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Intercessory Prayer

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How to stand through prayer

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Introduction

l
Ephesians 6:10–14 KJV 1900
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Ephesians 6:10–14 KJV 1900
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Ephesians 6:10 KJV 1900
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Eph 6:10-14
Eph

Introduction

Eph 6:
I’m going to talk to you to day for just a minute on the subject of Intercessory Prayer, but before I do, I must lay a foundation on the subject of spiritual warfare. These two subjects go hand in hand.
They always say that if you can’t do, teach. In other words, if you can’t win the British open that’s happening today, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have the ability to teach someone else how to do it. That being said, I’m no stranger to intercessory prayer, but I know that it is not something that God has particularly gifted me with. I think that God has given me a gift to teach. I may be asked to preach from time to time, and I will do my best. However, even when I preach I’m inclined to switch over to teaching all throughout my message. I like to teach. I enjoy it, and think that God does cause us to enjoy the things that he has gifted us with. So, even though I’m a teacher by nature, it doesn’t mean that I can’t preach when called upon to do so. It’s just not my wheel house if you will.
I do think the subject of Intercessory Prayer is so important that it needs to be taught, even if it has to come from someone that isn’t gifted with that calling. I didn’t come unprepared, I may not be gifted in intercession, but I know how to do it, and I’ve also been watching a lot of old preaching tapes from men like T. W. Barnes, Billy Cole, and T. F. Tenny who I think were all experts on this subject. I listened to everything I could find about their teaching on intersession, and I wouldn’t stop you from doing the same. It certainly won’t hurt you to listen to those anointed men of God talk about such important things in the Kingdom of God. There are places I’ve been in prayer that I didn’t understand until I heard brother Cole teach about it. I’m going to do my best to teach you about intersession today based on my study, my experience and my research on what spiritual giants from our heritage have taught.
So, as I mentioned, I don’t believe I’m gifted in intercessory prayer. I think God has people in every church that is called to this ministry full time, and I’m not one of them. I can pray, I can worship, I can praise, but when it comes to intercession, my brain is wired in such a way that it makes it difficult. I will explain that later when discuss the process of entering into intercession. There are people, however, that are so gifted in this that you may be doing it without even knowing it every time you pray. What takes me an hour to do, can take an intercessor minutes.
The main purpose of intercessory prayer is to engage in spiritual warfare. Now, we are fighting spiritual battles every time we praise God. When you lift up your hands in praise, devils are shaken off you. Problems start to fade away. So, don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that the only people fighting are the intercessors. We’re all in this together with different roles. Teaching equips the saints for battle, preaching softens the hearts and convicts the sinners causing them to lay aside every weight and sin and come over to the winning side. We all play a part. From the greeter to the preacher. Even the watering of the plant brother Brian. The devil doesn’t want our church to look appealing to sinners. Everyone plays a part in this battle. However, that is a particularly important role an intercessor plays in spiritual warfare. One that, left undone, will cause everyone else to just spin their tires in place. It is difficult to gain traction in any city without the work of intercessory prayer.
Now, you are wondering why I’d teach about this subject to the whole church if there are just a few that might be gifted in this ministry. There are two reasons.
Because even if you aren’t called to a life of intercessory prayer, you will still need to do it from time to time.
There are intercessors among us that may never fulfil their calling if they don’t even know what it is.
How can a young person know how to dance in the spirit, if the old folks don’t demonstrate it?
How can an intercessor know how to engage in spiritual battle, if it is never taught?

