immediately).
- Dreams of disaster are not fate; they are warnings. Pray to lesson or avert the disaster.
- ex. Cindy’s husband has dreams of tornadoes coming towards the house, which warns of impending spiritual attack
- ex. Cindy’s husband dreamed he was driving, traffic stopped, he crashed into the car in front which crashed into the car in front of it. One of the cars had a pregnant woman, whom he prayed for. They prayed against this. He kept a lot of distance between the next car while driving to work that day, and suddenly a car in front of him crashed into the car in front of it, but he was far enough back that it was not a problem. No pregnant woman to be found, so they figured that God had protected multiple people.
- Ask God to interpret the dream, or bring someone to interpret it
- Satan also brings nightmares to frighten. (You can always pray against anything in a nightmare)
- Chapter 7: Prayer Leaders
- Many intercessors will be called to remain praying in the closet, but some will be called out of the closet to become leaders. Typically these people have mixes of gifts, and it is this gift mix that determines what their ministry looks like.
- The purpose of the gifts is listed in Eph 4:12-13; this is the purpose of prayer leaders
- Prayer leaders need to determine what area of prayer God has called them to. (Note that he may change it; in the case of prophetic-intercessors, it may change frequently) Prayer leaders will receive many requests for prayer, but they should only regularly pray for the ones God has called them to, and leave the rest for when the Holy Spirit brings them to mind.
- Jesus told the disciples to go to Jerusalem, Samaria, and the ends of the earth. God calls us to Jerusalem (our home area, where people remember how we have grown) first. This may be trying, but he is using the time to remove the chinks in our armor.
- Types of prayer leaders:
- Prayer-pastors will remain in Jerusalem. Their ministry will be focused for the physical needs of the church members, finances, church vision, local vision. It will be less frequent for the nations of the world. They may not do much teaching, or they may teach as they pray.
- Evangelist-inetercessors focus on winning the lost, and will often travel. They may either be sent out by the local church as an extension of it, or they may be full-time and covered by the local church.
- Being under a local church is important for intercessors because intercessors need to hear clearly from God. Just because we have tuned into a voice does not mean we have necessarily tuned in to God’s voice.
- Prophet-intercessors are kind of like SWAT teams, which move
in to an area, sometimes physically to take out a specific target of
the enemy, and then leave.
- Teacher-intercessors may become well-known teachers of the Bible, but will tend to focus on prayer.
- Apostle-intercessors is another gift mix; Cindy says very little about this except to note Bob Willhite as an example.
- God is changing the season of ministry:
- The burden to pray for the present situation is just not the same as it used to be; maybe you have to even force yourself to do it.
- Note that we need to make sure it is God calling us to change, and not us being wounded (which will also caused symptoms similar to the above)
- Satan will generally through out a counterfeit that looks really good, just before God bring his best.
- This is another reason for prayer leaders to have people praying for them.
- Wait to move until you have peace.
- Example: Cindy was happy at the ministry she was with, but observed people telling her a transition was on its way. Then she realized that God was making a transition, but one person on the board strongly disagreed. So she asked God to see if she was trying to leave because her heart was not right. God did show her resentment against a board member, which she quickly resolved with the board member. After six months, she became convinced she was to leave, but the board member still disagreed. God then showed the her and the board who was to replace her. Everyone agreed, and she resigned the day the new person joined the board.
- Satan might also try to convince the person not to change when God is calling them to.
- Imagine if, when he was sacrificing Isaac, Abraham had not heard God the second time, when he change the plan to a use a ram. “Many people have dead visions because they cling to a vision that God wants to change.” (88)
- Make sure that you are listening to God and not another person.
- Chapter 8: The Language of Intercession
- Many times the jargon of intercession makes it hard for pray-ers to really agree in prayer, because they only fuzzily understand what other people are saying
- prayer of agreement: Matt 18:19
- Many people had prayed for years for the Berlin Wall to come down; this is agreement
- Prayer of agreement is kind of like a symphony: we play our particular instrument in tune or harmony with what God is orchestrating
- It’s also like filling a bottle with water: everyone contributes a certain amount, and eventually it overflows, the agreement is finished and the task complete.
- Why do I feel such a great urgency, when others are praying about this same thing? It might be that you are the last little bit that fills the bottle
- How many people does it take to overflow the bottle?
- What kind of stronghold is it? The larger or strong the stronghold, the more people
- What level of authority does the person praying have in the Spirit?
- Fasting multiplies the effect of prayer
- If someone asks to pray a prayer of agreement, first ask how
they are praying. If you cannot agree with that, suggest how you
do feel led, and if they like that idea, pray for them right
then. If Gid has given you scriptures about it, make sure that
you are in agreement with the other person.
- praying through: persistence in prayer until God’s will has been accomplished
- How do we know when we are done?
- we are no longer repeatedly prompted by the Holy Spirit to pray
- when we try to pray about the matter and have completely no desire (that is, “there is no unction given by the Holy Spirit for more prayer on the matter” )
- God leads us to scriptures that the battle is won
- Gid speaks to us through circumstances to let us know that the matter is finished
- Cindy had been praying for prayer to be allowed in schools in the US. On time she was driving, and actually asking about something else, and she had a strong vision of a particular lawyer arguing a Supreme Court case about prayer in schools. She did not know this lawyer, had no reason to think of him. He was eventually the lawyer that argued in 1990.
