A Call for Intercessors
From Leanne’s Archives
Since our last newsletter, several Christian leaders have come to us with a word they received from the Lord in regard to our need to ask for intercessors. One was awakened in the middle of the night to intercede for us, and was given visions of the battle we are in, especially in regard to ministering to persons with sexual neuroses. Another had a specific prophetic word that he spoke over the PCM team, a word to the effect that from this time on those persons called to intercede for this ministry will play an increasingly vital and even critical part in the work God has for us to do. Part of that word admonished us to:
Pray that an army of intercessors be raised up, and they will go before you, springing the snares and traps of the enemy.
In our last newsletter, we exhorted you to pray for the Gift of Battle. You may want to go back and reread that part and follow through, if you haven’t already, with the recommended reading and study, for we live in a time when, although the light of our God has grown brighter, the darkness has greatly thickened. C. S. Lewis observes this phenomena when, in his novel That Hideous Strength, he puts this observation in the mouth of Dr. Dimble as he converses with his wife:
“Have you ever noticed that the universe, and every little bit of the universe, is always hardening and narrowing and coming to a point? . . . Good is always getting better and bad is always getting worse: the possibilities of even apparent neutrality are always diminishing. The whole thing is sorting itself out all the time, coming to a point, getting sharper and harder. . . .”
Mother Dimble replies that all this reminds her
“more of the bit in the Bible about the winnowing fan. Separating the wheat and the chaff. Or like Browning’s line: ‘Life’s business being just the terrible choice.'”
Surely the battle between good and evil is stepped up in this our day, and we are all involved in it, making the “terrible choice” whether prepared or not. I have an idea that our choices are often affected by whether or not we have asked for and received the Gift of Battle, and by whether or not we’ve put on the full armor of God.
One of the big temptations is to leave the positive work of the Kingdom and go down to battle on the Enemy’s own turf, one charged with his negatives, his accusations and lies. If he cannot distract us any other way, he would love to take up all our time trying to answer his charges. If you haven’t read Nehemiah’s story recently (chapters 1-6), you may want to, and, if involved in the work of the Lord at all, you’ll likely need to. Nehemiah’s enemies never stopped trying to interrupt his work of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, but he refused to leave the work and go down. His enemies sent this message:
“Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono.” But they were scheming to harm me; so I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer.
After that his enemies began to slander him with all manner of malice and deceit. But God was with him, and the walls were rebuilt. Nehemiah was obedient to God, he was wise as to the enemies’ tactics, and he ended up doing the “impossible” task.
We too are not to wrongfully strive with forces He has already defeated and whose time is limited, but we are to rejoice in His triumphal train. “But thanks be to God, who continually leads us about, captives in Christ’s triumphal procession, and everywhere uses us to reveal and spread abroad the fragrance of the knowledge of Himself! We are indeed the incense offered by Christ to God, both for those who are on the way to salvation, and for those who are on the way to perdition. . . .” (2 Cor. 2:14).
Here is the triumphal picture, as Fr. Banks received it, in listening prayer. He had been meditating on 1 Corinthians 9:25: “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”
MASTER: The saints were great lovers. Love is creative energy. Their love for Me was drawn inward and upward until they became free to serve the Highest. These holy ones, these athletes (1 Cor. 9:25) of the Spirit, had their battles of course, but they triumphed not so much by any frantic striving with the forces of evil as by concentrating rather on the Sun of Righteousness. They absorbed the rays of My perennial light and heat, and so they literally transcended their lower selves and entered into oneness with the Divine. From Banks, The Master and the Disciple
Nehemiah’s enemies were those from outside the covenant, the people of God. All too often our main onslaughts come from within the Church itself. And when this is the case, we have to be so very careful. Christ’s teaching on the wheat and the tares is apropos here. [See Matthew 13:36-43.] There are those today ignorantly and recklessly pulling up the wheat with the tares. Some who are doing this reckless pulling up of the wheat with the tares are themselves sowers of the bad seed: they are sowing fear and hatred (among other things) of the imagination, being ignorant of the true, and they are sowing fear and hatred of fellow Christians. They are slandering great servants of the Lord whose work and fruit of that work speaks for itself and needs no defense. They are also sowing the seeds of poor scholarship, poor theology, and poor psychology. This is, as those who have attended PCM Schools will realize, a predictable part of the “flight from the feminine” [see also Crisis in Masculinity]; the flight from the intuitive ways of knowing, and of hearing from God: all so important to the preaching, teaching, healing ministry of the Church.
Our Lord taught, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Barclay, in his commentary on Matthew 5:9, speaks to this word. First of all, it is in the loving, active facing of issues that we make peace; we can’t evade issues and think we are peacemakers:
There is many a person who thinks that he is loving peace, when in fact he is piling up trouble for the future, because he refuses to face the situation and to take the action which the situation demands.
This making of peace requires our getting the mind of Christ, His love and wisdom replacing our incomplete knowledge and ignorance.
The Jewish Rabbis held that the highest task which a man can perform is to establish right relationships between man and man. That, says Barclay, is what Jesus means. There are, however, people who are always storm-centres of trouble and bitterness and strife. Wherever they are, they are either involved in quarrels themselves or the cause of quarrels of others. They are trouble-makers. . . . The man who divides men is doing the devil’s work; the man who unites men is doing God’s work. So then this beatitude might read:
O THE BLISS OF THOSE WHO PRODUCE RIGHT RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN MAN AND MAN, FOR THEY ARE DOING A GODLIKE WORK!
Lord, preserve us from fighting Your battle in our own strength. May we never pull up the precious wheat with the tares. May we triumph, not by frantic striving with the forces of evil, but by keeping our eyes securely fastened on You.
An intercessory prayer suggestion for those who have attended PCM conferences: Oswald Chambers reminds us: “The way fruit remains is by prayer.” You have name lists of those persons who attended with you [perhaps this is a practice we should restart for MPC schools today!]. Pray that (1) the fruit of their healing remain and grow in them, (2) that they be sent forth as laborers into the Lord’s harvest.
There will be those of you specifically called to intercede for this ministry. Please let us know if you are one of these and keep us informed of how you are led to pray, and of anything else the Lord lays on your heart to share with us.
Reprinted with permission, copyright ©1999-2013 by Leanne Payne Literary Trust
Photo courtesy of Simon Howden at freedigitalphotos.net