Spiritual Warfare

So, before we dive to deep into intercession, I mentioned that I need to explain a little bit about Spiritual Warfare. The ministry of intercession won’t make sense if you don’t know what spiritual warfare is.
I read in the text from the Apostle Paul about this idea of Spiritual Warfare. Let’s look back at verse 10, 11, and 12 and break this down a bit.
Ephesians 6:10–12 KJV 1900
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
So, he starts out by saying that we need to be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. It is important to understand where the source of our strength is. We are nothing without God.
The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., ). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
Paul then says in verse 11 to put on the whole armor of God, and I’m not going to break down the pieces of the armor in this lesson for the sake of time, but just know that God has given you all the things you need for any battle that you could face in this life. He didn’t just drop us in the middle of a fight and say, “have at it”. No, he gave us tools we could use to stand against the wiles of the devil.
That word wiles, means methods.
How many knows the devil has a method?
His main method is to distract us.

Distractions

The devil knows that he can’t kill you. God said you can do whatever you want to Job, but you can’t kill him. The devil can’t do anything to us unless God allows it, and he won’t let the devil kill his children. So, don’t be afraid that the devil is trying to kill you.
The devil’s main method of warfare is distraction.
He knows that if he can get you focused on something other than the battle, then he has already won. He knows that if can get you focused on:
The cares of life.
The entertainment industry.
The problems you are facing.
Financial issues.
Family issues.
Church issues.
Submission issues.
Sin issues.
Anything he can get you focused on besides the battle, is a win for him. Because the devil is afraid of you.
I said the devil is afraid of you.
He likes to distract us from the fact that we have a power within us that will cause him to flee in a heartbeat. He distracts us from the fact that greater is he that is within us than he that is in the world. He distracts us from the fact that we can do ALL things through him that gives us strength.
This is really the devil’s best method. It is his best weapon.
We have nukes, jets, tanks, and bombs and the devil has a decoy.

Realms of Warfare

So, we know that the devil has his methods, but he also has his realms. We need to be aware of this concept of the realms of the enemy. When we dive into vs 12, you may have a difficult time understanding what Paul is saying. The problem is mostly a translation problem. He uses 3 different words that all could mean the same thing. He says Principalities, Powers, Rulers. Three words that when found in other verses could all be just power. They call all be authority. They could all be rulers. I imagine the translators scratching there heads when they tried to unravel the meaning of Paul’s words he. Translation attempt number one… We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against powers, powers, and powers of the world. Do you see the difficulty? We have a limited number of words in english, and they don’t always match up properly to the Greek. There are several words for power in the Greek. Primarily they all boil down to either mean Authority or Strength. However, all three Greek words here are talking about Authority. So, we can’t just use that one English word to understand it. When you dig it out, the meaning however starts to become clearer, and the words the old English translators use are also a good hint.

Principality

The first word is Principality. This can also be translated as ruler, power, authority, and beginning or start. What it actually means is the first level of Authority. The root word Principal means first, or beginning. It really takes more than one English word to understand this single Greek word. The old english word was used to mean a ruler of a kingdom. It is the highest level of ruler in your state. In comparison, we might say governor today instead of principality.

Power

When you look at this word in Old English, it means the district in which power is exercised a kingdom realm, or the people inhabiting a district of a nation.
This essentially means a ruler also, but more specifically, we are talking about the ruler of a district, not an entire Kingdom. So, not as high as Principality, but still a position of authority. If we called a Principality a governor, then we might call a power a mayor of a city today.

Rulers

Now this last one is a little easier. Of course it also means ruler, but Paul tell us in more than one word that it means a ruler of the world. In other words, we are talking about a world leader. A president, a king, or prime minister.

Not Flesh

So, when you break down these words that seem to all mean the same thing, you start realize that Paul is talking about levels of authority. They had different forms of government than we do, but today you can more easily understand what Paul is saying if you think about is as a mayor, and governor, or a president.
So, are we supposed to be at battle with our civil leaders?
No. When you look at this in context, Paul clearly says that we are not fighting against flesh and blood. This is not a physical battle. We are not supposed to take up arms and charge the mayor’s office because we are upset that he took down the trees on Grand Avenue, or because he let them put in a Habit burger instead of a Ryan’s Steak house.
We are not fighting a battle against the men or women in these positions of authority. We are engaged in a war against spiritual wickedness in these high places.
To put Paul’s words in plain english, there is evil that is attached to these domains of authority, and we are not fighting the people in those positions, we are fighting the spirits that are evil and dark in those places.