- breaking a yoke: Gen 27:40, 2 Cor 6:14
- G oddesires that we are yoked to him, the stronger one, so his yoke is easy. Satan puts yokes on people to oppress them (GDP: perhaps he gives us the side for the stronger one, the one that God is supposed to be pulling)
- comes from Satan deceiving people
- Some examples are: sin, law, occult oppressions, wrong relationships.
- How to pray
- fast: (See Isa 58:6) For leaders in known sin, Cindy likes to have a fast chain for 21 days, so that someone is always fasting and praying for the leader.
- binding and loosing
- command Satan to stop blinding their eyes to the light of the glory of Christ (2 Cor 4:4) (99)
- if a sexual relationship exists, pray that the tie is broken. Pray a loosing prayer that they would be loosed from the relationship. See also Eze 13:18-23, this still happens.
- receive the annointing (Isa 10:27)
- tearing down strongholds
- three types of strongholds:
- territorial: demons assigned to influence and control nations, families, communities, cities
- ideological: influence worldview through philosophies that influes the larger group (ex. evolution)
- Edgardo Silveso: “A stronghold is a mind-set impregnated with hopelessness that cases the believer to accept as unchageable something that he/she knows is contrary to the will of God.” (102)
- Generals of Intercession was praying in the square of a city in Argentina. The cathedral bells struck 4pm when they started praying against the strongman of witchcraft. They later heard that one of the witches had died at 4pm.
- If Satan’s strongholds are pulled down, he becomes weak. (See Luke 11:21-22)
- supplication: begging prayers. Happened at Pentecost (Acts 1:14) Generally prayed in life-or-death-type situations.
- These often come during the middle of the night, with a name or face
- (especially since Cindy explicitly told God he could wake her up any time)
- binding and loosing: Matt 18:18-19
- binding is stopping the enemy’s attacks, loosing release/permits God to interact with the situation (because he willed people to pray for his purposed to be carried out)
- negative binding: forbidding Satan to have anything to do with the situation. (ex. “God’s word says whatever we bind on earth will be bound in heaven, so in Jesus’ name we forbid you from [bringing disunity, etc]”)
- once prayed for a woman whose friend had just been taken to a mental hospital and had called up Cindy. Cindy felt something like a big chain being released from her friend’s mind and afterwards both felt a lot of peace. The friend was restored that night and was released a week later.
- positive binding: speaking God’s word to bring into being what it expresses. (ex. if church in disunity, could speak out Ps 133:1; see also Luke 19:46, where Jesus does this)
- loosing: sets captive free from the enemy
- at Lausanne II, the prayer team heard that Bruce Olson, missionary to Columbia was captured by rebels and was likely to be killed. The leader thanked God for his control of the situation, committed Bruce into God’s hands, asked God to do something to bring about the most glory to him, asked for ministering angel to give peace to bruce. She then prayed binding to prevent them from killing him, and then loosing to free him from them. One week later, he was released.
- some effects of loosing prayer
- physical release of a captive
- release from sickness or disease (ex. the woman that Jesus healed in the synagogue that he said “Satan had kept bound for 20 long years”
- loose the will of God in the situation
- can let God move in and change the situation.
- Chapter 9: The Manifestations of Intercession
- Travail: kind of like giving birth through prayer, as God moves you.
- it is given by God. We may experience deep groaning inside (audible or inexpressible)
- sometimes happens when you are praying about something others have already prayed about, and you are the one to give birth to the answer
- happens more frequently to those with the gift of intercession, but God can use anyone
- may be short, may be an extended period.
- Jesus probably travailed for Lazarus (John 11:33)
- if travail seems to overwhelm the person in a group context, the rest should help bear the burden in prayer (like mid-wives)
- John White was training at a missionary camp, and was doing daily prayers for missionaries. That day’s person was Loretta, and he found himself demanding that God heal her, which was did not seem the proper kind of prayer, but he did feel a great peace about it. At the same time, Loretta, who had spine-tuberculosis, was asked to speak at a church. She said no, but they said that they had a really comfortable chair. So she agreed, and partway through she felt that sitting really wasn’t the best way to address this group, so she stood up with difficulty, but soon found that she was strong and pain free. Her doctor certified her to be cured. (She later came to the camp and they were married)
- Peter was preparing to speak to a (Christian, it seems) conference in Japan. He was praying, and began thinking of the pain the Japanese people went through in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and started weeping. Then he realized that he had hated the Japanese as a kid during the war, which made him just as guilty, even though he didn’t drop the bomb. Through weeping God led him to deep intercession for Japan. When he told his wife, she suggested God might want him to repent for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which he felt was exactly right. So he had the conference leaders gather people whose relatives had died in those cities, and publicly repented before 1000 people, who wept and were healed. Then the Japanese representative repented for their sins against the US in WWII, which he said were much worse.
- In some cultures (like the American culture), men weeping is not really acceptable. But Jesus wept (John 11:35), and it prepared the way for Lazarus’ resurrection.
- Weeping can also fall on groups. In Cindy’s church, a woman was going to the Soviet Union for a missions trip, and brought her bags. The pastor requested that she open her bags and the church pray for every item. While he was sharing her prayer needs, a solemn, “holy hush” settled down, then grew as an offering was taken and the children had given generously. Everyone took an item, and was weeping in prayer over it (even very young children). She had no problems getting through the checkpoints with all her items.
