Can you imagine a city evangelist taking care of cows out in the middle of Texas? How about Daniel, Shadrach, Mischach and Abednego — forced to go to Babylonian schools, learning the ways of Babylon and yet coming out wise and learned. But what of the rest of us who are called to be salt and light in the midst of the world? We, like Esther, were also born for such a time as this and it is error to have our eyes more on survival than on whatever jobs have been given to us to do.
My friend started in Hollywood and ended up on Skid row and now that is where he is called to be — ministering in both worlds as only he is equipped to do. What if he buys a plot of land, as some encourage him to do, and goes out to live in the wilderness? Who then ministers to the poor, needy, widowed, orphaned and oppressed on Skid Row? What exactly is our calling, to ourselves or to the lost?
We each need to be doing our jobs when the Master returns, or what excuse will we have when all we can return to Him is the talent we buried? Our safety is unimportant if that safety comes at the cost of the people we were supposed to be there for — but abandoned instead. Although we are now living in Southern Missouri and many people tell me that this is some sort of protected area, I know that at some point we are headed to Florida, where people tell me I will fall into the Ocean. Oh well, big deal. Better to die doing what I was called to do than to live where I have become useless and unprofitable.
So take it easy and do what you are being called to do, and go where you are being called to go. You were born for such a time as this. I am a fifty-something-year-old Bible teacher, wife of twenty-eight years to Mark, and mom of adult twin sons. I have written six books on the ancient Near Eastern and First Century context of Scripture, including a family curriculum series. So much wisdom in this post Tyler!
We just need to do what we were created to do, small or grand it matters not, just that we do it. It was huge. Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. They will say something like, "One day I was reading the first chapter of Jeremiah and it kind of jumped out at me. The Holy Spirit began to speak to my heart that He would make me a prophet to the nations. In the next chapter, we will learn about the role of intercession and obedience in training those who have a prophetic call.
Do you know someone who has a prophetic call? Have you surrendered your life to be used of God in any way He may see fit for you? Do you think it is possible for a person to hear the Voice of God today? Have you ever thought about how the gift of prophecy might be used to help you draw closer to God? Think back, if possible, to a time when you either received a prophecy or you had some kind of supernatural "foreknowledge" that helped you or a friend.
Discuss it with someone to whom you are spiritually accountable. Notes 1. See for example Acts ,17; ,28; ,2; ; ,11; I recently sat across from a lovely young lady who was in great distress. In a crushed tone of voice she said, "Cindy, my pastor just rebuked me for prophesying to one of the leaders of our church. He said to me, 'Susan not her real name , if you are going to give a prophetic word you need to get it judged by me as your pastor before you give it.
All I thought I was doing was praying about a church situation at the elder's request. Not knowing any of the specifics, I started to pray. Suddenly, out of my mouth fell the phrase, 'And Lord, those year- old ladies who are gossiping and causing problems need to be touched by You and convicted of what they are doing to the church. I had prayed specifically for what he felt was the root problem in the church. But the pastor didn't receive what I prayed. I'm not sure whether he couldn't believe these people were really the problem or he didn't understand why he wasn't told first.
This is one of the first ways prophetic people start to receive what they later come to realize must have been a prophetic word. Prophesying was new to Susan's church. The leaders in the church didn't know what to do with her and the way she prayed. Furthermore, Susan didn't know what to do with her developing gift either! Many other Susans need help! Sadly, many are so crushed that they give up, and some also leave the church! Others cause great damage to the local church because they don't know the correct way to use the gift God has given to them, or the "do's and don'ts" of prophesying—of which there are many.
In fact, I, too, am still learning, even as I write. I will attempt to incorporate the lessons I've learned through the years, some of which I shared that day with Susan. While I talked with Susan, I reflected on my own trials and tribulations in learning how to prophesy.
It might sound strange when I say "learning how to prophesy. Timing is crucial. We'll talk about timing quite a bit. One reason I spent so much time with Susan was that I remembered episodes when I was first beginning to prophesy. Like Susan, I had no idea I was in fact prophesying.
People at our church were asking me to pray for them after church. I didn't realize that what I was doing was prophetic intercession. I had no clue that such a thing as a prophetic word existed! After a time, it became apparent that I didn't pray the same way as other people did, and the things I prayed were often accurate and fulfilled in dramatic ways.
Also, I noticed a large contrast between the way I prayed and the way others prayed during times of corporate prayer. I tended to pray with more authority and with greater detail. I often was amazed at what came out of my mouth in our prayer meetings. It was sometimes painful when our pastor would ask me to pray in church, and then he would accuse me of being prideful because of the way I prayed.
Of course, now I know I could have done things differently at times but, unfortunately, at that time no one knew why I prayed as I did. And I certainly had no idea what to do with this prophetic gift—sometimes it didn't seem like much of a blessing. I remember an incident in college when a group from a Christian commune had heard of the way I prayed and they decided I was demonized. They plotted with a boy I had dated to get me to the commune to "deliver me. First they told me that because I seemed to pray with some sort of foreknowledge, I had a religious demon inside me and had never been truly born again.
