3 Ways to Grow in Intercession and the Prophetic

The scene flashing across the tv was crazy, hectic and of course funny, as it always is when Winnie the Pooh and his mad mob of friends are involved. They were trying to get honey down from the tree as they often do, when the bees got angry (doesn’t that always happen?) and madly started chasing them. Little pink Piglet quietly steps in and saves the day, but nobody sees and they each think they have done a marvellous job retrieving the honey, in fact they even tell Piglet they are sorry he didn’t get to play a part.

Ever felt like that? When everyone around you is celebrating what an awesome job they did(n’t) do and then someone comments that you didn’t play a part when you know the whole thing would have fallen to bits if you hadn’t been there?

Little Piglet quietly slips away helping a little bird here and a little squirrel there, and the movie proceeds to show many moments where the friends realise just how lost they would be without Piglet.

It got me thinking about the prophetic andP intercession, two ministries that go hand in hand, and how sometimes it can be a very quiet, behind the scenes ministry, that can be unrecognised, but just how important its role is in the church.

Intercession goes beyond just a basic prayer list, to God showing you people, events or countries that desperately need prayer covering and showing you how to pray, and the prophetic is a foretelling or hint of events to come in the future, and when I first started learning about it at the age of 14, after my missions trip to Papua New Guinea, there are a few things that would have been really helpful to know. I’d like to share these with you in the hopes that some of you will not make the same mistakes that I have, and you’ll be quicker to jump into action than I have been on some prayer prompts.

  1. Coupling the Prophetic and Intercession – Pray Big For Small Prompts

Have you ever had a little thought pass through your brain, I should pray for this person, or that person? If you have a prompt like that, STOP, DROP, PRAY. Especially if a few of you in a group have the same sense. I’ve had this sense, ignored it and later found out that person made a bad life-altering decision at that time and yet at other times, had that sense and prayed, and found that a crisis had been diverted.

One time I was driving through an intersection and had the sense I should pray for safety, but thought I would do it later at my ‘proper prayer time’. By the time I came back through that intersection a few hours later, a man on a motorbike had been killed there. Oh bother, doesn’t seem to be quite a strong enough expression for that one. Let’s say I’m a bit quicker to pray and to verbalise what I’m sensing to others around me and insist we stop and pray.

More recently after giving birth to our 2nd daughter, I required surgery after tearing badly. I had the sense I should ask my husband as they were wheeling me out to pray against an infection, but I reasoned that I was just being paranoid. By the time I got out of surgery and back to the ward I had a full blown infection that nearly caused me to stop breathing. The doctors were really freaking out. My husband was able to stop them and pray for me and my heart rate and breathing immediately came back to normal. So a few days later when I got home and had the sense to pray against a blood clot, we started commanding it to dissolve, especially after several nights of one leg cramping, and other symptoms. Our local doctor sent me into the city for an ultrasound, but Praise God, by the time I got there all the symptoms had ceased and they could not find a clot.

#PowerofPrayer

2. Understanding De Ja Vu

De Ja Vu is something I really hadn’t heard of until it started frequently happening to me; the sense of having been there before and knowing what’s going to happen in a given circumstance.

One example of this is when my husband was crossing a busy highway and suddenly had the sense that he had been there before and that the semi trailer that was coming was going to kill his friend. He was able to grab his friend before that happened and divert a tragedy.

3. Don’t Set Up Your Own Confirmations

Have you ever believed God had told you something or to do something that is fairly big and has ramifications for you and your family?

If it’s something you really want, it can be easy to try and set up a confirmation, so that you can be terribly ‘spiritual’ and tell your friends ‘God said so and this proves it.’ I’m talking about a confirmation where you say to God ‘if X Y Z happens then I’ll know that I should do this’ but then setting it up so that it will happen unless someone actually refuses your request. This only causes pain in the long run, trust me. I’ve done it, and so have others I know.

Rest assured, if God is telling you something big, like who to marry, to move overseas, or to quit your job, He will bring about His confirmations, as you quietly seek Him and others around you who have wise counsel. It may take some time (eg years) or it may happen quickly, either way don’t tell everyone you meet what you believe He says, just a few select people you trust will pray into it and not give you their own opinion.

 

4. Prayer Prompts for Others

Occasionally, or maybe even regularly God will show you something about a friend or an acquaintance, maybe even someone famous to pray into. If what he shows you is negative, the reason He has shown you most of the time is to speak words of life and intercede in that situation. He may give you words to speak or you may be interceding with the gift of tongues, which is praying His perfect will. I’ve heard a speaker share how she suddenly felt to pray for her friend and got an image of her in a parked car. Later the friend told her that she had been about to make an unwise decision with a man but had the strength to say no.

