Spiritual power source

If you have ever worked with preschoolers or kindergarteners, you know that one of the most coveted things the children want to be, next to the line leader, is the door holder. For some reason, they just love that job.

It's a pretty easy gig. All the child has to do is stand there with his or her back on the door until everyone is through. No thinking whatsoever, right?

Well, sadly, many of us have assumed the position of a preschool door holder in our everyday lives. We really put no thought into what goes in and out of our houses, our family, our neighborhoods, our cities, our nation and our world. We go about everyday just watching stuff go in and out. And, we often feel as though we have no control over any of it.
This is where we have been led astray.

Some of our churches today are failing to harness the power of prayer. I grew up in a Lutheran church and then attended a Presbyterian church up until a couple years ago. Never do I remember ever hearing the church pray “In Jesus’ name” (Jesus specifically tells us to do this in John 14:14). Why? I have no idea really. I can’t figure it out. I can’t figure out why they aren’t paying attention to Jesus’ words in John 16:24, “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”

We, ourselves, have no power. But, those who are believers and followers of Jesus have received the Holy Spirit who gives us His power.  (See John 16:7 and Acts 10:38). How do we tap into the power of our greatest spiritual weapon?

Prayer.

Intercessory prayer.
While it is true that when Jesus died and rose again, He went before us to secure a place for us. He, through His death, interceded on our behalf. (If you have not been saved yet, He is indeed waiting on you). However, just because He has interceded on our behalf, it does not mean that our part in His glory is over. He now mediates for us as our High Priest (Hebrews 4:14) so that we can come into God’s presence.

Perhaps the reason people are walking around complaining about God and how He is not answering prayers is because one, maybe we aren’t praying and two, maybe we aren’t praying correctly. We can’t get what we don’t ask for.

Take a look at Daniel 9:23a. It says, "The moment you began praying, a command was given." What do you think the story would have looked like if Daniel hadn't prayed?

Sometimes our inaction has just as much impact as our action. Have you ever thought about that? By not doing something, by not praying or by not having enough confidence to ask God for something, we are actually effecting God's plans just as much (or more) as when we are doing something we believe God is calling us to do.

In his book, Intercessory Prayer, Dutch Sheets defines intercessory prayer as the following:
"Intercessory prayer is an extension of the ministry of Jesus through His Body, the Church, whereby we mediate between God and humanity for the purpose of reconciling the world to Him, or between Satan and humanity for the purpose of enforcing the victory of Calvary" (page 42).

Our work and our prayers are then only an extension of this ministry. It is not our own ministry and in fact, has not much to do with us at all. What then is our role as intercessors?

The role of intercessors is to plead with God. We are called to intercede for those in our families, our communities, and our country - whether they are lost, saved, sick or healthy, etc. When the Spirit prompts us to pray, we need to take up our case with God directly. Intercessory prayer is a two-way communication. We speak to God and He speaks to us.

Intercessors are often known as prophetic watchmen. Just like the gatekeeper watched over the entrance to the pasture or the guard stood tall on the wall of an ancient city, intercessors watch over the happenings around them always on alert. Unlike the preschool door holder, intercessory watchmen need to be thinking and watching all the time. They need to know who or what is going in and who or what is going out.

What if we all acted on alert to the subtle things going in and out of our homes, our children, our spouse, our schools and/or our neighborhoods? Do you think if we paid more attention things would change? You better believe they would.
Praying for our families and our loved ones is pretty easy. We have genuine emotion attached to them. We care about their well-being. However, what about our communities and our country? Do you really care about them?

The answer should be yes...especially if you are a Christian.
Does it matter whether the President is a Republican or a Democrat? In our worldly thinking it does. However, the control is actually spread among many others within the House and Senate. My point is this; regardless of whether there is a Republican or a Democrat in the President’s office, it shouldn’t matter. Regardless of whether there has been a Republican or a Democrat in office, we always have something to complain about and something is going wrong somewhere. What we need to be doing is praying specifically for those people who are in control. God is bigger than any politician – He created each one of them and He can make anything happen. However, if we become a complacent, complaining people (much like the Israelites as they wandered through the desert), God’s power can’t move. We need, each one of us, to be praying for our politicians whether we like them or not. We need to intercede on their behalf and plead with God for them and for our country.

Some have prophesied that there is going to be a great revival movement in this country…one that is already underway. However, it won’t go anywhere or be as powerful without prayer. When people gather, they need to be praying for those who are there and for those who aren’t there. When you are walking through your neighborhoods, you need to be praying over them. When you are dropping your kids off at carpool, you need to be praying over not only your own children, but also each child in that school, the teachers and the building. You need to be praying over your church leaders, your church buildings, all of the ministries that your church reaches. You need to be praying for people and things you see on the news whether or not they are in your city, another state or another country.

Prayer is a tough topic sometimes because we often want immediate results. If we don’t get our prayers answered within minutes, days or weeks, or in the way we want them answered, we often give up. We can’t continue to give up. We need to pray like we have the faith of a mustard seed – the kind of faith that can move mountains. We need to pray for everything and everyone, especially when the Spirit has laid something on you. And, we need to pray in Jesus' name.

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

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