Posts Tagged ‘culture’


They Hijacked The Intercessory Prayer Movement

March 30, 2012

This will be a hard essay to write for two reasons:

1. I prefer not to “name names” when it comes to doctrinal error and lapses in moral judgment. I do not like the so-called “heresy hunter” approach to correcting the Body of Christ and I won’t stoop to it.

2. I love intercessory prayer and after reading this essay, you may be inclined to think I don’t.

First, my credentials for this subject. I have been involved in many, many prayer meetings. I have been on the board of two prayer schools, many prayer gatherings and have spoken on more than a dozen occasions to national audiences on the subject of Intercessory prayer. I have participated in prayer marches, prayer walks, prayer journeys, watchnights of prayer, prayer vigils, prayer “burdens”, deliverance prayer sessions, fasting and praying, Schools of Intercession, Youth With a Mission weeks on Intercession, days of prayer, weeks of prayer, prayer months and 40 day journeys of prayer. I don’t list these to impress anyone. I can think of a half dozen people immediately who are more committed to Intercessory Prayer than I am. But I want you to know I am not a newcomer to Intercessory Prayer.

Intercessory Prayer is defined by two parameters: First, it is prayer offered on behalf of someone else to God. Second, it is a prayer that often has many different parts, each of which must be prayed through before the final answer can be given. Therefore, a person should listen to God first and receive guidance from God when praying. God will only answer if the intercessory prayer lines up with God’s will. (1 John 5:14–15) People ask me why we should even bother to pray. ‘If God wants to do something, why doesn’t God “just do it” and leave us out of it?’ they ask. The Bible teaches clearly that our life as followers of God is a partnership with Him. Nothing of value can be accomplished in the life of a God follower unless we partner deliberately and with free choice. We cannot become a follower until we believe. We cannot experience life-changes (i.e. Sanctification) unless we freely submit to God. We cannot have healing unless we ask God and seek cleansing first. We cannot change our world without obedience. It all requires a partnership. God will do His part and we must do our part. But that’s another essay.

For years, true Intercessors were not a well-known part of the church. They often prayed alone or in small groups. It is difficult to ask God for things you may never see the answer to with your eyes. It takes hours and days to hear God, pray effectively, keep on praying and to break through the resistance of the enemy. Daniel took 21 days of fasting and praying before the answers began to come. Some people have prayed for 50 years before seeing answers to prayer. Very few people are willing to put in that kind of effort in their prayers. Most people count it a victory if they pray for 10 minutes.

But True Intercessors count this ministry as equal to eating and sleeping. Many times, they will give up food and sleep to pray. We should count ourselves blessed they would be willing to do that. Almost all of us have had changed lives because an Intercessor prayed for us. We probably don’t even know it, but God will reveal it to us in the Afterlife some day. I don’t consider myself one of the Elite Intercessors by any means. I pray when I feel God’s burden to pray. And I often don’t pray for longer than an hour. I do admire those who pray in secret and alone or in small groups and will not let go until God is finished.

As I have gathered together with intercessors around the world, I am awe-struck by the determination and fortitude of real intercessors. It is my contention that every major work of God in our world was thoroughly grounded in Intercessory Prayer before there were noticable results. I enjoy my times teaching intercessors and joining with their efforts. The only time I can pray much longer than a couple of hours is when I am swept along as mighty prayer warriors touch God’s heart.

So why am I pulling away from the Intercessory Prayer crowd? Because they have been taken over by a group that has a much different agenda than God’s agenda. The prayer movement has been sacrificed at the altar of both right-wing politics and the hunger for power. These altars are as much false worship as any offering to Baal or Asherah were in the Old Testament. The ones taking over this prayer movement have many names. They call themselves Triumphal, Conquerors, Champions, World-beaters. They call God’s people to unity, a common Call, to return to the roots of our country. They set up targets for prayer, calling these targets Mountains (business, government, media, entertainment, education, family and even church are mentioned as Mountain-like targets). Politicians show up to these rallies and get the crowds going. In fact, the presence of huge crowds tell us that this movement differs greatly from the Prayer movements of the past.

At the heart of this false prayer movement is an old, old belief system called post-Millennialism. That’s a fancy term that simply means this: That the role of the church is to conquer all the forces in this world that stand opposed to God. When we finish our work of taking over governments, media and schools, then Christ will return to set up his Kingdom.

Historically this was the belief of the Crusaders who sought to conquer the Infidels surrounding Jerusalem. This was at the heart of the Conquistadors who felt they were laying the foundation of the Kingdom of God by slaughtering the Aztecs. This was often spoken by settlers of the West who murdered Native Americans with the goal of creating the Kingdom of God. Look at how many place names in the Western U.S. and Canada have biblical names. If you trace the history of those towns, many of them have the sub-text of belief in this establishment of a Christian dwelling place on earth.

Intercessory prayer is designed to change the spiritual heart of a nation, not its institutions. Institutions will only change when people’s hearts change. We see Christians today practicing the same sins at the same rate as anyone else. Why would we want to force our practices on the rest of the world? We tell homosexuals who want to get married that they are evil and yet the divorce rate for heterosexual Christians is well over 30%. How does that represent the Kingdom of God?  Do we really want to establish the Kingdom before Christ returns based on our gossip, jealousy, envy, back-biting, adulteries, alcohol and drug addictions? Why do we even think our current actions can supplant the problems that exist on top of society’s so-called great Mountains?

Until the Intercessory Prayer movement returns to 2 Chronicles 7:14, I am no longer a part of it. In that verse we are told that if God’s people “who are called by {God’s} name will humble themselves in prayer, seek his face and turn from their wicked ways, then God will hear from heaven and will heal their land”. Today’s intercessory prayer movement just wants power, not repentance and transformation. It just wants influence, not purity. It only wants to be recognized, not to be restorative. It wants to conquer so Christ will be impressed; not to weep so God will be moved to action.

I am done for now. I will keep praying, keep teaching and keep weeping. Perhaps my heart will change and then it will purify my prayers. Then other hearts will change and purify their prayers. Then perhaps our land will be healed. It won’t happen by voting in our favorite party or getting another law passed.

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