- Laughter: “laughter in prayer is a sign that God’s will has been accomplished or that the answer is on the way or that the enemy’s plan has been averted. (Ps 2:4)
- A team to Argentina that had spent a lot of time in a particular city in spiritual warfare prayer, including with territorial spirits, as well as teaching many leaders about spiritual warfare and starting many churches, was flying back and experienced strong turbulence. They started laughing (even though one of them said they should pray, but started laughing after saying it); it turned out they were flying directly over that city.”
- Chapter 10: Flaky Intercession
- Satan works through lies that appeal to our flesh to get us to pray against God’s purposes
- spiritual accountability to the local church and to the ministries they pray for (being afraid of having their prayers/revelations judged is a bad sign)
- keep a clean heart. Especially need to guard against pride, since God will be revealing his secrets, which may seem more special than what the pastor or leader appears to get.
- don’t pray out of bitterness or woundedness
- Absolom spirit:
- Absolom was so desperate for David’s attention that he was willing to do wrong things. And he was bitter that David would not talk to him, so he undermined the kinding.
- Absolom spirits tend to start off by saying “Pastor X means well, but what he really doesn’t get it.” Then they might say “what I think we need is ...,” which is no different from Absolom saying “if I were king, I would make sure you got justice.”
- One group of intercessors felt that God had said their pastor would be judged like Nebuchadnezzar because of disobedience in leading the church in a certain area. Their warnings to him were basically manipulation (into going the direction they wanted). He told them that they had overstepped their calling, which is to birth the vision of the leadership through prayer. They did not receive that well and most left the church.
- the intercessors should have been grieved if that really was God’s judgment (like what Daniel did when he told Nebuchadnezzar)
- should have asked God to reveal it to the pastor, not told others
- should have asked God for release from the church if still concerned.
- intercessors who frequently receive harsh words from God tend to come from dysfunctional homes
- Don’t pray strike-em-dead prayers (“either remove him or kill him,” “destroy that X-rated theater”)
- this is a bad witness to the non-Christians in question. Instead, pray that they would be saved and that the building (or whatever) be used for God’s glory.
- an intercessor is someone standing in the gap, imploring God to be merciful. Strike-em-dead prayers are not that.
- “God never changes in His nature or in His character, but He does change His mind. And because He does not desire to bring judgment, He seeks for those who will stand in the gap.” (p. 133)
- God told Jeremiah not to pray for Israel because he was going to judge it. Jeremiah prays for mercy anyway and ten chapters later God doesn’t do it.
- Cindy has seen many people do a complete turnaround when she prays this way
- Rebuke Satan from controlling people, but don’t curse anyone. You could pray “please save them. Get them right or remove them,” but we need to let God remove them however he wants to.
- Bearing others sicknesses
- Intercessors stand in the gap, and Satan may try to send the illness onto us. If that happens, it is not something that we bear for the other person, it is something to be resisted. Sometimes we will learn how to pray for someone because we had similar symptoms.
- Resist Satan’s fiery darts, however, it is worth asking God if the darts were aimed at us, or for someone else we should be praying for.
- Witchcraft praying
- Using manipulation and control in our prayers. For example, claiming other people’s property that they think God is giving to them. Or thinking God has told them they would marry some specific person and asking another to agree with them in prayer about it.
- Could actually have negative effects. Some Christians haven’t been able to sell houses that other people “claimed.” If people pray that God would remove their pastor (thinking he has overstayed his time), if he is where God wants him, it opens a door for doubt, weariness, heaviness when ministering. And it will come back on the pray-er.
- If you think someone has prayed manipulative prayers against you, ask “Are you experiencing confusion or heaviness for no known reason? If the problem is not physical or related to sin or strife, then pray like this: ‘Father, in the name of Jesus, I now break the power of every work prayed for me that is contrary to Your will for my life. I tahnk You now that all bondage is broken from any manipulating prayers.” (p. 139)
- The Bridal Chamber: “physical relationship with spiritual beings” (p. 140)
- Many prayer leaders have had experiences where people tell them that they have encounters with Jesus where they end up being physically stimulated. For example, one woman would have experiences where she would hear a beautiful voice claiming to be Jesus and taking her to the bridal chamber, and would experience very sensual things. Another woman had a fiance she loved very much die, and while worshipping God felt someone come in the room. It turned out to look like her fiance and she let her guard down. She shared with a friend, who privately asked God to show her who the spirit really was. The next time it happend, the spirit looked revolting, and she went to get help to be set free.
- Praying against what God wants
- When Cindy started “praying the Word,” she kept a list of all the promises for things, and when people asked for prayer, she would pray through her book. She did this with one woman who asked for prayer for finances, and then God told her that he she was lazy and he had been trying to work on that; she was praying against God’s purposes, even though the promises are true. We need God’s living, rhema word to minister to people according to God’s purposes.
- Chapter 11: Prophetic Intercession
- “Prophetic intercession is an urging to pray given by the Holy Spirit for situations or circumstances about which you have very little knowledge in the natural. You pray for the prayer requests that are on the heart of God. He nudges you to pray so that He an intervene.” (p. 146-7)
- “Begin by telling the Lord that you want to pray for the things that are on His heart. ... Spend time worshiping the Lord. As you praise Him He will sanctify your natural reasoning. ... Listen to God and trust the Holy Spirit to fill your thoughts with His words.” (p. 147) You may begin to have thoughts about others: a name repeatedly coming to you, or thinking things like “pray for protection.” You might feel the emotions of the one you are praying for.
