In our present culture the loudest, most abrasive people seem to get the most attention. The squeaky wheel gets the oil, and while that in most cases is true. Another recent phenomenon of refusing the truth by denying and downplaying it also seems to be the way that people in positions of power / authority choose to handle situations that make them uncomfortable or do not reinforce their beliefs and values. What can you do when the truth is presented and it does not make the impact that it should? What can you do for people that are crying out for help only to be refused assistance because of bias and prejudice? This type of scenario happens on many levels, although the most obvious levels are racism, sexism, and classism. The most unfortunate thing about this is that it happens in the church as well. This is not an article/blog post to bash the church and the US political and law enforcement systems that are in place. This is a wake up call to the Body of Christ – especially intercessors. While I can only speak for myself, I know that I started out strong in prayer at the beginning of 2020, especially when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. However, during all of the various controversies that arose that year and after somehow apathy and indifference began to set in. Personal peace became more important than praying about every woe and ill of society. Tiredness and exhaustion creeped in. and while rest was warranted, people like me did not really want to get back out onto the front lines again. So now we find ourselves here…. Needing Divine Intervention again.. (like we will ever not need it).
So how did we become so desensitized to the needs of others? Why are we content to let those crying out for help to “figure it out” on their own? Why are some so willing to refuse the truth and take appropriate action? Just a few days ago a news story broke about a Pastor who reported that women were being abducted from a certain street in Kansas City. The local authorities disregarded it, and said that it could not be possible and that it was a hoax. It seems like they never attempted to investigate the claims of the Pastor and just ignored it all together. Then the unthinkable happened… A young woman escaped from the house of her captor with a metal dog collar around her neck, knocking on several doors until someone in that neighborhood finally assisted her by calling the police. The young woman said that the other women that had been captured by the same man did not make it. How many lives could have been saved if the reports of abduction had been taken seriously from the beginning? If you want to follow this news story, you can check it out here: https://www.the-sun.com/news/6418818/malnourished-woman-escapes-kidnappers-home-padlock-collar-duct-tape/
What if Jesus did not respond to the cries of Blind Bartimaeus? (Mark 10:46-52) What if Jesus ignored the woman with the issue of blood? (Luke 18:43-48) What is the point of having the gift of discernment if it is only used when it is convenient or agrees with a preconceived idea/ jugement about a situation? The example of Jesus is to serve all. He healed them ALL (Luke 4:38-41). He fed them ALL Matthew 14:13-21). Jesus did not pick and choose who He was going to help, heal, or LOVE. He loved them ALL. He gave His life for the whole world, not just a particular demographic or social class (2 Corinthians 5:15). I know that you may not like seeing homeless people living in public spaces, or immigrants who illegally enter the country to seek refuge, the sexworkers who solicit in the “bad” part of town, or the countless other types of scenarios where people made unwise choices and needed help. Stating the obvious regarding how a person ends up needing assistance is basically victim shaming and is not helpful to anyone. The drug addict knows that their choice to take drugs led them to addiction, what that person needs is someone that can help them find their way out. If a person is not ready to change, we can still pray for them, and agree with heaven who rejoices when only one soul is saved. Let’s also pay attention to the silent cries or “off” scenarios that may indicate that a person is in an unsafe situation. Not all people (especially children) are in situations where they are able to communicate that they need help, so let’s allow the Holy Spirit to highlight people to us whether we are in a position to help directly, or indirectly.
It is true that repentance is necessary to be rightly aligned with God, however we are called to point people to Christ, share the gospel, and serve where there is a need. Putting pressure on people to change as a condition to offer assistance often will push them away and further into the grip of satan. This message is not about condoning sin or coddling people who won’t take responsibility. This is not about agreeing with political, moral, or ethical views that are against what the Bible teaches. This is certainly not about tolerating a compromised demonstration of faith either. This is about not ignoring people when they need help. We can assist physically by providing food, clothes, money, shelter assistance or other tangible ways that God leads. The easiest way to help is to pray and intercede for others, it’s free and can be part of your daily walk with God. We can also help by being emotionally available to listen, counsel (if qualified), and empathize with those who are hurting. Some people have the faith for healing and/or deliverance. Others are great encouragers – which is needed when depression, anxiety, and suicide is on the rise. We can help by doing what is just and right by other people – especially people in positions of power and authority. Even Jesus had assistance on his journey to the cross from Simon of Cyrene (Matthew 27:32, Mark 15:21, and Luke 23:26), so why should we be ok with sitting idly by watching people suffering?