They told me I was involved in witchcraft. I recall weeping in great anguish of soul, "If I'm not born again, what happened when I asked Jesus to come into my heart? I didn't know anyone I could talk to about it. I was living away from home and should have talked to my parents about it but didn't have the presence of mind to do so.
I guess I just felt shamed by the whole thing. As the years passed, I began to read some materials about prophesying. Most of it was rather vague. None of the materials discussed such things as spiritual protocol which I describe later in this book. I spent as much time as possible in intercession, often awakening in the night and being deeply burdened for pastors and leaders.
Another way I interceded prophetically was to pray while watching the news or reading the paper. It was interesting how many times I would pray concerning some treaty or government situation and the solution I prayed for would be exactly the outcome of the negotiations. It's interesting to note that one of the Hebrew words translated "to prophesy" is naba, which some scholars believe is a derivative of the root naba', which means "to bubble up, to gush forth, to pour forth.
It happens just as the possible root of the word naba suggests, "bubbling up and gushing forth, empowered by the Holy Spirit. I have leaned that if I open my mouth, the Lord will fill it with His words. We'll talk more about how to release the prophetic gift in chapter 8. I knew the Lord seemed to be using me to pray prophetically, but I didn't have much grasp of the scriptural basis of prophetic intercession or personal prophecy.
One day I was riding in a car with Margaret Moberly, who taught me quite a bit about prophesying. She said, "Cindy, not all intercessors are prophetic but all prophets are intercessors! She quoted from Jeremiah "'But if they are prophets, and if the word of the Lord is with then, let them now make intercession to the Lord of hosts, that the vessels which are left in the house of the Lord, in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, do not go to Babylon.
I'm called to intercede prophetically! A light bulb went on in my head. It was as though I had finally found my place, realized who I was and, at least for the moment, knew what God wanted me to do. As the years have gone by, I have understood increasingly how interwoven intercession is with prophecy. Although as yet many prophets do not consider themselves intercessors, they spend long hours in intimacy with the Father, listening and praying.
I believe someday they'll realize the strong links between intercession and the prophetic. We see it throughout the Word of God. The first case where prayer is mentioned in the Bible is intercessory. God spoke to Abraham and told him beforehand that He was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham immediately began prophetic intercession for the righteous in the city.
He asked the Lord, "Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Abraham's way of interceding may seem a bit presumptuous to us. Surely God in His sovereignly does not include humankind in His decision making. The bottom line was that He didn't want Lot destroyed, so intercession needed to be made. Interestingly enough, one of the pictures given us through the interceding of Abraham in Genesis 18 conveys the meaning of the prophet as a legal defender in the court of Heaven, presenting a case before God as judge. At times when we pray, we stand in the gap as a prosecutor or legal defender, God having spoken a prophetic word to us concerning another person or a nation.
We pray according to the revelation given to us in the prophecy. Prophetic intercession is the ability to receive an immediate prayer request from God and pray about it in a divinely anointed utterance. Biblical examples can be found throughout Scripture see Gen. The people praying may not realize this at the time and only later find out it was God speaking to them to pray prophetically.
At times when I pray like this, it is not so much that God gives me a lengthy prophecy, but a name will come to me while I am praying. I then open my mouth to pray and trust God to fill it with the word of intercession He wants. Yet on other occasions, I will ask the Lord, "How do you want me to pray for this matter? I personally believe that almost all prophetic intercessors have the ability to prophesy on a regular basis or to become prophets.
As I write later on about the various kinds of prophets, we will see that they may prophesy in song, or as they counsel or in front of a congregation.
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Prophets all vary in nature, and so do not all use the same prophetic vehicle to prophesy. As intercessors begin to experience regular answers to their prayers from supernatural knowledge given to them by God, many step forward to share with someone else what they are sensing. I like to mentor young prophetic believers by taking them with me as I travel and having them pray with me. They often become very excited and say, "Cindy, I knew what you were going to pray before it came out of your mouth!
At times this kind of praying involves a progressive revelation of God's will. I heard no other words, but yet I felt great alarm for this man. I prayed, "Father, protect him, encourage him. Don't let him do something he shouldn't do. He had the same name and I could then pray with even greater knowledge. I strongly sense the Lord may have averted a suicide attempt—the situation was dire right at that moment.
It is often greatly encouraging to me when God touches other people's hearts to pray for me prophetically during times of stress or discouragement. In , we were trying to move to Colorado Springs, and it seemed like all hell was fighting it. Finances were tight, I was physically exhausted and wondering if we were being presumptuous in even thinking of moving to Colorado. During that time, I received a call from Dutch Sheets, who is now my pastor. He said, "Cindy, I'm concerned for you.