We are at war

Brother Cole teaches using this same passage, that there are spirits in every city that need to be subdued. That there are spirits in every state, and spirits of every nation that must be fought. If we choose to ignore them, we choose to not fight, we then also choose to forgo revival.
The only way to have revival in any city, state, or nation, is to defeat the rulers of darkness in those areas through prayer.
This is not some fairy tale. It is real. It makes the devil’s job easy when we fail to recognize that we are in a war. If we don’t know a war is even happening, then we won’t fight, and if we don’t fight the devil has a hay day parade all through our neighborhoods. We can beat him easily, but we can’t do it if we pretend there is no battle going on.
Why doesn’t God just run all the devil’s off?
He did. In the beginning, when Adam was in the Garden, he gave man complete dominion of all the Earth. But Adam and Eve chose sin over dominion. They gave up their rights to the Earth. Now the devil is roaming to and fro around the world. He is the prince of the Earth now. He has full reign because we chose sin.
Thankfully Jesus went down to hell, and took back dominion from satan, and today we have the power to overcome every evil spirit in this Earth. But to do it, we must be aware that a battle is happening around us. One day God is going to lock up the devil and put him in a pit for 1000 years, and the Bible says that we will be the rulers of the Earth. You and I will be governors, and Jesus will be the King. There will be no battles. There will only be peace for 1000 years, but until that day, we have a war going on, and we can’t ignore it.
Shouldn’t the pastor do all the fighting?
Even if he wasn’t here, you know I’d say this. We have the greatest pastor of all time. We have the greatest pastor’s wife of all time. They have the greatest kids of all time. There are battles they are fighting that most of you are unaware of, and they do it with such grace in my opinion. God knew what he was doing when he sent the Sargent family here to Escondido. He really did. I don’t think anyone could do what this family has done, and will do in this city. I have little doubt that the only reason there is a church that preaches truth in this corner of North county is because of this family. But we are being selfish if we expect them to fight alone. We are self-centered if we think that they should carry the burden of 150,000 souls alone… and really the number is much higher than that. There are 153,000 souls in Escondido, but I think God has put a dream in Pastor’s heart to reach more than just Escondido. We need revival in Ramona, that’s 25,000 people, we need churches in Fallbrook, Bonsall, San Marcos, Poway, Rancho Santa Fe, Valley Center.
I watched a video the other day that someone shared to the Escondido Friends Facebook page. It was a short show from a series that PBS is doing called something like “my town” or “my hometown”, or something like that. In the video, they talk about how Escondido has two nick names. One is the hidden city. Escondido means hidden, and the city is tucked away in this little valley surrounded by mountains. I thought, I want to change that. The Bible says that we should be like a city on a hill. I don’t see any reason why the whole world can’t hear about revival that started in Escondido. The city that was once called the hidden city could be called the city of light.
The other nickname came from the crime waves that occur when San Diego runs off all the gangs, and they go hide in north county. They started calling Escondido, the devil’s corner. I certainly don’t like that nick name. We’re gonna change that real fast to the Jesus corner. I truly believe that we can and will have revival in this city that spreads around the globe, and the burden that God has placed on our Pastor will not be for nothing. We are going to put the hidden city on the map. The only way we can do that is to get behind our pastor and learn to engage in spiritual warfare.

Prince of the City

In every city there is a prince according to Billy Cole. There is an evil spirit or spirits that must be defeated. Wherever you see revival, it is because the prince of that city, state, or nation has been subdued. These spirits will build up strongholds throughout the city, and they are not willing to let them go easily. I heard Billy Cole say that you can pass out 1000 flyers and not have more than one or two people show up until you defeat the prince of that city. There is only one way to do this. It is through the ministry of intercessory prayer. Paul said that we must be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. This isn’t a battle against men, against flesh and blood. That’s why we must use intercession.