- Story: Dick Eastman (Love on its Knees) had heard about 153 Dutch schoolchildren held hostage by terrorists who were going to execute them one by one. As he prayed, he say the group, with his two little girls among them. His girls were safe in their beds, but God had given him the intercessor’s role of identification. Seeing his kids there, he commanded the terrorists to let them go, shouted, wept, etc. It had started suddenly, and suddenly he felt victory and it was done. Later he learned that the children had all be released.
- If children are getting something prophetic, often they say that their tummy feels strange. (Cindy thinks it is John 7:38: living waters will flow out of the belly) Her son came to her saying his tummy felt strange, so she asked if it was in his tummy or if God is trying to say something. He said that something was wrong with someone, so they prayed for a bit, and then he asked if someone could be killed. So they asked God to reveal who it was, and he suddenly felt like it was the President of the US. He prayed that God would protect the president and prevent the killing. Then he felt great and went out to play. They later found out that the FBI had foiled a plot to assassinate President Reagan that day. She figures that her son was among the people God asked to pray.
- Intercession is a way God uses to train people to speak prophetically.
- Daniel was a prophetic intercessor (Dan 9:2,3)
- “Not all intercessors are prophets, but all prophets are intercessors.” (Margaret Moberly)
- Prophetic intercession is when God reveals something needing prayer, or when God gives an urgency to what another prophet has previously said.
- Cindy was praying for a pastor’s wife, who was already a mother. She found herself saying that “you have a daughter about the height of your shoulder; God says she is yours.” This was strange, telling a mother that her daughter is hers. It turns out that she had a stepdaughter and was involved in a custody battle, so the couple prayed with these words in mind. Eventually the daughter decided to stay with them.
- If you God is calling you to prophesy in prayer regularly,
- don’t call yourself a prophet; simply pray what God tells you, share it if you can, and let those in authority judge the prayers
- if God doesn’t open the door to share, be patient.
- “A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.” (Prov. 18:16) God is more concerned with the heart. When Cindy first started, she was frustrated that God wouldn’t let her sharee, but as long as she was pushy, God made her wait. (He could speak through plenty of others!), but God told her that he does not waste his annointing, and when she was ready to say things the proper way, he opened the door.
- Chapter 12: Personal Prayer Partners
- William Carey spent 42 years in India, and with co-workers translated the Bible into 26 languages, and the New Testament into 25 more. But nobody has written about his crippled sister, who prayed for him constantly from her bed. He wrote her letters sharing details about all the problems in the work, and she prayed for him.
- 1 Sam 30:24: Those who stay with the supplies get an equal part of the plunder as those who go to the battle; so the prayer warriors are equally important as those on the front lines.
- Many people have people praying for them, but how many of those prayer partners know the needs intimately?
- It is biblical: Paul asked Ephesus for intercessor and said he was sending Tychicus so that they may know his detailed needs (Eph 6:21-22). At the end of his letters, he is always asking for prayer and telling them his needs.
- Peter Wagner had a prayer partner, and one night at a concert she felt a great evil and started praying. Her back hurt so intensely that her husband started praying against the pain. At the same time, Peter Wagner was climbing up the ladder in the garage to get something out of the attic. He knew the ladder was stable, but something pushed it out and he fell 12 feet onto his head and back on the cement. He had bruises, but no injuries. After he found out about his prayer partner’s prayers, he was sure that her prayers had prevented Satan from neutralizing his ministry.
- Generals of Intercession has seen its ministry explode since they started having prayer partners ask God to annoint them when they speak.
- Leaders need prayer partners, because Satan targets them.
- “Any battle worth fighting for calls for more resources than the leader possesses by himself.” (Dr. John Maxwell, The Pastor’s Prayer Partners)
- There are people praying against us: a Baptist paster was on a flight with a man who appeared to be praying. He asked if he was a Christian and the man said no, he was a Satanist. “My primary attention is directed toward the fall of Christian pastors and their families living in New England,” he said, after being asked what he was praying about. He seemed very serious about the mission.
- Types of intercessors
- inner circle: “a small group knitted to you by God” (p. 161). For example: Moses had Aaron and Hur, Jesus had John, Peter, and James.
- outer circle: they pray regularly, but not as often
- congregation: people tell you they pray for you every day, but with whom you don’t have close, personal contact
- crisis intercessors: people you/God mobilize for a crisis.
- ask God to set aside personal prayer partners for you
- make a list of those you feel might pray for you regularly
- then ask those people via letter or personally
- they should have: a commitment to pray, confidentiality, able to hear from God and share it without being intimidating, call from God to pray for you/your ministry
- Be vulnerable and share your intimate needs with your prayer partners so that they can pray effectively.
- Thank your prayer partners for their sacrifice.
- Be aware of some possible problems:
- emotional dependency: you still need to hear from God regularly, and you still need to develop your prayer life
- control: you might become dependent on your prayer partners and listen only to them. Maintain accountability to those over you
- spiritual adultery: if it is someone of the opposite sex, can ask yourself, “why am I calling this person? Is it something God wants me to do or is there something on a personal level?” (p. 166)
- share wisely: local pastors often share the wrong thing to the wrong person, with unfortunate results.