I've been praying for you. More about prophetic dreams and visions in chapter 9. Another call came that same day from a prayer partner who said, "Cindy, you're going to make it. Don't give up on the move to Colorado Springs. These prophetic words and intercessions encouraged me to keep pressing forward. Prophetic intercession often catches unaware those who are praying. At times, a person may begin praying a simple prayer of petition when all of a sudden the tonality of the voice will change.
A ring of authority comes. It is as though the intercessor has shifted gears in the Spirit as the power of the Holy Spirit energizes the prayer.
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Dick Eastman tells of just such an incidence in his book The Jericho Hour. He was in a prayer meeting at the headquarters of Every Home for Christ, of which he is the international president. Prayer centered around the sale of the organization's building in California so they could also make a move to Colorado Springs. At first, he writes, though the prayers were sincere, nothing of particular intensity caught his attention.
Then the Lord shifted the meeting into overdrive! In Dick's own words, here is what occurred: What happened next prompted me to look at my watch. It was A. He had been rehearsing in prayer certain factors God was certainly well aware of: the declining economic conditions of the city; recent articles in the local newspaper explaining how few, if any, office buildings were selling in the Los Angeles area; and the fact that our small street was lined with buildings for sale, some perhaps better and even cheaper than ours. What a faith-building prayer! But then came the change. The prayer seemed to take a quantum spiritual leap in boldness.
It began with a simple phrase, "God, no matter the circumstance, You have just the right buyer for this building. You know his name. You can see where he is—what he's doing right now. The intercessor suddenly spoke directly to the would-be buyer, "I believe that even now God sees you driving along the streets near the EHC office looking for just the right building for your business.
Not tomorrow, not next week, not next month, but today. Theirs would be the only offer on the property. The purchase was finalized exactly on time for that summer's move to Colorado Springs. And it had all begun with a prophetic prayer. Very few people who move in personal prophecy i. Most started as I did by praying for people and having them exclaim, "How did you know to pray that way? What you prayed is exactly my need! He requires things—to temper them—that may seem more than a little unusual to others.
Rees Howells was an extraordinary intercessor whom God put through many testings to prepare him for his role in intercession for the lost and for Great Britain during World War II. First, there was the love of money. Rees said, "Money would be no more to me than it was to John the Baptist or the Saviour. Could the Saviour have given His life and attention to one person, instead of to a lost world? This meant if he were earning 12 pounds a day, and another man with a family was earning much less, the Spirit could tell him to give his job to that man.
Finally, on the fifth day of this process the Lord touched on a fourth area of his life, his reputation. As he was thinking of men of the Bible who were full of the Holy Ghost, particularly John the Baptist, the Lord said to him, "Then I may live through you the kind of life I lived through him. Even in this, or what might be its modern equivalent, a real decision had to be made. As the Saviour was despised, he must be willing to be the same. I have found, however, that the greater the calling and responsibilities God plans to give a prophet, the more exacting, and at times lengthy, the preparation for the call.
Although God may not require the same things He did of Howells, His training is stretching and demanding on those being trained, no matter what is to be their calling. Romans says, "Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God. It seems that others can get away with things I can't. For instance, I know people who watch movies that to me are marginal and it seems their consciences aren't bothered at all. If I were to do that, I believe the Holy Spirit within me would be deeply grieved.
I would end up on my face in some dark corner of my house, repenting before God. To persevere in the walk God has for me, it is not just important, but also necessary for me to spend at least one, but usually two to three hours a day, in His presence. At some point each day, I review the day and ask the Holy Spirit to show me where I have had a bad attitude or have been short with people, or where roots of selfishness or sin are present in my life.
This isn't integrally part of prophetic intercession but I feel it is appropriate, nevertheless. It concerns the purity of my relationship with God. There are special strategic "windows of time" to not only pray, but also to obey by doing a physical act that might be called an intercessory act or a prophetic act. At times, such acts may seem a bit unusual but can be powerful in breaking down strongholds.
And still at other times, we may be more traditional in what we consider intercession. The typical view of intercession would be to gather in a prayer room or to kneel in our "prayer closets" i. Let's consider a few intercessory acts in the Bible that could be considered prophetic intercession and that produced great results for the kingdom of God. One well-known and powerful example of an intercessory act is found in Joshua 6. Prophetic instructions were given regarding how to take Jericho through an intercessory act.
The Israelites' actions don't sound strange to most Christians today because we are so familiar with the story. The same God that told the Israelites to march around Jericho also told them to stand firm in the face of invading enemies, so that they sent worshipers before the army and they prevailed see 2 Chron.
Another prophet, Jeremiah, was instructed to hide his girdle among some rocks where water would shrink it as a sign from the Lord see Jer. These were all highly unusual acts. In the late 70s and early '80s, the Lord began to train me in obedience. I once heard Dr. David Yonggi Cho say the key to his success was that he "prayed and obeyed. One winter day as I prayed, the Lord seemed to say that I should go to a certain lighting shop to look for a fixture for my hallway.