Intercessory Prayer

What is intercessory Prayer?
This is not your normal “now I lay me down to sleep” prayer. It isn’t the “thank you Jesus for my food prayer”. This is spiritual warfare. It is a real thing. It is more real than the pew you are sitting on. Every day across the world, there are warriors engaging in battle, but they don’t put on boots, and pick up guns, they crawl into closets and bury their faces into the ground, and pray for hours upon hours. Most of the time they do not know what they are even praying for unless God shows them.
If you interceded in English, then you are praying your will to be done, but true intercessory prayer, is when God prays through you, and you are speaking in tongues. Unless God then gives you the interpretation, you will not know what you were even praying for, but somewhere in the world a battle was one in the spirit.
Paul said,
1 Corinthians 14:14 KJV 1900
For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
and Paul also said...
Romans 8:26 KJV 1900
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
In
So, we can interceded in our own tongue for someone else, but there is a more powerful form of intercession where God intercedes through us for ourselves, or for someone else, or for whatever His will is for us to pray.
The difference between the two forms is that you are praying your will in one, and God is praying His will in the other, and sometimes, or probably most times, those are not the same time.
So, we can interceded in our own tongue for someone else, but there is a more powerful form of intercession where God intercedes through us for ourselves, or for someone else, or for whatever His will is for us to pray.
To engage in battle with the prince of a city, you must use intercessory prayer.
Who are the intercessors?

How to engage in Intercession.

Anyone
I mentioned already that I do not believe that I’m gifted in this ministry. I can do it, and I have done it, and here recently I’ve been trying to do it more. However, I do not believe it is my personal calling to be a full time intercessor. There is a tremendous amount of stress on your body from this type of prayer, and when combined with the stress of teaching and preaching, you will not live very long. That’s why God said there are many members in the church, and we each have our jobs to do. If anyone person tries to do them all, they won’t last very long.
I’ve entered in to intercessions in the past without knowing what I was doing, or what was happening. When I heard how brother Cole teaches on this subject, I started understanding it more. When you understand it more, you can do in on purpose instead of on accident like I have done most of my life. Here are the steps to intercession.
Worship.
All prayer starts with thanksgiving, praise, and then you enter into worship. Intercession is no exception to that rule.
Get your mind entirely off everything but God, and his will.
This is where I struggle. I cannot focus as quickly as some others because of the way my mind is wired. I can read two pages of a book before I realize I’ve been thinking about something else while I was reading, and then I have to go back and read those pages again. This is not a good trait to have if you are called to intercession. This step takes me 30 minutes or an hour, where someone with the gift of this ministry probably takes 2 minutes.
Start speaking in tongues.
Remember that if you interceded in English, then you are praying your will.
Take it to the next level.
I can’t think of another way to describe it. Brother Cole says to let the tongues go deep. I’m not sure if that is much clearer for you. However, you will know when it happens. It is when you are completely focused on God and you just lose yourself almost in speaking in tongues.
Then you will feel a physical contraction.
Your body will literally start trying to fold in half almost, and almost completely involuntarily. If you are somehow still standing, your knees will begin to give way. If you are kneeling, you will bend at the stomach and almost curl into a ball.
You will then remain praying in this fashion until God lets go of you. It could be an hour, it could be all day.
Remember unless God gives you the interpretation, which only happened to me once, then you may never know what you were praying for in the spirit, but it was a battle that needed to take place. You could have saved a preachers life, you could have joined with another prayer warrior on the other side of the world and fought the prince of a nation. You could have stop the persecution of a saint in Iraq. You never know.