- How do you know you need more intercession?
- You or your family have physical or mental anguish regularly
- Your intercessors say they are being attacked regularly and are losing a lot of sleep keeping you covered
- When under attack, situations in your life change only after long, hard battles
- Being a prayer partner
- Rewards: God stores up your prayers and
sacrifice. There may come a time when you have a need to draw on
those stored prayers for others and ask God for people to pray for you
- How do a prayer partner who is a blessing:
- Come as a servant. Don’t expect them to be meeting your prayer needs (although they probably will pray for you)
- If you call them, be concise. Many leaders are busy and may not have too much extra time. Also, it’s good to ask if now is a good time.
- Don’t be upset if they don’t talk to you personally (they may not be able to right then). They still care.
- If you have a warning from God, consider whether they can handle it without getting overwhelmed.
- Ask God for interpretations for dreams/visions. It is your job to interpret, not theirs. Pray until you are sure it is from God.
- Be faithful in praying, the relationship will come as your ministry is validated.
- Keep confidences
- Pray for the families of leaders, as they are also attacked.
- God may give you a specific focus. Some of Cindy’s prayer partners mostly pray for her children or her husband.
- Give the leaders feedback at least every few months about what God is telling you
- Ministers are especially in need of intercession right before they minister (problems and distractions) and right after (they are exhausted). (For travelling ministers, the two weeks after they return from a long trip.)
- Pray for protection for your family. Read Ps 91 out loud daily.
- A good daily schedule
- Sun: Favor with God
- Mon: Favor with man
- Tue: pure vision
- Wed: spirit, soul, and body
- Thur: warfare and protection
- Fri: priorities
- Sat: family
- Chapter 13: Intercessory Praise
- Isaiah 56:7 “My house shall be called a house of [singing prayer].” “Prayer” here is tephillah, which is a kind of prayer set to music and sung in formal worship (174).
- Neh 8:10: The joy of the Lord is your strength
- At the end of a powerful women’s meeting, a woman came up for prayer for oppression on her mind. They prayed, but no breakthrough. The leader sent for a worship leader and began to lead worship. They sang, clapped, shouted for two hours, and the woman suddenly started weeping and said that a cloud had lifted and she felt free.
- Psalm 149 is worship, but is also proclaiming/enacting God’s will on the nations.
- Shiloh Christian Fellowship was known for its worship, and was asked by the Oakland Police Department to come to a high crime area. They went and prayed, and then decided to have a party where they cooked hot dogs, sang worship songs with a Ps 149 attitude, and had an evangelistic meeting at the end of the afternoon. Afterwards, most of the drug lords moved out. Since then, the police department asks them to go to neighborhoods where they anticipate high crime.
- Praise can let us stand in the gap for others. In 1 Sam 16:23, David played the harp for Saul and the evil spirit left him
- Late one night someone called Cindy and her husband saying that their 14 year old daughter was trying to kill them with a knife. No one else was available, so they went. The girl was being held down by her father, was growling, and trying to grab his throat. He had been holding her down for three hours but she was so strong he was worn out. Without talking to each other, Cindy and her husband began to worship. After two hours, the girl came to her right mind and told them what had led her to that state.
- Cindy thinks Satan is affected when we praised God because he was made to be musical. She cites Eze 28:13 saying that pipes and tamborines where built for him [my translations did not mention that]. He also knows that it neutralizes his power, and that it attacks him when we do it in a Ps 149 way. Also, God inhabits our praises (Ps 22:3).
- Terry Law was in the Soviet Union in 1972, forbidden to share the gospel. So his group worshipped in God’s presence. Afterwards, they stayed until 3:30am leading many to Christ.
- Many hymns are annointed to set captives free. Fanny Crosby would pray over the hymns she wrote that God would use them to bring a million people to him.
- Seven Hebrew words for praise:
- halal: to be boastful, excited, explosive enthusiasm in praising God (root of halleluia). Ps 117:1 says it is connected with overthrowing the wicked.
- yadah: publicly thank, worship with hands raised. (2 Chron 20:19-21)
- barak: to bless, to kneel in adoration (Ps 103:1-2)
- zamar: to make music to God
- shabach: to formally speak well of. Address in loud tone. (Ps 117:1)
- tephilla: a formal, musical prayer (Isa 56:7)
- towdah: thanksgiving (Ps 50:23)
- Some other weapons of praise
- walking and marching (Josh 1:3): perseverance (don’t stop after going around Jericho only 6 times)
- treading (Ps 108:13, Luke 10:19, Ps 44:5): like marching, but more aggressive. Stops the power of the enemy.
- singing (Isa 30:29-30): Cindy’s son was born with a club foot. One evening while she held him a chorus speaking about Jesus freeing from Satan’s bondage came to mind. She sang it for an hour, put him to bed. The next morning his foot was healed!
- clapping (Ps 47:1): breaking of yokes. When you do it in a group, you’ll know when it is over because it will stop suddenly.
- shouting (2 Chon 13:15, Jer 50:15): coming at the end of the above (like Joshua around Jerico). Seems to be used as a final victory in the spiritual.
- for personal protection and emotional health: laughter is known to be physically good for you. Also,
intercessors can easily get dragged down by all their burdens and
become depressed. Breaks the power of Satan to depress
(depression dilutes your spiritual strength [me: because the joy
of the Lord is our strength?]