I hadn't planned to go at that time but it seemed crucial that I go now. My daughter, Mary, was three years old and my son, Daniel, was a baby so I had to bundle up everyone to go out. As I drove up to the store, I could see they were having a close- out sale. At first I simply thought, How nice, the Lord id trying to save me money. If I had known what God wanted me to do when I got into the store, I probably would have been tempted to turn around and go home.
Have you heard John , "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now"? As I was purchasing it, I asked the Jewish man who owned the store, "Why are you selling out? They have given me handfuls of pills to take but I'm getting worse. I simply can't run my store anymore.
I turned the stroller with Daniel in it and grabbed Mary's arm. I had to get out of the store before Halfway out of the store, I heard a still small Voice say to me, "Cindy, I want you to go lay hands on him and I'm going to heal him. You mean You want me to walk up to him and pray for him in the name of Jesus? Lord, he's Jewish as if the Lord didn't already know that. Won't he be offended or turn me down flat? I looked at the man, who looked up in surprise.
My heart was thundering in my chest as I murmured, "Sir, may I pray for you? I quickly laid my hands on him and blurted out, "In the name of Jesus, be healed! Several weeks later, I went back to see the store owner. I screwed up my courage and said, "Excuse me, but I'm the lady who prayed for you a couple of weeks ago and I've been wondering how you are feeling. The store owner grabbed me by the shoulders with tears in his eyes and said, "You, you're the one who prayed? Still tearful, he exclaimed, "I went back to my doctor and they can't find the problem anymore.
I seem to be perfectly healthy now. Gradually, as I obeyed these still, small voices and urges, I started to understand when the impressions were the Lord and when they were simply my own mind or flesh. I recall one day in Weatherford when the Lord urged me to go to the Winn Dixie grocery store—not Kroger' s nor Safeway—and stand in aisle three. A person would be there who needed to be saved. As I drove to the store, I meditated on the passage in Acts 35 where an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, "Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.
I believed strongly in my heart that this was a similar case. Well, I went to aisle three in Winn Dixie and waited, and waited and waited. Finally, a lady I knew only slightly came up the aisle. She greeted me with joy, "Oh, Cindy, I need to talk with you; I'm in such a mess. While I drove home, I worshiped the Lord for His goodness and love for one lost sheep. The Lord would leave the 90 and 9 for the 1. I want to always be willing to do the same. We can see several kinds of watchmen or women from a study of the Word.
At times, most prophetic intercessors will stand in each of these watchmen anointings. One emphasis of this chapter has been the important element of the watchman calling—that of watching over your own heart and character before God. I like what Rolland Smith says in his excellent manual, The Watchmen Ministry: The watchmen ministry starts with a view of a world many long to see and fully understand, our own hearts. It is a hidden land! Our loving God arranges circumstances in our lives so that we, for our own benefit, will discover what is in our hearts.
We then are taught through these experiences to trust, not in ourselves, but in God alone. Prophetic proclamations are given through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to verbally declare God's will into a situation. They might sound something like this: "We proclaim that God's will will not be stopped in this country. Father, Your Word declares that every knee shall bow and every tongue shall declare that You are Lord.
So we now say, 'Will of God, be done in the nation of Bhutan! This Jeremiah-type anointing comes upon Wes to declare God's will into a nation. It is a very powerful experience—one of those times when every goose bump on your body stands at attention and you are sure something has happened in the heavenlies.
The rod of an almond tree which was shown to Jeremiah comes from the almond tree which is one of the earliest to show life in the spring. Here it symbolizes a watchman, a vigilant officer looking for invasion. This calling is spoken of in Isaiah , "So the daughter of Zion is left as a booth in a vineyard, as a hut in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. Peculiar as this may sound to modern day ears, it was not strange at all in biblical times. They knew that temporary huts would be built in the middle of harvest fields for the watchmen of the vineyards.
For instance, many churches have a lot of visitors and some have many converts a year, but they do not hold the harvest i. Satan comes in to try to destroy the church and to make it look like a harvest field would look after an enemy army has trampled it under its feet. The harvest watchman is particularly critical to have in place during times of renewal and revival.
Few revivals have been maintained as far as people being converted and lives being renewed is concerned. I believe God has meant for many movements to become full-blown revivals but they were simply awakenings because the prophetic intercessory structure was not in place to watch over the harvest. Norman Grubb pinpointed this as being a problem during the Welsh revival in But the real problem arose as the Revival proceeded and thousands were added to the churches.
As enthusiasm abated, there were bound to be many who had depended more on feelings, and not yet learned to have their faith solidly based on the word of God. The devil took advantage of this, some became cold and indifferent, and the spiritual conflict began. Those like Rees Howells, young in the Spirit though they were but at least a bit more advanced than the converts in the revival, were needed to be intercessors and teachers, to take the burden of the newborn babes, and pray and lead them on.
But these young intercessors soon began to find how mighty is the enemy of souls, and that a conflict, not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers of the darkness of this world, cannot be fought with carnal weapons. Many blamed the young converts for backsliding, but we blamed ourselves, because we were not in a position to pray them through to victory. Oh, the tragedy, to be helpless in front of the enemy, when he was sifting young converts like wheat!