2 issues that occur

There are 2 things that can happen to distract an intercessor. The devil is certainly out to get someone gifted the ministry of intercessory prayer. He knows they are the biggest enemy of his, and sometimes his best weapon is to let the intercessor know this. That’s right, he will flat out tell them how powerful they are. He will just brag on them, and boast about them, and then the intercessor will be distracted with pride. When God uses you in intercessory prayer, you must remember that you are just a vessel. We are nothing without our source of power, and the minute you forget that, the minute you lose your power. The devil knows this, so he entice you with pride. The Bible says that we carry this treasure in earthen vessels. I love that verse. I’m nothing, but God put His Spirit in me. He could have picked a nicer looking pot, but he picked me. Thank God he picked me… and that is the secret to defeating the spirit of pride. Thankfulness. If you wake up every day and thank God for everything he has done, you can’t be prideful.
Secondly, the devil will try to burden the intercessor with more than they can physically handle. He will essentially tell them to pray more. It sounds counterproductive for the devil to get you to pray more, but he knows that there is only so much that a human body can handle. Our earthen vessels are fragile. If you tried to engage in intercessory prayer all day and night, you would die. You can’t do much praying after you die, and the devil knows that. So, he begins to remind you of all the things that are going on in the world that your prayers didn’t change. If you prayed for a service and 40 out of 45 got the Holy Ghost, the devil will get you to dwell on those 5 that didn’t instead of rejoicing for the 40 that got it. This can lead to depression, and serious amounts of stress.
Brother Cole’s wife was a fearsome intercessor. Billy Cole claimed many times that he wouldn’t have had any success in his ministry if not for his wife’s prayers. She would pray for hours and hours. That’s how they found out that this ministry has to be controlled. The Bible says that the spirit of the Prophet is subject to the prophet. The same is true about any gift that God gives us. We have to know when to turn it off. You can’t pray 24/7 for the entire world. You must rejoice in every victory to regain your strength.
Billy Cole’s wife got so sick once. They took her to the doctor, and the doctor asked them what in the world has she been doing. Brother Cole said, why. The doctor said, her blood is separating from the water, and her blood is coming to the surface of her skin, and seeping out her pores.
When I watched Brother Cole testify about this, he didn’t put it together in the video, and I’m not sure if he ever did. Perhaps he did, but never said it. However, the first thing I thought of when I heard him talk about his wife’s condition was Jesus in the Garden. The Bible says that he prayed until there were great drops of blood in his sweat.
Jesus didn’t start dying on the cross, he started dying in the Garden.
Jesus was carrying the weight of all the world’s sin on his shoulders during that time of intercessory prayer in the Garden. It was too much for a human body to handle. I cannot even imagine it.
I’m not telling you this to scare you out of trying to learn how to be an intercessor. I’m only warning you about what can happen if you don’t control it. You cannot let the devil cause you to be lifted up in pride, but you can’t let him try to drag you down into depression either. You can to remember that it is God who gave you the gift, and don’t forget to rejoice over every victory that is won. This will keep the devil at bay.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we are in spiritual warfare daily. We cannot go on ignoring it if we are. Otherwise, we cannot have revival. We can shout about revival, talk about it, believe for it, but until we fight for it, we won’t have it. It is not a fight against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness in high places. The spirits aline themselves within the geographical borders of cities, states, and nations. They setup strongholds that must be broken, but we can break them, and we will break them.
Finally, whether you are gifted in the ministry of intersection or not, you need to try it. God will use you as he needs you even if that isn’t your primary calling, but it helps if you know how to do it first.
Don’t be afraid of the warnings I gave you, but be aware that the main thing the devil does is distract us. He will tried to distract an intercessor with pride and/or depression. If God uses you in any gift, don’t let pride take over or he may never use you again. Also, don’t ever think that because God uses you in any gift that you are somehow not subject to your pastors direction. If you ever lose your submission to your spiritual leader, then you will lose any ounce of anointing that God has put on your life. You gifts are subject to you, but you are to always be submitted to your pastor.
I’ll leave you with this:
Romans 8:31 KJV 1900
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
:
Romans 8:37–39 KJV 1900
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
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