- direct warfare against Satan: Ps 37:12-13 says the Lord laughs at the wicked because He knows their end. Cindy had a bunch of machinery malfunction while writing the book, on day laughter started pouring out. She felt a lot better, and the typewriter didn’t have any problems after that.
- this isn’t just the quiet joy of a walk with God. It also includes laughter and violent [strong, not bad] emotion. Might include dancing, jumping, leaping (Zeph 3:17).
- framework for integrating intercessory praise
- start with worship (many people come burdened) (Matt 11:28-30)
- start with singing. Ps 100:4: enter His gates with thanksgiving in your hearts, enter His courts with praise.
- consider the seven praises, follow the mood of the Holy Spirit. You might worship silently one time, or clap another time.
- might have a time of proclaiming who God is, speaking out His attributes
- if a song comes to someone’s mind, consider singing it
- One day God asked Cindy if she thought He was selfish for asking to be praised. She said, no, He isn’t selfish. So then He asked why He desires to be praised. She thought about it a while, but before she came to a conclusion, He said that it is because when we praise Him, He becomes what we praised Him for. So if we praise Him for being our provider, He comes and provides. He wants us to praise Him for our good, not because it benefits Him.
- Chapter 14: Corporate Prayer
- Choosing a prayer leader
- should be someone that the pastor can trust and share with.
- some questions to ask yourself:
- is this person discreet?
- how reliable/faithful is this person (with regards to the organization’s meetings, etc.)?
- does this person have a servant’s heart? (why does this person want to lead this ministry? what are their aspirations?)
- does this person show a need to control?
- is this person teachable?
- is this person whole emotionally?
- does this person do daily prayer and Bible study?
- can this person bring correction in a loving way?
- does this person tithe? (in the case of someone married to a non-believer who does not permit them to tithe, their time with the church is the tithe)
- Make a packet for the leader
- the prayer leader needs to be informed of the vision for the church, otherwise they cannot effectively pray for it.
- some things to include:
- church doctrine
- commitment form (loyalty to the pastor and church)
- authority statement: what is the leader being given authority to do? (e.g. lead one group, lead the whole church, set up many groups, etc.)
- schedule of meeting times with pastor/leadership
- feedback from the prayer meeting (what happened, what things did people hear, etc.)
- testimony and philosophy of prayer of the prayer leader (personal mentors, books, etc.)
- frequent and close communication between pastor and leader is essential
- pastor needs to feel safe in sharing concerns with the leader, the leader needs to feel safe in sharing concerns with the leader (especially if God brings a word of warning)
- “commitment comes out of relationship”: Alexander the Great personally would visit his wounded soldiers and ask them about the wound, encouraging them to brag to their fellow soldiers. Also would have pre-battle consultations with his generals. His troops were fiercely loyal.
- intercessors will love their work if you are thankful, treat them well, publically thank them for the protection you receive from them, etc.
- how to be a part of a prayer group
- follow the leader: they are the one with spiritual authority
- if you cannot follow the leader, pray for them, that God would bind the enemy from bringing confusion, ask that God’s will would be done through the prayer time
- pray with the flow of the meeting: if the Holy Spirit is being joyful, that is not the time to weep or travail. If the leader is quiet, you should not be really loud. If you really feel like God is leading you to something different than the group, quietly find another location to pray.
- don’t do deliverance in the middle of the prayer meeting; Satan loves to disrupt the group, so if someone does start to manifest, take them to another place for ministry, or schedule a later time if it is taking too long.
- pray positively: don’t share other people’s secret, otherwise your prayer group will turn into a gossip group
- don’t prophesy over people during the prayer time; if God is leading you to prophesy, do it after the meeting. (if it would be edifying for the whole group, check with the leader first)
- prefer others needs over your own
- guard your heart, so that you do not pray with, e.g., bitterness
- do not talk about the leader behind their back; talk with them directly if you feel that there is a problem.
- ask God for His focus for the time
- ask Him how He wants this to be implemented (for example, petition prayers, proclamation prayers, intercessory praise, prophetic intercession, praying scripture [either assign passages of scripture or ask God to give people scriptures])
- spend time with God to ensure that you are in a walking in forgiveness with the prayer group and your church, ask God to reveal any unknown bitterness.
- ask the pastor for prayer requests/direction
- the meeting
- prayer through each request until you feel a release from God
- discourage long prayers: Thomas Aquinas thought that short prayers frequently prayed are better than long prayers. DL Moody thought that long prayers in public were a form of pretension. (Also, it tries younger peoples’ patience)
- ask people to listen to God with one ear and other peoples’ prayers with the other (helps in not getting distracted from the Spirit’s moving)
- make allowances for people with hearing loss: you might want to ask up-front. People that pray quietly should hold their head up while praying so that everyone can hear them.
- keep the prayers focused. If someone has an SOS, they should tell the leader, and if the leader does not think they should pray about that at the current time, that person can pray silently about that.
- correct people when needed, but do it privately.