I recently listened to Bill Weiss’ 23 Minutes in Hell testimony again, and it really reminded me of why we intercede in prayer for people who don’t even seem to care about “living right”. His sentiment was that Hell is real and he would never want anyone to go there. His testimony used to play 24/7 in my 1st apartment, and honestly I needed to hear it. It may have been the catalyst that made me take serving in ministry more seriously. The reason that I intercede for those that will never know that I prayed for them, is not so I can get some type of “Holy” award or to gain the approval of men. It is because intercession provides the “work orders” for Kingdom building. Intercession is a selfless act that can make a difference for someone in need.
The Fall and Winter holiday season is when a lot of people seem to enter depression, domestic violence increases, and suicide rates go up – let’s change that this year. Be sensitive to the needs of others and intercede, give words of encouragement, exhortation, and hope. Let’s use our resources to help those in need and our influence to usher justice in where there is none. For a few moments each day, let’s put our wants, needs, and desires on the shelf and go to war for those who are too weak to fight, for those who do no know that they are in danger, and for those that society has cast away and forgotten. Let’s follow Jesus’ example and intercede for ALL. ***I wonder how much closer we would be in our relationships with God (and each other) if we put our views, beliefs, biases, and prejudices down and just fixed our gaze upon Him….. if there is something that is bothering you, let’s choose to pray about it instead of complaining. I have complained, I have pointed out the evils that people seem to miss or ignore and I cannot say that it really has helped me in my personal situation. However, what I cannot achieve on my own, God can do above and beyond my expectations. Let’s agree to bombard heaven with sincere requests to bring divine intervention to earth. Let’s truly colabor with Christ and the heavenly hosts by using our heightened sensitivity and discernment to decree and declare as it is in Heaven so it is in earth. Let’s continue to cover our family and all that is important to us, but also “check in” with God about what is important to Him and how to cooperate with His plans. Let’s not make excuses or continue the same way, let’s impact this world in the way God designed us to. Maybe your gift or anointing is not for prayer, no worries – do what God has equipped you to do!
Before this blog website was started, I used to send weekly prayers out to email subscribers, and posted them on social media. God was moving in my life, in a way that I didn’t quite understand the importance of it at the time. Every week was exciting to find out what God was directing prayer for and in some small way I got to be a part of that. The point is that willingness to pray and intercede for who and what is on God’s heart is always in His will. If you are like me and need to realign with God from time to time, to get rid of distractions and start interceding again please do it, Do not procrastinate or hesitate – it could just be the breakthrough that someone else needs.
It’s been a while since we ended a blog post in prayer, and since this post is about intercession it is only fitting that we conclude with a prayer.
Lord, thank you for this time of communication with you. We come before You lord acknowledging that there are times when we just were not interested in praying about the things that are happening in the world and just wanted to rest in You. We come before you asking to be revived, refreshed, and renewed in strength, hope, and zeal for promises to come to pass and for Kingdom Expansion. Lord, we acknowledge that hell is real and we do not want anyone to go there, so we stand in the gap for those that may not even realize that they are on the pathway to destruction. Lord, we know that all choices have consequences and that You are a just and righteous judge that has the final say, and we believe that Your heart favors redemption, restoration, and repentance of those that are making reckless decisions above eternal judgment. Lord you are so long-suffering that You continue to wait for the return of those that strayed away, and even those who were drawn away by their own lusts. Lord show us how to contend for the lost so that Jesus’ sacrifice will not be in vain for this generation and/or generations to come. Lord please realign us with You in our thoughts, perceptions, opinions, and in every area of our lives so that we can be ready weapons in Your hands. Lord let us not become content with how things are or complacent when presented with truth and cries for help. Lord God You preserved us during a pandemic, natural disasters, and all sorts of trouble – please order our steps for such a time as this. Lord let us be vessels of Your glory, healing, and justice – caring for those who are left out and discarded. Lord, we do not want to condone bad behavior or reward recklessness so help us use discretion and wisdom when seeking to help those in need. For those that we realize we are not equipped to assist we turn them over to You – knowing that You know how to intervene at just the right time. Lord deliver our speaking from complaining, condemning, and combativeness in the natural realm. We recognize that our enemies are not other human beings, but are spiritual forces that we have authority over through the name and blood of Jesus. Lord God, You know what we have need of, and we place those needs before You, however help us to also lift up those around up as well. Bless us to be blessings to those in need, to those you are sending us to, and to those that can never repay the favor. Let us follow Jesus’ example as led by the Holy Spirit and not call good evil and evil good. Help us to put aside any un-useful mindset, habit, or bias so that we can hear and respond to Your promptings. Lord, we thank you for this opportunity to be a part of what you are doing and we ask that You cover us and stand with us when we stand in the gap for others. Lord thank you for shifting this season to be a season of joy, love, revival, and Kingdom Expansion and we ask for all of this in Jesus’ name Amen!