This church believes so much in the power of the watchmen ministry that they have hired a full-time pastor of prayer, Bjorn Pedersen. They have developed intercessory prayer teams for every ministry in the church. Pastor Kallestad said the Lord instructed him that he "was to put prayer in the highest possible priority in [his] own life as well as the life of Community Church of Joy. Kinnaman is implementing a strategy that will provide prayer coverage for every ministry within the church and every outreach of the church. Although I travel so much that I think my pastor, Dutch Sheets, is going to give me a visitor's card, the Holy Spirit still alerts me to pray as a watchman for members of our church.
I will begin thinking of them again and again and pray for them. When I get home, I either ask Pastor Dutch about them or call them personally to check on them. Harvest watchmen should be able to interface with church leaders to effectively fulfill their roles. In my book Possessing the Gates of the Enemy, I wrote some guidelines that can be applied to watchmen in the chapters on prayer partners and corporate intercession.
Some harvest watchmen will have a scope that goes beyond that of the local church and their own areas. They will watch over and sound the alarm of the enemy's plans for the nations. For instance, they will wake up in the night and pray for the Christians in nations such as Mongolia. Others will pray for unity in the Body of Christ; the Lord will alert them to possible sources of splits and divisions in the Church nationwide or worldwide.
Satan loves to divide us along denominational or theological lines and consume most of our time with nit-picking rather than focusing on the harvest. Of course, I know it is necessary to be correct theologically, but unless we are prayerful, divisions can turn into an "I'm of Paul and I'm of Apollos" kind of situation see 1 Cor.
The Warrior Watchman The warrior watchman is one who is offensive in his stance. In the ancient Near East, one of the techniques for war was to build a movable tower or fort as part of the siege works of a city. The watchmen would taunt the enemy verbally from this tower and report the condition of the city.
Thus, these watchmen were offensive in nature rather than defensive. They would watch the enemy and report on his doings. The warrior watchman is one who actively engages in prophetic intercession against the enemy. In Possessing the Gates of the Enemy, I explain how intercession is twofold. One aspect is interceding to God on behalf of another person and the other half is standing in the gap against satanic attack. Dutch Sheets tells the story of a physical attack coming against his wife, Ceci.
The Lord led him into a powerful time of intercessory prayer on her behalf. She had received a doctor's diagnosis of an egg- size cyst. As Dutch sought the Lord for a strategy on how to go to war for her, he felt that he should spend an hour a day praying. This is how he described his prayer time in a recent conversation with me: During that hour the Lord would lead me in different ways to attack this infirmity coming against my wife.
I would make declarations of her healing as well as speak the Word over her. Three or four times over the course of the month in which I warred, I had an unusual occurrence which came in the form of a vision. I saw a picture of myself holding the cyst in my hand, squeezing the life out of it. Each time I saw it, it was smaller and I'd ask Ceci, "Is the pain lessening?
I saw the cyst as about the size of a quarter in my hand. I saw myself squeezing it until there was nothing in my hand and the Lord spoke to me and said, "It's done! Ceci said there was just a little pain left, but I couldn't pray anymore about it after this. There was no more anointing to pray as I had no burden from the Lord. It was done. Three or four days later, Ceci said, "Dutch, there's no more pain! It happened to be the same weekend as a rock festival that was being held in the United States, called Woodstock II.
I was greatly concerned about this festival because the first Woodstock polluted a generation by unleashing a powerful spirit of rebellion and discontent. I particularly was concerned because of a prophetic intercessory word I had received two months before Woodstock II about an attack on this current upcoming generation.
This was the word we released in our Generals of Intercession newsletter: This is the day when I am raising up the generations and restoring the inheritance of the generations for I am a tri-generational God. I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I am at work linking the generations and bringing healing to the brokenness between the generations. The "Abraham" and apostolic voices are going to experience a new understanding of the Father heart of God. It will cause an understanding of the Father heart of God and a cleaving to God as Father. They will not just look to Jesus as their Friend but will understand the Holiness of God and give respect and honor to their Father.
The anointing of compassion will pour out with great tenderness while the fear of the Lord falls upon God's people. Rise up, intercessors of God, for the enemy knows of this plan and is also unleashing a double portion of the strongholds poured out during the '60s—strongholds of drugs, free sex, communes with no holds barred and a denying of absolutes.
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The youth will become a law unto themselves if God's people do not stand against the tide of filth and ungodliness being poured out against them. A curse will be brought upon the nations of the earth if God's people do not stand against the enemy's devices. Cry out to God so that the enemy will not thwart the new move of God.
There is still time to stand and pray and see the tide of Satan's power stopped. A standard of righteousness must be established from the "Isaacs" and "Jacobs" for God has called them to be His end time evangelists, pastors, prophets, and teachers. This is the last and final hour of prayer when God will do marvelous works among the children and youth. They will cause the nations of the earth to marvel at His greatness. As you stand in prayer, Satan will not be able to stop the flood- tide of God's power as it sweeps across the schools of the nations.