- be sensitive to the needs of the group. If someone comes in who is a new believer or less mature, they may get freaked out if someone starts travailing (you could have sort of code with the group, so if you introduce someone new and mention this is the first time they have been to a group like this, other members can adjust accordingly
- Chapter 15: Prayer Watches and Walks
- prayer watches
- a prayer watch is a time of intense prayer, often 24 hours. (We can’t “pray without ceasing” by ourselves, but corporately we can)
- generally works best to have 3 hour slits (2 is too short, 4 is too long)
- want about 32 - 50 people, so that it won’t be a problem if some people drop out
- team coordinator:
- choose the teams, assign captains for each shift, choose the resource materials (for example, Operation World),
hold training session for prayer captain, set up the shifts, be
available for counsel if problems occur, tell the shifts about
emergency needs, cover shifts if someone has to drop out, provide
regular updates before the conference meets,
- team administrator:
- send out invitations, get the resource materials selected, distribute sign-up forms for the shifts, make travel arrangements for people in the group, make sure there is water and juice in the prayer room (we lose water we talk)
- if part of a conference, arrange a liason between the conference leadership and the prayer team, make a prayer and praise report for the conference leadership
- liason: (could be the same person as team administrator, but doesn’t have to be)
- take reports from the prayer team to the leadership
- take prayer needs/requests from the leadership to the prayer team
- payer captain: leads one shift
- use similar guidelines as for a prayer leader in chapter 14. Need to have flexibility.
- if at a conference, prayer room, prayer team, and conference leaders should all be in the same hotel, so that conference speakers have easy access to the prayer room
- keep a telephone available (but in another room to avoid disturbing people); if anyone calls, the team liason (preferably) should answer it
- keep a whiteboard to write requests and announcements
- have a map of the world
- keep copies of Operation World available
- begin each shift with praise and worship
- could have teaching from Scripture (not more than 15 minutes) which addresses the focus of the watch.
- introduce any new team members
- could pray around world with Operation World
- intersperse worship throughout the shifts
- team building
- have an orientation to set the parameters of the group. Should include who is and isn’t allowed in the prayer room.
- distribute schedules
- entire prayer team should meet for the first shift (establish objectives) and for the last shift (rejoicing about what God has done)
- allow some time during orientation for team members to share about themselves and what God has told them regarding the conference
- if possible, serve communion
- have a dinner towards the end of the watch with an affirmation session: telling each other the qualities they appreciate in each other
- have communal meals, if possible, for team building
- pray for registration if it is a large conference (Urbana '90 registered 20,000 students unusually smoothly because of prayer)
- might need to pray for the weather: at Urbana '90, they received a report of a large snowstorm (5 - 9 inches), which would have cancelled flights and made it difficult for students to attend. Cindy was leading and felt that they should pray. Another woman saw a weather map of warm air pushing the snowstorm up. They agreed in prayer, and the next day, warm air pushed up and only rain fell.
- speakers have been routinely blessed. Many speakers at Lausanne II were spoken over prophetically for the first time and were impressed at how much God cared about problems they had that only He could have known about.
- likely to have a mood swing, because have probably been in a very loving environment (and may not be going back to one), or seen God move in many amazing ways.
- Satan likes to attack people the two weeks after they return
- prayer walks
- John Dawson and his staff would walk around the low-income neighborhood he had moved to. Rebuked Satan’s work in Jesus’ name, asked for his revelation to come to each family. Received much spiritual opposition over the years, but seven families became Christians and community has been growing between them, and the neighborhood has a sense of life now
- before beginning, make sure you put on the armor of God! Pray for protection for yourself, family, home using Ps 91.
- start by thanking God that the neighborhood has been claimed for Jesus, ask for the blood of the Lamb over every house, ask God to forgive the sins of the neighborhood (John 20:23), ask forgiveness for specific sins if you know them. (strife, murder, greed, love of money are good) Ask for healing for people’s hurts.
- if there are demonic activities, don’t attack them by yourself but with others. If it is witchcraft, fast first. Also, pray that the owners of witchcraft shops would be unblinded and come to God.
- don’t measure by what you see or hear, each prayer is a seed and you need to keep watering through prayer
- ask God for His redemptive plan for the neighborhood.
- if lots of wealth, pray for unblinding to the fact that the wealth of sinners is stored up for the righteous, and against any hinderance to coming to God.
- if the neighborhood is dying, plant scriptures of life (e.g. Ps. 1)
- ask God for a different verse for each house.
- pray for the salvation of each home.
- Chapter 16: Possessing the Gates of the Enemy
- we need to be more militant with our payer.
- “Prayer from God’s side is communication between Himself and His allies in enemy country. True prayer moves in a circle. It begins with the heart of God and sweeps down into the human heart, so intersecting the circle of earth, which is the battlefield of prayer, and then goes back again to its starting point, having accomplished its purpose on the downward swing” (p.225, from S.D. Gordon)
- the Bible talks about enemy principalities, but only vaguely (perhaps to keep us from getting to interested in them).
- Eze 28:11-19 and Isaiah 14:3-27 talk about a physical ruler (Tyre and Babylon), but also talk about an unseen spiritual force behind them.
- Nebuchadnezzar and the Persians were affected by the Prince of Persia (Daniel); both tried to set up worship of themselves. The Prince also tried to kill Daniel in the lions’ den, but failed. One could see Sadam Hussein’s attempt to conquer Iran as the Prince of Persia trying to get his territory back
- The spirit of Diana tried to get the silversmiths to bring disrepute on the Christians.
