Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pray, Release, Trust

I have been reading Beni Johnson's book, "The Happy Intercessor" this past week.  As I said earlier, this book has at times taken me out of my comfort zone --through Beni's words and stories, God has been stretching and reshaping me.  I am one to discern what I read, sometimes running things by Joel for his thoughts and Holy Spirit to make sure I am receiving solid information.  It is a good policy to confirm what you read, hear, or receive as being from God or anointed by God.  Especially when it challenges our beliefs.  As we know, God does not leave us where we are because He wants us to grow in our faith and in our actions, often changing or expanding our beliefs.  He desires so much for us and I don't want to miss out on what God has for me because I am uncomfortable stepping out of comfort zone or complacent about broadening my Christian faith.

Case in point---this book on Intercessory Prayer.  Certainly I have heard of Intercessors....those burdened to pray for others on many levels as God leads, but I knew little about this kind of prayer.  I do oversee a group of close to 150 women from around the world for my friend Linny.  The Knee Team prays over requests that come in.  It is such a privilege to lead this group of faithful prayer warriors, so I really was interested to see if there was a difference between prayer warriors and intercessors. I am not sure I can separate the two nor have need to.  I am still processing what I have read, but I have found "The Happy Intercessor" has helped me in important ways.

Beni Johnson shared that she has the gift of discernment of spirits that the Bible speaks about,  but for many years she did not know that was what it was called.  She shared how she could walk into a room and "feel" the needs of others.  Feel their sadness or anger, pain, etc. and it was sometimes difficult to not take on their energy.  Often she would end up taking on the energy of those she was drawn to.  It was a heavy weight on her emotionally.  At that time she did not know she was to pray for those people and then release them into God's hands.  She learned that much later as she embraced the gift of being an Intercessor and discerner of spirits for her husband Bill Johnson, their church, community, state and country. 

This was encouraging for me because I also can walk into a room and feel the energy, pain of some people or the atmosphere.  Not always, but sometimes it permeates the air and makes me anxious, restless, and on alert.  I have never been able to explain it, except to say I don't have any filters when I am around others. Not a bad thing when the people are expressing the joy of the Lord, but not so good when the enemy has them in his grip.   So, it was helpful and really an "aha" moment when I read this. 

Beni went on to say, we, as Christians, are on God's team.  We do not worry about the enemy's strategies because we are on His offensive team and we pray from a place of victory.  I like that!  We pray from a place of victory because we know who wins! Barry Bennett from Charis Bible College says much the same.  We know who wins!  We do!  We have His Word that speaks of victory over sins, diseases, and the enemy! We don't need to beg, plead, or pray from a place of fear or lack.  NO, we pray from a place of peace and victory!  We have the truth of God's Word and His Word shows us His heart.  We can stand firm on what we read within its pages.  Isn't that great knowledge to have?!

I have spent time speaking with God about this book and what He wanted me to glean from it.  I believe there is more that will come from what I read, but yesterday as I was meditating on what I read, I heard these words:


We pray, then release that deep need into God's hands, trusting that He has it all worked out for good.  Pray, Release, Trust.  So often I want to take back what I have given to God.  I worry over it, which is meditation on the negative!  Fear creeps in when I want an outcome that is good for someone I love and care about.  This action to release is so important because it involves trusting God for the outcome.

There really is a lot to this prayer business.  It is not just going before God with a list.  Bill Johnson was asked how he prayers.  His response was powerful .  "If I have an hour to pray, I spend 45 minutes in praise and worship, and then give my requests the last 15 minutes.  Certainly my requests can't take longer than that on any given day!"  I know that as I pray now, I am more conscious of my agenda.  I am making more of an effort to lift my eyes in prayer to the One who holds the power. Taking action to release the outcome into His hands, and then trusting God, which brings my focus back to Him, the One who loves us with a perfect love.


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