His glory will explode upon the generations as He heals among and through them. They will establish His Kingdom and His Will will be done on this earth. This is how we warred, as closely as I can recall: First, we humbled ourselves, declaring we had no power in or of ourselves. Second, we cleansed our own hearts of any known sin. Next, we claimed the protection of the Lord through Psalm I then suggested we kneel and pray as the Lord was leading us into a time of "Korean style" prayer praying out loud at the same time— sometimes quite loudly.
I instructed that I would then lead in a prayer of agreement at this time everyone would need to pray quietly enough to hear me in order to agree with me. Many strategies were employed during this time of prayer. I was reminded of the story of Deborah and Barak and how God used the elements to fight against the enemy see Judg. As I thought of this, I chuckled and said something like, "What if it rained so hard that people became disillusioned and went home?
It certainly wouldn't hurt to ask and then we could leave it up to the Lord. Then I went to the piano and we warred with intercessory praise. The warring aspect of the watchman ministry was put into practice that day in an awesome way. God poured out a spirit of supplication and grace in our midst as people wept and cried out to Him for this generation and for Woodstock II.
We asked for rain, and rain it did. Lots of rain. That's exactly what happened. It poured and poured and became a huge mud bath. People left in droves. Not everyone left, but we had prayed that Satan's plan would be stopped. I believe it was thwarted, but it was a skirmish and not the whole battle. Nevertheless, I believe it was strategic. I felt impressed to ask the Lord to give us a sign that He had heard us from heaven.
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My morning paper showed pictures of the mud bath and people commenting, "It simply wasn't the same as before. Thank God for warring watchmen. The Body of Christ is coming into a fresh understanding of the warring aspect of prophetic intercession. All of chapter 10 is devoted to this subject. For a more comprehensive study of the watchmen, please see Possessing the Gates of the Enemy. I would recommend reading my books as companion works.
To gain what you need out of this book, it is imperative for you to read chapter 5, "Redemptive Prophecy. Such issues will include the difference between Old and New Testament prophecy, how to release the prophetic gift in a redemptive way and the role of prophecy in the Church today. Do you think it might be possible for someone to have a prophetic call and not know it? How important is it to be obedient to what God is saying to you? What kind of time frame should you follow when God gives you direction? Are there prophetic watchmen in your church? Can you recognize the various kinds of watchmen as they function?
Brown, S. Driver, and C. Rolland C. Smith, The Watchmen Ministry St. Louis: Mission Omega Publishing, , pp. Finis J. Grubb, Rees Howells, Intercessor, p. Cheryl Sacks, "The Bridge Builder" 2, no.
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See appendix for names and addresses of ministries as resources for building this kind of prayer strategy into your own church. We were all excited about the prospect of having as our main speaker a man whom I'll call "Reverend Simpson. As the leadership waited on the platform, I mulled over the good reports of this prophet's ministry. Yet, for some reason, I felt vaguely uneasy.
I couldn't put my finger on it, but something wasn't right. I began to talk to the Lord about how I felt. Inside my heart came the words, "Caution. This man has some severe personal problems. Watch and pray. He looked every inch like my picture of an Old Testament prophet, except he had on a business suit rather than long flowing robes. He was tall and thin with deep-set eyes and gaunt-looking cheekbones. He had long bony fingers that looked as though they could poke a hole through you if he pointed at you. I mused to myself, If this guy were from New Testament times be would have been a John the Baptist type—coming out of the wilderness wearing a camel's-hair shirt with wild locusts hanging out of the corner of his mouth.
Pulling my thoughts together I admonished myself for being disrespect ful to our speaker. Instead of subsiding, however, the sense of something being wrong with this man increased dramatically. This might be a good place to interject a comment about prophetic intercessors. They have God-given, built-in alarm systems that go along with their spiritual gifts. From years of experience, I have learned to heed these warnings.
In attempting to describe these warnings to you, I'd say they usually start with what I call a "check in my spirit," or a sensing that something is wrong. If I try to ignore these signals, they usually escalate to a deep restlessness, agitation and profound need to intercede. This continues until the situation is either averted, changed or minimized.
Sometimes God will clearly reveal something I need to do in the physical realm to negate what is about to happen. In my opinion, most Christians receive these warnings from the Holy Spirit about various situations but they don't know what to do with the warnings. This occurs on a more regular basis with prophetic watchmen. Now, back to Reverend Simpson. As he came up on the platform, I began to earnestly pray without uttering a sound.
In addition, I quietly said, "Satan, I bind you in the name of Jesus from giving a false word to this assembly through this man. I was shocked by the next thing that happened. Reverend Simpson came and stood right in front of me, facing the audience. He started gesturing wildly with his hands and began stepping forward. Each step he took forced me to take a step backward until I was literally up against the wall! If this weren't peculiar enough, he jumped off the platform looking very confused. He looked around and then called the daughter of one of our leaders to the front to "prophesy" over her.