- the evil spirits are not the only influencers of nations: God seems to have appointed angels over nations (Deut 32:8, Septuagint)
- Jesus battled a territorial spirit (Satan) in the desert; it was after that that his ministry took off
- Satan has three main areas of warfare (as shown by his temptations of Jesus): the physical (temptation 1), the spiritual (temptation 2), the political (temptation 3)
- Five parts of Jesus’ strategy:
- humbled himself (submitted to baptism). This was not a ministry birthed out of pride!
- In Cordoba, John Dawson was not having any evangelical breakthroughs. Then he discovered a spirit of pride over the city. So they knelt and prayed in the middle of the city; as he humbled himself in the middle of the street, God strengthened him and many people came ot God that day
- fasting (Finney quotes Edwards as saying that if fasting is required for casting out demons from a person, how much more from a city!)
- accurate Word of God
- perseverence (took forty days)
- commanding the spirit(s) to leave: at the end of the temptation, Jesus commanded Satan to leave, and then angels came and ministered to him.
- spiritual warfare is not for the immature!! Some safeguards:
- only battle against a city-spirit corporately, by those who know what they are doing.
- a minister in Ghana cut down a tree enshrined by Satanic priests; the day the last branch was cut, he died
- another minister in Ghana destroyed a festish shrine, and when it was destroyed, he has a stroke
- “The purpose of power evangelism is to glorify God through
demonstrations of divine power. But if the power of the enemy is
underestimated, the opposite can occur.” (p. 234, Peter Wagner)
- stay under spiritual authority and use wisdom: the Huguenots in France has a powerful annointing, but they destroyed statues of the saints in Catholic churches, so the King killed them.
- how do you discern what the territorial power over an area is?
- be led by the Holy Spirit! God has different plans for each city.
- figure out the legal entrances to Satan (“gates”).
- we can remove these gates by reclaiming with God’s laws
- God promises that we will destroy the gates of Satan: Matt 16:18, Isa 28:6, Gen 22:17
- figure out what the sins of the city are and then repent of them.
- this is always corporate. Cities do not have souls, so their judgment must come now.
- even if we have not sinned in this area, we should still repent on behalf of the city (Dan 9:5, Neh 1:7).
- look in the three areas Satan attacks: physical, spiritual, and political.
- research the city:
- why was the city founded? Was/is the government corrupt?
- who were the first people in the area, and what happened to them?
- how does the city describe itself? What slogans or mottoes does it use?
- who introduced Christianity to the area. Was there any religious deception?
- has there been natural disasters or other traumas to the city?
- is the evidence of greed in the economic system?
- study the music, culture, architecture, and art
- in Resistencia there were panels with the spirit of death.
- cities with a spirit of lust/sensuality are likely to have a lot of sexual crimes
- the biggest buildings in downtown America are the banks (it used to be the church: steeples were built so that the church would be the tallest building)
- speaking at a conference in San Antonio, Cindy realized that San Antonio has a spirit of murder because of the Alamo: the death of many Mexicans and Texans.
- tearing down the strongholds
- our personal lives need to be clean; our strongholds let the enemy influence affect us
- “I have found that in every place where the Scriptures speak about spiritual warfare it is always in conjunction with teaching about relationships.” (p. 239, Ed Silvoso).
- Eph 6:10 (“finally brothers, be strong in the Lord”) comes at the end of of teaching of relationships.
- we have to give up our rights to be offended, to our time, to the use of our possessions, to self-pity, to self-justification, to be understood, to criticize.
- “A stronghold is the mindset impregnated with hopelessness that causes the believer to accept as unchangeable something that he/she knows is contrary to the will of God.” (p. 241, Ed Silvoso) This may apply to believing that the city can never be reached for God, that there can never be revival.
- the pastors need to be united.
- (Cindy didn’t say this, but DL Moody would not go to London for his crusades when people asked him, until he felt that the churches of the city were united)
- crisis tears down strongholds by uniting people in seeking God
- move in the opposite spirit (if the spirit is greed, be generous)
- finally, frontal assault
- the majority of pastors need to agree about the need for spiritual warfare and be willing to help in tearing down strongholds.
- it must be God’s time: the spirits must be weakened by
unity in the churches. Also, many people being delivered weakens
the spirits (Luke 10:17-18)
- the leaders in the area need to pray and fast
- leaders should bring instruction about spiritual warfare to the churches.
- the leaders should pray for the city (when the Israelites crossed the Jordan, the priests went ahead and stood in the river)
- research on the city should already be finished and shared with pastors and leaders
- leaders should be asking God for the names of the strongholds in the area
- leaders/pastors should make a trip of the city scouting out strongholds
- individuals need to
- pray by the Spirit
- be mature in the Spirit
- free from known sin
- under submission to a local church
- praying against the spirits
- native leaders should do the praying to address the spirits, because they have the authority (if they were following God, He planted them there)
- first, ask for protection on everyone there, their families, loved ones, churches, and intercessors praying for them. Use Ps 91
- put on the armor of God (Eph 6)
- repent of sin, preferably with a representative from that area doing it (e.g. if unjust laws, a politician should repent)
- make sure that all the sins of the area are repented of, otherwise battling against the spirits is disastrous
- when it is time, God will give the local leaders great peace
- pray for two things:
- fill the vacuum left by the spirit (if spirit of death, proclaim that Jesus is life)
- speak restoration of the city to the purpose for which it was created
Copyright © 2013 by Geoffrey Prewett