“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.”
— 1 Timothy 2:1 (NLT)
Many churches nowadays fail dismally in prayer, because we tend to just go through the motions – a very human thing to do. A Spirit-less church is a common phenomenon wherever we make the prayer ministry not important enough.
Everything in the spiritual realm is underpinned by prayer – by our intercession on behalf of the saints. When we say, “All I can do is pray,” we are severely undermining what is eternally powerful.
The real church of Jesus Christ is a praying church; a church committed to interceding for the saints. It is also committed to freeing up resources and control so the Holy Spirit might flow. The leaders of such a church are quick to encourage and empower people who are already praying and trying to sense God’s Spirit in things.
Intercession is much bigger and deeper than simply praying for others off in the distance. It’s a prophetic ministry. It’s being woken up in the middle of the night and having to pray for a particular situation, person, or in a certain way.
And that prophetic ear also has to have a voice – not that all prophesy has to be acted on. But it needs to be listened to. A pastor needs to have prophetic voices sharing God’s words with him or her. There needs to be a constant desiring of God.
We have been powerfully touched in our own lives, my wife and I, through prophetic intercession. Beyond a shadow of a doubt these experiences where believers are touched miraculously by the hand of God are transformational in their faith life.
In a day when the spiritual barometer of churches and Christians can be said to be cooling, the potential to heat things up is an eternal possibility. Churches, Christians, and the world are missing out.
We need to be passionately spiritual. We are spiritual beings connecting with a Spiritual Being; our Creator. We cannot be in God and in the world at one and the same time.
It is good for a pastor and a church leadership to trust God for the provision of spiritual persons with gifts of intercession and prophecy.
Churches need to hear from God and those with intercessory gifts can be vital voices for pastors and church leaders to consider.
Prayer is grossly underrated in its power. Intercessory prayer and hearing God’s voice are crucial components empowering God’s church. Prayer makes a people of power under God.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.