I was shocked as he apparently touched her bosom by accident, then grabbed her by her ears and pinched her so hard that she bled. By this time, I was upset and earnestly praying for this to stop, or else I was going to stop it myself. Then he gazed about the audience, muttered something about there not being any true prophets in our midst and took off out of the room!
I wasn't actually in charge of the meeting or I would have addressed some of the things we had just seen, but I certainly did so in private at a follow-up meeting. What was going on with Reverend Simpson? We had previously been blessed by his ministry. His comment about "no true prophets in our midst" seemed to indicate he believed he was the "true prophet. The above story, unfortunately, is not an isolated or unusual one. Some weird people are attracted to the prophetic movement in the Church.
This is a shame because there are many more genuine, balanced prophetic leaders than there are flaky ones. Those who have severe emotional and personal problems have caused real damage to the Body of Christ, and have created a severe backlash against others who are used to prophesy. Although this damage may occur, the Bible is clear about the need to be able to receive the prophetic gifts in our midst. First Thessalonians ,20 puts it this way, "Do not quench the Spirit.
Do not despise prophecies. Because most Christian leaders have a deep desire to be biblical, they do not want to be guilty of quenching the Holy Spirit. However, many who have had to deal with the excesses are frustrated. Pastors have a God-given protective nature for their sheep, and flaky prophets can really mess things up in their churches. Also, many evangelical churches are beginning to have an understanding of the gift of prophecy but are not knowledgeable enough about the prophetic gift to judge what is being said. The guidelines we discuss in chapter 4 should help such leaders.
The Holy Spirit is then quenched and grieved because of a lack of basic understanding of how prophecy should function in the Church. Yet, just as a toddler has many accidents before he or she is potty trained, the prophetic person in training will also stumble. There is quite a difference, however, between a prophetic person in training and the wild man in our opening story who claimed to be a prophet. Often these two kinds of people are lumped into one without being discerned as two distinct situations. This results in the person who is just beginning to prophesy being crushed because of being treated wrongly as one who is not a "whole person" and "refuses to change.
I personally believe many of these principles can be applied to all believers as they seek to grow in the Lord. Intrinsic in the nature of those in various kinds of ministries such as the pastor, teacher and evangelist are certain weaknesses or strongholds. Some of these problems, I believe, God allows in order to keep us totally reliant on Him. For instance, many prophetic people I know seem to have dealt with insecurity as they grew up. Although this basic flaw needs to be hammered out in the fire of God's refinery, the remembrance of it causes them to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit rather than on their own abilities.
Pastors can be overly compassionate in their shepherd's role to the point that they become ineffective leaders. This allows people to get away with behavior that is destructive to the rest of the church. As I said, the training of the prophetic person can at times seem quite severe. There are many reasons for this, some of which I'll touch on in chapter 6, "Mentoring the Prophetic Gift," and some we'll cover in this chapter.
I think this training process is so important that it will take two chapters to adequately begin to touch on its significance! It is critical to note that although someone may operate in a powerful way with the gift of prophecy, it does not necessarily mean he or she has character enough to be in a visible ministry. Paul spoke of this in 1 Corinthians ,3 when he gave this strong rebuke: And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.
For you are still carnal. We often do a great disservice to those who are young in the ways of God and are just beginning to develop Christlike characters. We put them into Christian service too soon without adequate mentors to help them. Young prophets often do not have the maturity to withstand the barrage of Satan against their weaknesses and strongholds.
Once someone is put into a place of visible ministry, every stronghold within that person often hatches. Without proper help and understanding, the person will fall into shame. I have also seen many people who have a strong call on their lives begin to work in ministry soon after their conversions and grow rapidly into mature believers. However, they had strong leadership models working around them. This is why it is wise, both for those God is raising up for service and for those who are training them, to allow God to deal with major character flaws while these people are less visible.
Years ago when I was just beginning in ministry, I was in a season where God was dealing strongly with me concerning my arrogance and my attitude. Life was hard and it seemed as though I was getting into trouble everywhere I turned. One day, while in a terrible mood, I was riding in a car with Margaret Moberly, who taught me a lot about ministry. That day I was working on my "B.
The rest I won't quote directly but it could be translated, "Mutter, mutter, moan, moan, God, this isn't fair! The Lord in His mercy was trying to root out those terrible attitudes of mine, and the flesh dies hard. Have you ever rebuked Satan only to find out later it was really God dealing with you? Believe me, I have—and on more than one occasion. Why does God have to deed so strongly with those who are prophetic? For one thing, they are so stubborn! More about this later. For another, they are more prone to pride.
The prophetic gift, by nature, is often a more "flashy" gift—especially in its public form. People run around and say, "Did you hear? Prophet Big Lungs has given me this word from God. The Lord really touched me this morning through a prophetic word. The subtitle is A Call to Prophets and Intercessors. I have to admit that when I first purchased the book, it didn't make a bit of sense to me. After I had it for a year, however, I suddenly opened it and the words jumped off the page at me.