 

5.  Prophesy Over Yourself

To prophesy is just to speak words of encouragement and life into a situation and you can just as easily do this for yourself as for another person.  Ask God for a Scripture to be speaking over yourself.  I heard a testimony of a lady who had migraines and God gave her the Scripture, I have not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind from 2 Timothy 1:7 and as she was diligent to speak that out over herself, she was healed of the migraines.    Remember the Kingdom of God is voice activated.  Jesus has done everything we need at the cross and we activate it by speaking it out over ourselves, other people and situations.

It’s wonderful to get prophetic words from other people, but if we don’t steward them by meditating on them, speaking them out and when God shows us it’s the right timing, they don’t usually eventuate.    Prophetic words are invitations from God to partner with Him to bring His plan into fulfilment in our lives.

I woke up from a dream with the words, "Our prophetic words are not some far distant promise, but the very bridge to get to the promise."

Lana Vawser says that the best prophet over our own lives is ourselves, and she has a fantastic books to help you grow deeper in hearing from God and activating the prophetic in your life.

6. Prophetic Evangelism

Prophetic evangelism is when instead of just handing someone a tract, you pray before hand and God might show you a picture of where He knows you will meet someone, He might direct you to create a card with a specific verse or song written in it, or He might give you a dream to direct you to a place where He knows someone needs prayer, an encounter or healing from Him. This can be known as a Prophetic Treasure Hunt and I’ve written about a few times this has happened to us in this blog post.

A great book to read about this area is Children and the Supernatural by Jennifer Toledo where she shares her testimony of dramatic outreaches in Africa and how she has trained children to share God with others.  This is actually a great book even for us as adults to rediscover our true identity as children of God and the unlimited riches of His Kingdom that we have access to.

Another way we’ve found to do this for my daughters to make Valentine’s Day or Easter Craft and they just love giving these out on the streets or even in hospital and it leads to very authentic and organic conversations. A year or two after we’d given a lady on a mobility scooter a Valentine’s day picture in an op-shop, she remembered us at a Christmas parade (I didn’t remember her) but it led to a conversation about how she’d had a stroke but believed she wasn’t supposed to die yet and I was able to talk to her about heaven whilst my girls patted her little dog. I wasn’t able to lead her to Jesus at the time but she certainly would have had plenty to think about after that conversation.
A few little activations to help you grow in the prophetic could be to ask God for the name of a friend who needs encouragement and ask God to bring a Scripture, a line from a song, or an image to your mind and then write this down in a card.

A very simple way to step out in prophetic evangelism is simply to write down the names of your friends in different areas of your life, eg local friends, family, work mates etc and begin to pray over these everyday.  Sometimes you may just pray over the whole list for salvation, other days God might lay someone very specific on your heart to pray for.

One of the pastors at our church said she had not seen anyone in her family/friends circle give their hearts to the Lord in years but once she started to do this, quite a few did in the period of a few months.

Very occasionally God will highlight to me a tatoo on someone’s arm, and give me exact words for what to say to them, eg a lady had a sword tatooed and it was in memory of her sister who committed suicide and I kept asking her about it and I felt to tell her that there was a very special sword, called the sword of the spirit and had she heard of it?

She said she hadn’t, and I shared about how it was her Bible and God had a lot of promises in there for her and she said she would got home and read her Bible.

1 Corinthians 14:3 says “But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.”

There are times for correction, which I’ve written about in the blog post, Have You Ever Had a Prophetic Word?  But you’ll find even in these examples that I’ve used, God has shown the prophet speaking to do it in a very encouraging manner.

1 Cor 14:3

Whether you are just learning about the prophetic or you’ve heard about it for a little while, I hope these scenarios will inspire you to step out into the more that God has for you. It’s interesting that when the apostle Paul was writing His New Testament prayers, he wasn’t asking God for more, but for a revelation of what he already had and for BOLDNESS. Something we all need, as I have a very shy personality and really have to push myself to talk to people about God, but it’s totally worth it and makes life so much more meaningful, because really that’s what we were created to do.

 

If you would love to have beautifully illustrated printable copies of these prayers, along with a series to dig deeper into effective prayer, I’d love you to sign up to my FREE e-mail series below:

If you would like a beautifully illustrated FREE printable of these prayers, along with a series on digging deeper in prayer, I invite you to sign up to the e-mail course below.

 

 

 

 

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About Elizabeth

My name is Elizabeth Ainsworth, a wife and mother in QLD Australia who shares her ponderings of faith at Where Deep Calls to Deep

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