One of the main reasons I initially didn't understand the Sandfords' counsel was because the book talks a lot about the dealings of God with intercessors and prophets. When I bought the book, I hadn't yet been through any sort of refinement by God. Have you ever noticed how much work God can do in your life in one year—or one month—when you are yielded to Him?
One of the points the Sandfords make is that God can't put new wine into old wineskins—obviously a biblical concept see Matt. The Sandfords go on to say, "If we could but shuck the skin of our old carnal nature merrily and quickly, all would be fun and games. One of the biggest areas is integrity. If the Lord is going to trust His words to specific people to speak, they must first be faithful in giving their word. For instance, in my experience, here are a few areas where God works and in which He is working on me : Not exaggerating.
The prophet must learn to speak only what God tells him or her and go no further. In giving a prophecy, one of the temptations is to make the prophetic word more exciting, more fruitful or more dramatic than it actually was. Now, I understand different personalities perceive things in different ways. This is one reason God has given me my husband, Mike; I tend to amplify and he tends to downplay.
Between the two of us, we have a good balance. Being on time for commitments. This is an area I have to work on because I seem to be behind much of the time. I've learned not to schedule more things into a given time span than I can possibly accomplish, or not to promise to do more than I can physically do in one day. Otherwise, this is a lack of integrity and leads to frustration on everyone's part. If we are to understand God's timing in sharing what we have heard from the Lord, we must learn to order our own personal lives.
I don't pretend to have accomplished this but I am working on it because integrity is of great importance. Keeping your word. If people can't trust you to keep a promise, how can they trust you to have a prophecy from God? Sometimes at night I ask the Lord to remind me if I have forgotten any commitments or promises to anyone. I'll make little notes to myself on my side table so I won't forget again! Proper handling of money.
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Prophetic leaders should pay their bills and not live beyond their means. They need to have control of their use of credit. They must not solicit funds as a prerequisite for giving a prophetic word from God. Acts More about this later in chapters 4 and 6. Speaking the pure Word from God. It is possible for the prophetic word to be "tainted" and, thus, only part of what the prophetic person is saying comes from God. We'll discuss tainting through generational sin and occultic activity in this chapter and in chapter 4. As the years have gone by in my life and ministry, I have been puzzled by some of the areas with which I have struggled.
Certain issues that I knew I had not personally been involved with would crop up and bother me, yet they seemed to pull me in a strong way. While I looked for answers, it seemed Scripture passages concerning generational sin leaped out at me in my studies. One that I meditated on often was Deuteronomy ,10 NASB : "'You shall not worship them [idols] or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
This principle is no less applicable to Christians in the Church age than is the related affirmation to honor one's father and mother, as Ephesians shows. It is interesting how we can be so informed in some areas and yet not understand other godly principles. I grew up in a strong evangelical- based home. Yet, certain roots were intertwined within my heritage that affected me and also had great potential of tainting the prophetic word I would later give.
As I mentioned earlier, I seemed to "know" things from an early age. Many of these prophetic words were sent to me from the Lord. As I got older, other dark aspects came from my generations that started pulling me into more psychic powers. These came mostly from my dad's side of the family. In fact, we used to joke about ESP, and how at times we could tell what the others were thinking. I read my horoscope in the paper and didn't think a thing about it. Later on I came across Deuteronomy , which clearly states that this is forbidden because at the root of astrology is worship of the stars.
This is witchcraft see 2 Kings , By the time I was in college, I started toying with mental control, trying to read other people's minds. However, none of our professors talked about witchcraft or generational iniquities of the occult. Things progressed to such a state that a friend's father actually told me I would make a great medium. Why, I hardly knew what that word meant! In their book The Elijah Task, John and Paula Sandford state, "One whose family has a history of occult involvement may have great difficulty, though the involvement be two or three generations removed.
Edgar Cayce, for example, whose grandfather was a water dowser, gave evidence of occult subjection at an early age, relating various psychic and clairvoyant experiences. Strong mediums usually develop in this manner, as a result of what might be termed "psychic heredity. I had to deal with these strongholds before I could ever fully serve God. I talk about these strongholds and how God set me free in the chapter entitled "Dethroning Reigning Strongholds," which I wrote for the book Women of Prayer: Released to the Nations Aglow Publications.
The iniquity of the forefathers brings a curse upon the family line. Knowing the effects and weaknesses produced by iniquities, I decided I would check into David's generations to see if they revealed any evidence of sexual sin on either side of his family. Amazingly, I discovered that David is a direct descendant of Rahab the harlot see Matt.
Perhaps this left a weakness that not only affected David, but also, as a result of his sexual sin, with his son Solomon who had serious problems in his relationships with many, many women. Solomon and his wives worshiped false gods— gods that, no doubt, contributed to Solomon's downfall as a king. Davids son Amnon lusted after his own sister, Tamar, and committed incest with her see 2 Sam. Sin and Iniquity Generational sin and iniquity were like incurable diseases in the Old Testament.